The federal government recently new and expanded COVID-19 government aid measures that will assist small businesses:
1) Canada Emergency Rent Support (CERS)
The CERS replaces the previous rent subsidy program (CECRA) and will run until June 2021. In a major improvement from CECRA, CERS will provide rent relief directly to tenants.
We are still waiting for significant information to be released about this program, but can share the following:
- The new rent subsidy would support businesses, charities, and non-profits that have suffered a revenue drop, by subsidizing a percentage of their expenses, on a sliding scale, up to a maximum of 65 per cent of eligible expenses until December 19, 2020.
- Organizations would be able to make claims retroactively for the period that began September 27 and ends October 24, 2020.
- A top-up Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy of 25 per cent for organizations temporarily shut down by a mandatory public health order issued by a qualifying public health authority, in addition to the 65 per cent subsidy.
HGA will continue to monitor updates relating to CERS and will communicate updates to our clients as more information is released about this assistance program, including when applications open and how to apply.
2) Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS)
The wage subsidy program has been extended until June 2021.
In addition, the current subsidy rate, a maximum of 65% of eligible wages (previously 45%), will now be in effect until December 19, 2020.
We are awaiting further details on what CEWS will look like past December 19, 2020.
3) Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA)
The application deadline for CEBA has been extended to December 31, 2020. In addition, an additional interest-free loan of up to $20,000 will be available. This is in addition to the original amount of $40,000. Up to $10,000 of this additional financing will be forgivable if repaid by December 31, 2022.
CEBA applications are available through your primary financial institution. We are waiting for the government and banks to announce the launch date of these new applications.
HGA will continue to update our COVID-19 resource centre with information about government benefits and programs and more information is released.