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Government Incentives - CEWS, CERS, CEBA - - Better Business Bureau webinar

Improve Cash Flow & Access New COVID and BIPOC Funds
20 min Power Chat with BBB


  • Need Cash Flow Generation Ideas?
  • Are you a small business?
    Wondering what you can qualify for now under changes to CEWS, CERS & CEBA funding?
  • Wondering which funding options will benefit you the most?
  • Need a summary of New CERP changes?
  • Do you have unpaid receivables or idle inventory?
  • Are you a Black Entrepreneur?
  • Want to know about new funding options?

Here are the summarized highlights:

Download the slide deck

Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS)

Announced Changes

  • The subsidy is extended to June 2021
  • The deadline to apply is January 31, 2021 or 180 days after the end of the claim period, whichever comes later
  • The subsidy per employee is based on Revenue Drop, no longer are businesses required to meet 30% minimum
  • Employment of 14 days within subsidy period is lifted
  • Period 8-13: Top-up rate based on 1-month, or 3-month
  • Base revenue drop comparison month for period 11, is the same as Period 10

Subsidy Rates

  • Safe Harbour of 75% subsidy through period 6
  • Commencing Period 5 (July 5-Aug 1), top-up rates were introduced to earn up to 85%, where revenue drop > 50%
  • For Periods 8-10, rate is capped at 65%
    • Revenue drop of 70% or more: 65%
    • Revenue drop of 50%-70%: 40%-65%
    • Revenue drop of 1%-50%: 0.8%-40%

Subsidy Rates

  • Safe Harbour of 75% subsidy through period 6
  • Commencing Period 5 (July 5-Aug 1), top-up rates were introduced to earn up to 85%, where revenue drop > 50%
  • For Periods 8-10, rate is capped at 65%
    • Revenue drop of 70% or more: 65%
    • Revenue drop of 50%-70%: 40%-65%
    • Revenue drop of 1%-50%: 0.8%-40%

How to Apply

  1. Ensure you have access to CRA My Business Account, or Represent a
    Client, or Web Forms Application
  2. Ensure Direct Deposit is set-up (CRA or Bank)
  3. Select period and correct CEWS Spreadsheet
  4.  Determine best base year comparison:
    • Same month from 2019, or Jan-Feb 2020 Avg
    • 3-month Top-up base, or 1-Month

Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS)

Where eligible entities have experienced a revenue drop due to COVID-19, a subsidy rate of up to 65% of commercial rent may be received.
With a top-up of 25% for entities forced to close due to lock-down. Subsidy to run through June 2021.


Canadian businesses, non-profit organizations, or charities who had:

  • A CRA # on September 27 or
  • A Payroll Account on March 15
  • Experienced any drop in revenue
  • Have eligible expenses up to $75,000 per business location, per period ($300,000 for affiliated locations)
    • Rent to 3rd parties
    • For property owned: property tax, insurance & mortgage interest


A CERS application must be filed no later than 180 days after the end of a claim period.

  • Eligible expenses must be for the claim period
  • For expenses under a written agreement in place before October 9, 2020
  • Claim Periods:
    • September 27 –October 24
    • Current: Dec 20 – Jan 16


Apply through My Business Account or Represent a Client


  • Apply for CERS Number within your CRA online Account
  • Ensure Direct Deposit is setup
  • Ensure expenses are paid or will be paid within 60 days of receipt of subsidy
  • Application has questions for rent paid, as well as sections for property owned (not all sections will apply)

Watch out for Non-arm’s Length and Related Party Transactions.

Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA)

CEBA provides interest-free, partially forgivable ($10,000 forgiven if remaining loan
repaid by Dec 31, 2022), loans of up to $40,000, to small businesses and not-for-profits,
that have experienced diminished revenues due to COVID-19 but face ongoing nondeferrable costs (agreements in place before March 1, 2020), such as rent, utilities,
insurance, taxes and wages.

  • CEBA expanded for an additional $20,000 interest–free loan, with 50% forgiven (up to
    $60,000 interest free and $20,000 forgiven)

Application Requirements

  • Applicants now have until March 31, 2021 to apply (apply online with Bank)
  • 2019 payroll between $20,000 and $1,500,000, or
  • Non-deferrable Expenses of $40,000 -$1,500,000
    • Rent, Property Tax, Utilities, Insurance (support to be provided with application)
    • Offset expense by other COVID-19 stimulus received. Is CEBA more beneficial?
    • Filed a 2019, or 2018 tax return
    • Forgiven portion should be included in 2020 tax return

Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB)

Support for Self-Employed Individuals:
The CRB gives support to employed and self-employed individuals who are directly affected by COVID-19
and are not entitled to Employment Insurance (EI) benefits. The CRB is administered by the CRA.
If you are eligible for the CRB, you can receive $1,000 ($900 after taxes withheld) for a 2-week period.


If your situation continues past 2 weeks, you will need to apply again. You may apply up to a total of 13 eligibility periods (26 weeks) between September 27, 2020 and September 25, 2021.




  • During claim period you were not employed, or self-employed, or weekly income dropped 50% from
    the same period in 2019
  • You did not apply for, or receive, EI or other Canada Recovery benefits (Sickness, Cargiving)
  • You were not eligible for EI
  • You reside in Canada (Travelling internationally may make you ineligible for CRB)
  • You have a social insurance number, are at least 15 and earned at least $5000 in 2019 or 2020
  • You did not quit your job voluntarily on or after September 27, unless it was reasonable to do so
  • You are seeking working either as employee or self-employed and can earn up to $38,000 while on CRB

How to Apply:


  • Ensure you have access to My Account with the CRA and setup direct deposit
  • Apply on the first Monday after the 2-week period you are applying for has ended
  • Apply through My Account, or by calling 1-800-959-2019, or 1-800-959-2041
  • Period 5 is the earliest period open for application (November 22 to December 5)

Black Entrepreneurship Program (BEP)

National Ecosystem Fund: The Ecosystem Fund will award funding to regional and national not-for-profit
Black-led organizations across Canada.


  • It will allow not-for-profit Black-led organizations to develop new services or expand those they
    already offer such as mentorship, networking, financial planning, and business training for Black
  • Program is currently closed (Filing Deadline December 21, 2020)
  • New Application periods may open
  • http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/150.nsf/eng/00003.html

BEP Loan Fund: Will provide for-profit owners and entrepreneurs with loans between $25,000 and $250,000

  • This program has not opened at this time, more details to come.

Tax Planning

Cash-Flow Generators

  • Cash-Flow Generators
  • Increase Tax Loss for carryback and refund of PY Tax
    • Allowance for specified uncollectible receivables
    • Inventory with declined value, write-down to FMV
  • Base 2021 Tax instalments on 2020 profitability
  • File tax return ASAP for refundable tax credits (SR&ED, Co-op students)
  • Consider stock-based compensation to attract talent without salary

Employees Working From Home: $400 or T2200

  • For employees that had to work from home at least 50% of the time for 4
    consecutive weeks, they can claim a deduction on their tax return for $2
    for each day that hey worked from home during that period, and any other
    day they worked from home in 2020, up to $400 with no T2200
  • If home office expenses are greater than $400, a T2200 (new simplified
    form) will be required to be signed by employer
  • Form T777 needs to be completed in both situations

Loss Utilization (multiple entities)

  • Consider reasonable management fees
  • Opportunity to transfer assets and sell or lease back.
  • Is there an opportunity to amalgamate
  • Loss utilization plan: using a daylight bank loan to subscribe for preferred
    shares. Interest income to LossCo, corresponding dividend back to
    ProfitCo. Transfers loss to profitable entity.

CRA will allow employees working from home in 2020, due to Covid-19, to deduct up to $400 under a simplified home office expense deduction on their 2020 tax return. This replaces the regular T2200 process. More details to come.

Nicholas Coburn

Nicolas Coburn, CPA, CA, has 15+ years of experience spread across Government Audit, Industry Financial & Tax Reporting, and Big 4 Canadian Accounting Firms.

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