COVID Relief Program Update – October 2021
On October 21st, the federal government made a number of announcements about COVID-19 relief programs. Some programs are coming to end, new programs are being introduced and some programs have been extended. Here’s a summary of the changes.
The Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS) and the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) are both coming to end on October 23rd. The application deadline for the final CERS and CEWS reporting period (September 26th – October 23rd) is April 21st, 2022.
The Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) will come to end on October 23rd. CRB was brought in when the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) came to an end. It was designed for individuals not eligible for Employment Insurance (EI).
With the major business support programs coming to an end, the government has brought in two new programs to help hard hit sectors.
The Tourism and Hospitality Recovery Program (THRP) will provide wage and rent support to hotels, restaurants, bars, festivals, tour operators and travel agencies. To qualify, eligible businesses must show an average monthly decline in revenue of at least 40% for the first 13 periods of CEWS (March 2020 – February, 2021) and a loss of the same amount for the current month. The subsidy will match the revenue decline, up to a maximum of 75%, and decline to half that rate in March, 2022.
Businesses suffering “deep and enduring losses” will be able to take advantage of the new Hardest-Hit Business Recovery Program (HBRP). Eligible businesses must have had an average monthly revenue loss of at least 50% for the first 13 reporting periods of CEWS and a loss of the same amount in the current month in order to be eligible and the maximum subsidy will be 50%. Like THRP, the subsidy will drop by 50% beginning in March, 2022.
Both THRP and HBRP will be in place until parliament resumes on November 22nd. At that time, the government will introduce legislation to extend the programs until May 7th, 2022. More details on these programs are expected in the coming days.
We understand that businesses that face temporary new local lockdowns will be eligible for up to the maximum amount of the wage and rent subsidy programs, during the local lockdown, regardless of losses over the course of the pandemic.
A new Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit will provide $300 per week to workers subject to a provincial lockdown. Workers not eligible for EI can still qualify for this new benefit. The program will run from October 24th to May 7th, 2022.
The Canada Recovery Hiring Program (CRHP), originally scheduled to expire on November 20th has been extended until May 7th, 2022. CRHP provides a wage subsidy of 50% for eligible employers.
Both the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit and the Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit have been extended until May, 2022 and an additional two weeks have been added to maximum duration of the benefits.