CURRENT COVID-19 Relief Programs

Relief Programs Available NowLast updated: November 30, 2020

For your convenience, this article includes information on the relief programs CURRENTLY AVAILABLE.

It does not provide information on programs that may have been available previously. Please note tax policies are changing rapidly. We are updating this article as details are made available.


A) Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) – Wage subsidy for qualifying businesses, NPOs, and charities

  • CEWS 2.0 (post-July 4, 2020) – The government completely redesigned how CEWS applies after July 4, 2020. The changes are so substantial we refer to it as CEWS 2.0. Please see our separate article on CEWS 2.0 here. CEWS 2.0 has been extended by the federal government to apply until June 2021.
  • CEWS (1.0) – See our article on CEWS (1.0) here. This article covers the CEWS program as it existed until July 4, 2020 before substantial changes were made.

B) Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS) – October 2020 to June 2021

  • More details are available in our article on this link.
  • Provides rent and mortgage support until June 2021.
  • Rent subsidy supports businesses, charities, and non-profits that have suffered a revenue drop, by subsidizing a percentage of their expenses, on a sliding scale, up to a maximum of 65% of eligible expenses until March 13, 2021.
  • A top-up subsidy of 25% would apply to organizations temporarily shut down by a mandatory public health order issued by a qualifying public healthy authority, in addition to the 65% subsidy (i.e. for a combined 90% subsidy).
  • Organizations can make claims retroactively for the period that began September 27 and ends October 24, 2020.
  • You can read more about who can apply and how to apply by visiting this link:

C) Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) – $40,000 loan (increased to $60,000)

  • The deadline to apply for CEBA has been extended until December 31, 2020.
  • Interest-free loans of $40,000 to small businesses and NPO to help cover operating costs during a period where revenue have been temporarily reduced. Repaying the balance of the loan on or before December 31, 2022 will result in loan forgiveness of 25 percent (up to $10,000).
  • To qualify, these businesses or NPO will need to demonstrate either:
  1. They paid between $20,000 to $1.5 million in total payroll in 2019; or
  2. For applicants with less than $20,000, they must have the following:
    1. a business operating account at a participating financial institution;
    2. a Canada Revenue Agency business number, and to have filed a 2018 or 2019 tax return; and
    3. eligible non-deferrable expenses between $40,000 and $1.5 million. Eligible non-deferrable expenses could include costs such as rent, property taxes, utilities, and insurance. Expenses will be subject to verification and audit by the Government of Canada.

October 9 Update – Additional $20,000 interest-free loan available with half forgivable if repaid by December 31, 2022. We are waiting for additional details on the eligibility for the additional $20,000.

How to Apply

  • Small businesses and NPOs can apply using their bank’s online banking platform. Please read the terms and conditions provided by your bank. In order to enrol, you must have the authority to legally bind your organization to the terms of the loan agreement.
  • To apply you will need a copy of your organization’s 2019 T4 Summary to confirm the total payroll paid in 2019 and to obtain your payroll account number with the Canada Revenue Agency.
  • Enrollment requests will be reviewed by the Government of Canada and your bank. If you are eligible, the funds will appear in your business account within 5 business days of your submission.


Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB), Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB), and the Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB)

See our article on the Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB), Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB), and the Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB) here. These benefits in combination with traditional employment insurance (EI) are intended to replace the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB). CERB ended on September 26, 2020.

NPOs and Charities

A) Wage subsidy – NPO and Charities – see discussion under Businesses

B) Canada Emergency Rent Support (CERS) – NPO and Charities – see discussion under Businesses

C) Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) – NPO only – see discussion under Businesses


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