Assistance for Businesses Impacted by COVID-19

Canada’s Regional Development Agencies (RDAs) are closely monitoring the COVID-19 global challenge and the potential impact it could have on your business and your workers, as well as the broader economy.

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.


Q1.    My organization received funding from ACOA to organize/participate in a trade mission that has since been cancelled. What should I do if I have incurred costs related to my participation?

A1.    The Government of Canada understands that the impacts and restrictions resulting from the COVID-19 global challenge are affecting all Canadians in different ways. Your ACOA account manager is ready to help. Contact them directly and they will assess your situation, provide advice on potential funding options, and help you resolve the situation. Right now, ACOA has the following measures in place:


Q2.    My business has been negatively impacted by the economic shift caused by COVID-19, and I am concerned about meeting my obligations under my contribution agreement. What should I do?

A2.    For the time being, ACOA is implementing an automatic three-month payment deferral until July 1, 2020 (including any related interest) for all funding recipients as a short-term relief measure. This is automatic; therefore, no action is required on your part.


Q3.    My organization received funding from ACOA to host an event that we have been forced to postpone because of COVID-19 prevention measures. What should I do?

A3.    ACOA is here to help. Contact your ACOA account manager, who is ready to work with you to assess your situation, provide advice on potential funding options, and help you find solutions.

The Agency has a number of administrative tools and processes we can use to modify your project quickly. These include:


Q4.    Is ACOA accepting and processing applications?

A4.    The Government of Canada continues to serve Canadians. ACOA continues to process all applications and strives to keep our clients up to date on information related to their project application. However, priority will be given to businesses directly impacted by sudden shifts in the economy, which may cause some delays.

For more information, please contact the ACOA office nearest you:


Q5.    My business is suffering due to the economic shift in our economy. Can ACOA help?

A5.   Businesses that are impacted by sudden shifts in the economy are strongly encouraged to get in touch with ACOA officials. Business officials should speak with their account manager or call one of the following ACOA offices:

You may also follow this link for more information on resources for Canadian businesses.


Q6.    Do you have any advice or guidance on dealing with COVID-19? How can I help my employees?

A6.   Please abide by the recommendations of your local Public Health Organizations.

A number of tools and guidance documents were developed with business needs in mind from an employer perspective, notably by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business and the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. For more information, please go to the following websites:

Given the urgency surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, CFIB has opened a helpline to all business owners, including non-CFIB members, for advice on managing COVID-19 situations in the workplace. To talk to an expert, please call: 1-888-234-2232.


Q7.    I have a business and have had to lay off employees. What are my obligations toward my employees?

A7.   The Government of Canada launched a new site to provide updated resources for Canadian businesses to keep informed as COVID-19 is affecting their work, employees and families. There are four key considerations for businesses:

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