Travel Webcast

ACTA Advocacy Efforts Continue To Pay Off

ACTA reports that it’s pleased to see significant changes to the Canada Emergency Response Benefit-CERB- that will directly assist travel agents who are still receiving some commission.

As well, several other programs were announced or enhanced last week.

The association notes that it has been participating daily on calls with the government and has advocated for some of these changes that have been raised by industry members.

Here’s a summary:

Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) – ACTA welcomed the April 15 announcement by the federal government of changes to the eligibility rules to allow people to earn up to $1,000 per month while collecting the CERB.

ACTA president, Wendy Paradis said that: “ACTA has pressed the federal government on this point on our daily calls, especially as it is one of the most asked questions posed to ACTA by members, in particular by those travel agents receiving commission payments.”

The updated guidelines state you may not earn more than $1,000 in employment and/or self-employment income for a period of at least 14 consecutive days within the initial four-week period of your claim, or $1,000 in total for the entire four-week benefit period for each subsequent claim.

You can apply for the CERB through either Service Canada or CRA.

Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) – On April 16, the government made additional changes to the CEBA, extending the payroll threshold range to $20,000 to $1.5 million in total payroll in 2019.  This program is designed for small businesses to help cover operating costs during a period where revenues have been temporarily reduced.

Agencies should contact their financial institution to apply for an interest-free, government-backed loan of up to $40,000, with up to $10,000 forgivable if they pay it back before the end of 2022.

And ACTA says that members should let it know if a financial institution (i.e. credit union) is not participating in the program, and ACTA will notify the government.

Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) – The federal government announced its intent to introduce the CECRA for small business.

Paradis points out that: “ACTA has raised this concern to the federal government even knowing that it was a provincial matter. We are pleased that the federal government will work with the provinces and territories, who are responsible for the property owner-tenant relationship.”

The program will seek to provide loans and/or forgivable loans to commercial property owners who in turn will lower or forgo the rent of small businesses for the months of April (retroactive), May, and June.  More details will be coming for this program soon.

Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) – Online applications for the CEWS are expected to open April 27, with the majority of applications being processed on May 4 and payment received later that week.

Canada Regional Development Agencies – On April 17, the government announced $675 million to give through Canada’s Regional Development Agencies. As this program was just announced, further investigation is required to determine how travel agencies can benefit.

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Posted in COVID-19, News, Tourism Organizations, Travel Agents