With the quick spread of the Omicron variant, employers everywhere are panicking and suffering. The recent expiration of the Canada Recovery Benefit doesn’t help things either, but fortunately, there is an extension of benefits as we work our way through this latest variant and its effects.
Because of the capacity limits and the threat to the healthcare system, the Canada Recovery Benefit is being temporarily extended. Here’s what you must know.
How the Government is Helping
At first, with the expiration of the government aid was concerning as the pandemic didn’t seem to be turning corners the right way as of October 2021. With the threat of a new variant occurring shortly after that time, the Canadian government committed to continue helping individuals and businesses affected by the issues.
Many of the common Canadian government aids are being extended. If you qualify for aid, inquire about the program – you may be surprised to learn that it’s still available despite the widespread publicity of the programs ending in October 2021.
The Local Lockdown Program
The Local Lockdown Program was created to help businesses that are affected by capacity thresholds. Any business that must reduce their capacity by 50 percent or more may apply for the protection. It also helps businesses with a decrease in current month revenue of at least 25%.
The program provides wage and rent support to help businesses stay afloat during these trying times. You don’t have to work in a specific industry to get the support either.
The latest expansion is good from October 23, 2021 to May 7, 2022.
The Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit
Any worker who cannot work due to capacity limits of 50% or less of normal capacity can claim the Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit.
This benefit pays workers $300 a week if they are unable to work due to circumstances outside their control. The benefit goes from October 24, 2021 to May 2, 2022.
Other Measures the Government is Taking
Besides helping businesses and employees affected by the capacity limits due to COVID, the government is also taking other measures to continue helping Canadians by extending the following programs.
The CRCB helps those who must stop working temporarily to care for a loved one. This applies to employed and self-employed individuals who cannot work because a child under 12 years old or a family member needs support.
Whether the support is needed because the school shut down or a family member needs caretaking because they are sick, the support is available until May 7, 2022 and one week at a time. Eligible applicants will receive $450 after taxes weekly.
Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit
The CRCB is for employed and self-employed individuals who are unable to work because they are sick or are unable to work due to self-isolation requirements or an underlying condition that makes them high risk.
You can get support for up to 6 weeks and the aid goes through until May 7, 2022. Eligible applicants will receive $450 weekly, but you must reapply to continue receiving benefits.
Tourism and Hospitality Recovery Program
The THRP helps businesses in tourism or hospitality who have a reduction in revenues that make it hard to stay in business.
Hotels, restaurants, bars, travel agencies, tour operators, and convention centers are just a few of the businesses that are eligible. To qualify for assistance, you must have at least a 40% reduction in revenue from March 2020 to February 2021. If you have a revenue decline of 75% or more, you’ll receive the largest subsidy, but even those with a 40% decline will get support.
The support is set to last until May 7, 2022, but there is an option to extend it through July 2, 2022.
Hardest-Hit Business Recovery Program
The Hardest-Hit Business Recovery Program helps businesses that were hit by the pandemic and have lower revenues but aren’t in the hospitality or travel industry.
To qualify, your income over the twelve month period of March 2020 to February 2021 must be 50% lower. Businesses may be able to get help covering wages as well as rent.
Canada Recovery Hiring Program
The Canada Recovery Hiring Program is meant to help businesses afford hiring new employees or rehiring previous employees. You can apply for one wage or hiring subsidy per period and you must qualify for each period.
Getting Help for your Business
If your business is struggling because of the pandemic, there is still help available. The Canadian government is committed to helping businesses stay afloat despite the newest variants and the issues it’s causing businesses.
The problem many businesses are facing are capacity limits which has a domino effect on everything including how many hours employees get or if they’re even able to work. Many are laid off or don’t get enough hours because there isn’t enough work.
With the fast-spreading Omicron variant, capacity limits are in full force, which affects businesses in all industries, not just hospitality and travel.
It’s important to reach out if your business is struggling, especially if you’ve been hit with a 50% capacity reduction or your revenues are at least 40% lower than before.
It feels like every month is something else to worry about for businesses and individuals. Whether you own a business or you are an employee of a business, there is support available if you’ve lost wages or your business is struggling because of the capacity limits and health scares.
Work with your local government agency to apply for the aid that you qualify for and get the help you need. Working together, we can get through these trying times!