Feds announce support to help businesses through pandemic

The federal government has announced more measures to aid small businesses through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Late last week Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland, announced the government’s intention to introduce new, targeted supports to help hard-hit businesses and other organizations experiencing a drop in revenue. The government plans to introduce legislation to provide support that would help these businesses safely get through the second wave of the virus and the winter, cover costs so they can continue to serve their communities, and be positioned for a strong recovery, including:

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The new Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy, which would provide simple and easy-to-access rent and mortgage support until June 2021 for qualifying organizations affected by COVID-19. The rent subsidy would be provided directly to tenants, while also providing support to property owners. The new rent subsidy would support businesses, charities, and non-profits that have suffered a revenue drop, by subsidizing a percentage of their expenses, on a sliding scale, up to a maximum of 65 per cent of eligible expenses until Dec. 19, 2020. Organizations would be able to make claims retroactively for the period that began Sept. 27 and ends Oct. 24.

A top-up Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy of 25 per cent for organizations temporarily shut down by a mandatory public health order issued by a qualifying public health authority, in addition to the 65 per cent subsidy.

The extension of the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy until June 2021, which would continue to protect jobs by helping businesses keep employees on the payroll and encouraging employers to re-hire their workers. The subsidy would remain at the current subsidy rate of up to a maximum of 65 per cent of eligible wages until Dec. 19, 2020

An expanded Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA), which would enable businesses, and not-for-profits eligible for CEBA loans — and that continue to be seriously impacted by the pandemic — to access an interest-free loan of up to $20,000, in addition to the original CEBA loan of $40,000. Half of this additional financing would be forgivable if repaid by Dec.  31, 2022. Additionally, the application deadline for CEBA is being extended to Dec. 31, 2020.

“I’ve always believed that small businesses in Delta are the backbone of our community,” said Delta MP Carla Qualtrough. “This year, they’ve have had to go above and beyond to adapt and innovate, and there’s no denying times have been tough for many.

“Our federal government has a plan to continue supporting small businesses through the second wave of the virus and the winter with a new Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy, an extension of the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy and an expanded Canada Emergency Business Account. These measures will make it possible for small businesses to continue paying their rent, mortgage and employees, while accessing loans if they need them. We will always to be there for small businesses in Delta.” 

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