COVID-19 CEBA & CEWS Updates for Businesses

business loan Given the COVID-19 circumstances, the Government of Canada is working hard to release adequate amounts of funding to aid businesses in need of assistance during this time. The following are programs that may apply and are of interest to your business:

Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) Financing Program

Announced on March 27th, the Canada Emergency Business Account provides easy loans to small independent businesses to stay open and operational during this pandemic. The following is an outline of the program:

Loan Conditions:

  • Up to $40,000 to help towards operational costs that cannot be deferred
  • Interest-free, government-guaranteed
  • 25% of the loan ($10,000) is eligible for forgiveness if the other 75% ($30,000) is fully paid before December 31, 2022
  • If not repaid by December 31, 2022, the debt is then converted into a 3-year term loan with an interest rate of 5%


To qualify for this loan, a business or NGO must have:

  • An operating company registered in Canada
  • 2019 annual payroll between $50,000 and $1 million

Application Process:

Although the application intake was to start on Apr 6 2020, most Financial institutions are still working towards gathering eligibility criteria and creating application processes through their online portals.

Please contact your primary financial institution for more information regarding CEBA.

Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) Program

The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) aims to provide support to “enable employers to re-hire previously laid off, and to keep those who are already on payroll”. The subsidy is equivalent to 75% of “eligible remuneration” paid by “eligible employers” for up to three months from March 15, 2020 onward.

Subsidy Conditions:

  • Eligible employers qualify for remuneration including salary and wages paid to current payroll employees and new employees
  • This subsidy covers 75% of the amount of eligible remuneration actually paid, up to a maximum of $847 a week
  • Employers must provide supporting evidence that their monthly revenues have dropped by at least 30% in the month(s) of March, April or May 2020
  • They must continually do so for each eligibility period as follows:
Eligible Period
  Claiming period Reference period for eligibility
Period 1 March 15 – April 11 March 2020 over March 2019
Period 2 April 12 – May 9 April 2020 over April 2019
Period 3 May 10 – June 6 May 2020 over May 2019


  • For eligible employers established after February 2019, eligibility would be determined by comparing monthly revenues to a reasonable benchmark.


  • Eligible employers include individuals, taxable corporations, non-profit organizations and registered charities

Application Process:

  • This program is expected to start accepting applications in the upcoming weeks
  • Once made available, employers would have to apply through Canada Revenue Agency’s My Business Account portal
  • For this, employers would have to keep records demonstrating their reduction in arm’s-length revenues and remuneration paid to employees.

The 10% Temporary Wage Subsidy program remains unchanged with the addition of the CEWS program.

Applicants must adhere to eligibility requirements as in case of fraud, employers would be required to repay amounts granted under CEWS with additional penalties.

Please refer here for more information regarding CEWS from the Government of Canada.

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