Minister Ng highlights importance of small businesses in Canada’s economic recovery during Small Business Week

News release

October 17, 2021 – Ottawa, Ontario

Small businesses are the backbone of the Canadian economy and will play a crucial role in Canada’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, creating jobs and building a better way forward in the months and years to come.

Today, the Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade, joined Canadians from coast to coast to coast to kick off 2021 Small Business Week, which recognizes and celebrates the resilience and innovation of entrepreneurs across the country.

Minister Ng highlighted the government’s commitment to support small businesses through the pandemic and into recovery—from historic support programs for rent, wages and operating costs, to the most small business–friendly budget in Canadian history in Budget 2021.

This includes encouraging Canadians to shop local, increasing their confidence through POST Promise, and partnering with chambers of commerce and business associations across the country to deliver rapid tests and encourage Canadians to get vaccinated.

The minister is also focused on programs that are supporting small businesses through economic recovery, like the Canada Recovery Hiring Program to help Canadian businesses hire more workers or increase hours and compensation for existing employees.

As well, Minister Ng noted the government’s $4 billion Canada Digital Adoption Program to help small businesses compete in the rapidly accelerated digital economy.

Finally, Minister Ng recognized the need to build an inclusive recovery and economy, highlighting the government’s historic investments in the Black Entrepreneurship Program, the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy and support for Indigenous entrepreneurs.


“As we celebrate Small Business Week, we’re focusing on the key role small businesses will play in building the way forward to a bright economic future. Our government stepped up to support small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic, providing wage and rent subsidies and access to capital so Canada’s small businesses—the hearts of so many of our communities—could make it through the challenging new realities. Now, as we look to recovery, we will continue to stand by Canadians and their small businesses and invest in helping them become more competitive and grow.”
– The Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade 

Quick facts

  • Small Business Week has been a registered trademark of the Business Development Bank of Canada since 1986. This year, it is taking place from October 17 to 23, and the theme is Seizing the opportunity to build the way forward.

  • To support Canadians during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government of Canada introduced the largest relief package in our country’s history, including the following major programs for business owners and their employees:

    • The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) is helping businesses cover up to 75% of payroll. This support has been extended to October 23, 2021.
    • The Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS), available directly to business owners, covers up to 65% of rent. The lockdown support may provide an additional 25%. This subsidy has been extended to October 23, 2021.
    • The Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program (HASCAP) offers loans at a fixed interest rate of 4% across all financial institutions for terms of up to 10 years, and the loans are 100% guaranteed by the Government of Canada. Businesses will be able to apply through to December 31, 2021. 
  • Budget 2021 proposed more funding to help businesses make a strong recovery from the pandemic as the economy safely re-opens. Highlights include:

Associated links


Alice Hansen
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade

Media Relations
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

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