Resources for Canadian businesses: COVID-19
Keep informed with the latest COVID-19 health and safety updates
Call to action
Small and medium-sized businesses are the backbone of the Canadian economy. During this extraordinary time, the Government of Canada is taking strong action to help Canadian businesses as COVID-19 is affecting them, their employees and their families.
The Government and public health officials are urging all Canadians to:
- stay home unless it is absolutely essential to go out
- practice social distancing and good hygiene
For businesses, this means:
- facilitating flexible and remote work arrangements
- preparing your workplace for COVID-19
- understanding how to keep your employees safe
Four key considerations for businesses
- Support for employees
- Support for businesses
- Business travel and events
- Business in international markets
1. Support for employees
No Canadian should have to worry about losing their job, paying their rent or putting food on the table because of COVID-19. That's why the Government has:
- introduced the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) to support workers and help businesses keep their employees, providing $2,000 a month for up to four months for workers and entrepreneurs who are not receiving a paycheque as a result of COVID-19
- waived the one-week waiting period and the requirement for a medical certificate for employment insurance (EI) sickness benefits to provide immediate support for workers in quarantine
- boosted Canada Child Benefit payments to ensure working families have enough money to support their kids
- extended the tax filing deadline to June 1, 2020
- and much more
2. Support for businesses
No employer should feel like they have to lay off a worker in the face of COVID-19. To provide immediate relief for businesses and entrepreneurs, the Government has:
- introduced the new Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), providing $2,000 a month for up to four months for workers, small business owners and entrepreneurs who are not receiving a paycheque as a result of COVID-19
- enhanced the Work-Sharing program to support employers and their workers who are experiencing a downturn in business
- brought in a wage subsidy for the next 90 days, up to a maximum of $1,375 per employee and $25,000 per employer
- worked with the financial sector to ensure an additional $300 billion in lending capacity by financial institutions for small businesses across the country
- created the new Business Credit Availability Program to make more than $10 billion available to Canadian businesses in financing and credit insurance solutions through:
- ensured the Canada Revenue Agency will defer tax payments until August 31, 2020, to help businesses with cash flow
- made an additional $5 billion available to farmers, producers, agribusinesses and food processors through Farm Credit Canada, as well as giving farmers more flexibility in repaying outstanding Advance Payments Program loans.
Assistance for tourism operators, small businesses or organizations
If you are a tourism operator, a small business or an organization affected by COVID-19 and need pressing assistance, the regional development agencies (RDAs) could assist you with access to federal funding and services.
It is also vital for Canadian businesses to have contingency plans in place to manage potential financial risk. The Canadian Chamber of Commerce has developed a comprehensive preparedness guide for businesses in the face of COVID-19.
The Canadian Federation of Independent Business is also providing information to help businesses through these difficult times.
3. Business travel and events
The Government is advising Canadians to:
- avoid non-essential travel outside of Canada until further notice
- if outside of Canada, return home and self-isolate for 14 days, which is mandatory due to an Emergency Order under the Quarantine Act
To help bring Canadians home, the Government has created the COVID-19 Emergency Loan Program for Canadians Abroad.
When it comes to business conferences and events, the Government is advising against large gatherings of people.
4. Business in international markets
Canada and the United States are temporarily restricting all non-essential travel across our border. Essential travel will continue unimpeded to preserve supply chains between both countries and ensure that food, fuel and life-saving medicines reach people on both sides of the border. For questions or the most up-to-date information on cross-border travel and business, please call the Canada Border Services Agency at 1-800-461-9999.
Canada is working with our international partners to maintain open and connected supply chains during the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure that Canadian businesses can continue to deliver essential goods to people that need them.
The Trade Commissioner Service has experts in 160 cities worldwide who can provide small businesses with market-specific insights and guidance to help you mitigate the impacts of COVID-19, as well as access to funding to help you in global markets.
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