Resources For Business During COVID-19

Updated March 27, 2020

We are pleased to compile this list of resources for our local businesses affected by the current pandemic and global health crisis.   We will keep updating this list as information is received.

Please, as always, follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more up-to-date information.

Our office remains open to take your phone calls and emails.  Please don't hesitate to contact us to chat and receive our free coaching.

*NEW - Canada Emergency Response Benefit - Taxable benefit provides $2,000 a month for up to four months for workers who lose their income as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic

Government of Canada - Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Resources for Canadian businesses
https://www.tradecommissioner.gc.ca/campaign-campagne/ressources-entreprises-COVID-19-business-resources.aspx?lang=eng  

Government of Canada - Temporary Wage Subsidy for Employers
Three month measure to allow eligible employers to reduce the amount of payroll deducations required to be remitted to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).  Information here.  Prime Minister Trudeau announced on March 27th that the wage subsidy would be increased from 10% to 75%.

Community Futures Development Corporations (CFDCs)
If you are a current investment client with CFDC in North and Central Hastings and South Algonquin, payments will not be processed on your existing loan(s) in April, May and June, 2020.  Interest will not be accrued and no penalty or fees.  Trenval BDC has developed emergency loans for current investment clients to help with cashflow and to keep their business afloat.  Please contact Trenval for more information.

Business Development Bank of Canada - Support for Entrepreneurs Impacted By Coronavirus :
https://www.bdc.ca/en/pages/special-support.aspx?special-initiative=covid19

Business Continuity Plan and Templates For Entrepreneurs
https://www.bdc.ca/en/articles-tools/entrepreneur-toolkit/templates-business-guides/pages/business-continuity-guide-templates-entrepreneurs.aspx 

Export Development Canada
https://www.edc.ca/en/events/webinar/managing-impact-on-global-supply-chains.html

Employment Insurance and Labour and Occupational Health and Safety - Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) – Employment and Social Development Canada
https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/corporate/notices/coronavirus.html

Ontario Ministry of Health - Statistics and Self Assessment Tool
https://www.ontario.ca/page/2019-novel-coronavirus

Hastings Prince Edward Public Health - Employer Role in COVID-19 Management 
https://hpepublichealth.ca/healthy-workplaces/

On March 25, 2020 the Government of Ontario announced an Action Plan to respond to COVID-19.  Full release here.

Key initiatives in the government's plan to help workers and employers include:

People and Jobs

  • Helping families pay for the extra costs associated with school and daycare closures during the COVID-19 outbreak by providing a one-time payment of $200 per child up to 12 years of age, and $250 for those with special needs, including children enrolled in private schools.
  • A new corporate income-tax credit, the Regional Opportunities Investment Tax Credit, will give businesses a 10 per cent refundable tax credit for certain investments made outside of Ottawa and the Greater Golden Horseshoe (which includes Hastings County).
  • Supporting more affordable electricity bills for eligible residential, farm and small business consumers, by providing approximately $5.6 billion for electricity cost relief programs in 2020-21, which is an increase of approximately $1.5 billion compared to the 2019 Budget plan.
  • Further supporting more affordable electricity bills by setting electricity prices for residential, farm and small business time-of-use customers at the lowest rate, known as the off-peak price, 24 hours a day for 45 days to support ratepayers in their increased daytime electricity usage as they respond to the COVID-19 outbreak, addressing concerns about time-of-use metering.
  • Cutting taxes by $355 million for about 57,000 employers through a proposed temporary increase to the Employer Health Tax (EHT) exemption.
  • Providing $9 million in direct support to families for their energy bills by expanding eligibility for the Low-income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP) and ensuring that their electricity and natural gas services are not disconnected for nonpayment during the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • Providing emergency child care options to support parents working on the front lines, such as health care workers, police officers, firefighters and correctional officers.
  • Expanding access to the emergency assistance program administered by Ontario Works to provide financial support to people facing economic hardship and help more people meet basic needs such as food and rent during this public health emergency.
  • Enhancing funding by $148 million for charitable and non-profit social services organizations such as food banks, homeless shelters, churches and emergency services to improve their ability to respond to COVID-19, by providing funding directly to Consolidated Municipal Service Managers and District Social Service Administration Boards who would allocate this funding based on local needs.
  • Providing six months of Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) loan and interest accrual relief for students, leaving more money in people's pockets.
  • Helping to support regions lagging in employment growth with a proposed new Corporate Income Tax Credit, the Regional Opportunities Investment Tax Credit.
  • Providing additional supports of $26 million to Indigenous peoples and communities, including emergency assistance for urban Indigenous people in financial need, and costs for health care professionals and critical supplies to reach remote First Nations.

The government's plan also includes measures that will make available $10 billion in support for people and businesses through tax and other deferrals to improve their cash flows over the coming months, including:

  • Making available $6 billion by providing five months of interest and penalty relief for businesses to file and make payments for the majority of provincially administered taxes.
  • Over $1.8 billion by deferring the upcoming June 30 quarterly municipal remittance of education property tax to school boards by 90 days, which will provide municipalities the flexibility to, in turn, provide property tax deferrals to residents and businesses, while ensuring school boards continue to receive their funding.
  • Making available $1.9 billion by the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) allowing employers to defer payments for up to six months.

 

On March 26, 2020 the Ontario Provincial Government announced that they are enabling all employers covered by the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) to see premium payments deferred for six months.  See news release here.

 

On March 18, 2020 the Government of Canada announced help to support workers and businesses through Canada's COVID-19 Economic Response Plan.  You can access the news release here.

Highlights include:

  • Provide eligible small businesses a 10 per cent wage subsidy for the next 90 days, up to a maximum of $1,375 per employee and $25,000 per employer. Employers benefiting from this measure would include corporations eligible for the small business deduction, as well as not-for-profit organisations and charities.  This will help employers keep people on their payroll and help Canadians keep their jobs;
  • Allow all businesses to defer, until after August 31, 2020, the payment of any income tax amounts that become owing on or after today and before September 2020. This relief would apply to tax balances due, as well as instalments, under Part I of the Income Tax Act. No interest or penalties will accumulate on these amounts during this period. This measure will result in businesses having more money available during this period;
  • Increase the credit available to small, medium, and large Canadian businesses. As announced on March 13, a new Business Credit Availability Program will provide more than $10 billion of additional support to businesses experiencing cash flow challenges through the Business Development Bank of Canada and Export Development Canada. The Government is ready to provide more capital through these financial Crown corporations;
  • Further expand Export Development Canada’s ability to provide support to domestic businesses;
  • Provide flexibility on the Canada Account limit, to allow the Government to provide additional support to Canadian businesses, when deemed to be in the national interest, to deal with exceptional circumstances;
  • Augment credit available to farmers and the agri-food sector through Farm Credit Canada;
  • Launch an Insured Mortgage Purchase Program to purchase up to $50 billion of insured mortgage pools through the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). As announced on March 16, this will provide stable funding to banks and mortgage lenders and support continued lending to Canadian businesses and consumers. CMHC stands ready to further support liquidity and the stability of the financial markets through its mortgage funding programs as necessary. The Government will enable these measures by raising CMHC’s legislative limits to guarantee securities and insure mortgages by $150 billion each.

 Please contact your local Member of Parliament's office for more information on how to access any of the above assistance.

 

The Latest Updates from Tourism Specific Sites:

Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC)

Tourism Industry Association of Ontario (TIAO)

Ontario Highland's Tourism Organization (OHTO - RTO 11)

Destination Think is holding a webinar for DMOs on leading your destination through crisis and recovery on Tuesday, March 31 at 4:00 pm.

Destination Canada has published a past webinar on COVID-19 including information on available federal support initiatives. View that here.

Provincial Minister MacLeod is holding a teleconference on Thursday, March 26 at 10:30 am.

BC Hughes has published a blog on what your tourism business can do during a global crisis.

  

ADDITIONAL LINKS: 

NOTE: The team at Ottawa Public Health has established a website for workplaces. This covers important information like, how to prepare for COVID-19, considerations for work travel, what to do when returning from travel, and other helpful tips for your employees.  COVID-19 Information for Workplaces

Facebook for Business Offering Support
Facebook for Business has compiled a list of steps you can take to keeping your customers informed. They also provide resources like a Business Resilience Toolkit and support through a Small Business Grants Program. Click here for their support hub. 

Restaurants Canada is holding a webinar on managing stress and mental health on Thursday, March 26 at 2:00 pm.             

The Ontario Government has set up a “Stop the Spread Business Information Line” where you can call with business-related questions. See the full details here.

BDC’s past webinar on coping with the impacts of COVID-19 on your business is available for viewing here.

Smith School of Business and Queen’s University’s webinar on the immediate and long-term impacts on business in Canada is available here.

Canadian Chamber of Commerce – Pandemic Preparedness for Business    
http://www.chamber.ca/resources/pandemic-preparedness/ 

World Health Organization COVID-19 -  Business and Employees
https://www.epi-win.com/advice-and-information/business-and-employees

International Economic Development Council
COVID-19: Preparing for what comes next with International Economic Development Council (IEDC)

Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety
Business Continuity Plan - Infectious Diseases