COVID-19 Financial Support - April 2020 Update
COVID SUPPORT PROGRAMS in BC For Businesses and Individuals
These are the times where we need to stay positive and follow the guidelines to decrease the negative effects of COVID-19 and be prepared for the following months. COVID support programs in BC and Canada are here to help everyone to handle the hard times together.
It is not yet clear when the economy and the social life will get back to normal (pretty much at least). We, as the residents of British Columbia, are currently lucky to have a much better picture in terms of the spread of the virus and its negative effects.
In BC and Canada, governments have started special support programs to minimize the effects of the outbreak on families and businesses.
Below is an update on the major government COVID support programs in BC and Canada, which you need to know and benefit from if you are among the ones who are negatively affected.
IMPORTANT NOTE: the government authorities are announcing new programs and amendments to programs almost every week now. So Although we will be updating the details in this article, please make sure you get the latest information from the related government websites(click links in the associated parts) before the final application.
SUPPORTS FOR BUSINESSES
CEWS – Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy
75% subsidy of employee wages for a period of 12 weeks, from March 15th to June 6th.
This subsidy aims to support the businesses to keep their employees in the company by supporting the majority of the salaries. Since the program is approved to cover the allowance back to March 15th, the businesses will be able to rehire their laid-off workers and still benefit the program.
The program applications start date is April 27th. You can find the details of the program HERE.
CEBA – Canada Emergency Business Account
The government is offering free loans up to $40,000, to small businesses and non-profits. $10,000 of the credit is planned to be forgiven if the rest of the loan is paid until the end of 2022. The companies that paid a minimum of $20,000 in payroll (up to $1,5M) will be eligible for the program. The businesses need to contact their banks to be able to use the loans. You may find detailed information about the program HERE.
CECRA – Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance
Federal Government and the provinces have reached an agreement on a program to support the commercial rents. Based on the plan, 75% of the commercial rents will be covered. The government will subsidize 50 % of the rent, and 25% will be asked from commercial landlords.
The eligibility and execution of the program will be announced by mid-May and is expected to cover the period of April-May-June.
The 10% Wage Subsidy for Employers
Under this program, businesses that have payroll between March 18th and June 19th will be able to use this amount against their REMITTANCE payments to CRA.
Deferral of GST/HST Remittances
The businesses are allowed to defer their GST/HST payments until the end of June, without any interest charged.
SUPPORTS FOR INDIVIDUALS & FAMILIES
CERB – Canada Emergency Response Benefit
CERB provides $500/week for a total of 16 weeks for those who lost their jobs. The program includes the self-employed who lost business as a result of the slowing economy.
The CERB also covers who are sick, or quarantined, or taking care of others who are sick or quarantined, or you are taking care of children or other dependents because the facilities are closed due to COVID-19.
The Basic Requirements are: you should have earned at least $5,000 in 2019, you lost business or jour job(not voluntarily) Due to COVID-19, you should have earned less than $1000 in the claim period.
You can find the updated Question and Answers about the CERB program HERE.
BC Emergency Benefit for Workers
BC government will provide a tax-free one-time $1,000 payment to all residents whose ability to work has been affected due to COVID.
The applications to the program will start by May 1st.
Increase in the Canada Child Benefit
The child benefit has been increased by an extra $300 per child, and now the benefit has reached $550 per child. The payment start time is May 2020.
Special Goods and Services Tax Credit
The government will be doing a one time GST payment to those families with low or modest income families. The payments will be $400 for single individuals and $600 for the couples.
No application is necessary for this. If you are eligible, you should receive that automatically.
Personal Income Tax Deferral
The government deferred The Income-tax returns until June 1st for the individuals.
In a combined effort with the government, Canadian banks have agreed to provide support to their customers on an individual base. Many banks are offering to defer the payments and extend the payment plan for the same duration.
To find out what your lender could be providing for you, you will need to contact the lender. You would find the details on their web pages.
SUPPORTS FOR THE ELDERLY
Reduced minimum withdrawals for Registered Retirement Income Funds
Minimum withdrawals from the registered Income funds are reduced by 25% for 2020.
Support for Delivery Items and Others
With the New Horizons for Seniors Program and the help of local organizations, specific support programs are offered to the elderly.
SUPPORTS FOR STUDENTS
CESB – Canadian Emergency Student Benefit
Students will not be able to work during the summer period as they would typically do to support their living and education expenses. Therefore the government is working on CESB, which will provide $1,250/month for the eligible students ($1,750 for students with dependents and disabilities).
The program will be available from May to August.
The details of the program are yet to be announced.
Creating Jobs for Students
The government is working on a plan to offer 116,000 jobs and placements this summer to help students make money and develop valuable skills.
*** To get more information on COVID support programs in BC and Canada, please feel free to contact JOVI Realty, as well as government information sites.