Madam Chair, good evening to all members attending today's committee.
With the rapid rollout of vaccines, I am optimistic that we will be able to reopen our economy, and with the investments we are making in budget 2021, we can look forward to a strong, sustainable and inclusive economic recovery.
Our government's COVID-19 economic response plan has protected millions of jobs, provided emergency supports to countless families and kept businesses afloat throughout the pandemic. We have had the backs of Canadians and businesses since day one.
Budget 2021 sets us up to finish this fight against COVID-19 and to keep Canadians healthy and safe, all the while building a better, fairer and more prosperous future for generations to come. The time to act is now and this budget puts us on the right path. However, this is not 2009. We cannot afford to take a decade to recover from the COVID recession.
We are taking prompt, decisive, responsible action.
We are making ambitious and targeted investments to accelerate job and business growth, driving toward faster recovery than if we did not take any action. This is the most small-business friendly budget in Canadian history.
We are extending the Canada emergency wage subsidy and the Canada emergency rent subsidy to September, with flexibility to go further than that if public health measures require it.
We are also announcing new supports to bridge the recovery, such as the Canada recovery hiring program, as 500,000 Canadians are still unemployed or have reduced hours because of the pandemic. We will invest $600 million so that businesses can hire more workers or increase hours and compensation for those they already have.
We also announced significant investments to support the success of diverse entrepreneurs through the Black entrepreneurship program, the women entrepreneurship strategy and investments for indigenous entrepreneurs. This is part of the greater action our government is taking to make our economy more inclusive and to bridge the gaps that racialized and under-represented entrepreneurs and businesses have faced for far too long.
Budget 2021 is ambitious.
It will not just get us onto the road to recovery. It will take us where we need to go to be competitive, to be more prosperous and to become even more resilient. Since my first day as minister, I have been focused on ensuring that businesses have the tools they need to start up, scale up and access new global markets. COVID-19 and our economic recovery have only increased the importance of this work.
Our businesses need the tools and the financing to compete in today's economy. That is why we are expanding the Canada small business financing program loans of up to $500,000, with a potential line of credit of up to $150,000, to provide liquidity for start-up costs and intangible assets, such as software for data management and supports for intellectual property. We have also committed to taking decisive action to lowering credit card fees for small businesses, helping to make consumer interactions more beneficial so that our main streets can be even more competitive.
Beyond financing, we want to ensure that our Canadian entrepreneurs have the expertise and tools to protect their Canadian innovations in the increasingly intangible global economy. The pandemic has greatly expedited the shift to the digital economy. More businesses have gone online in the last six months than in the last 10 years.
The pandemic has also shown the importance of businesses needing the latest tools, technologies and expertise to compete. In budget 2021, we are investing $4 billion for small and medium-sized businesses to go digital and to adopt new technology so they can grown and be even more competitive. This will support some 160,000 businesses and create jobs for nearly 30,000 young Canadians.
It will ensure long-term post-recovery growth and competitiveness.
Today, our small businesses are just a click away from being exporters, and we want to support as many as possible to grow around the world, while anchoring their success here in Canada, and to create jobs.
We have seen another global shift, one to sustainability. We know that the environment and the economy go hand in hand, which is why we have also announced $1 billion over five years to help draw in private sector investment for Canadian clean tech projects, ensuring that they remain competitive and on the cutting edge of innovation. This will help us reach our target of net-zero emissions by 2050. Through this budget, we are setting up our businesses to start up and scale up now, and to be ready to succeed and thrive in the economy of the future.
While travel has been limited through COVID-19, I have not let it slow us down in our efforts to create opportunities for trade and investment, to diversify our trade and to develop solutions to supply chain challenges, especially for essential goods. COVID-19 should not and cannot be used as an excuse to stop trading or to turn inward with protectionist policies.
International trade has been critical to create jobs and opportunities for growth. This is truer in our economic recovery more than ever. By working to implement the new NAFTA, CETA and the CPTPP, Canada's businesses are able to access new markets to expand their companies.
Canada and Canadian workers from coast to coast will benefit.
We have continued our work to ensure that Canada's 14 free trade agreements, including the new NAFTA and the recent trade continuity agreement with the United Kingdom, continue to serve Canadian interests and Canadian businesses, entrepreneurs, workers and families.
Earlier this month, I met with my Mexican and U.S. counterparts to discuss the implementation of the new NAFTA, and to work together on our shared priorities, such as the environment, labour and inclusive trade, for our shared economic recovery. From steel and dairy, to forestry and clean tech, we have the backs of Canadian businesses and workers in all sectors.
Our government has pivoted during the pandemic to support Canadian businesses through virtual trade missions to France, Singapore, Taiwan and South Korea; through the first Canada-Africa clean growth symposium; and through our virtual CETA road show last year. With over 2,000 entrepreneurs attending, we have made international trade more accessible. We have led over 150 business-to-business connections for our Canadian businesses.
We continue to take a team Canada approach to help businesses and entrepreneurs succeed here at home and abroad with Canada's trade tool kit: the Trade Commissioner Service, Export Development Canada, the Business Development Bank of Canada, the Canadian Commercial Corporation and Invest in Canada. They are all working together and focused on supporting Canadian businesses and their needs.
Budget 2021 will support the Trade Commissioner Service by providing $21.3 million over the next five years, and $4.3 million on an ongoing basis, to boost Canada's clean tech exports. We will work with our international partners and multilateral institutions to reduce unnecessary trade barriers and restrictions, keep supply chains open and build back a more resilient and inclusive economy. We will continue to work together, as we have done throughout the pandemic, including through our work on the WTO's trade and health initiative, to ensure that our essential health and medical supply chains remain open and resilient.
Crucially, we must also continue our hard work with one another and with all of our international partners to find solutions that accelerate the production and equitable distribution of affordable, effective life-saving vaccines. The pandemic is not over anywhere until it is over everywhere. We are committed to continuing our work toward a speedy and just global recovery.
I look forward to answering questions.