Businesses hoping to qualify for the federal wage subsidy will only need to show a 15 per cent drop in revenues for March, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Wednesday (April 8).
The subsidy will still cover up to 75 per cent of each employee of a COVID-19 affected businesses, up to $847 per week.
The federal program has gone through a variety of changes since it was first announced several weeks ago; initially it was a 10 per cent subsidy for small businesses and then was expanded to be a 75 per cent subsidy for businesses of any size who could show a 30 per cent drop in revenue, compared to the same time last year.
Trudeau also said charities and non-profits can choose to exclude government funding if needed to prove a revenue drop.
Businesses need to survive and workers need to get paid if the economy is to “come roaring back after this crisis,” Trudeau said.
He also announced the federal government will cover 100 per cent of wages for students hired under the Canada Summer Jobs Program. The government will also extend the time period for job placements to the winter, in recognition that many jobs will start later than usual due to the pandemic, and companies will be permitted to hire students part-time.
The hope is this will encourage businesses to hire students to allow them to get the work experience they need and earn incomes during the downturn, Trudeau said.
“Today we’re taking a step in the right direction to help young people find work during this difficult time, but I want to be clear, we will be doing more,” he said.
“Just like we will do more for those who need help but are not eligible to receive the benefits that we have announced so far.”