COVID-19: Canadian federal economic support for businesses


On July 27, Bill C-20, An Act Respecting Further COVID measures, received Royal Assent. The legislation and provides changes to the CEWS Program. Read below for further details.

Eligible employers include:

  • individuals
  • taxable corporations
  • partnerships consisting of eligible employers, non‑profit organizations and registered charities.

The employer must also:

  • File an application with Minister of National Revenue in respect of a qualifying period before October 2020;
  • Have an individual who has principal responsibility for the financial activities of the employer attest that the application is complete and accurate in all material respects (e.g., a CFO);
  • Have had the requisite reduction in revenue, from arm’s length sources, in each qualifying period; and
  • Have a business number on March 15, 2020 that is registered with the Minister to remit source withholdings.

On May 15, 2020, the Minister of Finance announced the approval of regulations that to extend eligibility for the CEWS to the following groups:

  • Partnerships that are up to 50-per-cent owned by non-eligible members;
  • Indigenous government-owned corporations that are carrying on a business, as well as partnerships where the partners are Indigenous governments and eligible employers;
  • Registered Canadian Amateur Athletic Associations;
  • Registered Journalism Organizations; and
  • Non-public colleges and schools, including institutions that offer specialized services, such as arts schools, driving schools, language schools or flight schools.

The changes to eligibility are retroactive to April 11, 2020, meaning that they apply to the first qualifying period starting March 15, 2020.

Qualifying Periods and Requisite Revenue Reduction for each period are as follows:

Period One

  • March 15 – April 11 (15% required reduction in revenue)

Period Two

  • April 12 – May 9 (30% required reduction in revenue)

Period Three

  • May 10 – June 6 (30% required reduction in revenue)

Period Four

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