COVID-19 Business Support

Business Support Services

Apr 02, 2020

Financial help:

Temporary Wage Subsidy for employers

  • The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy would apply 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 would be in place for a 12-week period, from March 15 to June 6, 2020.

Who is eligible to apply? 

  • Eligible employers who suffer a drop in gross revenues of at least 30 per cent in March, April or May, when compared to the same month in 2019, would be able to access the subsidy.
  • Eligible employers would include employers of all sizes and across all sectors of the economy, with the exception of public sector entities.
  • For non-profit organizations and registered charities similarly affected by a loss of revenue, the government will continue to work with the sector to ensure the definition of revenue is appropriate to their circumstances. 
  • 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.
  •  Those organizations that do not qualify for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy may continue to qualify for the previously announced wage subsidy of 10 per cent 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.

How can I apply? 

  • You will apply through the CRA online portal. 
  • Please note that it is not yet open for applications and will be launching on an unknown date in the coming weeks. 

The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) - LAUNCHING APRIL 6:

  • This is a taxable benefit that will provide $2,000 a month for up to four months for workers who lose 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).
  • 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 not yet apply for CERB as the portal will open April 6. 
  • We encourage you to be prepared by having the following info ready: an online CRA account created, your SIN number, your 2018 tax filing, your bank card number and your online banking password.
  • If you have applied for EI before April 6, you will be automatically enrolled in the CERB program.
  • EI eligible Canadians who have lost their job can continue to apply for EI here, as can Canadians applying for other EI benefits.
  • Please note we will post the link to apply on April 6. 

Connect with your banks:

  • The Federal government, including our local MP Lloyd Longfield, is urging businesses to talk to their banks directly, as they have been given direction to take action to help businesses (including waiving fees, increasing loan amounts, etc.) 

Deferred Businesses 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.

Is your business located in Wellington County?

  • 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. 


  • If you're self-employed and do not qualify for EI, you can apply for the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) listed above.
  • Please note that you cannot yet apply. 
  • You're encouraged to reach out to your bank directly to talk about waived fees, no interest loans, etc. 

Plans, toolkits & templates:

Virtual Town Hall with your Chamber & Elected Officials

  • On March 31, 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. 

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 & employment insurance: 


Looking for health & wellness tips, or tricks for working home from? Check out our blog page!


At any time, please contact our staff to see how we can help support you right now.