Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) Opens Monday; Commercial Rent Assistance Announced

Applications for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) open Monday, April 27th through the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has also launched an online calculator to help businesses determine what amount they may be able to claim through the wage subsidy program. Carriers interested in the CEWS are encourage to check out the calculator in advance of applying. When you apply for the CEWS, you will be asked to enter amounts such as the number of eligible employees and gross payroll. This tool will help you get ready for this and will allow you to preview your subsidy claim now, based on information you enter.

For more information, including information on the calculator, see here –https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/subsidy/emergency-wage-subsidy/cews-calculate-subsidy-amount.html

Meanwhile,  Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today announced that the federal government has reached an agreement in principle with all provinces and territories to implement the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) for small businesses. This program will lower rent by 75 per cent for small businesses that have been affected by COVID-19.

The government is also providing further details on the program:

The program will provide forgivable loans to qualifying commercial property owners to cover 50 per cent of three monthly rent payments that are payable by eligible small business tenants who are experiencing financial hardship during April, May, and June.

The loans will be forgiven if the mortgaged property owner agrees to reduce the eligible small business tenants’ rent by at least 75 per cent for the three corresponding months under a rent forgiveness agreement, which will include a term not to evict the tenant while the agreement is in place. The small business tenant would cover the remainder, up to 25 per cent of the rent.

Impacted small business tenants are businesses paying less than $50,000 per month in rent and who have temporarily ceased operations or have experienced at least a 70 per cent drop in pre-COVID-19 revenues.

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