Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced an extension to the federal government’s 75 per cent emergency wage subsidy on Friday, coinciding with businesses across the country taking the first cautious steps towards re-opening.

The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy program was initially slated to run until June 6th, but will now be extended until the end of August, says Trudeau.

The Prime Minister stated that the three month extension comes from an effort to continue to alleviate financial stress on businesses impacted by COVID-19.

Trudeau also says the government will be adjusting eligibility requirements for the program, including changes to how much qualifying companies’ revenues need to have declined.

More details on broadening of the program are expected to be released today by Finance Minister Bill Morneau.

In March, Trudeau informed Canadians that all small and medium-sized businesses whose revenue has decreased by 30 per cent or more because of the COVID-19 pandemic will be eligible for the 75 per cent wage subsidy.

As for what this looks like for employees specifically, the government will offer up to 75 cent of salaries on the first $58,700; this will break down to $847 per week.

The subsidy will be offered regardless of the number of employees the business has, will be back-dated to March 15th, 2020, and businesses can apply on the CRA website.

Also announced on Friday was a $450 million in temporary wage support to universities and research institutions affected by COVID-19. These funds will be delivered through federal granting agencies.

Additionally, the Prime Minister says the Canada Child Benefit and GST/HST credit won’t be cut off for people who miss the June 1st tax filing date.

Though he urges Canadians to still file their taxes on time, these benefits will automatically continue until the end of September for those who miss the deadline.