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Last updated: May 22, 2020

This page will summarize how to access the benefits designed to help you and your business through the financial difficulties caused by COVID-19.  It will be updated as more announcements are made.  Where possible, links (shown in green font) will be provided to further information and resources.  We encourage you to visit the Federal and Alberta links for a full list of benefits.

Whether you're an individual or a business or both, if you expect any financial hardship from COVID-19, we strongly encourage you to take action now.  It's easier to get concessions from your financial institution, landlord, utility company and suppliers if you engage with them early in the process.

If you're not sure how bad it will get, a good place to start is by preparing a detailed analysis of your current cost structure along with a cash flow forecast that incorporates sensitivity analysis. That may sound like it only applies to businesses, but a simplified version can help individuals too.

If you have any questions or need help with anything, please contact us. That's what we're here for!

Support for Individuals

Federal
  • NEW - Personalized list of support - Answer some questions and get a list of benefits and support tailored to you.  Check back from time to time as more benefits are added.
  • Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) ($2,000 a month for up to 4 months) - Applications are now live.  The CRA has set-up specific dates for you to apply based on your birth month.  The feedback has been that applying is quick and easy.  On Apr 15, it was announced that CERB would be expanded to include workers earning less than $1,000 per month.  See "Get started" at the bottom of this page to answer a few questions and get a link to how to apply.  After applying, benefits should arrive in 3-5 days by direct deposit or in 10 days by cheque through the mail.  If you plan to apply for this benefit, the government has recommended you sign up for My Account through CRA and direct deposit to receive the benefit as soon as possible.  The CERB is available to owners that have paid themselves with dividends. See these FAQs for more details.
  • NEW - Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB) ($1,250 for each 4-week period or $2,000 if you have dependants or a disability) - Support for students that do not qualify for CERB or EI.  Follow the link to see if you are eligible, how much you can get and how to apply.  Applications begin on Friday, May 15.  The program is set to run from May to August 2020.
  • NEW - One-time tax-free payment of $300 for seniors eligible for the Old Age Security (OAS) pension and an additional $200 for seniors eligible for the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS); no need to apply
  • Increased Canada Child Benefit "CCB" (extra $300 per child = approx. $550 for average family in May) - Automatic; no need to apply if you already receive the CCB
  • Increased GST credit (average of approx. $400 for single individuals and $600 for couples; one-time special payment starting April 9) - Automatic; no need to apply
  • A reminder to file your 2019 personal tax return if you are expecting a refund or expect to qualify for the CCB or GST credit... don't wait until June 1 to file!

Alberta
Defer payments such as:
  • Utilities - Call your utility provider
  • Canada Student Loans and Alberta Student Loans - Six months beginning March 30, no need to apply
  • Loans and mortgages - Call your financial institution

Support for Businesses

Federal
  • Personalized list of support - Fill in a story about your business for a personalized list of support. You can save the results, return at any time and sign up for e-mail updates as new announcements are made.
  • Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) - Effective Mar 15/20, any business or non-profit organization that experienced a decrease in revenue of at least 30% (15% for March) will qualify for a wage subsidy of 75% of the first $58,700 of each employee's annual salary, which is a maximum of $847 per week per employee.  There are two choices most businesses can make and they must apply the same method each month: 1) calculate the decrease in revenue by comparing to the same month last year (e.g. March 2020 vs. March 2019) or to an average of January and February 2020 and 2) account for revenue on a cash or accrual basis.  Any business that qualifies in one period will automatically qualify in the next period of the program.  Applications can be made through CRA's My Business Account or Represent a Client.  CRA has launched an online calculator that you can use to preview your wage subsidy.  Note that this is separate from determining if you are eligible for CEWSNEW -  The CEWS has been extended to August 29, 2020.  The government plans to make adjustments to the program including the required decrease in revenue.  Details to follow.  CRA has made a list of FAQs available here.  Businesses that don't qualify for the 75% subsidy will still have access to the Temporary Wage Subsidy (next bullet).
  • Temporary Wage Subsidy - Subsidy of 10% of remuneration paid between Mar 18/20 and Jun 20/20 up to $1,375 per employee and a maximum of $25,000 per employer. If you have a payroll provider, see if they have a solution. Otherwise, here is a free Excel template and instructions on YouTube from Tax Templates Inc.
  • New Loan Programs for Businesses - Additional support, largely targeted to small and medium-sized businesses.  This includes the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA), which provides interest-free loans of up to $40,000 to small businesses and not-for-profits.  To qualify, organizations need to show they paid between $20,000 and $1,500,000 in total payroll in 2019.  Repaying the loan by December 31, 2022 will result in loan forgiveness of 25% (up to $10,000).  Contact your financial institution to apply for these loans.  NEW - CEBA will soon be available to more businesses including businesses that pay dividends, sole proprietors and businesses that rely on contractors.  If payroll for 2019 was below $20,000, can qualify by having a business bank account, CRA business number, filed a 2018 or 2019 tax return and eligible non-deferrable expenses between $40,000 and $1,500,000 (e.g. rent, property taxes, utilities and insurance).  More details to follow.
  • NEW - Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) - At a very high level, this program is run by Western Economic Diversification Canada and the smaller loans are like CEBA for those that did not qualify for CEBA (e.g. businesses that do not have revenue yet).  Loans of up to $40,000 with loan forgiveness of 25% if repaid by December 31, 2022.  There are also interest-free loans of over $40,000 available with no scheduled repayments until after December 31, 2022, but 100% of the loan must be repaid.  Click the link and read through the eligibility criteria if you need funds, but have been unsuccessful thus far.
  • Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) - The government announced some details for rent relief.  The program will lower rent by 75% for businesses that have rent less than $50,000 per month and have either temporarily ceased operations or experienced at least a 70% decrease in revenue.  NEW - Applications begin on May 25 to lower rent for April, May and June.  
  • GST/HST deferral - Certain payments have been deferred until June 30. Click on the link to read the details as the specifics vary based on your reporting period.
  • Work-Sharing program - An EI program that helps to avoid layoffs; must be submitted 30 days before the requested start
  • Note that only income tax and GST/HST payments are deferred. Businesses must still make their scheduled payroll remittances.

Alberta
  • WCB premium payment deferral (pdf) - 2020 premiums deferred to 2021 at which time small and medium-sized private employers will have 50% of their 2020 premiums waived. If you have already made payments towards 2020 premiums, they will be refunded automatically.
  • Education property tax deferral - The increase from Budget 2020 was reversed and collection will be deferred for 6 months. Commercial landlords have been encouraged to pass savings on to tenants.
  • If you have tough decisions surrounding employees, speak to your employment lawyer first. There are new rules around job-protected leave related to COVID-19 as well as possible implications around restricting travel, notification of possible exposure, privacy rights, occupational health and safety, human rights and so on.

Defer payments such as:
  • Utilities - Call your utility provider
  • Loans and lines of credit (or access additional working capital) - Call your financial institution

Contact Us

  •   102 - 7777 10 Street NE
  •   Calgary, AB T2E 8X2



Send Us a Message


Contact Us

  •   102 - 7777 10 Street NE
  •   Calgary, AB T2E 8X2
  •   M - F  9:00am - 5:00pm

Send Us a Message