Support For Businesses

This page was last updated: August 25, 2020**Disclaimer: We strive to update the information on this page as quickly as possible.

 

Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, but many have shut down in order to combat COVID-19.
Below is a list of support programs available to small businesses during this time.

You can also visit the following government website for help in finding information on the programs that are right for your business: https://innovation.ised-isde.canada.ca/s/?language=en 

 

Business Credit Availability Program

  •  The federal government  has 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.
      Contact your financial institution for more information.
    • 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 of up to $6.25 million to SMEs for their operational cash flow requirements.
      • The program offers differing maximum finance amounts based on business revenues.
      • This support is available until or before September 30, 2020.
      • This program is now available at various banks and credit unions.

These programs are now available at various financial institutions and credit unions.

 

Expanding the BCAP

 

BDC’s Mid-Market Financing Program

  • BDC’s Mid-Market Financing Program will provide commercial loans ranging between $12.5 million and $60 million to medium-sized businesses whose credit needs exceed what is already available through the Business Credit Availability Program and other measures.
    BDC anticipates that qualifying companies will have annual revenues in excess of approximately $100 million.
  • More details will be made available soon.

 

EDC’s Mid-Market Guarantee and Financing Program

  • EDC’s Mid-Market Guarantee and Financing Program will bring liquidity to companies who tend to have revenues of between $50 million to $300 million, to sustain operations during this uncertain period. EDC will continue to work with Canadian financial institutions to guarantee 75 per cent of new operating credit and cash-flow loans – ranging in size from $16.75 million to a maximum of $80 million. These expanded guarantees are available to exporters, international investors and businesses that sell their products or services within Canada.
  • More details will be made available soon.

 

Extending the federal work- sharing program:

 

Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy

 

Canada Emergency Business Account

  •  https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/economic-response-plan.html#businesses
  •  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.
  • Business owners can apply for support from the Canada Emergency Business Account through their banks and credit unions.
  • To qualify under the expanded eligibility criteria:
  • CEBA applicants with payroll lower than $20 000 will need:
    • A business operating account at a participating financial institution;
    • A CRA business number;
    • a 2018 or 2019 tax return; and
    • Eligible non-deferrable expenses of between $40 000. and $1.5 million
  • Learn more here: https://ceba-cuec.ca/

 

More Time to Pay Income Taxes:

 

Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA)

  • Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) provides relief for small businesses experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19.
  • Over the course of the program, property owners will reduce rent by at least 75 % for the months of April and May (retroactive), and June, for their small business tenants. CECRA will cover 50 % of the rent, with the tenant paying up to 25 % and the property owner forgiving at least 25 %.
  • Apply here: https://www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca/en/finance-and-investing/covid19-cecra-small-business

 

Regional Relief and Recovery Fund

  • This Fund aims to help businesses in southern Ontario cope with financial hardship resulting from COVID-19.
  • For more information, please visit: https://www.feddevontario.gc.ca/eic/site/723.nsf/eng/h_02581.html?OpenDocument
  • Funding through Community Futures Development:
    • There has been separate funding set aside through Ontario’s Community Futures Development Corporations (CFDC) in order to provide targeted assistance to rural businesses.
    • Applications for funding should be made through your local CFDC.
    • For Haldimand: Visit Grand Erie Business Centre’s website here for more information.
    • For Norfolk: Visit Venture Norfolk’s website here for more information.

 

Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility (LEEFF)

  •  The Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility (LEEFF) provides bridge financing to Canada’s largest employers, whose needs during the pandemic are not being met through conventional financing, in order to keep their operations going.
  • The additional liquidity provided through LEEFF allows Canada’s largest businesses, their workers and their suppliers to remain active during this difficult time, and position them for a rapid economic recovery.
  • This program is delivered by the Canada Development Investment Corporation, in cooperation with Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada and the Department of Finance.
  • Apply here: https://www.cdev.gc.ca/home-ceefc/

 

Launch of Insure Mortgage Purchase Program

 

Lowering the domestic stability buffer

 

Bank of Canada 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.
  • Learn more

 

Lower Hydro Rates:

  • On Tuesday, March 24, 2020, the Provincial government announced that it would be dropping the price of hydro from its peak price of 20.8 cents per kilowatt hour to 10.1 cents per kilowatt hour to help less the financial burden on families and businesses.
  • This price will be in effect until May 31, 2020.

 

General FAQ

As an employer, do you have questions regarding your obligations to your employees?

 

What is the Government of Ontario doing to support small businesses?

 

Where can I find Ontario’s reopening plan?

 

Do I need to provide a Record of Employment (ROE) to Service Canada for an employee that is going on leave as a result of COVID-19?

  • Employers should use reason Code A (Shortage of work) as the reason for separation on the ROE.
  • When the ROE is not submitted:
    • In situations where fact-finding is required with the employer (i.e. a dismissal); this is the high-level process followed by agents:
      • The agent attempts to obtain the facts concerning the reason for separation by calling the employer. Two telephone attempts are made within 48 hours. Voicemails are left when the employer has one.
      • If the telephone attempts are unsuccessful, a letter is sent to the employer by mail asking to contact the agent. A delay of 10 days is provided.
      • If the employer does not contact the agent after those attempts, a decision is rendered with the facts on file, hence without the facts from the employer.
    • For a situation where the ROE is missing to calculate the claim, and the client is requesting help in obtaining the ROE, this is the high-level process followed by agents:
      • The agents attempt to remind the employer of their obligation to submit an ROE by calling them. Two telephone attempts are made within 48 hours. Voicemails are left when the employer has one.
      • If the telephone attempts are unsuccessful, a letter is sent to the employer by mail asking them to submit the ROE. A delay of 10 days is provided.
      • As soon as the first letter is sent, the processing agents starts the interim ROE process to calculate the claim without the ROE and benefits may begin.
      • If the employer does not submit the ROE after the first letter, a second letter is sent by mail asking to submit the ROE. At this stage, the processing agent does not do a follow-up on the second letter. Instead, the file is referred to Integrity Services for them to follow-up with the employer.
    • For more information, visit: https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/programs/ei/ei-list/ei-roe.html
  • Need to order a paper ROE?
    • Employers must communicate with the Employer Contact Centre to order paper ROE forms. Service Canada no longer accepts orders for paper ROE forms by fax or mail.
    • When you call, you will be asked to provide the following information:
      • Your 15-character Payroll Account Number (PAN) issued by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). The PAN can be found on the CRA PD7A (Statement of account for current source deductions) form. If you do not have a PAN, you will have to request one from CRA, and
      • The name, address and telephone number of your business.
    • What to do with each copy of a paper ROE form:
      • Give the 1st copy (the original) to your employee as proof of insurable earnings for claiming EI benefits
      • Send the 2nd copy (blue) to Service Canada as indicated on the form
      • Keep the 3rd copy (white) in your files for 6 years
    • If you need to call, you will need:
      • Your Business Number (BN), or the BN of the business you are calling about
      • The postal code associated with the BN (as registered with CRA)
      • Canada and the United States:
        • Toll-free: 1-800-367-5693
        • TTY: 1-855-881-9874

 

As an employer, should I be requiring my employees to provide a medical certificate if they are unable to work due to COVID-19?

  • Claimants placed in quarantine will not have to provide a medical certificate, if the quarantine is:
    • Imposed on the claimant under the laws of Canada or a province
    • Imposed on the claimant by a public health official for the health and safety of the public at large, or
    • Recommended by such an official for health and safety of the public at large, and the claimant was asked by their employer, medical doctor, a nurse or a person in authority to place themselves under quarantine.
  • However, claimants who fall sick during the quarantine period and collect benefits beyond the period of quarantine will be required to obtain and retain a medical certificate, which is the current practice for all other sickness benefits claims. As these individuals would be under active medical care, getting a medical certificate is expected not to be problematic.

 

Additional Links

 

This page was last updated: August 25, 2020**Disclaimer: We strive to update the information on this page as quickly as possible.