Numerous income and business support programs expired on October 23, 2021. As such, the government has proposed new focused COVID-19 support measures and proposed changes to certain existing support measures.
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New proposed business programs

The government has proposed the following three new programs for businesses. These measures are focused for businesses that have been unfavorably and severely affected by the pandemic from a financial perspective.

  • Tourism and Hospitality Recovery Program (THRP)
  • Hardest-Hit Business Recovery Program (HHBRP)
  • Support during Public Health Lockdown

Tourism and Hospitality Recovery Program (THRP)

Time period: Oct 24, 2021 to May 7, 2022

Eligible entities: Tourism and hospitality industry (e.g., hotels, tour operators, travel agencies, trade show organizers and restaurants, etc.)

Eligibility thresholds: “Two-key” eligibility system: Eligible entities must demonstrate average monthly revenue decline of at least 40% over first 13 CEWS qualifying periods (12-month revenue decline) and 40% in the current month .

Wage and rent subsidy rates:

Current-month revenue decline Periods 22-26
Oct 24,2021 – Mar 12,2022
Periods 27-28
March 13 – May 7,2022
75% and over 75% 37.5%
40-74% revenue decline revenue decline / 2
0-39% 0%  0%

Monthly cap for rent subsidy: Starting October 24, 2021, for entities eligible for THRP, the aggregate CERS monthly cap (including any amounts claimed by affiliated entities) is expected to increase from $300,000 to $1M.

Lockdown support: Lockdown Support, which equals to 25% of the qualifying rent expense, will continue to be available to an eligible entity facing a public health restriction. It is pro-rated based on the number of days in the qualifying period a particular location was affected by a lockdown.

Hardest-Hit Business Recovery Program (HHBRP)

Time period: Oct 24, 2021 to May 7, 2022

Eligible entities: Businesses with deep losses, and do not qualify for THRP

Eligibility thresholds: “Two-key” eligibility system: Eligible entities must demonstrate average monthly revenue decline of at least 50% over first 13 CEWS qualifying periods (12-month revenue decline) and 50% in the current month1

Wage and rent subsidy rates:

Current-month revenue decline Periods 22-26
Oct 24,2021 – Mar 12,2022
Periods 27-28
March 13 – May 7,2022
75% and over 50% 25%
50-74% 10% + (%revenue decline minus 50%) * 1.6 5% + (%revenue decline minus 50%) * 0.8
0-49% 0%  0%

Monthly cap for rent subsidy: Starting October 24, 2021, for entities eligible for THRP, the aggregate CERS monthly cap (including any amounts claimed by affiliated entities) is expected to increase from $300,000 to $1M.

Lockdown Support: Lockdown Support, which equals to 25% of the qualifying rent expense, will continue to be available to an eligible entity facing a public health restriction. It is pro-rated based on the number of days in the qualifying period a particular location was affected by a lockdown.

Support during Public Health Lockdown 

Time period: Oct 24, 2021 to May 7, 2022

Eligible entities: Not sector specific. Entities having one or more locations that are subject to a public health restriction that lasts for at least seven days in a qualifying period

Eligibility thresholds: Eligible entities must demonstrate only a current-month revenue decline due to cease activities for at least 25% compared to a prior reference period

Wage and rent subsidy rates: Same as THRP

Monthly cap for rent subsidy: Details have yet to be released but it appears to be the same as THRP

Lockdown Support: Details have yet to be released but it appears to be the same as THRP

New proposed personal programs

Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit (CWLB)

CWLB replaces the Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB), which would provide a benefit of $300/week to individuals whose work is interrupted due to a government-imposed lockdown. This measure is expected to be available until May 7, 2022, with retroactive effect to October 24, 2021. This benefit is available to workers who are ineligible or eligible for EI, as long as they did not receive EI for the same period. However, individuals who lose income or employment due to their refusal to get vaccinated would not be able to access this benefit. Further details will be released by the government.

Proposed changes to existing business programs

Canada Recovery Hiring Program (CRHP)

The government has proposed the extension of the CRHP to May 7, 2022, with the option of further extension to July 2, 2022. The proposals also include increasing the subsidy rate to 50% from 20% for period 22 (October 24, 2021 to November 20, 2021). It’s expected that the existing eligibility rules and the existing baseline period of March 14, 2021 to April 10, 2021 will not be changed during the extension.

Proposed changes to existing personal programs

Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB)

The government has proposed to extend the CRCB until May 7, 2022 and increase the maximum duration to 44 weeks from 42 weeks.

Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB)

The government has proposed to extend the CRSB until May 7, 2022 and increase the maximum duration to 6 weeks from 4 weeks.

Additional information

These announcements provide important information for businesses and individuals whose finances have been adversely impacted by the pandemic. The government will provide further details on these new proposals in the upcoming weeks, and we will provide updates when the proposed legislations become available. Please contact a Grant Thornton tax advisor if you have any questions about the new programs.

[1] Claim period 10 or 11, and periods when the entity was not carrying on its ordinary operations for causes other than a public health restriction (e.g., seasonal business), would be excluded from the 12-month revenue decline calculation. The current-month revenue decline is calculated based on the existing rules.