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Federal Government’s Suite of Support Programs for Businesses Impacted by the Second Wave

As COVID-19 continues to impact the economy, the federal government has extended some support programs, while introducing another. These programs are for businesses that are not operating at full capacity due to public health measures introduced in reaction to the pandemic’s second wave.

Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy

The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy has been extended until June 2021; the subsidy will cover up to a maximum of 65% of eligible wages until December 19, 2020.

Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (New)

During the first wave of the pandemic, the federal government introduced a rent subsidy for businesses; the subsidy was minimally utilized because property owners, not tenants facing challenges paying their rent, were responsible for applying for the subsidy. To rectify this, the new Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy will be administered directly to tenants through the Canada Revenue Agency.

Until December 19, 2020, businesses, charities and non-profits that have suffered an income drop of 70%, can receive a subsidy up to a maximum of 65% for fixed property expenses, including rent and interest on commercial mortgages. Businesses that are temporarily shut-down by a mandatory public health order are eligible for a top-up of 25%; this provides a total subsidy of 90% for fixed property expenses. For businesses with an income drop less than 70%, the subsidy amount will decrease accordingly.

Applicants are able to make retroactive claims for the period beginning September 27 and ending October 24, 2020. The rent subsidy program will be adapted in December for application in 2021.

Canada Emergency Business Account (Expanded)

Businesses and non-profits that are still seriously impacted by the pandemic can access the expanded Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA). The CEBA provides up to $20,000 in interest-free loans. This is in addition to the original CEBA loan of $40,000 introduced during the first wave of the pandemic. Half of the additional financing would be forgivable if repaid by December 31, 2022. The application deadline for CEBA has been extended until December 31, 2020. To be eligible, businesses must prove that they have lost income because of the pandemic.