December 3, 2020by Israel Foulon LLP
On November 30, 2020, the federal government released its fall economic statement. The proposed budget includes additional supports for small businesses and industries in highly affected sectors like tourism and hospitality. Previously, on November 19, 2020, the federal government approved extensions to the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS) and the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) until June 2021.
Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program (“HASCAP”)
If passed, the HASCAP will provide 100% government financed low interest loans of up to $1,000,000 over extended periods of ten years. The loans would be provided through registered financial institutions at interest rates below market value. Approval for the proposed credit program is contingent upon receiving sufficient support to pass through the House of Commons.
You can review the Department of Finance’s full news release HERE.
Amendments to the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (“CEWS”)
On November 19, 2020, the federal government passed legislation to extend the CEWS until June 2021, and loosened restrictions to provide broader support to impacted businesses. The enhanced CEWS eligibility criteria permit businesses to claim the CEWS based on a one-month revenue drop. For the claims periods from October 25, 2020 to December 19, 2020, businesses can claim 65% of eligible wages. Eligible businesses must apply by January 31, 2021 or 180 days after the end of the claim period, whichever comes first.
On November 30, 2020, the federal government proposed increasing the maximum subsidy rate from 65% to 75% for the claims periods from December 20, 2020 to March 13, 2021.
Eligible business owners can access the updated CEWS application online forms HERE.
The Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (“CERS”)
The CERS provides direct rent and mortgage support. Eligible businesses may claim a subsidy to cover part of their commercial rent or property expenses from September 27, 2020 until June 2021. Applications for the CERS opened on November 23, 2020. At the current rate, eligible businesses may claim a subsidy, on a sliding scale, up to a maximum of 65% of their rent or property expenses until December 19, 2020.
Businesses that are subject to a lockdown, or required to close or restrict their activities under a public health order, are eligible to receive an additional 25% top up, covering 90% of eligible property expenses.
On November 30, 2020, the federal government proposed maintaining the current subsidy rates until the March 13, 2021 claims period.
Eligible business owners can access the CERS application online forms HERE.
Given that the federal government has minority status, the proposed changes announced on November 30, 2020 regarding the HASCAP and the CEWS and CERS rates will require sufficient support from Parliament to become law. We will provide updates as they become available.
Israel Foulon’s Response to COVID-19
Israel Foulon is assessing the situation as it evolves, and is taking all necessary precautions within its workplace. To slow the spread of COVID-19 and for the health of our team and clients, absent extraordinary circumstances we are working remotely until further notice whenever possible. However, please be aware that our offices remain open and are fully functioning. In the circumstances, we encourage our clients to contact us by phone and email to the extent possible. Voicemail messages left at our office phone numbers are immediately forwarded via email. All messages will be promptly responded to. We remain steadfast in our commitment to our clients and would be more than happy to assist you with concerns regarding COVID-19 or any other employment or labour matters.
Israel Foulon LLP is one of Canada’s leading employment and labour law firms. The firm’s partners, Peter Israel, Chris Foulon, and Carita Wong, and their associates, Krista Kais-Prial, Behzad Hassibi, and Daniel Hunter have among them over 80 years of experience in assisting clients with employment and labour law issues.
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LEGAL DISCLAIMER: This update is for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide legal advice, which in all circumstances must be tailored to the specific facts of any problem. You should obtain a proper legal consultation in order to determine how the above applies to your situation. Please feel free to contact us to learn more.