Minister Monsef highlights Budget 2021 investments in small businesses, entrepreneurs and broadband

News release

April 29, 2021 – Ottawa, Ontario

Budget 2021 is the Government of Canada’s plan to finish the fight against COVID-19 and ensure a robust economic recovery that is inclusive of all Canadians.

Today, the Honourable Maryam Monsef, Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development, met virtually with small and medium-sized enterprises from Nunavut and the Northwest Territories to discuss investments in businesses and broadband from Budget 2021: A Recovery Plan for Jobs, Growth, and Resilience. They discussed the Government of Canada’s investments to support workers and employers, as well as plans to grow and strengthen rural economies like those in the North and the important role of rural Canada in the recovery.

The COVID-19 recession is the steepest and fastest economic contraction since the Great Depression. It has disproportionately affected low-wage workers, young people, women and racialized Canadians. For businesses, it has been a two-speed recession, with some finding ways to prosper and grow but many—especially small businesses—fighting to survive. Budget 2021 is a historic investment to address the specific wounds of the COVID-19 recession, put people first, create jobs, grow the middle class, set businesses on a track for long-term growth, and ensure that Canada’s future will be healthier, more equitable, greener and more prosperous.

In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government of Canada acted swiftly to support and protect Canadians and businesses, adapting its response as the pandemic evolved. The government’s broad suite of support measures has protected jobs and helped families and businesses across Canada. More than eight of every ten dollars spent to fight COVID-19 and support Canadians continues to come from the federal government.

From extending emergency measures like the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy and Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy to incentivizing rehiring in recovery through a new Canada Recovery Hiring Program, Budget 2021 includes significant investments to support businesses in getting online and hiring back workers, commits to decisive action on lowering credit card fees, and improves support for exporters.

Budget 2021 also includes an additional $1 billion over six years for the Universal Broadband Fund (UBF), bringing the total available through the UBF to $2.75 billion, to improve high-speed Internet in rural and remote areas of Canada.

The Government of Canada’s top priority remains protecting Canadians’ health and safety, particularly given the aggressive variants of the virus during this third wave of the pandemic. Vaccine rollout is under way across Canada, with federal government support in every province and territory. Budget 2021 invests in Canada’s biomanufacturing and life sciences sector to rebuild domestic vaccine manufacturing capacity and has a plan to put in place national standards for long-term care and mental health services.

Budget 2021 is a plan to bridge Canadians and Canadian businesses through the crisis and towards a robust recovery. It will support almost 500,000 new training and work opportunities, including 215,000 opportunities for youth; support businesses in our most affected sectors, such as tourism and arts and culture; and accelerate investment and digital transformation at small and medium-sized businesses. Budget 2021 is a plan that puts Canada on track to meet its commitment to create 1 million jobs by the end of the year.

Canada entered the pandemic in a strong fiscal position. This allowed the government to take quick and decisive action, supporting people and businesses, and put it in the position to make historic investments in the recovery. 


“The number one job of Budget 2021 is to get people back to work. We will do that by conquering COVID-19, getting vaccines into arms and supporting those hardest hit by the pandemic. We heard from business owners in the North today that to be competitive in the 21st century, they first and foremost need access to reliable and affordable high-speed Internet. They also shared how important it is to support women and Indigenous entrepreneurs, skills training, the tourism sector and the unique needs of Canadian northern communities. With this budget and with Canada’s Connectivity Strategy, our government has a plan to deliver supports and meet its commitment to create 1 million jobs, while finishing the fight against COVID-19.”
– The Honourable Maryam Monsef, Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development 

Quick facts

  • Budget 2021 includes $101.4 billion over three years in proposed investments as part of the Government of Canada’s growth plan that will create good jobs and support a resilient and inclusive recovery. Key measures include:

    • Extending emergency supports to bridge Canadians and Canadian businesses through to recovery, including:
      • Extending the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy, the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy and Lockdown Support until September 25, 2021.
      • Introducing the new Canada Recovery Hiring Program for eligible employers that continue to experience qualifying declines in revenues relative to before the pandemic.
      • Extending the number of weeks for important income support for Canadians, such as the Canada Recovery Benefit and the Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit.
    • Supporting small and medium-sized businesses through transformative initiatives, such as:
      • Launching the new Canada Digital Adoption Program that will directly help over 160,000 businesses adopt new technology and get online. It will provide them with the advice they need to get the most of new technology with the help of nearly 28,000 young Canadians who will be trained to work with them.
      • Allowing Canadian small businesses to fully expense up to $1.5 million in capital investments in a broad range of assets, including digital technology and intellectual property. This represents an additional $2.2 billion investment in the growth of Canada’s entrepreneurs over the next five years.
      • Enhancing the Canada Small Business Financing Program:
        • Increasing annual financing of $560 million, supporting approximately 2,900 additional small businesses.
        • Amending the Canada Small Business Financing Act and its regulations by: 
          • Expanding loan class eligibility to include lending against intellectual property and start-up assets and expenses.
          • Increasing the maximum loan amount from $350,000 to $500,000 and extending the loan coverage period from 10 to 15 years for equipment and leasehold improvements.
          • Expanding borrower eligibility to include non-profit and charitable social enterprises.
          • Introducing a new line of credit product to help with liquidity and cover short-term working capital needs.
    • Supporting diverse entrepreneurs through additional investments to make our economy more inclusive, including:
      • An additional $51.7 million investment in the Black Entrepreneurship Program on top of previous investments of $93 million.
      • A further investment of $146.9 million in the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy.
      • Investments for Indigenous entrepreneurs. This is part of the greater action our government is taking to make our economy more inclusive and bridge the gaps that racialized entrepreneurs have faced for too long.
    • Establishing a Canada-wide early learning and child care system, in partnership with provincial, territorial and Indigenous partners, which will help all families access affordable, high-quality and flexible child care, no matter where they live, and no longer shoulder the burden of high child care costs. The budget proposes new investments totalling up to $30 billion over the next five years. Combined with previous investments, a minimum of $9.2 billion per year ongoing will be invested in child care, starting in 2025–26.
    • Investing an additional $1 billion over six years, starting in 2021–22, in the Universal Broadband Fund to support a more rapid rollout of broadband projects in collaboration with provinces and territories and other partners.

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Marie-Pier Baril
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development

Media Relations
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

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