Tax alert

Recent COVID support updates: CERS, CEWS and CEBA

The federal government has confirmed additional financial support to businesses in response to the ongoing pandemic. The Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS), providing financial assistance to businesses that either own or rent property, was recently introduced, as were updates to the government’s most successful program for businesses, the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS). Changes to the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) were also recently announced, which are expected to be available soon.

CERS and Lockdown Support

The CERS and the Lockdown Support (LS) provide subsidies that together cover up to 90 percent of the eligible property-related expenses of a business. The key points to this program include:

  • CERS and LS are available on both rented and owned properties.
  • CERS: up to 65 percent subsidy on eligible property-related expenses as follows:
    • Owned property: mortgage interest, insurance and property tax
    • Rented property: rent paid or payable
  • LS: up to 25 percent subsidy on eligible property-related expenses, provided that:
    • Public health restriction is in place for at least one week
    • Some or all of a business’s activities that provide at least 25 percent of its revenues at a given location are restricted by the public health restriction
  • Available from September 27 to December 19, 2020
  • Can be extended up to June 30, 2021

Additional details are available in our CERS downloadable resource.

Updates to CEWS

The CEWS has provided businesses with financial assistance to cover the salaries and wages of employees since March 15, 2020. The key updates to this program include:

  • New qualifying period 10: November 22 – December 19, 2020
  • Can be extended up to June 30, 2021
  • Extended filing deadline, later of:
    • January 31, 2021 or
    • 180 days after the end of the qualifying period
  • Subsidy rates for qualifying periods 9 and 10 are frozen at period 8 rates (i.e., maximum overall rate of 65 percent)
  • New safe harbour rule for top-up percentage, resulting in a higher subsidy if revenues suddenly decline

Additional details are available in our updated CEWS downloadable resource (coming soon).

Updates to CEBA

The CEBA has been expanded to provide additional help for businesses affected by COVID-19. The key updates to this program include:

  • Additional $20,000 interest-free loan
  • $10,000 forgivable if repaid by December 31, 2022
  • Business must attest to being negatively impacted by COVID-19
  • Application deadline: December 31, 2020

Additional details are available in our updated CEBA downloadable resource.

Visit our COVID-19 Hub for timely information and resources and connect with your Grant Thornton advisor to learn more.

Additional information

Additional details can be found on the Ontario Chamber of Commerce’s CUSBRF page.

For further information on programs and recent updates, visit our COVID-19 Hub page.

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