Update on Economic Assistance for COVID-19
The Government has announced a change to the eligibility criteria for the wage subsidy. Previously the government said that businesses and non-profits would have to show a 30% drop in revenues compared to this time last year, which some start-ups and new businesses would not be able to do. Companies will now be able to compare their lost revenue to what they made in January and February of 2020 and will only need to show a 15% decline in March. Charities will be able to either include or exclude government subsidies and grants from their calculations. To calculate revenues, employers can either use the accrual method or the cash method, but not a combination of both.
The Government announced that employers will now be eligible for up to 100% to cover student wages (up to a maximum of the minimum wage). The time frame for job placements has also been extended to the winter (February 28, 2021). Employers will now be able to hire students part-time and can adapt their projects and job activities to support essential services.
The Government announced that business owners paid by dividends are eligible for the CERB as long as the dividends are non-eligible dividends (generally, those paid out of corporate income taxed at the small business rate). An individual could count this income towards the $5,000 income requirement to be eligible for CERB.