U.S. Covid-19 Program Whiners and the Facts

Whine: Not enough of the U.S. government programs provides direct benefit to the “people” and too much to businesses.

Should the government just send 2 Trillion dollars just to the people?  And when most of the businesses that receive no assistance close their doors, and the jobs that provide actual sustained livelihood are gone, then what?  

The U.S. program assistance to businesses is tied primarily to payroll.  It is loans intended to keep “the people” paid with benefits with the hope that, when this ends (and it will), “the people” will have sustained employment.  The loans become grants if the businesses use the funds primarily for payroll.  If not, then they must be paid back with interest.

And yes, hundreds of billions of dollars are going directly to “the People” TOO!  In the form of direct payments of $3400 for a family of four.  Enhanced unemployment benefits to the tune of $2400 MORE per month than traditional unemployment payments AND help for everyone’s employers to hire them back!  That is a comprehensive program with another massive phase two in planning now.

Whine: Canada has a better program for the people.

Canada is providing only $2000 Canadian Dollars per month per working adult ($1400 in US dollars or $2800 for a family of four) for four months and very little to ensure people actually have jobs to go back to.  Check the highlights of the Canadian program below.  The Canadian program is far less generous than the American plan when taking a long term view.

And the Canadian population is only 37 million. Basically, not even California’s 39 million.  175 million people in the U.S. will receive funds immediately plus millions of business will receive assistance to stay viable, hire back employees, pay rent and utilities.  This loan assistance will very likely become a grant.  The grant will be a bridge to the massive pent up demand that will be awaiting them when this crisis has past and a viable business remains standing with their employees ready.

Canadian COVID-19 Support Program Highlights and restrictions:

  • Are without income for at least 14 consecutive days in a four-week period because of COVID-19, because they have temporarily stopped working, lost their jobs, are sick or in quarantine, or need to care for a child or a family member.2
  • Introduced the Canada Emergency Business Account, which provides interest-free loans of up to $40,000 to small businesses and not-for-profits through their financial institutions. Up to 25% of the loan will be forgiven if repaid by December 31, 2022. More details to follow. 1
  • Offered employers the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) applied at a rate of 75% on the first $58,700 earned by employees, representing a benefit of $847 per week. The program will be in place for a 12-week period, retroactive to March 15 and ending June 6, 2020. Eligible businesses of all sizes and from all sectors of the economy, regardless of the number of workers they employ, that suffer a drop of at least 30% in gross revenues due to COVID-19 in March, April or May, when compared to the same month in 2019, would be able to access the subsidy. This will help businesses to keep paying their employees and to bring laid-off workers back on the payroll.1

The U.S. program is far more comprehensive and well thought out.

1https://www.canada.ca/en/services/business/maintaingrowimprovebusiness/resources-for-canadian-businesses.html

2https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/trudeau-income-supports-covid19-1.5509247

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