1. REMINDER AT 4PM TODAY – APRIL 8 – DIGITAL TOWN HALL WITH ASSOCIATE MINISTER OF FINANCE & MIDDLE CLASS PROSPERITY, MONA FORTIER – REGISTER AT: https://zoom.us/webinar/ register/WN_ j9p1oJyzRuyOEuyumhLbPQ
2. APRIL 8 FEDERAL GOVERNMENT COVID-19 ANNOUNCEMENTS FOR BUSINESSES AND NOT FOR PROFITS:
Today, Canada’s Prime Minister provided further details on the eligibility criteria for businesses to access the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS).
The proposed CEWS would apply at a rate of 75 per cent of the first $58,700 normally earned by employees – representing a benefit of up to $847 per week, per employee. The program would be in place for a 12-week period, from March 15 to June 6, 2020. Employers of all sizes and across all sectors of the economy would be eligible, with certain exceptions including public sector entities. An eligible employer’s entitlement to this wage subsidy will be based entirely on the salary or wages actually paid to employees. All employers would be expected to make best efforts to bring employees’ wages to their pre-crisis levels. NOTE: THE CEWS NEEDS TO BE PASSED BY PARLIAMENT.
The Government is also proposing that employers eligible for the CEWS be entitled to receive a 100-per-cent refund for certain employer-paid contributions to Employment Insurance, the Canada Pension Plan, the Quebec Pension Plan, and the Quebec Parental Insurance Plan. This refund would apply to the entire amount of employer-paid contributions in respect of remuneration paid to furloughed employees in a period where the employer is eligible for the CEWS.
In order to address the realities faced by the not-for-profit sector, high growth companies and new businesses, the Government has proposed the following additional flexibility:
· To measure their revenue loss, it is proposed that all employers have the flexibility to compare their revenue of March, April and May 2020 to the same months in 2019, or to an average of their revenue earned in January and February 2020.
· For March, the Government proposes to make the CEWS more accessible than originally announced by reducing the 30-per-cent benchmark to 15 per cent, in recognition of the fact that many businesses did not begin to be affected by the crisis until partway through the month of March.
· In recognition that the time between when revenue is earned and when it is paid could be highly variable in certain sectors of the economy, it is proposed that employers 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.
· Registered charities and non-profit organizations would also be able to benefit from the additional flexibilities being provided to employers with respect to the revenue loss calculation. In addition, to recognize that different types of organizations are experiencing different types of funding pressures, it is proposed that charities and non-profit organizations be allowed to choose to include or exclude government funding in their revenue calculations for the purpose of applying the revenue reduction test.
WHERE TO START:
1. Visit the Federal Government’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan website for information about supporting your employees and your business. It is constantly updated as the COVID-19 crisis evolves. https://www.canada. ca/en/department-finance/ economic-response-plan.html
2. Contact your local financial institution. Since we know most small businesses have a relationship with their local financial institution already, the Federal Government has worked with the financial sector to increase their lending capacity to support you in in these challenging times. They are a good first place to start for help. The Surrey Board of Trade realizes though that further debt is not the solution – so we are continuing to advocate for you on measures to mitigate this.
3. Surrey Board of Trade Emergency Portal: https://businessinsurrey.com/ policy/emergency-preparedness/