Finance Minister Bill Morneau; Small Business, Export Promotion & International Trade Minister Mary Ng; and Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry Navdeep Bains have just announced the details of the keenly-awaited Canada Wage Emergency Subsidy (CWES). Here are the important details:
- To qualify, a business must have lost at least 30% of its gross revenue since this time last year.
- The government will cover up to 75 per cent of a salary to a cap of $58,700, i.e. up to $847 a week.
- Businesses of any size can qualify, as well as non-profits and charities.
- Applications will be processed through the Canada Revenue Agency via an online portal to be launched soon.
- Funds will be available in approximately six weeks.
- Employers are encouraged to pay the remaining 25% of wages if they are able to, and will have to prove they are making every effort to do so.
- Severe penalties are threatened for any bad actor attempting to abuse the system.
- Business-owners will have to re-apply each month.
- The program will be open for March, April, and May.
- Businesses not qualifying for the 75% subsidy would still be able to receive the existing 10% subsidy program, paid from March 18 to before June 20, up to a maximum subsidy of $1,375 per employee and $25,000 per employer.
The initiative is expected to cost $71-billion, however, it will reduce the anticipated cost of the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) to $24-billion.