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Government Support Programs for Canadian Business

FEDERAL SUPPORT FOR BUSINESS

75% Wage Subsidy

Wage subsidy equal to 75% of subsidy up to $58,700.00 (up to $847.00 per week). Must prove 30% reduction in revenues. This subsidy would be available to eligible employers that see a drop of at least 15 per cent of their revenue in March 2020 and 30 per cent for the following months (see Eligible Periods). In applying for the subsidy, employers would be required to attest to the decline in revenue.

Effective March 15, 2020

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Canada Emergency Business Account

The Canada Emergency Business Account is being administered through financial institutions and most are now accepting applications.  It provides an interest-free, government-guaranteed loan of $40,000 to assist businesses and not-for-profits pay for operating costs during this COVID 19 pandemic.  The government has indicated that $10,000 of this loan will be forgiven if the remaining $30,000 is fully repaid on or before December 31, 2022.  If it cannot be repaid it will be converted into an interest bearing 3 year term loan.

In order for businesses or not-for-profits to be eligible to apply for this loan they must have an annual payroll of between $20,000 and $1.5 million.  You will be required to provide information from box 14 of your 2019 T4 SUMMARY for gross wages paid to all employees.

Available immediately.

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Temporary Business Wage Subsidy

The 10% Temporary Wage Subsidy for Employers is a three-month measure that will allow eligible employers to reduce the amount of payroll deductions required to be remitted to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).

Note: The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy, which provides a 75% wage subsidy to eligible employers for up to 12 weeks, is a separate program.

You are an eligible employer if you:

  • are a(n):
    • individual (excluding trusts),
    • partnership,
    • non-profit organization,
    • registered charity, or
    • Canadian-controlled private corporation (including a cooperative corporation);
  • 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.

An eligible employee is an individual who is employed in Canada.

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Corporate Income Tax Deadline Extension

The Canada Revenue Agency will allow all businesses to defer, until after August 31, 2020, the payment of any income tax amounts that become owing on or after March 18, 2020 and before September 2020. This relief would apply to tax balances due as well as installments. No interest or penalties will accumulate on these amounts during this period.

Effective immediately.

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Canada Summer Jobs Program

On April 8, 2020 Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, announced temporary changes to the Canada Summer Jobs program that will help employers hire summer staff and provide young Canadians access to the jobs they need during this unprecedented time. This program will help create up to 70,000 jobs for youth between 15 and 30 years of age.

Canada’s small businesses increasingly depend on the employment of young Canadians. The changes to the Canada Summer Jobs program will help small businesses hire and keep the workers they need so they can continue to deliver essential services.

The temporary changes to the program for this year include:

  • an increase to the 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
  • an extension to the end date for employment to February 28, 2021
  • allowing employers to adapt their projects and job activities to support essential services
  • allowing employers to hire staff on a part-time basis

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Income Tax Audits

The Canada Revenue Agency will not contact any small or medium (SME) businesses to initiate any post assessment GST/HST or income tax audits for four weeks (March 18 – April 15). For the vast majority of businesses, the CRA will temporarily suspend audit interaction with taxpayers and representatives.

Effective immediately.

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Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP)

Working capital loans of up to $2M, loan payment deferrals and reduced rates on new eligible loans. Businesses seeking support through BCAP should contact their financial institution for an assessment.

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Canada Account

Provides additional support to companies through loans, guarantees, or insurance policies.

Available Immediately.

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ACOA Programs

Available to companies in Atlantic Canada currently repaying a loan or similar product. ACOA is applying a three month payment deferral.

Effective April 1, 2020

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Work Sharing Program

The Government has put temporary, special work sharing measures for employers affected by the downturn in business due to COVID-19. Includes extending agreements by an additional 38 weeks.

Available Immediately.

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Deferral of Sales Tax Remittance and Customs Duty Payments

Government is deferring Business Services Tax/Harmonized Sales Tax remittances and Customs Duty payments to June 30, 2020 for all Canadian businesses.

Effective Immediately.

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New Loan Guarantee from EDC

New operating credit and cash-flow term loans, guaranteeing up to $6.25M for qualifying small businesses.

Available immediately.

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Co-Lending Program

Provides additional liquidity support through the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC), for small and medium sized enterprises.

Available Immediately

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FEDERAL SUPPORT FOR EMPLOYEES/WORKERS

Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)

Benefit provides $2000 per month for up to four months to workers who cease working for reasons related to COVID-19. Available March 15 to October 3, 2020.

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EI Waiting Period

Waiver of the one week waiting period for EI sickness benefit claims as well as the requirement for a medical certificate/doctor’s note.

Effective March 15, 2020

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GST Credit

Government is providing a one-time special payment by May 2020 through the Goods and Services Tax Credit (GSTC). This will double the maximum annual GSTC payment amounts for the 2019-2020 fiscal year to those families and individuals who qualify for the GSTC program.

Effective May, 2020

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Canada Child Benefit

The Government is increasing the maximum annual Canada Child Benefit (CCB) payment amounts to those who qualify for the 2019-2020 benefit year, by $300 per child, or an overall increase for families of up to $550.

Effective May 2020

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Canada Student Loan Moratorium

6-month interest-free moratorium on the payment of Canada Student Loans.

Available Immediately.

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BRITISH COLUMBIA

Long Term Economic Recovery Plan

$1.5 billion in Provincial funding will support economic stimulus once the pandemic has passed. the BC government is working in partnership with the business and labor sectors to develop the long term plan for economic recovery.

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Employee Health Tax Deferral

Businesses with a payroll over $500,000 can defer their employer health tax payments until September 30, 2020. Businesses with a payroll under this threshold are already exempt from the tax.

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Business Tax Filing Deadline Extension

Provincial business tax filing and payment deadlines have been extended until September 30, 2020 for: corporate income tax, provincial sales tax (PST), municipal and regional district tax, tobacco tax, motor fuel tax, and carbon tax.

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Emergency Benefit for Workers

Provides a one-time payment for B.C. residents who lost income due to COVID-19.

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School Tax Rate Reduction

School tax rates for commercial properties (Classes 4, 5 and 6) will be reduced by 50% for the 2020 tax year.

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BC Hydro Business Relief Fund

Businesses that need to close due to COVID-19 may be eligible to have their electricity use charges waived for up to three months. Large industrial companies will have the option to defer 50% of their payments for the next three months.

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ALBERTA

Corporate Income Tax Payment Deferral

Corporate Income Tax balances and instalment payments will be deferred until August 31, 2020.

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Small Business Utilities Payment Deferrals

Defer electricity and natural gas bill payments for the next 90 days, regardless of the service provider. Call your utility provider to arrange.

Available Immediately.

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Education Property Tax Freeze and Deferral

The Alberta Government canceled the decision made in Budget 2020 and will freeze education property taxes at last year’s level (a savings of $32M for businesses). Further, the Alberta Government has deferred education property tac for businesses for the next six months.

Deferred to August 31, 2020

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WCB Premium Payment Deferral

WCB Premiums have been deferred until early 2021. Employers who have already paid their premium payment for 2020 are eligible for a rebate or credit. For small and medium businesses, the government will cover 50% of the premium when it is due.

Effective April 1, 2020

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Tourism Levy Deferral

Hotels and other lodging providers can delay paying the tourism levy until August 31, 2020 for amounts that become due to government on or after March 16, 2020.

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SASKATCHEWAN

Workers Compensation Penalty Waiver

Saskatchewan Workers Compensation Board is waiving premium penalties for employers effective April 1 until June 30, 2020.

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Self Isolation Support Program

Workers forced to self-isolate in order to curb the spread of COVID-19, and who are not covered by recent federally announced employment insurance programs and other supports. Administered by the Ministry of Finance, the program will provide $450 per week, for a maximum of two weeks or $900.

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MANITOBA

Manitoba Protection Plan

The Manitoba Government is providing the following measures for businesses until October 1, 2020: not charging interest or penalties for Manitoba Hydro, Centra Gas, Workers Compensation Board, and Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI); not disconnecting customers of Manitoba Hydro and Centra Gas; relax ordinary practices on policy renewals and collections at MPI; not charge interest through Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries receivables from restaurants, bars and specialty wine stores; and not charging interest on education property taxes.

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Tax Filing Deadline Extension

Manitoba has extended the April and May tax filing deadlines for the Retail Sales Tax (RST) until June 22, 2020 for small and medium businesses with monthly RST remittances of no more than $10,000. Additionally, businesses that file on a quarterly basis that have a due date of April 20, 2020 have had it extended to June 22, 2020.

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ONTARIO

Provincial Tax Deferrals

Provincial tax deferrals on the Employer Health Tax (EHT), Tobacco Tax, Fuel Tax, Beer Tax, and Mining Tax and other provincially-administered taxes until August 31, 2020 with no interest or penalty.

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Property Tax Deferrals

Business Education Property Tax deferrals for one payment quarter (90 days after June) MORE INFO

EHT Exemption Threshold Increase 

Employer Health Tax (EHT) Exemption threshold increased to $1M for the next year.

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Land Tax Payment Deferral

Provincial Land Tax payments are deferred from their next due date for 90 days without interest or penalty.

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Property Tax Reassessments Postponed

Property tax reassessments being conducted this year for the 2021 tax year have been postponed.

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WSIB Premium Deferral

WSIB premium deferrals until August 31, 2020 with no interest or penalty.

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Additional Programming In Progress

CFIB’s Ontario legislative team is working around the clock to make sure government officials know what your business needs are. Currently we are asking the Ontario government to: Implement a provincial wage subsidy to keep employees on payrolls and avoid layoffs, Provide rent relief and certainty for commercial tenants and landlords, Provide WSIB rebates this year so that surplus funds are returned to the employers who paid them, Freeze all audits across government, Encourage municipalities to waive interest and penalty fees for any late property tax payments

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QUEBEC

Concerted Temporary Action Plans for Business

Eligible businesses carrying out commercial activities, are eligible for financial support to address the cash shortfall associated with COVID-19 due to: a problem in the supply of raw materials or products (goods or services); an inability or substantial decreased ability to deliver goods, products or services. With few exceptions, businesses in all activity sectors are eligible for this program. Financial assistance, of a minimum amount of $50,000, is provided in the form of a loan guarantee, but may also take the form of a loan.

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Emergency Aide for Small and Medium Sized Business

The purpose of the emergency aid for small- and medium-sized businesses program is to support eligible business experiencing financial difficulties that need less than $50,000 in cash.

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Temporary Aid for Workers

This program offers financial assistance to meet the needs of workers who, because they are in isolation to counter the propagation of the COVID-19 virus, cannot earn all of their work income and are not eligible for another financial assistance program.

Beginning March 19, 2020

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Low-income workers in essential service sectors to receive $100 per week

The government is introducing the Incentive Program to Retain Essential Workers (IPREW) that will provide a $100 per week benefit to low-income workers working full- or part-time in essential services.

Beginning May 27, 2020

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Relief measures for loans and loan guarantees outstanding

A six-month moratorium has been introduced for the repayment (principal and interest) of loans already granted through local investment funds. Interest accumulated during this period will be added to the loan balance, for up to 12 months.

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Programme actions concertées pour le maintien en emploi (PACME)

This subsidy program allows employers to provide training to their employees during a business’s slowdown or temporary closure. This training can cover various topics such as digital skills related to telework, good practices related to health issues, organizational communication and improvement of know-how.

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Revenu Québec: flexibility measures for citizens and businesses (filing income tax returns)

The Quebec government is postponing the payment of instalments and taxes that would have been due. The date and payment terms for these amounts will be announced at a later date. Businesses will benefit from a reasonable period to pay these amounts due.

Available to September 1, 2020

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Relief measures for tourism businesses: Programme de soutien aux stratégies de développement touristique (PSSDT)

Businesses that received confirmation of financial assistance under the PSSDT will benefit from a deferral of the work start or end date. The Department will also allow deferrals for companies whose project financing arrangements must be completed within a prescribed time frame.

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Accelerated processing of tax credit claims

Revenu Québec will accelerate its processing of income tax credit requests for businesses and tax refunds.

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NOVA SCOTIA

Payment Deferral of Government Loans Program

The Nova Scotia Government will defer payment of loans until June 30, 2020 for all Nova Scotia businesses.

Available Immediately

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Payment Deferral of Small Business Fees

Deferral of payments for small business renewal fees, including business registration renewal and workers compensation premiums.

Available Immediately.

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Small Business Loan Guarantee

Changes made to the Small Business Loan Guarantee Program, including deferring principal and interest payments until June 30, enhancing the ability for businesses to access credit up to $500,000. Government will guarantee the first $100,000 for those who may not qualify for a loan.

Available Immediately.

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Operations Involving Government of Nova Scotia

Small Businesses that do business with the Government of Nova Scotia will get paid within 5 days instead of 30.

Available Immediately.

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NEW BRUNSWICK

Income Benefit

New Brunswick Government is providing an immediate one-time $900 income benefit to those who have lost their job (both workers and self-employed may qualify) due to the State of Emergency.

Effective March 15, 2020

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Elimination of Interest on WorkSafeNB Premiums

WorkSafeNB is deferring the collection of assessment premiums for all New Brunswick employers for three months, with zero percent interest for the three months.

Effective Immediately.

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Deferring Interest and Principal Payments on Government Loans

On a case-by-case basis, the Provincial Government will defer loan and interest payments for existing business loans with government departments for up to six months. Businesses can request deferrals by contacting the department that issued the loan.

Effective Immediately.

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Working Capital Loans for Small Business

Small business owners will be eligible for loans up to $200,000. They will not be required to pay principal on their loan for up to 12 months.

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Working Capital Loans for Medium to Large Business

The Province will provide working capital of more than $200,000 to help medium-sized to large employers manage the effects of COVID-19 on their operations. Businesses can apply directly to Opportunities NB for this support.

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PEI

Emergency Income Relief for the Self-Employed

A maximum of $500 per week for the period of March 16 to March 29, 2020 (time period to be reviewed as required). Eligibility for self employed individuals who have been impacted by COVID-19.

Available March 16, 2020

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Emergency Relief – Worker Assistance Program

A maximum of $250 per week for each worker employed in the private sector that experiences a reduction of at least 8 hours per week during March 16 – March 29, 2020.

Available March 16, 2020

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Employee Gift Card Program

A temporary program put in place to offer a $100 Sobey’s gift card to any employee, living and working on Prince Edward Island, who has received a layoff notice as a direct result of the impacts associated with COVID-19.

Available Immediately.

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Emergency Working Capital Financing

Finance PEI will provide qualifying Small Businesses with up to $100,000 per company for emergency working capital financing.

Available Immediately.

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YUKON TERRITORY

Premier Sandy Silver announced that the Government of Yukon is developing the details of a stimulus package for Yukon businesses and workers.

More information will be made available as they develop and launch these programs, which will include:

  • Business Advisory Council to monitor and advise on the economic impacts of COVID-19.
  • Paid sick leave rebate to allow Yukon workers without sick leave to stay at home if they are sick or are required to self-isolate.
  • Events grant to cover irretrievable losses related to perishable goods and cancellation of accommodation and services as a result of major events cancelled due to this developing situation.
  • Economic impact tracking mechanisms established with the Department of Tourism and Culture and industry organizations.
  • Monthly sectoral surveys to gather information on the business impacts of COVID-19 here in Yukon.
  • Yukon Nominee Program: program criteria has changed to address concerns around nominee status for those nominees who may experience layoff or reduced hours

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NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR

No Provincial Programming has yet been announced.