COVID-19 | Resources – Government Programs

UPDATE MILESTONES IN RED


Below is a list from our friends at the Waterfront BIA has put together a list of active and announced government programs and resources to support businesses and their workers during the COVID-19 pandemic response. The KMBIA is working to collect more information to provide on our website and through newsletter updates. More is available on the Waterfront BIA website currently and will be up on the Kensington BIA website before the end of the week.We encourage members to let us know if they come across additional resources that could be helpful to our business community during this difficult time.


Primary Government Sources

Note:

Many of these programs are awaiting approvals at different levels of government. We will be updating you as best as we can accordingly.


UPDATED 01/04/2020


UPDATED 01/04/2020
The Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy – Temporary 75% wage subsidy

A subsidy equal to 75% of employee remuneration paid for businesses with any number of employees that can demonstrate that their business revenues have decreased by at least 30% due to COVID-19. These subsidies will be retroactive to Saturday, March 15, 2020, and will cover up to 75% on the first $58,700 that employees earn, – $847 per week.

Status: Coming Soon
Provided by: Canada Revenue Agency
Beneficial to: Businesses
Announcement:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZA_0LSt0Uiw
 

Key details of the federal government’s 75% wage subsidy:

  • All businesses that have dropped at least 30% in revenue will be eligible
  • The number of employees does not affect eligibility
  • The subsidy will include non-profit organizations and charities
  • The 75% subsidy will cover up to the first $58,000 per employee salary


A reminder on how to apply for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)is to prepare by creating a CRA My Account for individuals. The fastest way to receive CERB is to sign up for direct deposit so you don’t have to wait for a cheque. 

The government hopes to have the application portal ready this week.
He asked employers that have laid off employees to rehire them with the knowledge that the government has their back. He also issued a direct warning for anyone thinking they can game the system that there will be proper accounting measures in place to ensure businesses get the right amount of money and pass it to their workers—and harsh penalties for any business that tries to abuse the system.


UPDATED 27/03/2020


Canada Emergency Business Account Loans of $40,000 guaranteed by the government for qualifying businesses that are interest-free for the first year, and are offered through major Canadian banks. For businesses that meet certain conditions, the first $10,000 of the loan will be forgivable.

More information in the coming days.

Status: Coming Soon
Provided by: Provided by: Federal Government via the Bank of Canada, Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions, Major Canadian Banks.
Beneficial to: Businesses
Announcement: Video Link


UPDATED 27/03/2020


Deferral of HST and GST Payments – The Federal Government will be deferring HST and GST payments until June 2020.

More information in the coming days.

Status: Available immediately
Provided by: Provided by: Federal Government via the Canadian Revenue Agency
Beneficial to: Businesses
Announcement: Video Link


UPDATED 2020/03/26


WARD 11 RESOURCES

This document compiles non-profit, community, and government resources that can help Ward 11 residents. It contains information for those who require assistance, as well as for those who would like to help others in need. You can help us to keep this document up-to-date by emailing me and letting my office know about additional supports or opportunities to contribute that you are aware of. Please share this document widely, and be in touch if you have any questions. – Link


NEW! 2020/03/26


WSIB PREMIUM PAYMENTS DEFERRAL

The measure, which will run through the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB), will see premium payments deferred for six months for all businesses in the province.

All employers covered by the WSIB’s workplace insurance are automatically eligible for the provisions of the relief package and can defer premium reporting and payments until August 31, 2020.They will not be required to opt in to receive this benefit.

Status: Available
Provided by: Federal Government
Beneficial to: Business owners, employees


NEW! FOR ARTISTS


TOArtist COVID Response Fund

As self-employed professionals outside the reach of many government income support programs, artists have specific needs.

To assist Toronto artists in dealing with the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis, Toronto Arts Foundation and
Toronto Arts Council are introducing the TOArtist COVID Response Fund. The Fund will allocate up to $1000 to self-employed, individual artists resident in Toronto whose creative work and income have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic

Status: Available
Provided by: Federal Government
Beneficial to: Vulnerable artists in the Toronto arts and culture sector, specifically, artists who are self-employed and are NOT eligible for Employee Insurance (EI).
Link


NEW! 2020/03/25


Province of Ontario Business Information

The province has launched a
toll-free line to provide support to Ontario businesses who have questions about the province’s recent emergency order to close at-risk workplaces following recommendations by Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health.

Phone Line: 1-888-444-3659
Status:
Available
Provided by: Provincial Government
Beneficial to: Business Owners


NEW! 2020/03/2


Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)

The benefit will provide $2000 / month for the next four months for workers who are not getting a paycheque because of COVID-19. This includes:

  • Persons who have lost their job due to COVID-19
  • Persons who are contract workers who can no longer work due to COVID-19
  • Persons who are Self employed who can no longer work due to COVID-19
  • Persons who are sick or in quarantine and not receiving a salary due to COVID-19
  • Persons who are looking after someone who is ill due to COVID-19
  • Persons who are looking after children or parents due to COVID-19
  • Persons who are employed but are not receiving a an income due to COVID-19

Note 1. Early indications suggest that CERB will be an extremely flexible program to assist small businesses in maintaining their staffing – allowing employees to continue working while receiving the CERB benefit, with the opportunity for employers to top-up their workers’ compensation beyond the $2,000 that is provided to them by CERB. We will provide updates on this program as they become available. **

Note 2: Application portals are expected to be launched on April 6, 2020 through CRA MyAccount secure portal;
My Service Canada Account, or by calling a toll free number equipped with an automated application process. Applicants will receive funding within 10-days of applying. The applications will be CERB payments will be issued every four weeks and will be available from March 15, 2020 to Oct. 3, 2020. **

Note 3: Employees who have been laid off and have applied for EI will automatically be move over to receive the CERB benefit first.**

Primary Government Source: LinkStatus: Early April ( expected April 6th)
Provided by: Federal Government
Beneficial to: Workers, Business Owners

Q&A About CERB

Q1Is this benefit different from the ones announced last week?
The Canada Emergency Response Benefit replaces the Emergency Care Benefit and the Emergency Support Benefit announced on March 18, 2020. This benefit will be a simpler and more accessible combination.

Q2 – Where can I apply for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit?
The portal for accessing this new benefit will be available in early April. Until then, EI eligible Canadians who have lost their job can continue to apply for EI – here.

Q3 – I’ve been paying into EI. How do I know whether to apply for EI benefits or the Canada Emergency Response Benefit?
The intent is to streamline EI Sickness, EI Regular, and the Emergency Care and Emergency Support Benefits into the Canada Emergency Response Benefit. Once launched, a single portal will assist users through the application to ensure they access their benefit.

Q4 – Will someone be able to work while receiving the Canada Emergency Response Benefit?
A worker is not permitted to work or receive employment income including paid leave, self-employment income or EI benefits during a minimum 14 consecutive day period within the 4-week period of their application.


NEW! 2020/03/25


Deferral of Business Education Tax Payments (commercial property tax)

The province announced that it will defer the quarterly municipal remittance of the business education property tax to school boards by 90 days. This will allow municipalities to also provide property tax deferrals to businesses while ensuring school boards continue to receive their funding. – Link

Status: Announced
Provided by: Provincial
Beneficial to: Businesses


NEW! 2020/03/25


Provincial Tax Relief

The province announced that it will provide five months of interest and penalty relief for businesses to file and make payments for the majority of provincially administered taxes. – Link

Status: Announced
Provided by: Provincial
Beneficial to: Businesses


NEW! 2020/03/26


Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario allows for licensees to now sell liquor for takeout or delivery along with food.

The AGCO will now allow bar and restaurant licensees to temporarily sell beer, wine and spirits as part of a food order for takeout or delivery. These changes are effective immediately, and last until December 31, 2020. – Link

Status: Available
Provided by: Provincial Government via the AGCO
Beneficial to: Businesses


Canada Emergency Response Benefit to help workers and businesses. – Link

Status: Early April
Provided by: Federal Government
Beneficial to: Workers, Business Owners


Small Business Tax Deferral: The CRA will allow all businesses to defer, until after August 31, 2020, the payment of any income tax amounts that become owing on or after March 19, 2020 and before September 2020. – Link

Status: Available
Provided by: Federal Government via Canada Revenue Agency
Beneficial to: Businesses


Grace Period for Municipal Property Taxes: The City of Toronto will provide a grace period for property tax payments and payment penalties for businesses for 60 days, starting March 16, 2020:

  • For businesses on the three-instalment payment plan: the April 1 tax due date is extended to June 1, 2020;
  • For property owners on the 11-instalment pre-authorized payment plan, the 2020 due dates will be extended by 60 days;
  • Late payment penalties are waived for 60 days (as of March 16, 2020).

Status: Available
Provided by: Municipal Government
Beneficial to: Businesses, Property Owners


Grace Period for Municipal Utility Bills: (Water/Sewer Service and Solid Waste Management charges where applicable) The City is extending the due date for all utility bills issued to businesses by an additional 60 days in addition to the current 21 days to give utility customers an additional 60 days to make payment to take advantage of the early payment discount. – Link

Status: Available
Provided by: Municipal Government
Beneficial to: Businesses, Property Owners


24-hour Retail Delivery Noise Exemption: All retail businesses are noise exempt from the City’s Noise Bylaw to facilitate after-hour deliveries. Retailers can receive deliveries 24 / 7 to ensure goods remain in stock. – Link

Status: Available
Provided by: Provincial, Municipal Government
Beneficial to: Businesses


Employer obligations for workers infected with COVID-19 Currently under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, if an employer is advised that a worker is ill resulting from an exposure at work (including COVID-19), or a claim has been filed with the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) with respect to COVID-19 exposure at work, the employer must notify the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development in writing within four days. The employer must also notify the workplace joint health and safety committee or a health and safety representative and trade union, if any.

Status: Available
Provided by: Provincial, Municipal Government
Beneficial to: Businesses


The Employment Standards Amendment Act 2020 Provides job-protected leave for employees who are in isolation or quarantine due to COVID-19, or those who need to be away from work to care for children because of school or daycare closures or to care for other relatives. Retroactive to January 25, 2020, and employees cannot be required to show sick notes.

Status: Available Retroactive to January 25, 2020
Provided by: Provincial Government
Beneficial to: Workers


Temporary Business Wage SubsidyA subsidy equal to 10% of employee remuneration paid for a period of 3 months up to a maximum subsidy of $1375 per employee and $25,000 per employer between March 18, 2020 and June 20, 2020. The subsidy is provided to businesses through employers reducing their payroll remittances of federal and provincial income tax by 10% of qualified employees’ salaries, not including CPP or EI. The Temporary Business Wage Subsidy can be utilized by corporations that are also eligible to receive the small business deduction
when filing their corporate taxes, as well as non-profit organizations and charities.

Note 1: Businesses that qualify for the small business deduction are
Canadian-controlled private corporations with taxable capital employed in Canada of less than $15 million.

Note 2: Businesses must manually calculate the subsidy based on the CRA guidelines – companies must keep records of all information used to determine the subsidy, including total remuneration and taxes that were deducted during that time, and the number of employees who were paid. – Link

Status: Available immediately, supporting legislation to follow.
Provided by: Federal Government via Canada Revenue Agency
Beneficial to: Businesses


Employment Insurance Work Sharing Program A program that helps employers and employees avoid layoffs when there is a temporary decrease in business activity beyond the control of the employer (such as COVID-19) provides a 10% percent wage subsidy for the next 90 days, up to a maximum of $1,375 per employee and $25,000 per employer.

https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/services/work-sharing/guide-applicant.html#hb3

Status: Available
Provided by: Federal Government via Employment Insurance
Beneficial to: Businesses, Workers


Employment Insurance (EI) – Regular Benefits Employees who lose their job through no fault of their own, and have been without work and pay for at least seven consecutive days, and have worked for the required number of insurable hours in the last 52 weeks since their last claim.

Note: individuals should apply for EI as soon as soon as they lose their job, even if their Record of Employment (ROE) is not yet available. – Link

Status: Available immediately, Existing Program
Provided by: Federal Government via Employment Insurance
Beneficial to: Workers


Enhanced Canada Child Benefit An increase to the Canada Child Benefit (CCB) for the 2019-20 benefit year, by $300 per child.

NOTE: persons who expect to receive the Enhanced Canada Child Benefit are encouraged not to delay the filing of their taxes due to the personal tax fileing deferral in order to ensure that their entitlements are properly determined for 2020-21. – Link

Status: Early May
Provided by: Federal Government via the Canada Revenue Agency
Beneficial to: Workers


Enhanced GST Credit for low & modest income familiesA one-time special payment to families with low to modest incomes in early May through the Goods and Services Tax Credit (GSTC) providing families with close to $400 for single individuals, and close to $600 for couples.

NOTE: persons who expect to receive the Enhanced GST Credit are encouraged not to delay the filing of their taxes due to the personal tax fileing deferral in order to ensure that their entitlements are properly determined for 2020-21. – Link

Status: Available
Provided by: Federal Government via the Canada Revenue Agency
Beneficial to: Workers


Ontario Providing Electricity Relief to Small Businesses The provincial government has suspended time-of-use hydro rates for a period of 45-days, holding electricity prices to the off-peak rate of 10.1 cents-per-kilowatt-hour. This discount will be applied automatically for all customers. – Link

Status: Available
Provided by: Provincial Government via the Ontario Engergy Board
Beneficial to: Businesses, Workers, Property Owners