COVID-19: Business Resources

To assist businesses dealing with COVID-19, we’ve created this resource page which contains all the information on business supports announced by the Federal, Provincial and Municipal levels of Government. We’ve provided details and access to links below.

Please check back frequently as we will update this page on a regular basis with information as further announcements are made.                                                   
We have also created a page with business tips from our members and the community.

Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy

The Canadian Government has provided further details about the Government wage subsidy and other steps being taken to assist businesses during the COVID-19 crisis which totals around $107 billion and up to 5% of GDP.

  • The subsidy will cover 75% of salary up to the first $58,700 earnt by an employee up to $847 a week.
  • Businesses who have seen at least a 30% decrease in gross revenue since the same time last year due to COVID-19 will be eligible.
  • Comparison will be made on gross revenues of March, April, May last year and companies will need to reapply each month.
  • This system will be flexible as the government recognizes it will be difficult for businesses to show this difference, further details on this will be provided in the coming days.
  • The subsidy applies to companies of all sizes with employee numbers not an eligible factor.
  • Not-for-profits/charities are also included.
  • The subsidy will be paid retroactively to March 15th.
  • Businesses will need to attest that they are doing what they can to pay the other 25% of salaries for employees.
  • The government has advised that companies should rehire employees if possible.
  • Applications can be made through the CRA website, with the portal and payments being ready in 3-6 weeks.
  • The payout will then be made to a direct deposit system, which is already used by 50% of companies in Canada.

March 29th Update:

Business Credit Availability Program

The BCAP will provide $65 billion of additional support through the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) and Export Development Canada (EDC). BDC and EDC are working with private sector lenders to coordinate on credit solutions for individual businesses, in sectors such as oil and gas, air transportation, exportation, and tourism. This program includes:

Canada Emergency Business Account

  • The new Canada Emergency Business Account will provide interest-free loans of up to $40,000 to small businesses and not-for-profits,
  • To qualify, these organizations need to demonstrate they paid between $50,000 to $1 million in total payroll in 2019.

Loan Guarantee for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises

  • EDC is working with financial institutions to issue new operating credit and cash flow term loans of up to $6.25 million to SMEs.

Co-Lending Program for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises

  • BDC is working with financial institutions to co-lend term loans to SMEs for their operational cash flow requirements.
  • Eligible businesses may obtain incremental credit amounts of up to $6.25 million through the program.

These programs will roll out in the three weeks after March 27, and interested businesses should work with their current financial institutions.

Tax Updates

Deferral of Sales Tax Remittance and Customs Duty Payments

Businesses, including self-employed individuals, can now to defer the following until June 30, 2020

  • Payments of the Goods and Services Tax/Harmonized Sales Tax (GST/HST)
  • Customs duties owing on their imports.
  • The deferral will apply to GST/HST remittances for the February, March and April 2020 reporting periods for monthly filers;
  • The January 1, 2020 through March 31, 2020 reporting period for quarterly filers;
  • For annual filers, the amounts collected and owing for their previous fiscal year and installments of GST/HST in respect of the filer’s current fiscal year.
  • For GST and customs duty payments for imported goods, the deferral will include amounts owing for March, April, and May.

For more information please visit the Government of Canada’s website.


March 27th Critical Business Update:

As of 11:30 am, The Prime Minister has announced further measures that will assist Canadian businesses and encourage employers to either keep or rehire staff. These measures include:

  • Raising the Wage Subsidy to 75% of an employee’s wages. This subsidy will be backdated to  March 15th, 2020.
  • A new Canada Emergency Business Account, which will provide a loan of up to $40,000 to eligible businesses, interest-free for the first year.
  • An additional $12.5 Billion has been given to the EDC and the BDC.
  • GST and HST payments will be deferred, including duties on imports, until June.

Full details of the program will be announced on Monday, March 30th 2020.


Provincial Update:

The Government of Ontario has released their 2020 Action Plan responding to COVID-19. Some of these benefits include:

  • Setting electricity prices for small business time-of-use customers at the off-peak price, 24 hours a day for 45 days.
  • Cutting taxes for employers through a temporary increase to the Employer Health Tax (EHT) exemption.
  • Introduction of the Regional Opportunities Investment Tax Credit, a new corporate income tax which will support regions lagging in employment growth.
  • Providing five months of interest and penalty relief for businesses to file and make payments for the majority of provincially administered taxes.
  • Deferring the upcoming June 30 quarterly municipal remittance of education property tax to school boards by 90 days. This will allow municipalities flexibility to provide property tax deferrals to residents and businesses.

Read more here.

Ontario Together Fund

The Ontario government is launching a new $50 million Ontario Together Fund to help businesses provide innovative solutions or retool their operations in order to manufacture essential medical supplies and equipment.

For further information, visit the Ontario Together portal.


The Government of Canada has announced a $27 billion support package for businesses in Canada and $55 billion to meet business liquidity needs through tax deferrals. This totals $82 billion in support overall. The package includes:

Business Assistance

  • The government has announced a 3-month temporary wage subsidy for small businesses to keep workers on payroll, which equates to roughly 10% of an employee’s salary.
  • The value of this subsidy will be up to $25,000 per employer and will come into force immediately.
  • The Working Business Credit availability program announced last week run by the BDC will ensure there is a capital bridge for companies that require it.
  • The EDC will support companies who trade overseas to navigate international uncertainty.
  • Farmers and Food producers will receive further aid through Farm Credit Canada, which will be expanded.
  • Sector specific support will be announced in the coming days. This will specifically target sectors (such as Airline and Oil/Gas) that have been severely impacted by the crisis.
  • There will be no restrictions to commerce or trade through the closure of the US/Canadian border.

EI Changes

The Government of Canada has announced a monthly Canada Emergency Benefit. The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) is a taxable benefit that will provide:

  • CERB provides $2,000 a month, for up to four months, for workers who lose their income as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • CERB is a simpler and more accessible combination of the previously announced Emergency Care Benefit and Emergency Support Benefit.
  • This program is specifically aimed at workers who would not normally be eligible for EI.
  • It would cover Canadians who have lost their jobs, are sick, quarantined, or taking care of someone who is sick with COVID-19, as well as working parents who must stay home without pay to care for children who are sick or at home because of school and daycare closures. This also applies to self-employed workers.

Visit the government website to learn more about CERB.

Tax Updates

  • The 2020 tax deadline has been extended to June 1st, 2020.
  • Payment deadline for those who owe taxes has been deferred until after August 31, 2020.

The Federal Government has provided resources for businesses to access relief stimulus during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Business Development Bank (BDC): The BDC can assist you if you are either an entrepreneur or a small business with these three options. Each of these pages provides a link to the application page:

  • Small Business Loan: The small business loan will provide up to $100,000 to cover buying equipment, purchasing hardware/software as well as several other business expenses. This option allows you to postpone your capital payment for the first 6 months and repay your loan over 5 years.
  • Working capital loan: Get extra funds to bridge cash flow gaps and support everyday operations. There are two working loan options (one under $100,000 and one over $100,000). This loan provides the benefit of flexible repayment terms which allows you to protect your cash-flow.
  • Purchase Order Financing: The PO financing option allows you to preserve your line of credit and working capital while maintaining your business in domestic and international markets.

You can also contact the BDC Advisory Services for tools and support to review your financial management and operations. To contact the BDC, either reach them at their financing request page or through their toll-free contact number at 1-877-232-2269 (Monday to Friday, from 7:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Saturday and Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.)

Export Development Canada: The EDC is designed to assist exporting companies with relief options. The EDC has set up an inquiry function to allow exporting companies to understand how they access the $10 billion government stimulus. You can reach them by emailing tradeadvisor-conseiller@edc.ca, calling 1-888-220-0047 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET, or submitting an inquiry online.

The Government of Canada has launched a dedicated page for Canadian businesses to provide them with the information and resources to navigate the challenges of COVID19 which can be accessed here.

Additional resources:

  • The Government has changed rules on the Work-Sharing Program. Details here.
  • The Government of Canada’s Covid-19 Economic Plan can be accessed here.
  • The City of Vaughan has introduced measures to protect the local economy. See more here.
  • The Canadian Chamber’s Business Pandemic Preparedness Guide can be accessed here.

For up-to-date public health information about COVID-19:

 


Check out the resource page we have created which contains information on business tips sent to us by our members. If you have an informative business tip that would be helpful to share with the Vaughan business community, please send it to us at info@vaughanchamber.ca


@VaughanChamber