Federal Economic Relief Programs and Updates

 

Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS)

Canadian businesses, non-profit organizations, or charities who have seen a drop in revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic may be eligible for the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS) to cover part of their commercial rent or property expenses, starting on September 27, 2020, until June 2021. This subsidy will provide payments directly to qualifying renters and property owners, without requiring the participation of landlords. If you are eligible for the base subsidy, you may also be eligible for lockdown support if your business location is significantly affected by a public health order for a week or more.

Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA)

The Government of Canada is expanding the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) to businesses that paid between $20,000 and $1.5 million in total payroll in 2019. This new range will replace the previous one of between $50,000 and $1 million, and will help address the challenges faced by small businesses to cover non-deferrable operating costs. Since the launch of the CEBA on April 9, 2020, more than 195,000 loans have been approved by financial institutions, extending more than $7.5 billion in credit to small businesses.

Updates to Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)

The federal government announced changes to CERB to help more Canadians benefit from the program. The changes will allow people to earn up to $1,000 a month while collecting the CERB. Benefits will also be extended to seasonal workers who have exhausted their EI benefits and are unable to undertake their regular seasonal work as a result of the pandemic, and for workers who have recently exhausted their EI regular benefits and are unable to find a job or work because of COVID-19. The changes are retroactive to March 15, 2020. Details will be posted on the portal.

Changes to Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS)

The government introduced the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy to protect Canadian jobs, encourage employers to quickly rehire workers previously laid off because of COVID-19, and help bridge the Canadian economy to the other side of this unprecedented crisis. The wage subsidy program was put in place for an initial 12-week period from March 15 to June 6, 2020, providing a 75 per cent wage subsidy to eligible employers. On May 15, 2020, the government announced a 12-week extension, to August 29, 2020. On July 17, 2020, the government unveiled a redesign allowing more employers to access wage subsidy support while ensuring that support is better targeted to their needs, and proposed a further extension to December 19, 2020.

The government is proposing to further extend the wage subsidy program until June 2021 and implement other enhancements to the program to better respond to the evolving economic and health situation. These proposed changes will make the program more flexible and more generous, and ensure that the program provides continued support to employers. Details of the program until December 19, 2020 are provided here. The government will provide details for the upcoming periods in advance of the current terms’ expiry and will ensure the wage subsidy program continues to be responsive to the economic situation.

Ecosystem Fund

The Government of Canada is working closely with Black business owners and Black-led organizations across Canada to ensure the new Black Entrepreneurship Program reflects the realities and needs of Black Canadians. The Ecosystem Fund program builds on the Government’s work to address systemic racism against Black Canadians. This includes taking steps to advance Canada’s Anti-Racism Strategy, justice reforms, modern policing structures and standards, and enhanced local community supports for young Black Canadians. The goal of the Ecosystem Fund is to strengthen the entrepreneurship ecosystem for Black entrepreneurs and business owners across Canada. It will allow not-for-profit Black-led organizations to develop new services or expand those they already offer such as mentorship, networking, financial planning, and business training for Black entrepreneurs.