Highlights from the Fall Economic Statement

November 01, 2020

On November 30,2020, the Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, released Supporting Canadians and Fighting COVID-19: Fall Economic Statement 2020.

Here are some key Highlights that businesses should know.

What Has been achieved

  • The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy have helped protect over 3.9 million jobs
  • The Canada Emergency Business Account has helped over 790,000 small businesses and not-for-profits

New Support and Extensions

  • The government is proposing to increase the maximum wage subsidy rate to 75 per cent for the period beginning December 20, 2020 and to extend this rate until March 13, 2021. (https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/subsidy/emergency-wage-subsidy/cews-how-apply.html)
  • To provide greater certainty to businesses and other organizations, the government is proposing to extend the current subsidy rates of the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy for an additional three periods. This means a base subsidy rate of up to 65 per cent will be available on eligible expenses until March 13, 2021. With the 25 per cent Lockdown Support also being extended, businesses may be eligible for a subsidy of up to 90 per cent of their eligible expenses. (https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/subsidy/emergency-rent-subsidy/cers-how-apply.html)
  • The CEBA program will soon be expanded, allowing qualifying businesses to access an additional interest-free $20,000 loan, in situations where there is need. Half of this additional amount, up to $10,000, would be forgivable if the loan is repaid by December 31, 2022. The deadline to apply for a CEBA loan has been extended to March 31, 2021. (https://ceba-cuec.ca/)
  • The government will work with financial institutions in the near term to create the Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program (HASCAP) – a new program for the hardest hit businesses, including those in sectors like tourism and hospitality, hotels, arts and entertainment. This stream would offer 100 per cent government-guaranteed financing for heavily impacted businesses, and provide low-interest loans of up to $1 million over extended terms, up to ten years. Rates will be lower than those offered in Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) and beneath typical market rates for hard hit sectors.
  • Recognizing the importance of the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund in supporting local tourism businesses, the government is proposing a top-up of up to $500 million, on a cash basis, to Regional Development Agencies and the Community Futures Network of Canada, bringing total funding to over $2.0 billion in this fund. The government will earmark a minimum of 25 per cent of all the Fund’s resources to support local tourism businesses, representing $500 million in program support through June 2021. This is in addition to the new Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program.

More information is available here: https://www.budget.gc.ca/fes-eea/2020/home-accueil-en.html.