Kootenay Columbia MP Rob Morrison has provided his comments on COVID-19 and its impact on residents and small businesses.

Morrison highlighted some assistance programs that small business owners and employees can apply for to help them with finances through closures.

“A lot of them take a paycheque from the business to pay themselves, so they’ve been directly affected. Even if they don’t qualify for EI, they can still put in for EI,” said Morrison.

Morrison added that programs such as rental assistance, mortgage deferrals, and childcare help are available for those who are impacted by COVID-19.

However, Morrison feels that the federal government could do more to give Canadians more assistance.

“We were trying to get 75% of salaries for employees to help out small business owners so they could keep people working, the government came out with 10%, which is really not anywhere near enough,” said Morrison. “For a lot of them, their margins are so small, they aren’t making a lot of money, and now it’s devastating.”

Morrison said the majority of businesses within Kootenay-Columbia are small businesses. He added that assistance is available, and he is willing to help Kootenay-Columbia residents to get in touch with what they may need.

“It’s so hard for so many of our people who are barely making it in the good times, let alone now that they have to go home and their businesses are shut down and people just don’t have the money they had before,” explained Morrison. “I want to reach out and make sure if there’s anything I can do for them, please send me an email or go to the website and we’ll get you the help that you need.”