WQW Must Know Covid Update November 11thby Rob Sysak, November 11, 2020
CEWS & CERS Programs
- PLEASE note from the bulletins that there is no official date when applications will be open.
- As per previous iterations, the application portal will need to go up first before applications can be received and processed.
- We are tracking when those portals will go up (open) as they will be the earliest indication of when the programs will be available and most importantly will include the core details and necessary qualifiers.
Recent Bulletins released pertaining to the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) extension and the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS) modified as well as the Lockdown Support Due to Significant Health Restrictions (add on under CERS)
The last link is a comprehensive table that summarizes the two programs:
- CEWS Extension Details: www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/news/2020/11/details-on-the-canada-emergency-wage-subsidy-extension.html
- Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS): www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/news/2020/11/canada-emergency-rent-subsidy.html
- Lockdown Support for Businesses Facing Significant Public Health Restrictions (under CERS): www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/news/2020/11/lockdown-support-for-businesses-facing-significant-public-health-restrictions.html
- Brief Summary of Total Support under new CEWS and CERS: www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/news/2020/11/rate-structures-applicable-in-periods-8-9-and-10-september-27-to-december-19-2020.html
Councillor Cressy’s office has reached out to WQW and the local community offering support regarding the shooting at Niagara and Queen.
“Councillor asked me to reach out today in light of the shooting yesterday on Queen. Instances such as these can be deeply traumatic to communities and he is deeply troubled that this is something that the West Queen west community experienced”.
- The City of Toronto’s Community Crisis Response Program (CCRP) has been mobilized to provide immediate and ongoing support for the community,
- This program works across Toronto providing support and resources to communities impacted by violent and traumatic events.
- CCRP staff will be in the neighbourhood over the coming days to connect community members with appropriate resources and supports.
- Due to the guidelines around COVID-19 the some of the coordination and outreach will look different than it has in the past.
- You are encouraged to reach out directly to Stephanie Mazerolle should you need support.
You can reach stephanie at: Stephanie.Mazerolle@toronto.ca – Cell Phone: 416-526-0588.
GET ANSWERS TO ALL YOUR COVID FINANCE SUPPORT QUESTIONS
The BusinessTO Support Centre
- provides one-on-one virtual support to help businesses complete applications for Government of Canada COVID-19 funding programs while providing guidelines, tools and resources which can support businesses as they reopen.
- Complete the form below to schedule a conversation with a business advisor by video or phone. A business advisor will contact you within 24 hours.
Get access to one-on-one virtual support with applications for government resources and general business advice from the City’s
COVID-19: Economic Support & Resources for Businesses
- Specific COVID-19 support for different economic sectors.
- Financial resources, tools and programs to help businesses respond to the economic impact of COVID-19.
- Mortgage, banking solutions, credit help and more for businesses hurt by the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Federal and Provincial relief measures available to employers to support payroll pressures during the pandemic.
Highlights from this Provincial budget that effect local small businesses.
(Thank you to John Kiru & TABIA for supplying update & Highlights)
Ontario’s Action Plan: Protect, Support, Recover
Thank you to John Kiru & TABIA for supplying update & Highlights
- On November 5th, 2020, Ontario’s Minister of Finance, Hon. Rod Phillips, released the 2020 Ontario Provincial Budget.
- It would appear that WQW’s, TABIA’s and all BIA’s long standing advocacy with regard to municipal property tax relief, assessment methodology, and the provincial property tax known as Business Education Tax (BET) has finally resonated with a government as these issues are addressed in at least some capacity in this budget.
- Bellow are some highlights of the budget that have cause and effect on WQW and our members.
Positive Impact to Property Tax
Business Education Tax (BET)
- This tax reduction will reduce all higher BET rates to a rate of 0.88 per cent for 2021. This represents a reduction of 30 per cent for the many businesses that are currently subject to the highest BET rate in the province (1.25). These reductions will benefit over 200,000 business properties, or 94 per cent of all business properties in Ontario.
- In Toronto, the current BET rate is 0.98 per cent. About 46% of a Toronto Commercial Tax bill is BET that is payable directly to the province. This 10-percentile reduction of the BET rate could translate to a direct reduction in a Toronto Commercial Business Tax of about 4.6% or $460.00 on every $10,000 a property pays in taxes.
- The government gets major credit for doing the BET cuts cold-turkey in 2021. No back-ended phase in this time, like the aborted program the previous government introduced and then abandoned.
- It seems like a better-than-fair trade off. The ceiling rate isn’t set to go all the way down to an optimal level (0.77). But it goes down right away instead of going down by gradual installments. Businesses will be better off for the next few years with the new program than they would be with an 8-year phase-in.
New Property Tax Plan for Small Businesses
- Beginning in 2021, municipalities will be able to adopt a new optional property subclass for small business properties. The small business property subclass will allow municipalities to target tax relief by reducing property taxes for eligible small business properties.
- The Province will also consider matching any municipal generated property tax reductions in order to provide further support to small business properties. To ensure appropriate flexibility, the government is proposing an amendment to the Assessment Act that would allow municipalities to define small business eligibility in a way that best meets local needs and priorities.
- Whether the municipality will take advantage of this option, the way they define eligible businesses, and the extent of any rate reduction are all purely speculative at this point. In other words, there is nothing which mandates municipal action nor a meaningful rate reduction. However, the province will also consider matching any municipally generated property tax reductions in order to provide further support to small businesses.
Ensuring Business Property Tax Assessments are not based on speculative land uses
- The 2020 Budget ensures the government is well-positioned to respond to input and any necessary amendments to the Assessment Act, the government is proposing the creation of optional new assessment tools to address concerns regarding assessments based on speculative land use.
Employer Health Tax (EHT)
- Prior to the COVID-19 crisis, eligible employers in Ontario were paying a health tax over the first $490,000 of payroll. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Provincial Government made a temporary EHT threshold exemption, increasing it to $1 million for the year 2020 during this crisis.
- Today’s Budget has announced that the $1 million threshold exemption will be made permanent. The government estimates that 90% of businesses will not pay any EHT with this threshold.
- This change will permanently reduce the EHT on a restaurant with $700,000 in payroll from $4,095 to 0.
- Beginning January 1, 2021, the renewable energy contracts that significantly make up the Global Adjustment Cost of a hydro invoice will be paid by the Provincial Government, not the business.
- Businesses will see healthy monthly savings, expected at approximately 14-16% on an average bill.
Tourism Expense Rebate
- Committing to provide Ontario residents with support of up to 20% of eligible Ontario tourism expenses encouraging Ontarians to safely discover Ontario in 2021, which has been designated as year of the Ontario staycation.
- As Toronto BIAs have always know that they are in fact tourism destinations this should yield well for local spending.
Beverage Alcohol with Delivery & Take-Out
- As anticipated, the government has announced that the temporary measure allowing the sale of beverage alcohol with delivery and take-out orders will be made permanent.
- Investing $100 million over two years for the Community Building Fund to support community tourism, cultural and sport organizations that are experiencing significant financial pressures due to the pandemic.
- Investing an additional $60 million over three years starting in 2020–21 in the Black Youth Action Plan, doubling its base funding to extend the current program and create a new economic empowerment stream that will support Black youth in achieving social and economic success.
- Providing one-time emergency funding of $25 million for Ontario’s arts institutions to help cover operating losses incurred as a result of COVID-19
- Providing $60 million in one-time grants of up to $1,000 for eligible main street small businesses — in retail, food and accommodations, and other service sectors with fewer than 10 employees, to help offset the unexpected costs of personal protective equipment (PPE)
- Making additional investments of over $680 million over the next four years in broadband infrastructure which, combined with its prior commitments, increases Ontario’s investment to an historic nearly $1 billion to ensure communities across the province are connected
- Providing $500 million over four years to make government services more reliable, convenient, and accessible through the Ontario Onwards Acceleration Fund.