Among the turmoil and chaos present in the business world during the pandemic, employees of impacted businesses are also suffering. Many of those who were working in heavily affected industries such as retail, food and transport have lost their jobs due to COVID. As small business owners, we provide a service to the populace but we also provide jobs and a livelihood to our employees.
In response to this, the Government released the CEWS program which supports employers who have been significantly impacted by the pandemic. This program also includes refunds for certain employer contributions to Employment Insurance and the Canada Pension plan for employees who are on leave with pay.
A quick overview of the details around CEWS:
- CEWS covers 75% of an employee’s wages up to $847 per week.
- For employees who are on leave with pay, eligible business owners can receive a 100% refund for certain employer contributions to Employment Insurance and the Canada Pension Plan.
- CEWS is only available to employers who have suffered a drop in gross revenues of at least 15% in March, and 30% in April and May.
How does it work:
The CEWS program is one of the simpler programs available to support small business owners. It states that an eligible business will be able to receive a wage subsidy for their employees of 75% up to $847 per week from March 15 to June 6, 2020.
It is important to note that earlier programs such as the Temporary 10% Wage Subsidy program will proportionally reduce the amount available to be claimed under the CEWS in that same period. This means that there is no benefit to being in both the CEWS program and the Temporary 10% Wage Subsidy program since the employer will only be able to receive a subsidy for the combined maximum of 75% of employee wages up to $847 per week.
Who can get it?
To be eligible for the CEWS program, businesses must fit the following criteria:
- Business has suffered a drop in gross revenue of at least 15% in March.
- Business has suffered a drop in gross revenue of at least 30% in April and May.
- Business had a CRA payroll account prior to March 15, 2020.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does my business size matter when determining eligibility for CEWS?
The CEWS program makes no distinction on how big a company has to be in order to benefit from the subsidies. Both large and smaller businesses are eligible for this program, making it one of the few holistic programs that does not have restrictions on business size.
If I am a not-for-profit, am I eligible?
Yes. The CEWS program is available for registered charities and general non-profit organizations.
Public institutions such as municipalities and local governments, Crown corporations, public universities, colleges, schools and hospitals are not eligible for this program.