COVID-19 Business Support

Government Announcements

Apr 01, 2020

April 1, 2020, Federal Minister Morneau announces wage subsidy details:

  • Finance Minister Bill Morneau announced the following qualification details for the previously announced 75% wage subsidy program. 


  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Please note that applications will be through the CRA online portal, but are not yet available (coming in the next few weeks).

April 1, 2020, Ontario joins forces with private sector to fight COVID-19:

  • Doug Ford announced the new $50 million Together Fund.
  • This fund will help businesses provide innovative solutions or retool their operations in order to manufacture essential medical supplies and equipment, including gowns, coveralls, masks, face shields, testing equipment and ventilators.
  • The government is providing one-time funding of $50 million. It is time-limited and will be available to organizations across the province.
  • Businesses who can help are encouraged to submit a proposal. The government will be looking for the most viable, innovative proposals that can quickly provide critical goods and services and the greatest benefit to the people of Ontario. 
  • For more information or to submit a proposal, click here.

March 31, 2020, Prime Minister announces new partnerships with Canadian industries to fight COVID-19:

  • The Prime Minister announced progress under Canada’s Plan to Mobilize Industry to fight COVID-19, which increases Canada’s ability to respond to the outbreak with necessary medical equipment and supplies.
  • The Government of Canada is investing $2 billion to support diagnostic testing and to purchase ventilators and protective personal equipment.

  • More info.

March 27 & March 30, 2020, wage subsidy increased to 75% and details released:

  • Justin Trudeau announced the Federal government will increase the wage subsidy from 10% to 75% for businesses. 
  • This will be back-dated to March 15, 2020.
  • Businesses who have seen a decrease in revenue by 30% will be eligible for the wage subsidy regardless of size, sector, number of employees, etc. More details to be released this afternoon, please check back for more (March 30). 

March 27, 2020, Canada Emergency Business Account:

  • The Federal government announced the Canada Emergency Business Account, which will offer government guaranteed loans of up to $40,000 for small to medium sizes businesses (SMEs)
  • This will be interest-free for the first year and some qualifying businesses will have $10k forgiven in debt. More details to come.

March 26, 2020, Ontario government announces financial relief for businesses through WSIB:

  • The Ontario government is providing $1.9 billion in financial relief, which will run through the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB).

What does this mean for my business?

  • Premium payments on WSIB will be deferred for six months for all businesses in the province.
  • WSIB will not charge interest on all outstanding premium payments and will not charge penalties during this six-month deferral period. T
  • There will be no negative consequences for businesses who defer premium reporting and payments and the WSIB will continue to fully cover workers at eligible workplaces.

Who is eligible? 

  • All employers covered by the WSIB's workplace insurance are automatically eligible for the provisions of the relief package and can defer premium reporting and payments until August 31, 2020.
  • You will not be required to opt in to receive this benefit.

March 25, 2020, Canada Emergency Response Benefit:

  • Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) 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.
  • 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, among others.
  • The CERB would apply to wage earners, contract workers and self-employed individuals who would not otherwise be eligible for Employment Insurance (EI).
  • Please note that you cannot yet apply for the CERB. However, in order to apply, you will need a CRA online account, your SIN #, 2018 tax filing, your ATM card number and your online banking password. 
  • Click here for more info. 

March 24, 2020, Provincial government on hydro rates:

  • Electricity rates will be reduced to off-peak rates, 24/7, for the next 6 weeks.
  • Businesses, farms and households will all see the relief. 

March 23, 2020, Provincial government orders all non-essential services to shut down (list of essential services here):

Premier Doug Ford made the announcement Monday afternoon that all non-essential businesses should shut down in order to curb the spread of COVID-19.

What does this mean?

  • As of March 24 at midnight, any business deemed non-essential must close for at least two weeks. 
  • Click here to see the full list of what an essential businesses is. 

Questions about the Province's recent emergency order to close at-risk businesses?

  • Call 1-888-444-3659 - help is available Monday-Sunday from 8:30 am - 5:00 pm
  • Click here for more info. 

March 23, 2020, are you an Ontario business that can help fight coronavirus?

  • The Ontario government welcomes help from businesses who can supply emergency products and/or innovative solutions to support the response of COVID-19. 
  • Click here for more info. 

March 23, 2020, Prime Minister announces support for farmers and agri-food businesses:

Justin Trudeau announced important new measures to support farmers and agri-food businesses in Canada facing financial hardship due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic:

  • Farm Credit Canada (FCC) will receive support from the Government of Canada that will allow for an additional $5 billion in lending capacity to producers, agribusinesses, and food processors.
  • This will offer increased flexibility to farmers who face cashflow issues and to processors who are impacted by lost sales, helping them remain financially strong. 

March 20, 2020, Ontario government protecting Ontario drivers:

Minister Elliott (Deputy Premier and Minister of Health) and Minister Mulroney (Minister of Transportation) announced there will be no penalties for rescheduling drivers tests or updating your license during this time.

March 20, 2020, Federal government announces closure of Canada-US border:

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that the Canada-US border will close to non-essential travel as of midnight tonight.

What does this mean?

  • Tourists and visitors will not be able to enter the countries as of Saturday morning. 

March 19, 2020, Ontario allows 24-hour truck delivery for essential services: 

Today, the Ontario legislature voted unanimously to pass a motion to allow 24-hour truck delivery for essential services to pharmacies and grocery stores. 

What does this mean?

  • Local noise by-laws, that limits deliveries at certain hours of the day, are currently not being enforced. 
  • This ensures essential goods are able to be delivered and the supply chain is adequately supported. 
  • The Ontario Chamber of Commerce hopes to work with municipalities and the province in the future to find ways to continue this policy beyond the current situation, as its proven to reduce trucks on the road during rush-hour, and results in both fuel savings and GHG emission reductions (more info)

March 18, 2020, Support for Canadians & businesses:

The Government of Canada is taking immediate, significant and decisive action to help Canadians facing hardship as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. Read the full plan here.  

What does this mean for businesses?

  • The Government will provide up to $27 billion in direct support to Canadian workers and businesses. 
  • These measures are being implemented in an effort to help stabilize the economy. 
  • There will be income support, flexibility for taxpayers, mortgage default management tools, among others, to help Canadians.
  • The 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 and before September 2020.

March 17, 2020, Are you a business that can supply products and services in support of Canada’s response to COVID-19?

  • Canada wants to hear from you. Find out more here.

March 17, 2020, Ontario declares a state of emergency:

  • Ontario has declared a state of emergency until March 31, 2020 based on advice from Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. David Williams.

What does this mean?

  • Prohibiting organized events of 50+ people and closing facilities providing recreational programs, libraries, private schools, licensed child care centres, bars and restaurants (takeout and delivery permitted), theatres, cinemas and concert venues.
  • The province has also announced the first stage of their COVID-19 Emergency Relief Package. Over $304 million has been committed to more beds, assessment centres, medical supplies and ensuring resources for northern, rural and remote communities.

March 16, 2020, Changes to job-protected leave: 

  • Today, the Provincial Government announced that they intend to introduce legislation that, if passed, would immediately provide job-protected leave to employees in isolation or quarantine due to COVID-19, or those who need to be away from work to care for children because of school or day care closures. Read the full release here. 

What does this mean?

  • Employees will have the right to job-protected leave for COVID-19 quarantine or isolation, or to care for children.
  • Employees will not have to provide a doctor's note for COVID-19 leave.
  • Job protection for COVID-19 leave will be retroactive from January 25th, 2020.