Interior view of the Canada Commons of Parliament, Ottawa
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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/programAmount/detailsPeriodEligibilityHow to apply
Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy
  • 75% of wages of the first $58,700 normally earned by employees, up to $847/week
  • No overall limit
  • Reduced by any amounts received under the temporary 10% wage subsidy
  • Taxable income
  • Employers will receive a 100% refund for EI and CPP/QPP contributions for furloughed employees
Retroactive from March 15 to at least the end of AugustIncludes 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
  • 10% of wages, up to a max of $1,375 per employee and $25,000 per employer
  • Associated CCPCs aren’t required to share the max subsidy of $25,000
  • Taxable income
March 18 to June 19Includes individuals, partnerships and corporations eligible for the small business deduction
  • No need to apply
  • Employers reduce their payroll remittances of income tax by the amount of the subsidy
Work-sharing program (provides EI benefits to workers with reduced hours, helping avoid layoffs)
  • Extended to 76 weeks from 38
March 15, 2020, to March 14, 2021
  • Any sector or industry
  • The business must have been in operation for one year (instead of the usual two)
Submit applications to Service Canada 10 calendar days prior to the requested start date (instead of the usual 30)
Canada Emergency Business Account
  • Loans of up to $40,000
  • No interest until Dec. 31, 2022
  • Loan forgiveness of 25% if repaid on or before Dec. 31, 2022
Application starts April 9Sole 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 EnterprisesUp to $6.25M in new operating credit and cash-flow term loansAvailable mid-AprilCredit-worthy businesses whose activities fall within the EDC’s mandateWith your current financial institution
Co-lending Program for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises
  • Up to $6.25M for operational cash-flow requirements
  • Commercial interest rate
  • 10-year repayment
Available April 24Credit-worthy businesses whose activities fall within the BDC’s mandateWith your current financial institution
Canada Emergency Commercial Rent AssistanceLoans 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 JuneSmall 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.

Farmers can receive credit through Farm Credit Canada, and those with loans due from the Advance Payment Program on or before April 30 have an additional six months to pay.

Read our summary of all government aid for individuals and businesses here.