On April 21, 2020, the federal government announced new details on the implementation of the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (“CEWS”), as well as new measures to support Canadian charities and non-profits.

The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy

The government announced that applications for the CEWS will open on April 27, 2020 on the Canada Revenue Agency’s (“CRA”) website. The government expects that 90% of CEWS applications will be processed by May 5, 2020, which will be followed “quickly” by direct deposits and cheques being sent out to eligible businesses.

The government also launched a new calculator tool on the CRA’s website on April 21, 2020 that will help employers that plan on applying for the CEWS to know what they can expect to receive based on their specific circumstances.

The Emergency Community Support Fund

The government announced that it is setting up a $350 million Emergency Community Support Fund (“ECSF”) for charities and non-profits, so that these organizations can continue to support vulnerable people in local communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. The ECSF is intended to address increased costs faced by non-profits and charities as a result of factors including having to obtain and supply personal protective equipment to staff, staff shortages as a result of COVID-19 and decreased donations given the economic impact of the pandemic.

A portion of these funds will be given directly to smaller front-line organizations and the remainder will flow through national organizations like United Way Centraide Canada, Community Foundations of Canada, and the Canadian Red Cross. These funds are intended for things like training volunteers, increasing home deliveries of essential items to seniors, and transporting people with disabilities to appointments.

The government stated that charities and non-profits that receive funding from the ECSF will not become ineligible for the CEWS by receiving the ESCF funding.