COVID-19 Business Support

Business Resources & Supports

Feb 24, 2021

VACCINCATION INFORMATION:

LEARN MORE ABOUT OUR LOCAL VACCINCATION EFFORTS HERE



GOVERNMENT SUPPORT:

  • Looking for which government programs may be for your business? Click here to be guided to the programs that may best be suited for you.
  • Do you have questions on the provincial lockdown or on support programs? Call the Stop the Spread Helpline at 1-888-444-3659 (7 days/week).


FINANCIAL HELP:

NEW: ONTARIO SMALL BUSINESS SUPPORT GRANT:

  • The New Ontario Small Business Support Grant will offer one-time grants of a minimum of $10,000 and up to $20,000 to eligible small business owners to navigate the Provincewide Shutdown and the new State of Emergency and Stay-at-Home Order.

  • Small business owners can use this grant however makes the most sense for them (i.e. to pay employee wages, maintain inventory, etc.).

    Who is eligible? Businesses that:

    • Are required to close or significantly restrict services due to provincially-mandated restrictions. 
    • Have less than 100 employees at the enterprise level and
    • Can be expected to experience a minimum 20% revenue decline because of provincially-mandated restrictions. This will be measured by comparing April 2020 with April 2019 monthly revenues. New businesses established since April 2020 are also eligible.
  • Click here to see if your business is eligible 

How do I apply or check the status of my application?


HIGHLY AFFECTED SECTORS CREDIT AVAILABILITY PROGRAM (HASCAP) GUARENTEE:

  • This new program (launched January 26, 2021) will work with participating Canadian financial institutions to offer government-guaranteed, low-interest loans of up to $1 million.
  • Eligible businesses could be eligible for up to $6.25 million to help with day-to-day operating costs during the COVID-19 crisis and will enable investment into  longer-term prosperity.
  • This program is administered through Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) who will work with participating Canadian financial institutions to offer these loans.

Which businesses are eligible?

Any sector  that have been hit hard by the pandemic. This includes restaurants, businesses in the tourism and hospitality sectors, and those that rely on in-person service.

What are the eligibility requirements?

  • Your primary financial institution will determine whether you qualify for this program based on the eligibility criteria established by the Government of Canada.
  • Your business must have been financially stable and viable prior to the current economic situation.
  • You must have received payments either from the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) or the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS) by having demonstrated a minimum 50% revenue decline for at least 3 months (not necessarily consecutive) within the 8 month period prior to the date of the HASCAP Guarantee application.
  • The loan will be used to continue to resume operations (it cannot be used to pay or refinance existing loans).
  • Your business is Canadian based.

  • Click here for more information.

How do I apply?

  • You can apply through your primary financial institution.
    ONTARIO'S NEW SKILLS DEVELOPMENT FUND:
  • This fund will provide up to $100 million in the first application round in February 2021, and a second round of projects is planned to provide an additional $15 million in spring.
  • This fund will support workers and apprentices and is specifically designed to address the challenges brought on by COVID-19.
  • This fund will help reduce obstacles to hiring, training, and retaining while preparing workers for the province's economic recovery.
  • The focus of this fund will be on:
    • Giving laid-off workers immediate access to training supports or new jobs
    • Improving the quality of training
    • Reaching out to traditionally underrepresented groups
    • Increasing apprentice registrations and completion
    • Better serving local communities
    • Supporting the talent needs of small businesses. 

How can this fund be used?

  • Examples include a digital career fair that allows employers to connect with job seekers, mentorship and career counselling for apprentices, creation of job training materials that teach employers how to accommodate  employees with disabilities, and making workspaces and equipment more accessible.

How can I apply?

  • You can submit proposals beginning February 5 2021, until February 28, 2021 by clicking here. 

CANADA EMERGENCY WAGE SUBSIDY (CEWS):

  • The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) applies to qualified employers who have seen a drop in revenue due to COVID-19. This program is meant to prevent more job losses by helping you keep your employees on payroll, allows you to re-hire workers, and assists you in returning to normal operations. Qualified businesses will receive a percentage of your employees' pay to be subsidized, based on your revenue loss. The program will now be in place until June 2021. 

Who is eligible to apply? 

  • Click here to see the CRA's online calculator to determine what the subsidy will cover.
  • You had a CRA payroll account on or before March 15, 2020
  • Be one of the following types of employers
  • Have experiences a drop in revenue - click here to see the eligible revenue drops or click here to use the CRA's online calculator 

How can I apply? 


CANADA EMERGENCY BUSINESS ACCOUNT (CEBA):

  • Financing programs are available through the Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) for SMEs and not-for-profits who have seen their revenue drop:
  • Up to $60,000 (increased from $40,000 to $60,000 as of December 4, 2020)
  • All applicants have until March 31, 2021 to apply for the loan
  • 0% interest until December 31, 2022

     

    Who is eligible to apply?

    • Have an active CRA Business Number (BN) with an effective date of registration on or prior to March 1, 2020
    • Have an active business chequing/operating account with the Lender at the time of applying for CEBA (if Borrower does not have a current business chequing/operating account, you must create one at your primary financial institution before applying) 
    • Has not previously used the CEBA program and will not apply for support under the program at any other financial institution
    • Intends to continue to operate business or resume operations 

How can I apply?

  • You must contact your primary financial institution and apply through them.
  • Click here for more information.

CANADA RECOVERY SICKNESS BENEFIT (CRSB) 

  • Provides $500 per week (taxable, tax deducted at source) for up to a maximum of two weeks, for workers who are unable to work for at least 50% of the week because they contracted COVID-19, self-isolated for reasons related to COVID-19, or have underlying conditions, are undergoing treatments or have contracted other sicknesses that, in the opinion of a medical practitioner, nurse practitioner, person in authority, government or public health authority, would make them more susceptible to COVID-19.
  • This benefit will be paid in one-week periods.
  • Employers are listed as someone that can advise an applicant to self-isolate.
  • SEE DETAILS


RENT RELIEF:

CANADA EMERGENCY RENT SUBSIDY (CERS):

  • CERS allows Canadian businesses, non-profits, and charities who have seen a drop in revenue due to COVID-19 to apply for a subsidy to cover part of their commercial rent or property expenses, starting on September 27, 2020 - until June 2021. 
  • This subsidy will provide payments directly to qualifying renters and property owners, without requiring the participation of landlords. 
  • Please note that if you are eligible for the base subsidy, you may also be eligible for a lockdown support if your business location is significantly affected by public health order for a week or more. 

Who is eligible to apply?

  • a) You had a CRA business number on September 27, 2020 or
    • b) You had a payroll account on March 15, 2020 / another person or partnership made a payroll remittances on your behalf or
    • c) You purchased the business assets of another person or partnership who meets condition b above and have made an election under the special asset acquisition rules 
  • You are an eligible business, charity, or non-profit 
  • You experienced a drop in revenue
    • The drop in revenue is calculated by comparing your eligible revenue during the preference period with your eligible revenue from a previous period baseline revenue) 
    • Calculate your revenue drop here
  • You have eligible expenses 


REBATES & GRANTS:

ONTARIO MAIN STREET RECOVERY GRANT:

  • This grant provides a one-time reimbursement of up to $1,000 for PPE costs for eligible small businesses with 2-19 employees in the retail, food and accommodation sectors, and other service sectors like repair and maintenance, and personal and laundry services.
  • More information 

ONTARIO'S ENERGY & PROPERTY TAX REBATES:

  • Businesses that are, or were required to shut down or significantly restrict their services due to provincial public health measures can apply for the rebates
  • Provided in the form of grants, these rebates cover municipal/education property taxes and energy costs (electricity/natural gas/propane, etc.)
  • More information

ONTARIO'S COVID-19 ENERGY ASSISTANCE PROGRAM FOR SMALL BUSINESS (CEAP-SB):

  • A one-time, bill credit to eligible small businesses and registered charities to help them catch up on energy bills and resume regular payments
  • Small businesses and eligible charities may receive up to $1500 in support towards electricity bills (when electricity is primarily used for heating) and up to $425 in support (when natural gas is used)
  • More information 


PLANS, TOOLS, TEMPLATES: 

COVID-19 Guidance for Businesses 

  • Wellington Dufferin Guelph (WDG) Public Health has released a guide for businesses detailing facts on COVID-19, what employers and employees can do to prevent transmission and what to do if an employee becomes ill, or tests positive for COVID-19.
  • Click here to read the guide. 

Virtual Town Hall with your Chamber & Elected Officials

  • On March 31 and April 21, we hosted MP Lloyd Longfield, MPP Mike Schreiner and Mayor Cam Guthrie to talk about how they are working to support businesses. 
  • Click here to watch it the March 31 event and here to watch the April 21 event. 

How to cope with the impacts of COVID-19 on your business (click here to watch the seminar)

  • The first half of the webinar presents a national and international economic outlook.
  • At minute 14:30, BDC provides concrete tactics to help your business cope through this crisis. 

Canada Business App

  • A free app that allows you to easily navigate government services.
  • Special COVID-19 section tailored for businesses. 

Ontario Chamber of Commerce's Pandemic Preparedness toolkit for small businesses 

  • The guidelines and resources contained in this toolkit have been prepared to help businesses plan for and adapt to the disruption of COVID-19 and any future influenza pandemics.

BDC's business continuity plan & template for entrepreneurs 

  • This provides you with templates to ensure your business has a continuity plan to ensure your business has the plans and resources needed to deal with emergencies. 

Workplace health & safety

  • Ensure your business is adhering to health & safety standards. 

Canadian Chamber of Commerce's Pandemic Preparedness guide

  • This toolkit provides a checklist to help your business prepare for current and future emergencies. 


JOB PROTECTION AND EMPLOYMENT INSURANCE: