What support is available for your business?
The Government of Canada has introduced many COVID-19 supports to help businesses weather the storm. To get a tailored list of the ones that fit your business situation or to discover other federal, provincial and territorial programs and services designed to help Canadian businesses grow, try the interactive business benefits finder. You can also sign up for the notification feature to receive emails when there are changes to your favourite programs, when application deadlines are approaching, or when a new program that meets your needs is introduced.
On April 29, 2021, the Ontario government announced the COVID-19 Worker Income Protection Benefit (WIPB) which includes:
- up to three days of paid infectious disease emergency leave under the Employment Standards Act (ESA) for employees who have to take time off work because of certain reasons related to COVID-19, and
- an employer reimbursement program.
This reimbursement program is launching on May 27, 2021 and will be accessible at https://ontario-covid19-worker-income-protection-benefit.ca/en. The WIPB is being administered by the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB). In order to apply for a reimbursement of leave paid to your employees, you must do so within 120 days of paying your employee.
For more general information on eligibility criteria, how to apply and program rules, please visit Ontario.ca/COVIDworkerbenefit .
Funding announced for Highly Affected Sectors
HASCAP is available to businesses across the country, in all sectors, that have been hit hard by the pandemic. This includes restaurants, businesses in the tourism and hospitality sectors, and those that rely on in-person service.
Download the HASCAP one-pager reference sheet here.
Through HASCAP, the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) will work with participating Canadian financial institutions to offer government-guaranteed, low-interest loans of up to $1 million. These loans are for small and medium-sized businesses that have seen their revenues decrease by 50% or more as a result of COVID-19.
To be eligible for HASCAP, businesses need to show a year-over-year revenue decline of at least 50% in three months, within the eight months prior to their application. They must also be able to show their financial institutions that they have previously applied for either the CEWS or the CERS.
Eligible businesses can start applying as early as February 1. Interested businesses should contact their primary lender to get more information and to apply. More information is available at www.bdc.ca/hascap.
Rebates for PPE, property taxes and energy bills
Starting November 16, businesses that were required to shut down or significantly restrict services due to provincial public health measures (in areas under Red-Control, Grey-Lockdown, Provincewide Shutdown or previously under “modified Stage 2” restrictions) can apply for rebates to help with fixed costs, such as PPE, property tax and energy bills. Find out if your business is eligible.
Canada Small Business Financing Program
The Canada Small Business Financing Program makes it easier for small businesses to get loans from financial institutions by sharing the risk with lenders. Up to a maximum of $1,000,000 for any one borrower, of which no more than $350,000 can be used for purchasing leasehold improvements or improving leased property and purchasing or improving new or used equipment. Financial institutions deliver the program and are solely responsible for approving the loan. For more information download their PDF pamphlet or click here to find a lender near you.