The federal government has made several changes to the eligibility for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy Program (CEWS).
- Businesses now only need to show loss of revenue of 15% for March, rather than 30% in recognition of the fact that many businesses did not begin to be affected by the crisis until partway through the month. The 30% reduction in revenue qualification will still be required to receive the subsidy in April and May.
- Hoteliers will have the option of comparing revenues in March, April, and May 2020 to an average of revenues in January and February 2020, rather than last year. This will help new or growing hotel properties that may not have qualified based on a comparison to 2019 revenues.
- Hoteliers will be allowed to measure revenues either on the basis of accrual accounting (as they are earned) or cash accounting (as they are received). Special rules would also be provided to address issues for corporate groups, non-arm’s length entities, and joint ventures.
- The government is proposing to refund 100% of certain employer-paid contributions to Employment Insurance and the Canada Pension Plan, to businesses that qualify for CEWS. This is only a proposal at this time.
- Applications will be made through CRA’s My Business Account portal. If you already have an online account set up for GST, payroll, and corporate taxes, you would be able to access the portal through there.
Applications for the Canada Emergency Business (CEBA) Account are now open. To qualify for CEBA, you must have a payroll of less than $1 million and greater than $50,000. If you meet this qualification, you can apply directly through your financial institution.