COVID Economic Response Programs Update from OTUS Group

Last Updated 8:30 a.m. May 25.

We realize that you are receiving a significant amount of news and updates from various sources.  Information is rapidly changing and sometimes conflicting.  Our objective is to cut through the clutter and keep you apprised of information that you can use to make decisions.

We have been and continue to be on top of information about various federal government relief programs for businesses that you may be able to take advantage of.   We have summarized these programs below, however for the most complete and up-to-date details please refer to the website.

Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS)

The CEWS program covers 75% of salaries for qualifying organizations, up to $847 per week, retroactive to March 15, 2020.  To qualify, eligible employers must see a drop of at least 15% of their revenue in March 2020 and 30% for the following months.

Eligible employers can now apply for the CEWS through the Canada Revenue Agency’s My Business Account portal.  Step-by-step instructions can be found at the CEWS program website.

Temporary 10% Wage Subsidy

The Temporary 10% Wage Subsidy is a three-month measure that will allow eligible employers to reduce the amount of payroll deduction required to be remitted to the CRA.  The subsidy is equal to 10% of the remuneration you pay from March 18, 2020 to June 19, 2020, up to $1,375 for each eligible employee to a maximum of $25,000 total per employer.  The subsidy is considered taxable income.

For employers that are eligible for both the CEWS and the 10% Temporary Wage Subsidy for a period, any benefit from the Temporary 10% Wage Subsidy for remuneration paid in a specific period will generally reduce the amount available to be claimed under the CEWS in that same period.

Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA)

The Canada Emergency Business Account will provide interest-free loans of up to $40,000 to small businesses and not-for-profits to help cover their operating costs during a period where their revenues have been temporarily reduced.

If the loan is repaid by December 31, 2022, 25 per cent (up to $10,000) will be forgiven.  The CEBA loan can be accessed through your financial institution.

Deferred Payment of Income Taxes and GST/HST Remittances

Businesses may defer, until after August 31, 2020, the payment of any income tax amounts that become owing on or after March 18 and before September 2020.   Please refer to this CRA website for a full schedule of income tax filing and due dates.

Businesses may defer, until the end of June 2020, any GST/HST payments or remittances that become owing on or after March 27, 2020, and before June 2020.   Please refer to this CRA website for more information on managing GST/HST remittances.

Business Credit Availability Program

This program is available to small and medium-sized enterprises (SME’s) and includes:

  • Loan Guarantee – EDC is working with financial institutions to issue new operating credit and cash flow term loans of up to $6.25 million to SMEs.
  • Co-Lending Program – BDC is working with financial institutions to co-lend term loans to SMEs for their operational cash flow requirements.Eligible businesses may obtain incremental credit amounts of up to $6.25 million through the program.

These programs will roll out in mid-April, and interested businesses should work with their current financial institutions.

Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)

This program provides a taxable benefit of $2,000 a month for up to 4 months to eligible workers who have lost their income due to COVID-19.

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OTUS Group is a business advisory firm and our mission is to help make your organization stronger. We get things done, and when we do, our clients have peace of mind and a sense of control.

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