Federal Government Covid-19 Measures – Implications for Sector Organizations
This document will be regularly updated as the federal government announces new measures that will impact the charitable and nonprofit sector.
Last updated: April 22, 2021
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Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS)
All eligible employers who saw a 15% drop in revenue in March and a 30% drop in revenue in April, May and June 2020.
All eligible employers who saw a revenue loss, no matter the scale, in July 2020 - June 2021.
Eligible employers include charities, nonprofits, social enterprises, RCAAAs, and non-public colleges and schools. (Publicly-funded hospitals, universities, colleges, and school boards are not eligible.)
Have had a CRA payroll program account on or before March 15, 2020 (or used a payroll service provider who made remittances on their behalf).
Program description for periods 11 – 16 (December 20, 2020 to June 5, 2021):
As per the Fall Economic Statement 2020, all program parameters listed below for periods 5 - 10 remain unchanged, with some notable exceptions:
Program description for periods 5 - 10 (July 5 - December 19, 2020):
Program description for periods 1 - 4 (March 15 - July 4):
Canada Recovery Hiring Program
Details to come.
Program description from Budget 2021:
“Budget 2021 proposes to introduce the new Canada Recovery Hiring Program for eligible employers that continue to experience qualifying declines in revenues relative to before the pandemic. The proposed subsidy would offset a portion of the extra costs employers take on as they reopen, either by increasing wages or hours worked, or hiring more staff. This support would only be available for active employees and will be available from June 6 to November 20, 2021. Eligible employers would claim the higher of the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy or the new proposed subsidy. The aim is to make it as easy as possible for businesses to hire new workers as the economy reopens.”
We’ll update this chart as new details are announced.
Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS)
Businesses, charities and nonprofits that have suffered a revenue drop
Must meet one of the following criteria to be eligible: a) have a payroll account as of March 15, 2020 or have been using a payroll service provider; or b) have a business number as of September 27, 2020 and satisfy the CRA that it is a bona fide rent subsidy claim.
The program will subsidize eligible expenses related to mortgage and rent on a sliding scale up to a maximum of 65%. This rate will be in effect until June 5, 2021.
Eligible expenses are limited to those paid under written agreements entered into before October 9, 2020 and include commercial rent, property taxes (including school taxes and municipal taxes), property insurance, and interest on commercial mortgages for a qualifying property, less any subleasing revenues. Expenses for each qualifying period are capped at $75,000 per location and there is an overall cap of $300,000.
Organizations can apply retroactively for the period beginning September 27, 2020 and the program will run until September 25, 2021.
The subsidy will be provided directly to organizations rather than to their landlords.
As per the Fall Economic Statement 2020, the Government of Canada reaffirmed its commitment to make rent payable an eligible expense under the subsidy.
A top-up Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy of 25% will be available for organizations temporarily shut down by a mandatory public health order issued by a qualifying public health authority, in addition to the 65 per cent subsidy. As per the Fall Economic Statement 2020, the Government is proposing to extend this rate structure to June 5, 2021. To qualify for the top-up, the following conditions must be met: i) the organization qualifies for the base CERS; ii) the public health order requires the organization to a) completely shut down the location; or, b) cease some or all of the activities at the location, and it is reasonable to conclude that the ceased activities were responsible for at least approximately 25% of revenues of the entity at that location in the appropriate pre-pandemic reference period.
Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA)
Organizations with total 2019 payroll up to $1.5 million. (For organizations with 2019 total payroll lower than $20,000, they must have eligible non-deferrable expenses between $40,000 and $1,500,000.)
Be a non-profit organization, registered charity, union, or a fraternal benefit society or order, or an entity owned by such an organization, that is actively carrying on a business in Canada (including a related business in the case of a registered charity) that earns revenue from the regular supply of property/goods or services.
Must have an active Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) Business Number (BN) with an effective date of registration on or prior to March 1, 2020
Must have filed a 2018 or 2019 tax return with the CRA
Must have an active business chequing/operating account with their primary financial institution (if do not have, must open an account)
Have not previously used the CEBA program and will not apply for support under the CEBA program at any other financial institution
Intend to resume operations
Agree to participate in post-funding surveys conducted by the Government of Canada
Interest-free loans of up to $60,000.
$20,000 of the loan will be forgiven if the loan is repaid by December 31, 2022.
Loans are arranged through organizations’ regular financial institutions (must be a participating financial institution in CEBA).
The application deadline has been extended until June 30, 2021.
Community Services Recovery Fund
Details to come.
Budget 2021 program description:
“Budget 2021 proposes to provide $400 million in 2021-22 to create a temporary Community Services Recovery Fund to help charities and non-profits adapt and modernize so they can better support the economic recovery in our communities.”
We’ll update this chart as new details are announced.
Safer + Stronger Grants (Canadian Women’s Foundation)
Women’s organizations and other organizations in any region of Canada, except Quebec
(Organizations seeking funds for gender-based violence programs in Quebec can find information here.)
Incorporated non-profit organizations with a valid charitable number from Canada Revenue Agency, or a First Nation or other organization/hamlet that is designated as a qualified donee.
Incorporated non-profit organizations without charitable status that are not qualified donees will be considered if they are working with a partner who is a qualified donee and has a mandate relevant to the project
Grants between $10,000 to $200,000 to support organizations’ ability to help address, prevent and reduce gender-based violence and deal with an influx of people seeking support due to an increase in gender-based violence in the COVID-19 pandemic.
Applications accepted on a continuous basis until February 15, 2021.
Examples of eligible activities include:
Examples of eligible expenses include, but are not limited to:
Canada Healthy Communities Initiative
Federally or provincially incorporated not for profits, including:
•local economic development groups including business improvement associations/areas;
•relevant not-for-profit professional associations (e.g. urban planners, architects);
•federally or provincially incorporated not for profits/local community, non-profit, voluntary organizations;
•Indigenous organizations and organizations whose central mandate is to improve Indigenous outcomes on or off-reserve;
•not-for-profit residents associations;
•post-secondary educational institutions; and,
•Indigenous development corporations
$31 million investment from the Government of Canada to transform public spaces in response to COVID-19. Provide funding for projects, programming and services that help communities:
Applications through Community Foundations of Canada starting February 9, 2021 through March 9, 2021 at 5:00 PM PST.
Sectoral Initiatives Program
Registered charities and not-for-profit organizations are eligible
Grants and contributions program administered by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) which supports sectors in identifying, forecasting and addressing their human resources and skills issues.
Applications through January 22, 2021 to March 4, 2021 at 3:00 pm Eastern Standard Time (EST).
Eligible organizations can apply for up to $2,500,000 (per project, per year). Projects must be a maximum of 36 month.
Eligible activities include, but are not limited to:
Emergency Support Fund for Cultural, Heritage and Sport Organizations
Please note that application intake for this fund has closed
Arts, culture and sport organizations impacted by COVID-19.
A total of up to $500 million has been set aside to help alleviate the financial pressures of affected organizations. Canadian Heritage has made funds available to partner organizations, including the Canada Council for the Arts, the Canada Media Fund, FACTOR, Musicaction, and Telefilm Canada, to start distributing funds to organizations affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in the cultural, heritage and sport sectors.
Business Credit -
SME Loan and Guarantee Program
(BDC Co-lending Program)
Primarily social enterprises that meet the lending criteria
Loans of up to $6.25 million for eligible businesses.
Support is available until June 2021.
Business Development Bank is the co-lender, but loans are arranged through organizations’ financial institutions.
Extension of the Work Sharing Program
Maximum duration of work-sharing arrangements extended from 38 weeks to 76 weeks.
Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF)
Businesses, organizations and communities
Contact your regional development agency to determine whether your charity or nonprofit is eligible.
Charities and nonprofits in some parts of the country will be able to get money to cover operating costs through the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund. The regional development agencies (plus Community Futures) are administering the Fund, and each development agency is putting its own rules on the funding.
Through the Community Futures Network:
- Social enterprises may be eligible for RRRF funding. Contact your local Community Futures office or regional development agency to determine eligibility.
Through the regional development agencies:
*Beyond the RRRF, consider reaching out to your regional development agency to discuss the challenges your organization is facing and whether they can provide any assistance through other programs they may of offer.*
In October 2020, the Government announced $600 million in additional funding for the regional relief and recovery fund.
As per the Fall Economic Statement 2020, the Government is proposing:
In Budget 2021, the Government announced that it would extend the application deadline for similar support under the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund until June 30, 2021. They also announced that they would Budget 2021 provide up to $80 million in 2021-22, on a cash basis, for the Community Futures Network of Canada and regional development agencies to support an extended application deadline for the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund.
Support for food banks and local food organizations
Please note the second application intake period for the Local Food Infrastructure Fund has been put on hold until January 3, 2021
National, regional, and local food banks and local food organizations across Canada
Funding will be delivered through the Government of Canada’s Local Food Infrastructure Fund.
$100 million investment divided as follows:
Eligible activities for this new funding include the purchase of food, support for the transportation and distribution of food, hiring temporary help to fill volunteer shortages, and activities to implement biosecurity measures, such as the purchase of personal protective equipment, to reduce the spread of COVID-19 among volunteers and clients.
Support for women’s shelters and sexual assault centres
Women’s shelters and sexual assault centres
The government will provide up to $50 million to women’s shelters and sexual assault centres, including facilities in Indigenous communities, to help with their capacity to manage or prevent an outbreak.
The government is currently working to ensure organizations receive the funding as soon as possible. Eligible organizations will be contacted directly the first week of April.
Support for seniors, youth, and those experiencing homelessness
Local organizations supporting seniors and those experiencing homelessness as well as organizations delivering youth mental health services
The Government of Canada contributed $9 million through United Way Canada for local organizations to support practical services to Canadian seniors. These services could include the delivery of groceries, medications, or other needed items, or personal outreach to assess individuals’ needs and connect them to community supports.
The funding for seniors will be delivered through the New Horizons for Seniors Program. The Program supports projects that help improve the well-being and quality of life of seniors, and fosters social inclusion and engagement of Canadian seniors in their communities.
List of programs that have expired
Emergency Community Support Fund
Please note that applications for second round of funding closed October 30, 2020
Charities and nonprofits that deliver essential services to those in need
The federal government announced an investment of $350 million to support vulnerable Canadians through charities and non-profit organizations that deliver essential services to vulnerable populations.
It will support a variety of activities, such as:
Applications for a second round of funding opened on Oct. 5 and will close on October 30, 2020.
Nonprofit organizations can apply through the Red Cross portal.
Temporary Wage Subsidy for Employers
Please note that this program has now ended
Charities, nonprofits, Canadian controlled private corporations eligible for the small business deduction.
Up to 10% of payroll costs incurred between March 18 and June 19.
Maximum claim of $1375 for each employee.
Maximum claim of $25,000 per employer.
Employer calculates the subsidy, subtracts from the personal income taxes it remits to the federal government on behalf of employees.
Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance
Please note that this program has now ended
Small businesses, including nonprofits and charities
Organizations that own properties are landlords themselves and would like to provide rent reductions
This program will lower rent by 75% for small businesses that have been affected by COVID-19.
Applications opened on May 25, 2020. The program ended at the end of September 2020, although existing approved applicants have until October 30, 2020 to apply for the final September 2020 extension.
Canada Emergency Response Benefit
Please note that this program has now ended
Reside in Canada, who are at least 15 years old;
Who have stopped working because of COVID-19 and have not voluntarily quit their job or are eligible for EI regular or sickness benefits;
Who had income of at least $5,000 in 2019 or in the 12 months prior to the date of their application; and
Who are or expect to be without employment or self-employment income for at least 14 consecutive days in the initial four-week period. For subsequent benefit periods, they expect to have no employment or self-employment income.
If you have stopped working because of COVID-19, the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) may provide you with temporary income support. The CERB provides $500 a week for up to 28 weeks.
To begin the application process, you’ll need to answer a few simple questions. The answers you provide will direct you to the service option that best fits your situation.
The CERB ended on September 26. In August, the Government announced a plan to transition away from the CERB. Those who were receiving the CERB may be eligible for EI through an expansion of the program or for one of three recovery benefits.
Canada Student Service Grant Program
Please note that this program was cancelled
Nonprofits and charities are eligible to participate and receive students.
Current postsecondary students and recent graduates are eligible to receive the Canada Student Service Grant.
The program aims to provide valuable experience to postsecondary students and new graduates at a time when job opportunities are limited while also providing support to charities and nonprofits, many of which are seeing an increase in demand for services due to the pandemic.
Students may receive between $1,000 and $5,000 to recognize their service.
Nonprofits and charities wishing to participate can register their organization and post opportunities that meet the following criteria - the service opportunity must:
Surplus Food Rescue Program
Please note that this program has ended
Not-for-profit and for-profit organizations including community or charitable organizations,
Indigenous groups, cooperatives, and
regional and municipal governments and agencies (can include schools or school boards)
The Surplus Food Rescue Program is a time-limited program to help manage and redirect existing surpluses to organizations addressing food insecurity and to avoid food waste. It will provide an opportunity for non-profit and for-profit organizations across the supply chain to bid on significant volumes of surplus products at the cost of production or less, processing them where necessary for longer shelf life and distributing to food serving agencies.
Applicants under this program may be eligible to receive a maximum of $20 million unless the organization can make a case to move commodities in all categories.
All applications will be accepted until funds are fully committed or until July 31, 2020, whichever comes first. Extensions may be made if required to meet program objectives. Project activities must be completed by September 30, 2020.
Delaying Annual General Meetings
As of January 1, 2021, the normal rules apply for calling an AGM and presenting financial statements
Federally incorporated charities and nonprofits
Organizations unable to hold virtual AGMS, or those that do not wish to, can submit an online form to Corporations Canada to delay their AGM beyond the normally required date.