Starting with the Big Stuff: Federal Plans
More Credit for Small Businesses. Canada’s Business Credit Availability Program, offered through the EDC, BDC and private sector lenders, will provide loans, payment postponements, rate reductions and more to small and medium-sized businesses. How to apply? Businesses should contact their financial institutions to be assessed. Banks will contact the EDC and BDC as needed.
Extended Work-Share Benefits. The Work-Share Program has been extended from 38 to 76 weeks. It allows employees to split a reduced number of work hours while supplementing their income with EI benefits. Businesses affected by COVID-19 and all those in the forestry, steel and alu minum sector can apply here.
Immediate Wage Subsidies. Trudeau has announced a temporary 75% wage subsidy for small businesses , non-profit organizations and charities. Employers can implement this benefit right away by reducing income tax withheld on employee wages to a maximum of $1,375 per employee. More information on who is eligible and how to apply for the subsidy is available here.
Deferred Income Tax Payments. Canadian businesses can defer income tax payments that become owing or due after March 18th 2020 to September 1st, 2020. In addition, individuals can defer filing their income taxes until June 1st, 2020 and can defer their payments to September 1st, 2020.
Temporary Audit Suspension. For most taxpayers, the CRA will temporarily suspend audit interaction. In addition, the CRA will not contact any small or medium-sized businesses on any post assessment GST/HST or Income Tax audits for the next four weeks.
Collections activities on new debts will be suspended until further notice. Plus, taxpayers who are prevented from making a payment or filing on time can submit a request to have interest and/or penalties waived.
Farm Credit. After Trudeau’s announcement of $5 billion in increased lending capacity for farmers and food producers, farmers can apply through Farm Credit Canada to access this support. In addition, eligible farmers with Advance Payment Program loans due on or before April 30 will have an added 6 months to pay them back.
Help for Canadians Abroad. Canadians abroad impacted by the virus can apply for a $5,000 emergency loan to get them home safe. Eligible applicants can contact Global Affairs Canada at CAN.finances.CV19@international.gc.ca
Cut the line! Canada has waived the EI waiting period and has removed the medical certificate requirement for claims.
Income Support for Employees. The government has combined the Emergency Care Benefit and the Emergency Support Benefit to create the Canada Emergency Response Benefit. This will provide $2,000 a month, for four months, to those who have lost their job, are off sick from work, or are home taking care of their children due to COVID-19. Assistance will arrive about 10 days after applying. Applications open early April.
Now, for the Banks
When it comes to TD credit cards , they have a lot of cancelled plans. They’ve decided not to proceed with their plans to start charging compound interest, they will no longer introduce over-limit fees on three of their credit cards, and they won’t increase the interest rate on accounts who miss their minimum payment twice in one year.
National Bank of Canada
For Business clients, the bank’s account managers will assess each unique situation.
Support from the Provinces?
Call for support. Ontario has launched the Ontario Together portal, a website calling for help from businesses to combat COVID-19. For example, they’re calling on manufacturers to help with mask, ventilator, swab and eye protection supplies.
3-month moratorium on the repayment (principal and interest) of loans already granted through the Fonds local d’investissement (FLI).
PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND
Emergency Working Capital Financing. This new loan program will assist qualifying companies with a loan of up to $100,000 with a fixed interest rate of 4%. Applications should be submitted to Finance PEI at email@example.com.
Quick payment for small businesses. Small businesses that do business with the government will be paid within five days instead of the usual 30 days.
Deferred Tax Payments. B.C. is extending both filing and payment deadlines for the following taxes until September 30, 2020: employer health tax, provincial sales tax (including municipal and regional district tax), carbon tax, motor fuel tax, tobacco tax.
Attention all suppliers! Canada is calling on suppliers to help provide needed materials and services, such as disposable N95 masks, vinyl gloves, IT services and nursing services. Here is a full list.
Make sure you’re on the right track. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has a comprehensive business planning checklist to help you protect yourself and your employees.
- Access to Capital & Cash Management – Monday March 30, 2-3pm EST
- Economy, Business Planning and Tax Implications – Wednesday April 1, 2-3pm EST
- Human Resource Issues – to be posted week of March 30
- Resilience through these uncertain times – to be posted in early April