Editor’s note: This article has not been substantively updated since May 15, 2020. Please consult our regular coverage for the latest information.
The federal government is rolling out a massive aid package for businesses affected by Covid-19, including billions in wage subsidies and credit.
See the table below for a summary of the programs available to business owners during the pandemic.
The Canada Emergency Business Account and loan programs listed are part of the government’s Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) of $65 billion in direct lending to small and medium-sized businesses. The BCAP will be administered by Export Development Canada (EDC) and the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC), with loans co-ordinated through banks or other financial institutions.
No limit exists for BCAP support to a single business.
The government has also announced bridge financing for companies with more than $300 million in revenue.
Table: Support for business owners during Covid-19
|Support/program||Amount/details||Period||Eligibility||How to apply|
|Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy||Retroactive from March 15 to at least the end of August||Includes individuals, taxable corporations and partnerships that can show their revenue dropped by 15% in March — compared to either an average of January and February 2020 revenue, or compared to March 2019 revenue. For April and May they must show a 30% drop (against Jan./Feb. 2020 or the same month last year)||Through CRA’s My Business Account portal as well as a web-based application; online application starts April 27|
|Temporary wage subsidy for employers||March 18 to June 19||Includes individuals, partnerships and corporations eligible for the small business deduction|
|Work-sharing program (provides EI benefits to workers with reduced hours, helping avoid layoffs)||March 15, 2020, to March 14, 2021||Submit applications to Service Canada 10 calendar days prior to the requested start date (instead of the usual 30)|
|Canada Emergency Business Account||Application starts April 9||Sole proprietors; businesses that rely on contractors; family corporations that pay employees through dividends;|
employers with $20K to $1.5M in payroll
|With your current financial institution|
|Loan Guarantee for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises||Up to $6.25M in new operating credit and cash-flow term loans||Available mid-April||Credit-worthy businesses whose activities fall within the EDC’s mandate||With your current financial institution|
|Co-lending Program for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises||Available April 24||Credit-worthy businesses whose activities fall within the BDC’s mandate||With your current financial institution|
|Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance||Loans to qualifying commercial property owners to cover 50% of three monthly rent payments payable by small business tenants. Loan is forgivable if owner reduces rent by at least 75%||April, May and June||Small business tenants are those paying less than $50K per month in rent and have temporarily ceased operations or had a drop in revenues of 70%||Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. will administer and deliver the program; operational mid-May, with details forthcoming|
In addition to the measures in the table, businesses can defer to Sept. 1 taxes that become owing on or after March 18. GST payment and customs duties are extended to June 30. The CRA says it won’t contact small or medium businesses regarding post-assessment income tax and GST/HST audits for the next month.
Read our summary of all government aid for individuals and businesses here.