Key highlights of the 2020 Federal Fall Economic Statement include:
The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy
Given the ferocity of the second wave and its expected economic impact, the government is proposing to increase the maximum subsidy rate to 75 per cent for the period beginning December 20, 2020 and to extend this rate until March 13, 2021, to provide greater certainty to employers.
The Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy
To provide greater certainty to businesses and other organizations, the government is proposing to extend the current subsidy rates of the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy for an additional three periods. This means a base subsidy rate of up to 65 per cent will be available on eligible expenses until March 13, 2021. This would ensure that businesses and other organizations continue to have the support they need through the second wave of the pandemic and the winter.
Support for Highly Affected Sectors
The government will work with financial institutions in the near term to create the Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program (HASCAP) – a new program for the hardest hit businesses, including those in sectors, like tourism and hospitality, hotels, arts and entertainment. This stream will offer 100 percent government-guaranteed financing for heavily impacted businesses, and provide low-interest loans of up to $1 million over extended terms, up to ten years. Rates will be lower than those offered in BCAP and beneath typical market rates for hard hit sectors.
Support for Tourism and Hospitality
Recognizing the importance of the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund in supporting local tourism businesses, the government will earmark a minimum of 25 per cent of all the Fund’s resources to support local tourism businesses, providing more than $500 million in program support through June 2021.
Simplifying the Home Office Expense Deduction
Allowing employees who are working from home due to COVID-19 and eligible to claim home office expenses to deduct up to $400 in 2020 using a simplified flat rate, and generally do not request form T2200 from these employees.