What support can I get as a business owner affected by COVID-19?

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

The federal government announced this week that it is taking action to protect Canadian businesses from the effects of COVID-19.

Through Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan, the government is providing support for individuals, businesses and sectors. Some of the key measures introduced in the plan that address the uncertainty businesses are facing include:

  • The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) - a 75% subsidy for eligible employers, retroactive to March 15.
  • The Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) - provides interest-free, partially forgivable loans of up to $40,000 to small businesses and non-profit organizations.
  • Expansion of the Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) to mid-sized companies with larger financing needs by providing loans of up to $60 million per company, and guarantees of up to $80 million.
  • The Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility (LEEFF) - provides bridge financing to Canada’s largest employers, whose needs during the pandemic are not being met through conventional financing, in order to keep their operations going. 
  • Women Entrepreneurship Strategy (WES) - $15 million in new funding to the WES program for pre-existing WES fund recipient organizations.
  • The Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CERCA) - lowers rent by 75% for small business owners and offers forgivable loans to qualifying commercial property owners by providing 50% of three monthly rent payments payable by their small business tenants. The application process for these loans will begin on May 25, 2020.
  • Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) - $962 million in funding to help more businesses and organizations in the manufacturing, technology, tourism sectors. 
  • Temporary 10% Wage Subsidy - a three-month measure that allows eligible employers to reduce the amount of payroll deduction requirements to be remitted to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA)
  • Deferral of all Goods and Services Tax/Harmonized Sales Tax (GST/HST) payments, GST and customs duty payments owed for imports, until June. 
  • Extending Work-Sharing program - from 38 weeks to 76 weeks 

For more information on the different federal support programs available to businesses in Canada visit the “Support for businesses" section of the Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan page from the Government of Canada.