There have been a number of important updates to some of the COVID-19 financial supports for people and businesses this week that we think are important to highlight, as they will have an impact on access to, and the extent of, some of these benefits.
- The new Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) eligibility criteria has changed, opening eligibility to businesses with revenues that have decreased by at least 15% in March. This is a change from the original criteria of 30%, thereby increasing the number of businesses that may qualify for this benefit. There will also be increased flexibility in choosing a period from 2019 to compare to 2020 in determining the March revenue decline. The months of January and February can also be used, and an overall average of January to March can be used. The final calculation should be available soon.
- There is no overall limit on the subsidy that an employer may claim under the CEWS.
- Parliament has been recalled to sit on Saturday to review and pass the Wage Subsidy Bill, and so there may be further changes and details on this.
- For businesses who do not qualify for the CEWS, the 10% Temporary Wage Subsidy for employers may still be an option.
- The income making up the previous year income threshold of $5,000 to be eligible for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) of $2,000 has now opened up to include non-eligible dividends.
Other details about these benefits can be viewed from our previous bulletin here.
We expect to send out another bulletin on updates early next week.
The information contained in this communication is of a general nature and is not intended to address the circumstances of any particular individual or entity. Although we endeavor to provide accurate and timely information, there can be no guarantee that such information is accurate as of the date it is received or that it will continue to be accurate in the future. No one should act upon such information without appropriate professional advice after a thorough examination of the particular situation.