COVID-19 | Guidance & Resources

Scroll down to find information on the following topics:


Provincial Announcement June 1

Canada’s Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance Program

B.C. businesses eligible for rent support from the federal government will be protected from evictions as the B.C. government issues a new order under the Emergency Program Act (EPA).

Eligible businesses whose landlords choose not to apply for the federal CECRA program will be protected from evictions due to unpaid rent payments through to the end of June 2020, as determined by the federal program timelines.


Federal Announcement June 16

Canadian Emergency Response Benefit extended
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced that the Canada Emergency Response Benefit program will be extended by eight weeks, meaning those who will soon run out will have until the end of the summer to keep claiming the benefit while they try to find work.

Applications for Expanded Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) available starting Friday

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Your business is Canadian-based and in operation as of March 1, 2020
  • The business’s 2019 payroll was between $20,000 and $1.5 million
  • The loan is used to continue or resume operations
  • You have not previously used the program and will not apply for it at a different financial institution
  • The business has a federal tax registration
  • Visit the Government of Canada’s website for the complete list

The CEBA is available through your primary financial institution. Click here for more information.


Recommendations on lifting restrictions

Recommendations from the Federal/Provincial/Territorial (F/P/T) Special Advisory Committee on COVID-19: Lifting of Restrictive Public Health Measures

 


Access to Capital

Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility (LEEFF) –  bridge financing to Canada’s largest employers.

  • Objective:
    • help protect Canadian jobs;
    • help Canadian businesses weather the current economic downturn;
    • and avoid bankruptcies of otherwise viable firms where possible.
  • Restrictions: This support will not be used to resolve insolvencies or restructure firms, nor will it provide financing to companies that otherwise have the capacity to manage through the crisis.
  • Key guiding principles:
    • Protection of taxpayers and workers:
      • Companies seeking support must demonstrate how they intend to preserve employment and maintain investment activities.
      • Recipients will need to commit to respect collective bargaining agreements and protect workers’ pensions.
      • The LEEFF program will require strict limits to dividends, share buy-backs, and executive pay.
      • In considering a company’s eligibility to assistance under the LEEFF program, an assessment may be made of its employment, tax, and economic activity in Canada, as well as its international organizational structure and financing arrangements.
      • The program will not be available to companies that have been convicted of tax evasion. In addition, recipient companies would be required to commit to publish annual climate-related disclosure reports consistent with the Financial Stability Board’s Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures, including how their future operations will support environmental sustainability and national climate goals.
    • Fairness: To ensure support across the Canadian economy, the financing is intended to be applicable to all eligible sectors in a consistent manner.
    • Timeliness: To ensure timely support, the LEEFF program will apply a standard set of economic terms and conditions.

Expansion of the Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP)

  • Eligibility: Expand to mid-sized companies with larger financing needs. Support for mid-market businesses will include loans of up to $60 million per company, and guarantees of up to $80 million.
  • Access: Through the BCAP, Export Development Canada (EDC) and the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) will work with private sector lenders to support access to capital for Canadian businesses in all sectors and regions.

Additional Financing

  • Continue to provide financing to businesses through Farm Credit Canada, the BDC, and EDC, including through the Canada Account. This will ensure the government is able to respond to a wide range of financing needs, including for some large employers facing higher risks, with stricter terms in order to adequately protect taxpayers.

 

Canada Emergency Business Account

UPDATE – Eligibility Canada Emergency Business Account Expanded
The program will now be available to a greater number of businesses that are sole proprietors receiving income directly from their businesses, businesses that rely on contractors, and family-owned corporations that pay employees through dividends rather than payroll.

To qualify under the expanded eligibility criteria, applicants with payroll lower than $20,000 would need:

  • a business operating account at a participating financial institution
  • a Canada Revenue Agency business number, and to have filed a 2018 or 2019 tax return.
  • eligible non-deferrable expenses between $40,000 and $1.5 million. Eligible non-deferrable expenses could include costs such as rent, property taxes, utilities, and insurance.

Expenses will be subject to verification and audit by the Government of Canada. Funding will be delivered in partnership with financial institutions. More details, including the launch date for applications under the new criteria, will follow in the days to come.

 

It’s a $40,000 government‑guaranteed loan to help eligible businesses pay for operating expenses, payroll and other non‑deferrable expenses which are critical to sustain business continuity.

The government is expanding CEBA by increasing and decreasing the eligibility thresholds:

  • Companies who spent between $20,000 and $1.5 million dollars in total payroll in 2019 will be eligible to receive a loan. This money can be used to cover operational costs and other operational needs.

Application open now: Please contact your financial institution to find our more about their application process.

Until December 31, 2020, the Canada Emergency Business Account will be funded as a revolving line of credit for $40,000.
After December 31, 2020, any outstanding balance on the revolving $40,000 line of credit will be converted into a non‑revolving 5‑year term loan maturing on December 31, 2025, at which time the balance must be paid in full.
No interest applies until January 1, 2023.
Commencing on January 1, 2023, interest accrues on the balance of the term loan at the rate of 5% per annum, payable monthly on the last day of each month.
If you pay 75% of the balance of the term loan (as at January 1, 2021), on or before December 31, 2022, the remaining balance of your term loan will be forgiven. For example, if your balance is $40,000 on January 1, 2021 and you repay $30,000 on or before December 31, 2022, the remaining $10,000 will be forgiven.
If you do not repay 75% of the balance of the term loan (as at January 1, 2021) on or before December 31, 2022, the full loan balance and all accrued and unpaid interest will be due and payable on December 31, 2025.

 

Futurpreneur to cover loan payments for 6 months and provide top up loans.

Futurpreneur announced details of a new support package that will cover loan payments for six months for each of its more than 3,200 Start-up Program clients whose Futurpreneur loan was disbursed prior to April 1, 2020. This loan payment coverage is effective March 25 through to September 24, 2020, and comes at a crucial time for thousands of young entrepreneurs across Canada whose small businesses have been hit hard by the COVID-19 crisis.

In addition to the six-month loan payment coverage, for existing eligible Futurpreneur clients who require extra working capital to help cover operating costs during this challenging period and do not qualify for the Canada Emergency Business Account, Futurpreneur will offer a top-up loan of up to $10,000, interest-free, with one year of deferred repayment.

For more info click here.

 

The Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) allows the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) and Export Development Canada (EDC) to provide more than $10 billion of additional support.

 

Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) has resources available including: 

  1. Small Business Loan: Up to $100,000 can be obtained online in as little 48 hours from time of approval.
  2. Working capital loan: Get extra funds to bridge cash flow gaps and support everyday operations.
  3. Purchase Order Financing: Increase your cash flow to fulfill domestic or international orders with very flexible terms.
  4. BDC’s Advisory Services experts are offering tools and support to review your financial management and operations.

 

Capital for Exporters through Export Development Canada
EDC stands ready to support Canadian exporters impacted by COVID-19. The best first step is to call EDC to start the process today 1-800-229-0575.

 

Farm Credit Canada
FCC lending capacity has been increased by $5B to alleviate industry financial pressure. FCC provides loans and services for primary producers, food operations and agribusinesses.

  • FCCis prepared to assist – speak to your local FCC contact through their Customer Service Centre at 1-888-332-3301 or visit their online service portal to work with FCC.

 

Agriculture, farmers and food businesses
Important measures within agriculture programs and an investment of more than $252 million to support farmers, food businesses, and food processors who provide essential services to Canadians. For more info click here.

 

Regional Development Agencies – Western Economic Diversification Canada
If you are a tourism operator or small- or medium- sized business or organization impacted by the sudden shifts in the economy and need pressing assistance, the RDAs could assist you with:

  • Access to federal funding to help you stay in business.
  • Advice and pathfinding services to other federal programs and services available.

 

If you are a tourism operator or small- or medium- sized business or organization and have received RDA funding and COVID-19 is affecting your operations:

  • You may be eligible to receive additional funding and/or flexible arrangements.
  • Further support will be determined on a case-by-case basis as the situation evolves.

The best way to contact the Western Economic Diversification Canada for support is to call them at: 1-888-338-WEST (9378)

 

Postmedia Supports – Local Marketing Grant Program
This program is designed to help our economy’s rebound by giving local businesses a leg up as they start to reopen. Grants ranging from $500-$15,000 per month per client are available for the months of June, July and August 2020 to approved businesses, not-for-profit and charity organizations that operate within 100 km of the communities they serve.

The program has two components:

  • A full marketing grant program to select businesses in the hardest hit sectors of our economy, including, but not limited to the Restaurant, Tourism and Hospitality sectors.
  • A match program whereby local businesses can apply for matching media investments from $500 to $15,000 to complement their new programs.

Click here to fill out an application

 


Rental Support

Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance

Today the government announced commercial rent support for small business. We are still expecting additional details, we will keep you informed as updates become available.

The government is offering qualifying commercial property owners forgivable loans that will cover 50% of impacted tenant’s rent in exchange for them providing rent reduction of at least 75% and agreeing to a moratorium on evictions.

Eligible landlords who have already stepped up and offered 75% reduction or more for April or May or would like to retroactively do so can apply.

Details:

  • Payment & Assistance Details
  • 75% rent reduction for business tenants
  • Federal and provincial governments will will provide forgivable loans to property owners to cover 50% of the monthly rent
  • Property owners will in turn cover 25% of the rent
  • Must agree to a moratorium on evictions
  • Applies to April (retroactively), May, and June

Eligibility:

  • Small businesses, non-profits and charity organizations
  • Available for tenants that pay less than $50,000/month
  • Have ceased operations or experienced at least 70% decrease in revenues

Application: Landlords will be able to apply mid-May.
*With the 1st of the month around the corner, the government is asking landlords to be flexible.

Larger Businesses: More information on rent support for larger businesses to come soon.

 

 

 

Support for Renters and Homeowners
The provincial government, working with banks and credit unions, will ensure mortgage deferral options are available as well as enhanced support for rentals via Shelter Aid For Elderly Renters (SAFER) and Rental Assistance Program (RAP).

 

Support for Renters and Landlords
APPLY NOW – To support people and prevent the spread of COVID-19, the Province is introducing a new temporary rental supplement, halting evictions and freezing rents, among other actions.
The new rental supplement will help households by offering up to $500 a month towards their rent, building on federal and provincial financial supports already announced for British Columbians facing financial hardship. For more click here


Taxation Relief for Businesses

The Canada Revenue Agency will allow all businesses to defer, until after August 31, 2020:
The payment of any income tax amounts that become owing on or after today (March 18, 2020) and before September 2020. This relief would apply to tax balances due, as well as instalments, under Part I of the Income Tax Act. No interest or penalties will accumulate on these amounts during this period. This measure will result in businesses having more money available during this period.

 

Interest-Free Loans
The new “Canada Emergency Business Account” will provide interest-free loans of up to $40,000 to organizations with total a payroll of $50,000 to $1 million in 2019.

Up to $10,000 of that amount will be eligible for complete forgiveness if $30,000 is fully repaid on or before December 31, 2022.

GST Remittance and Customs Duties/Tax
Remittance of GST to the federal government is being deferred for businesses until June 30, with specific details available for monthly, quarterly or annual filers. Customs duties and sales tax for importers has also been deferred until June 30.


Wage and Income Support

 

Wage top up essential workers: The Government of Canada will provide up to $3 billion in support to increase the wages of low-income essential workers. Each province or territory will determine which workers would be eligible for support, and how much support they will receive.

 

Extension temporary layoff period

To ease financial hardship on businesses and to keep employees connected with their jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic, government has extended the temporary layoff period to 16 weeks for COVID-19 related reasons.

Previously under the Employment Standards Act, a temporary layoff longer than 13 weeks in any 20-week period (or about three months in a five-month period) was considered a permanent layoff.

Click here for more info.

 

Wage Boost for Essential Workers
Increasing pay for essential workers who make less than $2,500 a month, including those working in long-term care facilities.

 

Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) — Provides $2,000 per month for four months to any workers who have lost their income for reasons related to COVID-19 including reasons of sickness, quarantine, taking care of those with COVID-19 as well as working parents needing to stay at home with children. This applies to wage earners, contract workers, and self employed individuals.  Apply today

UPDATE – Eligibility expansion – you can now also apply when you:

  • earn $1000 per month or less. e.g. volunteer fire fighters, part-time workers, contract workers, etc.
  • are a seasonal worker who is running out of employment insurance and can’t find a job due to COVID-19.
  • are a worker who ran out of EI benefits since January 1st.

 

Work Sharing Program
The Work Sharing Program is to help eligible employers to retain skilled employees and workers to remain employed. Measures taken during COVID-19 will:

  • Extend the Work-Sharing agreements by an additional 38 weeks
  • Wave the mandatory waiting period between agreements
  • Ease the recovery plan requirements

Access the Work-Sharing page to learn more about the program and its requirements.

Access the Work-Sharing temporary special measures page to find out if you are eligible for temporary special measures.

 

Canada Summer Jobs Program temporary changes:

  • Subsidy: an increase to the wage subsidy, so that private and public sector employers can also receive up to 100 per cent of the provincial or territorial minimum hourly wage for each employee
  • Date: an extension to the end date for employment to February 28, 2021
  • Scope of work: allowing employers to adapt their projects and job activities to support essential services
  • Hours: allowing employers to hire staff on a part-time basis

 

Wage Subsidy

  • Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy
    • NEW – Extended to August 29, 2020.
    • Effective immediately and retroactive to March 15
    • Eligibility expanded to include:
      • registered journalism organizations
      • private colleges and training school
      • amateur athletic associations
      • Indigenous-government-owned corporations or partnerships
    • Eligibility: open to individuals and all not publicly funded businesses, restaurants and bars, charities, and non-profits — regardless of size or number of employees — exception of public sector entities. A per-employer cap has not been announced, and one is not expected given the unlimited payroll size eligibility.
    • Revenue Loss:
      • Employers must show a 15 percent decline in revenue in March versus a 30 percent decline in April and May 2020, when compared to the same month in 2019, to access the subsidy.
      • Employers may compare their March, April and May revenue to an average of the revenue earned in January and February 2020 as an alternative approach.
      • Employers must select the general year-over-year approach or this alternative approach when first applying for the CEWS and will then be required to use the same approach for the duration of the program.
      • Employers may calculate their revenue in accordance with their normal accounting practices (accrual method) or elect to use the cash method.
      • The calculation for registered charities and non-profit organizations will include most forms of revenue but will exclude revenue from non-arm’s length persons. These organizations have the option to exclude revenue from government sources in their calculation, provided they maintain the same approach for the duration of the program.
      • Affiliated groups may be able to elect to compute revenue on a consolidated basis.
      • Certain eligible entities receiving substantially all (90% or more) of their revenue from non-arm’s length persons may be eligible to elect to calculate their decline in revenue based on the non-arm’s length persons’ decline in revenue. These rules are complex and should be reviewed with your tax advisor.
      • In applying for the subsidy, employers will be required to attest to the decline in revenue

 

    • Eligible Employees
      • An eligible employee is an individual who is employed in Canada and has not been without remuneration for 14 or more consecutive days in the qualifying period.
      • This rule replaces the previous announcement that an employer may not claim the CEWS for remuneration paid to an employee in a week that falls within a four-week period for which the employee is eligible for the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit.

 

    • Benefit:
      • The amount of the CEWS that can be claimed for each employee (new or existing) is calculated as the greater of:
        • 75 percent of the amount of the eligible remuneration paid (includes salary, wages and other remuneration such as taxable benefits, not including severance pay or items such as stock option benefits or personal use of corporate vehicles), up to a maximum benefit of $847 per week or if employee is not dealing at arm’s length with the employer, nil, whichever is less ; and
        • the amount of eligible remuneration paid, up to a maximum benefit of $847 per week or 75 percent of the employees’ baseline remuneration (previously referred to as the pre-crisis weekly remuneration), whichever is less.
      • The baseline remuneration for a given employee will be determined based on the average weekly eligible remuneration paid between January 1 and March 15, 2020 inclusively, excluding any seven-day periods in which the employee was not remunerated.
        • The subsidy for employees not dealing at arm’s length with their employer will only be available to those employed prior to March 15, 2020.

 

    • Refund for Certain Payroll Contributions
      • The program has been expanded by introducing a new 100 percent refund for certain employer-paid contributions to Employment Insurance (EI) and the Canada Pension Plan.
      • This refund is available on employer-paid contributions for eligible employees for each week throughout which those employees are on leave with pay, and for those employees that the employer is eligible to claim the CEWS.
      • An employee is considered on leave if that employee is paid by the employer but does not perform any work for the employer. The refund has no weekly maximum benefit per employee and no overall limit to the refund amount that an eligible employer may claim.
      • Employers will be required to collect and remit employer and employee contributions to each program as usual; eligible employers will apply for a refund at the same time as they apply for the CEWS.
    • Online Calculator: a calculator launched on the CRA website so businesses can determine the amount they can expect to claim through the CEWS. The CEWS calculator can be found on CRA’s Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy Web page.
    • Applications: open April 27. 90% of the applications will be processed by May 4th with direct deposits and cheques to follow shortly after that.
    • Intersect with Other Programs
      For employers eligible for both the CEWS and the 10 percent wage subsidy for a period, any benefit from the 10 percent wage subsidy for remuneration paid in a specific period would generally reduce the amount available to be claimed under the CEWS in that same period.For employers and employees participating in a Work-Sharing program, EI benefits received by employees through the Work-Sharing program will reduce the benefit the employer is entitled to receive under the CEWS.
    • APPLICATION NOW OPEN: CRA has advised that eligible employers can apply through both CRAs My Business Account as well as a “web-based” application.  It may not be an issue if you do not have a My Business Account, although we would recommend creating one as it will likely streamline your application process and prevent having to enter additional details, security information etc
    • Are you eligible? Find out here.
    • How is CEWS calculated? Find out here.
  • To review how the federal government support plan for Canadians and for further details on wage subsidies and emergency support for employeesplease click here

Temporary Wage Subsidy for Employers

  • The initial 10% wage subsidy offered is still in place for eligible organizations.
    • Those accessing this subsidy can still apply for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy when it becomes available.
    • The 10%  subsidy provides eligible small employers a wage subsidy for  three months, equal to 10% of remuneration paid during that period, up to a maximum subsidy of $1,375 per employee and $25,000 per employer.
    • Businesses can benefit immediately by reducing their remittances of income tax withheld on their employees’ remuneration

 

Enhanced Canada Child Benefit

Enhanced Canada Child Benefit For those that are eligible for the Child Tax benefit, there will be an additional $300 per child available on top of what is already received.

 

Employment Insurance

Employment Insurance  changes to the EI program include waiving the one-week waiting period for and priority application processing for COVID-19 related claims.

GST Credit: Credits available will be increased up to $400 for single adults and $600 for couples (more details will be available closer to the rollout date).


Provincial support for Businesses 

The provincial government announced a $5 billion (additional funding) support package for businesses and individuals: this is the first step as the government acknowledges they will have to be “nimble and flexible” as they respond to the impacts of COVID-19. The package will see $2.8 B People and Services $2.2B Business and Economic Recovery.

*Provincial Aid was announced March 23rd, 2020. Details for how to access services will be provided once they become available*

 

List of Essential Services
This list has been provided so that businesses can prepare for a potential provincial shutdown.

 

Tax Remittance Deferrals
The provincial government is extending tax filing and payment deadlines to September 30th, 2020 to help businesses through this crisis. The deferred taxes will include:

  • Employee Health Tax (EHT)
  • Motor Fuel Taxes
  • Carbon Tax
  • The scheduled increase of carbon tax has been canceled
  • Provincial Sales Tax (PST)
  • Municipal & Regional District Tax
  • Tobacco Tax

 

Property Tax Relief

  • Business and light and major industrial property classes will see a reduction to the school property tax rate for commercial properties to achieve an average 25% reduction in the total property tax bill for most businesses, providing up to $700 million in relief. This enhances the 50% reduction to the provincial school property tax rate that was originally announced for classes 4, 5, and 6 as part of B.C.’s COVID-19 Action Plan.
  • The expectation is business will benefit directly (if they own their own property) or this relief will flow through commercial landlords immediately passing savings on to tenants in triple-net lease

Additional Provincial Measures
Canceling of the scheduled increase of Carbon Tax

  • Deferral of PST charges to e-commerce and sweetened beverages (to be reviewed by Sept. 30, 2020)
  • $1.5B for economic recovery
  • The longer-term recovery plan will dedicate funding to those businesses that are particularly hard-hit during this pandemic.

 

Intake for greenhouse carbon tax relief grants open
Greenhouse operators can now apply for carbon tax relief grants for the 2020 production year, until May 1, 2020.
Eligibility: Commercial producers in B.C. who grow vegetables, ornamental flowers and plants, forest seedlings and nursery plants are eligible to apply for the grant if they:

  • had sales exceeding $20,000 in 2019;
  • used natural gas or propane to heat their greenhouses or produce carbon dioxide; and
  • had a production area greater than 455 square metres.

Benefit: The grant covers up to 80% of the carbon tax that commercial greenhouse growers of eligible crops paid on the natural gas and propane they used for greenhouse heating and carbon-dioxide production in 2019. Cannabis is not an eligible crop at any phase of production.

For more information and eligibility criteria click here.

 

Temporary Emergency Funding Program

  • Funding for licensed providers at a rate of seven times their average monthly child care operating base funding.
  • Child care centres receiving this funding continue to be eligible for the Child Care Fee Reduction Initiative and the Early Childhood Educator (ECE) Wage Enhancement. The fee reduction helps parents by providing funding for licensed child care providers to reduce and stabilize their monthly child care fees. The wage enhancement has provided nearly 12,000 ECEs with a $1-per-hour wage enhancement, which increased to $2 per hour on April 1, 2020, to better recognize the work they do.
  • Families accessing care from these providers may be eligible for the Affordable Child Care Benefit.

Resources for Workers

Canada Emergency Response Benefit

Canadians who have lost income due to COVID-19 have access to $2000 a month for the next 4 months.

  • Replaces the Emergency Care Benefit and Emergency Support Benefit to streamline the process.
  • This Benefit covers:
    • Full-time, part-time, contractors, self-employed.
    • Those who are sick, quarantined, taking care of someone sick, or at home taking care of children.
    • Those still employed but not receiving income.
  • The application portal will open soon.
  • Applicants will receive the money within 10 days of applying.

Expanded as of April 15th:

Extend the CERB to seasonal workers who have exhausted their EI regular benefits and are unable to undertake their regular seasonal work because of COVID-19.

  • Essential workers who make less than $2500 a month.
  • People who make less than $1000 a month due to reduced work hours, (Allow people to earn up to $1,000 per month while collecting the CERB).
  • Extend the CERB to workers who have recently exhausted their EI regular benefits and are unable to find a job because of COVID-19.

Apply through your MY CRA Account: www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/e-services/cra-login-services.html or by telephone: 1-800-959-2019 or 1-800-959-2041

 

Employment Insurance

Important information for workers who have lost their jobs or are unable to work:

  • Workers should continue to apply for Employment Insurance benefits with Service Canada.
  • Individuals who have already applied for Employment Insurance will be automatically enrolled for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit.
  • Employment Insurance and Pension applications can be made online at: www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/corporate/portfolio/service-canada.html
  • If you became eligible for Employment Insurance prior to March 15th, your claim will be processed under the pre-existing Employment Insurance rules.
  • If you became eligible for Employment Insurance regular or sickness benefits March 15th onward, your claim will be automatically processed through the Canada Emergency Response Benefit.

Enhanced Canada Child Benefit

Families that are entitled to receive the CCB for April 2020 and still have an eligible child in their care in May 2020 will get up to $300 extra per child as part of their regular May 2020 payment.

The amount you receive will be calculated based on information from the 2018 tax return(s) of you and your spouse/common-law partner (if applicable). If you are a newcomer to Canada from January 1, 2019 to April 30, 2020, you and your spouse’s/common-law partner’s (if applicable) reported world income will be used in the calculation.

This is a one-time increase to the May CCB payment for the 2019-20 benefit year (July 2019 to June 2020).

 

GST Credit 

The Government will provide a one-time special payment on April 9, 2020. This payment will double the maximum annual GST/HST credit payment amounts for the 2019-20 benefit year.

You will get the extra payment amount automatically if you normally receive the GST/HST credit and have filed a 2018 tax return.

The average boost to income for those benefiting from this measure will be close to $400 for single individuals and close to $600 for couples. This measure will inject $5.5 billion into the economy.

 

Tax Filing Relief
In order to provide greater flexibility to Canadians who may be experiencing hardships during the COVID-19 outbreak, the Canada Revenue Agency will defer the filing due date for the 2019 tax returns of individuals, including certain trusts.

  • For individuals, the return filing due date will be deferred until June 1, 2020.  However, the Agency encourages individuals who expect to receive benefits under the GSTC or the Canada Child Benefit not to delay the filing of their return to ensure their entitlements for the 2020-21 benefit year are properly determined.

Provincial Support for Workers 

*Aid was announced March 23rd, 2020. Details for how to access services will be provided once they become available*  

 

  • BC Emergency Benefit for Workers
    • Benefit: The BCEBW is a one-time, tax-free $1,000 payment for British Columbians whose ability to work has been affected as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
    • Eligibility: people must:
      • have been a resident of British Columbia on March 15, 2020;
      • meet the eligibility requirements for the CERB;
      • have been approved for the CERB, even if they have not received a benefit yet;
      • be at least 15 years old on the date of application;
      • have filed, or agree to file, a 2019 B.C. income tax return; and
      • not be receiving provincial income assistance or disability assistance.
      • Most people who are eligible for the new federal Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) are also eligible for the BCEBW, including those who have run out of employment insurance (EI) benefits and subsequently qualify for the CERB.

    Starting May 1, applications can be made online, at any time, and a link to the application portal will be available at: www.gov.bc.ca/workerbenefit

Boosting the Climate Action Tax Credit
Eligible families of four will receive up to $564 and eligible individuals will receive up to $218 in an enhanced payment. This will help complement federal income supports for those struggling with job loss reduced income or increased costs.

 

Support for Renters and Homeowners
The provincial government, working with banks and credit unions, will ensure mortgage deferral options are available as well as enhanced support for rentals via Shelter Aid For Elderly Renters (SAFER) and Rental Assistance Program (RAP).

 

Support for Renters and Landlords
APPLY NOW – To support people and prevent the spread of COVID-19, the Province is introducing a new temporary rental supplement, halting evictions and freezing rents, among other actions.
The new rental supplement will help households by offering up to $500 a month towards their rent, building on federal and provincial financial supports already announced for British Columbians facing financial hardship. For more click here

BC landlord tenancy measuresSummary of the relief measures 

 

Additional Provincial Measures 

  • Deferral of student loans for 6 months
  • ICBC & BC Hydro will provide deferral options and crisis assistance funding available for impacted individuals
  • Students: Students attending British Columbia’s 25 public post-secondary institutions, who are experiencing emergency financial pressures, will benefit from a one-time investment of $3.5 million in emergency financial assistance. Contact your school’s financial aid office for more info.
  • Income assistance or disability assistance:
    • the Province will temporarily exempt federal employment insurance benefits, including the new $2,000 Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB).
    • Payments will be fully exempted for the next three months so people receiving income assistance and disability assistance in B.C. will benefit from these new emergency federal support programs, without any reductions to their monthly assistance payments.
    • On income assistance or disability assistance and not eligible for the emergency federal support programs, including the CERB, the Province will provide an automatic $300-monthly COVID-19 crisis supplement for the next three months.

 

  • New virtual mental health supports for COVID-19 on the way

These include:

    • providing more access to online programs for mental health by expanding the BounceBack program. BounceBack provides online coaching and the Living Life to the Full program, which helps people deal with life challenges and learn self-management skills (CMHA-BC);
    • expanding access to no- and low-cost community counselling programs, including those that serve immigrant and refugee populations, and enabling them to be delivered virtually;
    • increasing access to online peer support and system navigation (CMHA-BC);
    • providing virtual supports for youth aged 12 to 24 by making Foundry services available around the province through voice, video and chat (FoundryBC);
    • providing more online tools and resources to help people assess and manage their own mental health;
    • supporting front-line health-care workers through a new online hub and providing virtual peer support (CMHA-BC);
    • and a new online psychological support service for health-care workers (BC Psychological Association).

Resources for Individuals


Extra time to file income tax returns

For individuals (other than trusts), the return filing due date will be deferred until June 1, 2020.
The Canada Revenue Agency will also allow any new income tax balances due, or installments, to be deferred until after August 31, 2020 without incurring interest or penalties.

Increase to the Canada Child Benefit
The government of Canada is providing an extra $300 per child through the Canada Child Benefit (CCB) for 2019-20. This benefit will be delivered as part of the scheduled CCB payment in May.
Those who already receive the Canada Child Benefit do not need to re-apply.

Special Goods and Services Tax credit payment
The government of Canada is providing a one-time special payment by early May through the Goods and Services Tax credit for low- and modest-income families. The average additional benefit will be close to $400 for single individuals and close to $600 for couples.
There is no need to apply for this payment. If you are eligible, you will get it automatically.

 

Reduced minimum withdrawals for Registered Retirement Income Funds
The Government of Canada is reducing the required minimum withdrawals from
Registered Retirement Income Funds (RRIFs) by 25% for 2020.

 

Canada Emergency Student Benefit
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced $9 billion in financial aid for post-secondary students.

  • Amount: $1,250 per month from May to August. If you take care of someone else or have a disability that amount could go up to $1,750 per month.
  • Eligibility: If you’re a post-secondary student right now, if you’re going to college in September or if you graduated in December 2019, it’s there for you. Even if you have a job, but you’re only making up to $1,000 a month.
  • When: the benefit will start on May 1st, and your payments will be delivered.through the CRA portal.

Prime Minister Trudeau said the benefit will require additional legislation and talks are now underway about how quickly a bill to implement this new program can be brought forward.

Additional measures for students:

  • Creating an additional 76,000 jobs for young people in sectors that need an extra hand right now, or that are on the frontlines of this pandemic;
  • Investing more than $291 million to extend scholarships, fellowships, and grants for three or four months;
  • Launching a new Canada Student Service Grant of between $1,000 and $5,000 for students volunteering in the COVID-19 fight;
  • Providing more than $75 million to specifically increase support for First Nations, Inuit, and Metis Nation students; and
  • Doubling the student grants that the government gives out for the 2020-21 school year.

 


Canadian Business Resilience Network (CBRN)

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce has established the Canadian Business Resilience Network (CBRN) in partnership with the Government of Canada to help the business community prepare, persevere and, ultimately, prosper in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.The CBRN is a coordinated, business-led, inclusive campaign that will focus on providing businesses the tools they need to mitigate the impact of the pandemic on them, our economy and communities across the country. Its goal is also to help businesses emerge from this crisis and drive Canada’s economic recovery.The CBRN will:

    • Give tools and supports to businesses in their continuity efforts – from development to implementation.
    • Provide a consistent and reliable flow of accurate and up-to-date information.
    • Work closely with federal government and within the business community to ensure the right supports are in place, and to be a conduit for information from the government to the private sector (and vice versa).
    • Aim to instill confidence in Canadian business and the economy.

For more information visit cbrn.ca


General Information

 


Current Situation

World Updates: World Health Organization

Fraser Health

BC Centre for Disease control

Government of BC Updates: Facebook Updates

DOWNLOAD THE PREPAREDNESS CHECKLIST

DOWNLOAD THE #SUPPORTLOCAL SOCIAL MEDIA TOOLKIT

 


Chamber Efforts

We are taking proactive measures to protect the health of our team, our members, and our community. To help prevent the risk of the Coronavirus, we are suspending all meetings for 30 days, effective March 13. Our office remains open but caution to only visit if necessary. We are still providing certificates of origin. Our staff all have the opportunity to work at home, however, we remain fully operational and are working strenuously to support our business community. Our goal is to ensure that our members maintain business continuity through these uncertain times. Please call or email us at 604.464.2716 or to get in touch.

 


 

For additional questions, please call or email us at 604-464-2716.