COVID-19 Business Support

Business Support Services

Jun 23, 2020

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.


FINANCIAL HELP:

SMALL BUSINESS RELIEF FUND:

  • As part of its Canadian Business Resilience Network campaign, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, through the generosity of Salesforce will provide 62 small Canadian businesses from coast to coast to coast with $10,000 grants to help their recovery efforts during these times.
  • The CBRN Small Business Relief Fund will help 62 small Canadian businesses recover and support their resilience, for a total of $620,000 in funds.\

  • Businesses can use the $10,000 grants to support their recovery efforts, including paying salaries, acquiring safety and personal protective equipment for staff, replenishing materials or paying for the measures required to adapt business models to the economic impacts of COVID-19.

Eligibility requirements:

  1. Be a for-profit company
  2. Have between 2 and 50 employees
  3. Have been in business for two years as of March 1, 2020
  4. Have an annual revenue between $150,000 CAD and $5,000,000 CAD
  5. Have been negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic
  6. Meet the other eligibility criteria set out in the program’s terms and conditions (to be posted June 1).

How to apply:

  • You can apply from June 1 to June 12 on the Canadian Business Resilience Network's page.
  • Your application should demonstrate how the funds would help your business recover. 
  • Successful applicants will be announced in late June to early July 2020 and grant recipients will be asked to publicly share how they've used the funds through video or a written case study.

TEMPORARY WAGE SUBSIDY PROGRAM FOR EMPLOYERS: NOW OPEN FOR APPLICATIONS.

  • The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) applies at a rate of 75% of the first $58,700 normally earned by employees – representing a benefit of up to $847 per week. The program was originally announced to be in place for a 12-week period, from March 15 to June 6, 2020.
  • On May 8, the government announced that the program will extend beyond June. More details to come.

Who is eligible to apply? 

  • Click here to see the CRA's online calculator to determine what the subsidy will cover.
  • Eligible employers who suffer a drop in gross revenues of at least 15% in March, and 30% in April and May when compared to the same month in 2019, OR compared to January or February in 2020, would be able to access the subsidy.
  • Charities and not-for-profit organizations can choose to include or exclude government funding as revenue for this program. 
  • Eligible employers would include employers of all sizes and across all sectors of the economy, with the exception of public sector entities.
  • An eligible employer’s entitlement to this wage subsidy will be based entirely on the salary or wages actually paid to employees. All employers would be expected to at least make best efforts to top up salaries to 100% of the maximum wages covered. Click here to learn more about the wage subsidy program. 
  •  Those organizations that do not qualify for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy may continue to qualify for the previously announced wage subsidy of 10% of remuneration paid from March 18 to before June 20, up to a maximum subsidy of $1,375 per employee and $25,000 per employer.
  • This is a 3-month measure that will allow eligible employers to reduce the amount of payroll deduction required to be remitted to the CRA. Click here to learn more about the 10% wage subsidy. 

How can I apply? 

*Please note that individuals cannot receive both the CEWS and the CERB. 

 


CANADA EMERGENCY BUSINESS ACCOUNT: INTEREST-FREE BANK LOANS:

  • Financing programs are available through the Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) for SMEs and not-for-profits who have seen their revenue drop:

The Canada Emergency Business Account 

  • Up to $40,000
  • 0% interest until December 31, 2022
  • Who is eligible to apply?

    • Qualifying companies must demonstrate that they paid between $20,000 and $1.5 million in total payroll in 2019. (Updated April 16)

    • Sole proprietors and companies who pay less than $20,000 in payroll who receive income directly from their business, businesses who rely on contractors and family-owned corporations that pay employees through dividends rather than payroll now qualify for the CEBA. Please note that you can not yet apply. (Updated May 19)

      • 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

SME Loan and Guarantee program

  • Up to $6.25 million
  • Commercial interest rate
  • 10-year replacement period

How can I apply?

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

THE CANADIAN EMERGENCY RESPONSE BENEFIT (CERB): FOR INDIVIDUALS 

  • This is a taxable benefit that will provide $2,000 a month for up to four months for workers who lose some or all of their income as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The CERB is a simpler and more accessible combination of the previously announced Emergency Care Benefit and Emergency Support Benefit.

Who does this benefit?

  • The CERB would cover Canadians who have lost their job, are sick, quarantined, or taking care of someone who is sick with COVID-19, working parents who must stay home without pay to care for children who are sick or at home because of school and daycare closures.
  • The CERB would apply to wage earners, contract workers and self-employed individuals who would not otherwise be eligible for Employment Insurance (EI).
  • On April 15, the government expanded the eligibility requirements to include people earning up to $1000/month, seasonal workers and those who have exhausted their EI benefits as of January 1st.
  • Workers who are still employed, but are not receiving income because of disruptions to their work would also qualify for the CERB.

How can I apply?

  • You can apply by clicking here. 
  • Note that you will need an online CRA account, your 2018 tax filing and SIN number. 
  • Please apply based on your birth month:
Born in Apply for CERB on
January, February, March Mondays 
April, May, June Tuesdays 
July, August, September Wednesdays
October, November, December Thursdays
Any month Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays

For more information on the CERB, click here.


WELLINGTON COUNTY BUSINESSES:

  • Wellington County has announced that they will be providing $1 million dollars in low interest loans to help local County businesses get through the financial challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. County Council entered into a partnership with local Community Futures Development Corporations (CFDC) to deliver their new Keep Well – Emergency Business Sustainability Fund.
  • For details of the fund and how to take advantage of this, click here. 

MANAGING CASHFLOW:



SELF-EMPLOYED/ENTREPRENEURS: 

  • If you're self-employed and do not qualify for EI, you can apply for the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) listed above. 
  • You're encouraged to reach out to your bank directly to talk about waived fees, no interest loans, etc. 
  • Financing is available as part of the Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP). 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. Click here for more information (please note that you will have to contact your primary financial institution to apply). NOW OPEN (April 9). 


LEGAL INFORMATION:

  • Have questions about layoffs, salaries, EI and more? Click here to read a FAQ document from the Canadian Chamber of Commerce.


RENT RELIEF:

THE CANADA EMERGENCY COMMERCIAL RENT ASSISTANCE (CECRA) PROGRAM:

The federal government has reached an agreement with all provinces and territories to implement the CECRA for small businesses. This program will lower rent by 75% for small businesses that have been affected by COVID-19:

  • The program will provide forgivable loans to qualifying commercial property owners to cover 50% of 3 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% for the 3 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% 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% drop in pre-COVID-19 revenues. 
  • This support will also be available to non-profit and charitable organizations.
  • Commercial properties with a residential component, and residential mixed-use properties that have a 30% commercial component, would be equally eligible for support with respect to their commercial tenants only.
  • Under a rent forgiveness agreement, which includes a moratorium on eviction, the mortgaged commercial property owner would reduce the small business tenant’s monthly rent by at least 75 per cent. The tenant would be responsible for covering 25 per cent, the property owner 25 per cent, while the federal government and provinces would share the remaining 50 per cent. The forgivable loans would be disbursed directly to the mortgage lender.

WHEN AND HOW IS THIS PROGRAM IMPLEMENTED?

WHAT IF I DON'T HAVE A MORTGAGE?

  • If a property owner does not have a mortgage secured by a commercial rental property, the property owner should contact CMHC to discuss program options, which may include applying funds against other forms of debt facilities or fixed cost payment obligations (e.g. utilities).

For complete information, click here. 



TAX & PAYROLL:

PAYROLL:

DEFERRED BUSINESS FILING TAXES:

  • The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) will allow all businesses to defer, until after August 31, 2020, the payment of any income tax amounts that become owing on or after today (March 18, 2020) and before September 2020.
  • This relief would apply to tax balances due and instalments and no interest or penalties will accumulate on these amounts during this period.
  • The CRA will not contact any small or medium (SME) businesses to initiate any post assessment GST/HST or Income Tax audits for the next four weeks (starting March 18, 2020). 
  • For the vast majority of businesses, the CRA will temporarily suspend audit interaction with taxpayers and representatives.
  • The Liaison Officer service offers help to owners of small businesses to understand their tax obligations (changes such as filing and payment deadlines, proactive relief measures, etc.). 
  • There will be five months of interest and penalty relief for businesses to file and make payments for the majority of provincially administered taxes.
    • Beginning April 1, 2020, up until 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 the Employer Health Tax, Tobacco Tax and Gas Tax.
  • The Federal government announced GST and HST taxes and duties on imports deferred will be deferred until June.


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: