Small businesses in Canada have received less than 10 per cent of the financial aid they were promised to help them offset the costs of the national price on carbon emissions.

The Liberals promised when their new carbon pricing policy was enacted in 2018 that seven per cent of revenues would be returned to the small- and medium-sized businesses whose greenhouse gas emissions aren't high enough to qualify for the industrial carbon pricing program.

The government's annual reports on carbon pricing revenues show that between April 2019 and March 2022, Ottawa collected more than $12.8 billion from the carbon levy on fossil fuels paid by individuals, smaller businesses and non-profit organizations.

But as of April 2022, only $89 million had been distributed to help small businesses invest in projects that would lower their fossil-fuel consumption levels.

The government is in the midst of rejigging the policy with a new fund targeting only small- and medium-sized businesses that have higher emissions or in sectors that face stiff international competition.

Jasmin Guenette, a vice-president at the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, says that will leave a lot of small enterprises out.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 5, 2023.