General Information: (Updated 6/30/2020)
Most updated interactive guide to programs available:
-This encompasses Individual, Business & Industry General info on benefits with all relevant links for even more info!
The unfortunate reality of today is a lot of people are losing shifts, being laid off, etc because of COVID-19. If you require financial assistance at this time, you can find information below on ways the Federal Government is trying to help you through these tough times.
Dedicated EI Phone Line: 1-833-381-2725
Government of Canada Website Resources:
- COVID-19 updates
Current cases, risk to Canadians, monitoring, news and updates
- Prevention and risk
Social distancing, self-isolation, hygiene, how COVID-19 spreads, infection risks, false claims
- Symptoms and treatment
Symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, about coronaviruses
- Being prepared
Planning, prescriptions, essentials, caring for those who are ill, communication
- Travel advice
Travel advisories, returning travellers, safety abroad
- Canada’s response
Economic and financial support, Government of Canada’s actions, Canadian collaboration
Tax filing and payment deadlines for 2019: The deadline for individuals to file has been extended to June 1, 2020, and the deadline to pay any amounts owed has been extended to September 1, 2020. Note: some taxpayers may have received a Notice of Assessment that says the deadline for payment is April 30, 2020, which is incorrect.
Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB):
CERB Application Link: Program is currently live!! Click the link below to grab the schedule for applications:
More info here:
Canada Emergency Response Benefit – OPENED Week of April 6th, 2020:
The CERB will cover Canadians who have lost their job, are sick, quarantined, or taking care of someone who is sick with COVID-19, as well as working parents who must stay home without pay to care for children who are sick or at home because of school and daycare closures. The CERB would apply to wage earners, as well as contract workers and self-employed individuals who would not otherwise be eligible for Employment Insurance (EI).
Additionally, workers who are still employed, but are not receiving income because of disruptions to their work situation due to COVID-19, would also qualify for the CERB. This would help businesses keep their employees as they navigate these difficult times, while ensuring they preserve the ability to quickly resume operations as soon as it becomes possible.
Changes to existing benefits, credits or support
Goods and services tax/harmonized sales tax (GST/HST) credit payment amounts
The Government will provide a one-time special payment on April 9, 2020. This payment will double the maximum annual GST/HST credit payment amounts for the 2019-20 benefit year.
You will get the extra payment amount automatically if you normally receive the GST/HST credit and have filed a 2018 tax return.
The average boost to income for those benefitting from this measure will be close to $400 for single individuals and close to $600 for couples. This measure will inject $5.5 billion into the economy.
Learn more: FAQs – Increase to the GST/HST credit amount: CRA and COVID-19
Canada Child Benefit (CCB) payment amounts
The Government increased the maximum annual CCB payment amounts, only for the 2019-20 benefit year, by $300 per child.
The overall increase for families receiving CCB will be approximately $550 on average; these families will receive an extra $300 per child as part of their May payment. In total, this measure will deliver almost $2 billion in extra support.
Registered Retirement Income Funds (RRIFs) minimum withdrawal
The minimum withdrawals requirement from RRIFs will be reduced by 25% for 2020, in recognition of volatile market conditions and their impact on many seniors’ retirement savings.
This will provide flexibility to seniors who are concerned they may be required to liquidate their RRIF assets to meet minimum withdrawal requirements. Similar rules apply to individuals receiving variable benefit payments under a defined contribution registered pension plan and a pooled registered pension plan.
Learn more: FAQs – Economic Statement – New Measure for Annuitants of Registered Retirement Income Funds: CRA and COVID-19
Federal government programs
Albertans may also be eligible for financial supports through the federal government:
- Provides up to 15 weeks of income replacement for eligible Albertans who are unable to work due to illness, injury or quarantine (self-isolation).
- One-week waiting period is waived for people in self-isolation.
- Provides up to 15 weeks of $900 bi-weekly payments to workers without paid sick leave (or similar workplace accommodation) who are sick, quarantined or forced to stay home to care for children.
- Eligible parents will receive $300 more per child with their regular May CCB payment.
- Provides low- and modest-income Albertans with a one-time special payment in May of up to $400 for single people and $600 for couples.
- The required minimum withdrawal from Registered Retirement Income Funds (RRIFs) will be reduced by 25% in 2020 in recognition of the impact of volatile market conditions on many seniors’ retirement savings.
- Protecting Alberta’s families and economies (March 18, 2020)
**Small & Medium Enterprise Relaunch Grant**
Starting June 29, businesses can apply for the Small and Medium Enterprise Relaunch Grant, which will give them up to $5,000 to offset costs due to the pandemic.
The costs include extra cleaning supplies, physical barriers, personal protective equipment, as well as rent, wages and inventory.
Businesses must have 500 or fewer employees to be eligible for the grant.
Applications for the grant will open up Monday morning at 10 a.m. online.
The program will remain open for businesses to apply until Aug. 31, or for four weeks after Stage 3 of the provincial relaunch is implemented — whichever is later.
During the first week of applications, specific days have been assigned for regions of the province.
- June 29: North
- June 30: South
- July 1: Urban
- July 2: Calgary
- July 3: Edmonton
- July 4 and onwards: open to all areas
More details, including a region map, are available in the grant program guidelines.
The application portal will launch Monday at alberta.ca
**Alternatives to CEBA Loan $40,000 Business Funding**
*NEW* Applicable For Incorporations: CLICK HERE For the full details!
Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) — funding requests up to $40,000
Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) will provide eligible small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with an interest-free repayable contribution of up to $40,000 to help alleviate financial hardship resulting from COVID-19. The objective of this program is to assist western Canadian SMEs that do not qualify for the Canadian Emergency Business Account (CEBA) program or the ‘RRRF – Community Futures Stream.’
Who can apply for the RRRF
The Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) is open to businesses that are not eligible for the Canadian Emergency Business Account (CEBA) program or ‘RRRF – Community Futures Stream.’
Businesses must meet the following mandatory criteria:
- Have fewer than 500 full-time employees (FTEs)
- Are located in Western Canada (defined as British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan or Manitoba)
- Are not located in an area serviced by a Community Futures (CF) office
- Are not eligible for the ‘RRRF – Community Futures Stream’
- Have applied and were declined for funding from the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) or were not eligible for CEBA funding
- Were operational as of March 1, 2020
- Have suffered financially because of the COVID-19 pandemic
- Intend to continue operations in Western Canada
Examples of business that are eligible to apply to the RRRF:
- Pre-revenue firms (e.g. a company that has not had any sales to date)
- Businesses that do not have salaried employees (e.g. a company with a workforce of contract employees)
- Businesses with no payroll that do pay their owners a salary (e.g. a company that pays its owners through dividends)
Examples of businesses that are not eligible to apply to the RRRF:
- Sole proprietorships
- Not-for-profit organizations
You can also use the RRRF Eligibility Assistant to quickly determine if you can apply.
*NEW* Applicable For SOLE Proprietorships! CLICK HERE For the full details!
Regional Relief and Recovery Fund – Community Futures Stream
This $962-million Government of Canada fund is to support small and medium size businesses that have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. These businesses can now apply for loans of up to $40,000 through RRRF.As the financing terms of RRRF and Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) are similar, rural businesses can choose which program to apply for funding. Applicants can only apply to ONE of these federal programs.
- Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) located in non-metropolitan regions (all areas served by Community Futures organizations) in Western Canada.
- SMEs must attest they have not received duplicative supports through other federal or provincial government COVID-19 support programming such as the Canada Emergency Business Account.
- The small business must have been viable and not experiencing any liquidity or other financial difficulties as of March 1, 2020.
- The small business must have experienced a material adverse effect on business operations on or after March 1, 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Business established before March 1, 2020.
- Be a sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, social enterprise, or other similar organization.
*NEW*Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA)
The CECRA for small businesses application portal opens at 8:00 a.m. EST on May 25, 2020.
We reached an agreement in principle with all provinces and territories to implement the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) for small businesses. This program will lower rent by 75 per cent for small businesses that have been affected by COVID-19.
The program will provide forgivable loans to qualifying commercial property owners to cover 50% of three monthly rent payments that are payable by eligible small business tenants who are experiencing financial hardship during April, May, and June.
The loans will be forgiven if the mortgaged property owner agrees to reduce the small business tenants’ rent by at least 75% under a rent forgiveness agreement, which will include a term not to evict the tenant while the agreement is in place. The small business tenant would cover the remainder, up to 25% of the rent.
Impacted small business tenants are businesses paying less than $50,000 per month in rent and who have temporarily ceased operations or have experienced at least a 70% drop in pre-COVID revenues. This support will also be available to non-profit and charitable organizations.
It is expected that CECRA will be operational by mid-May, and further details will be announced soon.
View full list of requirements to apply as well as staggered application dates:
Find out more here: https://www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca/en/finance-and-investing/covid19-cecra-small-business
Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy:
The program is live as of Monday April 27, 2020
The program shows up under your RP account through “MyBusinessAccount”
Click the link below for the calculation forms and eligibility criteria:
CLICK HERE FOR THE MOST UPDATED INFORMATION
The Government announced a new Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS). This new 75% wage subsidy will soon be available to eligible employers. Please refrain from calling our call centres at this time.
BDO – This is a great breakdown of the eligibility resources: https://www.bdo.ca/en-ca/insights/tax/tax-alerts/covid-19-wage-subsidy-programs/
Learn More: The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy.
10% Temporary wage subsidy for employers:
The Government announced a 10% temporary wage subsidy for employers for a period of 3 months.
Eligible employers (individuals – excluding trusts, certain partnerships, non-profit organization, registered charity, or Canadian-controlled private corporation eligible for the small business deduction) who pay salary, wages, or taxable benefits to employees, between March 18, 2020 and June 19, 2020, can reduce payroll remittances of federal, provincial, or territorial income tax by the amount of the subsidy. This measure is only applicable to remittances made to the CRA.
Learn more: FAQs for temporary wage subsidy for employers
Deferral of GST/HST Remittances:
The CRA will allow all businesses to defer, until the end of June 2020, any GST/HST payments or remittances that become owing on or after March 27, 2020, and before June 2020. This means that no interest will apply if your payments or remittances are made by the end of June 2020.
Learn more: FAQs for deferral of GST/HST Tax Remittances
Other Important Links:
Canada Emergency Business Account – Revolving Line of Credit
Click HERE for full details:
CEBA: Need $40,000 interest free borrowing? (If you paid between $20,000 and 1 million in payroll last year – 2019, you may qualify)
This is DIRECT through your Banking Institution:
The CEBA is designed to support small business owners in meeting their immediate cash flow needs and includes:
- A $40,000 interest-free, government‑guaranteed loan to help pay for operating costs that can’t be deferred as a result of COVID‑19.
- $10,000 (25%) of the $40,000 loan is eligible for complete forgiveness if $30,000 is fully repaid on or before December 31, 2022.
- If the loan cannot be repaid by December 31, 2022, it can be converted into a 3‑year term loan at an interest rate of 5%.