COVID-19: Government Expands Support to Businesses and Individuals
Please note: the federal government is constantly updating their website as new information is announced. Remember to check Canada’s official coronavirus webpage to stay up to date.
As public health officials continue advising Canadians to practice physical distancing, the federal government has endeavoured to mitigate economic consequences by expanding existing initiatives and launching new ones for businesses and individuals.
Here are this week’s updates.
Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)
On Wednesday, the government announced changes to the CERB that will accommodate those receiving a modest income and enable more Canadians to benefit. The following modifications have been made:
If you believe you’re eligible for the CERB based on this information, we encourage you to apply for the CERB. As you proceed with the application, you’ll learn whether you qualify or not. Those who are still unsure can ask the Government of Canada about their personal circumstances by calling the toll-free telephone line at 1-800-959-8281.
Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA)
Another barrier brokers told us they’re facing is the narrow scope of the CEBA, a program intended to help cover non-deferrable operating costs by providing interest-free loans of up to $40,000. Regarding the program, CREA’s advocacy position was the lower and upper thresholds ruled out far too many small businesses that require assistance during this challenging time.
The Prime Minister announced this week an expansion of the CEBA to businesses that paid between $20,000 and $1.5 million in total payroll in 2019.
Small business owners can apply for support from the CEBA through their banks and credit unions. If the loan is repaid by December 31, 2022, 25% of it will be forgiven, up to $10,000.
Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA)
The measures announced this week are part of the Government of Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan. The government is constantly assessing the evolving situation and is likely to introduce additional measures as it deems necessary.
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