Support measures for businesses during COVID-19

Support measures for businesses during COVID-19

Due to the current situation, several financial assistance measures have been adopted to support businesses.

In this article, you will find the list of measures implemented by the federal and provincial governments. Our team remains on the lookout for upcoming announcements to make any necessary changes to this document.


Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan

The Canadian government is taking measures to support Canadian businesses and individuals facing financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy

All businesses, regardless of size, will qualify for a subsidy up to 75% of the first $58,700 of salary paid to employees, or $847, for a 12-week period from March 15, 2020 to June 6, 2020. To benefit from the subsidy, employers must demonstrate that their income has decreased by at least 15% for the month of March 2020 and by at least 30% for the months of April and May 2020.

Canada Emergency Business Account

This program will be implemented by eligible financial institutions in collaboration with Export Development Canada (EDC).

The government would provide interest-free loans of up to $40,000;

If certain conditions are met, $10,000 could be non-refundable;

Eligibility details and conditions to be announced at a later date.

GST/HST, QST and Customs Duties

GST/HST and QST remittances will be deferred to June 30, 2020. The extension applies to the following deadlines:

  • The date that monthly filers have to remit amounts collected for the February, March and April 2020 reporting periods;
  • The date that quarterly filers have to remit amounts collected for the January 1, 2020 through March 31, 2020 reporting period;
  • The date that annual filers, whose GST/HST return or instalment are due in March, April or May 2020, have to remit amounts collected and owing for their previous fiscal year and instalments of GST/HST in respect of the filer’s current fiscal year;

The extension also applies to customs duties.

Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) through EDC

A Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) has been introduced primarily to support small- and medium-sized enterprises through Expert Development Canada (DC) and the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC).

Additionally, EDC will guarantee new operating credit and cash-flow term loans that financial institutions extend to small- to medium-sized enterprises, up to $6.25 million.

BDC will also work with financial institutions to provide joint financing to SMEs to meet their operational cash flow requirements. Under this program, eligible businesses can receive additional credit up to $6.25 million.

Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA)

For companies that pay less than $ 50,000 per month, that have temporarily interrupted their activities or whose revenues preceding COVID-19 have decreased by 70%. Details of the program will be known before mid-May.


Concerted Temporary Action Plan for Businesses

Thanks to the Concerted Temporary Action Plan for Businesses (CTAPB), eligible businesses, including cooperatives, NFPOs and social economy enterprises 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.

Emergency aide for small- and medium-sized businesses

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.

For information, contact your RCM, your municipality or the organization managing the local investment fund in your RCM.

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 more information about the FLI, contact your RCM or local fund manager.

Introduction of the 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.

With a $100M budget, the PACME will help employers retain their staff while preparing them for the economic recovery.

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

New dates have been announced for the filing of income tax returns. The Quebec government is postponing the payment of instalments and taxes that would have been due today to September 1, 2020. 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.

Payment of QST

Quebec is following the federal government’s lead and will allow businesses to defer, until June 30, their returns and remittances for the QST payments scheduled for March 31, April 30 and May 31, without interest or penalties.