ACTA will host another webinar this Thursday, April 16 at 1:30 p.m. featuring ACTA President Wendy Paradis and guest senior accountant, Mike Libbey, from Your Bottom Line to give an update on government relief programs for businesses and workers.
The webinar can be accessed here.
The following programs and developments will be discussed in detail:
Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) – The application portal is now open and travel agents, including independent travel agents, who are no longer earning income due to COVID-19 can apply for the CERB for $2,000 per month through the CRA (Canada Revenue Agency) portal. The funding became available last week and as of today, millions of Canadians have already received this money.
If you received two separate payments for $2000, you may have mistakenly applied for the CERB twice. The government has noted that you do not need to worry about this and they will contact you regarding next steps.
Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) – Parliament passed the COVID-19 wage subsidy bill on Saturday April 11th, 2020. Travel businesses of every size, across every region of the country have access to this subsidy.
Eligibility: Your business must have experienced a loss in revenue. For March, since COVID-19 restrictions were not fully in place, you will only have to show a 15 per cent drop in gross revenues. For April and May, you will need to show a 30 per cent drop in gross revenue drop to qualify.
Reference point for revenue loss: Businesses have the option of using January and February 2020 as reference periods to show revenue loss, or the year-over-year March, April and May 2019 to 2020 comparison. Whatever approach you use when first applying for the CEWS, you are required to use the same approach for the entire duration of the program.
Application: The application portal is expected to be opened in two to four weeks. Keep in mind – the wage subsidy will be backdated to March 15.
Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA)
On Thursday, April 9th, the CEBA was launched through the government’s Business Credit Availability Program. This program is designed for small businesses to help cover operating costs during a period where revenues have been temporarily reduced. To qualify, businesses will need to demonstrate they paid between $50,000 to $1 million in total payroll in 2019.
Visit your bank or credit union today to apply for an interest-free, government-backed loan of up to $40,000, with up to $10,000 forgivable if you pay it back before the end of 2022. The government has advised ACTA that some smaller financial institutions are still being brought on board. If your financial institution (i.e. credit union) is not participating in the program, please advise ACTA.
Canada Summer Jobs program - Also, the Prime Minister announced changes to the Canada Summer Jobs program, which will help small businesses hire and keep the workers they need so they can continue to deliver essential services.