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Responses to Gaps in Government Programs for Growth Stage Innovation Companies 

by Valerie Mann, Karen MacMillan, Kellan McKeen

Published: April, 2020

Submission: April, 2020


After the federal government’s initial rollout of its COVID-19 Economic Response Plan to provide economic measures to stabilize the economy (previously described in our blog post here), a number of voices from Canada’s business community have warned of program eligibility gaps and, in particular, that early and growth stage technology and innovation businesses have fallen through the cracks. For example, the initial qualifying criteria for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (“CEWS”), a program where an eligible company can receive a subsidy of up to 75% of its employees’ wages, was a 30% decline in revenue since March, 2019. As a result, many high-growth or pre-revenue companies were not eligible for CEWS.

The Government’s Response to the Gaps

Various industry groups such as the Canada Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (CVCA), Council of Canadian Innovators and the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance (CATA) have all publicly voiced their concerns with the federal government. In response to feedback from the innovation sector, the Government of Canada has recently announced a number of new initiatives targeting start-ups, entrepreneurs and innovation-based businesses.


Click here to read Kellan McKeen, Valerie C. Mann and Michael Macaulay's full article.


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