Canadian Small Business Covid Resources | April 2021 Update
It's been one year since the on-and-off COVID restrictions began in Canada and there is still seemingly no end in sight. It has been a difficult time for businesses both small and large, and owners have been left questioning whether or not they’re going to survive the turbulence that remains ahead. Throughout the restriction periods, the Canadian government has done what they can to provide relief to businesses affected through various grants and loans. As BLANK continues, we certainly recommend you take advantage of the support measures available.
To help you out, we’ve compiled a detailed list of resources available to your Canadian business. If you need any additional support, get in touch with our team and we’ll be there every step of the way.
Avoiding Layoffs and Employee Rehiring:
At the top of the priority list is finding a way to retain staff as long as possible and bring back those who have been let go. To assist with this, there are two key programs you’ll want to review:
- Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy. The government covers up to 75% of an employee's wages for qualifying eligible employers to keep and rehire employees and avoid layoffs.
- Work Sharing Program. The government has extended the maximum duration of the Program from 38 weeks to 76 weeks for employers affected by COVID-19. This measure provides income support to employees eligible for Employment Insurance who have agreed to reduce regular working hours because of developments beyond the control of their employers.
Financial Support, Loans, and Credit Access:
To aid in keeping businesses afloat as local economies across the country remain cold, the Canadian government has released a series of financial support programs. Here are four of the twelve that our team found the most important to keep on your radar:
- Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) Interest-Free Loans. CEBA provides interest-free, partially forgivable loans of up to $60,000 to small businesses and nonprofits that have experienced diminished revenues due to COVID-19 but face ongoing non-deferrable costs, such as rent, utilities, insurance, taxes and wages. The government has recently expanded CEBA to include an additional interest-free $20,000 loan, 50% of which would be forgivable if repaid by December 31, 2022.
- Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS). CERS provides a direct and accessible rent and mortgage subsidy of up to 65% of eligible expenses to qualifying businesses, charities and nonprofits. This support is available directly to tenants.
- Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program (HASCAP). HASCAP provides businesses heavily impacted by COVID-19 access guaranteed, low-interest loans of $25,000 to $1 million to cover operational cash flow needs.
- Black Entrepreneurship Fund. The Candian government supports Black business owners and entrepreneurs through the Black Entrepreneurship Loan Fund that will provide loans of between $25,000 and $250,000. The Loan Fund will begin accepting applications in May 2021.
You can check out the complete government financial support list here.
Support for Self Employed Individuals:
When creating programs to support our small businesses, the Canadian government made sure to not leave those self-employed. If you fall into the sole-proprietor category and have experienced financial stress due to the pandemic, the following programs have been made available to you:
- Canadian Recovery Benefit (CRB). The CRB provides $500 ($450 after taxes withheld) per week for up to 38 weeks for workers who are not self-employed or have had their self-employment income reduced by at least 50% due to COVID-19 and are not eligible for Employment Insurance.
- Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit. The CRSB provides $500 ($450 after taxes withheld) per week for up to a maximum of four weeks to workers who cannot work for at least 50% of the week because they contracted COVID-19 or are self-isolated for reasons related to COVID-19.
- Canada Recovery Caregiver Benefit. The CRCB provides $500 ($450 after taxes withheld) for up to 38 weeks per household for workers who are 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. This also includes individuals who cannot work because the child or family member is sick and required to quarantine, or is at high risk of serious health implications because of COVID-19.
With no clear end in sight for the lockdown and its restrictions, it’s more important now than ever that small businesses across the country work to support each other. To learn more about the government programs available in Canada, visit their COVID Economic Response Plan. To get in touch with our team for support through the process, visit our contact page.