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How are businesses being helped during COVID-19?

In order to provide businesses relief and support during the COVID-19 outbreak, the government of Canada has introduced a number of programs and proposals that will aid in lessening the negative financial impact businesses are facing due to the pandemic.

In addition to deferments of taxes owing for the 2020 tax season, the federal government has set up the following measures to support businesses during this difficult time:

The wage subsidy supports you to keep and re-hire your employees and avoid layoffs.

Available until June 2021, the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS), will cover up to 75% of an employee’s wages (for qualifying eligible employers), with this subsidy rate in effect until March 13, 2021.

This subsidy is intended to support businesses while preventing their need for layoffs.

For more information, and to learn how to apply, visit the official government website.

The government has extended the maximum duration of the Work-Sharing program from 38 weeks to 76 weeks for employers affected by COVID-19.

As a result, income support for EI-eligible employees will be provided for those who agree to reduce their normal working hours because of developments beyond the control of their employers.

For more information, and to learn how to apply, visit the official government website.

They government of Canada has agreed to temporarily extend layoff periods in the Canada Labour Standards Regulations to allow employers more time to recall laid-off employees. This will help to both protect the jobs of employees and support their employers who may be facing economic hardship due to the pandemic.

To learn more, visit the official government website.

  • Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA): provides interest-free, partially-forgivable loans of up to $60,000 to small businesses and not-for-profits that have experienced diminished revenues due to COVID-19 but face ongoing non-deferrable costs, such as rent, utilities, insurance, taxes and wages. Business owners can apply for support until March 31, 2021 through their banks and credit unions.
  • Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS): provides a direct and easy-to-access rent and mortgage subsidy of up to 65% of eligible expenses to qualifying businesses, charities and non-profits. This support is available directly to tenants.

You can apply for the CERS here.

  • Loan guarantee for small-medium businesses: 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 program is now available until July 2021 at various banks and credit unions. Click here to learn more.

As a courtesy, the Liaison Officer service will also be available via phone during this period, to help owners of small businesses in understanding their tax obligations. This service will be customizing information during these challenging times by ensuring small businesses are aware of any changes such as filing and payment deadlines, proactive relief measures, etc.

Related information:

What to know about COVID-19 and your taxes

COVID-19 Tax Info Centre

How are taxpayers being helped during the COVID-19 outbreak?

What is the Emergency Care Benefit?

What income support will be provided during the COVID-19 breakout for those in need?

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