COVID Benefit Planning

While businesses negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic continue to find their “new normal” as they seek to return to pre-COVID earnings, the federal government has expanded several subsidy programs, as well as launched a new one. The government has extended the eligibility timeframe for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS), the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS), and Lockdown Support programs until October 23, 2021. Additionally, qualifying employers and organizations may receive an increase in the rate of support between August 29 and September 25, 2021.

Sharlane Bailey, owner of Canwest Accounting, encourages those applying for these programs to look carefully at the eligibility criteria, as Canada Revenue Services (CRA) appears to be closely auditing program participants.

“If, for example, a company has not filed their corporate taxes in a few years, they are not considered eligible for these subsidy programs and may have to return the funds they received,” Sharlane says. “This can put affected businesses in a difficult position since their earnings are down due to the pandemic.”

Also extended until October 23 are the Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB), the Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB), and the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB). The maximum number of weeks someone can collect CRB has increased to 54 weeks, paying $300 per week. This allows those on Employment Insurance (EI) who have been on claim for the maximum period of 50 weeks to apply for the four additional weeks of the CRB, assuming they meet the program qualifications.

A new program introduced earlier this year is the Canada Recovery Hiring Program (CRHP), which aims to assist businesses badly affected by the pandemic to hire employees as they work toward recovery and growth. The program offers a subsidy of up to 50% of qualifying wages or salaries. It is available now until November 20, 2021. However, it’s a good idea to look into whether your business would benefit most from this program or CEWS. Review this comparison of the CRHP and the CEWS. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact Canwest Accounting for further information and a recommendation for which program is best for your business.

Call or email us to have the exceptional team at Canwest Accounting save you time and money by doing your bookkeeping, tax planning for your business, payroll, and tax filings. Our offices in Victoria and Langford are still closed to the public to keep everyone safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, but we have a pickup and drop off service that is very convenient.


The suggestions and advice provided by Canwest Accounting should not be relied upon in place of professional advice. You are responsible for checking the accuracy of relevant facts and opinions provided.

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