SUPPORT FOR BUSINESSES
The Government of Canada is taking immediate, significant and decisive action to support Canadian businesses facing financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Avoiding layoffs and rehiring employees
Access to credit
Creating new jobs and opportunities for youth
Taxes and tariffs
Support for self-employed individuals
Supporting financial stability
Support for sectors
Call to action: Canadian manufacturers needed to help combat COVID-19
Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS)
The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) supports employers that are hardest hit by the pandemic, and protect the jobs Canadians depend on.
The subsidy generally covers 75% of an employee's wages – up to $847 per week - for employers of all sizes and across all sectors who have suffered a drop in gross revenues of at least 15% in March, and 30% in April and May.
The program will be in place for a 12-week period, from March 15 to June 6, 2020.
Employers who are eligible for the CEWS are entitled to receive a 100% refund for certain employer contributions to Employment Insurance, the Canada Pension Plan, the Quebec Pension Plan, and the Quebec Parental Insurance Plan paid in respect of employees who are on leave with pay.
For employers that are eligible for both the CEWS and the 10% Temporary Wage Subsidy for a period, any benefit from the Temporary 10% Wage Subsidy for remuneration paid in a specific period will generally reduce the amount available to be claimed under the CEWS in that same period.
Visit my special CEWS webpage
Temporary 10% Wage Subsidy
The Temporary 10% Wage Subsidy is a three-month measure that will allow eligible employers to reduce the amount of payroll deduction required to be remitted to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).
You are an eligible employer if you:
individual (excluding trusts),
registered charity, or
Canadian-controlled private corporation (including a cooperative corporation) eligible for the small business deduction;
have an existing business number and payroll program account with the CRA on March 18, 2020; and
pay salary, wages, bonuses, or other remuneration to an eligible employee.
Note: Partnerships are only eligible for the subsidy if their members consist exclusively of individuals (excluding trusts), registered charities, or Canadian-controlled private corporations eligible for the small business deduction.
Extending the Work-Sharing program
We are extending the maximum duration of the Work-Sharing program from 38 weeks to 76 weeks for employers affected by COVID-19. This measure will provide income support to employees eligible for Employment Insurance who agree to reduce their normal working hours because of developments beyond the control of their employers.
Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP)
We established a Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) to provide 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, including in sectors such as oil and gas, air transportation, exports and tourism.
This program includes:
Loan Guarantee for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises
Through the Business Credit Availability Program, Export Development Canada (EDC) is working with financial institutions to guarantee 80% of new operating credit and cash flow term loans of up to $6.25 million to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
This financing support is to be used for operational expenses and is available to both exporting and non-exporting companies.
Co-Lending Program for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises
Through the Business Credit Availability Program, Business Development Canada (BDC) is working with financial institutions to co-lend term loans to SMEs for their operational cash flow requirements.
The program offers differing maximum finance amounts based on business revenues.
80 % provided by BDC
20 % provided by your financial institution
This support is available until or before September 30, 2020.
These programs are now available at various financial institutions and credit unions.
Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA)
The Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) will provide interest-free loans of up to $40,000 to small businesses and not-for-profits, to help cover their operating costs during a period where their revenues have been temporarily reduced.
To qualify, these organizations will need to demonstrate they paid between $20,000 to $1.5 million in total payroll in 2019.
Business owners can apply for support from the Canada Emergency Business Account through their banks and credit unions.
UPDATE (May 19, 2020) - The program will now be available to a greater number of businesses that are sole proprietors receiving income directly from their businesses, businesses that rely on contractors, and family-owned corporations that pay employees through dividends rather than payroll. 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.
Expenses will be subject to verification and audit by the Government of Canada. Funding will be delivered in partnership with financial institutions. More details, including the launch date for applications under the new criteria, will follow in the days to come.
Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA)
We reached an agreement in principle with all provinces and territories to implement the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) for small businesses. This program will lower rent by 75 per cent 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 three 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 small business tenants’ rent by at least 75% 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 revenues. This support will also be available to non-profit and charitable organizations.
It is expected that CECRA will be operational by mid-May, and further details will be announced soon.
Rural businesses and communities
We are providing $287 million to support rural businesses and communities by providing them with much-needed access to capital through the Community Futures Network.
Assisting innovative and early-stage businesses
We are investing $250 million to assist innovative, early-stage companies that are unable to access other COVID-19 business supports through the Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP).
IRAP provides advice, connections, and funding to help Canadian small and medium-sized businesses increase their innovation capacity and take ideas to market.
We are providing $20.1 million in support for Futurpreneur Canada to continue supporting young entrepreneurs across Canada who are facing challenges due to COVID-19. The funding will allow Futurpreneur Canada to provide payment relief for its clients for up to 12 months.
Small and medium-sized businesses unable to access other support measures
We are providing $675 million to give financing support to small and medium-sized businesses that are unable to access other COVID-19 business supports, through Canada's Regional Development Agencies.
Youth Employment and Skills Strategy
We are providing $153.7 million for the Youth Employment and Skills Strategy to help youth develop the skills and gain the experience they need to successfully transition into the labour market.
Funding will support a range of measures in high-demand sectors such as agriculture, technology, health and essential services, creating over 6,000 additional job placements.
Student Work Placement Program
We are providing $80 million for the Student Work Placement Program to support up to 20,000 post-secondary students across Canada to obtain paid work experience related to their field of study.
Mitacs and The Business/Higher Education Roundtable
We are investing $40 million to support Mitacs in order to create 5,000 new job placements. The Business/Higher Education Roundtable (BHER) will also create a further 5,000 to 10,000 new student placements, by reorienting existing federal support and building online tools.
Temporary changes to Canada Summer Jobs program
The Canada Summer Jobs program provides opportunities for youth to develop and improve their skills within the not-for-profit, small business, and public sectors, and supports the delivery of key community services.
We are making temporary changes to the Canada Summer Jobs program to allow employers to:
receive an increased wage subsidy, so that private and public sector employers can also receive up to 100 per cent of the provincial or territorial minimum hourly wage for each employee;
extend the end date for employment to February 28, 2021;
adapt their projects and job activities;
hire staff on a part-time basis.
More time to pay income taxes
We are allowing all businesses to defer, until after August 31, 2020, the payment of any income tax amounts that become owing on or after March 18 and before September 2020. This relief would apply to tax balances due, as well as instalments, under Part I of the Income Tax Act.
No interest or penalties will accumulate on these amounts during this period.
Waiving tariffs on certain medical goods
We are waiving tariffs on certain medical goods, including PPE such as masks and gloves.
This will reduce the cost of imported PPE for Canadians, help protect workers, and ensure our supply chains can keep functioning well.
Deferral of Sales Tax Remittance and Customs Duty Payments until June
We are allowing businesses, including self-employed individuals, to defer until June 30, 2020 payments of the GST/HST, as well as customs duty owing on their imports.
Any GST/HST payment that becomes owing from March 27 until the end of May can be deferred until the end of June. For GST and customs duty payments for imported goods, deferral will include amounts owing for March, April and May.
These amounts were normally due to be submitted to the Canada Revenue Agency and the Canada Border Services Agency as early as the end of March 2020.
Relief for federally regulated pension plan sponsors
We are providing immediate, temporary relief to sponsors of federally regulated, defined benefit pension plans in the form of a moratorium, through the remainder of 2020, on solvency payment requirements for defined benefit plans.
This relief will help ensure that employers have the financial resources they need to maintain their operations and their pension plans, and to protect the retirement security of their workers and retirees.
Launching an Insured Mortgage Purchase Program
We launched an Insured Mortgage Purchase Program, in which we will purchase up to $150 billion of insured mortgage pools through the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.
This action will provide long-term stable funding to banks and mortgage lenders, help facilitate continued lending to Canadian consumers and businesses, and add liquidity to Canada's mortgage market.
Bank of Canada's actions
The Bank of Canada is acting in several ways to support the economy and financial system and stands ready to take any and all actions that it can to protect the well-being of Canadians during this difficult time. The Bank has responded by lowering interest rates, intervening to support key financial markets and providing liquidity support for financial institutions.
Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions actions
The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions announced it is lowering the Domestic Stability Buffer by 1.25% of risk-weighted assets. This action will allow Canada's large banks to inject $300 billion of additional lending in to the economy.