Resources for Businesses Affected by COVID-19

Key Issue/s
Version 7. Updated April 28, 2020 at 10:17 am PST 
This list is not meant to be comprehensive but serves to highlight resources and programs we think will be most valuable to our members. Links and information are changing frequently. Please check government and association websites for most association websites for most current information.

General Information

COVID-19 Resources for Canadian Businesses:

COVID-19 Supports for BC Business

COVID 19 Business Support Line: Through the support service, Small Business BC advisors are ready to help Monday to Friday (8:00am to 6:00pm) and on Saturdays (10:00am to 4:00pm) by phone toll-free at 1-833-254-4357 and by email at [email protected] Support will be available in several languages.

Canada Business App will help you access small business loans, working capital loans, purchase order financing, and COVID-19 guidance

Canadian Chamber of Commerce: COVID-19 Business Resilience: Tools, templates and resources.

Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan

Credit and Financing Programs

Speak to your lender for more information.

Canada’s largest financial institutions as well as some credit unions like are working with small business banking customers on a case-by-case basis to provide flexible financing solutions such as:

  • Payment deferrals, reduced interest rates on credit cards and temporary limit increases
  • Interest-free loans of up to $40,000 through the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA). The CEBA includes a loan forgiveness amount of 25%, up to $10,000, if repaid on or before December 31, 2022
  • Term loans of up to $6.25 million through the Business Credit Availability Program’s co-lending and guaranteed loan option
  • Farm Credit Canada (FCC) is offering loan payment deferrals and other financing products to the agriculture and food industry

Western Economic Diversification Canada  can help businesses access federal funding and provide advice on other federal programs and services. Tourism operators or small- or medium- sized organizations that are impacted by COVID-19 and have received RDA funding may be eligible to receive additional funding and/or flexible arrangements.

Tax flexibility: Businesses can defer paying income tax until September 1, 2020. GST payments, duties, and other remittances can be deferred until June

Rent Relief for Businesses

Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) Program  aims to help small businesses with their rent  for April, May and June by reducing rent by 75% for small businesses that have been severely impacted by COVID-19 and pay less than $50,000/month in rent. Funds are expected to flow starting mid-May

The program is administered by CMHC. Learn about eligibility requirements and sign up to receive updates.

Wage and Income Support

The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) 

CEWS covers 75% of an employee’s wages – up to $847 per week – for employers of all sizes and across all sectors who have suffered a drop in gross revenues of at least 15% in March, and 30% in April and May.

The program will be in place for a 12-week period, from March 15 to June 6, 2020.

Eligible employers can receive a 100% refund for certain employer contributions.

For employers that are eligible for both the CEWS and the 10% Temporary Wage Subsidy for a period, any benefit from the Temporary 10% Wage Subsidy for remuneration paid in a specific period will generally reduce the amount available to be claimed under the CEWS in that same period.

Temporary 10% Wage Subsidy

The 10% Temporary Wage Subsidy for Employers is a three-month measure that will allow eligible employers to reduce the amount of payroll deductions required to be remitted to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).

Eligible employers:

  • are a(n):
    • individual (excluding trusts),
    • partnership,
    • non-profit organization,
    • registered charity
    • Canadian-controlled private corporation (including a cooperative corporation)
  • Have an existing business number and payroll program account with the CRA on March 18, 2020
  • Pay salary, wages, bonuses, or other remuneration to an eligible employee.

For employers that are eligible for both the CEWS and the 10% Temporary Wage Subsidy for a period, any benefit from the Temporary 10% Wage Subsidy for remuneration paid in a specific period will generally reduce the amount available to be claimed under the CEWS in that same period.

Tax Relief for Businesses

Some provincial and federal taxes have been deferred, delayed or reduced.

  • The Canada Revenue Agency will allow all businesses to defer, until August 31, 2020, the payment of any income tax amounts that become owing on or after March 18, 2020 and before September 2020
  • Effective immediately, many provincial tax filing and payment deadlines are deferred to September 30, 2020
  • B.C. relief is available for Commercial Property Owners and Tenants.
    • Business and light and major industry property classes will see their school property tax cut in half for the 2020 tax year, providing $500 million in relief for business that own their property and for tenants on triple-net leases

Support for Workers, Individuals & Families

Provincial financial supports include the B.C. Emergency Benefit for Workers, enhanced climate action tax credit, temporary rent supplement, bill deferral and freezing student loan payments

The B.C. Emergency Benefit for Workers will provide a one-time $1,000 payment to people whose ability to work has been affect due to COVID-19. B.C. residents who receive federal Employment Insurance, or the new federal Canada Emergency Response Benefit are eligible

The Federal government has waived the one-week waiting period for individuals in imposed quarantine that claim EI sickness benefits.

For Canadians who lose their jobs or face reduced hours as a result of COVID’s impact, the EI work sharing program provides EI benefits to workers who agree to reduce their normal working hour as a result of developments beyond the control of their employers

Through the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), the Federal government will provide a taxable benefit of $2,000 a month for up to four months to eligible workers who have lost their income due to COVID-19

The Federal government has enhanced the Canada Child Benefit (CCB) with a maximum annual payment amount increased by up to $300 per child as part of their May payment

Support for renters and landlords include a new temporary rental supplement, halting evictions and freezing rents.

Rental supplements are also available through BC Housing.

B2B Support

ICBC is offering payment plan deferrals for up to 90 days with no penalties.

BC Hydro: The COVID-19 Customer Assistance Program allows customers to defer bill payments or arrange for flexible payment plans with no penalty. Call 1 800 BCHYDRO (1 800 224 9376)

FortisBC is waiving late payment fees and ensuring no customer is disconnected and will discuss flexible payment options.

WorkSafeBC will be allowing employers to defer payment of their Q1 2020 payments by three months.

Pacific Northern Gas is maintaining service for all customers during this time and is available to work with customers on flexible payment options.

Vancity Credit Union will provide emergency working capital, buy back foreign currency at the same rate it was sold (for customers impacted by travel disruption), waive INTERAC e-Transfer and ATM fees until April 30th

Hootsuite is offering free access to their Professional Plan to help small businesses and non-profits stay connected to their customers and audiences.

Private sector organizations such as Facebook are offering cash grants and other supports to help small businesses through difficult times.