COVID-19 Resource and Information Centre

Latest News Updates

Federal Government Economic Response Plan

Go to the Government of Canada’s COVID-19 page to access all available information and resources for individuals and businesses, as well as the latest updates on the status of the COVID-19 pandemic in Canada. Below you will find select information on supports taken directly from the Government of Canada COVID-19 page.

Federal Government COVID-19 Resources and Information

Help for Businesses

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.

Applications for the CEWS will be open on April 27.

Be Ready to Apply for CEWS
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:

  • are a(n):
    • individual (excluding trusts),
    • partnership.
    • non-profit organization,
    • 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.

Learn more about the 10% Wage Subsidy for Small Businesses
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 Enterprise
    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 are now available at various financial institutions and credit unions.

Learn more about the BCAP
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.

Learn more about the CEBA
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.

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.

Get help through your Regional Development Agency
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.

Get help through your Regional Development Agency
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.

Apply to the Work-Sharing Program
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.

Consult all the tax and payment dates
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.

Learn about the deferral of GST/HST tax remittances

Help for Self-Employed Individuals

Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)

We will provide a taxable benefit of $2,000 every 4 weeks for up to 16 weeks to eligible workers who have lost their income due to COVID-19.

The CERB is available to workers who meet all of the following conditions:

  • live in Canada and are at least 15 years old
  • stopped working because of COVID-19 or are eligible for EI regular or sickness benefits
  • have not voluntarily quit their job
  • had income of at least $5,000 in 2019 or in the 12 months prior to the date of their application.

On April 15, we announced changes to the eligibility rules to:

  • Allow people to earn up to $1,000 per month while collecting the CERB.
  • Extend the CERB to seasonal workers who have exhausted their EI regular benefits and are unable to undertake their regular seasonal work because of COVID-19.
  • Extend the CERB to workers who have recently exhausted their EI regular benefits and are unable to find a job because of COVID-19.

An online questionnaire will help us direct you to the service option that best fits your situation (i.e. eligibility for Employment Insurance benefits or not).

Do not apply for the CERB if you have already applied for EI.

You can also apply over the phone: 1‑800‑959‑2019 or 1‑800‑959‑2041

Apply for the CERB
Deferral of Taxes and Payments

Deferral of GST/HST and custom duties
The federal government is 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.

Learn more about remittance deferrals

More time to pay income tax
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.

Consult all tax and payment dates

No interest or penalties will accumulate on these amounts during this period.

Help for Individuals

Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)

We will provide a taxable benefit of $2,000 every 4 weeks for up to 16 weeks to eligible workers who have lost their income due to COVID-19.

The CERB is available to workers who meet all of the following conditions:

live in Canada and are at least 15 years old
stopped working because of COVID-19 or are eligible for EI regular or sickness benefits
have not voluntarily quit their job
had income of at least $5,000 in 2019 or in the 12 months prior to the date of their application.

On April 15, we announced changes to the eligibility rules to:

Allow people to earn up to $1,000 per month while collecting the CERB.
Extend the CERB to seasonal workers who have exhausted their EI regular benefits and are unable to undertake their regular seasonal work because of COVID-19.
Extend the CERB to workers who have recently exhausted their EI regular benefits and are unable to find a job because of COVID-19.

An online questionnaire will help us direct you to the service option that best fits your situation (i.e. eligibility for Employment Insurance benefits or not).

Do not apply for the CERB if you have already applied for EI.

Apply for the CERB
Increasing the Canada Child Benefit

We are providing up to an extra $300 per child through the Canada Child Benefit (CCB) for 2019-20. This will mean approximately $550 more for the average family.

This benefit will be delivered as part of the scheduled CCB payment in May.

Those who already receive the CCB do not need to re-apply.

Apply for the Canada Child Benefit
Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB)

We are proposing the Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB) that would provide support to students and new graduates who are not be eligible for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit or Employment Insurance or unable to work due to COVID-19.

This benefit would provide $1,250 per month for eligible students or $1,750 per month for eligible students with dependents or disabilities.

This benefit would be available from May to August 2020.

More details will be made available soon.

Reduced minimum withdrawals for Registered Retirement Income Funds

The required minimum withdrawals from Registered Retirement Income Funds (RRIFs) has been reduced by 25 per cent for 2020.

Learn more about RRIF
Temporary salary top-up for low-income essential workers

We will work with provinces and territories through a new transfer to cost-share a temporary top up to the salaries of low-income workers (those who earn less than $2,500 per month on a full time basis), that the provinces and territories have deemed essential in the fight against COVID-19.

This will provide a much needed boost to those on the front-line in hospitals, those caring for seniors in long-term care facilities, those working so hard to make sure that there that is food on our shelves and tables, and others.

More details will be released shortly.

Special Goods and Services Tax credit payment

We are providing a one-time special payment starting April 9 through the Goods and Services Tax credit for low- and modest-income families.

The average additional benefit will be close to $400 for single individuals and close to $600 for couples.

There is no need to apply for this payment. If you are eligible, you will get it automatically.

Extra time to file income tax returns

The filing due date for 2019 income tax returns for individuals has been deferred until June 1, 2020. Any new income tax balances due, or instalments, are also being deferred until after August 31, 2020 without incurring interest or penalties.

Note: If you expect to receive benefits under the Goods and Services Tax credit or the Canada Child Benefit, we encourage you not to delay filing your 2019 income tax return to ensure that your entitlements are properly determined.

Check all tax and payment dates
Mortgage payment deferral

Homeowners facing financial hardship may be eligible for a mortgage payment deferral of up to six months.

The deferral is an agreement between you and your lender. Typically, the agreement indicates that you and your lender have agreed to pause or suspend your mortgage payments for a certain amount of time. After the agreement ends, your mortgage payments return to normal and the deferred payments — including principal and accumulated interest – are added to the outstanding principal balance and subsequently repaid throughout the life of the mortgage.

To know if you are eligible for a mortgage payment deferral or to learn what options are available, contact your lender — your bank or your mortgage professional.

Learn about mortgage payment deferral

Additional Resources

COVID-19 Small Business Help Centre

The Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses has a comprehensive resource page to help small businesses dealing with COVID-19.

Visit page
Canadian Business Resilience Network

Provided by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, find the latest information, tools and resources businesses need to make it through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Visit page
COVID-19 Pandemic Preparedness Toolkit

The Ontario Chamber of Commerce has put together an business preparedness toolkit for COVID-19.

Download the toolkit
COVID-19 Pandemic Preparedness for Business

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce has put together a Pandemic Preparedness document for businesses.

Download the guide
Find COVID-19 support and other programs and services

Innovation Canada provides a questionnaire for businesses to complete and find out what supports are available for their specific needs.

Access the Questionnaire
COVID-19 Resource Centre

Blaney-McMurtry LLP’s resource centre keeps you informed with the latest legal news and insights related to COVID-19.

Visit page

COVID-19 Guidance & Measures by Province & Territory:

Business Supports in Ontario, Quebec, Alberta and B.C.

Ontario

Go to the Government of Ontario’s COVID-19 page to access the provinces full suite of information and resources about the outbreak in Ontario, along with supports for individuals and businesses. Select information has been curated from the Government of Ontario COVID-19 page and reposted here.

Ontario COVID-19 information and support
Financial Relief

Interest and penalty relief
Businesses will get five months of interest and penalty relief to file and make payments for the majority of provincially administered taxes.

Between April 1, 2020 and August 31, 2020, the province will not apply any penalty or interest on any late-filed returns or incomplete or late tax payments under select provincially administered taxes, such as Employer Health Tax, Tobacco Tax and Gas Tax.

This complements relief from the federal government on interest and penalties from not remitting Corporate Income Tax owing.

WSIB payment deferrals
Employers can defer Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) payments for up to six months.

All employers covered by the WSIB’s workplace insurance are automatically eligible for the financial relief package.

  • Schedule 1 employers who owe premiums to the WSIB will be allowed to defer reporting and payments until August 1, 2020.
  • Schedule 2 businesses that pay WSIB for the cost related to their workplace injury and illness claims can defer reporting and payments until August 31, 2020.

No interest will be accrued on outstanding premium payments and no penalties will be charged during this six-month deferral period.

Affordable electricity bills
From March 24 to May 8, 2020, residential, farm and small business time-of-use customers will get the lowest rate — also known as the off-peak price — 24 hours a day. That means you will pay 10.1 ¢/kWh no matter what time of day you use electricity.

This rate will be automatically applied to your bill.

Tax Relief

Employer Health Tax relief
We’re increasing the Employer Health Tax (EHT) exemption for 2020 from $490,000 to $1 million. As an employer, this means relief of up to $9,945.

What this means for you
The annual tax return form is not changing. Only the amount for the exemption claimed will change. Eligibility for the tax exemption, tax rates and everything else remains the same.

You will begin making your instalment payments after your payroll has exceeded the new $1 million exemption level.

If your business no longer needs to make instalment payments as a result of the increased exemption amount, you do not need to notify the Ministry of Finance.

If you have already filed a final or special return for 2020
The ministry will be reviewing all 2020 EHT returns and correcting the returns for the new exemption level.

Find out how you can apply the new exemption.

Regional Opportunities Investment Tax Credit
If you are building, renovating or acquiring commercial or industrial buildings in designated regions in Ontario, you could be eligible to save up to $50,000 this year.

You can apply for this tax credit when you file your tax return.

Learn more about the tax credit and if your project qualifies.

Guidance for employers

Your responsibilities
If you find out a worker has been exposed to COVID-19 at work, or a related claim has been filed with the WSIB, make sure to notify the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development and your workplace joint health and safety committee, health and safety representative and trade union, if you have them.

Emergency leave due to COVID-19
We created a new unpaid, job-protected infectious disease emergency leave. Workers can take this leave if they are not able to work due to COVID-19. Learn more about the new leave and the Employment Standards Act.

List of essential workplaces

Read the list of essential workplaces in response to COVID-19 (2019 novel coronavirus). If you have questions about what will be open or impacts to your business or employment, read the frequently asked questions or call the Stop the Spread Business Information Line at 1-888-444-3659.

Non-essential businesses

If you operate a non-essential business, you can continue to operate if your staff can work remotely from home.

The federal government has put measures in place to support workers and businesses. Learn more above.

For Employees

If you have to go out to get food or other critical supplies, care for a relative or friend, get necessary health care or go to an essential job, be sure to practice safe physical distancing.

Under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, employers must take precautions to keep workers safe, including keeping them informed, creating health and safety policies and procedures and ensuring workers use the right protective equipment. As a worker, you also have the right to refuse unsafe work.

If you have concerns about your health and safety that your employer is not addressing, you can file a complaint with the Health and Safety Contact Centre at 1-877-202-0008.

If you think you have coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms or have been in close contact with someone who has it, take a self-assessment to help determine how to seek further care.

If your workplace is closed and you are unable to work, you may be eligible for Employment Insurance (EI) from the federal government.

Extended validation periods for driver, vehicle and carrier products and services

Ontario is extending the validity of government driver, vehicle and carrier products and services that expired on or after March 1, 2020. These will continue to remain valid and legal past the expiry until further notice. This is in an effort to help keep people safe, reduce the need for in-person visits to ServiceOntario and stop the spread of COVID-19.

We are:

  • extending driver’s licences expiration dates, temporary driver’s licences (TDL), driving instructor (DI) licence and driving schools, Ontario Photo Card (OPC)
  • extending the Enhanced Driver’s Licence (EDL) expiration date for driving purposes only. The expired EDL will not be valid as a travel document
    • extending licence plate sticker validation including International Registration Plan (IRP)
    • extending 10-day special permits and temporary validation
    • extending the requirement to register a vehicle (including snow vehicles) within six days.
    • extending the requirement to change address or vehicle modification within six days
    • extending the Safety Standards Certificate and Structural Inspection Certificate
    • extending the Commercial Vehicle Operator’s Registration (CVOR), annual oversize/overweight permits and semi-annual and annual vehicle inspections
    • amending effective date for mandatory electronic emission test for heavy diesel commercial vehicles from July 1, 2020 to Oct 1, 2020
    • If you are required to submit a medical or vision report to the Ministry of Transportation, we are extending your due date by 60 days or more.
    • extended validation of accessible parking permits for people with disabilities (permanent, subject to change or temporary), travelers, visitors, motorcyclists and corporations

    * Note that new vehicles and un-plated vehicles would continue to require a visit to ServiceOntario for registration and plating.

Get full listing of product and service extensions

Alberta

The Alberta government’s COVID-19 information page provides comprehensive information for Albertans to access supports and stay up-to-date on the pandemic in the province.

Alberta COVID-19 information and resources
Workplace Guidance for Business Owners

Workplaces can use this resource to learn how to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission.

Download PDF Guide
Employment standards

Temporary workplace rules are in effect as of March 17, 2020, to help employers and employees manage rapidly changing conditions. These changes will be in place as long as government determines they are no longer needed and the public health emergency order remains.

We are:

  • creating an unpaid job-protected leave for employees caring for children affected by school and daycare closures or ill or self-isolated family members due to COVID-19
  • The 90-day employment requirement is waived.
  • The leave length is flexible and linked to guidance from the Chief Medical Officer.
  • A medical note is not required.
  • regular personal and family responsibility leave rules continue to apply for all other circumstances
  • removing the 24-hour written notice requirement for shift changes
  • removing the requirement for 2 weeks notice for changes to work schedules for those under an averaging agreement
  • removing the employer requirement to provide group termination notice to employees and unions when 50 or more employees are being terminated
  • individual termination entitlements remain in effect
  • employers must still give group termination notices to the Minister of Labour and Immigration as soon as is practical
  • increasing the maximum time for temporary layoffs from 60 days to 120 days
  • this change is retroactive for temporary layoffs related to COVID-19 that occurred on or after March 17
  • streamlining approvals for modifying employment standards (variances and exemptions) related to COVID-19

Job-protected leave
Changes to the Employment Standards Code allow full and part-time employees to take 14 days of job-protected leave if they are:

Eligible employees:

  • are not required to have a medical note
  • do not need to have worked for an employer for 90 days

This leave:

  • covers the 14-day isolation period recommended by Alberta’s chief medical officer
  • may be extended if the advice of the chief medical officer changes
  • does not apply to self-employed individuals or contractors

Vacation pay, leave or banked overtime
Employers and employees may consider using other available leaves if an employee needs to isolate.

  • Employees can request using their vacation pay or banked overtime, but employers are not required to grant the request. Provincial employment rules only require employers to provide vacation pay and vacation leave within a year of it being earned, or banked overtime within 6 months of it being earned.
  • Employers can request employees voluntarily take vacation leave and/or use their vacation pay or banked overtime, but cannot force them to do so under provincial employment rules.

Support for Businesses

Small business advice

Talk to a small business advisor at Business Link to get free advice, coaching and information on COVID-19 resources and supports.

Submit your question online or contact them directly:

Hours: 8:30 am to 4:30 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed weekends and statutory holidays)
Phone: 780-422-7722
Toll free: 1-800-272-9675 (Canada only)
TTY: 1-800-457-8466 (For the deaf or hard of hearing)

Tax changes

Corporate income tax changes
Alberta corporate income tax balances and instalment payments coming due between March 18, 2020 and August 31, 2020 are deferred until August 31, 2020 to increase employers’ access to cash so they can pay employees, address debts and continue operations.

Due dates for filing corporate income tax returns due after March 18, 2020 and before June 1, 2020 have been extended to June 1, 2020.

Education property tax deferral
Education property tax rates will be frozen at last year’s level – reversing the 3.4% population and inflation increase added in Budget 2020.

Collection of non-residential education property tax for businesses will be deferred for 6 months, or both municipal and education property tax are deferred for a shorter time that is of equivalent benefit.

Municipalities are expected to set education property tax rates as they normally would, but defer collection.

Commercial landlords are encouraged to pass savings on to their tenants through reduced or deferred payments to help employers pay their employees and stay in business.

Businesses capable of paying their taxes in full are encouraged to do to so. This will assist the province in supporting Albertans through the pandemic.

Taxpayers should contact their municipality directly for information for details on their municipality’s approach to education property tax deferrals.

Payment deferrals

WCB premium payment deferral

Small, medium and large private sector employers can defer WCB premium payments until 2021.

F

  • or small and medium businesses, the government will cover 50% of the 2020 premium when it is due in 2021 – saving businesses $350 million.
  • Large employers will have their 2020 WCB premium payments deferred until 2021, at which time their premiums will be due.

Employers who have already paid WCB premiums in 2020 are eligible for a rebate or credit.

Utility payment deferral

Residential, farm and small commercial customers 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.

This program is available to Albertans who are experiencing financial hardship as a direct result of COVID-19, such as those who have lost their employment or had to leave work to take care of an ill family member.

Call your utility provider directly to arrange for deferral on all payments until June 18, 2020.

Learn more about the utility payment deferral.

Banks and Credit Unions

Credit unions

Business members should contact their credit union directly to work out a plan for their personal situation.

ATB Financial
ATB small business customers can:

  • apply for a payment deferral on loans and lines of credit for up to 6 months
  • access additional working capital for ATB customers

Other ATB business and agriculture customers can access support on a one-on-one basis.

Further solutions are being considered at this time.

Business continuity plans

Employers should consider their business continuity plan (PDF, 319 KB) and how COVID-19 could impact their workplace. To prepare, make plans to:

  • protect employees
  • limit spread in workplaces
  • ensure continuity of critical services if staff are ill or self-isolating
  • explore alternate working arrangements, such as:
    • working from home or remotely
    • doing work that doesn’t require contact with other people

British Columbia

The government of British Columbia’s COVID-19 Provincial Support and Information page has comprehensive information on the pandemic in B.C. as well as supports available to businesses, individuals, and vulnerable communities.

B.C. COVID-19 Resources and Information

Support for Businesses

B.C. Business COVID-19 Support Service

The Provincial and Federal government along with the private sector are providing a wide-range of supports for businesses in British Columbia affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

This list of supports may not be comprehensive and is subject to change. Please contact support providers directly for eligibility and application details.

Access list of supports for businesses
Credit & Financing Options

Speak to Your Lender:
Financial institutions and credit unions are committed to working with small business banking customers on a case-by-case basis to provide flexible financing solutions such as:

  • Payment deferrals, reduced interest rates on credit cards and temporary limit increases
  • Interest-free loans of up to $40,000 through the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA). The CEBA includes a loan forgiveness amount of 25%, up to $10,000, if repaid on or before December 31, 2022
  • Term loans of up to $6.25 million through the Business Credit Availability Program’s co-lending and guaranteed loan options

Additional Credit & Financing Options:

  • Small businesses operating in rural communities can check with their local Community Futures office for emergency loans and business advice
  • Indigenous businesses can also contact Aboriginal Financial Institutions which offer short-term, interest-free loans and non-repayable contributions
  • Farm Credit Canada (FCC) is offering loan payment deferrals and other financing products to the agriculture and food industry
Changes to Taxes

Some provincial and federal taxes have been deferred, delayed or reduced.

  • The Canada Revenue Agency will allow all businesses to defer, until August 31, 2020, the payment of any income tax amounts that become owing on or after March 18, 2020 and before September 2020
  • Effective immediately, many provincial tax filing and payment deadlines are deferred to September 30, 2020
  • B.C. relief is available for Commercial Property Owners and Tenants
  • The school property tax rate for commercial properties will be reduced by 25% on average for most businesses, providing up to $700 million in relief
  • This enhances the 50% reduction to the provincial school property tax rate originally announced for classes 4, 5 and 6
  • Late payment penalties for commercial properties (classes 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8) have been postponed to October 1, 2020
Wage Support

B.C. businesses who need wage support can access help through the federal government. Some of the federal government supports for businesses are listed above.

Temporary changes to the Canada Summer Jobs program will help employers hire summer staff and provide young Canadians access to the jobs they need during COVID-19.

  • Changes include an increase to the wage subsidy and an extension to the end date for employment

The EI work sharing program provides EI benefits to workers who agree to reduce their normal working hour as a result of developments beyond the control of their employers

  • Eligibility of these agreements has been extended to 76 weeks, eligibility requirements have been eased, and the application process has been streamlined
Other Supports & Resources Available to Businesses
  • Through the Premier’s Economic Recovery Task Force, the B.C. government is working with representatives from the business community, labour, First Nations, and the non-profit sector to look at the economic impacts of COVID-19 and work towards a strong recovery for B.C.
  • BC Hydro is providing residential and commercial customers the option to defer bill payments or arrange flexible payment plans with no penalty for up to three months
  • FortisBC’s customer Recovery Fund is supporting residential customers and small businesses impacted by COVID-19 with bill deferrals, interest free repayment schedules and bill credit
  • ICBC customers on a monthly Autoplan payment plan, who are facing financial challenges due to COVID-19, can defer their payment for up to 90 days with no penalty
  • Small Business BC is offering a free webinar, Get Online with Shopify, for businesses to learn how to build an online presence and engage with customers and continue to grow your business
  • WorkSafeBC is postponing the reporting and payment deadlines to June 30, 2020 for employers who report and pay on a quarterly basis. Employers who report and pay on an annual basis may defer until March 2021
  • Direct, one-on-one service delivery programs to help the tourism sector and other enterprises with rapid recovery have been developed in collaboration with Island Coastal Economic Trust, Tourism Vancouver Island and Innovation Island Technology Association
  • The Columbia Basin Trust will provide low-interest loans through the new Small Business Working Capital Loan program to local small businesses in the Columbia Basin to help them meet their immediate needs. They will also increase support to existing programs
  • Small businesses operating in rural communities may also check with their local Community Futures office for emergency loans and business advice
Pivoting Your Business Operations

Small Business BC provides practical ideas and inspiration to help you manage your business through this uniquely challenging time. More opportunities to pivot your business operations include:

Learn about opportunities to pivot your business operations

Supports for Individuals

B.C. Emergency Benefit for Workers

The B.C. Emergency Benefit for Workers provides a one-time $1,000 payment to people whose ability to work has been affected due to COVID-19. B.C. residents who receive federal Employment Insurance, or the new federal Canada Emergency Response Benefit are eligible.

Support for Renters

The BC Temporary Rental Supplement Program provides temporary relief for eligible renters of up to $500/month for four months. While B.C.’s emergency order is in place, government is imposing a moratorium on evictions (with some exceptions) and placing a freeze on new annual rent increases by landlords.

Support for Students

Students attending B.C.’s 25 public post-secondary institutions, who are experiencing emergency financial pressures, will benefit from a one-time investment of $3.5 million in emergency financial assistance.

Download printable PDF of B.C.'s resources

Quebec

The government of Quebec has a COVID-19 information page with comprehensive information on resources and initiatives for businesses and workers, as well as individuals and current updates on the status of the pandemic in Quebec.

Province of Quebec COVID-19 page

Businesses and workers

Financial support programs for businesses

Several assistance programs are currently offered to Québec businesses by the governments of Québec and Canada.

This tool will enable you to determine the type of assistance best suited to your situation.

Please use the questionnaire that corresponds to your situation.

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Aide d’urgence aux petites et moyennes entreprises

Le programme Aide d’urgence aux petites et moyennes entreprises vise à soutenir, pour une période limitée, les entreprises admissibles qui éprouvent des difficultés financières en raison de la COVID-19 et qui ont besoin de liquidités d’un montant inférieur à 50 000 $.

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Concerted temporary action program for businesses

For businesses whose liquidity is affected by the repercussions of COVID-19

This new emergency funding measure provides ad hoc and exceptional support for businesses affected by the repercussions of COVID-19.

Eligible Businesses
This financial assistance is available to businesses operating in Québec, including cooperatives and other social economy enterprises with commercial activities. Eligible businesses are those that find themselves in a precarious situation and temporary difficulty as a result of COVID-19. They must show that their financial structure offers realistic prospects for profitability. Businesses cannot be under the protection of the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act or the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act.

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Programme actions concertées pour le maintien en emploi (PACME–COVID-19)

Le Programme actions concertées pour le maintien en emploi (PACME) vise à fournir un soutien direct aux entreprises qui connaissent une réduction de leurs activités, en raison des effets de la pandémie de COVID-19, incluant les travailleurs autonomes notamment par l’entremise des promoteurs collectifs reconnus par la Commission des partenaires du marché du travail (CPMT), soit les organismes dont les actions touchent plusieurs entreprises et personnes en emploi.

Ce programme du ministère du Travail, de l’Emploi et de la Solidarité sociale est offert en collaboration avec la Commission des partenaires du marché du travail. Il offre un soutien financier direct pour favoriser la formation et l’implantation de bonnes pratiques en gestion des ressources humaines, et optimiser le fonctionnement des entreprises et du marché du travail.

Les activités habituelles de l’entreprise doivent avoir été affectées par la pandémie de COVID-19, que ce soit par une suspension, une baisse, une augmentation ou une diversification de l’activité.

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Fonds local d'investissement (FLI)

Le Fonds local d’investissement (FLI) représente le principal outil financier des municipalités régionales de comté (MRC) mis en place pour soutenir les entreprises de leur territoire.

Chacun des FLI a été constitué à partir d’un prêt du gouvernement du Québec.

Le FLI vise à stimuler l’entrepreneuriat local en favorisant l’accès aux capitaux pour le démarrage ou la croissance d’entreprises traditionnelles ou d’économie sociale et pour le soutien à la relève entrepreneuriale.

Grâce au FLI, les entreprises dont les objectifs s’inscrivent dans les orientations de la politique d’investissement de la MRC peuvent bénéficier d’une aide financière sous l’une des formes suivantes :

  • prêt;
  • prêt participatif;
  • garantie de prêt;
  • d’autres types de financement.

Les subventions ne font pas partie du type d’aide financière accordée.

Le FLI permet également d’accorder une aide financière sous forme de prêt à tout entrepreneur ou groupe d’entrepreneurs désireux d’acquérir une participation d’au moins 25 % de la valeur d’une entreprise existante ou de 25 % de la juste valeur de ses actifs en vue d’en prendre la relève. Le simple rachat d’une entreprise n’est pas admissible à un financement.

Pour toute information au sujet du FLI, communiquez avec votre MRC ou l’organisme mandataire responsable de la gestion du FLI de votre MRC.

Flexibility measures for businesses during the pandemic (in French only).
Work schedules and absences

Employers are asked to be flexible regarding their employees’ work schedules to limit, for example, crowds in public transit during rush hour.

To reduce overcrowding in hospitals, the Québec government asks employers not to require their employees to present a doctor’s note if they have to self-isolate.

If possible, employers are also asked to encourage their employees to telework.

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Workers: Financial Assistance Programs

There are a number of government assistance programs available for workers, residents of Québec, who have lost their income because of COVID-19.

This tool will help you determine what type of assistance is available in your situation.

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Stress, Anxiety and Depression

You can get help and support to deal with stress, anxiety and depression associated with the Coronavirus COVID-19 Disease.

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