New Recovery Programs announced (THRP) and (HHBRP)
In December 2021 the Federal Government announced that the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) and the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS) will be replaced with two new subsidy programs to assist businesses that have been severely impacted by COVID-19. The programs are effective as of October 24, 2021.
Those two new programs are the Tourism and Hospitality Recovery Program (THRP) and the Hardest-Hit Business Recovery Program (HHBRP).
Businesses eligible for the CEWS or CERS can still apply for those programs up to period 22, (period ended October 23, 2021). Claims can be made within 180 days after the claim period has ended.
Tourism and Hospitality Recovery Program (THRP)
The THRP is available for periods October 24, 2021 to May 7, 2022 and applies to wages and rent. The program follows the original general eligibility criteria established for the CEWS and CERS programs, with some additional conditions for eligibility as follows:
- More than 50% of the claimant’s revenue must be from tourism & hospitality, arts, entertainment, or sports sectors; and
- There is a 12-month average revenue decrease from March 2020 to February 2021 of at least 40%; and
- A revenue decrease in the claim period being applied for of at least 40%.
- Regardless of the business sector, the business was impacted by a qualifying public health lockdown restriction and the revenue decrease for the claim period is at least 40%. This was introduced as the Local Lockdown Program.
Hardest-Hit Business Recovery Program (HHBRP)
The HHBRP is also available for periods October 24, 2021 to May 7, 2022 and applies to wages and rent. The program follows the original general eligibility criteria established for the CEWS and CERS programs, with some additional conditions for eligibility as follows:
- Eligible claimants are required to have a 12-month average revenue drop from March 2020 to February 2021 of at least 50%; and
- A revenue decrease in the claim period being applied for of at least 50%.
Canada Recovery Hiring Program (CRHP) Extension
The Canada Recovery Hiring Program (CRHP) was announced to coincide with the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) for periods 17-21 (June 6, 2021 – October 23, 2021). An extension to the CRHP has since been announced and will be available to businesses until May 7, 2022. The CRHP is intended to assist businesses with rehiring existing employees and the hiring of new employees. It is not an exact replacement of CEWS but allows for some wage recovery if revenue has dropped, and total remuneration is higher than in the base period of March 14 – April 10, 2021.
Proposed changes to expand access to THRP and HHBRP Local Lockdown Program
The Local Lockdown Program was introduced in October 2021 and is available for claim periods from October 24, 2021 to May 7, 2022. This program expanded the ability for business and other organizations to be eligible for wage and rent support through the THRP without the requirement of being in the tourism, hospitality, arts, entertainment, or recreation sectors if they were affected by a qualifying public health restriction.
As announced on December 22, 2021, the government has proposed regulatory changes to temporarily expand eligibility for wage and rent support for businesses and other organizations under the Local Lockdown Program. These changes apply to claim periods 24 and 25 (December 19, 2021 to February 12, 2022) and allow those entities to qualify with a revised revenue decline of 25% (instead of 40%) if they are subject to capacity limiting public health restrictions of 50% or more.
HASCAP and CEBA Loan Extensions
The Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program (HASCAP) loan program has been extended to March 31, 2022.
As announced on December 14, 2021 by the Federal Government, repayment of the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) loan to meet debt forgiveness eligibility will be extended past the deadline of December 31, 2022 to December 31, 2023, for all eligible borrowers in good standing.
CRA Subsidy Spreadsheet Error
Clients that have completed their application for period 22 (October 24 to November 20, 2021) should note that CRA has issued a bulletin that there was an error in the Excel spreadsheet used for the wage and hiring program subsidy calculation version 2021-1 that was available between December 21, 2021 and December 24, 2021. Further information on the error and how to correct your application if there has been an error is available at: https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/wage-rent-subsidies/tourism-hospitality-recovery-program.html
Clients are also reminded of upcoming application deadlines for January 27, 2022 for CEWS and CERS for Period 18 (July 4 to July 31, 2021).
More information on the announcements can be found at:
Please note that due to the rate at which the current COVID-19 situation is changing, and the response by government to feedback on its initiatives, the information contained in this update is accurate as of the release date indicated above.