OTTAWA — On November 19, Bill C-9, An Act to Amend the Income Tax Act (Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy and Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy) received Royal Assent, implementing new, targeted support to help hard-hit businesses.
Measures adopted as part of the bill include the new Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS), which is intended to provide direct and easy-to-access rent and mortgage-interest support to tenants and property owners until June 2021 for qualifying organizations affected by COVID-19.
The new rent subsidy will support businesses, charities and non-profits that have suffered a revenue drop by providing support up to a maximum of 65 per cent of eligible expenses until Dec. 19, 2020. Claims can be made retroactively to Sept. 27, 2020. The maximum base-rate subsidy will be available to those with a revenue drop of 70 per cent or more and will then decline based on a sliding scale.
The measures also include the new Lockdown Support, which will provide an additional 25 per cent through CERS for qualifying organizations that are subject to a lockdown and must shut their doors or significantly restrict their activities under a public-health order issued under the laws of Canada, a province or territory (including orders made by a municipality or regional health authority under one of those laws). Combined, this will provide hard-hit businesses subject to a lockdown with rent support of up to 90 per cent.
Additionally, the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) has been extended until June 2021. The wage subsidy will remain at the current rate of up to 65 per cent of eligible wages until December 19, 2020.
Applications for CERS are available through the Canada Revenue Agency application portal at canada.ca.