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COVID-19 aid package: What's in it for me?
VANCOUVER -- While people fight to stay healthy, many are also struggling to put food on the table and pay the rent, which is why the federal government announced $82 billion in aid earlier this week.
Shops are shuttered, restaurants are closed, many airlines are grounding planes and workers are getting laid off.
"I work at the restaurant. So it is closed today," said Ammol, who stopped to talk to CTV News in downtown Vancouver. He's now out of work, he said.
Crossroads Café owner Misha Ageev is still open with his takeaway counter in downtown Vancouver, but says it hasn’t been easy.
"Struggling," he said.
On Monday, Ageev was asking CTV News what the government was doing to help small business owners like him and those without sick leave who could be left out in the cold. On Tuesday, Prime Minister Trudeau had the answer.
"No matter where you live, what you do, or who you are you will get the support you need during this time," said the PM.
Employment insurance restrictions have been lifted. Those without sick benefits and others who wouldn’t normally qualify and are forced to stay home can get immediate financial support - $450 a week for up to 15 weeks with no waiting period.
Families struggling to maintain payments will get an extra $300 per child beginning in May and it will last until the end of the year.
Goods and Services Tax credits will be doubled for this year. The average boost would amount to $400 for individuals and $600 for couples for those who qualify.
If you’re having trouble making the mortgage payment the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation and other mortgage insurers can help. The government through CMHC will allow lenders to defer mortgage payments.
Small business owners like Ageev are also getting assistance. Self-employed people who normally couldn’t qualify for EI can now access it.
The government is offering of 10 per cent wage subsidies for small business up to $1,375 per employee and $25,000 per employer. Also, additionally money is being made available through loan guarantees or insurance policies.
“Yeah I’m happy that they are finally announced that,” Ageev said.
The Greater Vancouver Board of Trade is encouraged by the federal government’s efforts to help.
‘It’s important and I think it’s reassuring that the government is open to offering more support if and when that’s needed,” said Bridgette Anderson, CEO Greater Vancouver Board of Trade.
Taxpayers are also getting an extension to file to June 1 and tax payments can be deferred until the end of August.
And for students there will be a six-month interest moratorium on the repayment of Canada Student Loans.