Prime Minister Announces Additional Support for Small Businesses Facing Impacts of COVID‑19

Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, has announced additional new measures to further support small businesses. Announced on Friday, March 27th, 2020 the Government of Canada will:

  • Announce a 75 percent wage subsidy for qualifying businesses, for up to 3 months, retroactive to March 15, 2020. This will help businesses to keep and return workers to the payroll. More details on eligibility criteria will start with the impact of COVID-19 on sales, and will be shared before the end of the month.
  • Allow businesses, including self-employed individuals, to defer all Goods and Services Tax/Harmonized Sales Tax (GST/HST) payments until June, as well as customs duties owed for imports. This measure is the equivalent of providing up to $30 billion in interest-free loans to Canadian businesses. It will help businesses so they can continue to pay their employees and their bills, and help ease cash-flow challenges across the country.
  • Launch the new Canada Emergency Business Account. This program will provide up to $25 billion to eligible financial institutions so they can provide interest-free loans to small businesses. These loans – guaranteed and funded by the Government of Canada – will ensure that small businesses have access to the capital they need, at a zero percent interest rate, so they can pay for rent and other important costs over the next number of months.
  • Launch the new Small and Medium-sized Enterprise Loan and Guarantee program that will enable up to $40 billion in lending, supported through Export Development Canada and Business Development Bank, for guaranteed loans when small businesses go to their financial institutions to help weather the impacts of COVID-19. This is intended for small and medium-sized companies that require greater help to meet their operational cash flow requirements.

Read the government’s full COVID-19 Economic Response Plan here.


Implications for Business

McKinsey provides current perspectives on the coronavirus outbreak. For their full set of our latest perspectives on COVID-19, download their briefing note and full briefing materials.

Additionally, McKinsey provides updated insights on how organizations can respond to the coronavirus outbreak, and what’s expected to happen next here.

Coronavirus and employment questions answered

Employment lawyer Daniel Lublin answers frequently asked questions from workers. View Lublin’s responses to questions about layoffs, salary, EI and more surrounding COVID-19 here.

Managing Cash Flow During a Period of Crisis

Deloitte suggests ways that organizations can mitigate damages to their business during this volatile event. View or download their COVID-19: Managing Cash Flow During a Period of Crisis report here.


The BDC Announces Additional Measures to Provide Relief for Canadian Business Owners

The BDC has announced additional measures to provide relief for Canadian business owners. New measures include working capital, payment postponements and rate reductions.

Effective immediately, new relief measures for qualified businesses include:

  • Working capital loans of up to $2 million with flexible terms and payment postponements for up to 6 months for qualifying businesses;
  • Postponement of payments for up to six months, free of charge, for existing BDC clients with total BDC loan commitment of $1 million or less
  • Reduced rates on new eligible loans
  • Additional details regarding Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) measures, including industry-specific support, to be announced in the coming days

The Government of Canada announces support for workers and businesses through Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan

On March 18th, 2020, Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, announced a new set of economic measures to help stabilize the Canadian economy and provide assistance to Canadians that are affected by the impacts of COVID-19.

View the Government of Canada’s Economic Response Plan here.

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW (originally published March 10th, 2020)

What is COVID-19?

In December 2019, COVID-19 became a newly identified member of coronaviruses that can cause a range of symptoms – such as a cough, sore throat and fever. While most cases are as mild as the common cold, some individuals are more likely to develop pneumonia. The World Health Organization recommends that anyone experiencing a fever, cough and difficulty breathing seek medical attention. The most effective way to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is to frequently clean your hands with soap and water, or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

Getting Your Workplace Ready for COVID-19
Simple precautions can ensure that your workplace prevents the spread of COVID-19 and other infections, such as the flu, stomach bugs and common colds.

Low-cost methods to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and illnesses include:

  • Ensuring that your workplace is hygienic and clean, with surfaces being disinfected regularly.
  • Distributing hand sanitizers in areas where employees can use them regularly.
  • Advising employees to stay home when feeling unwell or showing symptoms of an illness
  • Placing an ill employee in a designated area where they are isolated from others, limiting the contact with other employees and the likelihood of spreading the illness.

COVID-19 Insurance Concerns

While concern mounts from the spreading of COVID-19 internationally, insurance companies are limiting their travel coverage. With the coronavirus being classified as a ‘known issue,’ TuGo and Manulife will no longer reimburse passengers for cancellation due to the outbreak; if you travel frequently for work, look into your travel insurance, experts are predicting that other insurance companies are going to continue with limitations.


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.

Stay up to date on the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) by visiting the World Health Organization and the Government of Canada website.

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