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Updates on COVID Benefits for Businesses

Are you a small-mid sized business owner or leader? Have you been paying out of pocket for sick days related to COVID-19? Did you know that the Government of Canada is still offering immediate benefits to support Canadians and businesses facing hardship due to COVID-19?


Let’s review the updated Government of Canada’s COVID-19 benefits and services offered to individuals and businesses below.


Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)

  • If you haven’t already heard, the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) has ended, with the final pay period being August 30 – September 26th, 2020.

  • The CRA is continuing to accept and process retroactive applications online, so it’s not too late to still submit your log!

  • If you continue to need income support, find out if you are eligible to transition for Employment Insurance (EI) or other recovery benefits (discussed below).

Employment Insurance (EI)

  • As of September 27, 2020, the government has made some temporary changes to the EI program to help individuals have access to these benefits. These changes will be in effect for 1 year. Go to www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits for more information.


If you are not eligible for EI benefits, you may be eligible for other benefits, including:


Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB)

  • Open for application on October 12th, 2020 and replaces CERB.

  • Provides income support to employed and self-employed individuals who are directly affected by COVID-19.

  • Benefit length is for a 2-week period. Individuals may re-apply for the CRB benefit up to a total of 13 eligibility periods (26 weeks) between September 27, 2020 and September 25, 2021.

Canada Recovery Sickness Benefits and Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB)

  • Provides income support to employed and self-employed individuals who are unable to work because they must care for their child under 12 years old or a family member who needs supervised care.

  • This applies if their school is closed or unavailable to them due to COVID-19, or because they are sick, self-isolating, or at risk of serious health complications due to COVID-19.

  • Benefit length is for a 1-week period. Individuals may re-apply for the CRCB benefit up to a total for 26 weeks between September 27, 2020 and September 25, 2021.

Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB)

  • Provides income support to employed and self-employed individuals who are unable to work because they are sick or need to self-isolate due to COVID-19.

  • Benefit length is for a 1-week period. Individuals may re-apply for the CRSP benefit up to a total of 2 weeks between September 27th, 2020 and September 25th, 2021.

Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS)

  • Provides income support to Canadian employers who have seen a drop in revenue due to COVID-19.

  • The subsidy can cover part of your employee wages, retroactive to March 15, 2020.

  • This benefit can help your business avoid layoffs, rehiring employees and creating new jobs.

  • Visit www.Canada.ca to calculate your subsidy amount online.


Additional Support for Businesses


Work Sharing Program

  • Provides income support to employees eligible for EI who agree to reduce their normal working hours because of developments beyond the control of their employers.

  • The program duration has been extended from 30 weeks to 76 weeks for employers affected by COVID-19.

Lay-Off Period Extension

  • The Government of Canada has extended the time period for temporary layoffs by up to six months to allow employers more time to recall laid-off employees.

Local, Provincial and Federal Grants

  • There are several grants available for small and medium sized businesses to leverage in support of improving their operations, continuing research and development projects and strengthening their ability to create business resilience.


For more information regarding Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response plan, please visit www.canada.ca.


If you would like to learn more about the programs you can leverage as a leader or business owner in recovering, rebuilding, or building resiliency, please contact us at info@COVID-19 or 403-478-7710.


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