Government Announces New and Updated COVID-19 Relief Programs

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Government Announces New and Updated COVID-19 Relief Programs

New ‘Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy’ Program

On October 9th, 2020, the Federal government announced a new rent and mortgage relief program for some businesses that have suffered revenue drops by subsidizing a percentage of their expenses on a sliding scale, up to a maximum of 65 per cent of eligible expenses, until June 2021.

There will also be a “top-up” emergency rent subsidy of 25 per cent, in addition to the 65 per cent subsidy, available to organizations temporarily shut down by a mandatory public health order.

Tenants will be able to apply directly for the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS) program. Funds from CERS can be used for rent or commercial mortgages.

Further details on CERS are expected in the coming days.

CEWS Update

It was also announced today that the maximum Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) will be frozen at 65% until December 19th, 2020.

CEWS is being extended until June 2021, however the subsidy is only frozen until December 19th. Without this extension, the maximum subsidy available for this coming November would have been 20% less.

Applications for claim period 8 (September 27, 2020, to October 24, 2020) are now open.

CEBA Update

Changes were also announced for the Canada Emergency Bank Account (CEBA) which is now making an additional $20,000 loan available, with $10,000 of this being forgivable.

To be eligible for the forgivable portion of the initial $40,000 loan, $30,000 of the loan must be repaid by December 31, 2022.

To be eligible for the forgivable portion of the second $20,000 loan, $10,000 of the loan must be repaid by December 31, 2022.

The new deadline to apply for CEBA is December 31, 2020.

In addition, businesses will be required to somehow attest to the impact of COVID-19 on their business. As such, we believe this may be tied to some required level of revenue reduction or business closure.

CERB Update

The Canada Emergency Relief Benefit (CERB) ended on October 3rd.  Retroactive applications for CERB can be made until December 2nd.

CERB is being replaced by an enhanced Employment Insurance (EI) for 1 year, effective retroactive to Sept 27, 2020 through and until Sept 25, 2021.

Anyone not eligible for EI may be able to apply for one of the following benefits, available retroactive to Sept 27, 2020 through and until Sept 25, 2021:

  • Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB). CRB gives income support to employed and self-employed individuals who are directly affected by COVID-19.
  • Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB). CRSB gives income support to employed and self-employed individuals who are unable to work because they are sick or need to self-isolate due to COVID-19, or have an underlying health condition that puts them at greater risk of getting COVID-19.
  • Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB). CRCB gives income support to employed and self-employed individuals who are unable to work because they must care for their child under 12 years old or a family member who needs supervised care.

More Details to Come

Further details on these new and updated programs are expected in the coming weeks. We will continue to stay on top of developments and will keep you abreast of further details or changes as they arise.