COVID-19 Info and Resources

COVID-19 | Support and Resources

2020/06/16

Looking for guidance for your business during the current COVID-19 situation? 

The WTC Winnipeg has created the following list of resources  to help navigate available support programs. Our team of business and trade advisors are also here to answer your questions. Contact us by email at covid@wtcwinnipeg.com or by phone at 204.253.4888 or 1.800.665.2019 (toll free).

Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS)

The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy will cover up to 24 weeks of employees’ salaries on the first $58,700 earned this year – to a maximum amount of $847 per week. The program is backdated to August 29, 2020 and is designed to protect jobs and maintain the important link between employees and employers.

Eligibility:

How to apply:

More Information:

Temporary Wage Subsidy for Employers

The 10% Temporary Wage Subsidy for Employers is a three-month measure that will allow eligible employers to reduce the amount of payroll deductions required to be remitted to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).

The subsidy is equal to 10% of the remuneration you pay from March 18, 2020 to June 19, 2020, up to $1,375 for each eligible employee to a maximum of $25,000 total per employer. Associated CCPCs will not be required to share the maximum subsidy of $25,000 per employer.

Note: You may be eligible for both the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) and the Temporary Wage Subsidy for Employers (10% temporary wage subsidy). However, for an eligible employer that is eligible for both subsidies for a period, all amounts that the employer claims under the 10% temporary wage subsidy for remuneration paid in a specific claim period, reduce the amount available to be claimed under the CEWS in that same period.

Eligibility:

You are an eligible employer if you are a(n):

  • individual (excluding trusts),
  • partnership,
  • non-profit organization,
  • registered charity, or
  • Canadian-controlled private corporation (including a cooperative corporation);
  • have an existing business number and payroll program account with the CRA on March 18, 2020; and
  • pay salary, wages, bonuses, or other remuneration to an eligible employee.

An eligible employee is an individual who is employed in Canada.

Partnerships are only eligible for the subsidy if their members consist exclusively of individuals (excluding trusts), registered charities, other partnerships eligible for the subsidy, or eligible Canadian-controlled private corporations (CCPCs).

CCPCs are only eligible for the subsidy if they have a business limit for their last taxation year that ended before March 18, 2020, greater than nil (determined without reference to the passive income business limit reduction). For more information on whether your CCPC would have a business limit, see Small Business Deduction in the T2 Corporation Income Tax Guide.

For more information on whether your corporation is a CCPC, see Type of Corporation – https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/tax/businesses/topics/corporations/type-corporation.html#ccpc

How to apply:

  • You do not need to apply for the subsidy.
  • Employers reduce their payroll remittance of federal, provincial or territorial income tax that they send to the CRA by the amount of the subsidy.

More Information:

Grant Thornton: Temporary Wage Subsidy – https://www.grantthornton.ca/globalassets/1.-member-firms/canada/insights/gt-20-154-tempwagesub-final.pdf?utm_source=cbrn&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=covid19&utm_content=text-link

Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA)

The Government of Canada is providing businesses with interest-free loans of up to $40,000 to help cover operating costs during a period where their revenues have been temporarily reduced due to COVID-19. This will better position companies to quickly return to providing services to their communities and create employment.

Eligibility:

  • This program is for businesses with a total payroll between $20,000 to $1.5 million in 2019.
  • Repayment of the loan on or before December 31, 2022 will result in loan forgiveness of 25% (up to $10,000).

Expanded eligibility criteria

To qualify under the expanded eligibility criteria, applicants with payroll lower than $20,000 need:

  • a business operating account at a participating financial institution;
  • a Canada Revenue Agency business number, and to have filed a 2018 or 2019 tax return;
  • eligible non-deferrable expenses between $40,000 and $1.5 million. Eligible non-deferrable expenses could include costs such as rent, property taxes, utilities, and insurance.

 

How to apply:

Business owners can apply now through their banks and credit unions.

More Information:

Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)

The CERB provides financial support of $500 per week for up to 16 weeks directly to Canadians.

Eligibility:

  • Canadians who are at least 15 years old that have lost their job, have had their hours reduced, have had their EI recently run out, are seasonal workers, are sick, quarantined, or taking care of someone who is sick with COVID-19, as well as working parents who must stay home without pay to care for children who are sick or at home because of school and daycare closures.
  • Employed workers who earn up to $1,000 per month may still qualify for the CERB.

How to apply:

More Information:

The government of Canada – CERB – https://www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/ei/cerb-application.html

Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA)

The Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) program will provide small businesses, non-profits, and charities a 75% reduction in their rent payments for the months of April (retroactive), May, and June.

The program will provide forgivable loans to qualifying commercial property owners to cover 50% of the eligible rent payments. The loans will be forgiven if the property owner agrees to reduce the eligible small business tenants’ rent by at least 75% and agrees not to evict the tenant.

Eligibility:

  • Those paying less than $50,000 in monthly rent.
  • Those who have temporarily ceased operations or have experienced at least a 70% drop versus pre-COVID-19 revenues.

How to apply:

The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) is administering the program on behalf of the federal, provincial, and territorial governments. Apply now – https://cecra-apply.ca/account/login?ReturnUrl=%2F

More Information:

Regional Relief and Recovery Funds (RRRF)

The government is providing nearly $1 billion in funding to the Regional Development Agencies ($675 million) and the national network of Community Futures Development Corporations ($287 million). SMEs may now apply for support through your local Regional Development Agency: Western Economic Diversification Canada – https://www.wd-deo.gc.ca/eng/20059.asp

More Information:

Manitoba Gap Protection Program

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.

Eligibility:

To be eligible for the MGPP funding, a business must:
•    have been operational on March 20, 2020, the date the Manitoba government declared a provincewide state of emergency under The Emergency Measures Act because of COVID-19;
•    have temporarily ceased or curtailed operations as a result of a COVID-19 public health order and have been harmed by the health order;
•    be registered and in good standing with the Manitoba Business and Corporate Registry;
•    have not qualified for federal government COVID-19 grant support; and
•    have an email address and a bank account.

How to apply:

Application deadline is July 31, 2020. You can now apply online – https://forms.gov.mb.ca/mgpp/

More Information:

Manitoba Summer Student Recovery Jobs Plan

The Summer Student Recovery Jobs Program promotes the hiring of high school and post-secondary students who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The program provides wage subsidies to employers from the private and not-for-profit sectors to employ students aged 15 to 29. In addition to traditional summer jobs, students can help organizations and businesses adapt their workplaces and public spaces to the public health requirements of COVID-19. Employers are eligible to receive a reimbursement of $7 per hour up to a maximum of $5,000 per student employed between May 1 and September 4, 2020. Employers can be subsidized to hire up to five students.

Eligibility:

Open to all private sector and non-profit employers operating in Manitoba. Public sector employers including public health, educational institutions, and municipal/provincial/federal governments and agencies and political parties are not eligible.

How to apply:

You can submit an application online – https://forms.gov.mb.ca/ssrjp/

When submitting your application, you will be required to verify that the information you have provided in the application is correct and complete. You should receive confirmation that your application has been processed within 10 business days. For the first two weeks of the program, priority will be given to employers who do not qualify for the various federal government assistance programs.

More Information:

The province of Manitoba – MSSRJP – https://manitoba.ca/covid19/business/summerstudentjobprogram.html

Manitoba Commercial Rent Assist Support

To enhance federal rent assist program with funding for commercial operations in Manitoba. More information to come.

Canada-Manitoba Job Grant

The Canada-Manitoba Job Grant is an employer-driven approach to help Manitobans gain the skills they need to fill available jobs and to help employers develop the skills of their existing workers to meet the requirements of their present job, or to move into a better job.

Eligible employers may apply for up to $10,000 for each individual worker to assist with training costs. Employers that receive funding under the Canada-Manitoba Job Grant must contribute a minimum of one-third of the eligible training costs. With the maximum government contribution of $10,000, this means that up to $15,000 is available, per person, for eligible training costs.

Eligibility:

Candidates for training include individuals who are:

  • unemployed and seeking training to get a job
  • working, but underemployed and seeking training to get a better job
  • employed, but looking to train for a better job
  • employed, but seeking training to enhance their skills in an existing job

Training participants must be individuals working in Manitoba who are Canadian citizens or permanent residents. Training of temporary foreign workers is not eligible

List of eligibility criteria for employer to come soon.

How to apply:

You can submit an application online –  https://www.gov.mb.ca/wd/ites/is/cjg.html

The Canada-Manitoba Job Grant application intake is now open for training that ends by March 1, 2021 Deadline for applications is July 3, 2020

More Information:

The Province of Manitoba – Canada-Manitoba Job Grant https://www.gov.mb.ca/wd/ites/is/cjg.html

Contact the Manitoba Jobs and Skills Development Centre, at 1-866-332-5077

Employment Insurance (EI)

Ongoing access to the Employment Insurance (EI) program is available for eligible workers who have lost their job. EI is designed to provide temporary financial support for those workers who have lost their job, are sick, pregnant, caring for a newborn or adopted child, caring for a family member who is seriously ill with a significant risk of death or providing care or support to a critically ill family member.

If you have recently applied for Employment Insurance (EI) regular or sickness benefits, do not re-apply. Your application will automatically be assessed to determine if you are eligible for the CERB.

More Information:

Support for agriculture, farmers and food processing employers

Agriculture Sector Support

The Government of Canada has announced $252 million to support farmers, food businesses, and food processors that provide essential services to Canadians every day by ensuring a safe and reliable food supply. A proposal for $200 million in additional borrowing capacity for the sector has also been announced.

More information:

https://pm.gc.ca/en/news/news-releases/2020/05/05/supporting-canadas-farmers-food-businesses-and-food-supply 


Funding for Temporary Foreign Worker Quarantine Costs

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada is providing $50 million to help farmers, fish harvesters and all food production and processing employers put in place the measures necessary to follow the mandatory 14-day isolation period required of all workers arriving from abroad.

Support of $1,500 for each temporary foreign worker will be provided to employers, or those working with TFWs, to ensure requirements are fully met. The funding is conditional on employers not being found in violation of the mandatory 14-day isolation protocols or any other public health order.

This program will be available as long as the Quarantine Act is in force and the isolation protocol is followed.

More information:

https://www.canada.ca/en/agriculture-agri-food/news/2020/04/keeping-canadians-and-workers-in-the-food-supply-chain-safe.html  


Emergency Processing Fund (EPF)

The Emergency Processing Fund (EPF) is a one-time, federal investment of up to $77.5 million to help companies implement changes to safeguard the health and safety of workers and their families due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The fund also aims to aid companies to invest to improve, automate and modernize facilities needed to increase Canada’s food supply capacity. The fund is one part of the greater Government of Canada response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Eligible criteria include:

  • For profit organizations that are incorporated in Canada (i.e. businesses and/or corporations, cooperatives, Indigenous groups);
  • Legal entities capable of entering into a legally binding agreement;
  • In operation for at least two (2) years; and
  • Involved in agricultural food processing or manufacturing in Canada.

You can now apply online (https://www.agr.gc.ca/eng/agricultural-programs-and-services/emergency-processing-fund/step-3-how-to-apply/?id=1591389940557) . Before you apply, please read the Applicant guide ( https://www.agr.gc.ca/eng/agricultural-programs-and-services/emergency-processing-fund/applicant-guide/?id=1591390848110) for detailed information on eligibility criteria and the application process.

More information:

https://www.agr.gc.ca/eng/agricultural-programs-and-services/emergency-processing-fund/contact-information/?id=1591391668059 

Support for the fish and seafood processing sector

On April 25, the Government of Canada announced the creation of a $62.5 million fund to help businesses:

  • access short-term financing to pay for maintenance and inventory costs;
  • add storage capacity for unsold product;
  • comply with new health and safety measures for workers;
  • support new manufacturing/automated technologies to improve productivity and quality of finished seafood products; and,
  • adapt products to respond to changing requirements and new market demands.

The Canadian Seafood Stabilization Fund will be delivered through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions, and Western Economic Diversification Canada. Details on when and how to apply have not been released. More information is available here – https://www.canada.ca/en/fisheries-oceans/news/2020/04/government-of-canada-announces-new-canadian-seafood-stabilization-fund-to-help-canadas-fish-and-seafood-processing-sector.html.

Support for students and recent graduates

Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB) and Canada Student Service Grant (CSSG)

The CESB would provide $1,250 per month for eligible students or $2,000 per month for eligible students with dependents or disabilities. The benefit would be available from May to August 2020. Students can apply for the CESB here.

The CSSG is for students who choose to do national service and volunteer in their communities. The grant will provide up to $5,000 for their education in the fall.

The government will also expand existing federal employment, skills development and youth programming, including:

  • Double the Canada Student Grants for all eligible full-time students to up to $6,000 and up to $3,600 for part-time students in 2020-21. The Canada Student Grants for Students with Permanent Disabilities and Students with Dependents would also be doubled.
  • Broaden eligibility for student financial assistance by removing the expected student’s and spouse’s contributions in 2020-21.
  • Enhance the Canada Student Loans Program by raising the maximum weekly amount that can be provided to a student in 2020-21 from $210 to $350.
  • Increase existing distinctions-based support for First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Nation students pursuing post-secondary education by providing an additional $75.2 million in 2020-21.
  • Extend expiring federal graduate research scholarships and postdoctoral fellowships, and supplement existing federal research grants, to support students and post-doctoral fellows, by providing $291.6 million to the federal granting councils. In addition, the government intends to enhance work opportunities for graduate students and post-doctoral fellows through the National Research Council of Canada.

More information is available here – https://pm.gc.ca/en/news/news-releases/2020/04/22/support-students-and-new-grads-affected-covid-19 


Canada Summer Jobs

The government is also making temporary changes to the Canada Summer Jobs program to allow employers to:

More information is available here – https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/services/funding/canada-summer-jobs/temporary-flexibility.html   

Support for academic and research staff

The government has announced its intention to provide $450 million in funding to Canada’s academic and research community. This funding will:

  • Provide wage supports to universities and health research institutes, so they can retain research staff who are funded from industry or philanthropic sources and are unable to access some of the government’s existing COVID-19 support measures. This would apply even if their work has been temporarily suspended. The government will provide up to 75 per cent per individual, with a maximum of $847 per week.
  • Support universities and health research institutes to maintain essential research-related activities during the crisis, and to ramp back up to full research operations once physical distancing measures are lifted. This will cover up to 75 per cent of total eligible costs, and will support activities such as the safe storage of dangerous substances, and restarting data sets that were interrupted during the pandemic.

More information is available here – https://pm.gc.ca/en/news/news-releases/2020/05/15/prime-minister-announces-support-research-staff-canada

Support for women entrepreneurs

On May 16, the Government of Canada announced an additional $15 million in funding to the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy (WES). The money will go directly to select organizations that are currently WES Ecosystem Fund recipients to help women entrepreneurs through the COVID-19 pandemic.

The government of Canada – Minister Ng announces more support for women entrepreneurs – https://www.canada.ca/en/innovation-science-economic-development/news/2020/05/minister-ng-announces-more-support-for-women-entrepreneurs-amid-covid-19.html

Work-Sharing Program

The Government of Canada has enhanced its Work-Sharing Program to support employers and their workers who are experiencing a downturn in business by expanding the program from 38 to 76 weeks and by streamlining processes to improve access.

The government of Canada – Work-Sharing Program – https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/services/work-sharing/notice-covid-19.html

More Information:

 

Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP)

Through the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) and Export Development Canada (EDC), the new Business Credit Availability Program will increase the credit available to small, medium and large Canadian businesses, providing more than $65 billion in direct lending and other types of financial support. More information is available here – https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/programs/financial-sector-policy/business-credit-availability-program.html

Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility (LEEFF)
  • The LEEFF program is meant to provide bridge financing to Canada’s largest employers, whose needs during the pandemic are not being met through conventional financing, in order to keep their operations going. The objective of this support is to help protect Canadian jobs, help Canadian businesses weather the current economic downturn, and avoid bankruptcies of otherwise viable firms where possible.
  • This support cannot be used to resolve insolvencies or restructure firms, nor will it provide financing to companies that otherwise have the capacity to manage through the crisis.

Eligibility:

  • The LEEFF program will be open to large for-profit businesses – with the exception of those in the financial sector – as well as certain not-for-profit businesses, such as airports, with annual revenues generally in the order of $300 million or higher.
  • To qualify for LEEFF support, eligible businesses must be seeking financing of about $60 million or more, have significant operations or workforce in Canada, and not be involved in active insolvency proceedings.
  • Recipients will need to commit to respect collective bargaining agreements and protect workers’ pensions. It will require strict limits to dividends, share buy-backs, and executive pay.
  • An assessment may be made of companies’ employment, tax, and economic activity in Canada, as well as its international organizational structure and financing arrangements.
  • The program will not be available to companies that have been convicted of tax evasion.
  • Recipient companies would be required to commit to publish annual climate-related disclosure reports consistent with the Financial Stability Board’s Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures, including how their future operations will support environmental sustainability and national climate goals.
  • Financing is intended to be applicable to all eligible sectors in a consistent manner.

How to apply:

Applications are available now through the Canada Enterprise Emergency Funding Corporation – https://www.cdev.gc.ca/home-ceefc/

More Information:

Small Business Relief Fund by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce

The CBRN Small Business Relief Fund will help 62 small Canadian businesses recover and support their resilience, for a total of $620,000 in funds. Businesses can use the $10,000 grants to support their recovery efforts, including paying salaries, acquiring safety and personal protective equipment for staff, replenishing materials or paying for the measures required to adapt business models to the economic impacts of COVID-19.

Eligibility:

To be eligible to apply, businesses must:

  1. Be a for-profit company; and,
  2. Belong to a chamber of commerce, board of trade or association that is a member of the Canadian Business Resilience Network; and;
  3. Have between 2 and 50 employees; and,
  4. Have been in business for 2 years as of March 1, 2020; and,
  5. Have an annual revenue between $150,000 CAD and $5,000,000 CAD; and,
  6. Have been negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic; and
  7. Meet the other eligibility criteria set out in the program’s terms and conditionshttps://www.canadianbusinessresiliencenetwork.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/CBRNSmallBusinesssReliefFund_TermsAndConditions-1.pdf?x18725

How to apply:

Application are being accepted till June 12, 2020 online here – https://www.canadianbusinessresiliencenetwork.ca/smallbusinessrelieffund/

Farm Credit Canada COVID-19 Support Program

Farm Credit Canada (FCC) will augment credit available to farmers and the agri-food sector by $5 billion, including a deferral of principal and interest payments up to six months for existing loans or a deferral of principal payments up to 12 months, access to an additional credit line up to $500,000, secured by general security agreements or universal movable hypothec (Québec only). More information is available here – https://www.fcc-fac.ca/en/covid-19/program-details.html

Energy sector support from the federal government

The federal government has announced $1.7 billion for the cleanup of orphaned oil and gas wells, which includes:

  • Up to $1 billion to the Government of Alberta;
  • Up to $400 million to the Government of Saskatchewan;
  • Up to $120 million to the Government of British Columbia; and
  • $200 million to the Alberta Orphan Wells Association (OWA) to support its work to clean up orphan oil and gas wells and well sites across Alberta. The OWA will fully repay this amount.

The federal government has also announced $750 million for Natural Resources Canada over two years, starting in 2020-21, to create a new repayable loan program to work with conventional and offshore oil and gas companies to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. Of this amount, $75 million will be allocated to investments in the offshore sector. A portion of these loans will be convertible to grants.

The federal government is also continuing to work with EDC and BDC to make additional credit solutions available.

Additional funding through regional development agencies, industrial research, and Heritage Canada

To help reach people and businesses who may not be able to receive funding through other programs and financial lenders, the federal government is also allocating an additional:

Applications for funding can be submitted directly to those organizations.

Bank of Canada interest rate
The Bank of Canada cut its overnight rate to 0.25% – the interest rate at which major financial institutions borrow and lend one-day (or “overnight”) funds among themselves.

 

For businesses
The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) will allow 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, with no interest or penalties applicable during this period.

For individuals
The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) will defer the filing due date for the 2019 individual tax return to June 1, 2020, and to May 1, 2020 for trusts with a taxation year ending on December 31, 2019.

Payments of tax owing are deferred until after August 31, 2020, with no interest or penalties applicable during this period.

Deferred GST/HST remittance

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) will defer the Goods and Services Tax/Harmonized Sales Tax (GST/HST) remittances to June 30, 2020. This means that no interest will apply if your payments or remittances are made by the end of June 2020. More information available here https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/campaigns/covid-19-update/frequently-asked-questions-gst-hst.html

 

Funding for small and medium-sized Indigenous businesses and financial institutions

On March 18, the federal government provided 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.

The program 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.

The funding will allow for interest-free loans, as well as non-repayable contributions, to help Indigenous businesses unable to access the government’s existing COVID-19 support measures. Additional funding will help Aboriginal Financial Institutions cover operational expenses, and help the National Aboriginal Capital Corporations Association increase its operational capacity.

On May 21, the government announced an additional $75 million in funding for Indigenous organizations providing services to Indigenous peoples in urban centres and off reserve. This additional funding will support more community-based projects that address the critical needs of Indigenous populations during this crisis, including food security, mental health support services, and sanitation and protective equipment. It could also help with other needs, such as support for Elders, transportation, and educational materials for Indigenous children and youth.

Additional Resources
Need more help?

The Business Resilience Service      

This program is offered free of charge and provides:

  • Guidance on COVID-19 financial support program options and eligibility
  • direction on accessing the most appropriate support organizations,
  • help to make decisions to support recovery plans
  • real time insights and feedback to policymakers

To access the BRS call 1-866-989-1080 to connect with a business advisor from the accounting profession. The service is available 7 days/week from 8am – 8pm ET (5am – 5pm PT).

https://www.canadianbusinessresiliencenetwork.ca/brs/

 

Provincial COVID-19 information:
Recovery and reopening
Personal Protective Equipment
Partners’ COVID-19 resource pages

Recovery and reopening
Federal and Provincial Programs
Human Resources
Additional Resources
Webinars and Online Training