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COVID-19 Support for your Game Studio

Insert Coin is dedicated to helping gaming studios during this challenging period. We've prepared this (always updated) page with information on the various measures available to your game studio.

Got questions about these support measures? Reach out to us on Discord, by email or call us.

Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy - 75%







Quick Reference:

Changes to this program were made after the initial announcement - you can now use average revenues from Jan & Feb 2020, instead of revenues from prior year, when calculating your drop in revenue. You also only need to show a 15% drop in revenue for the month of March 2020 (instead of 30%).

Do I Qualify?

In order to qualify, you need to be a corporation that had a drop in revenue of at least 15% in in March 2020, or at least 30% in April and May 2020, compared to either the revenues in the same month in the prior year, or an average of January and February 2020. You can qualify for 1 or more of these months - please see the Eligibility Periods section below for more details.

The revenue has to be business revenue from third-party customers. It cannot be 'revenue' from a related company.

A lot of game studios are in the pre-revenue stage, who are also impacted by COVID-19 but may not qualify due to these revenue requirements. If you'd like to discuss your current situation or see what qualifies as revenue, please contact us.

How Much Will I Get?

Generally the subsidy is 75% of the total gross salary paid to your employees for the period between March 15, 2020 and June 6, 2020.

In cases where you have decreased current salaries as compared to the baseline period (before March 2020), you can get a subsidy of up to 75% of the baseline salary amount, with the expectation that you pay the remaining 25% to maintain the same baseline salary.

Baseline salary is the average weekly salary paid between January 1 and March 15 inclusive, excluding any seven-day periods where the employee was not paid.

In both cases, there is a maximum subsidy of $847 per week per employee for this period. There is no maximum amount of subsidy per business.

Notes for business owners or shareholders:

For business owners, the weekly subsidy is limited to 75% of baseline weekly salary. If owners were not paid before March 15, they cannot qualify for this subsidy.

Dividends are not eligible; the subsidy only applies to salaries, wages and other remuneration on which you withhold payroll taxes & deductions.

Eligibility Periods

Between March and May 2020, there may be only certain months during which your revenues dropped enough to qualify for the subsidy. Depending on the months that you qualify for, you can claim the subsidy for salaries paid within certain periods.

When comparing your current revenues to a prior period, you can either compare each month to the average of Jan & Feb 2020, or to the same month in the prior year. Once you select a comparison period, you have to use the same period throughout the duration of this subsidy.

If you qualify for a certain period, you automatically qualify for the next period.

Revenues can be calculated using either the accrual method or the cash method, but not a combination of both. Once you select a method, you are required to use that method for the entire duration of the program.

For example, your revenue for March 2020 may have dropped by 50% from March 2019, but your May 2020 revenue may only have dropped by 10% from your May 2019 revenue. In this case, you would only be eligible for the subsidy for Period 1 and Period 2 (see previous paragraph) - but not for Period 3.

You can claim the 10% Temporary Wage Subsidy (described below) in addition to the CEWS. When calculating the CEWS amount, you will have to deduct any TWS subsidy already claimed.



Period If your revenues dropped at least... in the month of compared to you can claim the subsidy for wages paid during
Period 1 15% March 2020 Mar 2019 or average of Jan & Feb 2020 March 15 – April 11, 2020
Period 2 30% April 2020 Apr 2019 or average of Jan & Feb 2020 April 12 – May 9, 2020
Period 3 30% May 2020 May 2019 or average of Jan & Feb 2020 May 10 – June 6, 2020

How Do I Get This Subsidy?

The application is available on the CRA website as of April 27. Businesses can apply for the subsidy through CRA's My Business Account, or through a separate online application on the CRA website. Subsidy payments can be expected within 10 days of applying.

What About The 10% Temporary Wage Subsidy?

This new 75% wage subsidy does not replace the 10% Temporary Wage Subsidy that was announced earlier, which is described below. Any subsidy you received under the 10% TWS will reduce the CEWS that you will get. If you don't qualify for the CEWS, you may still eligible for the 10% Temporary Wage Subsidy.

What about Québec?

Revenu Québec has not announced any such subsidies yet, so this only applies to Federal & Ontario tax withheld from employees' pay. We will let you know as soon as something is announced for Québec.

Revenu Québec has, however, announced that they are prioritizing personal income tax returns involving a refund, and are processing applications for business tax credits and tax returns faster.

A Note About Compliance

Employers are required to keep records showing their reduction in revenues, as well as salaries paid to employees. You will be required to repay any subsidy amounts if you do not meet the eligibility requirements. The government will be proposing additional rules to ensure that the subsidy is not inappropriately obtained and to ensure that employees are paid the amounts they are owed. They have proposed a new 25% penalty for employers that manipulate revenue information to obtain access to this subsidy, in additon to existing 50% penalty for false statements/gross negligence.

Temporary Wage Subsidy - 10%







Quick Reference:

The Temporary Wage Subsidy is available to qualifying businesses starting March 18, 2020.

Do I Qualify?

In order to qualify, you need to be a private Canadian corporation with less than $15 million in taxable capital.

How Much Will I Get?

The subsidy is 10% of the total gross salary paid to your employees between March 18, 2020 and June 20, 2020. There is a maximum subsidy of $1,375 x number of employees paid during this period, and a maximum of $25,000 per business.

How Do I Get This Subsidy?

The subsidy is structured as a reduction of payroll remittances to CRA, instead of having to apply and receive funds. You can simply reduce the remittance of income tax withheld from employees by 10% of the gross salary.

What if I'm using a payroll service provider?

The following payroll service providers that have implemented automatic calculation of the Temporary Wage Subsidy in their payroll platform:

Wagepoint - More Information

PaymentEvolution - More Information

EmployeurD - please refer to the email from them with instructions.

Nethris - please refer to the email from them with instructions.

Rise Payroll - More Information

What If I'm Calculating and Remitting Payroll Deductions Manually?

Note: We've prepared a free downloadable calculator to help you calculate the subsidy amount.

If you're using CRA's Payroll Deductions calculator to calculate your withholding taxes & remittance amounts, you will still have to calculate the income tax withholding amount and deduct it from employees' net pay as you normally would. However, when remitting the income tax withholding to the CRA, you can reduce it by 10% of the gross salary paid.

The first remittance payment that will be affected by the subsidy would be April 15, 2020.

Note that the subsidy can only be deducted from Federal or provincial tax that will be remitted to CRA, and NOT from Québec income tax to be remitted to Revenu Québec. It cannot be used to deduct the Federal CPP/EI remittance amounts. If your subsidy exceeds the income tax withheld, you can deduct it from future remittances, past the June 20 end date.

What about Québec?

Revenu Québec has not announced any wage subsidies yet, so this only applies to Federal and provincial (except Québec) income tax withheld from employees' pay. We will update this page as soon as something is announced for Québec.

Revenu Québec has, however, announced that they are prioritizing personal income tax returns involving a refund, and are processing applications for business tax credits and tax returns faster.

Treatment of Subsidy for Income Tax

The subsidy is considered taxable income for your business, so it will be included as revenue in the next fiscal year-end that includes this three-month period.

Canada Emergency Business Account - $40,000

The Canada Emergency Business Account is an interest-free loan of $40,000 for qualifying businesses. Up to $10,000 of that amount will be forgiven if $30,000 is fully repaid by the end of 2022.

Am I Eligible?

In order to qualify,


  • your corporation needs to be an operating business (not just a holding company) that was active at March 1, 2020.

  • your total 2019 payroll expense has to be between $20,000 and $1.5 Million, as reported on your 2019 T4 Summary

How Do I Apply?

The Government has partnered with major banks & credit unions to provide this loan to businesses. You will need to apply through your bank via an online application available starting April 9. You need to have a business bank account that was active on March 1, 2020. You should have received emails from your bank about specifics on the application process.

Please refer to the following information pages for your specific bank:


What Are The Terms Of This Loan?

Note that the various banks have structured this loan differently - some banks will deposit the entire $40,000 into your bank account, however the interest-free periods below will still apply.

The Canada Emergency Business Account will initially be set up as an interest-free revolving line of credit until December 31, 2020.

On Jan 1, 2021, any outstanding balance on the $40,000 line of credit will be converted into a 5‑year term loan, with the balance to be fully repaid on Dec 31, 2025.

No interest applies until the end of 2022. Starting Jan 1, 2023, interest will accrue on the loan balance at the rate of 5% per annum, payable monthly.

If you pay 75% of the loan balance by Dec 31, 2022, the remaining balance of your term loan will be forgiven. For example, if you borrowed $40,000 by January 1, 2021 (the date the credit line was converted to a loan) and you repay $30,000 by Dec 31, 2022, the remaining $10,000 will be forgiven.

What Can I Use This Loan For?

The government requires that companies agree to use funds from this loan to pay for operating costs that cannot be deferred, such as payroll, rent, utilities, insurance, and property tax. It cannot be used for paying dividends or increasing management salaries.

Business Credit Availability Program - BDC Co-Lending

What Is This Program?

The Business Development of Canada (BDC) Co-Lending program provides financing (via a term loan) to businesses that have been negatively impacted by COVID-19. Eligible applicants can access up to $6.25 million in loans (max loan amount depends on revenue) to cover operating expenses such as rent and payroll. The loan will be jointly funded by your bank and BDC.

Am I Eligible?

In order to qualify, you need to:


  • Be a client of your bank as of March 1, 2020
  • Be a viable revenue-generating business as of March 1, 2020 prior to COVID-19 impact
  • Meet the necessary requirements that will form part of the application process - availabe through your bank.

Companies that have applied for the $40,000 CEBA loan and/or the EDC BCAP Program (described below) can also apply for the BDC Co-Lending Program.

How Much Financing Can I Receive?

The maximum amount available depends on your annual revenues in 2019:


Businesses with less than $1 million in annual revenue Businesses with $1-$50 million in annual revenue Businesses with over $50 million in annual revenue
Up to $312,500 Up to $3.125 million Up to $6.25 million

What Are The Financing Terms?

The financing is structured as a term loan, with the amortization and terms to be set based on your business profile and needs. You can make interest-only payments for the first 12 months of the term.

How Do I Apply?

This loan is available through your bank - please contact your account manager to discuss the application process.

Business Credit Availability Program - EDC Guarantee

What Is This Program?

This is an EDC-guaranteed business loan to help businesses impacted by COVID-19. Eligible companies can access up to $6.25 million in short-term liquidity to cover expenses which are critical to business continuity such as rent, payroll and other operational costs.

Loans are 80% guaranteed through the EDC, with the remaining 20% covered by your bank.

Am I Eligible?

Details about the eligibility criteria are not publicly available at this time; you will need to contact your bank to get more information.

Note that you do not need to be export-focused to qualify - this program is available to all companies including domestic businesses.

How Much Financing Can I Receive?

The amount of funding you can receive is dependent on the size of your business, with a maximum of $6.25 million

What Are The Financing Terms?

The EDC-guaranteed financing is structured as a one-year term loan, with potential to review for another year. The loan is repayable in full on the one-year anniversary. Since the loan is guaranteed by the EDC, there is a 1.8% guarantee fee payable to EDC, which can be deferred for 6 months.

How Do I Apply?

This loan is available through your bank - please contact your account manager to discuss the application process.

BDC Working Capital Loan

What Is This Program?

BDC Working Capital loans provide financing between $100,000 and $2 million to small & midsize businesses.

These loans are normally available for a 24-month term.

As a result of COVID-19, BDC has announced that you can defer principal repayment for upto 12 months, and access reduced interest rates on new eligible loans.

How Do I Apply?

You can apply for this loan directly via BDC - click here.

Québec Only - Concerted Temporary Action Program - $50,000

This new emergency funding measure from Investissement Québec provides ad hoc support for businesses affected by the repercussions of COVID-19.

Am I Eligible?

This financial assistance is available to businesses operating in Québec, including cooperatives. Eligible businesses are those that find themselves in temporary difficulty as a result of COVID-19. They must show that their financial structure offers realistic prospects for profitability.

Businesses must also show that their cash flow issues are temporary and that the liquidity shortage stems from an inability, or a substantially decreased ability, to deliver goods, products or services.

What Will I Get?

The minimum funding amount is $50,000. If approved, you could receive a loan guarantee from Investissement Québec, who is working closely with financial institutions and federal authorities in order to share risks. Financing can also take the form of a loan directly from Investissement Québec.

How Can I Apply?

For businesses that are already Investissement Québec clients (i.e. if you've ever received financing from IQ), contact your account manager or project manager directly by e-mail or phone.

For non-clients seeking a loan guarantee, contact your financial institution first, who will then work with IQ's account managers.

More information can be found here (en Français).

Impact on Tax Credits

Canada Revenue Agency

Procesing of tax credits by CRA (including SR&ED and OIDMTC) has not been impacted.

The CRA will not be contacting small/medium businesses to initiate any new audits, except in high risk cases. All other audits are temporarily suspended. SR&ED claims that were being reviewed or awaiting an FTCAS meeting are now being pushed through for processing & refund.

Revenu Québec - Provincial Credits

Revenu Québec has pledged to expedite the processing of business tax credit applications, including the provincial R&D tax credit and the tax credit for the production of multimedia titles (MMTC/CTMM).

RQ has also suspended all audit activities. You will only be contacted if necessary to process a refund.

Subsidy Calculators

We have prepared worksheets that can help you calculate the amount of the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy and the Temporary Wage Subsidy. Click here to download them.

Filing & Payment Deadlines

Revised Tax Payment & Filing Deadlines


CRA Revenu Quebec
Corp Tax Filing Corporations with a filing due date between March 18 and May 31, 2020 now have up to June 1, 2020 to file their tax returns Corporations with a filing due date between March 17 and May 31, 2020 now have up to June 1, 2020 to file their tax returns, including tax credit applications.
Corp Tax Payments Any tax balances or instalments due between March 18, 2020 and August 31, 2020, can be deferred until September 1, 2020. Any tax balances or instalments due between March 18, 2020 and August 31, 2020, can be deferred until September 1, 2020.
GST/HST Filing Unchanged, but the CRA will not impose penalties for late filings if filed by June 30, 2020. RQ is following the federal changes and will not charge penalties for any late filings until June 30, 2020.
GST/HST Payments Any GST/HST payments or instalments due between March 27 and June 30, 2020, can be deferred until June 30, 2020 without any interest. Any GST/HST and QST payments or instalments due between March 27 and June 1, 2020, can be deferred until June 30, 2020 without any interest.

Questions?