On April 24th, the Federal Government in partnership with the provinces and territories unveiled the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance which provides rent relief to businesses.
“I can announce that we’ve reached agreements with all provinces and territories to lower rent by 75% for small businesses that have been strongly affected by COVID-19 for April, May and June” – PM Justin Trudeau
“The government is also providing further details on the program:
The program will provide forgivable loans to qualifying commercial property owners to cover 50 per cent of three monthly rent payments that are payable by eligible small business tenants who are experiencing financial hardship during April, May, and June.
The loans will be forgiven if the mortgaged property owner agrees to reduce the eligible small business tenants’ rent by at least 75 per cent for the three corresponding months under a rent forgiveness agreement, which will include a term not to evict the tenant while the agreement is in place. The small business tenant would cover the remainder, up to 25 per cent of the rent.
Impacted small business tenants are businesses paying less than $50,000 per month in rent and who have temporarily ceased operations or have experienced at least a 70 per cent drop in pre-COVID-19 revenues. This support will also be available to non-profit and charitable organizations.”
What if I have no revenue and can’t pay the remaining 25%?
For businesses who are unable to pay the remaining 25%, they should apply for the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) through their bank which provides a $40,000 interest-free loan until Dec 31, 2022. $10,000 (25%) of the $40,000 loan is eligible for complete forgiveness if $30,000 is repaid on or before December 31, 2022.
Canada Emergency Student Benefit – $1,250/month from May through August or $1,750/month for those taking care of someone else or have a disability
Great news for students worried about financially making ends meet. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the Canada Emergency Student Benefit which provides $1,250/month from May through August or $1,750/month for those taking care of someone else or have a disability.
“Right now you might be worried about how to make ends meet. You probably can’t work your normal job and that might be a big problem for rent or for groceries. So we’re bringing in the Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB) to help. With this benefit you’ll get $1,250 a month from May to August and if you take care of someone else or have a disability that amount will go up to $1,750 each month” – PM Justin Trudeau
On eligibility, the Prime Minister added:
“This benefit is designed for you. If you’re a post-secondary student right now. If you’re going to college in September or if you graduated in December 2019. It’s there for you even if you have a job but you’re only making up to $1,000 a month. The period for the benefit will start on May 1st and your payments will be delivered through the Canada Revenue Agency.”
Canada Student Service Grant – $1,000 to $5,000 to support students helping fight against COVID-19
For students looking to volunteer to help fight COVID-19, the Canada Student Service Grant provides $1,000 to $5,000:
“Of course the paying job isn’t the only valuable way to spend your summer. Volunteering can be a fantastic way to build skills, make contacts or just give back. If you are volunteering instead of working we’re going to make sure that you have support too. Students helping in the fight against COVID-19 this summer will soon be eligible for $1,000 to $5,000 depending on your hours through the new Canada Student Service Grant (CSSG). Your energy and your skills can do a lot of good right now” – PM Justin Trudeau
Details of these programs will be posted on the Government of Canada website. Keep checking their website for more details:
On April 21st, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that the Canada Revenue Agency will accept applications for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) starting Monday, April 27th. This new measure gives qualifying employers up to $847 per employee each week so they can keep people on the payroll.
To be eligible to receive the wage subsidy, the Government of Canada website states you must:
be an eligible employer. Eligible employers include:
individuals (including trusts)
persons that are exempt from corporate tax (Part I of the Income Tax Act), other than public institutions:
boards of trade
chambers of commerce
non-profit corporations for scientific research and experimental development
labour organizations or societies
benevolent or fraternal benefit societies or orders
partnerships consisting of eligible employers
Public institutions are not eligible for the subsidy. This includes municipalities and local governments, Crown corporations, public universities, colleges, schools and hospitals.
have experienced an eligible reduction in revenue.
have had a CRA payroll account on March 15, 2020
The Canada Revenue Agency launched an online calculator to help businesses determine the amount they can expect from the wage subsidy program.
On April 16th, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced support for to help small businesses with their rent for the months of April, May and June.
The program is being worked out with the provinces and more details will be available shortly.
“Businesses and Commercial property owners are also facing specific challenges because of COVID-19 so we plan on introducing the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance. This program will provide support to help small businesses with their rent for the months of April, May and June. To implement this program we have to work with the provinces and territories as they govern rental relationships and we hope to have more details very soon” – PM Justin Trudeau
Canada Emergency Business Account
The eligible amounts are being expanded to include businesses with 2019 total payroll between $20,000 – $1.5 million.
“The funds from this loan shall only be used by the Borrower to pay non-deferrable operating expenses of the Borrower including, without limitation, payroll, rent, utilities, insurance, property tax and regularly scheduled debt service, and may not be used to fund any payments or expenses such as prepayment/refinancing of existing indebtedness, payments of dividends, distributions and increases in management compensation.”
From his speech this morning (April 15th), Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced:
“Today, we’re announcing more help for more Canadians. This includes topping up the pay of essential workers. At the same time, we’ll also be expanding the Canada Emergency Response Benefit to reach people who are earning some income as well as seasonal workers who are facing no jobs and for those who have run out of EI recently. Expanding the CERB to include people who earn up to $1,000 per month. Maybe you’re a volunteer firefighter, or a contractor who can pickup some shifts, or you have a part-time job in a grocery store.”
Eligibility for CERB
On eligibility for CERB, the Prime Minister stated:
“If you earn $1,000 or less a month, you’ll now be able to apply for CERB.
If you were expecting a seasonal job that isn’t coming because of COVID-19, you’ll now be able to apply.
If you’ve run out of EI since January 1st, you can now apply for CERB as well
And for others who still need help, including post secondary students and businesses worried about commercial rent, we’ll have more to say to you very soon.”
Wage Boost for Essential Workers
On topping up wages for Essential Workers, PM Justin Trudeau said:
“Our government will work with the provinces and territories to boost wages for essential workers who are making under $2,500 a month, like those in our long-term care facilities”
The government website is being updated with the new qualifications, for full details and to apply click below:
The new Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) is available starting TODAY and is available through major banking institutions: TD, Scotiabank, BMO, CIBC, RBC, National Bank, HSBC and Canadian Western Bank.
The CEBA will provide interest-free loans of up to $40,000 to small businesses and not-for-profits, to help cover their operating costs during a period where their revenues have been temporarily reduced until December 31, 2022. Up to $10,000 of that amount will be eligible for loan forgiveness if $30,000 is fully repaid on or before December 31, 2022.
Organizations will need to demonstrate they paid between $50,000 to $1 million in total payroll in 2019
How do I apply?
Prior to applying, please make sure you have this information readily available:
Canada Revenue Agency Business Number (BN 15 digits)
2019 T4 Summary of Remuneration Paid (T4SUM)
Apply online at the financial institution your business banks with:
The sheer volume of applications for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) will likely overwhelm the system. If you or someone you know need to apply for this benefit, we suggest you prepare TODAY before the applications begin:
Double check your myCRA account username and password
Direct Deposit is setup
3 – 5 days via Direct Deposit vs 10 days via cheque in the mail
You should double check your myCRA username and password by signing in at:
To help manage the volume, the CRA has setup specific days for you to apply based on month of birth.
If you were born in the month of:
January | February | March: Mondays – Best day to apply is April 6th
April | May | June: Tuesdays – Best day to apply is April 7th
July | August | September: Wednesdays – Best day to apply is April 8th
October | November | December: Thursdays – Best day to apply is April 9th
Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays are open for any birth month
The benefit will be available to workers:
Residing in Canada, who are at least 15 years old;
Who have stopped working because of COVID-19 and have not voluntarily quit their job or are eligible for EI regular or sickness benefits;
Who had income of at least $5,000 in 2019 or in the 12 months prior to the date of their application; and
Who are or expect to be without employment or self-employment income for at least 14 consecutive days in the initial four-week period. For subsequent benefit periods, they expect to have no employment or self-employment income.
The Coronavirus disease has created challenges across Canada and the world. It’s important to stay informed and educated so you’re equipped to take care of yourself, your family and your business.
We are ready to serve you and answer any questions you have about your employee benefits, insurance and investment. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions. We are here for you.
Group Benefits Plans: Information about your group benefits plans, you can contact us directly as we work with multiple insurance companies to provide you with the benefits or your insurance benefits provider.
Travel Coverage under your Group Benefits Plan: Effective March 13, there is an official global travel advisory to avoid all non-essential travel outside of Canada until further notice. Since the Canadian government’s official global travel advisory travelling to a destination outside of Canada can impact your travel insurance coverage. We recommend you contact your emergency medical travel provider or contact us directly and we can help.
Short-term Disability Claims: In light of the current situation, the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association (CLHIA) has created and distributed a Plan Member Confirmation of Illness Form that’s been created specifically for use when submitting a Short-term Disability (STD) claim if the absence is due to COVID-19 disease. The CLHIA has communicated with all insurers in Canada to make them aware of the custom form. All insurers will accept this form to initiate an STD claim.
If you’re submitting a STD claim because of COVID-19 disease, complete the form according to the instructions provided on the document and submit it to your insurer. If you’re not sure who the insurer of your disability benefits is, contact us. You can also use claim forms provided by the insurer, but we recommend using the CLHIA form as it’s specifically designed for the diagnosis of COVID-19. (The CLHIA is a not-for-profit, membership-based organization that represents 99% of Canada’s life and health insurance companies.)
Employee Assistance Program: If your group benefits plan includes an employee assistance program (EAP), you can access the service directly, the contact information is in your plan member booklet. If you’re not able to find this information, please contact us. An EAP can help you deal with difficult situations.