COVID-19 Info and Resources

COVID-19 Notice, Info and Resources

2020/05/06

The World Trade Centre Winnipeg would like to address the current situation regarding COVID-19 as it relates to its operations and programming as well as pertinent information for Manitoba businesses.

We have made the difficult decision to close our office to the public. Our team will be working remotely from home until further notice. Please note that our operations will continue, however we will not be taking in-person meetings. As the situation continues to be monitored closely, we ensure you that we remain dedicated to supporting you as it relates to your business activities.

Although we understand this situation is not ideal, the health and safety of the WTC Winnipeg clients, partners and staff members is our highest priority.

We thank you in advance for understanding and for your collaboration. For all inquiries and continued support, please contact us by email info@wtcwinnipeg.com or by phone 204.253.4888/1.800.665.2019.

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Looking for guidance on the following questions relating to the current COVID-19 situation? 

  • What is the situation pertaining to the WTC Winnipeg’s seminars, events and trade missions?
  • Where can I find available support from government for individuals and business owners?
  • Where can I find additional support for businesses and business owners?
  • Additional resources

Update on the WTC Winnipeg’s seminars, events and trade missions

  • April Seminars (online only)
  • World Trade Day 2020 (cancelled and will be rescheduled for May 2021)
  • World Trade Mission: SIAL Canada (postponed)
  • Manitoba Information Seminars (postponed)

 

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.

Click here to find COVID-19 support and other programs and services

Avoiding layoffs and rehiring employees

  • Canada emergency wage subsidy (CEWS). We are covering 75% of an employee’s wages – up to $847 per week – for eligible employers. The program will be in place until August 29. For employers that are eligible for both the CEWS and the Temporary 10% Wage Subsidy for a period, any benefit from the Temporary 10% Wage Subsidy for remuneration paid in a specific period will generally reduce the amount available to be claimed under the CEWS in that same period.
  • Temporary 10% Wage Subsidy: The Temporary 10% Wage Subsidy is a three-month measure that will allow eligible employers to reduce the amount of payroll deduction required to be remitted to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).
  • Extending the Work-Sharing program:  The maximum duration of the Work-Sharing program is extended from 38 weeks to 76 weeks for employers affected by COVID-19.
  • Temporary changes to Canada Summer Jobs program: Temporary changes were made to the Canada Summer Jobs program to allow employers to: receive an increased wage subsidy, so that private and public sector employers can also receive up to 100 per cent of the provincial or territorial minimum hourly wage for each employee; extend the end date for employment to February 28, 2021; adapt their projects and job activities;

Access to credit

  • Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP): We established a Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) to provide $40 billion of additional support through the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) and Export Development Canada (EDC). BDC and EDC are working with private sector lenders to coordinate on credit solutions for individual businesses, including in sectors such as oil and gas, air transportation, exports and tourism. This program includes:
    • Loan Guarantee for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises: EDC is working with financial institutions to issue new operating credit and cash flow term loans of up to $6.25 million to SMEs.
    • Co-Lending Program for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises: BDC is working with financial institutions to co-lend term loans to SMEs for their operational cash flow requirements.Eligible businesses may obtain incremental credit amounts of up to $6.25 million through the program.
    • UPDATE: BCAP will be expanded to include mid-sized companies with larger financing needs. Support for mid-market businesses will include loans of up to $60 million per company, and guarantees of up to $80 million. Through the BCAP, Export Development Canada (EDC) and the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) will work with private sector lenders to support access to capital for Canadian businesses in all sectors and regions.
    • Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP)
    • CONTACT: These programs are now available at various financial institutions and credit unions, they will refer you to EDC (Economic Development Canada (EDC): 1.800.229.0575 or tradeadvisor-conseiller@edc.ca) or BDC (Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC): 1.877.232.2269)
  • Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA):  CEBA will provide interest-free loans of up to $40,000 to small businesses and not-for-profits, to help cover their operating costs during a period where their revenues have been temporarily reduced. To qualify, these organizations will need to demonstrate they paid between $20,000 to $1.5 million in total payroll in 2019. If you have a payroll lower than $20,000 you may now be eligible.
  • Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF): The federal government is providing nearly $962 million through the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) to help more businesses and organizations in sectors such as manufacturing, technology, tourism and others that are key to the regions and to local economies. This fund is specifically targeted to those that may require additional help to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic,but have been unable to access existing support measures.
  • Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA): The program will provide forgivable loans to qualifying commercial property owners to cover 50% of three-monthly rent payments that are payable by eligible small business tenants who are experiencing financial hardship during April, May, and June.  The loans will be forgiven if the mortgaged property owner agrees to reduce the eligible small business tenants’ rent by at least 75 per cent, the small business tenant would cover the remainder, up to 25% of the rent. This support will also be available to for-profit, non-profit and charitable organizations that are paying less than $50,000 per month in rent and who have temporarily ceased operations or have experienced at least a 70 per cent drop in pre-COVID-19 revenues.
  • Rural businesses and communities: The federal government are investing $287 million to support rural businesses and communities by providing them with much-needed access to capital through the Community Futures Network.
  • Assisting innovative and early-stage businesses: The federal government are investing $250 million to assist innovative, early-stage companies that are unable to access other COVID-19 business supports through the Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP).
  • Young entrepreneurs: The federal government are providing $20.1 million in support for Futurpreneur Canada to continue supporting young entrepreneurs across Canada who are facing challenges due to COVID-19. The funding will allow Futurpreneur Canada to provide payment relief for its clients for up to 12 months
  • .Small and medium-sized businesses unable to access other support measures: The federal government are providing $675 million to give financing support to small and medium-sized businesses that are unable to access other COVID-19 business supports, through Canada’s Regional Development Agencies.

Deferred payments

  • More time to pay income taxes: We are allowing all businesses to defer, until after August 31, 2020, the payment of any income tax amounts that become owing on or after March 18 and before September 2020. This relief would apply to tax balances due, as well as instalments, under Part I of the Income Tax Act. No interest or penalties will accumulate on these amounts during this period.
  • Deferral of Sales Tax Remittance and Customs Duty Payments until June: We are allowing businesses, including self-employed individuals, to defer until June 30, 2020 payments of the GST/HST, as well as customs duty owing on their imports. Any GST/HST payment that becomes owing from March 27 until the end of May can be deferred until the end of June. For GST and customs duty payments for imported goods, deferral will include amounts owing for March, April and May. These amounts were normally due to be submitted to the Canada Revenue Agency and the Canada Border Services Agency as early as the end of March 2020.

Support for self-employed individuals

  • Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB). This taxable benefit would provide $2,000 a month for up to four months for workers who lose their income as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Eligibility rules were changed to allow people to earn up to $1000 per month while collection CERB. If you have already applied for EI, you do not need to also apply for this new benefit, your claim will be automatically moved over to the CERB and you will receive the 16-week benefit.
    • You can also apply over the phone: 1.800.959.2019 or 1.800.959.2041 or Online

Indigenous businesses

  • Funding for small and medium-sized Indigenous businesses, and Aboriginal Financial Institutions: The federal government announced up to $306.8 million in funding to help small and medium-sized Indigenous businesses, and to support Aboriginal Financial Institutions that offer financing to these businesses. The funding will allow for short-term, interest-free loans and non-repayable contributions through Aboriginal Financial Institutions, which offer financing and business support services to First Nations, Inuit, and Métis businesses. Financial support for Indigenous businesses will be provided through Aboriginal Financial Institutions and administered by the National Aboriginal Capital Corporations Association and the Métis capital corporations in partnership with Indigenous Services Canada.

 

Manitoba Public Health Order

  • Manitoba restricts operations of non-critical businesses in new Public Health Order. Starting April 1st: gathering are limited to 10 people, restaurants and commercial facilities that serve food are prohibited from serving food in their premises, and all businesses that are not listed in the schedule of critical services that accompanies the order must close till May 18th. This closure order does not prevent these businesses from operating on a remote basis.
  • Restoring Safe Services:  Manitoba’s Pandemic Economic Recovery Roadmap: This included introducing increasingly restrictive measures to reduce the spread of the disease.
    • Restoring Services (Phase One) – Beginning May 4: Critical public health measures and current travel restrictions will remain. A variety of non-essential health-care and retail businesses will have the option to reopen under strict guidelines.
    • More information: https://www.gov.mb.ca/covid19/restoring/approach.html
  • Website to help Manitoba businesses access non-medical grade personal protective equipment through an online marketplace.
  • The Government of Manitoba enacted an Order that temporarily suspends the requirements for certain meetings of condominium corporations under The Condominium Act, cooperatives under The Cooperatives Act, corporations under The Corporations Act; and credit unions/caisses populaires under The Credit Unions and Caisses Populaires Act. The order also permits electronic service, voting and meetings even where otherwise not permitted by the bylaws of the corporation. This Order provides relief for 2020.

Deferred payments

  • Tax Filing Deadline Extension Manitoba has extended the April and May tax filing deadlines until June 22, 2020 for small and medium businesses with monthly RST remittances of no more than $10,000. Additionally, businesses that file on a quarterly basis that have a due date of April 20, 2020 have had the due date extended to June 22, 2020.

Avoiding layoffs and rehiring employees

  • Temporary Exception to Employment Standards. The Manitoba government is adding a temporary exception to employment standards regulations to give employers more time to recall employees laid off as a result of COVID-19.
  • Summer Student Recovery Plan: providing up to $120 million for employers, up to a maximum of $5,000 per student. The program is open to Manitoba students aged 15 to 29, with an employment period from May 1 to September 4. Employers can be subsidized to hire up to five students. Reimbursement will be provided at the end of the employment period, upon proof of payment of student wages.

Call to Action for Manitoba Manufacturers

The Manitoba Gap Protection Program (MGPP)

  • The province will advance each eligible business the non-interest bearing forgivable MGPP loan of $6,000, for a total of up to $120 million. The loan will be forgiven on Dec. 31, 2020, if the recipient attests at that time the business has not received any major non-repayable COVID-19 federal supports such as the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy and the Canada Emergency Business Account, as well as sector-specific grant federal programs specifically developed in response to the pandemic. If the applicant has received benefits under a federal COVID program, then the loan will be added to the recipient’s 2020 tax bill.

 

Financial

Cross border travel

  • For questions or the most up-to-date information on cross-border travel and business, please call the Canada Border Services Agency at 1.800.461.9999.

Cargo-only flight opportunities

  • Opportunities for On-Demand Capacity. Air Canada Cargo is launching extra sessions – passenger aircraft flights used solely for the purpose of cargo.

Continuity plan

Creating and maintaining a business continuity plan helps ensure that your business has the resources and information needed to deal with an emergency.

 

Webinars

Partners’ COVID-19 resource pages

Additional articles