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Webinar offers info about applying for Canada Recovery Hiring Program


Restaurants Canada gathered a team of experts from the Canada Revenue Agency to present details of the new Canada Recovery Hiring Program and the ongoing Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy program for a webinar called “Canada Recovery Hiring Program (CRHP) Q&A Session.”

The hour-long webinar, held July 12 at 1 p.m. EST, is one of many webinars and events presented by Restaurants Canada to help owner-operators navigate financial aid programs put in place during the pandemic.

Here are a few highlights from the webinar, which included a walk-through demonstration of the CRA’s calculator.

The CRHP and CEWS both support employees. The main difference is that CEWS is designed to keep existing employees on the payroll and CRHP is designed to encourage businesses to hire and rehire employees.

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CRHP supports restaurants hiring employees going forward, whether by bringing on new staff, increasing shifts or increasing overall pay.

The base period against which the CRHP subsidy is calculated is March 14, 2021, to April 10, 2021.

The subsidy rate is 50 per cent for claim period 17 (June 6 to July 3, 2021) and will gradually decrease to 20 per cent by claim period 22 (October 24 to November 20, 2021).

CRHP and CEWS will overlap period from June to September during which you can apply to whichever of the two programs will provide the greater amount of support.

CEWS and lockdown support remains in place until Sept. 25, 2021.

If you’re not eligible for CEWS you won’t be eligible for CRHP, but there are some extra requirements for the CRHP.

Consult the web page to make sure you include everything you need in the application. There is also a hotline you can call to get help with your application.

Start by going through the main page to find out if you’re eligible, etc., and it includes a comparison of the two programs. There is also an overview of the fixed rates for different periods and how they taper off.

Operators are encouraged to use the CRA’s calculator and spreadsheet to calculate their eligibility and amounts. These are used to calculate both CEWS and CRHP amounts. The calculator is user-friendly. Both calculator and spreadsheet do the same calculations and will arrive at the same results if the same information is entered. However, the spreadsheet is designed to help large businesses input large numbers of employees. After those calculations are completed, they should save and print off the calculator results or spreadsheet.

The calculator is not the same as the actual application. When you finish with the calculator/spreadsheet, make sure you save and/or the information. Then plug those figures into the online application and submit it to the CRA. Hang on to your calculator report or spreadsheet for possible future applications.

You can’t put some employees on one and some on another: you need to apply for one program as a whole as a business.

Online calculator is user-friendly, but spreadsheets very helpful if you have a lot of employees.

Minimum 0 in period 17 and 10 per cent in period 22. If you had a drop of 50 per cent in period 17, you will qualify.

Calculations for CEWS and CRHP are basically the same. The main difference is that for the CRHP you must not include employees on leave with pay (furloughed).

The two key figures you’ll need:
• Active eligible employees
• CHRP base pay remuneration

There are different rules for employees that are not at arm’s length (for example, a family member). In that case the employee’s (family member’s) pay would be capped at the pre-pandemic rate and not eligible for the subsidies.

The calculator/spreadsheet will come up with tentative amount. You should apply for the highest amount.

An alert will advise you that you should not apply for CEWS because the amount is lower than for the CRHP. You cannot apply for both programs. You can, however, go back and forth in the calculator to see which one comes out ahead.

If you have a lot of new hires, CRHP is likely going to be your higher result. If you’ve suffered a heavy decrease in revenue, the CEWS may end up being your best bet. But the calculator takes the guesswork out of it.

Generally speaking, if you opened a business during the pandemic, you aren’t eligible. However, it’s best to contact the CRA to discuss your situation because there are a few, limited cases in which a new business would be eligible.

Can this overlap with the Canada Job Grant? You should talk to program administrators at CRA to get specific advice.

Claims can still be adjusted if necessary within 180 days of the end of the claims period.

Companies have to calculate each employee’s amount individually.

If you were not open during the baseline remuneration period, generally speaking, you will likely benefit more from the subsidy.

Are seasonal businesses eligible? It depends on when they were operating and other factors. They are not specifically excluded.

Turnaround time is three to five business days if all facts are at hand.

As circumstances change, the advice given may become out of date. Operators should check the CRA website for up-to-date information before applying for a subsidy.

For more information, visit the CRA’s calculator page and frequently asked questions. For specific questions, contact the CRA by email or phone hotline.

Visit restaurantscanada.org to access a wealth of business tools and information about recovery aid.