What is the Hardest-Hit Business Recovery Program?
The Hardest-Hit Business Recovery Program (HHBRP) is a targeted federal COVID-19 support program established in fall 2021 and continuing into spring/summer 2022.
The HHBRP provides wage and rent subsidies, but only for businesses that can demonstrate severe revenue decline since the beginning of the pandemic.
Retailers who do not qualify for the HHBRP may still qualify for a temporary type of local lockdown support called the Local Lockdown Program (LLP). The LLP is available to eligible businesses navigating the impact of the Omicron variant, even if they are under a reduced capacity order, not a full lockdown. See LLP overview.
Who can apply for the HHBRP?
Hard-hit organizations that do not qualify for the Tourism and Hospitality Recovery Program (another program established at the same time as the HHBRP) and that have been deeply affected since the outset of the pandemic would qualify for rent and wage support under the Hardest-Hit Business Recovery Program. They must meet the following two eligibility requirements:
- A 12-month average revenue drop from March 2020 to February 2021 of at least 50%
- A claim period revenue drop of at least 50%
How does the subsidy work?
Under this program, the maximum subsidy rate for the wage and rent subsidies would be set at 50 percent for eligible entities from October 24, 2021, to March 12, 2022 (claim periods 22 to 26).
The wage and rent subsidy rates would continue to be calculated based on current-month revenue losses compared to those of a prior reference period, as under existing rules. However, under this program the subsidy rates would start at 10 percent for eligible hard-hit organizations with a 50 percent current-month revenue decline, increasing thereafter on a straight-line basis to a maximum rate of 50 percent for those with a current-month revenue decline of 75 percent or higher.
The rent and subsidy rates would be reduced by half from March 13 to May 7, 2022 (claim periods 27 and 28).
The table below details the proposed wage and rent subsidy rate structure for organizations that qualify for the Hardest-Hit Business Recovery Program from October 24, 2021, until May 7, 2022.
October 24, 2021 – March 12, 2022
March 13 – May 7, 2022
|Current-month revenue decline|
|75% and over||50%||25%|
|50-74%||10% + (revenue decline – 50%) x 1.6|
e.g., 10% + (60% revenue decline – 50%) x 1.6 = 26% subsidy rate
|5% + (revenue decline – 50%) x 0.8|
e.g., 5% + (60% revenue decline – 50%) x 0.8 = 13% subsidy rate
How to Apply
Retailers should apply for the HHBRP through the CRA.
- Most retailers will apply using their My Business Account
- Business representatives may also apply using Represent a Client
- Alternatively, a retailer may use the Web Forms application