Time for a Robin Hood solution?

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With new COVID numbers slowly declining the news is encouraging, but
bittersweet. While the decreases may be a sign that the second wave is subsiding, many of Canada’s small and medium businesses (SME) continue to suffer terribly.   

With new COVID numbers slowly declining the news is encouraging, but
bittersweet. While the decreases may be a sign that the second wave is subsiding, many of Canada’s small and medium businesses (SME) continue to suffer terribly.   
According to a study in mid-January by the Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses (CFIB), Canada’s largest association of SMEs, one in six (181,000) small business owners are seriously considering closing up shop permanently, putting 2.4 million jobs at risk, a significant increase from summer estimates. This is on top of the approximate 58,000 businesses that already closed in 2020. The rate climbs to one in three for those in the restaurant, hospitality, arts and culture industries.
Governments are running huge deficits funding programs to get businesses and
individuals through the pandemic, but is it enough? Most funding is offered in loans that ultimately lead to increased debt and expenses. “The $1,250 payments are
starting and we haven’t even made that much this month,” said one Pontiac entrepreneur. Some are hesitant to take on more debt, so they are attempting to do the best they can with what they have.  
The situation could be worse if government aid programs weren’t offered, but the deteriorating conditions may be a sign that relief programs aren’t as need-adapted
as they should be.
Direct (i.e. non-repayable) aid is the only way to help entrepreneurs survive the crisis and find themselves on stable enough footing to continue operating once it ends. Why not extend the Canada Emergency Response Benefit concept to SMEs? SMEs significantly affected by the pandemic would receive a monthly, no-strings-attached payment until revenues improve.
To fund this program without cutting elsewhere, there are two options: add a
couple of zeros on the deficit tally or offset the costs with a new source of revenue.
The pandemic hasn’t affected everyone equally and while many SMEs are fighting in the trenches, the rich are becoming richer. According to a report Canadian for Tax Fairness (CTF) released in November, the wealth of Canada’s top billionaires grew by $53 billion (28%) between April and October 2020. The top 1% now holds about 26% of the country’s wealth. CTF claims a progressive annual wealth tax on Canadians worth over $10 million could generate $20 billion a year; closing tax loopholes and cracking down on tax havens would generate even more. Should our governments continue protecting the profits of the ultra-wealthy while SMEs crumble?
The loss of SMEs, which account for about 98% of all businesses in Canada, affects everything from jobs and tax revenue to support for municipal parks and
school breakfast programs. Every week that passes without improvement inches entrepreneurs closer to making that decision. Is the ultimate crisis lingering at our doorsteps? What are our governments going to do about it?