Federal Wage and Commercial Rent Subsidies Ending October 23, New Targeted Programs Announced for Hardest-Hit Businesses

October 21, 2021 – Today, the federal Minister of Finance announced that the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy and the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy, two vital support programs used by businesses throughout the pandemic, would no longer be extended, and will end on October 23.

In their place, the government announced two new support programs targeted at the most negatively impacted sectors and businesses: the Tourism and Hospitality Recovery Program and the Hardest-Hit Business Recovery Program.  These programs will start on October 24 and the government will seek to run them through May 7, 2022 at least. 

  • The Tourism and Hospitality Recovery Program will provide rent and wage subsidies to organizations in selected sectors of the tourism and hospitality industry that have been deeply affected since the outset of the pandemic (average monthly revenue declines of at least 40% over a 12-month period) and that continue to struggle (at least 40% revenue decline in the month of application).  Eligible businesses include tourism businesses such as hotels, restaurants, bars, festivals, travel agencies, tour operators, convention centres, convention and trade show organizers. 
  • The HardestHit Business Recovery Program will provide rent and wage subsidies for businesses not eligible for the tourism program, and to be eligible businesses would need to show an average monthly revenue decline of at least 50% over a 12-month period, plus at least 50% revenue declines in the current month. 

The government also announced that the Canada Recovery Hiring Program would be extended until May 7, 2022 at least as well, and that the subsidy will be increased back to 50%  This program provides subsidies for a portion of the increase in payroll for a business, as a way of supporting further hiring.

Finally, the government has announced changes to the support programs for individuals as well.  The Canada Recovery Benefit which has given individuals unable to work because of COVID-19 a support of $600 bi-weekly, will end on October 23, 2021, and will be replaced with the Canada Worker Lockdown Support, which will provide weekly payments of $300 exclusively for workers put out of work by public health closures imposed by governments.