The Council of Canadian Innovators, a national association of high-growth, Canadian-based technology companies, has set up a slack channel for startups and scaleups across the country to help each other through the current crisis.

The organization has been advocating on behalf of all high-growth innovation companies in the country since the downturn began last month. It recently has been urging the federal government to amend its wage subsidies proposal because too many startups are ineligible.

The slack channel is another initiative to support founders in these uncertain times, and more than 1,400 members have already joined.

The CCI has surveyed its members, receiving 651 responses from founders across the country, on whether they will benefit from the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy , or CEWS. It found that:

  • 94 percent said their companies would be ineligible for the CEWS because of the revenue test;
  • Only 6 percent said they would be able to measure a reduction in business activity by revenue YoY;
  • 40 percent of Canadian tech CEOs surveyed have already laid off employees since the beginning of the pandemic;
  • And 82 percent of Canadian tech CEOs are planning layoffs for the coming weeks.

“Most tech CEOs said they do not measure a decrease in business activity by revenue loss and instead track key quantifiable business activities such as billable hours and receivables, units shipped, gross bookings, net new subscribers, monthly recurring revenue or subscriber churn,” said the group in a message to its members.

“Based off of the findings of CCI’s surveys, CCI estimates that around 39,000 Canadian ICT companies are ineligible for the CEWS because of how they evaluate a reduction in business activity.”

The CCI was founded in 2015 to give a voice to high-growth companies in Canada. Its Chair is BlackBerry Co-Founder Jim Balsillie and Vice-Chair is John Ruffolo, the former head of OMERS Ventures.