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Canada Emergency Business Account will expand and applications for rent assistance will open May 25


May 21, 2020
By Canadian Pizza

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PHOTO: © alexlmx / Adobe Stock

Ottawa – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made two key announcements this week: the eligibility criteria for the Canada Emergency Business Account will expand to include many owner-operated small businesses, and the application documents and updated criteria for Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance for small businesses are now available, with the program slated to open for applications beginning on May 25.

CEBA to include more businesses

The extension of the CEBA is intended to help small businesses protect the jobs that Canadians rely on, the Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement. The changes will allow more Canadian small businesses to get interest-free loans that will help cover operating costs during a period when revenues have been reduced, due to the pandemic.

The program will now be available to a greater number of businesses that are sole proprietors receiving income directly from their businesses, businesses that rely on contractors, and family-owned corporations that pay employees through dividends rather than payroll.

To qualify under the expanded eligibility criteria, applicants with payroll lower than $20,000 would need:

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  • A business operating account at a participating financial institution.
  • A Canada Revenue Agency business number, and to have filed a 2018 or 2019 tax return.
  • Eligible non-deferrable expenses between $40,000 and $1.5 million. Eligible non-deferrable expenses could include costs such as rent, property taxes, utilities and insurance.

Expenses will be subject to verification and audit by the federal government. Funding will be delivered in partnership with financial institutions. More details, including the launch date for applications under the new criteria, will follow in the days to come.

The Prime Minister said the government will work on potential solutions to help business owners and entrepreneurs who operate through their personal bank account, as opposed to a business account, or have yet to file a tax return, such as newly created businesses.

Access rent assistance application documents now, apply beginning on May 25

The government also announced applications for the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) will be accepted through the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation website beginning on May 25. The application documents can be accessed now.

The government reached an agreement in principle last month with all provinces and territories to implement CECRA, a program that will provide forgivable loans to eligible commercial property owners, who in turn will give a rent reduction of at least 75 per cent for April and May (retroactive), and June, to their small business tenants.