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Mar 26

IMPORTANT FEDERAL UPDATES FOR BUSINESS

1) CEWS: The application process for claim period 5 (July 5 to August 1) opens today, August 17, 2020. Proposed legislative changes announced on July 17 would:

  • Allow the extension of the CEWS until December 19, 2020, including redesigned program details until November 21, 2020.
  • Make the subsidy accessible to a broader range of employers by including employers with a revenue decline of less than 30 per cent and providing a gradually decreasing base subsidy to all qualifying employers. This would help many struggling employers with less than a 30-per-cent revenue loss get support to keep and bring back workers, while also ensuring those who have previously benefited could still qualify, even if their revenues recover and no longer meet the 30 per cent revenue decline threshold.
  • Introduce a top-up subsidy of up to an additional 25 per cent for employers that have been most adversely affected by the pandemic. This would be particularly helpful to employers in industries that are recovering more slowly.
  • Provide certainty to employers that have already made business decisions for July and August by ensuring they would not receive a subsidy rate lower than they would have had under the previous rules.
  • Address certain technical issues identified by stakeholders.

These proposed changes follow consultations with business and labour representatives on potential adjustments to the program aimed at ensuring that it continues to protect jobs and promote growth. Details are forthcoming.

2) The federal government plans to transition recipients off of CERB to the Employment Insurance (EI) program this fall. They also plan to create a “transitional, parallel benefit” that is similar to EI for people who don’t qualify for the unemployment benefit, such as contract and gig workers, and which will include access to training and the ability to work more hours and earn more money while receiving the benefit. The last scheduled CERB pay period is set to end on September 26.

3) CECRA: The July/August extension to the federal rent subsidy program is available for opt-in. If you’re a landlord and you have not yet applied for the April to June subsidy, you may still do so along with the July/August extension. To apply, click here.

4) CEBA: As of June 26, the Canada Emergency Business Account eligibility criteria expanded to include owner-operated small businesses that do not have a payroll, sole proprietors receiving business income directly, as well as family-owned corporations remunerating in the form of dividends rather than payroll. If your business wasn’t eligible for the initial iterations of CEBA, you may want to revisit this option if you require emergency financial support. To review an FAQ and CEBA eligibility requirements: https://ceba-cuec.ca/