COVID-19 Chamber Resources & Government Responses

This page is a collection of resources for businesses, to assist businesses to prepare and manage through the COVID-19 pandemic. Please check this page regularly for updates.

FEDERAL GOVERNMENT RESPONSES 
CANADA EMERGENCY BUSINESS ASSISTANCE (CEBA)

  • 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, due to the economic impacts of the COVID-19 virus. To qualify, these organizations will need to demonstrate they paid between $20,000 to $1.5 million in total payroll in 2019. Repaying the balance of the loan on or before December 31, 2022 will result in loan forgiveness of 25 percent (up to $10,000).  Applications are now open.
  • Affinity Credit Union
  • Conexus Credit Union
  • Diamond North Credit Union ·
  • Bank of Montreal       
  • CIBC ·
  • RBC ·
  • Scotiabank 
  • TD Bank

·
Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) CMHC will provide forgivable loans to eligible commercial property owners.

  • The loans will cover 50% of the gross rent owed by impacted small business tenants during the 3-month period of April, May and June 2020.
  • The property owner will be responsible for no less than half of the remaining 50% of the gross rent payments (paying no less than 25% of the total).
  • The small business tenant will be responsible for no more than half of the remaining 50% of the gross rent payments (paying no more than 25% of the total).
  • The deadline to apply is August 31, 2020

GST/HST REMITTANCE

  • GST/HST payments can be deferred to June 2020 interest free.

CANADA EMERGENCY RESPONSE BENEFIT (CERB)
This taxable benefit would provide $500/week for up to 16 weeks.  APPLICATIONS ARE NOW OPEN!  April 15, 2020 – Federal Government Expands CERB Eligibility

 

  • The CERB is available to workers who meet all of the following conditions:
    • live in Canada and are at least 15 years old
    • stopped working because of COVID-19 or are eligible for EI regular or sickness benefits
    • have not voluntarily quit their job
    • had income of at least $5,000 in 2019 or in the 12 months prior to the date of their application.
    • Extend the CERB to seasonal workers who have exhausted their EI regular benefits and are unable to undertake their regular seasonal work as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.
    • Allow people to earn up to $1,000 per month while collecting the CERB.
    • These changes will be retroactive to March 15, 2020 . More details will be posted on the portal shortly.
    • CERB Questions & Answer

CANADA EMERGENCY  WAGE SUBSIDY FOR EMPLOYEES (CEWS) 

  • A subsidy of 75% of employee wages for up to 12 weeks, retroactive from March 15, 2020, to June 6, 2020.
  • Applications are NOW OPEN!  Applications reviews will begin May 4, 2020.

REGIONAL RELIEF & RECOVERY FUND (RRRF) 

  • This new fund will help businesses, organizations and communities relieve the economic impact of COVID-19 and help businesses prepare for recovery.
  • Specifically, the Fund will help your firm to:
    • mitigate financial pressures so that you can continue your operations and keep paying employees
    • support business projects to prepare now for a successful recovery
  • Through the existing Community Futures Program, the RRRF will provide struggling small businesses with financial support, offer technical aid and resources and support local economic diversification initiatives.

BUSINESS CREDIT AVAILABILITY PROGRAM – Export Development Canada and Business Development Bank of Canada

  • Provides $10 billion of additional funding to Canadian businesses facing economic challenges brought on by COVID-19.
  • Helps Canadian businesses in all sectors and regions gain access to credit through EDC, BDC and private sector lenders.
  • The short-term credit available to farmers and the agri-food sector will also be increased through Farm Credit Canada.
  • Note: Businesses must go to their current bank first, then that bank will refer the business to the BCAP only if the bank is not able to help them. Businesses that are already a BDC client, can contact their Account Manager for information on BCAP.

CO-LENDING PROGRAM – Federal Government – Business Development Bank of Canada

  • Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) together with financial institutions will offer co-lend term loans to SMEs for their operational cash flow requirements.
  • Eligible businesses may obtain incremental credit amounts up to $6.25 million BDC’s portion of this program is up to $5 million maximum per loan.
  • Eligible financial institutions will conduct the underwriting and manage the interface with their customers.
  • Businesses should contact their financial institution to determine whether this program is a good fit for their needs.

WORK SHARE PROGRAM

  • For workers who agree to reduce their normal working hour as a result of developments beyond the control of their employers. Changes to the program are:
    • Program has extended from 38 weeks to 76 weeks.
    • Businesses must be in operation for 1 year
    • Retroactive to March 15, 2020.  For the month of March businesses must demonstrate a 15% loss in revenue.  For the months of April & May businesses must demonstrate a 30% loss in revenue.
    • For more information on the federal updates to this program provided on April 8, 2020, please click HERE.
    • Work Share Program & Forms 

SUPPLEMENTAL UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFIT PROGRAM (SUB) – Federal Government

  • Provide supplemental payments to Employment Insurance (EI) benefits during a period of unemployment due to: temporary stoppage of work, training or illness, injury or quarantine.
  • Employers use SUB plans to increase the employee’s weekly earnings during periods of unemployment.
  • Payments from registered plans are not deducted from the employee’s EI benefits.
  • Payments under a registered SUB plan are not considered as insurable earnings; therefore, EI premiums are not deducted.

FEDERAL GOVERNMENT RESOURCES 
EI Paper Application Checklist  Please read carefully and Complete all instructions
Application for Employment Insurance Benefits 
Medical Certificate for EI Application

PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT RESPONSES 
Saskatchewan Government Business Response

Health and Safety Posters for Reopening
 

EMERGENCY SUPPORT PROGRAMS FOR SASKATCHEWAN SMALL BUSINESSES (SSBEP)

  • Provides a one time grant for small and medium sized enterprises directly affected by government public health orders related to COVID-19.  Grants will be paid based on 15% of a business’ monthly sales revenue, to a maximum of $5,000.
  • To qualify, businesses must:
    • have been fully operational on February 29, 2020
    • have ceased or curtailed operations as a result of the COVID-19 public health order
    • have less than 500 employees;
    • commit to reopen business operations following the cancellation of the COVID-19 following the cancellation of the COVID-19 public health order
  • Application are NOW open until July 31, 2020.

SELF-ISOLATION PROGRAM
The program will provide $450 per week, for a maximum of two weeks or $900.  The program is targeted at Saskatchewan residents forced to self-isolate that are not covered by recent federally announced employment insurance programs and other supports. The program is designed to ensure that all Saskatchewan residents are covered by either a federal or provincial program to ensure no one is faced with choosing to work instead of protecting their family and community from COVID-19 by self-isolating. This will mostly benefit self-employed residents of Saskatchewan.

CROWN UTILITY INTEREST DEFERRAL PROGRAM

  • The Government of Saskatchewan is waiving interest on late bill payments for up to six months. Interest on late bill payments will be waived for up to six months.
  • This program is available to all crown utility customers.

PST REMITTANCE

  • Businesses that are unable to file their provincial tax return(s) by the due date may submit a request for relief from penalty and interest charges on the return(s) affected.

SASKATCHEWAN WORKERS’ COMPENSATION BOARD (WCB)

  • Effective April 1 until June 30, 2020, the WCB will waive penalties and interest charges for late premium payments.
  • Forgiving interest and penalties for late payments on 2020 premiums applied in the month of March.
  • Prioritizing employer payroll revisions to help employers reduce their premiums.
  • Suspending payroll audits until further notice except in situations where an employer may be eligible for a refund.

RESOURCES FOR BUSINESS
Canadian Chamber of Commerce Resilience Network

COVID-19 Back to business toolkit — Signage for reopening, processes and procedures.