CEWS Application Portal Now Available and Other Updates

Update Software Patch Illustration


This update contains important details, including expanded eligibility for programs you may not have qualified for earlier.  You should be aware of the details below, even if you do not qualify for aid at this point.

Changes and updates continue, sometimes clearly communicated by the government, and sometimes we happen upon the changes almost by accident.

The Government of Canada has developed a Support Identifier Tool which will help identify supports that may be available and applicable for your business.  The user makes a few selections to identify the type of business, location, etc. and you are provided with a list of supports, with links to further information.  Check it out by tapping this link.

Before we get to the small business updates, there is an important change to CERB which may affect self-employed persons who have seen a significant reduction in income.

CERB Enhancements

The CERB is a program available to workers (both employees and self-employed individuals and partners) who:

  • Reside in Canada and are at least 15 years old
  • Have stopped working because of COVID-19 (unless voluntarily quit)
  • Had income of at least $5,000 in 2019 or in the 12 months prior to the date of application
  • Expect to have less than $1,000 income for the next 4 weeks

Note the bold text in the last line.  Until recently everyone was assuming this meant, in the case of self-employed persons, $1,000 GROSS income.  CRA has now clarified that they are using NET monthly income as the qualifier for self-employed persons.  So, if your sales have dropped to the point where you are no longer covering expenses, or making less than $1,000 in profit in a four week period, you should qualify.  Let us know if you have questions on how this might apply to you.

For details on how to apply, etc., please visit the government’s CERB page.

Support for Students

Various supports have been introduced for students, including greater flexibility in student loan repayment arrangements, enhancements to the Summer Jobs program, and a myriad of other measures.  New this week is the Canada Emergency Student Benefit, which provides students and recent graduates who are ineligible for CERB, and unable to work due to COVID-19.  CESB would provide $1,250 per month for eligible students from May through August 2020, and $1,750 for students with dependents and those with permanent disabilities.

For more information on support measures for students, visit the Support for Students and Recent Graduates Backgrounder.

CEWS Application Portal Now Available

CEWS (pronounced CUES) is a 75% subsidy payable to employers who have suffered a significant decline in gross sales, when compared to prior periods.  CRA has announced that the application portal for this program will be available on Monday, April 27th.  This application portal will be accessible through your “My Business Account” on the CRA’s website.  CRA has indicated that representatives who have access to their clients’ accounts through Represent-A-Client will be able to apply on their clients’ behalf.  If you believe you qualify for this program, and prefer that we handle the application for you, please let us know.

The CRA has provided a spreadsheet which you can use to determine the subsidy you will receive, and to collect the information necessary for the application.  We encourage you to complete this spreadsheet before applying, so that the online application process will be quick and easy.  The spreadsheet is available here.

Funds are not expected to be released until the second week in May.

CRA has also published a very extensive list of Frequently Asked Questions related to CEWS.  If you believe that you MIGHT qualify for this program, we encourage you to read this page, accessed by tapping this link.

New Program – CECRA

Further details have been released regarding the Canada Emergency Commercial Rental Assistance (CECRA) program for small businesses.  CECRA is designed to assist small businesses meet their commercial rental obligations.  At this point, we do not anticipate that many of our clients will qualify for this aid.   However, if you do pay commercial rents, or if you are a commercial landlord, you should familiarize yourself with the program here.  Further details are expected to be released shortly.

Need more information?