Small businesses generate more than a third of Canada’s GDP

Across the country, many of our small businesses have closed their doors, and many more will follow in the coming months. We’ve seen dramatic drops in sales and disruptions to our supply chains as a result of the measures we’re all taking to stop COVID-19.

We’ve paused our businesses to protect our communities’ health. Government needs to help us pause our expenses so we’re still in business when it’s time to restart the economy.

The answer isn’t more access to debt. We shouldn’t have to mortgage our future to pay for our collective response to this virus.

We’re willing to pay our share, but we need banks, landlords and the government to equitably share the burden. We’ll lose thousands of small businesses if measures aren’t taken.

3 urgent calls to action

The federal government is in the midst of forming their aid package, and are so far relying on us to take on more debt to save our economy. It’s urgent our voices are heard.

Pause rent April 1

Mandate the first $10,000 of commercial rent is waived for 3 months and give landlords the support they need to make it happen.

Keep our staff together

A 75% wage subsidy was announced March 27.

Defer debt obligations

Give us a breather from both principal and interest payments on all of our loans. Give our landlords the same support so they can waive our rent.

We need rent help now!

According to a Save Small Business survey, 38% of small businesses will default on their commercial rent by April 1, and 70% by May 1. We are calling on all levels of government and banks to come together to prevent massive default on rent. We have submitted the below proposal to the federal government to support small businesses and landlords to survive COVID-19. We need solutions that don't require us going into unmanageable debt.

Save Small Business, long with the Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas, submitted a proposal for a rent abatement strategy to the federal government last week that calls for (1) the federal government to provide grants to landlords that waive rent to small business tenants; (2) provincial governments to put a moratorium on commercial rent lockouts; (3) banks to pause property debt payments without paying interest; and (4) all levels of government to work to ease property tax and utility payments. Read the full submission:

Federal Commercial Rent Abatement Strategy

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38,319 small businesses &

9,139 individuals signed

How COVID-19 is impacting small businesses

How COVID-19 is impacting small businesses

“With the ski hill closed, local businesses in Sun Peaks are devastated. Advertising revenues of local newspapers fell by 60-80% in a week. My community needs us to keep providing essential information during COVID-19, but how will I pay my staff?”

Brandi Schier

Publisher Sun Peaks Independent News

“A week-and-half ago, my restaurant was full of customers listening to local musicians perform. Days later I had to lay off all 25 of my staff. If this lasts more than 6 weeks, we’ll be completely out of cash.”

Nate Coli and Linda Jimi
Owner-operators Tangent Cafe, Vancouver BC

"My plane is on the ground as a result of collapsing tourism. As the first Indigenous woman-owned airline in Canada, I am heartbroken to think about the message it will send to Indigenous young women and aspiring entrepreneurs if I don’t make it."

Teara Fraser

Founder and CEO, Iskwew Air

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Resources for media

For media inquires, please contact Sara or Michael at or 647-207-1890. We have also compiled the following resources.

For immediate release April 15 🔗

Save Small Business outlines key criteria for Federal government to get commercial rent support right

Analysis of Canada compared to other countries 🔗

Chart of how Canada compares

Database of sources 🔗

700+ small business owners are willing to share their stories about struggling to pay rent. Search this database to find contact information and reach out directly

About us is a grassroots coalition of small businesses across Canada united in our opposition to a debt-forward solution to the COVID-19 economic crisis. We are the supply chain of big corporations and the lifeblood of our communities.

This website was started on March 22 by seven small businesses from different sectors: The Discourse, Social Capital Partners, Impact Bridge, Dageraad Brewing, Sun Peaks Independent News, Tangent Cafe and Iskwew Air. Less than 24 hours later, more than 2,500 small businesses had joined this movement.

The website is managed by The Discourse, a digital news media company in Vancouver.