Nearly 6 months ago, a group of us hastily created a website SaveSmallBusiness.ca. Within a couple of weeks our digital cry for help ballooned into a grassroots campaign backed by 38,000 small biz owners. Today, we're winding it down. But not because the work is done [thread]
Far from it. We feel we largely failed at what we set out to do, to advocate policies that would prevent small biz from failing due to COVID-19. Emergency supports for small biz put into place by our gov were delayed, watered down and over complicated. They failed to reach many
As we enter this fall and a second wave of the pandemic, Our new Finance Minister @cafreeland has a chance to change things. We wrote an article about what we experienced + learned about how our government operates. It includes 4 recommendations for her medium.com/@jonshell/four…
The story of CECRA, how the government bungled rent support for small biz, shows a pattern that this gov repeats again and again. Delayed program announcements, provinces not showing up, complicated paperwork, and a failure to force banks to act.
This is not over. Many thousands of biz are barely holding on, and we'll see massive failures as subsidies end and loan deferrals come due. In our last survey, small biz owners said the #1 challenge was uncertainty. The gov needs to offer confidence, certainty and cash
Here's our 4 recommendations for Minister @cafreeland: 1. Bring in help. The gov doesn't know how to navigate this alone. That's ok. 2. Listen to real people on the ground. The lobbyists and bankers don't understand how real small biz operates.
3. Put away the hammer and bring out the scalpel. Broad-stroke programs like CEWS wage subsidy give billions to profitable companies that don't need it. Go for targeted support that enable businesses to close that pose highest risk to public health in response to local outbreaks.
4. Demand more from banks. When the dust settles, Canadians will seek answers as to why banks were allowed to continue to rack up huge profits while so many faced financial ruin. Canadians will figure out that the banks were paid millions in wage subsidies while they did so.
Thank you to all of you who rolled up your sleeves to fight for many small businesses. At the beginning of this, the narrative was focused on big biz and the stock market even though small and medium biz account for 7 in 10 jobs. You changed that media and political narrative
What an honour to be part of this unruly mob of resourceful, adaptable, ingenious and ferociously independent entrepreneurs from across Canada at a time when we had a message that urgently needed to be heard. We'll never be the same. Stay strong.

medium.com/@jonshell/four…

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