February 6, 2021

COVID-19 Supports for Alberta Businesses

It’s hard to believe it’s been almost a year since COVID-19 turned our worlds upside down. We’ve worked hard to provide updates over this time on COVID-19 supports for your […]

It’s hard to believe it’s been almost a year since COVID-19 turned our worlds upside down. We’ve worked hard to provide updates over this time on COVID-19 supports for your business in Alberta, and will continue to do so. Below we outline the Alberta Relaunch Grant, filing requirements for the Temporary Wage Subsidy (TWS), and the Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program (HASCAP). Welcome to the acronym jungle. Please see below for an update on COVID-19 supports for Alberta businesses. 

Alberta Small and Medium Enterprise Relaunch Grant (SMERG):

What is it?  The SMERG provides direct funding to help with the costs of complying with public health measures (things like physical barriers, PPE, inventory, rent and more) and offers the following:

  • Up to $20,000 in funding for organizations established before February 29, 2020, including unregistered sole proprietors.
  • Up to $15,000 in funding for new organizations which began operations between March 1 and October 31 2020, including unregistered sole proprietors.

Who is Eligible?: The funding is for Alberta organizations (businesses, cooperatives and non-profits) that had to close or suspend your operations due to the pandemic, and are able to show a revenue reduction of at least 30 per cent.

Good to know: This is a grant opposed to a loan and is a taxable benefit that must be declared on your annual returns.

How to Apply: The application deadline is March 31st. You can learn more and apply here.

Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program (HASCAP):

What is it? The Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program (HASCAP) is designed to provide loan guarantees and pandemic support to the hospitality and tourism markets and other highly affected services.

Who is eligible? Hospitality and tourism markets and other highly affected services. To qualify, businesses must show their revenues have fallen by at least 50 per cent for at least three months of the previous eight. The program is also primarily intended for companies that have already qualified for and are receiving CEWS, the government’s wage-subsidy program, or CERS, the rent subsidy.

Good to Know: The government-guaranteed loans can be paid back over as long as 10 years; the interest rate is four per cent.

How do you apply? They became available as of February 1, 2021 through your primary financial institution. You can only apply at one institution.

More information: https://www.bdc.ca/en/special-support/hascap 

The Temporary Wage Subsidy and PD27 Form

There are some changes and new reporting required for the 2020 calendar year payroll year end filing requirements.

The 10% Temporary Wage Subsidy (TWS) for Employers was a 3-month measure that allowed eligible employers to reduce payroll remittances for gross payroll paid during March 18 to June 19, 2020. Form PD27, 10% Temporary Wage Subsidy Self-Identification Form for Employers is required to be filed to reconcile the payroll remittance account in the following circumstances:

  • You are eligible to take advantage of the TWS and:
    • You already reduced your remittances for the 3 month period and need to report the amount claimed as TWS to reconcile your payroll remittance account, or
    • You haven’t yet reduced your remittances, but still wish to take advantage of the TWS. Completing the form will help you calculate the amount you are eligible for, and you can still claim the subsidy by way of a credit to your 2021 payroll remittance account or a refund, or
    • You claimed the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS). Even if you didn’t claim anything under the TWS, if you claimed the CEWS, you will need to indicate that you have claimed zero TWS so that your CEWS claim is unaffected.

If you haven’t already filed, you can still do so. Please see the Canada Revenue Agency website link for more details. You can visit that by clicking here.

Another 2020 Change to be Aware of:

The information codes on the T4 slip, Statement of Remuneration Paid.

In addition to reporting employment income in Box 14 of the T4 slip, there are four new other information codes to report employment income and retroactive payments in the following periods:

  • Code 57: Employment income – March 15 to May 9
  • Code 58: Employment income – May 10 to July 4
  • Code 59: Employment income – July 5 to August 29
  • Code 60: Employment income – August 30 to September 26

These new codes are meant to help CRA reconcile and validate payments under various subsidy programs including the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB) and the CEWS.

As always, if you have any question please reach out to your trusted Catalyst advisor or inquire@thecatalystgroup.ca 

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