On Thursday, November, 19, Bill C-9, An Act to Amend the Income Tax Act (Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy and Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy) received Royal Assent, implementing new, targeted support to help hard-hit businesses. These measures will help businesses get through the second wave of the virus so they can protect jobs, continue to serve their communities, and be positioned for a strong recovery.
The measures adopted as part of Bill C-9 are:
- The new Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy, which will provide direct and easy-to-access rent and mortgage interest support to tenants and property owners until June 2021 for qualifying organizations affected by COVID-19. The new rent subsidy will support businesses, charities, and non-profits that have suffered a revenue drop by providing support up to a maximum of 65 per cent of eligible expenses until December 19, 2020. Claims can be made retroactively to September 27, 2020.
- The new Lockdown Support, which will provide an additional 25 per cent through the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy for qualifying organizations that are subject to a lockdown and must shut their doors or significantly restrict their activities under a public health order issued under the laws of Canada, a province or territory (including orders made by a municipality or regional health authority under one of those laws). Combined, this will mean that hard-hit businesses subject to a lockdown could receive rent support of up to 90 per cent.
- The extension of the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy until June 2021, which will continue to protect jobs by helping employers keep employees on the payroll and re-hire workers. The wage subsidy will remain at the current rate of up to 65 per cent of eligible wages until December 19, 2020.
The programs implemented in Bill C-9 will help to ensure that businesses, non-profits and charities get through this crisis, stay solvent, and keep workers on the payroll.
The government also reaffirms its intention to introduce legislation to formalize rent payable as an eligible expense, for purposes of the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy, as of September 27, 2020. Qualifying organizations will be able to take advantage of the rent subsidy on this basis as soon as the application portal is launched.