Government Support for Business
COVID-19 Economic Response Plan
The Government of Canada has announced a COVID-19 Economic Response Plan to help stabilize the economy during this challenging period: support for employees; support for businesses; business travel and events; and business in international markets.
Please note these are highlights of the numerous government and business initiatives. For a more exhaustive list of these measures, refer to VEC’s latest economic report.
Access the June 15 Report
- Wage Subsidy Program: Businesses and nonprofit organizations facing revenue drops of at least 30% due to COVID-19 may apply for a wage subsidy covering up to 75% of the first $58,700 earned on payroll salaries. The wage subsidies will be retroactive to March 15, and are intended to avoid layoffs and provide business reliefs. This replaces the original 10% subsidy. More details, including application processes, will follow.
- Work-Sharing program: Provides income support to employees eligible for Employment Insurance benefits who work a temporarily reduced work week while employer recovers
- Canada Summer Jobs 2020 temporary flexibilities for employers. Please note applications for the summer are closed. Applicants will hear back
beginning in May.
Tax Reliefs and Flexibility
- Federal Tax Flexibility: Businesses can defer paying income tax until August 2020, and GST, HST, and duty payments owed on imports until June. They may also request tax advice from the Liaison Officer service by filling out this form
- Provincial Tax Relief: Some provincial taxes have been deferred, delayed or reduced
Other Government Initiatives
- Procurement Opportunities for Canadian Manufacturers: The Government of Canada is calling businesses able to assist in combating COVID-19 to action
- Federal Insured Mortgage Purchase Program (IMPP): As part of Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan, the Government of Canada has launched a revised IMPP to support financial institutions and the economy through the purchase of insured mortgage pools
- Provincial COVID-19 Supply Hub: The Province of British Columbia is looking for medical and non-medical products and services to help with the response. If you can donate or supply products from this list you are invited to submit an offer.
- Supports for Businesses in BC: As part of BC’s COVID-19 Action Plan, the provincial government is providing income supports, tax relief and funding for people, businesses and services in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. This summary document is updated regularly
The City of Vancouver COVID-19 Business Communications and Support Office offers the following support for Vancouver’s local business owners:
- Get information about City-led COVID-19 economic measures
- Learn what City services for businesses are currently up-and-running
- Make suggestions to the City about business and the economy
Financing and Export Support
The Federal Government established a Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) to help Canadian businesses obtain financing during the current period of significant uncertainty. The BCAP will support access to financing for Canadian businesses in all sectors and regions. *UPDATED*: This program will be expanded to accommodate mid-sized businesses 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.
The Government of Canada’s Canada Emergency Business Account will provide up to $40,000 in interest-free loans to qualifying businesses, with up to $10,000 of the sum forgivable if the business meets certain conditions. To qualify, these organizations will need to demonstrate they paid between $20,000 to $1.5 million in total payroll in 2019. Business owners may apply for this support through their banks and credit unions. More details available on the federal FAQ site.
*UPDATED* The Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) is a program for small business that seeks to provide loans and/or forgivable loans to commercial property owners who in turn will lower or forgo the rent of small businesses for the months of April (retroactive), May, and June. Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation will administer and deliver CECRA, and the program is expected to be operational by mid-May. NEW details here.
*UPDATED* The Government of Canada recently announced the establishment of a Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility (LEEFF) 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. This support will not 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. Additional details to follow.
Export Development Canada: is helping Canadian exporters access capital, secure financing, and grow their capital. With a suite of financial and insurance solutions, get expert insights and trade information.
Business Development Bank of Canada offers tailored solutions to help entrepreneurs impacted by COVID-19. Their programs include the Small Business Loan, Working Capital Loan, and Purchase Order Financing.
Western Economic Diversification Canada: has a page dedicated for funding recipients, including businesses, whose projects on trade, export or events have been delayed as a result of COVID-19.
Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP): helps Canadian SMEs increase their innovation capacity and take ideas to market, now has a $250 million fund to assist businesses that are unable to access other COVID-19 business supports.
Navigate COVID-19 with Resources from the Business Community