National Aid For Businesses

The Prime Minister also announced that the Government of Canada will be providing $962 million to regional development agencies and the Community Futures Network to support smaller businesses that don’t qualify for Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) & and the Canada Emergency Business Account.

Also, for innovators and other early-stage development firms that cannot access the CEWS, the PM announced $270 million to Futurpreneur and the Industrial Research Assistance Program.

More information to come.

  • This program provides interest-free loans of up to $40,000 to small businesses and not-for-profits, to help cover their operating costs during a period where their revenues have been temporarily reduced, due to the economic impacts of the COVID-19 virus.
  • This will better position them to quickly return to providing services to their communities and creating employment.
  • Repaying the balance of the loan on or before December 31, 2022 will result in loan forgiveness of 25 percent (up to $10,000).

Update May 19, 2020

The program will now be available to a greater number of businesses that are sole proprietors receiving income directly from their businesses, businesses that rely on contractors, and family-owned corporations that pay employees through dividends rather than payroll.

To qualify under the expanded eligibility criteria, applicants with payroll lower than $20,000 would need:

  • a business operating account at a participating financial institution
  • a Canada Revenue Agency business number, and to have filed a 2018 or 2019 tax return.
  • eligible non-deferrable expenses between $40,000 and $1.5 million. Eligible non-deferrable expenses could include costs such as rent, property taxes, utilities, and insurance.

How can I apply for the CEBA?

  • Small businesses and not-for-profits should contact their financial institution to apply for these loans.

What are the eligibility requirements for the CEBA?

  • The Borrower is a Canadian operating business in operation as of March 1, 2020.
  • The Borrower has a federal tax registration.
  • The Borrower’s total employment income paid in the 2019 calendar year was between Cdn.$20,000 and Cdn.$1,500,000.
  • The Borrower has an active business chequing/operating account with the Lender, which is its primary financial institution. This account was opened on or prior to March 1, 2020 and was not in arrears on existing borrowing facilities, if applicable, with the Lender by 90 days or more as at March 1, 2020.
  • The Borrower has not previously used the Program and will not apply for support under the Program at any other financial institution.
  • The Borrower acknowledges its intention to continue to operate its business or to resume operations.
  • The Borrower agrees to participate in post-funding surveys conducted by the Government of Canada or any of its agents.
More Detail
  • The Government announced the establishment of a Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) to help Canadian businesses obtain financing during the current period of significant uncertainty.  The BCAP will support access to financing for Canadian businesses in all sectors and regions.
  • Through this program, Export Development Canada (EDC) and the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) will provide $65 billion in direct lending and other types of financial support at market rates to businesses with viable business models whose access to financing would otherwise be restricted. By working in close cooperation with financial institutions, this program will fill gaps in market access and leverage additional lending by private sector institutions.
  • The Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) is targeted at small and medium-sized businesses. The Government of Canada defines small businesses as companies with between five and 99 paid employees and medium-sized businesses as companies with between 100 and 499 paid employees
  • Two financing programs are available through the BCAP:
    • The Canada Emergency Business Account and
    • SME Loan and Guarantee program.
  • Both initiatives will be administered by private-sector financial institutions.

Canada Emergency Business Account

Availability: Now

  • Up to $40,000
  • Zero interest for first year
  • Available to small businesses and not-for-profits, to help cover their operating costs during a period where their revenues have been temporarily reduced.
  • To qualify, small businesses will need to demonstrate they paid between $50,000 and $1 million in total payroll in 2019. Repaying the balance of the loan on or before December 31, 2022 will result in loan forgiveness of 25%.
  • Available through your primary financial institution

SME Loan and Guarantee program
Availability: April 2020

  1. BDC co-lending (with financial institutions)
    • Up to $6.25 million
    • Commercial interest rate
    • 10-year repayment period
    • Available through your primary financial institution
  1. EDC BCAP Guarantee
    • Up to $6.25 million
    • Additional details available on EDC website
    • Available through your primary financial institution
  • Businesses seeking support through BCAP should contact the financial institutions with whom they have a pre-existing relationship, so that the financial institutions may assess the client’s financial request. If the needs of the client exceed the level of support the financial institution is able to provide, the financial institution will work alongside BDC or EDC to access additional resources the Government has made available under BCAP.
More Details

Availability: Now

The new Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy will provide a 75% wage subsidy to eligible employers for up to 12 weeks, retroactive to March 15, 2020.

This wage subsidy aims to prevent further job losses, encourage employers to re-hire workers previously laid off as a result of COVID-19, and help better position Canadian companies and other employers to more easily resume normal operations following the crisis. While the Government has designed the proposed wage subsidy to provide generous and timely financial support to employers, it was done with the expectation that employers will do their part by using the subsidy in a manner that supports the health and well-being of their employees.

  • The federal government will offer a 75% subsidy to all businesses that have lost 30% of their revenue as a result of COVID-19 pandemic.
  • To qualify, companies will have to show that their revenue in March 2020 was 30% less than it was in March 2019.
    See below if you can’t show a 30% loss in revenue.
  • There may be some exceptions for start-ups and new firms.
  • The program will be in effect for three months and companies will have to reapply each month – demonstrating, for example, that revenues in April 2020 are also 30 per cent less than they were in the same month the year prior.
  • The 75 per cent wage subsidy will cover annual earnings up to $58,700 – or $1,129 a week in pre-crisis earnings. So the maximum subsidy for each employee would be $847 a week.
  • The program is retroactive to March 15.
  • The wage subsidy will be administered by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) through the My Business Account portal on the agency’s website.
More Details

The federal government has reached an agreement in principle with all provinces and territories to implement the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) for small businesses. This program will lower rent by 75 per cent for small businesses that have been affected by COVID-19.

The government is also providing further details on the program:

  • The program will provide forgivable loans to qualifying commercial property owners to cover 50 per cent of three monthly rent payments that are payable by eligible small business tenants who are experiencing financial hardship during April, May, and June.
  • The loans will be forgiven if the mortgaged property owner agrees to reduce the eligible small business tenants’ rent by at least 75 per cent for the three corresponding months under a rent forgiveness agreement, which will include a term not to evict the tenant while the agreement is in place. The small business tenant would cover the remainder, up to 25 per cent of the rent.
  • Impacted small business tenants are businesses paying less than $50,000 per month in rent and who have temporarily ceased operations or have experienced at least a 70 per cent drop in pre-COVID-19 revenues. This support will also be available to non-profit and charitable organizations.
More Detail
  • The 10% Temporary Wage Subsidy for Employers is a three-month measure that will allow eligible employers to reduce the amount of payroll deductions required to be remitted to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA)

Which employers are eligible?

You are an eligible employer if you:

  • are a(n):
    • individual (excluding trusts),
    • partnership (see note below),
    • non-profit organization,
    • registered charity, or
    • Canadian-controlled private corporation (including a cooperative corporation) eligible for the small business deduction;
  • have an existing business number and payroll program account with the CRA on March 18, 2020; and
  • pay salary, wages, bonuses, or other remuneration to an eligible employee.

An eligible employee is an individual who is employed in Canada.

Note: Partnerships are only eligible for the subsidy if their members consist exclusively of individuals (excluding trusts), registered charities, or Canadian-controlled private corporations (CCPCs) eligible for the small business deduction.

  • For more information on whether your corporation is a CCPC, see Type of Corporation.
  • For more information on whether your CCPC is eligible for the small business deduction, see Small Business Deduction in the T2 Corporation Income Tax Guide.
  • The federal government has now clarified that program – called the Temporary Wage Subsidy Program – is still in effect. Small businesses can continue to claim the 10% benefit.
  • However, if they also qualify for the larger 75 per cent subsidy – the CEWS – then the money Ottawa sends will be adjusted downward to account for any payments made through that separate program.
  • Unlike the CEWS, small businesses can claim the 10 per cent subsidy even if they haven’t seen a drop in revenue in recent weeks.
  • The maximum subsidy for that previously announced program is $1,375 per employee and $25,000 per employer.
More Details
  • The Work-Sharing program is provided for workers who agree to reduce their normal working hours because of developments beyond the control of their employers. The federal government is extending the maximum duration of the Work-Sharing program from 38 to 76 weeks.
  • In addition, eligibility requirements have been eased and the application process has been streamlined.
More Details

The federal government’s COVID-19 Response Plan contains measures will allow businesses to defer the payment of any income tax that becomes owing between March 18, 2020, and August 31, 2020, until September 1, 2020. Interest and penalties will not apply or be computed to these unpaid tax balances during this period.

This measure will apply to both monthly installments and year-end tax balances due under Part I of the Income Tax Act (Canada).

The deadlines to file certain categories of tax and information returns have been extended:

  • trusts having a taxation year ending on December 31, 2019, may defer filing T3 returns until May 1, 2020;
  • partnerships and their members may defer filing T5013 returns until May 1, 2020; and
  • the deadline to file NR4 information returns has been extended to May 1, 2020.

Administrative tax actions required of taxpayers by the CRA due after March 18, 2020, can be deferred until June 1, 2020. Such actions include the filing of returns, elections, designations, and information requests.

The CRA has also issued the following relief measures:

Audits: the CRA will temporarily suspend audit interactions with taxpayers and their representatives. The CRA will also refrain from initiating any post-assessment GST/HST or income tax audits with small or medium-sized businesses for the next four weeks. Industry Canada defines small businesses as companies with at least five paid employees, but fewer than 100 paid employees while medium-sized business are companies with at least 100 paid employees, but fewer than 500 paid employees. For more information about the thresholds, please see the Government of Canada’s website.

Collections: No collection activities will be initiated on new debts until further notice, and the CRA undertakes to make flexible payment arrangements available.

Objections: Objections related to Canadians’ entitlement to benefits and credits have been identified as a critical service which will continue to be delivered during COVID-19 times of hardship and therefore, there should be no delays associated with the processing of these objections. The deadline to make any objection request has been extended to June 30, 2020.

Appeals: All TCC sittings scheduled between March 30, 2020, and May 1, 2020, are cancelled. Canadian Pension Plan and insurability issues under the Employment Insurance Act will only be progressed where such appeals related to cases where EI benefits are pending. These cases will be considered on a priority basis.

Appeals of CPP/EI: Appeals in respect of decisions made by the CRA on pensionability issues under the Canada Pension Plan (CPP), and insurability issues under the Employment Insurance Act (EI Act), will only be progressed where such appeals related to cases where EI benefits are pending. These cases will be considered on a priority basis. Other appeals will be continued when normal service resumes but neither the CRA nor the Minister of National Revenue have indicated when this is expected to occur.

Requirement to pay (RTP): Banks and employers do not need to comply or remit on existing RTPs.

Delays: Once the crisis has subsided, there will be a significant backlog for the CRA to deal with, and considerable delays for the foreseeable future.

More Details

On March 27, 2020, the Government of Canada announced that it would defer to June 30, the due dates of the GST/HST collected by the following persons (including self-employed individuals registered for GST/HST purposes) and for the following periods:

  • Monthly filers for GST/HST collected for the February, March and April 2020 reporting periods;
  • Quarterly filers for the GST/HST collected for the January 1, 2020 through March 31, 2020 reporting period; and
  • Annual filers, for GST/HST returns or instalments are due in March, April or May 2020, for GST/HST collected and owing for their previous fiscal year and for instalments of GST/HST in respect of the filer’s current fiscal year.

In a commercial goods importation context, payments owing for customs duties and GST at a rate of 5% on imports are generally due before the first day of the month following the month in which the statements of accounts are issued to the importers of commercial goods. The Government of Canada has also announced, on March 27, 2020, that payment deadlines for statements of accounts for March, April, and May are deferred to June 30, 2020.

More Details
  • The filing deadline for all charities with a Form T3010, Registered Charity Information Return, due between March 18, 2020 and December 31, 2020 is postponed to December 31, 2020.
More Details

Canada’s National Strategy for Critical Infrastructure defines critical infrastructure as the processes, systems, facilities, technologies, networks, assets, and services essential to the health, safety, security or economic well-being of Canadians and the effective functioning of government. The Strategy classifies critical infrastructure in Canada according to ten sectors:

  • Energy and Utilities
  • Information and Communication Technologies
  • Finance
  • Health
  • Food
  • Water
  • Transportation
  • Safety
  • Government
  • Manufacturing

To protect public health during the COVID-19 pandemic, travel restrictions are in effect for foreign nationals seeking to enter Canada. In the case of the United States, the intent is to restrict leisure travel while minimizing the impact on business activities required for Canada’s economic integrity.

More Details

Insured Mortgage Purchase Program

Minister of Finance Bill Morneau announced amendments to mortgage insurance eligibility criteria, set out in regulations made under the National Housing Act and Protection of Residential Mortgage or Hypothecary Insurance Act. These changes will help provide stable funding and liquidity to financial institutions and mortgage lenders and support continued lending to Canadian businesses and consumers.

This announcement is in support of Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s (CMHC) March 16, 2020 launch of a $50 billion Insured Mortgage Purchase Program (IMPP) and CMHC’s March 20, 2020 announcement on program details. The amendments allow mortgage lenders to pool previously uninsured mortgages into National Housing Act Mortgage-Backed Securities (NHA MBS) for CMHC to purchase these securities through the IMPP. The impact of this measure will provide financial institutions with more liquidity. This, in turn, will allow financial institutions to continue lending to businesses as well as individuals, while assisting customers who face hardship and need flexibility, on a case by case basis.

More Detail

Other

Contact suppliers, creditors, lenders to request payment deferral.

Have notice of assessments, prior year tax returns, etc ready if approaching financial institutions.

Provincial Aid For Businesses

British Columbia

Effective immediately, B.C. is extending filing and payment deadlines for the following taxes until September 30, 2020.

Employer Health Tax

Sales Taxes

  • Provincial sales tax (including municipal and regional district tax*)
  • Carbon tax
  • Motor fuel tax
  • Tobacco tax

See Notice 2020-002, Covid-19 Sales Tax Changes for more information. New Notice April 1, 2020

*Municipal and regional district tax (MRDT) is the additional 2 or 3% tax on accommodation.

More Detail
  • The B.C. Emergency Benefit for Workers will provide a one-time $1,000 payment for B.C. residents whose ability to work has been affected due to COVID-19.
More Detail
  • The following tax changes announced in Budget 2020 will be postponed until further notice:
    • The new PST registration requirements on e-commerce and the implementation of PST on sweetened carbonated drinks will be delayed and their timing will be reviewed by September 30
    • Expanded registration requirements for Canadian sellers of goods, along with Canadian and foreign sellers of software and telecommunication services
  • School tax rates for commercial properties are reduced by 50% for the 2020 tax year.
More Detail
  • An additional one-time payment will be made in July 2020 on top of the regular climate action tax credit amount for qualifying individuals and families.
  • The previously scheduled credit increase effective July 2020 remains the same.
More Detail
  • Greenhouse operators can now apply for carbon tax relief grants for the 2020 production year, until May 1, 2020.
  • Commercial producers in B.C. who grow vegetables, ornamental flowers and plants, forest seedlings and nursery plants are eligible to apply for the grant if they:
    • had sales exceeding $20,000 in 2019;
    • used natural gas or propane to heat their greenhouses or produce carbon dioxide; and
    • had a production area greater than 455 square metres.
  • The grant covers up to 80% of the carbon tax that commercial greenhouse growers of eligible crops paid on the natural gas and propane they used for greenhouse heating and carbon-dioxide production in 2019. Cannabis is not an eligible crop at any phase of production.
  • Greenhouse growers supply communities with fresh vegetables for about 10 months of the year. In 2018, nearly 120,000 tonnes of vegetables were grown in greenhouses, including tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, eggplants and lettuce. In addition to vegetable growers, B.C.’s floriculture and nursery industries grow more than 80 million greenhouse flowers and cuttings and produce approximately 50 million potted plants a year.
More Detail

New guide to help address COVID-19 in the workplace

To help slow the progression of COVID-19, we encourage employers to review the new guide Preventing exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace. This guide contains questions employers should ask themselves to better understand the health and safety concerns in the workplace raised by COVID-19.

Topics covered include:

  • Identifying exposure hazards and developing measures to control exposure
  • Controlling the number of people on site
  • Prohibition of workers who are sick and those returning from outside Canada
  • Download the guide here
More Detail
  • WorkSafeBC has decided to allow employers to defer payment of their Q1 2020 premiums by three months. This means employers who report payroll and make payments on a quarterly basis, as well as Personal Optional Protection (POP) coverage holders, can defer payment until June 30, 2020. Employers who report annually will not be impacted because they do not report payroll or pay premiums until March 2021.
  • Employers who report and pay on a quarterly basis may still find it to their advantage to report their payroll by April 20, even if they defer payment, to ensure their account balance is accurate and clearance is not negatively impacted.
  • More information will be provided to employers in WorkSafeBC’s upcoming Q1 mailing, as well as through worksafebc.com and incoming phone messages to their Employer Service Centre.
  • WorkSafeBC is actively monitoring and adjusting to the COVID-19 situation to determine how they can best support their stakeholders around the province.
  • BC Hydro will offer new, targeted bill relief to provide immediate help to those most in need.
  • Residential customers who have lost their jobs or are unable to work as a result of COVID-19 will receive a credit to help cover the cost of their electricity bills. The credit will be three times their average monthly bill over the past year at their home and does not have to be repaid.
  • Small businesses that have been forced to close due to COVID-19 will have their power bills forgiven for three months. BC Hydro is waiving bills for these customers from April to June 2020.
  • Major industries, like pulp and paper mills and mines, will have the opportunity to defer 50% of their bill payments for three months.
More Detail

Changes to Employment Standard Act

  • The B.C. government has made two changes to the Employment Standards Act to support workers both during the COVID-19 public health emergency and in the long term.
  • The government said in a written statement the changes will allow workers immediately to take unpaid, job-protected leave if they are unable to work for reasons relating to COVID-19.
  • This means workers who are ill, need to self-isolate, need to care for their child or other dependent, or whose employer is concerned that the employee may expose others to risk, will be able to take leave without putting their job at risk.
More Detail
  • Essential services are those daily services essential to preserving life, health, public safety and basic societal functioning. They are the services British Columbians come to rely on in their daily lives.
More Detail

Sectors

  • The Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture announced a $3 million Arts and Culture Resilience Supplement to be administered by the BC Arts Council. Operating and eligible project clients will receive a supplement of up to $15,000 in early April to help them pay their bills.
  • Starting in April 2020, the BC Arts Council will provide operating clients a 50% advance on 2020-21 funding to help with their cash flow.
More Detail
  • Starting in April 2020, the Province, through viaSport, will provide provincial, disability and multi-sport organizations with the ability to access $5 million, which represents 50% of their annual 2020-21 provincial funding allocation, to provide these organizations with access to cashflow sooner.
More Detail

Alberta

Corporate income tax changes

  • Alberta corporate income tax balances and instalment payments coming due between March 18, 2020 and August 31, 2020 are deferred until August 31, 2020 to increase employers’ access to cash so they can pay employees, address debts and continue operations.
  • Due dates for filing corporate income tax returns due after March 18, 2020 and before June 1, 2020 have been extended to June 1, 2020.

Education property tax deferral

  • Education property tax rates will be frozen at last year’s level – reversing the 3.4% population and inflation increase added in Budget 2020.
  • Collection of non-residential education property tax for businesses will be deferred for 6 months, or both municipal and education property tax are deferred for a shorter time that is of equivalent benefit.
  • Municipalities are expected to set education property tax rates as they normally would, but defer collection.
  • Commercial landlords are encouraged to pass savings on to their tenants through reduced or deferred payments to help employers pay their employees and stay in business.
More Details

WCB premium payment deferral

Small, medium and large private sector employers can defer WCB premium payments until 2021.

  • For small and medium businesses, the government will cover 50% of the 2020 premium when it is due in 2021 – saving businesses $350 million.
  • Large employers will have their 2020 WCB premium payments deferred until 2021, at which time their premiums will be due.

Employers who have already paid WCB premiums in 2020 are eligible for a rebate or credit.

Utility payment deferral

Residential, farm and small commercial customers can defer electricity and natural gas bill payments for the next 90 days to ensure no one will be cut off, regardless of the service provider.

This program is available to Albertans who are experiencing financial hardship as a direct result of COVID-19, such as those who have lost their employment or had to leave work to take care of an ill family member.

Call your utility provider directly to arrange for a 90-day deferral on all payments.

Learn more about the 90-day utility payment deferral.

Tourism levy deferral

Hotels and other lodging providers can delay paying the tourism levy until August 31 for amounts that become due to government on or after March 27, 2020. Payments deferred until August 31 will not be subject to penalties or interest.

Hotels and other lodging providers are still expected to file returns, as required by legislation, and must collect the tourism levy from guests staying at their properties during this period.

Learn more about the tourism levy.

Credit unions

Business members should contact their credit union directly to work out a plan for their personal situation.

ATB Financial

ATB small business customers can:

  • apply for a payment deferral on loans and lines of credit for up to 6 months
  • access additional working capital for ATB customers

Other ATB business and agriculture customers can access support on a one-on-one basis.

Further solutions are being considered at this time.

  • Government of Alberta announced that it will amend the Employment Standards Code to allow full- and part-time employees to take 14 days of job-protected leave
  • must either be required to self-isolate or caring for a child or dependent adult who is either required to self-isolate or affected by school and daycare closures;
  • does not require a medical note; and
  • does not need to have worked for an employer for 90 days.
  • This measure covers the 14-day self-isolation period recommended by Alberta’s chief medical officer. This leave may be extended by Albert’s chief medical officer.
  • The maximum time for a temporary layoff has been increased from 60 days to 120 days
More Detail

Saskatchewan

The Employment Standard Regulations have been amended to:

  • Ensure that during a public emergency, businesses will not have to provide notice or pay in lieu of notice when they lay-off staff if it is for a period of 12 weeks or less in a 16-week period.
  • And if an employer lays off employees periodically for a total of more than 12 weeks in a 16-week period, the employees are considered to be terminated and are entitled to pay instead of notice as outlined in the Act.  This will be calculated from the date on which the employee was laid off.

These amendments create a balance for employers and employees where the difficult decision may be made to Save lay-off employees due to public health emergencies.  In this circumstance, employees would have immediate access to new federal employment insurance programs, while keeping employers financially stable to ensure employees have a job to return to.

The program is anticipated to cost a total of $10 million and will mostly benefit self-employed residents of Saskatchewan that meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • They have contracted COVID-19 or are showing symptoms;
  • They have been in contact with an individual infected with COVID-19;
  • They have recently returned from international travel and have been required to self-isolate;

AND

  • If they are not eligible for compensation including sick leave, vacation leave from their employer
  • If they do not have private insurance covering such disruptions
  • If they are not covered by other programs such as federal employment insurance that has been updated.
More Detail
  • Effective immediately, Saskatchewan businesses who are unable to remit their PST due to cashflow concerns will have relief from penalty and interest charges.
  • Over the course of three-months; government estimates a potential deferral of up to $750 million in PST collections.  Businesses that are unable to file their provincial tax return(s) by the due date may submit a request for relief from penalty and interest charges on the return(s) affected.
  • Government announced a crown utility interest deferral program waving interest on late bill payments for up to six months.
  • Effective immediately, the crown utility interest deferral program is available to all crown utility customers.
  • Effective immediately, a six-month student loan repayment moratorium has been put in place, mirroring a similar federal provision.
  • This provides individuals with student loans immediate relief, and comes at a $4 million cost to the provincial government.

Manitoba

The Manitoba government is adding a temporary exception to employment standards regulations to give employers more time to recall employees laid off as a result of COVID-19.

More Detail
  • The province will extend the April and May filing deadlines for small and medium-sized businesses with monthly remittances of no more than $10,000.
  • It is estimated this could help more than 20,000 businesses in Manitoba, the premier noted.
  • Businesses will have up to two additional months to remit retail sales taxes and the Health and Post Secondary Education Tax Levy, commonly called the payroll tax.
  • The department will work with businesses regarding flexible repayment options above the $10,000 cap.
More Detail

Ontario

  • Premier Ford announced that his government would be partnering with their federal counterparts to provide increased support for small businesses and landlords affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. Ontario has earmarked $241 million through the new Ontario-Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance Program (OCECRA). The total amount of provincial-federal relief that will be provided is more than $900 million, helping to ensure small businesses are ready to reopen their doors when the emergency measures are lifted.
  • Commercial rent relief has been a priority of the Premiers when in conversation with the Federal government. Premier Ford also added that he was looking forward to “working together to also provide much-needed support to residential renters ahead of May 1st.”
  • The OCECRA will provide forgivable loans to eligible commercial property owners experiencing potential rent shortfalls because their small business tenants have been heavily impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. In order to receive a loan, property owners will be required to reduce the rental costs of small business tenants for April to June 2020 by at least 75% and commit to a moratorium on evictions for at least three months.
More Detail
  • Businesses will get five months of interest and penalty relief to file and make payments for the majority of provincially administered taxes.
  • Between April 1, 2020 and August 31, 2020, the province will not apply any penalty or interest on any late-filed returns or incomplete or late tax payments under select provincially administered taxes, such as Employer Health Tax, Tobacco Tax and Gas Tax.
  • This complements relief from the federal government on interest and penalties from not remitting Corporate Income Tax owing.
More Detail
  • The government is providing a five-month interest and penalty-free period for businesses to make payments for the majority of provincially administered taxes.
  • Beginning April 1, 2020, the Province is providing flexibility to about 100,000 businesses in Ontario to help manage their cash flows during this challenging time. This will continue for a period of five months, up until August 31, 2020, and is expected to make available $6 billion to improve the cash flows of Ontario businesses.
  • For this period, the Province will not apply any penalty or interest on any late-filed returns or incomplete or late tax payments under select provincially administered taxes, such as the Employer Health Tax, Tobacco Tax and Gas Tax.
  • The initiative and relief period complement the relief from interest and penalties from not remitting Corporate Income Tax owing that was announced by the federal government on March 18, 2020.
More Detail
  • Employers can defer Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) payments for up to six months.
  • All employers covered by the WSIB’s workplace insurance are automatically eligible for the financial relief package.
    • Schedule 1 employers who owe premiums to the WSIB will be allowed to defer reporting and payments until August 1, 2020.
    • Schedule 2 businesses that pay WSIB for the cost related to their workplace injury and illness claims can defer reporting and payments until August 31, 2020.
  • No interest will be accrued on outstanding premium payments and no penalties will be charged during this six-month deferral period.
  • From March 24 to May 8, 2020, residential, farm and small business time-of-use customers will get the lowest rate — also known as the off-peak price — 24 hours a day. That means you will pay 10.1 ¢/kWh no matter what time of day you use electricity.
  • This rate will be automatically applied to your bill.
  • Increasing the Employer Health Tax (EHT) exemption for 2020 from $490,000 to $1 million. As an employer, this means relief of up to $9,945.

What this means for you

  • The annual tax return form is not changing. Only the amount for the exemption claimed will change. Eligibility for the tax exemption, tax rates and everything else remains the same.
  • You will begin making your instalment payments after your payroll has exceeded the new $1 million exemption level.
  • If your business no longer needs to make instalment payments as a result of the increased exemption amount, you do not need to notify the Ministry of Finance.

If you have already filed a final or special return for 2020

  • The ministry will be reviewing all 2020 EHT returns and correcting the returns for the new exemption level.
More Detail
  • If you are building, renovating or acquiring commercial or industrial buildings in designated regions in Ontario, you could be eligible to save up to $50,000 this year.
  • You can apply for this tax credit when you file your tax return.
More Detail

Quebec

  • This financial assistance is available to businesses operating in Québec, including cooperatives and other social economy enterprises with commercial activities. Eligible businesses are those that find themselves in a precarious situation and temporary difficulty as a result of COVID-19. They must show that their financial structure offers realistic prospects for profitability. Businesses cannot be under the protection of the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act or the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act.
    • A problem involving the supply of raw materials or products (goods or services)
    • An inability, or a substantially decreased ability, to deliver goods, products or servicesBusinesses must show that their cash flow issues are temporary and that the liquidity shortage stems from:
  • Applications will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis, according to the business’s circumstances and Investissement Québec’s management practices.

Eligible Industries

  • All industries are eligible, except for the following:
    • Weapons manufacturing or distribution
    • Games of chance and gambling, combat sports, racing and other similar activities
    • Bars or any establishment where the most of its revenue is earned from alcohol consumption or slot machines
    • Production and sale of tobacco and drugs along with services related to their use, except for projects involving pharmaceutical-grade products approved by Health Canada and having a DIN, or their ingredients, as well as R&D projects licensed by Health Canada
    • Any activity whose main purpose is protected by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (religion, politics, human rights advocacy, etc.)
    • Any other activity that may offend public morals.

Details of Financial Assistance

  • A loan guarantee is the preferred form of financing. Financing can also take the form of a loan from Investissement Québec.
  • Investissement Québec aims to work in close cooperation with financial institutions and federal authorities in order to share risks
  • For a line of credit guarantee, the guarantee is only applicable in the following specific conditions:
    • New lines of credit
    • Increases to existing lines of credit. In such case, Investissement Québec only guarantees the portion of the increase, based on the agreed upon collateral rate.
  • The minimum funding amount is $50,000.
  • Refinancing is prohibited.
  • This measure is designed to shore up the business’s working capital.
More Detail
  • In order to support businesses affected by the impacts of COVID-19, flexibility for outstanding loans and loan guarantees are being put in place by the Fonds local d’investissement(“FLI”).
  • A three-month moratorium has been put in place for the repayment (principal and interest) of loans already granted through the FLI. Interest accrued during this period will be added to the loan balance. This measure is in addition to the moratorium already in place under most investment policies in effect, which can be as long as twelve months.
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  • The Financière Agricole du Québec allows clients to request a six-month moratorium on loan repayments.
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  • Hydro-Québec will suspend the application of charges for unpaid invoices for all its customers (individuals and businesses) until further notice. Customers who expect to have difficulties paying their bill are invited to make a payment arrangement with Hydro-Québec.
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  • The Commission des normes, de l’équité, de la santé et de la sécurité au travail (CNESST) announced that employers have until August 31, 2020, to pay their Statement of Accountrelated to their CNESST contribution. In addition, no penalty or interest will be charged during this period.
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  • the Government of Québec announced the IPREW which is a new financial assistance program for individuals working essential jobs during the COVID-19 intended to make up the difference between the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (as described above) and an eligible individual’s wages The program provides $100 for each week of qualifying work beginning March 15, 2020, and extending for a maximum of 16 weeks. To be eligible under the program, individuals must:
    • work part-time or full-time in one of the essential service during the program period;
    • receive gross wages of $550 or less per week;
    • have an annual employment income of at least $5,000 and a total annual income of no more than $28,600;
    • be at least 15 years old; and
    • have been resident in Québec on December 31, 2019, and plan to reside in Québec throughout 2020.
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  • Québec announced a new initiative to stimulate the sales of Québec’s businesses named Le Panier Bleu. Le Panier Bleu is intended to be a directory of local merchants throughout the province who, during the crisis, are maintaining their sales activities.
  • A search engine will be added to allow consumers to locate products sold and simplify local purchasing
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  • Businesses that have received a confirmation of financial assistance under the Tourism Development Strategy Support Program will benefit from a postponement of the start or end date of the work. The deadline for businesses that must complete the financial setup of projects within a prescribed period is also postponed.
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New Brunswick

  • Small business owners impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic can apply for working capital loans up to $100,000 through the NB Small Business Emergency Working Capital Program.
  • Accessible to small businesses employing 1 to 49 employees, including sole proprietors/self-employed, with sales of less than $10 million in the most recent fiscal year.
  • Examples of sectors that would benefit from this support include restaurants, full time & seasonal tourism operations, service sectors, and self-employed business owners impacted directly by the pandemic.
  • The loans are funded by Government of New Brunswick and are administered by the Community Business Development Corporation (CBDC).
More Detail
  • Opportunities New Brunswick is making available working capital loans to assist employers respond to the challenges associated with COVID-19.
  • Working capital in excess of $100,000, up to a maximum of $1 million is available.
  • Examples of sectors that would benefit from this support are manufacturing and processing industries, information technology and related sectors, business-to-business service sectors engaged in export, or import replacement activities, and cultural enterprises.
More Detail
  • As an immediate measure, and on a case-by-case basis – the Government of New Brunswick will defer loan and interest repayments for up to six months on existing provincial loans.
  • This support will enable businesses to have immediate relief if they are experiencing difficulties as a result of COVID-19.
  • This assistance is available, on a case-by-case basis, to any business that has a loan with an existing Government of New Brunswick department. The deferral can be requested by contacting the department that issued the loan.
  • Though business property taxes must be paid by May 31, late penalties will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis to see if the penalty can be waived due to undue financial challenges, such as having to close a business due to COVID-19.
  • New Brunswick businesses, assessment premiums related to employer payrolls for February, March and April will be deferred for three months without interest charges.
  • This affects employers who pay their premiums on a monthly basis. It is not a permanent reduction in assessments payable, but a temporary postponement of payment.
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Nova Scotia

  • Through this new $20-million program, eligible small businesses, non-profits, charities and social enterprises ordered to close or greatly reduce operations because of the public health order may be eligible for a flexible grant. This one-time grant is equal to 15 per cent of revenue from sales, either from April 2019 or February 2020, up to a maximum of $5,000. You can use it for any purpose.
  • The deadline to apply is 25 April. If you have further questions about the program, email SmallBusinessImpactGrant@novascotia.ca.
Apply
  • To support small and medium-sized businesses, landlords are encouraged to defer rent payments from their commercial tenants for 3 months, spreading the deferred rent amount over the rest of the lease term.
  • You can use one of these forms to document the deferral agreement with your tenant.
  • Landlords are not permitted to change locks or seize property of businesses who cannot pay rent, if the business closed directly because of COVID public health orders.
  • Government will defer payments until June 30 for all government loans, including those under the Farm Loan Board, Fisheries and Aquaculture Loan Board, Jobs Fund, Nova Scotia Business Fund, Municipal Finance Corp. and Housing Nova Scotia.
  • Government will defer the payment of small business fees until 30 June. This includes registration renewal fees and workers’ compensation premiums. A full list of deferred fees will be available later.
  • The Small Business Loan Guarantee Program, administered through 16 provincial credit unions, will defer principal and interest payments until 30 June 2020. The Small Business Loan Guarantee Program continues to provide access to credit for eligible businesses up to $500,000.
  • Small businesses which do business with the government will be paid within five days instead of the standard 30 days.
  • Starting 30 March, restaurants can include alcohol purchases with take-out and delivery orders, as long as the alcohol cost is no more than 3 times the value of food ordered.
  • Some businesses must close under the Health Protection Act order. Others can remain open if they meet certain requirements. Use the COVID-19 employer assessment tool to see what your business needs to do.

Prince Edward Island

To support small and medium-sized businesses, landlords are encouraged to defer rent payments from their commercial tenants for 3 months, spreading the deferred rent amount over the rest of the lease term.

If you’re deferring rent because your tenant’s business is closed to the public due to the related to the COVID-19, pursuant to the Public Health Act,  you could be eligible for coverage (up to a maximum of $50,000 per landlord and $15,000 per tenant) if you can’t recover the deferred rent.

To be eligible for the COVID-19 Small Business Rental Deferral Guarantee Program, landlords must register with Finance PEI by April 20, 2020 by emailing financepei@gov.pe.ca(link sends e-mail):

  • the legal name of qualified landlord
  • for each deferral agreement:
    • the legal name of the qualified business
    • the address of the qualified establishment
    • total dollar amount of rent being deferred for the period of 1 April to 30 June 2020
More Detail
  • The Prince Edward Island COVID-19 Income Support Fund provides financial support to residents of Prince Edward Island to bridge the gap between the loss of their job/lay-off, loss of their primary source of income, Employment Insurance benefits have expired or loss of all revenues through self-employment as a result of COVID-19.
  • This emergency income fund is a one-time lump sum payment of $750 from the Government of Prince Edward Island. This emergency income is taxable.
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  • The COVID-19 Special Situation Fund for businesses and organizations will provide funding to businesses, community groups and non-government organizations that have experienced urgent income loss as a result of COVID-19 and are not eligible for other federal and provincial funding support.
  • This is a temporary program put in place to support organizations that have been significantly affected by COVID-19, have an urgent need, and are not eligible for federal or provincial financial support.
  • This program is only for organizations that aren’t eligible for other federal and provincial government programs, including COVID-19 emergency funding programs.
  • Businesses must have declared business income on their most recent tax return.
  • Community groups and non-government organizations must have been operating in PEI as of December 31, 2019.
  • Only one application per organization will be accepted.
More Detail
  • The Emergency Income Relief Fund is a temporary program put in place to support the self-employed who have been significantly affected by COVID-19.

Eligible Applicants

To be eligible for this component self-employed individuals must;

  • Have declared business income on their most recent tax return.
  • Business income must be their primary source of income.
  • Be able to demonstrate direct financial losses resulting from the COVID -19 isolation measures at the time of application.
  • Not be EI eligible or receiving any other income support (ie. Business Interruption Insurance).

Levels of Assistance

A maximum of $500 per week for the period of March 16 to March 29, 2020.

More Detail

A financing program has been developed to provide emergency working capital financing to assist PEI’s small business during this unprecedented economic disruption to business, caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. This new loan program is to assist qualifying companies maintain normal business operations during these difficult times.

Eligible applicants can apply to receive a working capital loan of up to $100,000 with a fixed interest rate of 4% per annum to be used to assist with fixed operating costs (including payroll, rent, utilities etc) with principal & interest payments deferred for a minimum of 12 months.

How do I qualify?

For an applicant to be eligible for assistance, the following criteria must be met:

  • Existing small businesses (startups not eligible) located and operating in the Province of PEI, and have been generating revenue on PEI
  • Registered to conduct business within the Province of PEI
  • The applicant has a satisfactory credit rating and must not have any defaulted outstanding debt obligation on file in the Province’s Central Default Registry

What are the details of the loan?

  • Up to a maximum of $100,000 per company
  • The loans will bear interest at fixed rate of 4% per annum, commencing at first disbursement and accruing during the term of the loan.
  • Repayment of this loan will commence 12 months after the first disbursement, with the balance outstanding to be repaid over the remaining 5 year period (for a total term of 6 years).
  • Loans are secured by:
    • Promissory Note for the full amount of the loan
    • Personal guarantees of the business owner(s)
    • General Security Agreement
  • No application fee
More Detail
  • The Government of Prince Edward Island has partnered with Sobeys on the PEI Employee Gift Card Program.  This is a temporary program put in place to offer a $100 Sobeys gift value to any employee, living and working on Prince Edward Island, who has received an ROE as lay-off notice as a direct result of the impacts associated with COVID-19.  The program was put in place to assist the employee while they await their EI payments. The application form is to be completed by the employer, who will then distribute the gift card letters to affected employees.
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Newfoundland and Labrador

Northwest Territories

  • From April 1 – September 24, 2020, clients (borrowers) of the Business Development and Investment Corporation (BDIC) can apply to reduce or defer up to three months of loan payments without penalty or additional interest charges. Regular interest will still be charged.

Criteria:

  • Businesses are automatically approved and not required to demonstrate financial hardship or impacts resulting from the COVID-19 crises.

To apply:

  • Send a letter (e-mail is acceptable) to your regional Department of Industry Tourism and Investment regional office stating that you want to reduce or suspend your payments and include the three month time period in which you need it to take effect.
More Detail

The Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) is offering low interest loans to NWT businesses through the NWT Business Development and Investment Corporation (BDIC).

Criteria:

To qualify, you are required to provide:

  • Demonstration of financial need for a 30 day period due to cash flows issues resulting from the COVID-19 crisis, ideally backed up by supporting documents;
  • A completed loan application form;
  • A summary of other business relief that you have applied for or received due to COVID-19; and
  • A copy of your NWT business license.

To apply:

Download and complete the loan application form.

Nunavut

This program is primarily focused on providing up-and-coming small businesses, community organizations and individuals with support to grow. Program eligibility is limited to Nunavut Residents and business majority owned by Nunavut Residents. It contains three funds:

Small Business Opportunities Fund

  • aims to help business start-ups and expansions
  • includes support for developing business and marketing plans
  • also supports new pilot projects, and business and “wind-down”

Entrepreneur Development Fund

  • assists business through training and skill development
  • eligible training includes accounting, bookkeeping, business start-up, and tourism safety and risk management
  • also assists in the establishment of business aftercare programs

Sustainable Livelihood Fund

  • supports activity in the tourism, arts & crafts and harvesting sectors
  • assistance to overcome immediate legal or bookkeeping problems
  • support the purchase of tools and other minor capital items
  • helps pay for tourism operators’ liability insurance
More Detail

Yukon

The Temporary Support for Events Funding Program helps Yukon businesses and non-government organizations (NGOs) affected by the cancellation of major events due to COVID-19 recover certain costs.

  1. Required documents

    If you apply for this program, you’ll need to complete and sign an application and provide the following:

    • proof that you qualify as a Yukon business or non-government organization;
    • documentation showing contract(s) with relevant event organizers regarding delivery of specific goods/services (if applicable);
    • original receipts for all purchases of goods/services for which the funding is required;
    • documentation showing cancellation of the event; and
    • proof of any cost-recovery efforts.

    We will verify applications and validate required documents before releasing program funds.

    More Detail

The Paid Sick Leave Rebate supports Yukon workers and self-employed people affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The rebate allows Yukon workers without paid sick leave to stay at home if they:

  • become sick; or
  • are required to self-isolate while still meeting their basic financial needs.

Self-employed people are also eligible for this rebate.

  1. Apply for a Paid Sick Leave Rebate for employers

    This rebate program reimburses employers who pay their employees to:

    • take sick days; and
    • self-isolate.

    It’s meant to support Yukoners to put prioritize their health and reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

    Apply