COVID-19 Resources for Businesses
We understand that many Canadian business owners and entrepreneurs are anxious about how to get the help you need in the face of COVID-19. Here are a few good places to start:
- Visit our website for businesses for information about supporting your employees and your business. It will be constantly updated as the COVID-19 crisis evolve.
- Download the Canada Business App to find tailored supports to address your specific needs and questions about COVID-19.
- Consult the Canadian Chamber of Commerce’s pandemic preparedness guide to help prepare you business in the days and weeks to come.
- Contact your bank. Canada’s banks have made a commitment to support businesses and individuals through these difficult times in a responsible, fair, and compassionate way. To help provide some stability for businesses through this time of uncertainty, the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) is lowering the Domestic Stability Buffer requirement, releasing more than $300 billion of additional lending capacity for Canadian financial institutions.
- Visit the Canada Business Resilience Network for tips, advice, and financial support.
If you are a charity or non-profit, you may be able to access part of our $350 million Emergency Community Support Fund being distributed through the United Way, the Red Cross, and Community Foundations Canada. Please reach out to your local branch for more details.
May 25, 2020 Update
May 19, 2020 Update
The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today announced an expansion to the eligibility criteria for the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) to include many owner-operated small businesses. This extended measure will help small businesses protect the jobs that Canadians rely on.
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.
May 11, 2020 Update
The Prime Minister announced that our government is establishing a Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility (LEEFF) to bridge financing to Canada’s largest employers who have been impacted by COVID-19, to help keep Canadians on the payroll. The Prime Minister also announced our government will expand the Business Credit Availability Program to mid-sized companies, and continue to provide financing to businesses through Farm Credit Canada, the BDC, the EDC, and through the Canada Account.
- The government’s support for large companies through LEEFF will be delivered by the Canada Development Investment Corporation (CDEV), in cooperation with Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) and the Department of Finance.
- The program will be open to large for-profit businesses – with the exception of those in the financial sector – as well as certain not-for-profit businesses, such as airports, with annual revenues generally in the order of $300 million or higher.
- To qualify, eligible businesses must be seeking financing of about $60 million or more, have significant operations or workforce in Canada, and not be involved in active insolvency proceedings.
- Broader sectoral dynamics for LEEFF applicants will be considered through processes led by ISED.
- We will protect workers by ensuring companies that receive support respect any and all collective bargaining agreements and protect workers’ pensions.
- We will protect taxpayers by putting in strict restrictions on executive pay, share buybacks, and dividends.
- We will protect our environment by ensuring companies commit to future climate disclosures and environmental sustainability goals.
- We will ensure that companies found guilty of tax evasion do not receive financing through the program.
April 24, 2020 Update
The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today announced that 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.
For more information on CECRA eligibility, please go to this website.
April 16, 2020 Update
The Government of Canada is:
- Expanding the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) to businesses that paid between $20,000 and $1.5 million in total payroll in 2019. This new range will replace the previous one of between $50,000 and $1 million, and will help address the challenges faced by small businesses to cover non-deferrable operating costs.
- Announcing its intent to introduce the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) for small businesses. The program will seek to provide loans, including forgivable loans, to commercial property owners who in turn will lower or forgo the rent of small businesses for the months of April (retroactive), May, and June. Implementation of the program will require a partnership between the federal government and provincial and territorial governments, which are responsible for property owner-tenant relationships. We are working with the provinces and territories to increase rent support for businesses that are most impacted by the pandemic and we will have more details to share soon.
April 8, 2020 Update — Wage Subsidy
The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy is updated to cover 75 per cent of an employee’s wages for employers of all sizes and across all sectors – including not-for-profits and charities - who have suffered a drop in gross revenues of at least 15 per cent in March, and 30 per cent in April and May. The subsidy would provide up to $847 per employee, per week, between March 15th and June 6th.
Businesses can use January and February as reference periods. If businesses use March to compare revenue, they'll only need to show a 15% drop because many only felt the impacts of COVID-19 halfway through the month. And as for charities and non-profits, they can either include or exclude government funding in their revenues.
Employers found eligible for a certain period would automatically qualify for the next period of the subsidy
You can calculate the amount you're entitled to at this website, and applications open Monday April 27.
APRIL 8, 2020 UPDATE — CHANGES TO CANADA SUMMER JOBS
Canada’s small businesses increasingly depend on the employment of young Canadians. The changes to the Canada Summer Jobs program will help small businesses hire and keep the workers they need so they can continue to deliver essential services.
The temporary changes to the program for this year include:
- an increase to the wage subsidy, so that private and public sector employers can also receive up to 100 per cent of the provincial or territorial minimum hourly wage for each employee
- an extension to the end date for employment to February 28, 2021
- allowing employers to adapt their projects and job activities to support essential services
- allowing employers to hire staff on a part-time basis
March 27, 2020 Update
- Launching the Canada Emergency Business Account. With this new measure, banks will soon offer $40,000 loans, which will be guaranteed by the government, to qualifying businesses. The loan will be interest free for the first year, and if you meet certain conditions, $10,000 will be forgivable
- Additional $12.5 billion through Export Development Canada and the Business Development Bank to help small and medium-sized businesses with their operational cash flow requirements. This means that businesses will be able to apply for a guaranteed loan when they go to their financial institutions to get help as they weather the impacts of COVID-19.
- We will defer GST/HST payments, as well as duties and taxes owed on imports, until June
March 20, 2020 Update
Today we announced a new strategy that will make it easier for companies to help out during this critical time. We are launching Canada’s Plan to Mobilize Industry to Fight COVID-19 to ensure that we can quickly produce, here in Canada, the things we need to prevent the spread of the virus. This initiative will help companies that are already making things like masks, ventilators, and hand sanitizer massively scale up production. It will also provide support to those who want to retool their manufacturing facilities to contribute to this fight. See more info here.
If you are able to help, please go to this website.
March 18, 2020 Update
We have advanced $55 Billion in immediate support for Canadian businesses and worked with other organizations or agencies to help protect against potential negative economic consequences of the spread of COVID-19, including:
- An extension of the tax filing deadline to June 1. This tax deferral will allow businesses that owe taxes at the end of the year to delay the time at which taxes would ordinarily become due until August 31. No interest will accrue during this period.
- Support of more than $10 Billion in loans for businesses of all sizes through the Business Credit Availability Program.
- Increased Liquidity for lenders in the Canadian economy to help businesses stay afloat through $50 Billion in mortgage purchases that will allow banks to free up additional lending capacity.
- A reduction of the interest rate through the Bank of Canada to 0.75%. Additionally, the Bank of Canada will free up lending capacity by approximately $50 Billion.
- Doubling the lending capacity of Farm Credit Canada.
- The Superintendent of Financial Institutions has changed the rules regulating Canada’s major banks that will allow them to increase lending capacity by approximately $300 Billion.
- Additional support through EDC’s Canada Account for items that are in Canada’s national interest.