LAST UPDATED: June 1, 2020
CBRN Small Business Relief Fund Now Accepting Applications
Applications are now open for the Canadian Business Resilience Network Small Business Relief Fund! We are offering grants to Canadian small businesses that have been adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic to help them recover and support their resilience. These grants are made possible through the generosity of Salesforce and will be offered as a one-time payment of $10,000 to 62 businesses across the country. Applications are being accepted until Friday, June 12, 2020 at 8:00 p.m. ET.
Learn More And Apply Here
Federal government to provide rent relief to eligible business tenants at all National Parks, National Historic Sites And National Marine Conservation Areas
The Government of Canada is taking further action to support businesses operating in Canada’s national parks, national historic sites and national marine conservation areas dealing with the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The government will waive up to 75% of eligible commercial rents for the months of April, May and June 2020 or equivalent amounts of annual rents. This relief is additional to measures announced March 27 allowing commercial operators to defer payments normally due on or after April 2, 2020 to as late as September 1, 2020.
Parks Canada will be contacting all holders of commercial leases and licences of occupation in national parks, national historic sites and national marine conservation areas to provide details on this additional relief. Information will also be made available soon on the Parks Canada website.
CBRN Business Reopening Toolkit and Provincial/Territorial Regulation Tracker
In order to operate, businesses must abide by all national, provincial/territorial and local codes issued by our governments. This includes when and which businesses can open, an array of health and safety measures, social distancing standards, occupancy limits and more. Through the CBRN Business Reopening Toolkit, you can access the rules and regulations that are in place according to federal and provincial/territorial jurisdictions.
CBRN Small Business Relief Fund launched
CBRN Small Business Relief Fund launched to give grants of 10,000 to help support business recovery efforts. The Fund will help 62 small Canadian businesses recover and support their resilience, for a total of $620,000 in funds.
Businesses can use the $10,000 grants to support their recovery efforts, including paying salaries, acquiring safety and personal protective equipment for staff, replenishing materials or paying for the measures required to adapt business models to the economic impacts of COVID-19.
During the COVID-19 crisis, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce’s mission is to help as many businesses as possible stay afloat and remain open. Small business owners put everything they have into their businesses, and these grants will help give a little bit back. Good people coming together is how Canadians have managed this crisis, and the Canadian Chamber and Salesforce are following their lead, one business at a time.
Contribute to the CFA’s submission on the future of the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS)
The Government of Canada is reviewing the CEWS program, and input from businesses is required to inform potential changes to the program to best meet the needs of businesses and their staff. You can participate via a short online survey or by email. Deadline to participate is June 5, 2020.
Feel free to share your views on the future of the CEWS by emailing email@example.com. Your comments will help CFA staff craft our response to the public consultation.
Facebook Canada Launches Grant Program And New Supports, Totalling Nearly $3.5 Million For Small Businesses
Small businesses are the pillars of our communities and, right now, they need everyone’s support. Today, Facebook Canada launched a program with nearly $3.5 million in support for small- and medium-sized businesses in the Ottawa-Gatineau, Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal regions. From grants and virtual training to enhanced resources and new product features, this is Facebook Canada's way of giving a hand to those who give our communities so much. The deadline to apply for the grants is Tuesday, June 2.
For more information.
CRA Extends Filing Deadlines For Corporations And Trusts
The CRA has extended deadlines for T2 Corporate Income Tax Returns and T3 Trust Income Tax Returns that had been due in June, July or August. Those returns are now due September 1, 2020. As previously announced by CRA, any income tax balance due on or after March 18 and before September 1 is also now due by September 1, 2020.
INFO ON T2s & T3s
INFO ON TAX FILING AND PAYMENT
Did you and your landlord apply for commercial rent relief today?
Federal-Provincial Commercial Rent Assistance Program officially opened this morning. Application documents and updated criteria are now available here.
Is you landlord working with you to apply? If not, the CFA wants to know. Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with
- Your business legal name
- Your landlords name
- Your location
- A summary of your situation
- Your contact information
These stories will help the CFA advocate for changes in the program criteria to help make more CFA members eligible for support.
Business Resilience Service launched to help businesses navigate government programs
Canadian Chamber and the Government of Canada team up with accounting profession to provide free advice to small to medium-sized business, not-for-profits and charities.
The program, called the Business Resilience Service (BRS)
, is run through the Canadian Chamber’s Canadian Business Resilience Network
in collaboration with EY
and with support from Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada)
and Imagine Canada
. The BRS will provide options for any vulnerable small to medium-sized business, not-for-profit or charity to immediately connect with experienced accounting and tax professionals across the country from professional services firms. The program, delivered to organizations free of charge, will:
- Provide guidance on program options and eligibility
- Rapidly direct businesses – including enterprises involving Indigenous peoples, women and diverse groups – to the most appropriate support organizations
- Help organizations make decisions to support recovery plans
- Provide real time insights and feedback to policymakers
The BRS program, coordinated by EY, will be provided for four weeks from Monday, May 25, and will involve support from approximately 125 business advisors from across the accounting profession. Organizations can access the BRS seven days a week by calling 1-866-989-1080.
Federal government to work with province to provide workers with 10 days of paid sick leave per year
Following recent conversations with NDP leader Jagmeet Singh, Prime Minister Trudeau committed to working closely with the provinces to provide workers with 10 days of paid sick leave per year. Trudeau stressed that no one should have to choose between paying bills and taking time off to care for themselves. He also confirmed that the government is considering other mechanisms to support workers “for the longer term”. Specific details about the delivery of paid sick leave is expected to come in the weeks ahead.
Commercial Rent Assistance Portal Opens Monday, May 25, 2020
The CECRA for small businesses application portal opens at 8:00 am on Monday, May 25.
Application documents and updated criteria are now available here
Government launches benefit-finder tool for emergency aid
The government launched an online tool today to help Canadians navigate the various financial benefits available during the pandemic, as the political parties continue to spar over the resumption of Parliament.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the benefit-finder tool during a daily briefing. The government site
is now live to help students, seniors and out-of-work Canadians find out which benefits they can access.
Update on the PM’s call with the Premiers
Last night the Prime Minister spoke with the provincial and territorial Premiers for the tenth time since the start of the pandemic. The call has been happening every week since the crisis began. On the call they spoke at length about the safe re-opening of the economy and mutually outlined a set of principles for moving forward. These principles include:
- Canada needs to continue scaling up its testing capacity to quickly identify new cases and isolate them. The federal government is working with the provinces and territories to expand testing by procuring more reagents and swabs. Some provinces have the capacity to meet current needs, but both levels of government are collaborating to ramp up these efforts.
- Canada needs to accelerate its ability to conduct contact tracing. The feds have trained federal employees to make 3,600 contact tracing calls every day of the week. Statistics Canada also has an additional 1,700 interviewers available to make 20,000 calls a day. Ontario is already utilizing these federal services and Trudeau noted these resources are available to assist other provinces and territories with their tracing backlogs.
- Canada needs to ensure that data that is collected across jurisdictions is shared between the provinces and territories to help manage spread.
While each of the Premiers plans will be different, Trudeau confirmed that they are all working towards one common goal: protecting Canadians. He emphasized the next phase of collaborative efforts will focus on testing, contact tracing and data collection and Trudeau has told the Premiers the feds are here to “support, facilitate and fund” this work.
COVID-19 pushed Canadian retail sales to their biggest ever plunge in March
Widespread lockdowns due to COVID-19 across the country pushed Canadian retail sales down by 10 per cent in March, the biggest plunge on record. Statistics Canada reported Friday that about 40 per cent of Canadian retailers closed their doors in March, as government lockdowns and physical distancing requirements set in. March's plunge was more than twice as bad as the previous record of 4.5 per cent, set in February 1998.
The data agency says April's preliminary numbers suggest that month's data are likely to be even worse, down 15 per cent from March's already low level, but the numbers released Friday show just how bad things got in just the first two weeks of lockdown.
Overall, Canadians spent just $47 billion at retailers in March. That's the worst month since 2016.
Just about every type of retailer saw sales plummet during the month, but those deemed non-essential bore the brunt, including:
- Clothing stores, down 51 per cent.
- Motor vehicle and parts dealers, down 35 per cent.
- Furniture and home furnishings, down 24 per cent.
- Hobby, book and music stores, down 23 per cent.
- Gas stations, down 19 per cent.
There were a few bright spots, namely grocery stores that saw booming business as Canadians stocked up to shelter in place.
Food and beverage sales were up 22 per cent, while general merchandise stores had their best month ever, with sales up 6.4 per cent.
Sales at health and personal care stores rose 4.6 per cent, also to their highest level on record. Cannabis sales rose 19 per cent.
Another bright spot was the growth in online retailers, as Canadians spent $2.2 billion online in March. That's 40 per cent higher than it was in the same month last year.
Have you been denied for the $40K CEBA loan? We want to hear from you!
If you have applied for the Canada Emergency Business Account ($40k loan) and been denied--let us know. Tell us if you have not received a reason for the rejection or what the reason was and why you disagree. We may be able to help get you some answers. Make sure your email includes:
- Your business legal name (according to your financial institution)
- Your financial institution
- A summary of your situation
- Your contact information
These stories will help the CFA advocate for changes in the program criteria to help make more CFA members eligible for support. Send us an email at email@example.com
CBRN Launches Reopening Canada’s Economy, A National Guide for Business
The Canadian Business Resilience Network, which the CFA is a member, launched a guide for businesses moving to reopen, “Reopening Canada’s Economy, A National Guide for Business.”
The guide is accessible electronically here
Uptake on government programs
During Saturday’s media briefing Prime Minister Trudeau noted that
• over 500,000 businesses have been able to receive a loan through the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA)
• Subsidies through the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) have impacted almost 2,000,000 workers.
• the CEWS will be extended past June 2020
Business Credit Availability Program will be expanded for small and medium-sized businesses
Prime Minister Trudeau revealed that the Business Credit Availability Program will be expanded for small and medium-sized businesses. Support for mid-market businesses will include loans of up to $60 million per company and guarantees of up to $80 million. Through the BCAP, Export Development Canada (EDC) and the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) will work with private sector lenders to support access to capital for Canadian businesses in all sectors and regions.
Federal government announces large employer emergency financing facility (LEEFF)
On May 11, Finance Minister Bill Moreau announced that the federal government is offering bridge financing for big Canadian businesses across all sectors to help them keep employees on the payroll through the pandemic, but there are conditions attached – including the required disclosure of the company's environmental plan.
Large employer emergency financing facility (LEEFF) will provide support to employers with annual revenues of more than $300 million whose credit needs are not being met through conventional financing. The program is open to large commercial businesses in all sectors except those in the financial sector, as well as certain not-for-profit businesses like airports.
To qualify, businesses must be looking for financing of $60 million or more, have significant operations or workforce in Canada and not be involved in ongoing insolvency proceedings. It is not intended to be a low-cost loan program for companies that don't need it or to bail out companies that were already in financial trouble before the pandemic.
Companies must disclose their climate action plans and sustainability goals to qualify and must meet other conditions, including not having "excessive" executive pay. Companies that have been found guilty of tax evasion are disqualified. Details are still being worked out and information on the application process is expected shortly.
For more information please see the Prime Minister’s News Release.
Federal government extending CEWS beyond June
At his press conference on May 8, the Prime Minister said that the federal government’s emergency wage-subsidy program will be extended beyond its early-June endpoint. The program covers 75 per cent of worker pay up to $847 a week to try to help employers keep employees on the job in the face of steep declines in revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic. More details on the extension will come next week.
New Industry Strategy Council announced by the federal government
Today, PM Trudeau announced that Innovation, Science and Industry Minister Navdeep Bains will be leading a new Industry Strategy Council chaired by Monique Leroux. The Council will be tasked with taking a deeper dive into how the pandemic is affecting specific sectors and finding ways for the government to best support them. Previous economic strategy tables set up in the government’s first mandate will also be leveraged throughout this process.
The Tables are chaired by industry leaders in the following key sectors: advanced manufacturing, agri-food, clean technology, digital industries, health and bio-sciences, resources of the future, and tourism and hospitality. In response to some particular pressures related to the pandemic, the Government is adding two new Tables, representing the retail and transportation sectors.
Canada's jobless rate soars to 13 per cent in April
The Canadian economy lost almost two million jobs in April, a record high, as the closure of non-essential services to slow the spread of COVID-19 forced businesses to shutter temporarily. The loss of 1,993,800 comes on top of more than one million jobs lost in March, and millions more having their hours and incomes slashed.
The unemployment rate soared to 13.0 per cent, Statistics Canada reported, as the full force of the pandemic hit compared with 7.8 per cent in March. It was the second highest unemployment rate on record as job losses spread beyond the service sector to include construction and manufacturing.
Economists on average had expected the loss of four million jobs and an unemployment rate of 18 per cent, according to financial markets data firm Refinitiv. The unemployment rate would have been 17.8 per cent had the agency's labour force survey counted among the unemployed the 1.1 million who stopped looking for work -- likely because the COVID-19 economic shutdown has limited job opportunities.
In all, more than one-third of the labour force didn't work or had reduced hours in April, an "underutilization rate" that was more than three times higher than in February before the pandemic struck. Here's a quick look at April employment (numbers from the previous month in brackets):
- Unemployment rate: 13.0 per cent (7.8)
- Employment rate: 52.1 per cent (58.5)
- Participation rate: 59.8 per cent (63.5)
- Number unemployed: 2,418,300 (1,547,000)
- Number working: 16,184,900 (18,178,700)
- Youth (15-24 years) unemployment rate: 27.2 per cent (16.8)
- Men (25 plus) unemployment rate: 10.8 per cent (5.9)
- Women (25 plus) unemployment rate: 11.3 per cent (7.1)
Here are the jobless rates last month by province (numbers from the previous month in brackets):
- Newfoundland and Labrador 16.0 per cent (11.7)
- Prince Edward Island 10.8 (8.6)
- Nova Scotia 12.0 (9.0)
- New Brunswick 13.2 (8.8)
- Quebec 17.0 (8.1)
- Ontario 11.3 (7.6)
- Manitoba 11.4 (6.4)
- Saskatchewan 11.3 (7.3)
- Alberta 13.4 (8.7)
- British Columbia 11.5 (7.2)
Agreement reached on $4B deal to boost essential workers' pay
Today, Ottawa announced it has reached a $4 billion agreement with all the provinces and territories to boost the salaries of essential workers who make less than $2,500 a month. The federal government will kick in $3 billion while the provinces will contribute the rest.
Some provinces already have moved ahead.
Saskatchewan recently announced that employees making less than $2,500 a month while working with vulnerable people are eligible for a wage top-up of $400 per month for 16 weeks. That includes people working at long-term care homes, daycares and shelters.
Ontario announced a $4-per-hour increase for front-line workers at long-term care homes, retirement homes, emergency shelters, supportive housing, group homes, correctional institutions and youth justice facilities, as well as for those providing home and community care and some hospital staff.
Quebec announce a $4-per-hour pay hike for workers in private long-term care homes, as well as a $24.28-per-hour salary to attract new workers to fill in as attendants at the facilities.
Federal Update on how many Canadians applied for support
At today, press conference, President of the Treasury Board Jean-Yves Duclos announced how many Canadians and Canadian businesses have accessed the federal support programs since March 15, 2020. The numbers are staggering considering that there were 19 million Canadians in the workforce in February 2020.
- 500, 000 businesses have received an emergency loan
- 10.9 million applications have now been received under the CERB and 7.5 million Canadians have received funding under the program.
- 100 000 businesses have applied for the CEWS
Canadian Chamber – Impact of COVID-19 on Diverse Business Owners
New data from the recent Canadian Survey on Business Conditions
was released which shows that COVID-19 had a more severe impact on diversity-owned businesses:
- 71.14% of diversity-owned businesses experienced a high drop in demand, compared with the national average (64.8%)
- 34.74% of diversity-owned businesses experienced a 50% or more decrease in revenue, compared with the national average (26.2%)
- 51.06% of diversity-owned businesses said they could remain open for no longer than 60 days without a source of revenue, compared with the national average (42.2%)
- 48.92% of diversity-owned businesses said they could remain open for no longer than 3 months amid social distancing, compared with the national average (39.7%).
However, if they can weather the crisis, the data indicate that each group expects to rebound in a similar time and fashion as other businesses across the country.
Further, there are several notable data points demonstrating innovation and ingenuity:
- Indigenous-owned and visible minority-owned businesses have tested or used R&D at a higher rate (11.1% and 8.6%) than national average (5.7%)
- 17% of businesses owned by those with disabilities tested or used e-commerce during the crisis compared to the national average (11.6%)
- Women-owned business have increased investment in training and education at a higher rate (16.2%) than the national average (11.3%)
Federal support for farmers, food businesses, and food processors
The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau announced an investment of more than $252 million to support farmers, food businesses, and food processors.
- $77.5 million Emergency Processing Fund to help food producers access more PP), adapt to health protocols, automate or modernize their facilities, processes, and operations, and respond to emerging pressures.
- $125 million in funding to help producers faced with additional costs incurred by COVID-19. This includes set-asides for cattle and hog management programs to manage livestock backed-up on farms, due to the temporary closure of food processing plants.
- Increase the Canadian Dairy Commission’s borrowing limit by $200 million to support costs associated with the temporary storage of cheese and butter to avoid food waste.
- Creation of a Surplus Food Purchase Program (initial $50 million) designed to help redistribute existing and unsold inventories such as potatoes and poultry, to local food organizations who are serving vulnerable Canadians.
For more information please see the news release
Most Canadians comfortable with pace of easing restrictions: poll
77% of Canadians happy with COVID-19 measures, but only 43% of Americans feel same about their government. The poll, conducted by Leger and the Association for Canadian Studies between May 1 and 3, surveyed 1,526 adult Canadians and 1,002 adult Americans randomly recruited from its online panel. The internet-based survey cannot be assigned a margin of error because online polls are not considered random samples.
People in most provinces taking steps to reopen were between 60 and 70 per cent supportive of those moves, while 16 to 30 per cent would like to see their government slow down a little. Some provinces have already begun loosening physical distancing measures put in place as the growth in the number of COVID-19 cases started picking up steam in March.
In Quebec, which has the highest number of COVID-19 cases in Canada, the province is allowing some retail stores to reopen outside of Montreal with an eye to reopen the manufacturing and construction sectors next week. On Monday it pushed back the reopening of non-essential stores in the Montreal area at least another week.
Ontario, with the second-highest number of confirmed cases in the country, is allowing the partial reopening of some seasonal businesses.
Manitoba has gone even further, allowing slightly restricted access to libraries, museums, and restaurant patios.
But in Alberta, which plans to allow certain retail stores, restaurants and daycare centres to reopen as early as May 14, people seem less comfortable with how quickly things are moving. There, 50 per cent of respondents would like the province to slow down.
Visits to Canadian Retailers are down 76% during COVID-19 Pandemic
In Canada, PiinPoint’s Mobile Location Data
shows that visits to retailers are down 76% from this time last year. Not surprisingly, the data shows that restaurants have been hit the hardest, experiencing a 95% drop in visits when compared to the same period last year, given the strict business closures that have been enforced by provincial and federal governments. Those eateries with an option for drive-thru service, such as fast-food restaurants, are seeing a 70% decrease in visits.
Banks, clothing, and home decor stores reflect a similar impact as restaurants, with an 89% drop in visits, while electronic and office supply stores have seen an 82% decrease in visits. With stay-at-home measures in place and few people driving to work, gas stations have seen a 90% decrease in visitors, despite record low gas prices.
Home Improvement stores have taken a hit with a 35% decrease in visits, and that number is expected to increase as many stores have been forced to move to curbside pickup only.
Grocery stores initially saw a massive increase in visits leading up to the COVID-19 pandemic announcement, as people stocked up on supplies. Amidst the battles for toilet paper and panic-buying, there was a surge of visits to Grocery stores, peaking at a 196% increase on March 23 when compared to the previous year. However, following the stock-up period and this large increase, visits are still down 27% year over year.
For the full report
Reminder: CERB recipients must reapply for further benefits
Canadians who are receiving income from the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) must reapply for another four weeks of benefits. The CERB offers $500 per week for Canadians who’ve lost work due to the COVID-19 pandemic up to a maximum of 16 weeks, but recipients must confirm their eligibility for the program every four weeks.
The renewal payments are not automatic, meaning anyone who applied for CERB between April 6 and April 10 will need to reapply for the benefit. For the upcoming wave of payments, CERB recipients born in January, February or March can begin applying on May 11, those born in April, May or June can begin to apply on May 12, those born in July, August or September can begin on May 13 and those born in October, November or December can begin their application on May 14, according to the Canada Revenue Agency website
To qualify for the benefit, Canadians must be at least 15 years of age and have been forced out of work due to the pandemic. They must also have earned at least $5,000 in the previous calendar year and now expect to make less than $1,000 per month while collecting the CERB payments.
Recipients can reapply for the benefit either online
or by calling 1 (800) 959-2019.
Canada has entered a recession due to pandemic: C.D. Howe
Canada has officially entered a recession due to the economic devastation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the C.D. Howe Institute's Business Cycle Council declared Friday
The council said the economy peaked in February before the steps taken to slow the spread of the coronavirus brought the economy to a standstill. The C.D. Howe council defines a recession as a pronounced, persistent, and pervasive decline in aggregate economic activity and it looks at both GDP and employment as its main measures.
The March jobs report showed more than a million jobs were lost in the month, while a preliminary estimate by Statistics Canada suggested the economy contracted by nine per cent in the same month.
Statistics Canada reported Thursday that economic growth had stalled going into the crisis, with real gross domestic product essentially unchanged in February due to teacher strikes in Ontario and rail blockades across many parts of the country.
Tiff Macklem appointed the next Governor of the Bank of Canada
Finance Minister Bill Morneau has appointed Tiff Macklem
, the former senior deputy governor of the Bank of Canada, to take over the top job at the central bank. Macklem is currently the dean of the Rotman School of Management in Toronto but had spent decades with the Bank of Canada before starting that appointment. Macklem began his career at the bank in 1984. He was widely expected to win the contest for bank governor in 2013, but was beaten out by Stephen Poloz, who was then CEO of Export Development Canada.
Poloz's term as Governor of the Bank of Canada ends June 2.
Federal deficit could top $252 billion, says Parliamentary budget officer
Parliament's budget watchdog says it's likely the federal deficit for the year will hit $252.1 billion as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic — and could go even higher if emergency measures remain in place longer than planned.
The figure is an estimate based on the almost $146 billion in spending measures the government has announced to help cushion the economic blow from the pandemic, estimated declines in the country's gross domestic product and the price of oil remaining well below previous expectations.
Parliamentary budget officer Yves Giroux's report assumes real GDP will contract by 12 per cent this year and help push the federal debt-to-GDP ratio to 48.4 per cent. The report says the estimates are one possible scenario if current public health measures remain in place or are slowly — but not entirely — lifted over the rest of the calendar year.
Federal government clarifies Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance Program is based on Gross Rent
Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) for small businesses provides much needed relief for small businesses experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19. It offers forgivable loans to eligible commercial property owners so that they can reduce the rent owed by their impacted small business tenants by at least 75% for the months of April, May and June, 2020.
Today the federal government confirmed that the rent rebate program will apply to the monthly gross rent. When the program was originally releases on Friday April 24 the focus was on base rent and it was unclear if Common Area Maintenance (CAM) plus Taxes or Taxes, Maintenance, Insurance (TMI).
To qualify, “impacted small business tenants are businesses, including non-profit and charitable organizations who:
- pay no more than $50,000 in monthly gross rent per location (as defined by a valid and enforceable lease agreement),
- generate no more than $20 million in gross annual revenues, calculated on a consolidated basis (at the ultimate parent level), and
- have temporarily ceased operations (i.e. generating no revenues), or has experienced at least a 70% decline in pre-COVID-19 revenues.**
** To measure revenue loss, small businesses can compare revenues in April, May and June of 2020 to that of the same month of 2019. They can also use an average of their revenues earned in January and February of 2020.”
The CFA is working with the federal government to get a better understanding of what the “ultimate parent level” means for franchisors and franchisees under the program.
Click here for the CMHC program criteria
Canadian Chamber/StatsCan Survey – Half of all Businesses See a Decline of 20% or More in Revenue due to Covid-19
The Canadian Survey on Business Conditions (CSBC), a joint effort between Statistics Canada and the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, provides the most detailed insight yet into the impact of COVID-19 on Canadian businesses. Many CFA members contributed to the report by providing information to the survey.
Nearly one-third (32.3%) of businesses who responded to the survey reported that their revenues from the first quarter of 2020 were down by 40% or more from the same quarter a year earlier. Another 21.2% of businesses reported their revenues had decreased by 20% to 40% over the same period.
Businesses in the accommodation and food services (72.6%), arts, entertainment and recreation (66.7%) and retail trade (60.3%) sectors were most likely to report a decline in revenue greater than 20%. In contrast, just over two-fifths of businesses in each of the agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting (42.0%) and the utilities (40.4%) sectors reported either no change or an increase in revenue.
Across the country, over half of businesses in Alberta (57.7%), Ontario (56.3%), British Columbia (54.8%), Newfoundland and Labrador (53.5%) and Saskatchewan (52.8%) saw declines of 20% or more in revenue. In contrast, close to one-third of businesses in Prince Edward Island (33.1%), the territories (32.4%) and New Brunswick (30.3%) reported either no change or an increase in revenue.
Change in business revenue in Q1 2020 compared to Q1 2019
- 10.5% experienced an increase in revenue
- 14.3% saw no change in revenue
- 17.9% experienced a decrease in revenue of up to 20%
- 53.5% experienced a decrease in revenue of over 20%
Staffing decisions taken as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic
- 38.1% have reduced staff hours or shifts
40.5% have laid off staff
For more information
MPs convene first special virtual sitting
Members of Parliamentmet for the first time virtually
April 28 during the all-party special committee on COVID-19. These virtual sittings will take place on Tuesdays and Thursdays, until at least May 25, as parliamentarians find new ways to maintain accountability while physical distancing.
Federal health officials update projections
Trudeau spoke ahead of a Tuesday afternoon briefing from federal health officials, who delivered revised modelling and forecasts for COVID-19 in Canada.
Get the details of the federal COVID-19 modelling update
The new modelling shows that while the number of new cases was doubling every three days previously, it is now doubling every 16 days
. Short-term projections predict between 53,191 and 66,835 cases by May 5, and between 3,277 and 3,883 deaths by that date.
Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy – Keep in mind CRA will be enforcing strict compliance criteria
As of April 27, 2020, online applications have opened for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS). The CEWS provides a 75% wage subsidy to eligible employers for up to 12 weeks and is retroactive to March 15, 2020. The subsidy will be available at a rate of 75% of weekly remuneration paid to a maximum of $847 per employee. Your business must have experienced a drop of at least 15% of revenue in March 2020 and 30% for April 2020 and/or May 2020 to qualify for this subsidy.
The Federal Government has implemented severe penalties if a business is found not to have met to the CEWS eligibility requirements after receiving the subsidy. Audits will be conducted by the Canada Revenue Agency to verify the amounts related to the subsidy including revenue and salary calculations. If a business is not compliant with the rules, the consequences can include:
- repayment of amounts received
- significant fines of up to 25% of the CEWS received (and up to an additional 200% in the case of fraudulent claims)
- penalties for up to five years in prison for individuals who submitted fraudulent claims
Furthermore, the individuals who have the principal responsibility for the financial activities must attest that the application is complete and accurate. As such, the individual(s) that make the attestation can be held personally responsible for the application that is filed and will also be subject to penalties for incorrect and/or fraudulent claims.
The CRA intends to publish the name of any eligible employer that makes an application for the wage subsidy and share information with government officials for the purposes of administration and enforcement of the Canada Emergency Benefit Act.
Federal projected spending on direct supports due to COVID-19 hits $145B
The federal government's latest projection of how much it will spend on direct support for Canadians to get through the COVID-19 crisis has now reached more than $145.6 billion. Those direct support programs account for approximately one fifth of the overall tally of the measures the government has announced related to the pandemic.
Ottawa estimates that overall total — including measures to protect Canadians health and safety and to provide business and tax liquidity support as well as the direct support for individuals, businesses and sectors — amounts to more than $817 billion.
But much of that is not spending that will end up on the books. For example, a large portion, $300 billion, is a measure by the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OFSI) to free up capital for the banks.
Another big part of that overall total are tax deferrals and credit and loan guarantee programs:
- Credit and liquidity supports through the Bank of Canada and CMHC are projected at $200 billion.
- Income and sales tax deferrals are estimated at $85 billion.
- Liquidity support for businesses, homeowners and the agricultural sector is estimated at more than $286 billion.
But while there is a cost associated with those programs, deferrals, credit support and monetary measures essentially just put off when the government gets paid.
The additional emergency funding and the direct support measures that will have the biggest impact on the deficit and debt in the government's financial books.
- $73 billion: Canada emergency wage subsidy
- $35 billion: Canada emergency relief benefit
- $15.3 billion: Canada emergency business account
- $5.5 billion: GST credits
- $9 billion: Financial aid to students
- $1.7 billion: Orphan well clean up
Commercial Rent Assistance Program Badly Misses the Mark!
Today, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau today announced the new rent subsidy program, jointly funded by the provinces, that is supposed to help businesses (franchised businesses are included in the program).
- The program will provide forgivable loans to qualifying commercial property owners to cover 50% of three monthly rent payments that are payable by eligible small business tenants who are experiencing financial hardship during April, May, and June.
- The loans will be forgiven if the mortgaged property owner agrees to reduce the eligible small business tenants’ rent by at least 75% for the three corresponding months under a rent forgiveness agreement, which will include a term not to evict the tenant while the agreement is in place. The small business tenant would cover the remainder, up to 25% of the rent.
- Businesses paying less than $50,000 per month in rent and who have temporarily ceased operations
- Businesses who have experienced at least a 70% drop in pre-COVID-19 revenues. This support will also be available to non-profit and charitable organizations.
- Support for larger businesses will be announced in the coming days.
- The CECRA is expected to be operational by mid-May, with commercial property owners lowering the rents of their small business tenant’s payable for the months of April and May, retroactively, and for June.
CFA does not think this will help many
Based on our read of the program details the assistance only affects a tenant’s base rent with no support or rebate of the Taxes, Maintenance, Insurance (TMI) that all commercial tenants pay. As CFA members know the TMI is often 50% of a business’s accommodation costs.
Here is a link to the program details which are contained in the News Release from the PM.
The CFA will be looking at our options but we will continue to push for governments across Canada (federal and provincial) to provide real commercial rent relief.
Other Stakeholder Reaction
Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB): Welcomed the rent relief program but warned that it may be too complicated and too reliant on landlords to administer.
Restaurants Canada: Very encouraged by PM, JustinTrudeau, April 24th announcement on rent support for small businesses. No eviction provision is there as is direct help to operators. Restaurants are included. Good thing.
Ontario Chamber of Commerce: “We applaud both the Canadian and Ontario governments for their leadership to provide rent relief to avoid the mass closure of small and medium-sized enterprises across the province. Speed will be of the essence to get this delivered to those in need quickly. This program will help tenants by lowering the rent burden and protecting against evictions, while supporting landlords who also have bills to pay.”
Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy Portal Opens April 27
The Canada Revenue Agency will open the application process on April 27. CEWS claims will be subject to verification by the CRA, therefore the CRA will begin to release funds for approved applications on May 5. To get ready, the CRA has released instructions on what you need to do, a wage subsidy calculator and enhanced eligibility information.
The Subsidy is NOT first come, first serve. It is available to all business who apply so business do not need to apply on Monday out of fear of missing out.
The CRA expects the first cheques to be issued during the week of May 4. They have added 2000 people to their call centre to answer questions and process applications.
Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy Information Page
$1.1B for medical research and vaccine development
Prime Minister Trudeau announced the government will be investing an additional $1.1 billion for a national medical research strategy. The new funding will invest in three primary areas, including research on vaccines, supports for clinical trials, and an expansion of testing and modelling.
More specifically, approximately $115 million of the $1.1 billion is being invested in research to develop vaccines and treatments in universities and hospitals across the country. An estimated $662 million will also be provided to support clinical trials in Canada. While the vaccine is a long-term solution to the virus, $350 million dollars is being invested to expand national testing and modelling in the immediate term.
For more information please see the News Release.
Update on Federal Program Uptake
Finally, Treasury Board President Jean Yves Duclos also provided a brief update on government support programs,
- 8.9 million applications have now been received for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit.
- 351 small businesses have received approvals for loans under the Small Business Emergency Relief Fund
Friendly reminder – CERB is a taxable benefit
Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) provides Canadians whose jobs have been affected by the COVID-19 with $2000 per month for up to 4 months.
The CERB is a taxable benefit so anyone receiving that funding will be expected to report it as income when you file your income tax for the 2020 tax year.
Unlike most standard paycheques, CERB payments do not have income tax deducted before they are sent out. The federal government has set the lowest tax rate for 2020 at 15 per cent. That means anyone who earns $48,535 or less in total income for the year will owe tax on their CERB monies. A recipient who earns the maximum benefit of $8,000 will have to repay $1,200 at tax time. Provincial and territorial income tax rates will also apply.
Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) portal will open April 27, 2020
The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) announced that applications under the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy will open on April 27. The Subsidy is NOT first come, first serve. It is available to all business who apply so business do not need to apply on Monday out of fear of missing out.
The CRA expects the first cheques to be issued during the week of May 4. They have added 2000 people to their call centre to answer questions and process applications.
Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy Information Page
$9B in funding for students under the new Canada Emergency Student Benefit
On April 22, the Prime Minister announced the Canada Emergency Student Benefit, a $9 billion package of new measures aimed at helping young people. The benefit will give eligible postsecondary students $1,250 a month from May to August. For students taking care of someone else or have a disability, that amount increases to $1,750 monthly.
College and university students currently in school, planning to start in September, or who graduated in December 2019 are eligible.
Working students earning less than $1,000 per month can also apply for the CESB.
The benefit will require additional legislation and talks are now underway about how quickly a bill to implement this new program can be brought forward.
Specifically, the federal government is also:
- Creating an additional 76,000 jobs for young people in sectors that need an extra hand right now, or that are on the frontlines of this pandemic;
- Investing more than $291 million to extend scholarships, fellowships, and grants for three or four months;
- Launching a new Canada Student Service Grant of between $1,000 and $5,000 for students volunteering in the COVID-19 fight;
- Providing more than $75 million to specifically increase support for First Nations, Inuit, and Metis Nation students; and
- Doubling the student grants that the government gives out for the 2020-21 school year.
New Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy Calculator released
Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy Calculator
Details leaking out about Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA)
According to the Prime Minister’s announcement last week Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) for small businesses. The program will seek to 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 are working with the provinces and territories to increase rent support for businesses that are most impacted by the pandemic and we will have more details to share soon.
In his media conference today, Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister said Tuesday that the province will participate in a forthcoming federal program to help commercial tenants cover rent during the pandemic. Manitoba will contribute $16 million to the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance Program, Pallister said, although details are scarce about how the program will work once implemented.
MPs pass motion to hold in-person, virtual sittings
Yesterday MPs have passed a motion to hold both in-person and virtual meetings to question and debate the government's response to the COVID-19 crisis. The motion formally adjourns the House of Commons until May 25. A special committee — with every MP a member — will meet once weekly in person. Virtual meetings will occur online twice a week once technological and procedural issues have been worked out.
MPs defeated a proposed amendment from the Conservatives which called for two in-person sitting days, on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer said that doing away with 80 per cent of sitting days does not serve the best interests of Canadians and that more in-person sessions would yield better results in terms of accountability, oversight and proposals from opposition parties. Scheer suggested Trudeau is dodging accountability, preferring the "controlled" environment of daily news conferences outside his residence at Rideau Cottage to opposition questions in the House of Commons.
Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet accused the Conservatives of holding Parliament "hostage."
NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh said regular in-person sessions are important to the work of addressing gaps in programs meant to support Canadians and businesses struggling financially through the health crisis, including students.
$350M support fund for community groups helping vulnerable people
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau today announced $350 million in emergency funds for community groups and national charities that help seniors, the homeless and others made more vulnerable by the pandemic. The funds will support community groups through national organizations such as the United Way Canada, the Canadian Red Cross and the Community Foundations of Canada.
The funds will support such activities as:
- Volunteer-based home delivery of groceries and medications.
- Transportation services, such as those driving seniors or persons with disabilities to appointments.
- Scaling up help lines that provide information and support.
- Helping vulnerable Canadians access government benefits.
- Delivering training and supplies to volunteers.
- Replacing in-person, one-on-one contact and social gatherings with virtual contact through telephone, texts, teleconferences or the Internet.
Parliament returned on April 20, 2020
Between 36 and 40 MPs, including the House Speaker, have been in the House of Commons for today's sitting, which included a question period.
Over the weekend the Liberal government reached a tentative deal with the NDP and Bloc Québécois to have one in-person sitting per week. The Conservatives rejected the idea, insisting on more regular meetings each week. Conservatives proposed having two sitting days per week (Tuesdays and Thursdays).
Scheer suggested Trudeau prefers the "controlled" environment of daily news conferences outside his residence at Rideau Cottage to opposition questions in the House of Commons.
Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet accused the Conservatives of holding Parliament "hostage."
NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh said regular in-person sessions are important to the work of addressing gaps in programs meant to support Canadians and businesses struggling financially through the health crisis, including students.
Canada-U.S. agree to extend border restrictions by 30 days
Canada and the United States have agreed to extend the current closure of the border to all non-essential travel for at least another month. It's been nearly a month since the two countries negotiated their 30-day agreement that exempted the flow of trade and commerce, as well as vital health-care workers such as nurses who live and work on opposite sides of the border. That agreement was due to expire in a few days.
$1.4 billion for regional economic development and cultural/sport organizations
Earlier today the Prime Minister announced $1.4 billion in supports for regional economic development agencies and for Cultural, Heritage and Sport Organizations.
- $675 million to support their work of the six RDAs (the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency, Western Economic Diversification Canada, FedNor, FedDev Ontario, Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions and the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency) to provide equivalent bridge financing support to businesses unable to access the government’s broader support measures.
- $287 million for the Community Futures Network, funded through the RDAs, to support rural businesses and communities, including through access to capital.
- $500 million in Emergency Support Fund for Cultural, Heritage and Sport Organizations to help them address their financial needs. This funding will be administered by Canadian Heritage via contribution agreements.
All air passengers need to wear non-medical masks starting Monday
Starting on Monday, all air passengers in Canada have to wear non-medical masks or a face covering that goes over their mouth and nose, or risk being denied boarding Transport Canada has announced.
Effective at noon on April 20, it’ll be required that anyone travelling through an airport or on an airplane wear a mask, including when going through screening checkpoints where the screeners are unable to keep two metres distance between themselves and the traveller.
For travellers looking to depart from, or arrive in Canada, it will be mandatory that they have a non-medical mask or adequate face covering during the boarding process or they will not be allowed to travel.
Virtual Canada Day party this year
With gatherings banned due to the coronavirus pandemic, this year's Canada Day celebrations will take place online, the federal government announced Friday. Canadian Heritage Minister Stephen Guilbeault said his department is working with artists to create a virtual show on July 1. The lineup for the Canada Day show is normally released about a month before July 1.
ICBC is temporarily waiving a number of fees
Drivers who choose to suspend their insurance won't have to pay the usual $30 cancellation and $18 re-plating fees. In a statement, ICBC says drivers who cancel must remove their licence plates from their vehicle but can reuse the same plates as long as they reinsure after May 30. Those who do so earlier will be issued new plates for free.
Companies that own fleets of cars are also eligible to suspend their insurance.
With many businesses now switching to delivery models, ICBC says drivers don't need to change their insurance or pay higher premiums. Previously, additional insurance was required.
Big changes to the CEBA program
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced the federal government is also opening up the eligibility criteria the Canada Emergency Business Account. The program, targeted at small- and medium-sized businesses, offers government-guaranteed loans of up to $40,000 to cover the costs of keeping their enterprise afloat during the COVID-19 crisis.
Today the PM lowered the threshold. Now, companies who paid between $20,000 and $1,500,000 in total payroll in 2019 will be eligible to receive a loan (still based on T4 income). Under the first iteration of the program business were required to have a payroll of $50,000 to $1 million based on their 2019 T4 Summary.
This should help many more CFA members qualify for the CEBA loans.
Since the banks began accepting applications, they have approved more than 195,000 loans worth about than $7.5 billion.
To apply for a CEBA loan you must work through your financial institution where you do your day to day business banking.
Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance program being developed
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also announced a new assistance program meant to help businesses offset monthly rent. The Canadian Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance program will help small businesses offset rent in April, May and June, Trudeau said during his daily COVID-19 address. Ottawa will work with provinces to roll out the program, as it falls under provincial jurisdiction.
The announcement was made in conjunction with plans to loosen eligibility requirements to the Canadian Emergency Business Account (CEBA), in order to aid more small- and medium-sized businesses struggling with the fallout of the pandemic.
CFA is working to try and find out some details. Please stay tuned.
DEADLINE APPROACHING: Canadian Survey of Business Conditions
The Canadian Chamber of Commerce and Statistics Canada have released the Canadian Survey of Business Conditions (CSBC). The CSBC will examine the impact of COVID-19 on businesses, changes that businesses have made to adapt, challenges they continue to face and anticipated challenges as recovery begins. Click here to complete the survey.
If you have not already done so, we encourage you to complete the survey and share with businesses in your network. The survey deadline has been extended to Wednesday, April 22.
Complete the survey
Conference Board of Canada - Provincial Outlook Spring 2020 – Preliminary Forecast
The Conference Board released its preliminary Spring 2020 forecast which estimates that real GDP declined at an annualized pace of nearly 5 per cent in the first quarter. In the second quarter, the decline in GDP is forecast to hit 25 per cent. This will be the steepest quarterly decline in economic output on record, based on modern statistics that date back to 1961.
Real-time economic data shows Canada frozen in time
Real Time Economic Data
Changes to CERB – you can still work and collect
Today Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, announced it was changing the CERB eligibility rules to:
• Allow people to earn up to $1,000 per month while collecting the CERB.
• Extend the CERB to seasonal workers who have exhausted their EI regular benefits and are unable to undertake their usual seasonal work as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.
• Extend the CERB to workers who recently exhausted their EI regular benefits and are unable to find a job or return to work because of COVID-19.
The government will be working with provinces to increase pay of essential retail workers who make less than $2,500 a month.
These changes will be retroactive to March 15, 2020. More details will be posted on the portal shortly.
Quebec and British Columbia have already implemented direct wage support for low-income workers in the essential service sectors. The federal government will now be sharing the cost of this wage support through the new transfer to these provinces.
Rent Support – expecting an announcement from the federal government soonAn announcement on rent support will be coming soon. CFA has been trying to learn more about the types of support but officials and political staff have been tight-lipped about the program.
Bank of Canada holds rate steady at 0.25% - no plans to go lower
The Bank of Canada kept its benchmark interest rate steady at 0.25 per cent on Wednesday,
The bank says it thinks economic activity in the period between April and June will be between 15 and 30 per cent lower than it was at the end of 2019 due to widespread lockdowns, layoffs and other drastic measures will have a dramatic impact on Canada's economy in the months ahead.
The central bank said its release that it considers the current level of its rate to be its "effective lower bound." That means the bank doesn't have any plans to cut the rate to zero or into negative territory, despite the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic that has devastated Canada's economy.
While the bank is signalling it doesn't see a scenario where it would put its rate into negative territory, the bank says it is doing a lot of other things beyond interest-rate reductions to help support the economy such as buying up more bonds and other debts to help keep the economy running.
Last month, the Bank of Canada announced it would buy $5 billion worth of federal government debt every week in order to support the economy. On Wednesday, it said it would keep doing that but also buy up to $50 billion worth of provincial debt and up to $10 billion worth of corporate debt in order to ensure there is enough of what central bankers refer to as "liquidity".
Home sales fell 14% in March
Home sales fell by 14 per cent in March as COVID-19 lockdowns slowed the market according to the Canadian Real Estate Association. Sales were down just about everywhere from February's level, including in the following cities:
The average sale price largely unchanged from February. March started strong and then froze in the second half. Preliminary data from the first week of April suggest both sales and new listings were only about half of what would be normal for that time of year.
Year over year the average price in March 2020 was up by 12.5 per cent compared to the average seen in March 2019.
- Greater Toronto Area, down 20.8 per cent.
- Montreal, down 13.3 per cent.
- Greater Vancouver Area, down 2.9 per cent.
- Fraser Valley, down 13.6 per cent.
- Calgary, down 26.3 per cent.
- Edmonton, down 13.2 per cent.
- Winnipeg, down 7.3 per cent.
- Hamilton-Burlington, down 24.9 per cent.
- Ottawa, down 7.9 per cent.
IMF sees worst global recession since 1930s, Canada’s economy to shrink 6.2%
The global economy has entered a recession as a result of the novel coronavirus and that the situation is “way worse than the global financial crisis according to International Monetary Fund (IMF) managing director Kristalina Georgieva.
The world economy in 2020 will suffer its worst year since the Great Depression of the 1930s, the International Monetary Fund says in its latest forecast. Data from the fund’s forecast show Canada’s economy being hit harder than countries like the U.S. and Japan but surviving the blow better than others like Italy, Spain, Germany, France and the U.K.
The IMF said it expects the global economy to shrink 3 per cent this year — far worse than its 0.1 per cent dip in the Great Recession year of 2009 — before rebounding in 2021 with 5.8 per cent growth. It acknowledges, though, that prospects for a rebound next year are clouded by uncertainty.
Top Line Report
IMF Full Report
Parliament returns to pass wage subsidy
Parliament passed the federal government's wage subsidy legislation Saturday night, on April 11, after an emergency sitting that saw MPs applauding collaboration between parliamentarians of all political stripes.
The legislation cleared both chambers of Parliament after days of protracted negotiations between the government and opposition parties produced an agreement to pass a bill that will flow billions of dollars to companies during the COVID-19 crisis.
While the Conservatives said they still have some issues with the implementation of the $73-billion wage subsidy, they agreed to waive normal parliamentary procedure to get the legislation through the Commons in a single day to allow bureaucrats to start sending money to businesses in need. Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer said his party's support for the legislation was conditional on the government agreeing to more accountability measures — namely allowing more parliamentary committees to meet throughout this pandemic. One of those committees will be tasked with studying whether Parliament can meet virtually in the weeks ahead.
Emergency benefits start rolling out
As the government worked on changes to the wage subsidy, applications for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) launched this week with millions of people applying for the benefit.
Trudeau said the government will expand the CERB to cover some of those who don’t yet qualify. He said the government is looking to provide additional support to those who’ve had their hours cut back due to COVID-19 and for those who are currently working but are making less money than they would under the CERB.
He also promised more help to post-secondary students and announced changes to the Canada Summer Jobs program, including increasing the program’s wage subsidy to 100 per cent.
Federal government releases public health modelling data
Earlier today the national COVID-19 modelling projections were officially released by Health Canada. Health Canada used two different modelling scenarios: forecasting – which uses actual data on cases seen in Canada to estimate future cases for the week ahead – and dynamic modelling – which is a longer-term prediction of cases using existing knowledge of how the virus behaves.
The forecasting model predicts there will be between 22,580 and 31,850 cases of COVID-19 in Canada by April 16. Based on the case fatality rate to date, we can anticipate there will be between 500 and 700 total deaths by next week.
The dynamic model assumes that everyone is susceptible and includes various stages of the disease. Health Canada uses as much available scientific information as possible to predict the potential range of people that may be affected. At a high-level, the modelling found that:
At this time, it is still too early to know if we are at the peak of this crisis but maintaining current measures – including strong social distancing – will help continue planking the curve. If you’re interested in reviewing the modelling, you can access Health Canada’s slide deck here.
- With no public health measures: A majority of the population (70-80%) would be infected with over 300,000 deaths anticipated.
- With some public health measures: Between 25-50% of the population infected and over 100,000 likely deaths.
- With strong public health measures: Approximately 1 to 10% of the population infected and between 11,000 and 22,000 deaths if infection remains between 2.5% and 5%.
More businesses now eligible for the 75% wage subsidy Today, Finance Minister Bill Morneau announced a number of changes to the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS). That will have a significantly impact on CFA members
To qualify business only must be down 15% in March – The benchmark has been changed for March so businesses who saw a drop in gross revenues of at least 15 per cent in March, and 30 per cent in April and May will qualify for the 75% wage subsidy.
100% refund on EI, CPP, QPP, QPIP contributions for employees who are on leave with pay – The government is also going to give eligible employers a 100-per-cent refund for certain employer contributions to Employment Insurance, the Canada Pension Plan, the Quebec Pension Plan, and the Quebec Parental Insurance Plan paid in respect of employees who are on leave with pay.
Start Ups and New Businesses Are Now Eligible – Not-for-profits, high growth companies and new businesses may now be eligible if they have seen a drop in gross revenues of at least 15 per cent in March, and 30 per cent in April and May compared to an average of their revenue from January and February 2020.
Businesses who have been in business since March 2019 will still have to use those revenues to determine if they are eligible.
For more information please click here
Intake for the Canada Emergency Business Account starts on April 9
The intake for the CEBA loans begins on April 9. CEBA loans will provide interest free loans of up to $40,000 to help pay for operating costs that can’t be deferred as a result of COVID 19. $10,000 (25%) of the $40,000 loan is eligible for complete forgiveness if $30,000 is fully repaid on or before December 31, 2022. If the loan cannot be repaid by December 31, 2022, it can be converted into a 3 year term loan at an interest rate of 5%.
To qualify business will need to demonstrate they paid between $50,000 to $1 million in total payroll in 2019 – based on their 2019 T4SUM Summary of Remuneration Paid. Businesses must agree to use funds from this line of credit to pay for operating costs that cannot be deferred, such as payroll, rent, utilities, insurance, and property tax.
How to apply – Businesses should apply through the financial institution that holds their primary business operating account.
CFA is lobbying for the program to be expanded so businesses can get one loan per active business location not per corporate entity.