Applications are now open online for the Increased Employment Incentive (IEI).

The B.C. increased employment incentive is a one-time refundable tax credit for employers. The deadline to apply is December 31, 2021.

This credit sets aside up to $190 million for businesses that were able to hire new workers, hire back people who were let go or increase workers’ hours during the last three months of 2020.

The credit is available to all employers in B.C., except for public institutions and political parties. For employers required to pay the employer health tax (EHT), the credit will be first applied to any EHT outstanding and will be available as a refund to the extent the credit exceeds the amount of EHT or other debt owed to government.

Businesses that are registered and liable for EHT are encouraged to file their 2020 EHT return before applying for the IEI to ensure no delay in receiving the tax credit.

Visit the B.C. Increased Employment Incentive site for more information and to apply.

The BC Recovery Benefit is a one-time, tax-free payment up to $1,000 for eligible families including single parent families, and up to $500 for eligible individuals. 

Applications are now closed.

For the 2020 tax year, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has introduced additional reporting for the T4 slip, Statement of Remuneration Paid, for all employers. The new reporting will help CRA validate payments under the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy, the Canada Emergency Response Benefit, and the Canada Emergency Student Benefit.

Members who are responsible for payroll and have clients that do not use a payroll service can find the new T4 reporting requirements here .

The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) has now ended. The CERB closed to retroactive applications on December 2, 2020. You can no longer apply for this benefit.

The Government of Canada has announced changes to the Employment Insurance (EI) program and new recovery benefits that will better support Canadians (see section about New Benefits).

If you were receiving CERB, you may be eligible for one of the new recovery benefits retroactive to September 27, 2020 and available until September 25, 2021.

Canada Recovery Benefit

The Canada Recovery Benefit (CBR) provides income support to employed and self-employed individuals who are directly affected by COVID-19 and are not entitled to EI.

  • 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 19 eligibility periods (38 weeks) between September 27, 2020 and September 25, 2021.
  • If you earn over $38,000 net income in the calendar year, you will need to reimburse some or all of the benefit when you file your taxes.

You can learn more about the benefit and how to apply here.

Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB)

The Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) gives 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, or have an underlying health condition that puts them at greater risk of getting COVID-19.

  • If you are eligible for the CRSB, you can receive $500 ($450 after taxes withheld) for a 1 week period.
  • If your situation continues past 1 week, you will need to apply again. You may apply up to a total of 4 weeks between September 27, 2020 and September 25, 2021. You cannot apply for periods that are closed.
  • Anyone who has travelled out of the country for non-essential reasons will not be eligible.

You can learn more about the benefit and how to apply here.

Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB)

The Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB) gives 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, regular program or facility 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. The CRCB is administered by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).

  • If you are eligible for the CRCB, you can receive $500 ($450 after taxes withheld) for each one-week period.
  • If your situation continues past 1 week, you will need to apply again. You may apply up to a total of 38 weeks between September 27, 2020 and September 25, 2021.

You can learn more about the benefit and how to apply here.

Temporary changes have been made to the Employment Insurance program to help individuals access EI benefits. The changes are in effect until Sept 2021 and include but are not limited to:

  • Your waiting period may be waived
  • A minimum unemployment rate of 13.1% applies to all regions across Canada
  • Only 120 insured hours are needed to qualify
  • You will receive payments of at least $500 per week before taxes, or $300 per week before taxes for extended parental benefits

For the full list of changes please visit the Employment Insurance section of Employment and Social Development Canada.

Record of Employment

  • When completing Record of Employment forms due to COVID-19 situations, new code categories should be used. For details visit the Employment Insurance-Record of Employment section of Employment and Social Development Canada.

Supplementary Unemployment Benefits Plan (SUB)

  • The SUB is an existing plan that allows employers to “top-up” employees’ EI Benefits without penalty to the employee (i.e. additional income does not reduce EI benefits). The plan is available when employees are unemployed due to a temporary stoppage of work, training, illness, injury, or quarantine. SUB plans must be registered with Service Canada before they go into effect.

Work-sharing Program for Employees

  • This program helps employers and employees avoid layoffs when groups of employees with similar jobs all reduce their hours by the same percentage to avoid lay-offs. Employees’ reduction can be 10%-60%. Due to COVID-19, the maximum duration has been extended from 38 to 76 weeks. Employees can apply for EI benefits for workdays lost due to the work share reduction.

IMPORTANT
COVID-19 temporary layoff period

To ease financial hardship on businesses and to keep employees connected with their jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic, the BC government has extended the temporary layoff period to 16 weeks for COVID-19 related reasons. This aligns with federal benefit programs and other province’s measures. Employers are also able to request an extension through section 72 for a longer period than 16 weeks on application to the Employment Standards Branch.  

The Launch Online Grant program provides funding to BC-based businesses to create an online shop or an online booking system and/or improve their existing online operations to attract new local customers and expand to new markets. The grant will pay for up to 75% of eligible expenses, up to a maximum of $7,500 per business.

Applications for this grant are now closed.

The Circuit Breaker Business Relief Grant provides fully funded grants to hospitality and fitness businesses impacted by the March 30, 2021 Provincial Health Officer (PHO) orders.

Grants of $1,000 to $10,000 are available to hospitality and fitness businesses impacted by the March 30, 2021 PHO orders on gatherings and events and liquor and food serving premises.

Applications for this grant are now closed.

Grants of $10,000 to $30,000 are available to small and medium sized B.C. businesses impacted by COVID-19. An additional $5,000 to $15,000 grant is available to eligible tourism-related businesses. 

Applications for this grant are now closed.

Employees that worked from home in 2020 due to COVID-19 will be allowed to claim expenses up to $400, based on the amount of time working from home, without the need to track detailed expenses. Nor will they be required to have a signed Form T2200. Visit the Government of Canada’s site for details of the new temporary flat rate method for home office expenses.

Tourism and Hospitality Recovery Program 

Support is targeted to organizations in selected sectors of the tourism and hospitality industry that have been deeply affected since the outset of the pandemic and that continue to struggle.

Examples of eligible organizations in the tourism and hospitality industry include hotels, restaurants, bars, festivals, travel agencies, tour operators, convention centres, convention and trade show organizers, and others.

Additional details on the definition of qualifying businesses within this category will be forthcoming. Eligible organizations would be required to meet the following two conditions to qualify for this program:

  1. An average monthly revenue reduction of at least 40 percent over the first 13 qualifying periods for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (12-month revenue decline); and
  2. A current-month revenue loss of at least 40 percent.

The 12-month revenue decline would be calculated as the average of all revenue decline percentages for eligible organizations from March 2020 to February 2021 (claim periods 1-13, excluding claim period 10 or 11). Any periods in which an entity was not carrying on its ordinary operations for reasons other than a public health restriction (for example, because it is a seasonal business) would be excluded from this calculation. The existing rules would continue to apply for the purposes of calculating the current-month revenue decline.
 

The Hardest-Hit Business Recovery Program

Hard-hit organizations that do not qualify for the Tourism and Hospitality Recovery Program and that have been deeply affected since the outset of the pandemic will qualify for rent and wage support under the Hardest-Hit Business Recovery Program, provided they meet the following two eligibility requirements:

  1. An average monthly revenue reduction of at least 50 percent over the first 13 qualifying periods for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (12-month revenue decline); and
  2. A current-month revenue loss of at least 50 percent.

The calculation of the 12-month revenue decline would follow the same rules as under the Tourism and Hospitality Recovery Program, as detailed above. The existing rules would continue to apply for the purposes of calculating the current-month revenue decline.
 

Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (75%)

The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) helps businesses keep and return workers to their payroll.

In July 2021, due to concerns about the Delta variant, the Government of Canada extended the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy and increased the wage rates between August 29 and October 23, 2021. The program has now expired, but businesses are still able to retroactively apply for this subsidy for the eligible time period.
 

Canada Recovery Hiring Program (CHRP)

The Canada Recovery Hiring Program (CRHP) provides eligible employers with a subsidy of up to 50 percent on the incremental remuneration paid to employees between June 6, 2021 and November 20, 2021.

The CRHP and the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) support wages you pay through different phases of your economic recovery. Each claim period, eligible employers can claim either CRHP or CEWS, whichever is higher.

More information on the program and how to apply can be found here.

  • This program provides bridge financing for large commercial businesses in all sectors.
  • Conditions exist and employers will be required to make certain disclosures upon application.
    • Companies must demonstrate how they intend to preserve employment and maintain investment activities
    • Companies must commit to respect collective bargaining agreements and protect workers’ pensions
    • Program will require strict limits to dividends, share buy-backs, and executive pay
    • Companies required to commit to publish annual climate-related disclosure reports consistent with the Financial Stability Board’s Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures
    • Program not available to companies that have been convicted of tax evasion
  • Applications are now open.

The objective of the Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) is to help Canadian businesses obtain financing during the current period of significant uncertainty. The BCAP will support access to financing for Canadian businesses in all sectors and regions by providing $65 billion of additional support through the Business Development Bank of Canada and Export Development Canada.

The Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) is being expanded to mid-sized companies with larger financing needs. Support for mid-market businesses will include loans of up to $60 million per company, and guarantees of up to $80 million. Through the BCAP, Export Development Canada (EDC) and the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) will work with private sector lenders to support access to capital for Canadian businesses in all sectors and regions.

This program includes:

Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA): Provides interest-free loans of up to $60,000 to small businesses and not-for-profits, to help cover their operating costs during a period where their revenues have been temporarily reduced. Repaying the balance on the loan on or before December 31, 2022 will result in loan forgiveness of 33% (up to $20,000).

The CEBA application process follows one of two streams: (i) the Payroll Stream (Applicants with employment income paid in the 2019 calendar year between 20,000 and 1,500,000) or (ii) the Non-Deferrable Expense Stream (Applicants with $20,000 or less in total employment income paid in the 2019 calendar year).

The deadline for this loan application has now passed.

EDC Loan Guarantee for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises: Provides credit and cash flow term loans to small and medium-sized enterprises to help these businesses weather the impacts of COVID-19. Loans of up to $6.25 million, with 80% guaranteed by the EDC, can be made. This money is to be used for operational expenses.

  • Eligibility: The Co-Lending Program is available to Canadian businesses impacted by COVID-19. To qualify, companies must have been financially viable and in good standing prior to the impact of the pandemic
  • This support was available until June 2021.

BDC Co-Lending Program for Small and Medium Enterprises: This program, developed by BDC in partnership with financial institutions across the country, is intended to help Canadian businesses impacted by COVID-19 fund their operational cash flow needs.

  • Eligibility: The Co-Lending Program is available to Canadian businesses impacted by COVID-19. To qualify, companies must have been financially viable and in good standing prior to the impact of the pandemic.
  • This support was available until June 2021.

How to apply: All three programs are now available at various financial institutions and credit unions.

Canadian businesses, non-profit organizations, or charities that saw a drop in revenue due to the Covid-19 pandemic may have been eligible for the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS) to cover part of their commercial rent or property expenses, starting on September 27, 2020. The program expired on October 23, but businesses are still able to retroactively apply for the subsidies for the eligible time period using the My Business Account.

  • A one-time payment of $300 for seniors eligible for the Old Age Security (OAS) pension with an additional payment of $200 for seniors eligible for the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS).
  •  B.C. PST Rebate on select machinery and equipment: A temporary provincial sales tax (PST) program where corporations may apply to receive an amount equal to the PST they paid between September 17, 2020 and September 30, 2021 on qualifying machinery and equipment.
  • B.C. Increased employment incentive:  A tax credit for employers who create new jobs for B.C. workers or increase the payroll for existing low- or medium-income employees in the last quarter ending December 31, 2020.