Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan
The Government of Canada is taking immediate, significant and decisive action to support Canadians and businesses facing hardship as a result of the global COVID-19 outbreak.
• New: Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) for small businesses. Will provide loans, including forgivable loans, to commercial property owners who agree to lower or forgo the rent of small businesses for the months of April (retroactive), May, and June. Please note that applications are not yet open.
• Deferral of tax payments owing until after August 31, 2020
• Applications for the federal government’s Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) are now open. Applicants can receive $500 per week for up to 16 weeks on an immediate basis. As of April 16, the federal government has made changes to CERB’s eligibility criteria.
• As of April 8, the federal government has made changes to their Emergency Wage Subsidy program, relaxing the qualification criteria, among others.
• Work-Sharing Program: Provides income support to employees eligible for EI benefits to work a temporarily reduced work week. The program has been expanded from 38 weeks to 76 weeks.
• As of April 8, the federal government has made temporary changes to the Canada Summer Jobs program including increased wage subsidies, an extension to the end date for employment to February 28, 2021, allowing employers to adapt their activities to support essential services and hire part-time staff.
• Employment Insurance: Changes to Canada’s sick leave benefits under EI, offering 15 weeks of assistance, amounting to 55% of earnings up to a maximum of $573 per week.
Liquidity / Capital Support
• BMO – Financial Relief for SMEs: Bank of Montreal is offering a targeted relief program for SMEs that includes increased lines of credit, advance funds, deferred payments on loans, credit cards and credit lines and one-on-one financial consultations.
• EDC Working Capital Support: Export Development Canada is also offering larger firms guaranteed loans of up to $5M. For more information, contact your bank.
• EDC + BDC Business Loan and Guarantee Program: BDC and EDC have launched a program allowing banks to offer SMEs additional credit and liquidity options on an immediate basis. BDC is also offering working capital loans of up to $2 million, reduced rates on new eligible loans and flexible repayment terms for existing BDC clients with a loan commitment of less than $1 million.
• Canada Emergency Business Account: Provides interest-free loans of up to $40,000 to small businesses, start-ups and non-profits to help cover their operating costs. Firms that paid between $50,000 to $1 million in payroll in 2019 are eligible.