COVID-19 Small Business Resource Centre

We've gathered sources from around the web to help your business remain resilient.

We're committed to helping Canadian small businesses stay safe, even in unpredictable times. Along with our resource page outlining business relief programs in Canada and our Small Business Health Index, here are other resources you may find valuable. Click on the links and tabs below to access these resources. We will continue to update this page as more insights become available.

Business, government, and industry insights

Thinking Capital Resources

New Provincial Reopening Guidelines

- Criteria for moving to Phase 1
   - Alberta: Two weeks after 50 per cent of Albertans 12+ vaccinated with one dose and hospitalizations are below 800 and declining.
   - British Columbia: At least 60 per cent of the 18+ population vaccinated with one dose, along with stable case counts and COVID-19 hospitalizations.
   - Saskatchewan: The stages will be implemented via public health orders, and the timing will be dictated by evidence of transmission.
   - Manitoba: No current reopening plan.
   - Ontario: 60 per cent of adults vaccinated with one dose, plus improvements in key public health and health care indicators, including rates of COVID-19 positivity and hospitalization.
   - Quebec: Phased-in relaxation of restrictions is beginning now; changes pegged for June 25 would require 75 per cent of people 12+ vaccinated with first dose.

- Nova Scotia announced in a release on Friday that it will move into phase one of its four-phase reopening plan on June 2, which will see some restrictions ease and outdoor gathering limits increase.
- Prince Edward Island is open to a great extent already with many capacity restrictions. The province will begin a five-step plan on June 6 to fully reopen. Some public health and travel measures will remain in place until 80 per cent of eligible Island residents are fully immunized, herd protection is achieved and the threat posed by the virus decreases.
- Most of Newfoundland and Labrador is open under Alert Level 2, with the exception of the Northeast Coast and Central Region, which is at Level 4.
- New Brunswick will move to its fully open Green Phase once herd immunity is achieved with 75 per cent of the eligible population 12 years and older fully vaccinated, which it is hoping to achieve by Aug. 2.
- The Northwest Territories is expected to announce an updated version of its "Emerging Wisely" reopening plan in the next two to three weeks.
- Nunavut still has emergency restrictions in place for Iqaluit but has eased some of the rules for people elsewhere in the Qikiqtaaluk region

Launch of Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program coming February 1st
- The Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program, or HASCAP, will be open to businesses in all sectors on Feb. 1 if they can show a year-over-year revenue decline of 50 per cent or more for any three of the past eight months.
- Most loans will range in value from $25,000 to $1-million, and companies must also have applied for either the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy or the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy to be eligible.
- Loans will have a fixed interest rate of 4 per cent with flexible repayment terms of up to 10 years, and are available until June 30th, 2021.
- Businesses in hard hit sectors such as dining and live entertainment are less enticed, as they are not in the position to accumulate more debt.

Applications Now Open for Ontario's Small Business Support Grant
- The province is providing up to $20,000 for eligible businesses impacted by shutdowns across Ontario.
- Businesses must have fewer than 100 employees at the enterprise level and experienced a minimum of 20 per cent revenue decline in April 2020 compared to April 2019 to be considered eligible.
- Potential recipients can apply here.

Ottawa adding $20,000 top-up to small-business loan program
- The federal government is boosting the size of its interest-free loan program for small businesses by 50%.
- Half of the top-up will be forgivable if the loan is repaid by the end of 2022.

Senate passes new rent relief program (CERS), and extends wage subsidies (CEWS)
- The new CERS covers up to 65 percent of eligible expenses for businesses impacted by the pandemic, without requiring participation from landlords, until June 2021.
- CEWS has also been extended until June 2021.

CERB payments to be extended for 2 more months
- Beginning July 5, recipients must sign attestation acknowledging government wants them to work
- Financial supports will be extended for those who still can't work as provinces and territories gradually reopen their economies

Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility (LEEFF): Bridge financing applications now open to companies with annual revenues more than $300M
- The program is open to large commercial businesses in all sectors (except those in the financial sector) and certain not-for-profit businesses such as airports
- There is no upper cap on the loans, which will be based on the cash flow needs of companies for the next 12 months
- Companies that borrow money under this scheme will be required to give the government the option to take an ownership stake, or provide a cash equivalent, of 15 per cent of the principal amount
- To qualify, businesses must:
   - Be looking for financing of $60 million or more
   - Have significant operations or large numbers of employees in Canada
   - Must not be involved in any ongoing insolvency proceedings

Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA): Loan program would cover up to 75% of commercial rent costs for small businesses
- The rent relief plan will provide non-repayable loans to commercial property owners to cover 50% of rent payments for April, May and June.
- The loans will be forgiven if the commercial property owner agrees to cut rent by at least 75% for those months and promises not to evict the tenant.
- The small business tenant must cover the remaining portion of the rent, which would be up to 25%.
- Program will become available in mid-May; more details to be announced by the federal government.
- To qualify, small business tenants must:
   - Pay less than $50,000 a month in rent
   - Have experienced a 70% decline in revenue from pre-COVID-19 levels, OR have been forced to close down because of pandemic restrictions

Federal government announces Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy: 75% employee wage subsidy for small businesses
- Businesses experiencing a drop of at least 30% in revenue due to COVID-19 will qualify for the subsidy.
- The subsidy applies to the first $58,700 per employee, maxing out at $847 a week.
- This will replace the 10% wage subsidy announced last week.
- Wage subsidies will be backdated to March 15th, 2020.

Federal government announces Canada Emergency Business Account: Small business loans up to $40,000, with first year interest-free
- Under certain conditions, up to $10,000 of the loans could be non-repayable.
- The government will provide an additional $12.5 billion through Export Development Canada and the BDC to help small businesses.

Preparing your business for COVID - Our whitepaper provides a breakdown of how COVID-19 is impacting small businesses, along with 7 recommended steps you can take to brace your business for impact.

Small Business Health Index - Our index uses anonymous sales data from businesses across the country to show which industries and regions are being impacted the most by COVID-19. We offer insights and recommendations on how Canadians can support the small busienss community.

Business Resilience Survey - We want to learn more about what you are experiencing during these difficult times. Fill out this quick survey and offer any advice or tips to other business owners who may be feeling less confident today.

COVID 19 Employment Information Webinar - This webinar from Restaurants Canada provides provide guidance on government benefits, employer responsibility, and human rights concerns that employers should be aware of for employees. This webinar features Mike MacLellan from CC Partners.

Pandemic Preparedness for Business - This resource centre from the Canadian Chamber of Commerce offers a downloadable preparedness guide, a crisis communications plan, a business continuity & recovery plan, and other materials.

COVID-19: Managing cash flow during a period of crisis - This report from Deloitte Canada provides recommendations on how to manage your cash flow and minimize financial impacts to your business during this volatile period.

Keeping you and your business safe - This webpage from CFIB provides answers to the most common questions being asked by CFIB members about managing coronavirus situations in the workplace.

Facebook Business Resource Hub - This resource centre from Facebook offers actions guides, toolkits, and Facebook groups you can join to connect with other Canadian small business owners.

Tax Filing Updates from MNP - This PDF from MNP outlines updated tax filing deadlines, post assessment audits, and tax credits and benefits that have been announced by the federal government.

Temporary Wage Subsidy for Employers - This FAQ from the Canada Revenue Agency answers questions about their new Temporary Wage Subsidy program, including:
- Which businesses are eligible?
- How much is the subsidy?
- How do I calculate the subsidy?
- How will I receive the subsidy?
Note: If you do not pay salary, wages, bonuses, or other remuneration to an employee between March 18, 2020, and June 20, 2020, you cannot receive the subsidy, even if you are an eligible employer.

Webinar 1 - Managing your Employees

Canadian Health Index for Small Businesses

We're sharing data and insights on the industries and regions being impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Access anonymous sales activity from small business merchants across Canada, and find out how you can support Canada's small business community.

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Latest News on COVID-19 across Canada