Just hours after unemployment numbers came out from Stats Canada saying roughly 21-thousand jobs were lost in March with more significant job losses expected in April’s report, the provincial government announced an emergency support program for small businesses.
The $50 million dollar program will provide financial support to small and medium-sized businesses that have either closed or significantly curtailed its operation because of the pandemic.
Premier Scott Moe says those numbers show what the impact of COVID-19 is doing to our economy.
“These numbers represent real people who were working for Saskatchewan businesses and who are now unemployed.” Moe said during the government’s daily briefing on Friday. “This is a significant first step in our economic recovery efforts and we are committed to continuing to work with businesses through this uncertain time. We are providing the resources to help insure the businesses affected can re-open when we begin those recovery efforts.”
To be eligible, a business must have been fully operational on February 29, they have stopped or limited their operation as a result of the public health order, have fewer than 500 employees and commit to re-opening once the public health order is rescinded.
Moe acknowledged this may not address all of the challenges that are being faced, but the government will stand behind small business and that Saskatchewan residents need to do what they can to support local business whether it be online, pick-up or delivery because of the support they have given you in the past whether you be in rural or urban Saskatchewan.