“The Liberal Opposition has been calling on the Higgs Government for months to provide financial aid for small businesses who are facing serious financial challenges due to the pandemic. While I’m glad some help has finally been made available, the rigid eligibility criteria exclude some small business owners who have just as much right to this financial aid as any other small business. Particularly, the requirement that a business must employ at least two people immediately disqualifies many barbers, hairdressers, estheticians and other personal care professionals who are usually self-employed. It also excludes the owners of many salons and similar establishments who operate by renting spots in their facility to personal care professionals since they are not technically employees. These people are essentially businesses, they have fixed costs they must continue to pay, they’ve lost revenue, they’ve purchased significant amounts of personal protective equipment and they need to be supported as well. Local restaurants with a drive thru are also disqualified from receiving this financial support even though they have been significantly impacted by the dining room closures. In the context of a pandemic, financial aid programs must be flexible to meet the needs of different business models.
Premier Higgs, if we’re all in this together then don’t let some of us fall through the cracks.”
Official Opposition critic for Economic Development and Opportunities New Brunswick