Today, the Prime Minister identified upgrades to two programs that will be available and useful to many operators in our Industry:
- Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA)
The government expanded CEBA to businesses that paid between $20,000 and $1.5 million in total payroll in 2019. This new range will replace the previous one of between $50,000 and $1 million and will help address the challenges faced by small businesses to cover non-deferrable operating costs. *Since the launch of the CEBA on April 9, 2020, more than 195,000 loans have been approved by financial institutions, extending more than $7.5 billion in credit to small businesses. You can apply at any chartered bank or Credit Union.
- Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA)
The federal government is working with the provinces and territories to increase rent support for businesses that are most impacted by the pandemic and the government will have more details to share soon. The intention is to have CECRA provide loans, including forgivable loans, to commercial property owners who in turn will lower or forgo the rent of small businesses for the months of April (retroactive), May, and June. Implementation of the program will require a partnership between the federal government and provincial and territorial governments, which are responsible for property owner-tenant relationships.We would also like remind everyone about the provincial programs in place to support small businesses and individuals:
Provincial programs in place to support small businesses and individuals:
Small Business Impact Grant
If your small business, non-profit, or charity had to close or reduce operations because of the COVID-19 public health order, you may be eligible for a one-time grant. Small businesses, non-profits, or charities ordered to close or substantively curtail their operations under the COVID-19 public health order may be eligible for the Small Business Impact Grant. The one-time grant is equal to 15% of sales revenue from either April 2019 or February 2020, up to a maximum of $5,000 per business. You can choose which month will be used to calculate the grant amount. APPLY HERE. Please read the guidelines here.
Worker Emergency Bridge Fund
If you were laid off or out of work on or after 16 March 2020 because of COVID-19 and you aren’t eligible for Employment Insurance, you may be eligible for the Worker Emergency Bridge. The Worker Emergency Bridge is a one-time $1,000 payment to help you meet your basic needs as soon as possible. It can be combined with the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB). The payment counts as taxable income and you’ll need to include it on your 2020 tax return.
Halifax Regional Municipality Tax Deferral
Halifax Regional Council has voted to provide immediate relief to both residential and business customers. These efforts include:
- The deferral of the interim tax bill due date from April 30, 2020 to June 1, 2020;
- The suspension of Non-Sufficient Fund fees; and
- The reduction of the interest rate charged on arrears from 15% per annum to 10% per annum.