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March 27, 2020

Federal Government Announces 75% Wage Subsidy for Small and Medium-Sized Businesses Affected by COVID-19 Pandemic

Authors Hendrik Nieuwland, Brandin O'Connor and Domenica Moran

Today Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced new measures to help small and medium-sized businesses to avoid laying off employees during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Most important is a 75% wage subsidy for qualifying businesses.  This is to replace the previously announced 10% wage subsidy, which we discussed in our previous blog post (accessible here).  The increased wage subsidy will be backdated to Sunday, March 15, 2020.

At this time, it is not clear which businesses will be eligible for the subsidy, whether the subsidy will be capped at a maximum amount, or whether the subsidy will have an end date.  More details on the wage subsidy are expected to be announced on Monday, March 30, 2020.

Prime Minister Trudeau also announced today that the Federal Government will be offering a new Canada Emergency Business Account to provide interest-free loans of up to $40,000.00 to small and medium-sized businesses.  These loans are to be interest-free for the first year.  Businesses who meet certain conditions (which are not yet defined) will not have to pay back $10,000.00 of this loan.

Our firm will continue to provide you with updates as the federal government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic evolves.

The foregoing is for informational purposes only and should in no way be relied upon as legal advice. For legal advice tailored to your circumstances and business, please contact any of SOM LLP’s lawyer’s by email or telephone.

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