Covid-19: Financial Assistance for Businesses

Articles

The federal government has announced sweeping financial measures to mitigate the economic impact of Covid-19. We have summarized and listed the measures implemented or proposed by the federal government that may be of assistance to businesses in British Columbia. We will be updating this list as further guidance and information is made available.

Financial Support for Businesses
  1. Wage Subsidies. The federal government is proposing a three month wage subsidy for eligible businesses who retain employees on payroll. The subsidy equates to 10% of employee remuneration, up to a maximum of $1,375 per employee and $25,000 per employer. This measure, which is available to non-profits, charities, and corporations eligible for the small business deduction, allows businesses to reduce remittances of income tax withheld on employee remuneration by the amount of the subsidy.

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  2. Income Tax Deferral. Businesses are permitted, until after August 31, 2020, to defer the payment of income taxes owing on or after March 18, 2020 and before September 2020. No interest or penalties will accrue during this period.

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  3. Business Credit Availability Program. Up to $10 billion of additional credit will be made available through the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) and Export Development Canada (EDC) to creditworthy businesses experiencing financial hardship. Businesses seeking such support should reach out to their financial institution for an assessment of their situation. Referrals may then be made to BDC or EDC if the needs of the business cannot be provided through the private sector.

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  4. Support from Financial Institutions. Canada’s largest banks have confirmed their support by offering flexible solutions for individuals and businesses impacted by Covid-19. This may include mortgage payment deferrals and relief on other credit products. Please contact your financial institution for further details.

  5. Income Support for Workers. The federal government has announced a number of supportive measures to assist workers, including: (i) waiving the one-week waiting period for individuals in quarantine that claim EI sickness benefits; (ii) waiving the requirement to provide a medical certificate to access EI sickness benefits; (iii) introducing the Emergency Care Benefit of up to $900 bi-weekly, for up to 15 weeks, for eligible workers; and (iv) introducing the Emergency Support Benefit for workers who do not qualify for EI. Employers should inform employees on leave or working reduced hours to seek and apply for all available support.

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  6. Support for Exporters. The Canada Account is administered by Export Development Canada and is used to support export transactions that are deemed to be in Canada’s national interest. Changes have been made to the Canada Account to provide additional support to exporters through loans, guarantees, or insurance policies.

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