There are changes happening in the CRA’s subsidy programs this fall.  The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) and Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS) end on October 23, 2021.  These programs have provided wage and rent subsidy income to businesses that have been affected by the COVID pandemic.  There is a 6-month filing deadline on these programs, so the final periods will be due September 20, 2022.

The Canada Recovery Hiring Program (CRHP) that was introduced in Period 17 (June 2021) is set to expire in Period 22 (November 2021).  This program provides a wage subsidy to businesses that have reduced revenue but have increased their wages since the baseline period of March 2021.  The government has proposed extending this program until May 7, 2022 with the option of further extending it to July 2, 2022.

With the CEWS and CERS programs ending this month, the government has proposed two new programs to continue to support organizations that have been affected the most in the pandemic.

  • The Tourism and Hospitality Recovery Program
  • The Hardest-Hit Business Recovery Program

Tourism and Hospitality Recovery Program

Support under this program would be targeted to organizations in the tourism and hospitality industry, such as hotels, restaurants, bars, festivals, travel agencies, convention centers and tour operators.  Although complete details have not been released, organizations will need to meet two conditions to qualify for the program:

  • An average monthly revenue reduction of at least 40% over the first 13 CEWS periods (March 2020 to February 2021). Any months that a business was not carrying on ordinary operations for reasons other than a public health restriction (ie: seasonal business) would be excluded.
  • A current month revenue loss of at least 40%

The subsidy rate for wage and rent subsidies under this program would be between 40% and 75% from October 24, 2021 to March 12, 2022 (Periods 22 to 26).  These rates would be reduced to half from March 13 to May 7, 2022 (Periods 27 and 28).

Hardest-Hit Business Recovery Program

Other organizations that do not qualify for the Tourism and Hospitality Recovery Program but have been deeply affected by the pandemic would qualify for rent and wage subsidy support under this program.  The two eligibility requirements are:

  • An average monthly revenue reduction of at least 50% over the first 13 CEWS periods (March 2020 to February 2021). Any months that a business was not carrying on ordinary operations for reasons other than a public health restriction (ie: seasonal business) would be excluded.
  • A current month revenue loss of at least 50%

Under this program the subsidy rates range from 10% to 50% from October 24, 2021 to March 12, 2022 (Periods 22 to 26).  These rates would be reduced to half from March 13 to May 7, 2022 (Periods 27 and 28).

Public Lockdowns – The government has also proposed that in the event of public lockdown, support will be available to any business using the Tourism and Hospitality Recovery Program rates (regardless of sector).  This will apply to organizations that are required to shut down for at least seven days and that requires them to cease activities that accounted for at least 25% of revenue.  In these situations, applicants would not need to demonstrate the 12-month revenue decline, just a current month decline.