Government Support (Updated May 15, 2020)
CRIC has highlighted the current programs offered by the Government of Canada that we believe will offer the most benefit to businesses in our industry. CRIC is also advocating for additional support for our industry bearing in mind those primarily involved in face-to-face research will be especially impacted by COVID-19. Read the letter CRIC sent to Canada’s Prime Minister on April 10, 2020 requesting support for our industry.
We will add additional programs to this page as they are made available. We also encourage members to review additional stimulus programs offered by provincial governments.
View the full Government of Canada’s Economic Response Plan for full details. Specific programs include:
Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) (extended from 12 to 24 weeks on May 15)
The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy will offer qualifying businesses a 75 per cent wage subsidy for up to 24 weeks retroactive to March 15, 2020 to enable employers to re-hire workers previously laid off and to keep those who are already on payroll. The subsidy will apply to the first $58,700 of salary (up to $847 per week) and be available to businesses of all sizes who have experienced a 15% reduction in revenue in March and a 30% reduction in revenue in April and May due to COVID-19. Eligibility will be based on a comparing revenue in March, April and May to the same month in 2019. On April 8th, the government announced that it would also allow companies to choose to compare revenues in March, April and May to the average revenue for January and February 2020 . In order to provide certainty to employers, once an employer is found eligible for a specific period, the employer automatically qualifies for the next period. Either the cash or accrual accounting methods can be used. The same revenue comparison option and accounting method must be used for all periods. Employers would be expected to make best efforts to top up employees’ salaries to bring them to pre-crisis levels.
Eligibility for the CEWS of an employee’s remuneration, will be limited to employees that have not been without remuneration for more than 14 consecutive days in the eligibility period, i.e., from March 15 to April 11, from April 12 to May 9, and from May 10 to June 6. This new requirement replaces the restriction that an employer would not be eligible to claim the CEWS for remuneration paid to an employee in a week that falls within a 4-week period for which the employee is eligible for the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit.
A special rule will apply to employees that do not deal at arm’s length with the employer. The subsidy amount for such employees will be limited to the eligible remuneration paid in any pay period between March 15 and June 6, 2020, up to a maximum benefit of the lesser of $847 per week and 75 per cent of the employee’s pre-crisis weekly remuneration. The subsidy would only be available in respect of non-arm’s length employees employed prior to March 15, 2020.
On April 8, the Government announced that it is proposing to expand the CEWS by introducing a new 100 per cent refund for certain employer-paid contributions to Employment Insurance, the Canada Pension Plan, the Quebec Pension Plan, and the Quebec Parental Insurance Plan. This refund would cover 100 per cent of employer-paid contributions for eligible employees for each week throughout which those employees are on leave with pay and for which the employer is eligible to claim for the CEWS for those employees.
Eligible employers will be able to apply to the program beginning April 27 through the Canada Revenue Agency’s My Business Account online portal as well as a web based application. Businesses that have not already done so are encouraged to apply for register for CRA’s My Business Account and set themselves up for direct deposit with the CRA so that subsidies can be distributed efficiently. Before you apply you will also need to calculate the estimated subsidy for your business. View additional details (updated on April 8, 2020) on the Government of Canada’s website.
On May 15 the Government of Canada announced that it would extend the program for an additional 12 weeks to August 29, 2020 and it would also be consulting with industry to make adjustments to the program to incent jobs and growth, including reviewing the 30% revenue decline threshold.
Temporary Wage Subsidy
Eligible employers can continue to apply for the Temporary Wage Subsidy of 10 per cent of remuneration paid from March 18 to before June 20, up to a maximum subsidy of $1,375 per employee and $25,000 per employer. Eligible employers can reduce the remittance of federal, provincial or territorial income tax that they send to the CRA by the amount of the subsidy starting with the remittance that is due to the CRA on April 15, 2020. For employers that are eligible for both the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy and the 10 per cent wage subsidy for a period, any benefit from the 10 per cent wage subsidy for remuneration paid in a specific period would reduce the amount available to be claimed under the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy in that same period. Read the Frequently Asked Questions – Temporary Wage Subsidy for Employers for more details.
Extended EI Work Sharing Program
EI Work Sharing is an existing program that provides income support to employees eligible for Employment Insurance benefits who work a temporarily reduced work week while their employer recovers from a temporary decline in business. Special measures put in place to address the impact of COVID-19 extend the duration of these Work Sharing agreements by an additional 38 weeks for a total of 76 weeks, waive the mandatory waiting period between agreements and ease recovery plan requirements. Employers affected by the downturn in business due to COVID-19 that have two or more eligible employees willing to participate can apply. Participating employees must reduce work by between 10% (half day) and 60% (three days). EI benefits received by employees through the Work-Sharing program will reduce the benefit that their employer is entitled to receive under the CEWS. View Applicant guide for the temporary special measures for more details and to apply.
Flexibility for Businesses Filing Taxes
The Canada Revenue Agency will allow all businesses to defer, until after August 31, 2020, the payment of any income tax amounts that become owing on or after March 18, 2020 and before September 2020. This relief would apply to tax balances due, as well as instalments, under Part I of the Income Tax Act. No interest or penalties will accumulate on these amounts during this period.
On March 27, 2020, the Government of Canada announced that it will allow businesses, including self-employed individuals, to defer all Goods and Services Tax/Harmonized Sales Tax (GST/HST) payments until June, as well as customs duties owed for imports. This measure will take effective immediately and would apply to remittances that become due in March, April and May.
Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP)
The Government of Canada announced the establishment of the Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) to help Canadian businesses obtain financing during the current period of significant uncertainty. The BCAP will support access to financing for Canadian businesses in all sectors and regions. Businesses seeking support through BCAP should contact the financial institutions with whom they have a pre-existing relationship, so that the financial institutions may assess the client’s financial request. If the needs of the client exceed the level of support the financial institution is able to provide, the financial institution will work alongside BDC or EDC to access additional resources the Government has made available under BCAP.
Canadian Emergency Business Account
The Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) provides interest-free loans of up to $40,000 to small businesses and not-for-profits that had payrolls between $20,000 and $1.5 million in 2019. Repaying the balance of the loan on or before December 31, 2022 will result in loan forgiveness of 25 percent (up to $10,000). Business owners can apply for the CEBA through their banks and credit unions.
Small and Medium-sized Enterprise Loan and Guarantee program
This program will enable up to $40 billion in lending, supported through Export Development Canada and Business Development Bank, for guaranteed loans when small businesses go to their financial institutions to help weather the impacts of COVID-19. This is intended for small and medium-sized companies that require greater help (up to $6.25 million) to meet their operational cash flow requirements.
Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)
The CERB provides a taxable benefit of $2,000 a month for up to 4 months to:
- workers who stop working due to COVID-19 and do not have access to paid leave or other income support
- workers who are sick, quarantined, or taking care of children who are sick or need additional care due to school/daycare closures
- workers who still have employment but are not being paid because there is not sufficient work and their employer has asked them to not come in to work
- wage earners and self-employed individuals, including contract workers, who would not otherwise be eligible for Employment Insurance.
For more information visit the Government of Canada CERB web page.