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Most businesses are under an immense amount of stress during this pandemic. It is important as a business owner to stay informed via the latest official updates and ensure the utilization of resources the government has introduced. The following are some resources to assist in preparing for small business owners through this challenging time.

Support for Small Businesses

  • introduced the Canada Emergency Business Account, which provides interest-free loans of up to $40,000 to small businesses and not-for-profits through their financial institutions. Up to 25% of the loan will be forgiven if repaid by December 31, 2022. More details to follow.
  • offered employers the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) applied at a rate of 75% on the first $58,700 earned by employees, representing a benefit of $847 per week. The program will be in place for a 12-week period, retroactive to March 15 and ending June 6, 2020. Eligible businesses of all sizes and from all sectors of the economy, regardless of the number of workers they employ, that suffer a drop of at least 30% in gross revenues due to COVID-19 in March, April or May, when compared to the same month in 2019, would be able to access the subsidy. This will help businesses to keep paying their employees and to bring laid-off workers back on the payroll.
  • created a new loan guarantee through Export Development Canada (EDC), which provides operating credit and cash-flow term loans of up to $6.25 million. More details to follow.
  • introduced a new co-lending program through the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC), which will team up with financial institutions to co-lend term loans to support cash-flow requirements.
  • deferred all payments of GST/HST and import duties for all businesses, including individuals who are self-employed, until June 30. This amounts to $30 billion in interest-free loans to Canadian businesses. More details to follow.
  • reduced the administrative burden on businesses by extending the filing deadlines for returns for charities, trusts, partnerships and NR4 information.
  • enhanced the Work-Sharing program to support employers and their workers who are experiencing a downturn in business.
  • worked with the financial sector to ensure an additional $300 billion in lending capacity.
  • created the new Business Credit Availability Program to make more than $10 billion available to Canadian businesses in financing and credit insurance solutions through EDC and BDC.
  • ensured the Canada Revenue Agency will defer tax payment obligation until August 31, 2020, to help businesses with cash flow.
  • made an additional $5 billion available to farmers, producers, agribusinesses and food processors through Farm Credit Canada, as well as giving farmers more flexibility in repaying outstanding Advance Payments Program loans.
  • If you are a tourism operator, a small business or an organization affected by COVID-19 and need pressing assistance, the regional development agencies (RDAs) could assist you with access to federal funding and services.

Contingency plans

It is also vital for Canadian businesses to have contingency plans in place to manage potential financial risks. The Canadian Chamber of Commerce has developed a comprehensive preparedness guide for businesses in the face of COVID-19.

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business is also providing information to help businesses through these difficult times.

For most small business their employees are also impacted due to this pandemic. Here are tools to help employees of small business owners.

Support for your Employees

  • Sickness Employment Insurance Benefits are being offered without the 1-week waiting period and medical certificate. Regular Employment Insurance benefits may also be available to employees laid off due to a temporary or ongoing shortage of work. 
  • For those that are not eligible for Employment Insurance, the Canada Emergency Response Benefit(CERB) will provide $2,000 a month for up to four months for workers and entrepreneurs who are not receiving a paycheque as a result of COVID-19.
  • To support working families’ children there have been changes boosting Canada Child Benefits Payments.
  • The deadline for filing taxes has been extended until June 1, 2020.
  • Canceled the penalties for Canadians who can’t file tax returns or make tax payments on time.
Businesses that can supply products and services

Public Services and Procurement Canada (formerly PWGSC) is asking companies who can supply products and services to send their information here

For detailed information:

https://www.canada.ca/en/services/business/maintaingrowimprovebusiness/resources-for-canadian-businesses.html

For more resources: 

https://smallbusinessbc.ca/article/resources-for-small-businesses-affected-by-coronavirus-covid-19/

For all COVID-related programs and services for businesses

For more information on COVID -19: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/coronavirus-disease-covid-19.html

Photo by Patrick Tomasso on Unsplash

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