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2020-03-27

COVID-19 Resources for Small Businesses

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
UPDATED OCTOBER 20
 

international

Canada and its international partners are committed to supporting global trade and investment during this global health crisis. Canada is also working closely with its international partners to ensure that the measures we take in response to the COVID-19 pandemic do not impose unjustified or harmful burdens on workers, businesses, and our global economies.

International business travel and advisories

Customs and borders

NATIONAL

Government of Canada support for businesses:

This fall, in addition to extending the wage subsidy, the Government will take further steps to bridge vulnerable businesses to the other side of the pandemic by:

  • Expanding the Canada Emergency Business Account to help businesses with fixed costs;
  • Improving the Business Credit Availability Program;
  • And introducing further support for industries that have been the hardest hit, including travel and tourism, hospitality, and cultural industries like the performing arts.

Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS)

Applications for claim period 7 (August 30, 2020, to September 26, 2020) will open September 30, 2020.
Changes to CEWS were announced on October 14th. Find out what the changes are.

canada emergency business account (CEBA) 

CEBA has been extended to December 31, 2020, making the program accessible longer to Canadians. If you have already applied for CEBA and have questions, please contact the CEBA Call Centre at 1-888-324-4201

Provincial

 

British Columbia

Self-Isolation

Unless you are exempt, all international travellers returning to B.C. are required by law to self-quarantine for 14 days and complete the federal ArriveCAN application prior to their return or upon arrival. 

On September 17th, 2020, the BC government launched it's economic recovery plan which includes several initiatives dedicated to support business. Read below to learn about the initiatives and how they could help your business. You can also visit the BC Government's web page Supporting B.C. businesses to see a full list of all programs

MEASURES

Small and Medium Sized Business Recovery Grant

A $30,000 grant is coming available for small and medium-sized businesses who have seen at least a 50% drop in revenue from the COVID-19 pandemic. Tourism businesses are eligible for an additional top-up, for up to $40,000. Details of the program have not yet been released.

Increased Employment Incentive: a tax credit on payroll

To encourage hiring, the BC government is offering a 15% tax credit on payroll for new hires in low to medium-wage jobs. The incentive can also be claimed on wage increases for current employees in low to medium-wage job positions. For the purpose of this incentive, the government defines "low to medium-wage jobs" as maximum weekly BC remuneration of $1,129.33. Businesses will be able to apply online in March 2021. Click here to see the BC government web page for more detail.

PST Rebate on Select Machinery and Equipment

Between September 17, 2020 and September 30, 2021, corporations can apply to receive a PST refund on qualifying machinery and equipment purchases. Applications will be accepts online starting April 1, 2021. For details on eligibility and qualifying purchases, see the BC government wage page for more detail.

Other 

  • In March 2020, the B.C. Government delayed a scheduled increase from $40 to $45 per tonne of carbon dioxide equivalent (tCO2e) in April 2020 until September 30, 2020, as part of the province's COVID-19 Action Plan. With the further implementation delay, the B.C. Carbon Tax rate will remain at $40 per tCO2e until April 2021, when it will increase to $45 per tCO2e. In April 2022, there will be another scheduled increase to $50 per tCO2e. The current change is aimed at giving businesses and families more time to recover from COVID-19, while still meeting the federal carbon-pricing backstop rate of $50 per tCO2e by 2022. 
  • Postponing the tax on carbonated, sweetened beverages which was introduced in Budget 2020 is being until further notice.

The following resources are available to assist B.C. businesses during COVID-19:

 

Alberta

The Alberta government has announced measures to help small businesses maintain normal business operations.

  • Commercial eviction protection: the Alberta government has introduced legislation to ensure commercial tenants will not face rent increases or be evicted for non-payment of rent due to COVID-19.
  • Alberta SME Relaunch Grant: the Alberta government is providing eligible small businesses and non-profits to access up to $5,000 to help with relaunch costs. This will be a one-time direct cash payment. Applications for the program are now open here. Applications will remain open until 4 weeks following the start of Phase 3.
  • Corporate income tax changes: corporate income tax balances and installment payments will be deferred until August 31, 2020.
  • Utility payment deferral: residents, agri-businesses and small businesses can defer electricity and natural gas bill payments until June 18, 2020 to ensure no one will be cut off, regardless of the service provider. Call your utility provider directly to arrange for a deferral on all payments. Learn more about utility payment deferral here.
  • Education property tax freeze: the Alberta government canceled the decision made in Budget 2020 and will freeze education property taxes at last year's level (a savings of $32 million for businesses).
  • Education property tax deferral: the Alberta government has deferred education property tax for businesses for the next six months.
  • WCB premium deferral and relief: WCB premiums have been deferred until early 2021. Employers who have already paid their WCB premium payment for 2020 are eligible for a rebate or credit. For small and medium businesses, the government with cover 50% of the premium when it is due. Find out more here.
  • Tourism levy deferral: Hotels and other lodging providers can keep tourism levy amounts collected between March 1 and December 31, 2020.

For more detailed information, please visit the Alberta government’s COVID-19 information page.

Saskatchewan

Saskatchewan is supporting businesses through this difficult time by compiling answers to the most common COVID-19 questions and keeping you up to date on the latest relief measures from the federal government and the Saskatchewan municipalities. Visit their Small Business Help Center to learn more.

For additional information, please visit the provincial government's Re-Open Saskatchewan website.

 

Do you have questions about how to safely get back to business as Saskatchewan’s economy reopens?
As the province starts to lift restrictions and reopen the economy, CFIB has put together tools and resources to help you get back to business and keep your staff and customers safe:

 

If you have any outstanding questions or concerns about the province's reopening plan please contact CFIB directly at 1-888-234-2232 or email at ms.saskatchewan@cfib.ca 

You can also contact the Government of Saskatchewan's Business Response Team by calling 1-844-800-8688, email supportforbusiness@gov.sk.ca or by visiting www.saskatchewan.ca/covid19-businesses.

 

Manitoba

The Manitoba Back to Work initiative, which provides businesses with a wage subsidy to help returning staff or new hires, has been extended until December 31. Through the Back to Work initiative, private-sector employers can receive up to $100,000 to subsidize 20 employees (up to $5,000 per employee) hired since July 16. Employers are now able to rehire students previously hired through the Manitoba Summer Student Recovery Jobs Program, Canada Summer Job Program and Green Team Program. New start-up companies are eligible, providing they have a business number.

The new application deadline is December 31. 

For more information and to apply, visit: https://www.gov.mb.ca/covid19/business/btwmp.html

Ontario

Ontario State of Emergency

Ontario's State of Emergency expired as of July 24, 2020. However, most of the province's emergency orders remain in place. If you are unsure if your business should be open, please call the Stop the Spread Business Information Line at 1-888-444-3659.

Most of Ontario has entered Stage 3 of the province's economic reopening plan. To determine if your business can be open, check out the provincial guidelines.

Support for Businesses

For a complete list of support measures, please click here.

Quebec

As of September 21, all economic activity sectors are authorized to resume their activities except regular vacation camps with accommodation.

The recovery must take place in accordance with the health recommendations and the specific recovery guidelines for your economic sector.

Note: Rules on reopening of economic activities and gatherings may vary according to the alert level in your region. You can refer to the following to learn the alert level in your region and the according government directives:

Office building occupancy

Return to work in offices is allowed but only up to a maximum of 25% of staff. 

For more details, please visit the Reopening of economic activities page on the government's website.

 

Support for businesses

To help businesses whose cash flow is affected by the impact of COVID-19, the government has implemented the Emergency Support Plan for Small and Medium-Sized Businesses and the Concerted Temporary Action Program for Businesses (PACTE).

The Emergency Support Plan for Small and Medium-Sized Businesses provides emergency funding of less than $50,000, while the emergency funding available under PACTE starts at $50,000.

Both give funding in the form of a loan or a loan guarantee.

For a full list of support measures available, click here.

New Brunswick
Nova Scotia
  • Small Business Credit and Support Program

    Applications for the Small Business Credit and Support Program are now closed. If you applied and have questions, contact the credit union you’re working with.

    Small Business Loan Guarantee Program

    The Small Business Loan Guarantee Program is available for qualifying businesses.

    Small Business Reopening and Support Grant

    Through this $25-million program, eligible small businesses, non-profits, charities and social enterprises that were ordered to close or greatly reduce operations because of the Public Health Order, or that were greatly impacted by social distancing and orders to stay home, may qualify for a reopening and support grant.


    Business Navigators
     are available to help Nova Scotia businesses with any questions they may have. They can be reached Monday to Friday, 8 am to 5 pm at 1-844-628-7347, 902-424-4475 or by email at BusNavigation@novascotia.ca 

For more detailed information, please visit the Nova Scotia COVID-19 information page.

Prince Edward Island

If you are self-employed, a worker or a business, there are supports available for emergency relief. Find details about these programs and online applications here If you still have concerns after reviewing this page, use the contact information provided. Staff are working hard to respond to inquiries as quickly as possible.

Business concerns? Call 1-866-222-1751 or email peibusinesshelpline@gov.pe.ca(link sends e-mail)

Questions about operational plans and re-opening? Email envhealth@ihis.org(link sends e-mail)

Questions about pre-travel approval, entrance to the province, or essential, allowable or non-essential services? Email publicsafety@gov.pe.ca

 

Newfoundland and Labrador

The provincial government has released guidance for sector-specific businesses as well as public health posters that may be appropriate for your business.

On May 1, the provincial government established a Business Response Team to support businesses as they prepare to re-open. Businesses who have questions will be able to email covid19info@gov.nl.ca or call 1-833-771-0696.

Yukon

Entered Phase 2 of lifting COVID-19 restrictions. If you have non-medical questions, email covid19info@gov.yk.ca or phone 1-877-374-0425.

For medical questions or if you feel ill, phone 811, or launch the COVID-19 self-assessment tool.

Self-isolation

  • Residents of Yukon, British Columbia, Northwest Territories and Nunavut do not have to self-isolate when they arrive in the territory if they have not travelled outside of these 4 regions.
  • Residents of other parts of Canada who arrive in Yukon must self-isolate, with limited exceptions.
  • When you self-isolate, monitor yourself for symptoms

Find out more about what being in Phase 2 means.

Travel and borders

See all information about travel and borders.  

To see the Yukon government’s most recent announcements, click here.

Northwest Territories

 Self-isolation

  • Residents of Yukon, British Columbia, Northwest Territories and Nunavut do not have to self-isolate when they arrive in the territory if they have not travelled outside of these 4 regions.

Provide small businesses and individuals with access to greater cash flow during this crisis, by pausing most collections efforts, including:

  • Outside collection agency activity
  • GNWT set-offs on GNWT payments
  • GNWT set-offs on Canada Revenue Agency tax refunds
    • Low interest loans to business operators through the Business Development and Investment Corporation (BDIC). Loans of up to $25,000 are available to NWT businesses at a rate of 1.75%. To see if you are eligible and to apply, click here
    • Clients of the BDIC can also apply to reduce or defer up to three months of loan payments without penalty or additional interest charges. Businesses will be automatically approved and do not require demonstration of financial hardship resulting from the COVID-19 crisis. Requests must be received no later than the 24th day of the month prior to the payment date. For more information, click here.

    For all other information business related information from Northwest Territories, please visit the official government website here. 


Nunavut

One-time relief grant of $5000 for small businesses affected by COVID-19.

 

Self-isolation

  • Residents of Yukon, British Columbia, Northwest Territories and Nunavut do not have to self-isolate when they arrive in the territory if they have not travelled outside of these 4 regions.
  • Residents of other parts of Canada who arrive in Yukon must self-isolate, with limited exceptions.
  • When you self-isolate, monitor yourself for symptoms

Prospective applicants can apply on the Government of Nunavut's website, or by contacting a staffer who works at their regional Economic Development office.