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New & Expanded COVID-19 Relief Programs Introduced by the Federal & Provincial Governments

October 19, 2020

Over the course of the last few weeks, the Provincial and Federal governments have launched a range of new economic measures to support businesses stricken by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The list below refers to recently released relief programs available for small businesses.

Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA)- Expansion and Extension

An additional interest-free loan of up to $20,000 will be available (in addition to the original CEBA loan of $40,000). Half of this additional financing would be forgivable if repaid by December 31, 2022. Additionally, the application deadline for CEBA is being extended to December 31, 2020. Further details, including the launch date and application process will be announced in the coming days. An attestation of the impact of COVID-19 on the business will be required to access the additional financing.

Canada Emergency Rent Support (CERS)

The new Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CECRA (similar to current CERS) has ended), provides rent and mortgage support until June 2021. The rent subsidy would be provided directly to tenants, while also providing support to property owners. The new rent subsidy would support businesses, charities, and non-profits that have suffered a revenue drop, by subsidizing a percentage of their expenses, on a sliding scale, up to a maximum of 65 per cent of eligible expenses until December 19, 2020. Organizations would be able to make claims retroactively for the period that began September 27 and ends October 24, 2020. A top-up Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy of 25 per cent for organizations temporarily shut down by a mandatory public health order issued by a qualifying public health authority, in addition to the 65 per cent subsidy. The new CERS program will be administered by the Canada Revenue Agency (similar to the CEWS).

Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) – Extended

The program will be extended until June 2021. The subsidy would remain at the current (Period 8) subsidy rate of up to a maximum of 65% of eligible wages until December 19, 2020.

B.C.  PST Rebate on Select Machinery and Equipment

The B.C. PST Rebate on Select Machinery and Equipment is a temporary provincial sales tax (PST) program to help corporations recover from the financial impacts of COVID-19.

The program acts like a refund but is separate from the existing PST Refund process. Under this temporary program, corporations can apply to receive an amount equal to the PST they paid between September 17, 2020 and September 30, 2021 on qualifying machinery and equipment.

Canada United Small Business Relief Fund

The #CanadaUnited campaign is a nationwide small and local business campaign encouraging Canadians to buy local and support our small business community.  As part of this campaign, $5000 grants are being made through a Canada United Small Business Relief Fund, with applications accepted from August 31.

This national grant program provides up to $5000 to help reimburse businesses for costs incurred because of COVID-19

Regional Relief Recovery Fund

The Regional Relief and Recover Fund (RRRF) is designed to support western Canadian businesses facing financial hardship due to the impacts of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and who are ineligible for the Canadian Emergency Business Account (CEBA) program.

The RRRF will provide funding up to $40,000 or over $40,000 and up to $1 million in interest-free loans for rural businesses, women-owned or women-led businesses, and for all other small and medium-sized businesses.

If you would like more information on this topic, please contact a member of the Empire CPA team by filling out the contact form below.

Canadian and foreign tax laws are complex and have a tendency to change on a frequent basis. As such, the content published above is believed to be accurate as of the date of this post. Before implementing any tax planning, please seek professional advice from a qualified tax professional. Empire, Chartered Professional Accountants will not accept any liability for any tax ramifications that may result from acting based on the information contained above.

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