CERB Extension: A Time to Invest in Yourself for An Uncertain Future

Evelyn Jacks & Beth Graddon

A federal fiscal update has finally been scheduled for July 8, although the government is planning only a “snapshot” of the current state of affairs, and no fiscal projections, leaving lots of questions. What will be the future repercussions of this year’s emergency relief benefits?  Will taxes increase in 2021? What planning should take place today?  How can the CERB be used to help?

To err on the side of caution, millions of Canadians receiving the CERB and other government supports, may wish to make them last. That’s because gloomy forecasts for new job growth accompanied the good news about the CERB extension on June 16.

The bright side: the CERB payments could create opportunity for investment in future entrepreneurship as an option for personal economic relief.  Those benefits may:

  1. Fund new skills training
  2. Provide seed capital for new entrepreneurs to start a small business out of their homes
  3. Help pay off expensive consumer debt balances
  4. Those with solid balance sheets have an opportunity to invest the CERB – tax free if you have TFSA room – to shore up tomorrow’s emergency fund

CERB Extension and Job Availability: More than 8.4 million Canadians have received CERB payments, and 1.2 million have stopped accessing the program after returning to work or moving to the CEWS through their employer.

The extension announced on June 16, gives people an additional 8 weeks of benefits for a total of 24. At this time, the program end date remains October 3. The CERB program was initially offering a maximum of 16 weeks of benefits, and those who claimed it from the beginning (March 15) were set to max out their benefits as of July 15.

During the announcement, the federal government recognized that even as economies begin to open up again, job availability may not line up with the mass number of Canadians in need of employment. This echoes the concern of Canadians leading to the CERB extension.

But worse still, a recent Statistics Canada report showed that although the country has replaced about 10% of the jobs lost to COVID-19, Canada’s unemployment rate is on the rise. In May, the employment rate hit 13.7% with 491,000 more people looking for work.

So, what’s the next step for those looking for new job opportunities? Entrepreneurship is one contender.

Additional educational resources: Enrol in the new MFA™-Business Growth Designation Program. The numbers tell the story: The “Gig Economy” is here to stay. 97.9% of employer businesses in Canada are small businesses. Our economy is undergoing significant economic structural changes, and you have the opportunity to create new job opportunities for yourself, and jobs for those that need them. Why not you? Enrol today!