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Recap of the COVID-19 programs our small business clients are seeing the most benefit from

By far the largest support program for eligible businesses is the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS). The program provides a subsidy of 75% of wages to a maximum of $847/week.

To be eligible:

  • March – revenue must be down 15% versus March 2019 OR 15% versus the average of Jan/Feb 2020.
  • April and May – revenue must be down 30% vs. April or May 2019 OR 30% vs the average of Jan/Feb 2020
  • If you qualify for one period, you automatically qualify for the next period
  • You can use either the accrual or cash method of accounting in determining your eligibility

How to apply and receive your subsidy:

  • Via online portal in your My Business Account with CRA
  • The portal is not live yet.  It is expected to be live in the next 1-2 weeks
  • Expect your funds within 2 weeks of applying

Note that you will need to pay your employees before you receive the subsidy from the government so ensure that you have enough cash to do so.

If your business does not qualify for the CEWS, then apply for the Temporary Wage Subsidy (TWS).   This benefit provides a 10% subsidy per employee, up to a maximum of $1,375 per employee and an employer maximum of $25,000.  

How to apply and receive your subsidy:

  • Claim your 10% subsidy by reducing the income tax you withhold from your employee payroll taxes and remit the difference to the government.  You can do this until you’ve deducted $1,375 per employee
  • If you’ve claimed the TWS and now are eligible for CEWS, you will need to deduct your TWS benefits from your CEWS submission

Need help with your operating costs? 

The Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) provides business credit of up to $40,000 to help with immediate operating costs, like payroll, rent, utilities etc.  These loans are interest free until December 31, 2022. If you repay 100% of what you have borrowed under the CEBA by December 31, 2022, the government will forgive 25%, up to $10,000.

Who is eligible?

  • Businesses who had between $20,000 and $1,500,000 in payroll costs in 2019.

How to apply?

  • Via your financial institutions online banking portal.  Note that you will need your T4Sum in order to report box 14 for 2019 so be sure to have that with you when you apply.

In order to keep more cash in your business over the next five months, the following deferral programs have been put into place:

  • Income Tax payments and instalment payments can be deferred until Aug 31, 2020
  • HST payments and installment payments can be deferred until June 30, 2020
  • EHT payments can be deferred until August 31, 2020
  • WSIB payments can be deferred until Aug 31, 2020

See complete details here, here, here and here.

Lastly, the government announced the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance program last week but details have not yet been provided.  So far it would appear as though the program will be for commercial property owners to provide rent relief for businesses most impacted by COVID-19.  We will provide more information when it becomes available.

At FIN/ALLY, we’re here to keep you updated on the latest information and relief packages available to help small businesses navigate these challenging times.

If you have any questions about the benefits of these programs, please reach out.