The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) has received Royal Assent and will help support companies so that they can keep their staff employed while revenues are declining as companies try to cope with the effects of COVID-19. The CEWS provides a 75% wage subsidy to eligible employers for up to 12 weeks, retroactive to March 15, 2020. The subsidy is available to eligible employers that see a drop of at least 15% of their revenue in March 2020 and 30% for the following months.
Finance Minister, Bill Morneau, says, “The CEWS will provide the needed support to help workers and businesses through this crisis and to position them to recover more quickly when it is over. The government will continue to do whatever it takes to support Canadians and the economy during this unprecedented global pandemic.”
The legislation provides the government with the ability to extend the program until Sept. 30, 2020, as well as the ability to change the Required Revenue Reduction criteria and subsidy amount during an extended term.
Eligible employers will be able to apply for the CEWS through the Canada Revenue Agency’s My Business Account portal. Employers will need to keep records demonstrating their reduction in arm’s-length revenues and remuneration paid to employees. More details about the application process will be made available shortly according to the government.
For employers that are eligible for both the CEWS and the 10-per-cent wage subsidy originally included in the COVID-19 Emergency Response Act, any benefit from the 10% wage subsidy for a specific period reduces the amount available to be claimed under the CEWS in that same period.
Online applications can start to be submitted on April 27th. Full details on the program are available here.
Cannabis businesses are also allowed to access loans through the Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP).