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COVID-19: Applications opened for enhanced wage subsidy program

By The IJ Staff | August 18 2020 09:12AM

Photo: pxhere

The federal government announced Aug. 17 that it has opened applications for Period 5 – the first period of the enhanced Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) program.

The CEWS program was created to help businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic to enable them to keep workers on their payroll or bring back previously laid-off employees.

Program changes

Diane Lebouthillier, Minister of National Revenue, announced program changes for Periods 5-9, including increased eligibility. All eligible employers who've experienced a revenue drop can now qualify for a base subsidy, which will be based on their revenue drop. In addition, employers who are particularly hard-hit can qualify for a top-up of up to 25%.

The government says that the changes will also “provide certainty for employers that have already made business decisions for July and August, by ensuring they will not receive a subsidy rate lower than they would have under the previous rules.”

The Canada Revenue Agency's updated CEWS calculator is available to guide employers through the process of preparing their applications and can provide a preview of the subsidy they may qualify for based on the information entered.

Eligible employers can apply for period 5 of the CEWS through My Business Account or through the CRA's web form application.

"The Canada Revenue Agency is here to help Canadian employers of all sizes in getting their employees back to work. The government has made significant enhancements to the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy by incorporating user and stakeholder feedback. As of today, more eligible employers can apply to receive funding. I encourage any employer who is struggling because of COVID19 to use the CRA's CEWS calculator to see what kind of subsidy they could qualify for," stated Lebouthillier.

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