Canadian federal and provincial governments offer relief to Business in response to COVID-19

Last updated on May 25, 2020

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to disrupt the economy and the day-to-day lives of Canadians, governments of all levels and their agencies, announce programs and take other actions in response. In addition to measures such as emergency measures, tax relief and financial support for individuals unable to work as a result of the pandemic, governments at the federal and provincial levels have announced various types of support for businesses.

Below we summarize some relevant support to businesses that the federal and provincial governments have announced as of May 24, 2020. This list is not exhaustive, and you should directly consult the government or agency sponsoring the initiative for specific information, or contact us for assistance.

Additional Resources:

For information regarding additional measures taken by government, please see the following additional resources:

For further information, please see our page regarding navigating the legal and business impacts of coronavirus.

 

Highlighted Government Support Initiatives

Federal and provincial governments have pledged various financial supports to businesses to ease the burden of the COVID-19 pandemic. Highlighted forms of relief announced to date include the following:

Federal

On March 25, 2020, Parliament passed into law a $107 billion emergency stimulus package (An Act respecting certain measures in response to COVID-19). Originally announced March 18, 2020, this packages includes $52 billion in direct support for individuals and companies, and $55 billion in temporary tax deferrals for households and businesses. Measures announced to date to be provided to businesses include the following:

  • The Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) and Export Development Canada (EDC) will provide additional support to small and medium-sized businesses through the Business Credit Availability Program. BDC has also published template business continuity plans that businesses can use to minimize risk, available here.

How to access: Companies should contact their financial institution, which will contact BDC/EDC where appropriate.

  • Employers who suffer a drop in gross revenues of at least 30% in March, April or May, may qualify for a 75% wage subsidy for employees (the “CEWS”). Parties who do not qualify for the 75% subsidy may still qualify for the previously announced 10% subsidy. On April 8, Prime Minister Trudeau and Finance Minister Morneau each gave speeches explaining ongoing changes to the wage subsidy, making it easier for businesses such a start-ups and non-profits to access relief. On April 8, Prime Minister Trudeau and Finance Minister Morneau each issued statements clarifying revisions to the CEWS. On April 11, the government announced the passing of the COVID-19 Emergency Response Act, No. 2, which provides additional flexibilities in the CEWS to provide further support for business and individuals. Full details on the revisions to the CEWS can be found here

How to access: The application is now live, and can be found here. General information on the 75% subsidy, including how to apply, can be found here. Information on how to receive the 10% subsidy is available here. The transcript of Prime Minister Trudeau’s April 8 speech can be found here, and the Transcript of Minister Morneau’s speech here. Employers can determine the amount they can expect to claim through the government’s Wage Subsidy Calculator. For more information on the CEWS please see our post titled Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy - A Detailed Review.

On May 8 Prime Minister Trudeau announced that the CEWS program will be extended past the original deadline of June 6.

  • Certain interest-free loans are being made available to small businesses and not-for-profits, through the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA). The CEBA was expanded on April 16, 2020, and again on May 19, 2020. The May 19 announcement expands CEBA access to include many owner-operated small businesses, i.e., sole proprietorships, businesses relying on contractors, and family-owned corporations that pay employees through dividends rather than payroll.  

How to access: Small businesses and not-for-profits should contact their financial institutions to apply for these loans. To qualify under the expanded May 19 eligibility, businesses with a payroll under $20,000 would need a business operating account at a participating financial institution, a CRA business number and to have filed a 2018 or 2019 tax return, and eligible non-deferrable expenses between $40,000 and $1.5 million (i.e., rent, property taxes, utilities or insurance).

How to access: Eligible financial institutions will conduct the underwriting and manage the interface with their customers.

  • The government has instituted industry-specific measures relating to agribusiness, fisheries, aquaculture, broadcast networks, the airline sector, the oil and gas sector, the cultural sector, entrepreneurial and industrial research, and rural employers.

How to access: Agribusinesses are encouraged to contact their Farm Credit Corporation (“FCC”) relationship manager or FCC customer service at 1-888-332-3301.

  • The government has announced it intends to introduce the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) program for small businesses. The program will provide loans, including forgivable loans, to commercial property owners who in turn lower or forego the rent of small businesses for April, May and June. 
  • Funding for entrepreneurs, start-ups, and small businesses has been announced, including: funding for the Community Futures Network, the Industrial Research Assistance Program, and the Futurepreneur Canada program.
  • The government has announced tariff relief for importers of certain medical goods. Tariffs are being waived for imported personal protective equipment (PPE). This will reduce the cost of imported PPE for Canadian businesses, which face tariffs of up to 18% in some instances.  
  • Minister Bains has announced a new Industry Strategy Council to serve as an advisory board to assess the scope and depth of the pandemic’s impact on industries and inform the government’s understanding of specific sectoral pressures. This strategy will allow industry to inform relief.
  • $500 million in relief has been designated for culture, heritage and sports organizations. This relief is intended to supplement previously announced business relief, as such organizations face barriers to accessing such relief due to factors such as the cyclical nature of revenues, high rates of self-employment and contract work, and barriers to accessing credit.

    How to access: Funds will be distributed through Canadian Heritage, Canada Council for the Arts, the Digital Citizen Initiative, the Canada Media Fund and Telefilm Canada. More information can be found here.

  • Additional measures have been announced to provide support for Agri-Business and to protect workers and supply chains. $2.25 million will be invested into processing plants through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, which will be coordinated with provincial governments. An additional $5 million will be given as support to farmers, agri-businesses and food processors to train employees through the Agriculture Training Support Program. This is alongside an additional $469.4 million in new investment into the  Canadian Seafood Stabilization Fund. The new funding will be allocated to launch the Fish Harvester Grant program, and to propose measures or changes to EI to allow self-employed fish harvesters and share persons to access EI benefits on the basis of insurable earnings from previous seasons.

            Further details on this relief were announced on May 22, 2020

           How to access: Applications for both programs are accepted through the existing Canadian Agricultural Partnership website. Additional details on the Fish Harvester Grant Program will be made available soon. 

  • Minister Ng announced a hotline to provide advice to small businesses in need of financial planning.

        How to access: Small businesses owners can call 1-866-989-1080 seven days a week, from 8 am to 8 pm.

Tax measures taken by the federal government are described in our post on Important Canadian tax updates – Filings and disputes.

Ontario

Economic support measures announced to date in Ontario include the following: 

  • On March 25, 2020, in place of a full budget, the Ontario government announced a one-year economic and fiscal updated entitled “Ontario’s Action Plan: Responding to COVID‑19”, including $7 billion in funding for the healthcare system and to directly support people and business, as well as $10 billion in tax and other deferrals. Funding will include, among other things, $3.7 billion is support of people and jobs. Further information is available at the link above.
  • In addition, on March 26, 2020, the government announced $1.9 billion in relief for employers through the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB). For information regarding issues facing employers as a result of COVID-19, please see our COVID-19 Quick-Reference Considerations for Employers.

          How to access: For information on accessing the relief above, please see here. Businesses can also call                   the Stop the Spread Business Information Line at +1-888-444-3659.

  • Ontario has announced it is launching the Ontario Jobs and Action Committee, and the Ontario Action Plan: Responding to COVID-19. The Committee will focus on getting businesses up and running and people back to work when the pandemic is over. The Action Plan is a $17 billion package with funding to help families and sectors throughout the province.                                                                                                                                                                                                   How to access: Information on both the Ontario Jobs and Action Committee, and the Ontario Action Plan: Responding to COVID-19, can be found here.
  • The province, in partnership with the federal government, has announced $1 million in funding to connect workers with in-demand jobs in the agri-food sector to keep supply chains strong throughout the Pandemic. This program is called the Canadian Agricultural Partnership.
  • The government, in partnership with the federal government, has announced additional funding to grow agri-food e-business.

      How to access: More information about the e-business support can be found here, or by calling 1-877-424-           1300.

  • Ontario has passed an emergency order to defer a portion of the Global Adjustment (GA) charges for industrial and commercial electricity consumers that do not participate in the Regulated Price Plan for the period starting from April 2020. GA rates will be held in line with pre-COVID levels. The order will be in place until at least May 31, 2020. 
  • The province has extended electricity rate relief for residential, farm and small business customers. Customers who pay time-of use electricity rates will continue to be billed at the lowest, “off-peak” price, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.
  • The government has launched the Agri-food Workplace Protection Program through the Canadian Agricultural partnership. The investment of $2.25 million will be used to help farmers enhance health and safety measures to prevent the spread of the virus. 

           How to access: Information on this program, and other available measures, can be found here.

  • On May 22 the government announced it will permit Ontario corporations to conduct virtual meetings and to defer certain annual meetings in specified circumstances. It is also allowing the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services to accept copies of documents, electronic signatures on documents, and electronic filing of documents as part of the COVID-19 Response and Reforms to Modernize Ontario Act, 2020.

Tax measures taken by the Ontario government are described in our post on Important provincial tax updates – Filing and Disputes.

Québec

Financial support announced for businesses in Québec includes the following:

  • On March 20, 2020 the government announced Concerted temporary action program for business (PACTE) offering financial support to businesses experiencing difficulties obtaining supplies of raw materials or products (goods or services) or whose ability to deliver products is halted or reduced.

How to access: Businesses that are already Investissement Québec clients should contact their account manager or project manager. Non-clients should contact their financial institution or Investissement Québec customer service at +1 844-474-6367, or via their online directory

How to access: Eligibility criterion and details for filing an application under PACME can be found here.  

  • Emergency support in the form of loans for small and medium sized businesses was announced.

How to access: Eligibility criterion and contact information to facilitate access to this funding can be found here.

How to access: Companies can contact the tourism development advisor for their region here. Eligibility criteria for the financial support program can be found here.

  • Corporation de I’industrie touristique du Québec (CITQ) has suspended billing of annual fees for holders of classification certificates.

How to access: More information on the relief available can be found here.

  • The Registraire des entreprises has extended the deadline for annual registration fees for the current year. The deadline has been extended to September 1, 2020 for all enterprises with a filing deadline between March 13, 2020 and August 31, 2020. 
  • A temporary measure has been announced to allow remote meetings and sessions to be held where laws or regulations would normally require in person meetings. This applies to corporations, non-profit legal persons, and partnerships where governance documents (i.e. by-laws or partnership agreements) require in person meetings. This measure is intended to facilitate the implementation of Ministerial Order passed to enable groups that are required to meet in person to used any means required to communicate quickly and publicly, where required.

Tax measures taken by the Québec government are described in our post on Important Québec tax updates – Filings and disputes.

Alberta

Financial support announced for businesses in Alberta includes the following:

  • Pursuant to its 2020 Budget passed March 17, 2020, the Alberta government has committed $500 million to respond to the public health crisis and to support front-line health professionals, in addition to the $20.6 billion allocated for health care in 2020. A list of relevant relief can be found here.
  • On March 20, 2020, Alberta announced that it would be providing immediate relief for the energy sector. Measures include funding the Alberta Energy Regulatory Levy, extensions for oil and gas tenures and a $100 million loan to the Orphan Well Association.

How to access: For information released to date on the above relief, please see here.

  • Following the federal CERB portal going live on April 6, 2020, Alberta has closed its emergency isolation support benefit (which was intended to tide people over until the CERB was made available).
  • On March 27, Alberta announced that hotels and other lodging providers can delay paying the tourism levy until August 31, 2020 for amounts that become due to government on or after March 27, 2020. Payments deferred until August 31 will not be subject to penalties or interest.

How to access: Lodging providers are still expected to file returns and must collect the tourism levy from guests staying in properties during this period. More information can be found here.

  • On April 4, 2020, Alberta announced that timber dues will be deferred for six months to support the province’s forest sector, which has been experiencing low markets for lumber, oriented strand board and pulp due to the pandemic.

How to access: For information released to date on the above relief, please see here.

  • On April 6, 2020 Alberta announced temporary changes to the Employment Standards Code. For additional information please see our COVID-19 Quick-Reference Considerations for Employers.
  • On April 9, 2020, the government announced it was immediately deferring special legislated reporting requirements for energy companies under the Coal Conservation Act, the Oil and Gas Conservation Act, and the Oil Sands Conservation Act. This order will expire on August 14, or 60 days after the public health emergency ends, whichever is earlier.

How to access: Details on the deferrals can be found here.

  • The Site Rehabilitation Plan, funded primarily by the federal government’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan will provide grants to oilfield service contractors to perform well, pipeline and oil and gas site reclamation work. The program will launch on May 1. 

How to access: Information on eligibility requirements, eligible contractors, eligible activities, eligible costs, and how to apply can be found here

  • The government has established an Agricultural Industry Advisory Committee to facilitate support for the agriculture sector. Information on the committee can be found here.
  • The government has also announced that residential, farm, and small commercial customers can defer bill payments for electricity and natural gas until June 18.

How to access: Customers will need to contact their utility directly to sign up for the deferral program. Customers will still have to pay their deferred electricity and natural gas bills after the program ends on June 18. 

  • The Utility Payment Deferral Act has been passed to allow electricity and natural gas providers to apply for loans to ensure they have cash flow to support Albertans through the Utility Payment Deferral Program. Loans are anticipated to reach about $337 million, and will be recovered over a 12 month period after the program concludes.

How to access: Information on the Utility Payment Deferral Program, including eligibility criterion, how to defer, and information on repayment can be found here.

  • Support has been announced for the child care sector. Day care centres and out-of-school care centres will benefit from a phased approach for three supports: one-time grants co cover 25% of overhead, grants for sanitation and staff training upon reopening, and grants to defer bills three months after being open.

How to access: This support is in addition to federal support for businesses. Applications will open as part of the province’s Relaunch Strategy

  • The government has announced additional support for the agricultural sector. The government will increase interim AgriStability payments and establish a new cattle set-aside program to allow producers to be compensated for the costs of backed-up inventory as demand has been cut.

How to access: More relief will become available once the program is formally rolled out. Relief will be distributed through the Federal AgriRecovery program, information about which can be found here.  

  • Funding has been reallocated from the Community Initiatives Program Project-based grant to the Community Initiatives Program operating grant to assist front-line charities and non-profits maintain their core operations. The program will provide $8 million in funding, increasing available grants from $60,000 to $75,000 and the three year eligibility period for the Community Initiatives Program will be waived.

How to access: Information on the Community Initiatives Program, including how to apply for relief, can be found here.

  • The government has established a new helium royalty rate of 4.25%. This rate will be maintained for five years to incentivize investment. 

Tax measures taken by the Alberta government are described in our Tax compliance and relief update for Alberta and B.C. businesses.

British Columbia

British Columbia has taken a number of legislative steps to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. Notably the COVID-19 Action Plan has been announced to help businesses get through the pandemic and lay the groundwork needed to assist  businesses once the pandemic is over.

How to access: For information released to date on the above relief, please see here.

  • Measures announced include specific support for arts & culture and the agricultural sector.

How to access: Relief for the arts & culture sector is being provided by the British Columbia Arts Council. Information can be found here. Relief for the agricultural sector can be found here.  

  • The government has also announced the COVID-19 Support Service for B.C. businesses. The Service will serve as a single point of contact for businesses throughout the province looking for information. 
  • The government has taken steps to help the forest sector by deferring stumpage fees (with interest), for Tree Farm Licence, Replaceable Forest Licence, and First Nations’ Woodlands Licence holders who are in good standing with the province. 
  • License renewal fees have been temporarily deferred for liquor licensees. Fees will be deferred until September 30, 2020. This is not a license renewal, extended licenses must still be renewed prior to their new expiry dates.

           How to access: Eligible licensees whose license expire between March 31 and June 30, 2020 who are                      in financial need may email a request to LCRB_COVID19@gov.bc.ca. Licensees who can renew                                their license and pay the associated fees on time are encouraged to do so.

  • The government has created a COVID-19 temporary layoff period to permit business to keep employees connected to their jobs. Provincial standards have been temporarily aligned with the federal Canada Emergency Response Benefit, allowing 16 weeks of temporary layoff.

           How to access: More information can be found here

  • The province has made new Buy BC e-commerce funding available to help the provinces farmers and food producers mitigate the effects of the pandemic. $300,000 is being provided to support industry-led buy BC e-commerce activities. 

            How to access: The funding is available under the Ministry of Agriculture’s Buy BC Partnership                               Program. Details on the specific program are available here and on the Buy BC website.

  • Similar to measures taken in Alberta, the province has announced support for oil and gas companies. This support includes $120 million in funding for oil and gas sites to clean up orphan wells. The province will do this through three programs: the Dormant Sites Reclamation Program, the Orphan Sites Supplemental Reclamation Program, and the Legacy Sites Reclamation Program.

            How to access: These programs will be open to oil and gas field service companies and contractors                         based in BC, with registration, office, and operations in the province. Indigenous communities, local                         governments, and landowners will be able to nominate dormant orphan and legacy sites for                                      priority consideration.

  • The province has announced a $10 million grant to assist fifty-nine community destination marketing organizations severely impacted by COVID-19 travel restrictions. These organizations are not-for-profits that promote tourism to their regions.

On April 2, 2020, the Premier announced the launch of an economic recovery task force to advise the provincial government’s economic response and the province’s long term economic recovery.

Tax measures taken by the British Columbia government are described in our Tax compliance and relief update for Alberta and B.C. businesses.

Saskatchewan

The Saskatchewan government has taken a number of steps to assist businesses, including providing information to assist in managing layoffs and staffing, and deferring payments of specific taxes and utilities. A full list of government programs can be found here. The government has also established “Support for Business” and “Support for Workers” pages outlining relief available. 

How to access: The government’s “Business Response Team” is available from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM Monday to Friday, and can be contacted at +1-844-800-8688, or at supportforbusiness@gov.sk.ca. Support for small businesses has been extended to the month of May for businesses that are required to remain closed or to substantially curtail operations after May 19, 2020.

The government has announced the AgriStability enrollment deadline for the 2020 program year has been extended without penalty to help producers manage market disruptions. An additional $10 million in support for livestock producers has been announced, including $5 million for Saskatchewan’s share of the costs of participating in the national AgriRecovery set-aside program, and $5 million to set off higher premium costs under the Western Livestock Price Insurance Program (WPLIP). The deadline for obtaining insurance under the WPLIP has been extended to June 18, 2020. 

How to access: Details on how to apply for AgriStability relief can be found here. Information on the WPLIP can be found here. Individuals and businesses can also contact Tessa Krofchek at the Saskatchewan Crop Insurance Corporation, at 639-398-2268, or at tessa.krofchek@scic.ca.

The government has also partnered with the federal government to make specific relief made available for Saskatchewan agribusiness producers.

How to access: For Saskatchewan producers to enroll in the AgriStability Program or apply for an interim benefit they can contact their local Saskatchewan Crop Insurance Corporation (SCIC) office or call the AgriStability Call Centre toll free, at 1-888-270-8450. The deadline to enroll in AgriStability for the 2020 program year has been extended to July 3, 2020.   

Manitoba

Manitoba has moved to provide certain kinds of tax relief for businesses, including extending filing deadlines, extending deadlines for Retail Sales Tax (“RST”) and Health and Post-Secondary Education Tax Levy remittances for certain businesses, and providing a temporary exception to the Employment Standards layoff rules.

How to access: For information released to date on the above relief please see the Manitoba COVID-19 Novel Coronavirus Information Page.

The Workers Compensation Board of Manitoba has returned a surplus to employers to provide additional relief.

How to access: information on how this relief will be distributed can be found here.  

The province has announced an additional $120 million in aid to support small and medium sized businesses. The Manitoba Gap Protection Program will advance each eligible business the non-interest bearing forgivable loan of $6,000. The loan will be forgiven on December 31, 2020 for businesses that have not received any major non-repayable COVID emergency support.

How to access: More information about eligibility for the program can be found here. Applications for the program are now live.     

Like Ontario, Manitoba will also participate in the Canadian Agricultural Partnership. The focus will be on allowing local producers and farmer’s markets to sell their products online. 

The province has announced an infrastructure package to help facilitate restarting the economy post-Pandemic. The package is valued at $500 million, and will include funding for a number of projects, including water and sewage projects, road, highway and bridge repairs, municipal infrastructure priorities, and potential new cost-sharing construction projects with other levels of governments.

The province is also investing $10 million in “Green Team” projects this upcoming summer. Grants will be awarded to non-profit organizations and municipal governments that hire young adults to work on community projects between May and August.

How to access: Information on urban and “hometown” Green Team programs can be found here, and information on the provincial park Green Team program can be found here.

On May 16, the province announced the new Manitoba Works Capital Incentive. This program is a new approach to tax increment filing that levers incremental education property tax rebates to stimulate economic growth and job creation. Tax increment filing programs have historically been used in Manitoba to stimulate economic growth.

How to access: A new or existing business interest in getting established or expanding in Manitoba may apply to the program if the business is prepared to make a minimum investment of $10 million to a specific property, which will be designated for tax increment financing benefits, a minimum of 65% of total project costs are from private sources, and there is demonstrable potential to create and/or maintain jobs in Manitoba or the new business activity will have substantial net economic benefit to the province. For more information parties are directed to contact Manitoba Government Inquiry at 1-866-626-4862 or 204-945-3744.

The province has announced support for the lodge and outfitter sector – specifically, through the waiver of big game utilization requirements for 2020.

How to access: For more information parties are encouraged to visit the Manitoba Lodges and Outfitters Association website.

Newfoundland & Labrador

The government of Newfoundland & Labrador has announced measures including deferral of loan payments and business loans administered by the Innovation and Business Investment Corporation, and extension of workers safety training certificates.

How to access: Resources offered by the government of Newfoundland & Labrador can be found here.   

The province has made compensation available for private sector employers with staff that have had to self-isolate due to travel restrictions. This includes individuals who are self-employed.

How to access: eligibility criteria and information on how to apply can be found here

The province has announced further support for eligible businesses impacted by the pandemic. Supports include: current deferral of loan payments under the Business Investment Corporation’s Business Investment fund has been increased to six months, hiring eligibility for commercial R&D projects will be temporarily increased, and eligible costs for commercial R&D will be covered an additional 25% for approved applications.

How to access: Information on eligible supports under the program can be found here.

Support has been announced for the agriculture sector through the Vegetable Transplant Program.

How to access: Seeding has commenced in certain areas. Sixty-five successful program applicants have been notified, and transplants are expected to be available in June. 

$2.5 million has been announced to provide relief for electricity customers. This includes both individuals and businesses.

How to access: Customers who find themselves in a difficult financial situation may call Newfoundland Power at 1-800-663-2802 or Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro at 1-888-737-1296 to discuss options regarding flexible payment arrangements.

The government has announced a new support program for the tourism and hospitality industry. Under the Tourism and Hospitality Support Program, eligible small and medium sized tourism operators will be able to apply for a one-time, non-repayable working capital contribution of either $5,000 or $10,000 dependent on gross sales.

How to access: For more information parties are being directed to consult the 2017-2020 Provincial Tourism Product Development Plan.

Nova Scotia

The government of Nova Scotia has enacted a number of measures to support businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. These include commercial rent deferral, deferrals for payments of government loans and small business renewal fees and changes to the Small Business Loan Guarantee Program and Small Business Development Program. The government has also altered Employment Standard Requirements to make it simpler for businesses to temporarily lay off staff, and announced $20 million to fund a new program, the Small Business Impact Grant.

How to access: Information about these programs and additional resources can be found here and here. Details on how to apply for the Small Business Impact Grant have not yet been released. Parties wishing to inquire can contact the Department of Community Services at +1-877-424-1177 during regular business hours, and +1-833-722-1417 outside of regular business hours.

New Brunswick

New Brunswick has instituted a number of measures to respond to the pandemic. These include providing operating loans to small businesses, waiving late penalties on property taxes, deferring interest and principal payments on existing loans, injecting working capital to mid-to-large sized employers, and preventing evictions under commercial leases for a defined period of time. Worksafe NB has also deferred premium payments for 3 months.

For small, medium, and large-sized businesses the government will provide working capital loans of more than $200,000 to help manage the operational effects of COVID-19.

How to access: Information on all existing government measures can be found here. Information on the deferral of WCB premiums can be found here.  To access loans, Opportunities New Brunswick encourages parties to contact their Business Development Executive, email nav@navnb.ca, or call the Business Navigator Line at +1-833-799-7966. 

Prince Edward Island

Prince Edward Island has implemented measures for businesses and the self-employed. The government has announced emergency working capital financing to help eligible small businesses stay afloat. The PEI government has also announced the Worker Assistance Program to provide funding for employers who have employees working reduced hours. The government has also introduced the Income Support Fund and the Special Situation Fund for businesses and organizations, as well as emergency income relief for the self-employed.

How to access: Information on relevant government measures can be found here. A toll free support line is available from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM Monday to Friday, and can be contacted at +1 -866-222-1751. Parties can also email PEIbusinesshelpline@gov.pe.ca.

The Agriculture Labour Support Initiative (ASLI) has been announced to connect interested individuals with agricultural businesses who have registered their job openings.

How to access: The program is being run through WorkPEI. Applications for both job seekers and employers can be found here

Additional support has been announced for small businesses, and the fishing and aquaculture sector. This includes support to top up wages for essential businesses, and support to ensure health and safety of staff.

How to access: Relief will be disbursed through the Prince Edward Island Fish Emergency Loan Program, the Interest Relief Program, and the COVID-19 Workspace Adaptation Assistance Fund. Information on these programs can be found here.

The government has announced the establishment of Renew PEI Council for Recovery and Growth. The Council will lead the effort to establish a plan for recovery and growth potential for the province over the next one, two, five, and ten year periods.

Yukon

The Yukon territorial government has announced a paid sick leave rebate for employers. This is included in a broader stimulus package; information on this package can be found here

How to access: Parties can apply via the Yukon Government web page

The Yukon Business Relief Program has been established to provide businesses non-repayable grants to cover specific fixed costs.

How to access: Information on eligibility criterion, relief available, and how to apply can be found here

The government has also announced $3.65 million in relief for the aviation industry. Of this funding, $1.1 million will be directed to Air North to ensure continued operation of critical routes to the North. Aviation businesses will also benefit from the waiving of commercial fees.

Businesses may also apply for relief for major events cancelled because of the pandemic.

How to access:  Information on eligibility criterion, relief available, and how to apply can be found here

Northwest Territories

The Northwest Territories territorial government has announced a number of measures to provide businesses relief as the pandemic progresses. These include: low interest loans through the Business Development and Investment Corporation (BDIC), deferral of loan payments without penalty or interest, and the establishment of the Economic Relief and Growth Advisory Group, among other measures.

How to access: Parties can determine if they are eligible for loans and for deferral of loan payments on the BDIC website. Information on relevant Northwest Territory programs to date can be found here

The government has announced additional funds for Community Futures Development Corporations. The funds will allow them to defer loan payments for clients in the same way as the BDIC relief mentioned above.

How to access: Information on the Community Futures Development program can be found here. Individuals can contact their regional office at the numbers listed here for additional information.

An additional $4 million in territorial relief has been made available for Entrepreneurs and Economic Development (SEED) Program to focus on business recovery.

How to access: Applications are live, and can be found on the government’s SEED Information Page.

The territorial government has announced $6.2 million to temporarily top up wages for workers making less than $18/hour. Businesses may apply for temporary funding to increase the wages of their employees for a maximum of 16 weeks between April 1 and July 31, 2020.

How to access: Businesses can start applying through the government’s Wage Top-Up Program Website

The government has also announced funding for professional artists recovering from the impacts of COVID-19. Up to $3,000 is available to artists or commercial film and media arts producers with lost revenues or whose activities are restricted due to physical distancing requirements. Up to $5,000 is also being made available to registered territorial businesses, not-for-profit organizations, and collectives.

How to access: Eligibility requirements and information on how to apply can be found here.

Nunavut

The Nunavut territorial government has established a number of programs for financial relief of businesses. These programs are specifically designed for small and medium sized businesses.

How to access: A full list of programs and how to apply can be found here.

Other Assistance

Assistance with Production of Essential Items: In addition to financial support, a number of governments have announced support for businesses assisting with production of essential items for the COVID-19 pandemic.

How to access: Parties can apply for funding through this webpage, and to the Next Generation Manufacturing Supercluster here.    

The government has created the COVID-19 Supply Council to ensure supply chains for goods in wide use, such as masks, gloves and disinfectants are maintained as the pandemic continues to evolve.

  • On March 21, 2020, the Ontario government announced the creation of Ontario Together, a portal seeking help from businesses that can supply emergency products and innovative solutions in connection with the COVID-19 crisis. On April 1, 2020, the government established the Ontario Together Fund to assist Ontario businesses in providing innovative solutions to respond to the pandemic.

How to access: The Fund is intended to support successful proposals submitted through the Ontario Together Web Portal

  • On April 1, 2020, the government of British Columbia launched the COVID Supply Hub to fast-track sourcing and delivery of supplies to front-line healthcare workers.

How to Access: Businesses can submit offers through the links provided on this webpage.

  • The Manitoba government has created an online submission form for manufacturers, suppliers and distributors with inventory of, or established channels to obtain, products to help the fight against COVID-19. It has also launched the online marketplace B2B Manitoba to connect Manitoba businesses with non-medical grade personal protective equipment and other materials needed for businesses to operate.

How to access: Manufacturers, suppliers, and distributors can submit proposals here.

Rental Relief: Several provinces have enacted rental relief for both corporations and individuals. An overview of measures to date in Ontario, Québec, Alberta, and British Columbia, for both residential and commercial tenancies can be found here. Relief announced by other provincial and territorial governments can be found at the following government websites:

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COVID-19: Navigating legal and business impacts

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Editors

Lawrence E. Ritchie

Partner, Litigation

Alexander Cobb

Partner, Litigation

Shawn Irving

Partner, Litigation

Kevin O’Brien

Partner, Litigation

Lauren Tomasich

Partner, Litigation

Malcolm Aboud

Associate, Litigation