We are now entering one of the hardest seasons for many businesses and the ongoing pandemic is not making it any easier. The effects of COVID-19 are causing many businesses to experience additional financial challenges this holiday season. The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has many support benefits available to help business owners stay open during this difficult time.
Here are some of the benefits that are available to businesses:
CEWS is a subsidy from CRA to help cover a portion of your employee’s wages. This subsidy will enable you to re-hire workers, help prevent further job losses, and ease you back into normal operations. Businesses that are eligible for the subsidy will have experienced a drop in revenue due to the pandemic. Your drop in revenue is calculated by comparing your eligible revenue during the crisis with your eligible revenue from a previous period (baseline revenue). In order to continue receiving the subsidy, you have to reapply for the benefit every 4 weeks while providing your revenue losses. At this time there is no set deadline for when the subsidy will be discontinued. It should be noted that this payment is taxable which means it must be reported on your income tax return whether you are filing a T1 return or a T2 corporation return.
The 10% Temporary Wage Subsidy for Employers (TWS) is a 3-month measure that allows eligible employers to reduce the amount of payroll deductions they need to remit to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). This only applies to the federal, provincial, or territorial income tax portion of the remittance. The subsidy is equal to 10% of the remuneration you pay from March 18 to June 19, 2020, up to $1,375 for each eligible employee. The maximum total is $25,000 for each eligible employer.
WS is a program that helps employers and employees avoid layoffs when there is a temporary decrease in business activity beyond the control of the employer. The program provides Employment Insurance (EI) benefits to eligible employees who agree to reduce their normal working hours and share the available work while their employer recovers. An extension to the duration period has been applied from 38 weeks to 76 weeks. The program will now be available from March 15th, 2020 to March 14, 2021, regardless of the sector you operate in.
CEBA is a CRA program that provides an interest–free loan of up to $40,000 to small business and non-profit organizations. The loan is to help cover a business’s operating costs to help them avoid closing. As of December 4, 2020, CEBA loans for eligible businesses will increase from $40,000 to $60,000. All applicants who have received the $40,000 CEBA loan may apply for the $20,000 expansion, which provides eligible businesses with an additional $20,000 in financing. This loan must be repaid back, however, if you pay back the loan before December 31, 2022, up to 25% ($10,000) will be forgiven. Applicants have until March 31, 2021, to apply for a $60,000 CEBA loan or the $20,000 expansion.
CERS was introduced on Sep 27th, 2020 to replace the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA). Canadian businesses, non-profit organizations, or charities of any size who have seen a drop in revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic may be eligible for a subsidy 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.
LEEFF funding is available to large Canadian employers who have a significant impact on Canada’s economy as demonstrated by having significant operations in Canada or by supporting a significant workforce in Canada. As well they need to show approximately $300 million or more in annual revenues and require a minimum loan size of $60 million. Large for-profit enterprises in all sectors, except for those in the financial sector, can apply for funding under LEEFF.
If you need further assistance figuring out which benefits your business may qualify for, Keenans Accounting Service is here for you. Just give us a call at 705-526-7628 to arrange a consultation by phone or via Zoom meeting. We are practicing social distancing while working remotely, and with reduced staff so please leave us a message, and we will get back to you as soon as possible.