NATI Supports Stimulus Announcement – March 19, 2020
Prime Minister Announces COVID-19 Stimulus Package
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced an $82-billion stimulus package in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The package consists of $27-billion in emergency aid for immediate help to Canadians and businesses as well as $55-billion in tax deferrals to help stabilize the economy. This announcement establishes a quick and strong response by the Federal Government and is a positive step towards maintaining the economic confidence of the public. Trudeau said that the supports aim to help Canadians pay for rent and groceries, to help businesses continue to meet payroll and pay bills and to stabilize the economy. The overarching message of the announcement was that the government will do whatever it takes to assist Canadians through this crisis.
While the announcement demonstrates significant support for Canadians and business, the Newfoundland and Labrador technology sector has unique elements that warrant consideration when rolling out effective relief and support programs.
“The role of NATI is to advocate for our member companies who represent the province’s technology and innovation sector,” said NATI CEO, Paul Preston. “We are consistently connecting with members to determine what supports they most need to help them weather this COVID-19 pandemic.”
“Many local tech companies are concerned about how they will pay their employees,” NATI Board Chair, Craig Rowe explained. Rowe, who is also the CEO of ClearRisk Inc. shared, “Finding skilled talent has been the number one challenge for tech companies before the pandemic. So, laying off skilled employees already in place here in the province would certainly set the sector back significantly.”
We know that our local tech companies are concerned and impacted by lost sales opportunities and some anticipate cash flow challenges. Organizations are looking for supports but to be effective they must flow fast. If assistance is not received quickly, companies may simply not be able to survive.
We are continuing to connect with our member companies to ensure we advocate for those things needed, including the potential for not only deferral of taxes owed but possibly decreased tax rates, interest-free and/or non-repayable loans, and other wage subsidy supports that go beyond the announced maximum of $25,000 per employer.
The Economic Response Plan can be found in full at the following link: https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/economic-response-plan.html
The Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Technology and Innovation (NATI) is a not-for-profit industry association that works closely with members, industry and government to help shape policy and advocate for those issues that matter most to members. As the voice of the $1.6 billion technology sector in NL, our mission is to help members grow and scale through our work on talent development, programming, technology advocacy, digital transformation, and strategic partnerships.
For more information, please contact:
Director, Innovation Programs, NATI