Temporary Eligibility Expansion for Federal COVID-19 Support Benefits

Following the early Fall phase-outs of programs like the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) and Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS), the Federal Government announced new programs designed to offer similar wage and rent support exclusively to businesses and industries that continue to be dramatically impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. With rising domestic and international COVID case counts, the government has widened eligibility for these new programs, allowing more businesses and individuals to receive support. These changes apply to the Local Lockdown Program and the Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit and are in effect for qualifying Periods 24 and 25 (December 19, 2021, to February 12, 2022).

Local Lockdown Program

The Local Lockdown Program (LLP) is an avenue for businesses, charities and non-profits that are subject to a qualifying public health restriction to be eligible for wage and rent support through the Tourism and Hospitality Recovery Program (THRP), even if they are not in the tourism or hospitality industries.

The THRP is an all-in-one wage and rent subsidy for eligible businesses with an average monthly revenue reduction of at least 40% over the first 12 months of the CEWs and a current-month revenue decrease of at least 40%.

With the announcement of the new LLP, any business, regardless of industry, is eligible for the THRP wage and rent subsidy provided the following criteria are satisfied:

  • subject to a capacity restriction of at least 50%; and,
  • activities restricted by public health orders accounted for at least 50% of the business’ revenues,

The minimum revenue decline threshold has also been decreased from 40% to 25% to allow businesses greater access to the LLP. The subsidy amount corresponds directly with the business’ revenue decline between 25% and 75%. Additionally, only the current-month revenue loss is required, not the additional historical 12-month revenue decline.

Example: A retail store has its store capacity limited to 50%.  As a result, the store experiences a 45% current-month revenue decline. Through the LLP, the store would receive a 45% subsidy on eligible wage and rent expenses.

Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit

The Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit (CWLB) is designed to provide income support to workers whose employment is interrupted by specific government imposed public health lockdowns.

The capacity based eligibility for the LLP also applies to the CWLB such that eligible workers will receive $300 a week (less a 10% withholding tax) if:

  • A public health lockdown limits the workers’ workplace capacity to at least 50% for at least seven consecutive days (reduced from 14);
  • The worker attests that they have lost 50% or more of their income as a result of the lockdown during the applicable period; and,
  • The worker did not receive paid benefits through EI during the same period

Bateman MacKay Can Help

These changes make government support available to many more businesses and individuals. If you need assistance applying for support for your business through the LLP, please reach out to a Bateman MacKay Business Advisor.

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