Every Friday, we publish a weekly update on COVID-19 and its effect on business. View our COVID-19 resources and daily webinars here.
New Measures Announced to Protect Canadian Jobs
“Our goal is to create immediate jobs in these provinces while helping companies avoid bankruptcy, and supporting our environmental targets.”
-Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
On April 17th, 2019, the Canadian government announced new aid measures for the energy sector, cultural sector, and rural employers. Per the Government of Canada website:
- $675 million to give financing support to small and medium-sized businesses that are unable to access the government’s existing COVID-19 support measures, through Canada’s Regional Development Agencies.
- $287 million to support rural businesses and communities, including by providing them with much-needed access to capital through the Community Futures Network.
- $500 million to establish a COVID-19 Emergency Support Fund for Cultural, Heritage and Sport Organizations to help address the financial needs of affected organizations within these sectors so they can continue to support artists and athletes. This measure is consistent with the government’s other existing COVID-19 support measures for wages and fixed costs for organizations.
- $250 million to assist innovative, early-stage companies that are unable to access existing COVID-19 business support, through the National Research Council of Canada’s Industrial Research Assistance Program.
- $20.1 million in support for Futurpreneur Canada to continue to support 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.
For more information about the government’s continued efforts to address the impacts of COVID‑19, click here.
The Government Expands Loan Programs for Small Businesses
Since loan programs for small businesses were announced, 195,000 loans worth a total of $7.5 billion have been approved so far. However, some entrepreneurs and businesses in need have been excluded from the program – causing the government to expand qualifying criteria on April 16th, 2020. The loan program will now be available to firms that had payrolls between $20,000 and $1.5 million in the 2019 fiscal year.
In addition to the loan program, Trudeau also announced a program is in development to help businesses cover rent costs for at least three months.
Read more about the government’s initiatives for small businesses here.
The Government of Canada Announces Expanded Access to the Canada Emergency Response Benefit
The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) is a taxable benefit of $2,000 every four weeks for up to four months for eligible workers who have lost their income due to COVID-19. The government of Canada continues to expand access to CERB for Canadian’s.
To better support Canadian’s who need financial assistance but don’t qualify for the CERB benefit (and Canadians working in essential jobs), the eligibility rules have been updated to:
- Allow people to earn up to $1,000 per month while collecting the CERB.
- Extend the CERB to seasonal workers who have exhausted their EI regular benefits and are unable to undertake their usual seasonal work as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.
- Extend the CERB to workers who recently exhausted their EI regular benefits and are unable to find a job or return to work because of COVID-19.
Read more about expanded access to the Canada Emergency Response Benefit and support for essential workers here.
While the coronavirus continues to spread quickly, it is important to remember that only a small percentage of patients need special treatment to recover. Trusted health experts continue to emphasize that the general population shouldn’t panic and should instead focus on practicing proper hygiene, such as hand-washing and refraining from touching the facial area.
- World Health Organization: Q&A on coronavirus (article)
- World Health Organization: How to protect yourself against COVID-19 (video)
- World Health Organization: Getting your workplace ready for COVID-19 (pdf document)
- McKinsey & Company: COVID-19: Implications for Business (article)
- Government of Canada: Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) (updates, resources on travel, updates, Canada’s response, etc.)
- World Health Organization: Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) advice for the public (in-depth resources)
- Government of Canada Economic Response Plan
- BDC’s Relief for Canadian Business Owners
- Coronavirus: Leading Through the Crisis
- Government of Canada Announces new Domestic Transportation Measures
- BDC Capital Bridge Financing Program