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.
On May 1st, the BC Government will start taking applications online for the BC Emergency Benefit for Workers. Telephone applications will start on May 4th but it is strongly recommended that you apply online as they anticipate high call volumes. This benefit provides a one time payment of $1,000 to residents of BC whose ability to work has been affected due to COVID-19.
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.
The province of British Columbia is providing additional support to businesses by reducing most commercial property tax bills by an average of 25%. In addition, the provincial government introduced new measures to support local governments facing revenue shortfalls.
“We know that B.C. communities and businesses are suffering from the economic impacts of COVID-19,” said Carole James, Minister of Finance. “That is why our B.C. COVID-19 Action Plan is focused on the health and safety of British Columbians, direct support for people and businesses and economic recovery for our province. We are providing further support by making additional temporary property tax changes to provide provincewide relief for business and local governments to help weather the pandemic, continue to deliver the services people count on and be part of our province’s economic recovery.”
“The Province is taking significant new steps to support B.C. businesses, non-profits and other organizations through the COVID-19 pandemic by:
further reducing the school property tax rate for commercial properties to achieve an average 25% reduction in the total property tax bill for most businesses, providing up to $700 million in relief. This enhances the 50% reduction to the provincial school property tax rate that was originally announced forclasses 4, 5, and 6 as part of B.C.’s COVID-19 Action Plan.
Postponing the date that late payment penalties apply for commercial properties inclasses 4,5,6,7 and 8 to Oct. 1, 2020, to give businesses and landlords more time to pay their reduced property tax, without penalty.
Responding to key concerns from local governments, the Province is addressing cash flow and revenue shortfalls with new measures that provide additional support:
authorizing local governments to borrow, interest-free, from their existing capital reserves to help pay for operating expenses, such as employee salaries.
delaying provincial school tax remittances until the end of the year. This will provide significant relief to local governments facing cash flow issues.
providing local governments greater flexibility to carry debt for an additional year.
These measures will provide local governments with the resources to meet their operational costs and required remittances to regional districts, regional hospital districts, TransLink and transit authorities, BC Assessment, the Municipal Finance Authority and other taxing authorities. This will ensure that other minor taxing authorities can count on receiving the full amount they bill to municipalities and the Province’s surveyor of taxes before Aug. 1, 2020.”
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.