Ottawa Extends Programs for Hardest Hit Businesses

Meetings Mean Business Canada applauds the federal government’s intention to extend support programs for businesses hardest hit by COVID-19.

Included in Ottawa’s June 2, 2021 announcement:

  • Wage Subsidy, Rent Subsidy and Lockdown Support programs are extended to September 25, 2021.
  • The Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) and Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program (HASCAP) are extended to December 31, 2021.
The government said the extended timeline for the Wage Subsidy and Rent Subsidy and Lockdown Support programs would see a gradual decrease in the rates, beginning July 4, 2021, in order to ensure an orderly phase-out of the program as the economy reopens. Employers accessing the Wage Subsidy program would shift to the Canada Recovery Hiring Program as they transition to recovery and hire new workers.

Canada Recovery Hiring Program
Ottawa also released details of the proposed Canada Recovery Hiring Program, first announced in the April 19, 2021 federal budget. Designed to help hard-hit businesses hire the workers they need to recover and grow as local economies reopen, the program:
  • provides a subsidy of up to 50% of eligible salary or wages
  • is available to eligible employers that have experienced qualifying revenue declines so they can hire more workers, increase workers’ hours or increase wages
  • is available to support active employees only
  • is available from June 6, 2021 to November 20, 2021
Both the Canada Recovery Hiring Program and proposed extensions are part of Bill C-30, the Budget Implementation Act, which is currently before Parliament.


“The extension of existing federal support programs is good news for the meetings and business events industry. Our many businesses and workers are among the hardest hit by the pandemic. Continued federal support is crucial given the long sales cycles for business events and the fact that recovery for our industry will take longer than other businesses within the visitor economy,” says Clark Grue, chair, MMBC.

“And while we’re pleased with the support offered to employers as part of the Canada Recovery Hiring Program, we would also like to see support for independent businesses within our industry, which include meeting and event planners who do not employ full-time staff, as well as the many industry professionals who work on a contract basis.”

For more details about the programs, read the June 2 press release.