The Travel Agent Next Door has been keeping its agents informed about the various government programs available for independent contractors and small businesses.
These programs began in spring 2020 and have now morphed into two programs that will continue to provide relief to independent travel agents and travel agencies.
Our industry is one of the hardest hit and will likely need support well into 2021.
The good news is, it is very easy to apply for these new programs and agents who are also business owners can actually apply for both.
However, TTAND strongly recommends that all agents and business owners also consult their own accountants or advisors on these matters.
Here are the two programs that support independent contractors and travel agencies.
CANADA RECOVERY BENEFIT (CRB)
What is it?
The Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) gives income support to employed and self-employed individuals who are directly affected by COVID-19 and are not entitled to EI benefits.
If you are eligible for the CRB, you can receive $1,000 ($900 after taxes withheld) for a 2-week period.
If your situation continues past 2 weeks, you will need to apply again. You may apply up to a total of 13 eligibility periods (26 weeks) between September 27, 2020 and September 25, 2021.
Who can apply?
If you had a 50% reduction in your average weekly income compared to the previous year due to COVID-19
There are a number of other reasons on the website.
How it works
You are eligible if your income as a contractor will be below $38,000 NET (after expenses)
If you go over $38,000, you will have to payback 50 cents of every dollar over and above $38,000 in benefits.
CANADIAN EMERGENCY BUSINESS ACCOUNT (CEBA)
What is it?
CEBA supports businesses by providing financing for expenses that cannot be avoided or deferred and provides interest-free loans of up to $40,000 to small businesses.
As of Oct. 26, 2020, eligibility for CEBA has expanded by removing the previous March 1, 2020, condition for having an active business chequing/operating account.
Eligible businesses can now apply after opening a business chequing/operating account with their primary financial institution. There’s lots of information in the FAQ section of the website.
CEBA is available from more than 220 financial institutions across the Canada.