Finance Minister, Bill Morneau, announced today (April 1st, 2020) that the 75 % wage subsidy would be available within 3-6 weeks time.
What we know so far:
- The subsidy is available to all businesses, charities and non-profit organizations as long as they can prove that they have lost 30 % of their revenue due to COVID-19.
- The revenue reduction of 30% is being measured on a monthly comparative basis. As an example, businesses that have been in operation for longer than a year will need to provide proof of the decline by providing their financial information from March 2019 compared to March 2020.
- Morneau did address a question from the press regarding how this would apply to start-ups and other business scenarios where this is not a good metric or measure for qualification. The comment from Morneau was that there would be other considerations for these scenarios and those are currently being developed.
- The subsidy will cover 75 per cent for the first $58,700 of salary, equalling about $847 per week per employee, and will be retroactive to March 15, 2020.
- The subsidy is available for 3 months, and companies will have to reapply every month.
- Morneau said there will be “severe” consequences for anyone who tries to take advantage of the system.
- The Government will administer the program through CRA (Canadian Revenue Agency).
- Businesses will be able to apply through a CRA portal online in the next 3-6 weeks.
- The CRA will be refunding businesses that submit claims, and payments are expected to be available to businesses in 6 weeks.
- Companies that are signed up for CRA direct deposit will receive funds faster. Morneau encouraged all businesses who are not currently on direct deposit with CRA to get themselves set up while the program is under development.
- Morneau urged businesses to rehire workers and to top up the extra 25 percent not being provided by the wage subsidy.