Updates to the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy and Canada Emergency Business Account

The federal government has extended the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) to August 29, 2020 and has promised to consider adjusting program requirements such as the 30% revenue decline threshold as businesses start to gradually re-open this summer. Close to 230,000 businesses have applied to the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy and over 14 million Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) applications have been processed to date. The federal government will also review the Canada Emergency Response Benefit before the benefit period expires in mid-June.

The federal government also made amendments to the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA). The program has been expanded to include sole proprietors receiving income directly from their businesses, businesses that rely on contractors, and family-owned corporations that pay employees through dividends rather than payroll. So far, over 600,000 businesses have applied to CEBA. To qualify under the expanded eligibility criteria, applicants with payroll lower than $20,000 would need:

  • a business operating account at a participating financial institution
  • a Canada Revenue Agency business number, and to have filed a 2018 or 2019 tax return.
  • eligible non-deferrable expenses between $40,000 and $1.5 million. Eligible non-deferrable expenses could include costs such as rent, property taxes, utilities, and insurance.

Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade, is currently working with businesses and entrepreneurs who operate through their personal account in addition to new businesses who have not filed their taxes this year to see what kind of financial support can be offered to them.