COVID-19 Support for Local Businesses

We are here for the business community as a credible resource as we navigate these uncertain times. We’ve compiled this list of resources to help you. We are collaborating with organizations to work with all orders of Government on their economic recovery and resiliency.

 

Please stay in touch and reach out with questions or comments about business challenges via email (info@elgin.ca) and on our social media channels (@elgincounty). 

 

Federal and Provincial Supports

Below is a list that represents federal and provincial supports for businesses which have been made public through federal and provincial announcements and other resources. This is not necessarily a comprehensive list, as things change rapidly. The Government of Canada is maintaining a list of supports, which is available on Canada.ca.

 

We have broken down the types of supports into the following categories:

  • Passive Measures: Those that don't require any action on the part of your businesses to benefit
     
  • Active/Application Based Measures: These items require businesses to apply or actively participate in
     
  • Small Business Supports: Current information and resources available to you as you work through the implications this has on you and your business
     
  • Agricultural Specific Supports: Programs and services in place specifically for our agricultural sector

 

To view these categories, please click the titles below to read more

 

Passive Measures

These items do not directly require any action on the part of your businesses to benefit, these are primarily for information-sharing purposes

Cutting Interest Rate to 0.25%
Canada’s coordinated approach to supporting the economy and the financial sector includes the Governor of the Bank of Canada cutting the interest rate to 0.25%. Full details can be found here.   

 

Additional $300B in Lending Capacity by Major Banks
The office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions announced an additional $300B in lending capacity by the major banks. Full details can be found here.  

 

Defer HST Payments, Duties and Taxes on Imports until June 2020
The Government of Canada will defer HST payments, duties and taxes on imports until June 2020 to help shore up the importing and exporting of goods and services. Full details can be found here.

 

Business Credit Availability Program
The Export Development Canada (EDC) and the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) will provide more than $65 billion in direct lending and other types of financial support at market rates to businesses with viable business models whose access to financing would otherwise be restricted. Full details can be found here.

 

$5B Increase Farm Credit Canada’s Lending Capacity
Farm Credit Canada and the Government have made a commitment to the agriculture and food industry to ensure producers, agribusinesses and food processors continue to have access to necessary capital at this challenging time. Full details can be found here.

 

Ontario Electricity Relief - Families, Small Businesses and Farms 
For a 45-day period, the government is working to suspend time-of-use electricity rates, holding electricity prices to the off-peak rate of 10.1 cents-per-kilowatt-hour. This reduced price will be available 24 hours per day, seven days a week to all time-of-use customers, who make up the majority of electricity consumers in the province. By switching to a fixed off-peak rate, time-of-use customers will see rate reductions of over 50 percent compared to on-peak rates. Full details can be found here.

 

Keeping Canadians and workers in the food supply chain safe
The Government of Canada is announcing $50 million to help farmers, fish harvesters, and all food production and processing employers put in place the measures necessary to follow the mandatory 14-day isolation period required of all workers arriving from abroad. Full details can be found here.

Active/Application-Based Measures 

(These items require businesses to apply or actively participate in)

 

Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) (Back-Dated to March 15, 2020)

To be eligible to receive the wage subsidy, you must:

  • be an eligible employer
  • have experienced an eligible reduction in revenue, and
  • have had a CRA payroll account on March 15, 2020

Full details can be found here.

 

Canada Emergency Business Account
CEBA is intended to support businesses by providing financing for their expenses that cannot be avoided or deferred as they take steps to safely navigate a period of shutdown, thereby helping to position businesses for successful relaunch when the economy reopens. This $55 billion program provides interest-free loans of up to $40,000 (possibly $60,000 soon) to small businesses and not-for-profits. Repaying the balance of the loan on or before December 31, 2022 will result in loan forgiveness of 25 percent (up to $10,000).

Full details can be found here.

                                            

Enhanced Work-Sharing Program
To be eligible for a Work-Sharing agreement, employers must:

  • Have been in business in Canada year-round for at least two years;
  • Be a private business, a publicly-held company, or a not-for-profit organization
  • Demonstrate that the shortage of work is temporary and beyond their control, and is not a cyclical/recurring slowdown;
  • Demonstrate a recent decrease in business activity of approximately 10%; and,
  • Submit and implement a recovery plan designed to return the Work-Sharing unit(s) to normal working hours by the end of the Work-Sharing agreement.

Full details can be found here.

 

Regional Development Agencies – Can Assist with Access to Federal Funding and Services
Canada’s Regional Development Agencies (RDAs) are the front line for economic development in Canada and help to address key economic challenges by providing regionally tailored programs, services, knowledge and expertise. If you are a tourism operator or small- or medium-sized business or organization and have received RDA funding and COVID-19 is affecting your operations, you are encouraged to contact your local RDA office. Your local RDA office can review your situation and provide guidance. Full details can be found here.

 

Trade Commissioner Service – Access to Funding
Looking to grow your business globally? Apply online for up to $75,000 in CanExport Small Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) funding to cover up to 75% of your international market development activities. Canadian SMEs may choose up to (5) export markets to target, where your company has no or minimal business. We are committed to providing a decision within 60 business days. Full details can be found here.

 

Calling all suppliers – Help Canada combat Coronavirus disease (COVID-19)
In support of the Government of Canada’s whole-of-government response to Coronavirus disease (COVID-19), they are asking suppliers about their ability to provide products and services. Are you a business that can supply products and services in support of Canada’s response to COVID-19? Full details can be found here.

 

Strategic Innovation Fund
Making sure that Canada is a top destination for businesses to invest, grow and create jobs and prosperity for Canadians is one of the Government's top priorities. The Strategic Innovation Fund's (SIF) objective is to spur innovation for a better Canada by providing funding for large projects (over $10 million in requested contribution). Full details can be found here.

 

Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) 

The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) ends when you’ve received 28 weeks of benefits or on October 3, 2020, whichever comes first. For those who applied through the Canada Revenue Agency, the last four-week period for the CERB was August 30, 2020 through September 26, 2020. However, you can still apply for the CERB retroactively through CRA.

If you were receiving CERB, you may be eligible for one of the new recovery benefits retroactive to September 27, 2020 and available until September 25, 2021.

Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB)

The Canada Recovery Benefit will provide eligible workers with $500 per week (taxable, tax deducted at source) for up to 26 weeks for those who are not employed or self-employed due to COVID-19 and who are not eligible for EI, or had their employment/self-employment income reduced by at least 50% due to COVID-19. This benefit will be paid in two-week periods. Full details can be found here.

Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB)

The Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB) will provide $500 per week (taxable, tax deducted at source) for up to 26 weeks per household for workers unable to work for at least 50% of the week because they must care for a child under the age of 12 or family member because schools, day-cares or care facilities are closed due to COVID-19, or because the child or family member is sick and/or required to quarantine or is at high risk of serious health implications because of COVID-19. This benefit will be paid in one-week periods. Full details can be found here.

Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB)

The Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) will provide $500 per week (taxable, tax deducted at source) for up to a maximum of two weeks, for workers who are unable to work for at least 50% of the week because they contracted COVID-19, self-isolated for reasons related to COVID-19, or have underlying conditions, are undergoing treatments or have contracted other sicknesses that, in the opinion of a medical practitioner, nurse practitioner, person in authority, government or public health authority, would make them more susceptible to COVID-19. This benefit will be paid in one-week periods. Full details can be found here.

 

Ontario Together Fund
To stop the spread of COVID-19 and keep people safe, the Ontario Government is launching a new $50 million Ontario Together Fund to help businesses provide innovative solutions or retool their operations in order to manufacture essential medical supplies and equipment, including gowns, coveralls, masks, face shields, testing equipment and ventilators. This new Fund will support the development of proposals submitted by businesses and individuals through the Ontario Together web portal. Full details can be found here.

 

Canada United Small Business Relief Fund

Businesses can apply to be reimbursed for COVID-19 related expenses, such as purchases of PPE, physical space renovations and developing website and e-commerce capabilities. With another $12 million contributed by the Federal Government, this relief fund has been expanded and is accepting more applications from small businesses across Canada. Full details can be found here.

 

Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy

The new rent subsidy would support businesses, charities, and non-profits that have suffered a revenue drop, by subsidizing a percentage of their expenses, on a sliding scale, up to a maximum of 65 percent of eligible expenses until December 19, 2020. Organizations would be able to make claims retroactively for the period that began September 27 and ends October 24, 2020. Full details can be found here.

 

Small Business Supports:

As a small business owner, you may be facing immediate challenges or be worrying about the weeks to come in light of the actions taken by our Government to prevent the spread of COVID-19 further.  We’ve gathered current information and resources available to you as you work through the implications this has on you and your business. 

 

Government of Canada: Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan
The Government of Canada is taking immediate, significant and decisive action to help Canadians facing hardship as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. Learn more about this plan by clicking the link in the title.

 

Canada Centre for Organizational Health and Living: Business Continuity Plan – Infectious Diseases
A business continuity plan describes how an organization will continue to function during or after some kind of emergency, disaster or event. This publication focuses specifically on situations involving infectious diseases. It involves planning how your key services or operations can be continued. Learn more about this plan by clicking the link in the title.

 

Canadian Trade Commissioner Service: Key considerations for Canadian Businesses
Canada is committed to supporting Canadian exporters and the free flow of goods and services across our international borders. In today's interconnected global business climate, the new coronavirus (or COVID‑19) is affecting the way Canadian companies operate. Efforts to control and mitigate the spread of the virus include travel restrictions and temporary border restrictions. These efforts could have further implications on international business development activities. Learn more by clicking the link in the title.

 

KPMG Canada: The business implications of coronavirus
KPMG has created steps to help you understand your exposure to COVID-19, and more importantly, position your business to be resilient in the face of this and the next global threat. Learn more by clicking the link in the title.

 

PWC Canada: Responding to the potential business impacts of COVID-19
PwC Crisis and Resilience teams are experienced in working with companies, governments, regulators, NGOs and international organizations around the world, helping them to prepare for and respond to some of the most high-profile pandemics Key areas that they provide support include: 

  • Developing and assessing crisis and response plans
  • Designing and implementing timely and targeted communications
  • Managing, collecting and identifying patient treatment data

Get in touch with them to discuss the implications for your organization by clicking the link in the title.

 

Farm Credit Canada: Response to COVID-19
To ensure producers, agribusinesses and food processors can remain focused on business-critical functions, FCC has put customer support programs in place. Learn more about their support programs by clicking the link in the title.

 

Canadian Chamber of Commerce: Pandemic Preparedness Guide for Businesses
In addition to the work of the health care industry when a pandemic hits, businesses play a critical role in protecting the health and safety of employees, and limiting the negative impact on the economy and communities. They also need to have business continuity plans that will minimize the impact on the business itself and facilitate a speedy resumption of activities if the business has been forced to scale back or close during the pandemic. Preparedness, not panic, is the best way to mitigate the risks posed by a COVID-19 pandemic to the Canadian economy and our citizens. Learn more about this plan by clicking the link in the title.

 

Stop the Spread Business Information Line 1-888-444-3659 
The province has launched a toll-free line to provide support to Ontario businesses who have questions about the province's recent emergency order to close at-risk workplaces following recommendations by Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health. Full details can be found here.

 

St. Thomas Chamber of Commerce: Local COVID-19 Updates
The Chamber’s main goal is to provide you with accurate and timely information surrounding COVID-19 and what it means for our community and businesses. Learn more by clicking the link in the title.

 

Elgin Business Resource Centre (EBRC): Loans and Business Counselling
The EBRC is available for quick business loans and business counselling. Learn more by clicking the link in the title.

 

Elgin – St. Thomas Small Business Enterprise Centre (SBEC): COVID-19 Toolkit
SBEC and EBRC have created a COVID-19 Toolkit to help businesses navigate financial resources for small businesses. Gain access to this toolkit by clicking the link in the title.

 

Passive Measures

 

Farm Credit Canada: Response to COVID-19
To ensure producers, agribusinesses and food processors can remain focused on business-critical functions, FCC has put customer support programs in place. Learn more about their support programs by clicking the link in the title.

 

$5B Increase Farm Credit Canada’s Lending Capacity
Farm Credit Canada and the Government have made a commitment to the agriculture and food industry to ensure producers, agribusinesses and food processors continue to have access to necessary capital at this challenging time. Full details can be found here.

 

Keeping Canadians and workers in the food supply chain safe
The Government of Canada is announcing $50 million to help farmers, fish harvesters, and all food production and processing employers put in place the measures necessary to follow the mandatory 14-day isolation period required of all workers arriving from abroad. Full details can be found here.

Application-Based Measures

 

Supporting Agri-food Sector Supply Chain During COVID-19
The governments of Canada and Ontario are investing up to $1 million in new funding to connect workers with in-demand jobs in the agri-food sector to keep the nation's supply chains strong and store shelves stocked during the COVID-19 pandemic. Full details can be found here.

 

Online Portal Connecting Workers with Employers Looking to Fill Positions in the Agri-Food Sector
The commitment and dedication of Ontario’s agriculture and food sector workers is what keeps our grocery store shelves full and food on our kitchen tables. 

If you’re looking for a new professional opportunity and the chance to make a difference during this COVID-19 outbreak, this is a one-stop-shop that highlights employment openings and training resources in Ontario’s agriculture and food sector. Full details can be found here.

 

Governments Invest $2.5 Million to Grow Agri-food e-Business During COVID-19

The Agri-Food Open for E-Business initiative will help food producers, farmers markets, retailers, garden centres, greenhouses, nurseries, and agricultural associations develop an online business, providing consumers with greater access to a wide variety of food and agriculture products. Full details can be found here.

This targeted application intake features two funding streams:

  1. Bring Your Business Online. Eligible organizations and businesses can apply for a grant of up to $5,000 to establish an online e-business and marketing presence. Funding under this stream will be quick and responsive for those needing immediate solutions.
  2. Develop Online Business Opportunities. Eligible organizations, businesses and collaborations can apply for cost-share funding of up to $75,000 to implement high-impact projects

 

Enhanced Agri-Food Workplace Protection Program

The government of Ontario is providing support for occupational health and safety measures related to COVID-19 for agricultural operations with intensive use of labour. Eligible submissions for project costs incurred on or after March 15, 2020 are received and assessed on a continuous basis, while funding is available. Full details can be found here.