On April 21st, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that the Canada Revenue Agency will accept applications for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) starting Monday, April 27th. This new measure gives qualifying employers up to $847 per employee each week so they can keep people on the payroll.
To be eligible to receive the wage subsidy, the Government of Canada website states you must:
be an eligible employer. Eligible employers include:
individuals (including trusts)
persons that are exempt from corporate tax (Part I of the Income Tax Act), other than public institutions:
boards of trade
chambers of commerce
non-profit corporations for scientific research and experimental development
labour organizations or societies
benevolent or fraternal benefit societies or orders
partnerships consisting of eligible employers
Public institutions are not eligible for the subsidy. This includes municipalities and local governments, Crown corporations, public universities, colleges, schools and hospitals.
have experienced an eligible reduction in revenue.
have had a CRA payroll account on March 15, 2020
The Canada Revenue Agency launched an online calculator to help businesses determine the amount they can expect from the wage subsidy program.
The province of British Columbia is providing additional support to businesses by reducing most commercial property tax bills by an average of 25%. In addition, the provincial government introduced new measures to support local governments facing revenue shortfalls.
“We know that B.C. communities and businesses are suffering from the economic impacts of COVID-19,” said Carole James, Minister of Finance. “That is why our B.C. COVID-19 Action Plan is focused on the health and safety of British Columbians, direct support for people and businesses and economic recovery for our province. We are providing further support by making additional temporary property tax changes to provide provincewide relief for business and local governments to help weather the pandemic, continue to deliver the services people count on and be part of our province’s economic recovery.”
“The Province is taking significant new steps to support B.C. businesses, non-profits and other organizations through the COVID-19 pandemic by:
further reducing the school property tax rate for commercial properties to achieve an average 25% reduction in the total property tax bill for most businesses, providing up to $700 million in relief. This enhances the 50% reduction to the provincial school property tax rate that was originally announced forclasses 4, 5, and 6 as part of B.C.’s COVID-19 Action Plan.
Postponing the date that late payment penalties apply for commercial properties inclasses 4,5,6,7 and 8 to Oct. 1, 2020, to give businesses and landlords more time to pay their reduced property tax, without penalty.
Responding to key concerns from local governments, the Province is addressing cash flow and revenue shortfalls with new measures that provide additional support:
authorizing local governments to borrow, interest-free, from their existing capital reserves to help pay for operating expenses, such as employee salaries.
delaying provincial school tax remittances until the end of the year. This will provide significant relief to local governments facing cash flow issues.
providing local governments greater flexibility to carry debt for an additional year.
These measures will provide local governments with the resources to meet their operational costs and required remittances to regional districts, regional hospital districts, TransLink and transit authorities, BC Assessment, the Municipal Finance Authority and other taxing authorities. This will ensure that other minor taxing authorities can count on receiving the full amount they bill to municipalities and the Province’s surveyor of taxes before Aug. 1, 2020.”
On April 16th, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced support for to help small businesses with their rent for the months of April, May and June.
The program is being worked out with the provinces and more details will be available shortly.
“Businesses and Commercial property owners are also facing specific challenges because of COVID-19 so we plan on introducing the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance. This program will provide support to help small businesses with their rent for the months of April, May and June. To implement this program we have to work with the provinces and territories as they govern rental relationships and we hope to have more details very soon” – PM Justin Trudeau
Canada Emergency Business Account
The eligible amounts are being expanded to include businesses with 2019 total payroll between $20,000 – $1.5 million.
“The funds from this loan shall only be used by the Borrower to pay non-deferrable operating expenses of the Borrower including, without limitation, payroll, rent, utilities, insurance, property tax and regularly scheduled debt service, and may not be used to fund any payments or expenses such as prepayment/refinancing of existing indebtedness, payments of dividends, distributions and increases in management compensation.”
From his speech this morning (April 15th), Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced:
“Today, we’re announcing more help for more Canadians. This includes topping up the pay of essential workers. At the same time, we’ll also be expanding the Canada Emergency Response Benefit to reach people who are earning some income as well as seasonal workers who are facing no jobs and for those who have run out of EI recently. Expanding the CERB to include people who earn up to $1,000 per month. Maybe you’re a volunteer firefighter, or a contractor who can pickup some shifts, or you have a part-time job in a grocery store.”
Eligibility for CERB
On eligibility for CERB, the Prime Minister stated:
“If you earn $1,000 or less a month, you’ll now be able to apply for CERB.
If you were expecting a seasonal job that isn’t coming because of COVID-19, you’ll now be able to apply.
If you’ve run out of EI since January 1st, you can now apply for CERB as well
And for others who still need help, including post secondary students and businesses worried about commercial rent, we’ll have more to say to you very soon.”
Wage Boost for Essential Workers
On topping up wages for Essential Workers, PM Justin Trudeau said:
“Our government will work with the provinces and territories to boost wages for essential workers who are making under $2,500 a month, like those in our long-term care facilities”
The government website is being updated with the new qualifications, for full details and to apply click below:
The new Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) is available starting TODAY and is available through major banking institutions: TD, Scotiabank, BMO, CIBC, RBC, National Bank, HSBC and Canadian Western Bank.
The CEBA will provide interest-free loans of up to $40,000 to small businesses and not-for-profits, to help cover their operating costs during a period where their revenues have been temporarily reduced until December 31, 2022. Up to $10,000 of that amount will be eligible for loan forgiveness if $30,000 is fully repaid on or before December 31, 2022.
Organizations will need to demonstrate they paid between $50,000 to $1 million in total payroll in 2019
How do I apply?
Prior to applying, please make sure you have this information readily available:
Canada Revenue Agency Business Number (BN 15 digits)
2019 T4 Summary of Remuneration Paid (T4SUM)
Apply online at the financial institution your business banks with:
The sheer volume of applications for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) will likely overwhelm the system. If you or someone you know need to apply for this benefit, we suggest you prepare TODAY before the applications begin:
Double check your myCRA account username and password
Direct Deposit is setup
3 – 5 days via Direct Deposit vs 10 days via cheque in the mail
You should double check your myCRA username and password by signing in at:
To help manage the volume, the CRA has setup specific days for you to apply based on month of birth.
If you were born in the month of:
January | February | March: Mondays – Best day to apply is April 6th
April | May | June: Tuesdays – Best day to apply is April 7th
July | August | September: Wednesdays – Best day to apply is April 8th
October | November | December: Thursdays – Best day to apply is April 9th
Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays are open for any birth month
The benefit will be available to workers:
Residing in Canada, who are at least 15 years old;
Who have stopped working because of COVID-19 and have not voluntarily quit their job or are eligible for EI regular or sickness benefits;
Who had income of at least $5,000 in 2019 or in the 12 months prior to the date of their application; and
Who are or expect to be without employment or self-employment income for at least 14 consecutive days in the initial four-week period. For subsequent benefit periods, they expect to have no employment or self-employment income.
To help Canadians through this difficult time, the Federal Government created the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) and made changes to the Employment Insurance Program (EI). For those whose employment has affected by the Coronavirus, we have created a chart to help you figure out which program you qualify for and provide links to apply for each program.
The Federal Government has already made numerous changes to these programs so we will be updating this document whenever a change to the program is made.
March 27, 2019 – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced programs and measures focused on helping Small & Medium Sized Businesses and Entrepreneurs cope with the economic consequences caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“With these new measures, our hope is that employers being pushed to laying off people due to COVID-19 will think again,” Trudeau said. “And for those of you who have already had to lay off workers, we hope you will re-hire them.”
Wage Subsidy increased to 75%
The Prime Minister has been under pressure from the small business community to boost the wage subsidy beyond the 10% initially announced to help keep people employed. Today, Mr. Trudeau announced the government will increase the wage subsidy from 10% to 75% to help keep employees on the payroll. This increase will be backdated to Sunday, March 15th.
“It is clear we have to do more, much more so we are bringing that percentage up to 75 per cent for qualifying businesses”
– Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA)
The CEBA will allow banks to offer $40,000 loans that will be interest-free for the 1st year which will be guaranteed by the government. If you meet certain conditions, $10,000 of the loan can be forgivable.
“To help you bridge to better times, we are launching the Canada Emergency Business Account. With this new measure banks will soon offer $40,000 which will be guaranteed by the government”
Defer GST, HST, Duty
The government will defer GST & HST payments, as well as duty and taxes owed on imports until June 2020.
“This is the equivalent of giving $30-billion of interest free loans to businesses”
Bank of Canada Rate Cut
Bank of Canada slashed its key overnight interest rate to 0.25%.
Full details and qualification requirements will be available on Monday.
To support people and prevent the spread of COVID-19, the Province is introducing a new temporary rental supplement, halting evictions and freezing rents, among other actions.
The new rental supplement will help households by offering up to $500 a month towards their rent, building on federal and provincial financial supports already announced for British Columbians facing financial hardship.
“Nobody should lose their home as a result of COVID-19. Our plan will give much-needed financial relief to renters and landlords. It will also provide more security for renters, who will be able to stay in their homes without fear of eviction or increasing rents during this emergency.” – Premier John Horgan
The funds will support renters experiencing a loss of income by helping them pay their rent and will be paid directly to landlords on their behalf, to ensure landlords continue to receive rental income during the pandemic. Benefiting people with low to moderate incomes, this supplement will be available to renters who are facing financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, but do not qualify for existing rental assistance programs.
The Province is implementing a number of additional measures to keep people housed and protect their health. The full list of immediate measures includes:
The new temporary rent supplement will provide up to $500 per month, paid directly to landlords.
Halting evictions by ensuring a landlord may not issue a new notice to end tenancy for any reason. However, in exceptional cases where it may be needed to protect health and safety or to prevent undue damage to the property, landlords will be able to apply to the Residential Tenancy Branch for a hearing.
Halting the enforcement of existing eviction notices issued by the Residential Tenancy Branch, except in extreme cases where there are safety concerns. The smaller number of court ordered evictions are up to the courts, which operate independently of government.
Freezing new annual rent increases during the state of emergency.
Preventing landlords from accessing rental units without the consent of the tenant (for example, for showings or routine maintenance), except in exceptional cases where it is needed to protect health and safety or to prevent undue damage to the unit.
Restricting methods that renters and landlords can use to serve notices to reduce the potential transmission of COVID-19 (no personal service and allowing email).
Allowing landlords to restrict the use of common areas by tenants or guests to protect against the transmission of COVID-19.