The government of Canada has extended COVID-19 support programs – relied upon by many members of the travel trade – til the third week of OCT.
Friday, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Chrystia Freeland, announced that crucial support programs would be extended. The rate of support of those programs would also be increased, in addition to making it easier for businesses to qualify for some programs by adding flexibility to how revenue declines are calculated.
Wage and Rent Support
The eligibility period for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy, and the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy, are being extended until 23OCT. They had been set to expire 25SEP.
In addition, the rate of support employers and organizations can receive during the period between 29AUG and 25SEP 2021 is also being increased.
The Canada Recovery Benefit program is being extended until the same date as CEWS: 23OCT.
In addition, Ottawa has increased the maximum number of weeks available for recipients of CERB, by an additional 4 weeks, to a total of 54 weeks, at a rate of $300 per week, and is ensuring CERB is available to those who have exhausted their employment insurance (EI) benefits.
“Our economies are safely and gradually reopening but many small businesses and workers are still getting back to business,” Freeland acknowledged in her statement.
“Extending these supports—which have been lifelines for many—is needed. This is of particular importance for those workers and businesses that have been hit hardest by the pandemic and are still reopening and rebuilding.”
Greater “Flexibility” When Calculating Revenue Decline
Freeland is also proposing to offer businesses greater flexibility when calculating the revenue decline used to determine eligibility for the wage and rent subsidy programs and the new Canada Recovery Hiring Program.
The government is also releasing draft legislation that provides further clarity on previously announced changes to the wage subsidy for furloughed employees.
More details on the extension and these proposed changes to COVID business supports are available in the backgrounder associated with today’s announcement.