COVID-19: Canadian federal economic support for businesses

Current as of August 8, 2020.

08 August 2020

Economic Support for Businesses

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On March 18, 2020 the Government of Canada announced the COVID-19 Economic Response Plan.

Following an emergency recall of the House of Commons, the government's Bill C-13, An Act respecting certain measures in response to COVID-19 received Royal Assent on March 25, 2020. The resulting COVID-19 Emergency Response Act, SC 2020, c 5, implements the COVID-19 Economic Response Plan and includes the measures noted below.

On April 11, 2020 the Finance Minister introduced in Parliament Bill C-14, A second Act respecting certain measures in response to COVID-19.The Bill received Royal Assent on the same day. The resulting Emergency Response Act, No. 2, SC 2020, c 6 includes additional flexibilities with regard to the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy, outlined below. See the Department of Finance's April 11, 2020 news release on Bill C-14 here.


BANK OF CANADA

Changes to the Standing Liquidity Facility Collateral Policy

DESCRIPTION

The following interventions, effective immediately:

  • Providing liquidity on a daily basis to financial institutions that participate in the payments systems operated by Payments Canada under its Standing Liquidity Facility (SLF). Loans made by the Bank of Canada must be fully collateralized.
  • Allowing Large Value Transfer System (LVTS) participants to temporarily assign 100 per cent of their non-mortgage loan portfolio (NMLP) as pledged collateral for the SLF, in order to give institutions greater flexibility in managing their collateral.
  • Effective immediately, LVTS participants who do not use their NMLP will be able to hold up to 100% of their pledged collateral for the SLF in securities that are currently subject to concentration limits.

The Bank of Canada also increased the target for the minimum daily level of settlement balances from $1 billion to $2 billion.

LINKS

See the Bank of Canada's press release dated March 31, 2020 here.

See the Bank of Canada's press release dated March 30, 2020 here.

See the Department of Finance's Support for Canadians and Businesses page here.

See the Bank of Canada's Additional Temporary Changes notice dated March 18, 2020 here.

Expansion to List of Eligible Securities for Term Repo Operations

DESCRIPTION

The Bank of Canada announced that it will broaden eligible collateral for its Term Repo operations. Eligible securities will now include the full range of collateral eligible under the Standing Liquidity Facility.

The expansion will not include the non-mortgage loan portfolio, special deposits held at the Bank of Canada, or USD Securities.

The change will result in a revision of the Term Repo terms and conditions, and was effective as of March 19, 2020.

ACCESS AND ELIGIBILITY

The Term Repo operations will occur at least weekly as long as necessary as of March 19, 2020.

For details of the March 10, 2020 operation, please see the Bank of Canada's market notice.

LINKS

See the Bank of Canada's market notice dated March 18, 2020 here.

See the Bank of Canada's market notice dated March 16, 2020 here.

Support To Canada Mortgage Bond Market

DESCRIPTION

The Bank of Canada has announced that it stands ready, as a proactive measure, to provide support to the Canada Mortgage Bond (CMB) market.

This support incudes purchases of CMBs in the secondary market, as required. Such purchases have been ongoing since March 17, 2020.

LINKS

See the Bank of Canada's market notice dated March 16, 2020 here.

The Commercial Paper Purchase Program

DESCRIPTION

For the next 12 months, the Bank of Canada will conduct primary and secondary market purchases of CP, including asset-backed CP, issued by Canadian firms, municipalities and provincial agencies with an outstanding CP program.

Eligible assets include commercial paper, including asset-backed commercial paper, in the primary and secondary market, with a tenor of up to 3 months of sufficiently high quality, broadly equivalent to a minimum short-term credit rating of R-1

Commercial paper purchases will be conducted by TD Asset Management on behalf of the Bank of Canada.

ACCESS AND ELIGIBILITY

The CPPP is effective as of April 2, 2020

Eligible issuers

include any of the following issuers with an outstanding Canadian dollar-denominated commercial paper program:

  • Canadian incorporated firms
  • Canadian municipalities
  • Canadian provincial agencies

Eligible issuers should access the program through their dealers.

LINKS

See the Bank of Canada's market notice dated March 31, 2020 here.

See the Bank of Canada's Commercial Paper Program website here.

See Bank of Canada's Notice dated March 27, 2020 here.

Lowering of the Overnight Rate Target

DESCRIPTION

The Bank of Canada lowered its target for the overnight rate by 50 basis points to 0.25% percent.

LINKS

See Bank of Canada's press release dated March 27, 2020 here.

Expansion of Bank of Canada's Bond Buyback Program

DESCRIPTION

The Bank of Canada announced broadening of the scope of the current Government of Canada bond buyback program.

The following operations have been announced for the upcoming weeks:

  • A switch buyback operation on Monday, March 30th in the 10-year sector.
  • A cash buyback operation on Wednesday, April 1st in the 5-year sector.
  • A switch buyback operation on Monday, April 6th in the 30-year sector.
  • A cash buyback operation on Wednesday, April 8th in the 2-year sector.

The Bank will announce the specific operational details ahead of each operation through its regular Call for Tenders process.

LINKS

See the Bank of Canada's market notice on the operational details of the buyback program dated March 25, 2020 here.

See the Bank of Canada's announcement on March 18, 2020 here.

Provincial Money Market Purchase Program (PMMP)

DESCRIPTION

Under the PMMP the Bank of Canada will purchase up to 40% of each offering of directly-issued provincial money market securities with terms to maturity of 12 months or less. The program includes treasury bills and short term promissory notes of all Canadian provinces.

LINKS

See the Bank of Canada's published results as of March 30, 2020 here.

See the Bank of Canada's announcement dated March 24, 2020 here.

See The Conversation's article on the Bank of Canada's assistance to Provinces dated April 8, 2020 here

Banker's Acceptance Purchase Program (BAPF)

DESCRIPTION

Beginning on March 23, 2020, the Bank of Canada will conduct secondary market purchases of one-month Bankers' Acceptances issued and guaranteed by any Canadian bank of sufficiently high quality.

BAPF operations will continue to be conducted weekly until market conditions improve.

ACCESS AND ELIGIBILITY

Eligible counterparties

  • Canadian primary dealers in Government of Canada securities.

LINKS

See the Terms and Conditions for the Banker's Acceptance Purchase Facility here.

See details of the next operation under the BAPF here.

Secondary Market Purchases of Government of Canada Securities

DESCRIPTION

To address strains in the Government of Canada bond market and to enhance the efficacy of the above noted measures, the Bank of Canada has launched a program to purchase Government of Canada securities in the secondary market.

The Bank will announce specific operational details ahead of each week's operations through its Call for Tenders process.

LINKS

See the Bank of Canada's announcement dated March 27, 2020 here.

For updated details on these purchases see the Bank of Canada's notice dated March 31, 2020 here.


BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT BANK OF CANADA (BDC) and EXPORT DEVELOPMENT CANADA (EDC)

Changes to the Canada Account

DESCRIPTION

The Minister of Finance is now able to determine the limit of the Canada Account in order to deal with exceptional circumstances.

The Canada Account is administered by EDC and is used to support exporters when deemed to be in the national interest.

ACCESS AND ELIGIBILITY

Exporters can contact EDC directly by phone at 1-800-229-0575 or by e-mail at tradeadvisor-conseiller@edc.ca

LINKS

See Export Development Canada's webpage dedicated to COVID-19 measures here.

BDC Capital Bridge Financing Program

DESCRIPTION

BDC Capital, BDC's investment arm, has launched the BDC Capital Bridge Financing Program. Under the program, BDC will match, with a convertible note, a current financing round being raised through qualified existing and/or new investors made into eligible Canadian start-ups.

ACCESS AND ELIGIBILITY

To be eligible, companies must:

  • Be Canadian;
  • Be backed by a qualified venture capital firm;
  • Have raised at least $500,000 in external capital before applying for the program; and
  • Be specifically impacted by COVID-19.

Any matching investment made by BDC Capital will be further subject to BDC's due diligence review, agreement on terms of the investment and approval by a BDC investment committee.

The program is not limited to BDC's portfolio and all companies that meet the criteria are eligible to apply.

LINKS

See BDC Capital's information webpage on the Bridge Financing Program here.

Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP)

DESCRIPTION

BCAP was established to provide $65 billion in additional credit support to small and medium-sized businesses particularly in sectors such as oil, gas, air transportation, and tourism. The program is supported through BDC in cooperation with EDC.

ACCESS AND ELIGIBILITY

On April 17, the government announced that they would be expanding BCAP credit support to medium-sized businesses with larger financing needs, beginning with companies in Canada's energy sector.

The programs will roll out in the three weeks after March 27, 2020.

Interested businesses should work with their current financial institutions, who in turn contact BDC/ EDC where appropriate.

See for example:

BMO's COVID-19 webpage

CIBC's COVID-19 webpage

National Bank's COVID-19 webpage

RBC's COVID-19 webpage

Scotiabank's COVID-19 webpage

TD's COVID-19 webpage

LINKS

See the March 27, 2020 Press Release here.

See "Support to Businesses" under the Response Plan on the Government of Canada's website here.

See the Department of Finance's Description of BCAP here.

Also see BDC's Special Support for entrepreneurs impacted by COVID-19 here.

BCAP: Canada Emergency Business Account

DESCRIPTION

The Canada Emergency Business Account is a new loan program that will provide interest-free loans of up to $40,000 to small businesses and not-for-profits to help cover operating costs. If the loan is repaid by December 31, 2022, 25% of it will be forgiven, up to $10,000.

To qualify, these organizations will need to demonstrate they paid between $20,000 to $1.5 million in total payroll in 2019.

The program will be implemented by eligible financial institutions in cooperation with EDC/BDC.

ACCESS AND ELIGIBILITY

Small businesses and not-for-profits should contact their financial institution to apply for these loans. The Minister of Finance announced that applications for such loans would commence April 9, 2020.

Financial institutions are aiming for access to the Canada Emergency Business Account starting in April.

On May 19, 2020 the Government of Canada announced that it has changed the eligibility to ensure farmers without payroll can now access the $40,000 interest-free loan available under CEBA – up to $10,000 of which is forgiven if the rest is repaid by December 31, 2022.

To qualify under the expanded eligibility criteria, applicants with payroll lower than $20,000 would need:

  • a business operating account at a participating financial institution
  • a Canada Revenue Agency business number, and to have filed a 2018 or 2019 tax return.
  • eligible non-deferrable expenses between $40,000 and $1.5 million. Eligible non-deferrable expenses could include costs such as rent, property taxes, utilities, and insurance.

On June 19th, CEBA eligibility was extended to small owner-operated businesses that were previously ineligible for the program due to their lack of payroll, sole proprietors receiving business income directly, as well as family-owned corporations remunerating in the form of dividends rather than payroll.

To qualify under the expanded eligibility rules, CEBA applicants with payroll lower than $20,000 will need:

  • A business operating account at a participating financial institution;
  • A Canada Revenue Agency business number;
  • A 2018 or 2019 tax return; and
  • Eligible non-deferrable expenses of between $40,000 and $1.5 million.
Eligible businesses will qualify for financing of up to $40,000, with 25 per cent of this being forgivable based on the current terms of CEBA loans

LINKS

See the Department of Finance's April 9, 2020 statement here

See "Support to Businesses" under the Response Plan on the Government of Canada's website here.

BCAP: Small and Medium Enterprise Loan and Guarantee Program

BDC Co-Lending Program

DESCRIPTION

BDC, together with financial institutions, will co-lend term loans to small and medium-sized enterprises for their operational cash flow requirements.

Eligible businesses may obtain incremental credit amounts up to $6.25 million at a commercial interest rate, 80% of which will be provided by BDC, and the remainder by a financial institution.

The potential for lending for this program will be $20 billion.

LINKS

See BDC's March 27, 2020 Press Release here.

See BDC's Special Support for entrepreneurs impacted by COVID-19 here.

EDC Guarantee Program

DESCRIPTION

EDC will provide funding to financial institutions so they can issue new operating credit and cash flow term loans to small and medium-sized enterprises, up to $6.25 million.

The loans will be 80% guaranteed by EDC, to be paid within a year.

The program cap for this new loan program will be a total of $20 billion for export sector and domestic companies.

ACCESS AND ELIGIBILITY

The SME Loan and Guarantee program will be administered through private-sector financial institutions.

Applications for the program are available on EDC's website here. Applicants must have their CRA business number available prior to starting the application.

Once applications are filed, applicants will be contacted by their financial institution account manager.

LINKS

See the March 27, 2020 Press Release here.

See a full list of approved financial institutions and updates on EDC's website here.

Also see BDC's Special Support for entrepreneurs impacted by COVID-19 here.


EMPLOYMENT AND SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT CANADA

Temporary Changes to the Work-Sharing Program

DESCRIPTION

Effective March 14, 2020 and until March 14, 2021, the Government of Canada is introducing temporary special measures to support employers and workers affected by COVID-19.

Work-Sharing is a program that helps employers and employees avoid layoffs when there is a temporary decrease in business activity beyond the control of the employer. The program provides EI benefits to eligible employees who agree to reduce their normal working hours and share the available work while their employer recovers. Work-Sharing is an agreement between employers, employees and the Government of Canada.

The temporary special measures being implemented will provide:

  • An extension of the maximum possible duration of an agreement from 38 weeks to 76 weeks
  • The mandatory cooling off period has been waived for employers who have already used the Work-Sharing program so that eligible employers may immediately enter into a new agreement
  • A reduction of the previous requirements for a Recovery Plan to a single line of text in the application form
  • A reduction of the requirement and expansion for eligibility to employers affected by accepting business who have been in business for only 1 year rather than 2, and eliminate the burden of having to provide sales/production figures at the same time, and
Expand eligibility for staff who are essential to recovery, Government Business Enterprises (GBEs) and non-for-profit organization employers.

ACCESS AND ELIGIBILITY

Eligible employers

To be eligible for a WS agreement, your business must:

  • be a year-round business in Canada for at least 1 year
  • be a private business or a publicly held company, or
  • have at least 2 employees in the WS unit

Eligibility was also extended to:

  • Government Business Enterprises (GBEs), also referred to as public corporations, and
  • not-for-profit employers experiencing a shortage of work due to a reduction of business activity and/or a reduction in revenue levels due to COVID-19

Eligible employees

To be eligible for WS, your employees must:

  • be year-round, permanent, full-time or part-time employees needed to carry out the day-to-day functions of the business (your "core staff")
  • be eligible to receive EI benefits, and
  • agree to reduce their normal working hours by the same percentage and to share the available work

Eligibility was also extended to:

  • employees considered essential to the recovery and viability of the business can now be eligible to participate in Work-Sharing (such as technical employees engaged in product development, outside sales agents, marketing agents, etc.)

Employers are now requested to submit their applications 10 calendar days prior to the requested start date. The streamlined measures undertaken by Service Canada will aim to reduce the processing time to 10 calendar days

To apply for the Work-Sharing Program employers must submit:

LINKS

See Employment and Social Development Canada's COVID-19 webpage here.

For general information on Work-Sharing visit Employment and Social Development Canada's Overview here

See the notice from Employment and Development Canada here.

See "Support to Businesses" under the Response Plan on the Government of Canada's website here.

See here for information on how to apply.

Temporary Changes to the Canada Summer Jobs Program

DESCRIPTION

The Canada Summer Jobs program provides opportunities for youth to develop and improve their skills within the not-for-profit, small business, and public sectors, and supports the delivery of key community services.

Temporary changes to the Canada Summer Jobs program will allow employers to:

  • receive an increased wage subsidy, so that private and public sector employers can also receive up to 100 per cent of the provincial or territorial minimum hourly wage for each employee;
  • extend the end date for employment to February 28, 2021;
  • adapt their projects and job activities;
hire staff on a part-time basis.

ACCESS AND ELIGIBILITY

For more information on the Canada Summer Jobs program, visit Employment and Social Development Canada's webpage.

The hiring period of Canada Summer Jobs 2020 opened on May 15, 2020. Thousands of job opportunities have been posted on the Job Bank and more will be available in the coming weeks.

LINKS

See the Government of Canada's Economic Response Plan – Support for Businesses here

Emergency Community Support Fund

DESCRIPTION

The Government of Canada announced a $350 million Emergency Community Support Fund to help charities and non-profit organizations adapt frontline services for vulnerable Canadians during COVID-19.

Charities and non-profit organizations requiring financial assistance to address the pandemic, can apply for funding as of May 19, 2020.

The Government of Canada is pleased to work with the United Way Centraide Canada, the Canadian Red Cross and the Community Foundations of Canada to disburse the $350 million Emergency Community Support Fund. These trusted partners will each post information on eligibility criteria and how to apply on their respective websites.

ACCESS AND ELIGIBILITY

Community-based organizations from across the country will be able to apply for funding to support a variety of activities, such as:

  • increasing volunteer-based home deliveries of groceries and medications;
  • providing transportation services, like accompanying or driving seniors or persons with disabilities to appointments;
  • scaling up help lines that provide information and support;
  • providing training, supplies and other required supports to volunteers so they can continue to make their invaluable contributions to the COVID-19 response; and
  • replacing in-person, one-on-one contact and social gatherings with virtual contact through phone calls, texts, teleconferences or the Internet.

Applications opened May 19, 2020. For information on applications visit the following websites:

The United Way Centraide Canada

The Canadian Red Cross

The Community Foundations of Canada

LINKS

See Employment and Social Development Canada's news release dated May 16, 2020 here.

The Social Development Partnerships Program (SDPP)

DESCRIPTION

Through the Disability stream of the SDPP, $11 million in annual funding is provided to organizations to support projects intended to improve the participation and social inclusion of persons with disabilities in all aspects of Canadian society.

On June 1, 2020, the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion announced financial support of up to $6.4 million over three years for up to 16 organizations across Canada through the disability component of the SDPP.

The 16 organizations were chosen through calls for proposals that were launched in 2019.

LINKS

See Employment and Social Development Canada's news release dated June 1, 2020.

See Employment and Social Development Canada's Backgrounder on SDPP here.

Enabling Accessibility Fund – Small Projects Component

DESCRIPTION

On June 2, 2020, the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, announced the launch of a call for proposals under the newly modernized Enabling Accessibility Fund (EAF) – small projects component.

The call for proposals for the EAF small projects component provides funding to organizations for small-scale construction, renovation or retrofit projects that enable persons with disabilities to live and work in more inclusive and accessible communities.

This year, instead of the originally allotted 12 months to complete a project, organizations that apply for funding will now have up to 24 months to complete their projects. Additionally, projects approved for funding will now be 100% funded to a maximum of $100,000.

ACCESS AND ELIGIBILITY

The EAF Program will offer Webex information sessions to support organizations through the application process.

To receive funding, organizations must be a:

  • not-for-profit organization
  • business
  • small municipality
  • Indigenous organization (including band councils, tribal councils and self-government entities)
  • territorial government
Organizations have until July 13, 2020, to apply by visiting the Enabling Accessibility Fund website here.

LINKS

See Employment and Social Development Canada's news release dated June 2, 2020 here.

Alberta Early Learning and Child Care Agreement - Funding for Multilateral Early Learning and Child Care

DESCRIPTION

Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, Ahmed Hussen, and Alberta's Minister of Children's Services, Rebecca Schulz, announced additional investment in early learning and child care through a one-year Canada-Alberta Early Learning and Child Care Agreement. Alberta will receive $45 million in federal child care funding in response to the pandemic.

The province of Alberta will use the money to create new licenced child care spaces through capital and program grants, provide child care subsidies to more families, offer support training for child care staff and offset costs for child care centres associated with COVID-19 closures and reopening. The money is part of a renegotiated bilateral agreement with the federal government under the Multilateral Early Learning and Child Care Framework. In addition, the federal government's $19 billion Safe Restart Agreement with the Provinces and Territories includes $625 million towards early learning and child care across the country.

LINKS

See the Government of Canada's July 23rd News Release on the Early Learning and Child Care Agreement Here.


AGRICULTURE AND AGRI-FOOD CANADA

Funding for Temporary Foreign Workers (TFW)

DESCRIPTION

The Government of Canada has allocated $50 million to help farmers, fish harvesters, and all food production and processing employers, put in place the measures necessary to follow the mandatory 14-day isolation period required of all temporary foreign workers.

Temporary foreign workers are granted an exemption from the travel restrictions to Canada, along with other foreigners that hold student and work visas, provided such persons adhere to a strict 14-day self isolation protocol upon arrival.

The federal government will provide support of $1,500.00 for each temporary foreign worker. The funding is conditional on employers not being found in violation of the mandatory 14-day isolation protocols or any other heath order.

The program will be in available as long as the Quarantine Act is in force.

On July 31st, the Government of Canada announced an additional $59 million in funding to protect the health and safety of migrant workers on Canadian farms. There has been a number of COVID-19 outbreaks on several Canadian farms that have significantly impacted the health and safety of workers. Through additional funding, the Government is strengthening the TFW Program and making further investments to safeguard the health and safety of Canadian and temporary foreign workers from COVID-19 by:

  • Investing $7.4 million to increase supports to temporary foreign workers, including $6.0M for direct outreach to workers delivered through migrant worker support organizations;
  • Strengthening the employer inspections regime, particularly on farms, and making improvements to how tips and allegations of employer non-compliance are addressed (such as by initiating an inspection) through an investment of $16.2 million; and
Investing $35 million to improve health and safety on farms and in employee living quarters to prevent and respond to the spread of COVID-19. This will go toward direct infrastructure improvements to living quarters, temporary or emergency housing (on- or off-farm), as well as PPE, sanitary stations, and any other health and safety measures. Non-repayable contributions will be cost-shared 50:50 with the applicants.
ACCESS AND ELIGIBILITY The Government has announced that they will be working with interested provinces in territories in the upcoming days to ensure that this funding is delivered in a manner that meets their needs and best ensures that quarantine requirements are met.

LINKS

See the Government of Canada's July 31st news release regarding Temporary Foreign Workers here

See Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada`s news release dated April 13, 2020 here

AgriStability 2020 Enrollment Deadline Extended

DESCRIPTION

The AgriStability enrollment deadline for the 2020 program year has been extended without penalty, from April 30, 2020 to July 3, 2020. This extension will allow farmers more time to sign up and benefit from the program.

ACCESS AND ELIGIBILITY

For farmers in British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Alberta, Ontario, Quebec, or Prince Edward Island, AgriStability is delivered provincially. These individuals are directed to contract their respective provincial administration.

LINKS

See Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's news release dated April 17, 2020 here

For more information, contact the AgriStability Administration

AgriStability Interim Payments Increased for Saskatchewan Producers

DESCRIPTION

The federal and provincial governments have agreed to increase the 2020 AgriStability interim benefit payment percentage from 50 per cent to 75 per cent for Saskatchewan producers.

Saskatchewan producers can apply for an interim benefit to receive 75 per cent of their estimated final 2020 benefit before completing their program year.

Saskatchewan Crop Insurance Corporation (SCIC) is also waiving the six-months farming and one production cycle criteria for participants applying for 2020 interim benefits.

ACCESS AND ELIGIBILITY

To enrol in the AgriStability Program or to apply for an interim benefit, producers can contact their local SCIC office or call the AgriStability Call Centre toll-free at 1-886-270-8450.

LINKS

See Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's news release dated April 24, 2020 here.

Visit Canadian Agricultural Partnership's website here.

Visit Saskatchewan Crop Insurance Corporation's website here.

Agri-Food Open for E-Business Targeted Intake

DESCRIPTION

$2.5 million is being provided through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership to help the agri-food sector expand online.

The Agri-Food Open for E-Business initiative will food producers, farmers markets, retailers, garden centres, greenhouses, nurseries, and agricultural associations develop online business

This targeted application intake features two funding streams:

Bring Your Business Online : Eligible organizations and businesses can apply for a grant of up to $5,000 to establish an online e-business and marketing presence. Funding under this stream will be quick and responsive for those needing immediate solutions.

Develop Online Business Opportunities : Eligible organizations, businesses and collaborations can apply for cost-share funding of up to $75,000 to implement high-impact projects.

Funding for the initiative will be cost shared by the Governments of Canada and Ontario

ACCESS AND ELIGIBILITY

The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) will immediately accept applications and expedite the approval process to help businesses and organizations develop, expand and enhance their current online presence.

See OMAFRA's website here for information on how to apply.

LINKS

See Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's news release dated April 24, 2020 here.

Support for Local Food Producers and Farmer's Market from the Governments of Canada and Manitoba

DESCRIPTION

Canada and Manitoba will be providing a total of $160,000 through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership to Direct Farm Manitoba to purchase a software platform that will allow Manitobans to order food online from local producers and farmers' markets. The funding will also go toward the development of a network of pick-up and delivery options to connect consumers with their orders, and the development of COVID-19 safe handling and packaging practices for producers and processors.

ACCESS AND ELIGIBILITY

The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) will immediately accept applications and expedite the approval process to help businesses and organizations develop, expand and enhance their current online presence.

See OMAFRA's website here for information on how to apply.

LINKS

See Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's news release dated April 24, 2020 here.

Increasing the Canadian Dairy Commission Borrowing Limit

DESCRIPTION

On May 15, 2020 the Government of Canada announced the adoption of amendments to the Canadian Dairy Commission Act that increase the Canadian Dairy Commission's (CDC) borrowing limit by $200 million (from $300 million to $500 million) to allow cheese and butter to be temporarily stored and avoid waste.

LINKS

See the Government of Canada's Economic Response Plan: Support for Sectors here.

Surplus Food Purchase Program

DESCRIPTION

The Government of Canada has announced the Surplus Food Purchase Program, a $50 million fund designed to help redistribute existing and unsold inventories, which could include products such as potatoes and poultry, to local food organizations who are serving vulnerable Canadians.

LINKS

See the Government of Canada's Economic Response Plan: Support for Sectors here.

Agriculture and Food Business Solutions Fund

DESCRIPTION

Launched in partnership between Agriculture and Agri-food Canada and Forage Capital Inc. – a Calgary-based venture capital firm – the Agriculture and Food Business Solutions Fund is set up to provide companies with the financial stability and flexibility they need to rebuild their business models during challenging times. Farm Credit Canada is the sole investor in the fund.

The fund is set up to support a wide range of enterprises in the agribusiness and agri-food sector, including companies involved in primary production, agri-tech, manufacturing, packaging and distribution. The fund will help companies in times of need through innovative solutions such as convertible debt investments and other flexible financing solutions. Applications will be assessed individually on their merit, and will be supported to a maximum of $10 million.

The primary goal of the Agriculture and Food Business Solutions Fund is to return recipient companies to a sound financial footing. To qualify, companies need to demonstrate an impact from an unexpected business disruption, such as the loss of a key supplier, temporary loss of a facility or permanent loss of critical staff or leadership. Funds cannot be used to repay shareholder loans or purchase shareholder equity positions.

ACCESS & ELIGIBILITY

For more information on funding criteria and the application process, visit Forage Capital Inc.'s website. More information is expected to be provided in upcoming days.

LINKS

See Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's news release dated May 14, 2020 here.

Agriculture Training Support Program

DESCRIPTION

The program is intended to offset costs for COVID-19 safety and training, including the costs for personal protective equipment and to remove any barriers to getting Albertans safely working.

By providing up to $5 million in support to farmers, agri-businesses and food processors, the program helps offset the cost to train new employees safely in new agri-food roles. The program will support training for as many as 2,500 new jobs in Alberta.

The maximum government contribution under the program is $2,000 per new employee, up to a maximum of $50,000 per employer. Grants will be administered on a first-come, first-served basis until available program funding is fully allocated.

In addition, approximately $1 million in funding will be targeted for meat processors to provide support for new hires to undertake meat-cutting training.

ACCESS & ELIGIBILITY

Applications are available online through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership's website.

LINKS

See Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's news release dated May 8, 2020 here.

Agri-food Workplace Protection Program

DESCRIPTION

The governments of Canada and Ontario are investing $2.25 million in provincially licensed meat processing plants to better protect employees and ensure the continued supply of healthy products for consumers during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (the Partnership), the first stream of the Agri-food Workplace Protection Program will provide funding to implement COVID-19 health and safety measures in provincially licensed meat plants, including purchasing additional personal protective equipment, redesigning workstations, supporting employees who require mandatory isolation, and work-site mobility and transportation.

In addition, the federal and provincial governments are further investing up to $2.25 million to help farmers better protect employees and ensure the continued supply of healthy food products for consumers during the COVID-19 outbreak.

The second intake of the Agri-food Workplace Protection Program aims to help farmers enhance health and safety measures to prevent the spread of the virus. The funding will be used for initiatives like purchasing personal protective equipment, enhanced cleaning and disinfection, and redesigning workstations.

Support is also available for farmers who experience unexpected costs for housing and transportation as a result of a COVID-19 outbreak among on-farm employees.

The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) is now accepting applications and will expedite the approval process to help support workplace health and safety in the agri-food sector. Eligible applications will be received and assessed on a continuous basis, while funding is available.

On June 12, 2020, the Government of Ontario announced that it is expanding the Agri-food Workplace Protection Program and committing up to $15 million to enhance health and safety measures on farms and in food processing facilities. The Enhanced Agri-food Workplace Protection program provides cost-share funding for farmers to purchase Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and implement workplace modifications and other measures.

ACCESS & ELIGIBILITY

The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) will begin accepting applications on May 12, 2020 and will expedite the approval process to get the necessary support to the agri-food sector faster. Eligible applications will be received and assessed on a continuous basis, while funding is available.

More details on the program are available on the Ontario Government's website here.

LINKS

See Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's May 14, 2020 news release here.

See Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's May 8, 2020 news release here.

Helping British Columbia agriculture and food businesses plan for COVID-19 recovery

DESCRIPTION

The latest intake of the B.C. Agri-Business Planning Program is now open to applications and expanded to include aquaculture and seafood companies to develop COVID-19 business recovery plans.

B.C. agriculture, seafood and food processing business owners are encouraged to apply if their revenues have decreased by at least 30% as a result of COVID-19. The funding available includes up to $5,000 in business planning services and coaching for individuals, and up to $20,000 for groups, from a qualified business consultant, to develop an immediate and long-term recovery plan. Eligible applicants may also apply to the specialized business planning stream of the program to further strengthen their business.

Funding for the B.C. Agri-Business Planning Program is provided through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership. The partnership is a five-year federal-provincial-territorial agreement that includes $2 billion in cost-shared strategic initiatives delivered by the provinces and territories, and $1 billion for federal programs and services through March 2023.

LINKS

See Agriculture and Agri-food Canada's May 15, 2020 news release here.

The Youth Employment and Skills Program (YESP)

DESCRIPTION

The Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food announced an investment of up to $9.2 million to enhance the YESP and fund up to 700 new positions in the agriculture industry.

The YESP will provide agriculture employers up to 50 per cent of the cost of hiring a Canadian youth up to $14,000. Indigenous applicants and those applicants hiring a youth facing barriers are eligible for funding of up to 80 per cent of their costs.

ACCESS & ELIGIBILITY

Eligible applicants include producers, agri-businesses, industry associations, provincial and territorial governments, Indigenous organizations and research facilities. Employers may apply for this funding retroactive to April 1, 2020, with projects to be completed by March 31, 2021.

Application forms are available through the Youth Employment and Skills Program, or to get more information, please contact aafc.yesp-pecj.aac@canada.ca, or call: 1-866-452-5558.

LINKS

See Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's news release dated May 26, 2020 here.


FISHERIES AND OCEANS CANADA

Canadian Seafood Stabilization Fund

DESCRIPTION

The Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard announced on April 25, 2020 that $62.5 million in new assistance will be provided to the fish and seafood processing sector.

The Canadian Seafood Stabilization Fund will help businesses:

  • access short-term financing to pay for maintenance and inventory costs;
  • add storage capacity for unsold product;
  • comply with new health and safety measures for workers;
  • support new manufacturing/automated technologies to improve productivity and quality of finished seafood products; and,
adapt products to respond to changing requirements and new market demands.

ACCESS & ELIGIBILITY

The Canadian Seafood Stabilization Fund will be delivered through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions, and Western Economic Diversification Canada.

Further details on how and when processors can apply for assistance will be confirmed at a later date.

LINKS

See Fisheries and Oceans Canada's news release dated April 25, 2020 here.


FARM CREDIT CANADA (FCC)

Increased Lending Capacity

DESCRIPTION

FCC will receive additional support that will allow for an additional $5 billion in lending capacity to producers, agribusinesses, and food processors.

In addition, all eligible farmers who have an outstanding Advance Payments Program (APP) loan due on or before April 30 will receive a Stay of Default, allowing them an additional six months to repay the loan. Applicable farmers who still have interest-free loans outstanding will have the opportunity to apply for an additional $100,000 interest-free portion for 2020-2021, as long as their total APP advances remain under the $1 million cap.

LINKS

 

DEPARTMENT OF NATIONAL DEFENCE

DND Call to Innovative Thinkers for Solutions to COVID-19 challenges through the IDEaS Program

DESCRIPTION

The Department of National Defence has announced an initial commitment of $15 million to call on innovators to find the solution to certain challenges that have resulted from COVID-19.

The first three challenges focus on:

  • Viable and effective processes and methods for safely and rapidly decontaminating enclosed work environments (e.g., buildings and modes of transportation) containing sensitive equipment;
  • Innovative material and designs to aid in decontamination of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), operational clothing and equipment for personnel responding to events involving biological hazards; and
Data gathering solutions to support the early detection and community-based monitoring of outbreaks of contagious diseases.

ACCESSIBILITY & ELIGIBILITY

Innovators can consult the IDEaS Program website here to learn more.

LINKS

See the Department of National Defence's news release dated May 26, 2020 here.


INNOVATION, SCIENCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT CANADA

Creation of the Industry Strategy Council

DESCRIPTION

The new Industry Strategy Council will be chaired by Monique Leroux—a strong business leader with a distinguished career in Canadian finance.

The council will serve as an advisory board to assess the scope and depth of COVID-19's impact on industries and inform government's understanding of specific sectoral pressures. By enlisting senior business leaders, the Council will build on Canada's strong partnerships between government and industry, notably the Economic Strategy Tables, to support Canadians and their jobs.

This proactive and strategic approach is designed to bring the private sector to the table to directly share its perspective on the scope of the challenges being faced across industries.

LINKS

See Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada's news release dated May 8, 2020 here.

Regional Relief and Recovery Fund

DESCRIPTION

The Government of Canada has created the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF).

The fund will help to:

  • mitigate the financial pressure experienced by businesses and organizations to allow them to continue their operations, including paying their employees;
  • support projects by businesses, organizations and communities to prepare now for a successful recovery.

This initiative includes two components:

  • $675 million to support regional economies, businesses, organizations and communities in regions all across Canada;
$287 million to support the national network of Community Futures Development Corporations, which will specifically target small businesses and rural communities across the country.

ACCESS & ELIGIBILITY

The initiative is implemented by the six regional development agencies which are familiar with their regions' economic realities.

LINKS

See Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada's news release dated May 13, 2020 here.

See Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada's RRRF webpage here.

See the Government of Canada's Economic Response Plan, Support for Businesses here.

The Western Economic Diversification Regional Relief and Recovery Fund

DESCRIPTION

Businesses in Western Canada that are unable to access other existing government support measures can now apply for Regional Relief and Recovery Fund support through Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD). As the Regional Development Agency for western Canada, WD will work with key partners, like the Community Futures Network of Canada's offices across the region to help western Canadian businesses get through these difficult times.

A total of $304 million will be available for western Canadian businesses.

The fund will be offered through repayable loans on two tracks, repayment over 3 years starting in January 2023 :

  • Up to $40,000 (3 year repayment; option for 25% forgiveness with early repayment)
  • $40,001 to $1,000,000 (5 year repayment)

The funding is intended to cover operating costs for 6 months.

The repayment terms for loans up to $40,000 are the same as southern Ontario and Quebec with the 25% forgiveness if the balance of the contribution is repaid before December 31, 2022. Otherwise, the full loan will be repayable on a monthly basis over a 3 year term starting in January 2023 with a requirement that the full balance of the contribution be repaid by December 31, 2025.

Loans greater than $40,000 and up to $1 million are 100% repayable over a 3 year term starting in January 2023.

ACCESS & ELIGIBILITY

The eligibility criteria for the WD's Relief Fund includes a maximum of 500 full time employees, current and intended future operations located in western Canada and consideration of available alternative government relief funding.

The $40,000 and under loan program is also open to pre-revenue firms and businesses without salaried employees but not to sole proprietorships or not-for-profit organizations. Applicants will need to attest that the full amount of the relief was expended for operating costs and WD may request financials to substantiate that information down the road.

The $1 million program is aimed at businesses with 2019 revenue of less than $10 million and pre-revenue businesses that received angel or venture capital funding. The application for the larger loan requires descriptions of the impact of COVID-19 on operations and how WD funding will help support the Western Canadian economy. Applicants will need to submit financials for the last two years and estimated 2020 cash flow needs from April 1 to September 30, 2020.

Apply online for the fund through WD's webpage here.

LINKS

See Western Economic Diversification Canada's news release dated May 13, 2020 here.

Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario

DESCRIPTION

Southern Ontario businesses that are unable to access other existing measures can now apply for Regional Relief and Recovery Fund support through FedDev Ontario. As the Regional Development Agency for southern Ontario, FedDev Ontario will work with key partners such as the Community Futures Development Corporations across the region to help southern Ontario businesses during these difficult times.

A total of $252.4 million will be available for southern Ontario businesses as follows:

  • $213 million to SMEs
  • $39.4 million to Community Futures Development Corporations (CFDCs)

Repayable loans on two tracks, with repayment over 3 years starting in January 2023:

  • Up to $40,000 (option for 25% forgiveness with early repayment)
  • $40,001 to $500,000

The loans are intended to cover operating costs for 3 months.

On May 31, 2020, the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario announced that the Tourism Industry Association of Ontario will received $30 million in FedDev Ontario Regional Relief and Recovery Fund funding to provide financial relief to destination marketing organizations across southern Ontario. The amount of funding available to each destination marketing organization will be determined by Tourism Industry Association of Ontario, based on the entities annual operating budget.

ACCESS & ELIGIBILITY

The FedDev program targets businesses located in southern Ontario with 1-499 full time employees that were viable prior to the pandemic and are now facing pressures due to COVID-19.

Businesses will need to submit financial statements for the last two years as well as the most recent interim statements with their applications, as well as disclosure on revenue, angel and venture capital funding, outstanding debt and other factors.

For detailed information on how to access funding, visit FedDev's webpage here.

LINKS

See the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario's news release dated May 13, 2020 here.

Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions Regional Relief and Recovery Fund

DESCRIPTION

Quebec businesses that are unable to access existing federal relief measures can now apply for Regional Relief and Recovery Fund support through Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions (CED). As the Regional Development Agency for Quebec, CED will work with key partners such as the offices of the Réseau des SADC et CAE in the province to help Quebec businesses get through these difficult times.

A total of $211 million will be available to Quebec businesses.

The fund will offer repayable loans on two tracks, repayment starting in January 2023:

  • Up to $40,000 (3 year repayment; option for 25% forgiveness with early repayment)
  • $40,001 to $500,000 (5 year repayment)

Funding is intended to cover operating costs for 6 months.

Similar to the southern Ontario program, the Quebec repayment terms for loans up to $40,000 provide for forgiveness of 25% of the contribution if the balance is repaid before December 31, 2022. Otherwise, the full amount will be repayable over a 3 year term starting in January 2023 with a requirement that everything be repaid by December 31, 2025. Loans over $40,000 must be repaid in full over a 5 year term starting in January 2023.

On June 8, 2020, the CED announced it is planning to grant up to $30 million to the PME MTL network through the RRRF. This support is aimed at Montréal businesses ineligible for other federal measures related to COVID-19 that are already in place.

On June 9, 2020, the CED announced that of the $211 allocated to Quebec under the RRRF, $71.3 million has been granted to the Réseau des SADC et CAE.

ACCESS & ELIGIBILITY

The eligibility criteria for the CED's Relief Fund varies by industry and contributions are capped at a percentage of sales or operating costs as applicable to that particular type of business. Eligible businesses must use the funding to address financial pressures on liquidity and have a post-COVID viability perspective.

More details on eligibility criteria for the local business track continue to be rolled out and updates will be provided in the following weeks.

For detailed information on how to access funding, visit the CED's webpage here.

LINKS

See Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions' news release dated May 13, 2020 here.

Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency Regional Relief and Recovery Fund

DESCRIPTION

Atlantic Canadian businesses that are unable to access other existing federal relief measures can now apply for Regional Relief and Recovery Fund support through Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA_. As the Regional Development Agency for Atlantic Canada, ACOA will work with key partners, such as Community Business Development Corporations (CBDCs) across the region to help Atlantic Canadian businesses get through these difficult times.

A total of $110 million will be available for Atlantic Canadian businesses including:

  • $66.75 million to business to business
  • $43.3 million to business to consumer
The Fund contributions are repayable over a three year period starting January 1, 2023 with the full amount required to be repaid by December 31, 2025.

ACCESS & ELIGIBILITY

Applicants can apply for the fund through ACOA's webpage here.

LINKS

See Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency's news release dated May 13, 2020 here

FedNor Regional Relief and Recovery Fund

DESCRIPTION

Northern Ontario businesses that are unable to access other existing federal relief measures can now apply for Regional Relief and Recovery Fund support through FedNor. As the Regional Development Agency for Northern Ontario, FedNor will work with key partners, such as Community Futures Development Corporations (CFDCs) across the region to help businesses get through these difficult times.

A total of $49.5 million will be available for the region's businesses including:

  • $24 million through Regional Economic Growth Through Innovation Program to eligible participants like incorporated companies, corporations or cooperatives and Indigenous organizations like settlement-owned businesses. The aim is to help organizations stay solvent for a 6 month period.
  • $25.5 million to CFDCs reaching small businesses and entrepreneurs in rural areas. Sole proprietorships and partnerships are covered under this umbrella and applicants work directly through their local CFDC.

The funding includes earmarked support for Indigenous organizations like settlement-owned businesses

The funding is intended to cover operating costs for 6 months

ACCESS & ELIGIBILITY

On May 31, 2020, FedNor announced that more than $7.6 million in funding will be provided to support 36 tourism initiatives led by communities, businesses and organizations in the region. For a breakdown of the 36 tourism initiatives in Northern Ontario, see FedNor's Backgrounder here.

Applicants can apply for the fund through FedNor's webpage here.

LINKS

See FedNor's news release dated May 13, 2020 here.

Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency Regional Relief and Recovery Fund

DESCRIPTION

Northern businesses will be able to access Regional Relief and Recovery Fund support through CanNor. CanNor's portion of the RRRF will build on the supports provided by the Agency's Northern Business Relief Fund (NBRF) to fill further needs for immediate relief for SMEs and to ensure the stability of businesses in sectors that are vital to the recovery of the Northern economy.

A total of $34.3 million will be available for territorial businesses through three tracks:

  • Increased funding to SMEs through CanNor's Northern Business Relief Fund – non-repayable grants from $2,500 to $100,000 for fixed operating costs incurred over a four month period from when the pandemic began.
  • Targeted relief and stabilization to key sectors of the economy like tourism, the mining supply chain and fisheries, as well as not-for-profit organizations in the region.
Finally, CanNor is going to roll out a greater range of financing options through the CFDC network that have yet to be fully detailed but will likely be available to retailers, restaurants and professional services firms that are ineligible for the first and second tracks.

ACCESS & ELIGIBILITY

For detailed information on how to access funding, visit CanNor's webpage here.

LINKS

See Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency's news release dated May 13, 2020 here.

Women Entrepreneurship Strategy

DESCRIPTION

The Government of Canada will provide $15 million in additional funding to support women entrepreneurs through the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy (WES). This money will go directly to select organizations that are currently WES Ecosystem Fund recipients and will help women entrepreneurs through the COVID-19 pandemic.

The additional funds include the following:

  • Export Development Canada: $2 billion by 2023 in financing and insurance solutions on commercial terms for women-owned businesses exporting or looking to export
  • $100 million through the Women in Trade Investments Program for equity capital specifically designed to help women entrepreneurs
  • a commitment to serve 1,000 women-owned and women-led business customers by 2023
The WES complements other government efforts to advance gender equality, including addressing pay equity, introducing more affordable childcare and putting an end to gender-based violence.

ACCESS & ELIGIBILITY

The WES Ecosystem Fund is closed for proposals. Those already chosen to receive funding will benefit from the increase in funding.

LINKS

See Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada's news release dated May 16, 2020 here.

See the CEWS website here.

The Business Resilience Service

DESCRIPTION

The Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade announced that the Government of Canada will support the launch of a four week hotline service. The Business Resilience Service will help entrepreneurs and small business owners in need of advice regarding financial planning.

The hotline will be operated by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce.

ACCESS & ELIGIBILITY

Small businesses with pressing financial needs can call 1-866-989-1080, seven days a week, from 8 am to 8 pm.

LINKS

See Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada's news release dated May 25, 2020 here.


OFFICE OF THE SUPERINTENDENT OF FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS (OFSI)

Measures to Support the Resilience of Financial Institutions

DESCRIPTION

OFSI announced that it has taken a number of actions to support the resilience of federally regulated financial institutions during the COVID-19 crisis. These measures include:

  • lowering the Domestic Stability Buffer by 1.25% of Risk Weighted Assets, effective immediately;
  • suspending consultation on the minimum qualifying rate for uninsured mortgages; and
  • reviewing its supervisory and regulatory priorities to align with current conditions.

LINKS

See OFSI news release dated March 13, 2020 here.

See "Support for Canadians and Businesses" on the Government of Canada's website here.

CANADIAN CENTRE FOR OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY (CCOHS)

Publication of Pandemic Info Share

DESCRIPTION

The CCOHS has created an online space, Pandemic Info Share, to enable businesses and organizations to share their pandemic-related good practices and resources.

ACCESS & ELIGIBILITY

Pandemic Info Share is available in both French and English and users can search by industry/ sector, resource type, and topics.

Good practices and resources can be submitted for consideration to Pandemic Info Share here

LINKS

See CCOHS' news release dated April 20, 2020 here


CANADA MORTGAGE AND HOUSING CORPORATION (CMHC)

Insured Mortgage Purchase Program (IMPP)

DESCRIPTION

Under IMPP the government will purchase up to $150 billion of insured mortgage pools through CMHC.

To complement the IMPP, the eligibility criteria for portfolio insurance has been temporarily relaxed.

CMHC also announced that it would expand the issuance of Canada Mortgage Bonds to a total annual issuance of up to $60 billion. The additional issuance will be dependent on market conditions and investor demand.

ACCESS AND ELIGIBILITY

The CMHC requests that all inquiries related to IMPP be sent to impp@cmhc-schl.gc.ca

NHA MBS Purchase Operation

Eligibility, participation rules, and deadlines for offer submission are outlined on CMHC's website.

Portfolio Insurance

Effective March 24, 2020, the IMPP offers government-guaranteed insurance to the following mortgages funded prior to March 20, 2020:

  • Low loan-to-value mortgages with a maximum amortization term up to 30 years commencing from when the loan was funded; and
  • Low loan-to-value mortgages whose purpose includes the purchase of a property, subsequent renewal of such a loan, or refinancing.
The revised eligibility criteria will remain in force until December 31, 2020.

LINKS

See CMHC's press release dated March 26, 2020 here.

See CMHC's press release dated March 20, 2020 here.

See the Department of Finance's news release dated March 20, 2020 here.

See CMHC's press release dated March 16, 2020 here.

For Purchase Operations details visit the CMHC's webpage here.

Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA)

DESCRIPTION

The Government of Canada introduced the CERCA program for small businesses that will seek to provide loans and/or forgivable loans to commercial property owners who in turn will lower or forgo the rent of small businesses for the months of April (retroactively), May and June.

ACCESS AND ELIGIBILITY

On Friday, July 31st, the Government of Canada announced the extension of the CECRA for the month of August. The extension is intended to assist small businesses with paying rent for the month of August. Despite gradual lifting of restrictions and re-opening of businesses across the country, many small businesses continue to require support as they adapt to post-pandemic changes that have been introduced.
To qualify for CECRA for small businesses, the property owner must meet the following requirements:

  • You own property that generates rental revenue from commercial real property located in Canada.
  • You are the property owner of the commercial real property where the impacted small business tenants are located.
  • You have a mortgage loan secured by the commercial real property, occupied by one or more small business tenants.*
  • You have entered or will enter into a rent reduction agreement for the period of April, May, and June 2020, that will reduce impacted small business tenant's rent by at least 75%.
  • Your rent reduction agreement with impacted tenants includes a moratorium on eviction for the period of April, May and June 2020.
  • You have declared rental income on your tax return (personal or corporate) for tax years 2018 and/or 2019.

* For those property owners who do not have a mortgage, CMHC has noted that an alternative mechanism will be implemented.
CECRA for small businesses is applicable to commercial property owners with:

  • eligible small business tenants
  • eligible small business subtenants
  • residential components and multi-unit residential properties with commercial tenants (i.e. mixed usage)

Impacted small business tenants are businesses, including non-profit and charitable organizations who:

  • pay no more than $50,000 in monthly gross rent per location (as defined by a valid and enforceable lease agreement),
  • generate no more than $20 million in gross annual revenues, calculated on a consolidated basis (at the ultimate parent level), and
  • have temporarily ceased operations (i.e. generating no revenues), or has experienced at least a 70% decline in pre-COVID-19 revenues.**
** To measure revenue loss, small businesses can compare revenues in April, May and June of 2020 to that of the same month of 2019. They can also use an average of their revenues earned in January and February of 2020.

LINKS

See the Government of Canada's July 31st news release here.

See the Prime Minister's May 25, 2020 news release here.

Find detailed information about CECRA through CMHC on their COVID-19: CECRA website here.

See the Prime Minister's announcement dated April 16, 2020 here

See the Government of Canada's Economic Response Plan, Support for Businesses here

Rent Relief for Eligible Business Tenants in all National Parks, Historic Sites, and National Marine Conservation Areas

DESCRIPTION

Business that are renters in Parks Canada are currently not eligible for CECRA, as often they (or their landlords) are on federal lands renting from a federal agency.

The Government Canada announced on June 1, 2020 that such businesses will not be eligible for relief from rent under similar eligibility conditions to those of CECRA.

The Government of Canada will waive up to 75 percent of eligible commercial rents for the months of April, May and June 2020 or equivalent amounts of annual rents. This relief is additional to measures announced March 27 allowing commercial operators to defer payments normally due on or after April 2, 2020 to as late as September 1, 2020.

ACCESS AND ELIGIBILITY

Parks Canada will be contacting all holders of commercial leases and licences of occupation in national parks, national historic sites and national marine conservation areas to provide details on this additional relief being provided by the government. Information will also be made available soon on the Parks Canada website.

Visit the Parks Canada website regularly for updates.

LINKS

See Parks Canada's news release dated June 1, 2020 here.


CANADIAN NORTHERN ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AGENCY

Northern Business Relief Fund (NBRF)

DESCRIPTION

The Northern Business Relief Fund (NBRF) provides short term support, in the form of a non-repayable grant, for ongoing operational costs to small- and medium-sized territorial businesses impacted by economic disruptions due to COVID-19.

The Fund will provide eligible territorial SMEs with short-term relief for operational costs in the form of a non-repayable grant ranging from $2,500 to a maximum of $100,000. The funding will cover a maximum period of 4 months, retroactive to April 1, 2020.

ACCESS & ELIGIBILITY

The NBRF supports small and medium-sized territorial businesses operating in one or more of the territories, and which are currently, and expect to continue, operating at a loss as a direct result of economic disruptions associated with COVID-19.

Note: Businesses with fewer than 20 employees will be prioritized.

Applicants can view the NBRF application form here.

Further information on NBRF is provided in the NBRF Guidelines.

LINKS

See Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency's webpage on NBRF here.


CANADIAN HERITAGE

Support to Canada's Air Telecommunications Sector

DESCRIPTION

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) will not issue letters requesting payment for Part I licence fees by broadcasters for the 2020–21 fiscal year. The government will transfer necessary funds to the CRTC to support its operations.

LINKS

See Canadian Heritage's news release dated March 30, 2020 here.

COVID-19 Emergency Support Fund for Cultural, Heritage and Sport Organizations

DESCRIPTION

The COVID-19 Emergency Support Fund for Cultural, Heritage and Sport Organizations will provide $500 million to help address the financial needs of affected organizations within these sectors so they can continue to support artists and athletes.

The objectives of the funding are:

  • to maintain jobs and support business continuity for organizations whose cash flow and short-term operational viability have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic; and,
  • to stabilize a sector that is a major driver of the Canadian economy.

The Fund will be administered by Canadian Heritage and divided among select departmental programs and Portfolio agencies as well as key delivery organizations. Specifically:

  • Up to $326.8 million to be distributed by Canadian Heritage, of which:
    • $198.3 million will be provided to the beneficiaries of arts and culture funding via existing programs as well as other organizations with demonstrated needs;
    • $72 million will be provided to the sport sector;
    • $53 million will be provided to the heritage sector via the emergency component of the Museums Assistance Program; and,
    • $3.5 million will be provided for COVID-related projects under the Digital Citizen Initiative.
  • $55 million to be distributed by the Canada Council for the Arts to help arts organizations that support artists;
  • $115.8 million to support the Canadian audiovisual sector, to be distributed by the Canada Media Fund ($88.8 million) and Telefilm Canada ($27 million).
The use of the remaining funds will be assessed based on needs

ACCESS & ELIGIBILITY

At a minimum, eligible organizations will be required to attest the following in order to receive support:

  • they are in need of funding to ensure a continuity of operations and to safeguard jobs;
  • they remain in operation at the time of application and plan to continue contributing to their sector in the future;
  • they are not receiving funding from multiple sources to cover the same costs (e.g., Canada Emergency Response Benefit, Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy, Canada Emergency Business Account, and Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance for Small Businesses); and,
  • where relevant, funds will be used to support workers such as the self-employed and freelance workers, artists, and creators.

In order to accelerate the distribution of funds, a two-phased approach will be followed:

Phase I

For funding recipients who are projecting a significant financial impact as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic:

A formula-based top-up to recipients of the following arts and culture programs: Canada Periodical Fund, Canada Book Fund, Canada Music Fund (via FACTOR and Musicaction), Canada Arts Training Fund, Canada Arts Presentation Fund, Harbourfront Centre Funding Program, and Building Communities Through Arts and Heritage Program.

Funds to certain Sport Support Program and Athlete Assistance Program eligible recipients as well as formula-based top-ups to the bilateral sport agreements with provinces and territories will ensure funding is disbursed rapidly. Emergency funding will also be available to the Aboriginal Sport Circle and the provincial and territorial Aboriginal Sport Bodies. Existing agreements will allow for efficient and accelerated delivery.

Funds will also be distributed by the Canada Council for the Arts, the Canada Media Fund and Telefilm Canada to support their recipients. Measures will be in place to avoid any potential duplication of funding between the Department and these organizations.

Phase I also includes support to the April 7, 2020, announcement of the Digital Citizen Initiative's Digital Citizen Contribution Program to help combat false and misleading COVID-19 information as well as the racism and stigmatization that are often the result.

Further details on the application process and updated information on Phase 2 of the program is available online here.

LINKS

See Canadian Heritage's news release dated May 8, 2020 here.

See Canadian Heritage's Backgrounder on Emergency Support Fund here.

See the Department of Finance's backgrounder on New Support to Protect Canadian Jobs here


CANADIAN FOOD INSPECTION AGENCY (CFIA)

Support to Canada's Food Supply

DESCRIPTION

The Government of Canada is providing $20 million to the CFIA to support critical food inspection. The investment will allow the CFIA to hire, train and equip additional staff to conduct critical inspection activities, reassign staff from within the Agency, and work closer with industry and trading partners to minimize supply disruptions during the crisis.

LINKS

See the Canadian Food Inspection Agency's news release dated April 14, 2020 here


DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE

Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility (LEEFF)

DESCRIPTION

Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility (LEEFF) will provide bridge financing to Canada's largest employers, whose needs during the pandemic are not being met through conventional financing, in order to keep their operations going. The objective of this support is to help protect Canadian jobs, help Canadian businesses weather the current economic downturn, and avoid bankruptcies of otherwise viable firms where possible. This support will not be used to resolve insolvencies or restructure firms, nor will it provide financing to companies that otherwise have the capacity to manage through the crisis. The additional liquidity provided through LEEFF will allow Canada's largest businesses and their suppliers to remain active during this difficult time, and position them for a rapid economic recovery.

Through LEEFF Canada is making available loans of $60 million and above, based on the applicant's cash flow needs for the next 12 months. The loan size for each applicant will be assessed on a case by case basis based on demonstrated need.

The government's support for large employers through LEEFF will be delivered by a subsidiary of the Canada Development Investment Corporation (CDEV) and its subsidiary the Canada Enterprise Emergency Funding Corporation (CEEFC), in cooperation with Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) and the Department of Finance.

Size/Principal Amount: The loan will be provided by way of two loan facilities: an unsecured facility equal to 80% of the aggregate loan and a secured facility equal to 20% of the aggregate loan amount. The minimum aggregate loan will be $60 million. The loan will be advanced in tranches over 12 months.

Interest Rate: With respect to the unsecured facility, cumulative at 5% per annum payable quarterly in arrears. The interest rate will increase to 8% per annum on the one-year anniversary and will increase by a further 2% per annum each year thereafter. To reduce cash pressures, interest may be paid in-kind for the first two years of the loan. For the secured facility, the interest rate will be based on the interest rate of the borrower's existing secured debt.

Term: The duration of the unsecured facility will be five years. The duration of the secured loan facility will match that of the borrower's existing secured debt. The borrower may prepay the loan at any time without penalty.

Restriction: The borrower will be subject to certain operating requirements while the loan is outstanding including (i) prohibitions on dividends, capital distributions and share repurchases, and (ii) certain executive compensation restrictions.

Covenants: The borrower will be subject to certain affirmative covenants while the loan is outstanding including (i) performance of obligations under existing pension plans; (ii) performance of material obligations under applicable collective bargaining agreements; and (iii) publishing an annual climate‑related financial disclosure report, highlighting how corporate governance, strategies, policies and practices will help manage climate-related risks and opportunities; and contribute to achieving Canada's commitments under the Paris Agreement and goal of net zero by 2050.

Governance: CEEFC will reserve the right to appoint an observer to the board of the borrower.

Conditions: Certain conditions will need to be satisfied before the initial advance of funds, which will include certain waivers from existing lenders or bondholders of the borrower.

ACCESS & ELIGIBILITY

LEEFF will be open to large Canadian employers who

  1. have a significant impact on Canada's economy, as demonstrated by
    1. having significant operations in Canada or
    2. supporting a significant workforce in Canada;
  2. can generally demonstrate approximately $300 million or more in annual revenues; and
  3. require a minimum loan size of about $60 million.

For detailed information on the program, visit the Fact Sheet on CEEFC's website here.

Large enterprises that meet the qualifying criteria for LEEFF may begin an application by completing the online enquiry form here and sending it to leeff-cuge@cdev.gc.ca.

Alternately, interested applicants may send an email to leeff-cuge@cdev.gc.ca with the following information:

  • Name of business
  • Headquarters address
  • Description of business
  • Business annual revenues (FY2019 results)
  • Number of employees
  • Stock exchange symbol (if publicly listed)
  • Name of contact
  • Title of contact
  • Email address of contact (must be from the enterprise's corporate domain)
  • Phone number of contact
  • Only email addresses from the enterprise's corporate domain will be accepted.

Applications for LEEFF opened on May 20, 2020.

LINKS

See the Department of Finance's news release dated May 20, 2020 here.

See CEEFC's webpage here.

See the Prime Minister's announcement dated May 11, 2020 here.

Relief to Importers of Certain Medical Goods

DESCRIPTION

On May 6, 2020 the Government of Canada announced that the government is waiving tariffs on certain medical goods including personal protective equipment such as masks and gloves.

Tariff relief for these goods will remain in place for as long as necessary to deal with the COVID-19 crisis.

ACCESS & ELIGIBILITY

Implementation of the program will require a partnership with provincial and territorial governments who are responsible for the property owner-tenant relationships.

The Government has stated that more information will be available soon.

LINKS

See the Department of Finance's news release dated May 6, 2020 here

Relief for Federally Regulated Pension Plan Sponsors

DESCRIPTION

The Government of Canada will provide immediate, temporary relief to sponsors of federally regulated, defined benefit pension plans.

On May 27, 2020 the Solvency Special Payment Relief Regulations, 2020 under the Pension Benefits Standards Act, 1985 came into force, which establish a moratorium on solvency special payments.

Under the regulations, from May 29, 2020 until December 30, 2020, federally regulated defined benefit pension plan sponsors are not required to make solvency special payments. The regulations also provide accommodations for solvency special payments made since April 1, 2020.

LINKS

See the Department of Finance's news release dated April 15, 2020 here

Deferring Payments on Commercial Leases and Licenses of Occupation for Tourism Operators

DESCRIPTION

The Government of Canada will work with tourism operators in national parks, historic sites, and marine conservation areas to defer payments on commercial leases and licenses of occupation without interest until September 1, 2020.

LINKS

See the Department of Finance's backgrounder on New Support to Protect Canadian Jobs here

Orphan and Inactive Oil and Gas Wells

DESCRIPTION

The Government of Canada will provide funding to sustain jobs in the energy sector while cleaning up the environment. This includes:

  • Up to $1 billion to the Government of Alberta to support the province's work to clean up inactive oil and gas wells across the province;
  • Up to $400 million to the Government of Saskatchewan to support work to clean up orphan and inactive oil and gas wells across the province;
  • Up to $120 million to the Government of British Columbia to support work to clean up orphan and inactive oil and gas wells across the province; and
  • $200 million to the Alberta Orphan Wells Association (OWA) to support its work to clean up orphan oil and gas wells and well sites across Alberta. The OWA will fully repay this amount.

Under the program, clean-up work would be considered an essential service.

LINKS

See the Department of Finance's backgrounder on New Support to Protect Canadian Jobs here


FUTUREPRENEUR CANADA

Additional Support to Futurepreneur Canada

DESCRIPTION

The Government of Canada will provide $20.1 million in support to young entrepreneurs across Canada who are facing challenges due to COVID-19.

Futurepreneur Canada offers loans up to $60,000 CAD for eligible entrepreneurs.

ACCESS AND ELIGIBILITY

General Eligibility Requirements include:

  • Demonstrate some training/experience related to your business idea.
  • Create full-time sustainable employment for the applicant(s).
  • Agree to work with a mentor for up to two years.
  • Produce a complete and viable business plan by the end of the application process.
  • Business fully operating for fewer than 12 months.
  • Agree to complete Futurpreneur Canada status updates every month.
  • Agree to provide authorization for Futurpreneur Canada to carry out a credit check.
  • Supply two personal references.
  • Assure that the business is NOT in the research and development stage.
  • Assure that financing proceeds may not be used for refinancing existing debt.
BDC financing through a Futurpreneur Canada application is not available to all persons, corporations, firms and companies who are already a BDC borrower.

LINKS

See Futurepreneur's news release dated March 20, 2020 here

Visit Futurepreneur Canada's website here

See the Government of Canada's Economic Response Plan, Support for Businesses here

NATURAL RESOURCES CANADA

Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions in the Oil and Gas Sector

DESCRIPTION

$750 million is allocated to Natural Resources Canada over two years, starting in 2020-21, to create a new repayable loan program to work with conventional and offshore oil and gas companies to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. Of this amount, $75 million will be allocated to investments in the offshore sector. A portion of these loans will be convertible to grants.

ACCESS AND ELIGIBILITY

This program will support eligible energy sector firms in making capital investments necessary to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, with a focus on methane. For example, the program could support investments in pumps, valves and other capital equipment that will reduce methane emissions.

LINKS

See the Department of Finance's backgrounder on New Support to Protect Canadian Jobs here


NATURAL PRODUCTS CANADA

Executive Talent Program

DESCRIPTION

The Executive Talent Program is designed to help Canadian start-ups or SMEs within the natural product sector achieve key growth milestones through a new hire of a C-level or other senior-level executive within the company.

Companies can receive a repayable contribution of up to 50% toward the cost of the new executive's salary to a maximum of $50,000. The financing can be used to hire the executive for six months of full-time employment or 12 months of part-time employment. The company will be required to contribute 50% of the cost over the program period¹ and to repay the contribution after the end of the program period. The program is intended to permanently expand the expertise of the executive team to enable new growth opportunities.

The repayment of the NPC contribution is interest free for up to 18 months from the end of the program period and any portion after that shall accrue interest at a rate of 5% per annum.

ACCESS AND ELIGIBILITY

To be eligible for the program, companies must be:

  • Be a Canadian start-up or SME
  • Have a novel product, technology, service or market innovation in the natural product sector.
  • Have the potential to achieve $10 to 15M in annual revenue within a reasonable period for the market or sector.
  • Be a member of Canada's Natural Product Innovation Cluster.

The executive eligibility requirements are as follows:

  • Demonstrated senior level experience of the executive (15+ years) in strategy development, marketing, finance, regulatory, commercialization, or product and technology scale up.
  • The executive must be a new hire and not previously a full-time employee with the company. The company can have an executive identified at the time of application or can recruit the executive after the application submission, but the executive's resume must be submitted to NPC for review prior to final approval of financing.
The company can also use the Natural Products Canada (NPC) database of professionals and experts to assist in identifying an executive.

LINKS

See Natural Products Canada Executive Talent Program Guidelines here.

Proof of Concept Program

DESCRIPTION

The Proof of Concept Program is designed to help establish the commercial feasibility of early stage, innovative natural products and technologies in order to attract and de-risk subsequent investment.

The program is open to Canadian academic research institutes, start-up companies, and SMEs. Applicants can receive up to 50% of the cost of the proof of concept plan to a maximum of $100,000 during the Program Period (not to exceed 12 months). The applicant will be required to contribute 50% of the cost over the Program Period.

The program does not support basic research or preliminary product/technology development. It is intended to demonstrate commercial potential via preliminary animal, field, demonstration or human trials.

For academic research institutes, the program is conditionally repayable and is intended to move a product or technology from intellectual property disclosure to near term spin-out and/or licensing opportunities.

For start-ups and SMEs, the program is repayable and is intended to demonstrate commercial feasibility of early stage products and technologies.

ACCESS AND ELIGIBILITY

To be eligible for the program, companies must be:

  • A Canadian start-up company, SME or academic research institute
  • Have an early stage innovative natural product or technology
  • Start-ups and SMEs must have the potential to achieve $10M- $15M in annual revenue within a reasonable period for the market or sector
  • Products or technologies being developed within academic research institutes must address an industry/sector challenge that has a significant market potential
Be a member of Canada's Natural Product Innovation Cluster.

LINKS

See Natural Product Canada Proof of Concept Program Guidelines here.


NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL OF CANADA (NRC)

The Industrial Research Assistance Program Innovation Assistance Program (IRAP IAP)

DESCRIPTION

The Government of Canada has announced $250 million in funding for the Innovation Assistance Program (IAP) to assist Canadian small and medium-sized enterprises.

IRAP IAP provides a wage subsidy (the amount of which has not yet been published) to eligible employers for up to 12 weeks.

SMEs pursuing technology-driven innovation who have been unable to secure funding under the CEWS are eligible and can apply for financial assistance under IRAP IAP.

ACCESS AND ELIGIBILITY

Companies must meet the following to be eligible:

  • Be ineligible for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy;
  • Be an incorporated, profit-oriented small or medium-sized business in Canada;
  • Be a company with 500 or fewer full-time equivalent employees;
  • Plan to pursue growth and profit by developing and commercializing innovative, technology-driven new or improved products, services or processes in Canada;
  • Lack sufficient financial resources to sustain operations from April 1, 2020 to June 23, 2020 inclusive;
  • Have a Canada Revenue Agency business number; and
  • Be incorporated by no later than March 1, 2020.

This program is not available as additional funding for current or future IRAP projects.

The call for applications will close Wednesday, April 29, 2020 at 11:59 pm EDT. Applicants can apply online here.

LINKS

See the NRC's IRAP IAP website here.

See the NRC's FAQ on the IRAP IAP program here.

The COVID-19 Challenges Procurement Program

DESCRIPTION

This program will post challenges seeking near-to-market solutions from small and medium-sized businesses (fewer than 500 staff) that need financial support from the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC IRAP) to refine and sell their product or solution to meet a COVID-19 related need.

Through this initiative, the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) and Health Canada (HC) will establish a number of challenges corresponding to needs of health providers to deal with COVID-19

Together, NRC IRAP and Innovative Solutions Canada will:

  • post the PHAC and HC challenges (Innovative Solutions Canada)
  • award Phase 1 funding to successful small and medium-sized businesses to develop a proof of concept for their solution (NRC IRAP)
  • award Phase 2 funding to the firms with the best concepts so they can develop a working prototype (NRC IRAP)
The NRC, PHAC, HC or another federal department or agency will then be able purchase the product for use against COVID-19.

ACCESS AND ELIGIBILITY

Innovative Solutions Canada already has challenges in development, which they will begin posting to their website in the coming days. These will continue as PHAC, HC, and health care providers request new topics.

Companies with promising technology relevant to the COVID-19 challenges can register their technology or product by clicking on the Register button found on NRC's COVID-19 webpage here.

LINKS

See the NRC's COVID-19 Programs website here

See the Government of Canada's Economic Response Plan, Support for Businesses here

The Pandemic Response Challenge Program

DESCRIPTION

The NRC will receive $15M to form dedicated teams to address challenges in the areas of greatest research and development (R&D) need in the fight against COVID-19. The NRC Pandemic Response Challenge Program will accelerate the development of diagnostics and medical countermeasures for a rapid front-line response to protect and treat Canadians.

The Pandemic Response Challenge Program is currently structured around 3 main research areas:

  • Rapid detection and diagnosis
  • Therapeutics and vaccine development and
Digital health.

ACCESS AND ELIGIBILITY

Researchers at Canadian and international universities, government departments, colleges, and highly innovative firms with relevant expertise can now register their interest to work on these challenges through the NRC's COVID-19 webpage here.

Funding is available to help cover the costs of research for academic institutions, small and medium-sized businesses, and other eligible recipients participating in the challenge teams.

LINKS

See the NRC's COVID-19 Programs website here

See the Government of Canada's Economic Response Plan, Support for Businesses here

Biomanufactring Capacity at Royalmount

DESCRIPTION

A $15 million investment will fund the certification of the NRC Biomanufacturing facility in Montreal for Good Manufacturing Practices compliance, and will enable production of material that will be used in humans, particularly for vaccines or therapeutics. This certification can also greatly increase the capacity for candidate vaccines or therapeutics to be quickly rolled out and clinically tested, particularly those originating from Canada.

The work to refine and certify quality systems at the facility will include:

  • bringing the existing facility to regulatory standards,
  • installing equipment to expand capacity, and
managing information.

LINKS

See the NRC's COVID-19 Programs website here

See the Government of Canada's Economic Response Plan, Support for Businesses here

Funding for National Museums and the National Battlefield's Commission

DESCRIPTION

On June 19, 2020, the Government of Canada announced $25.7 million in emergency funding for Canada's six national museums - the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, the Canadian Museum of History, the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21, the Canadian Museum of Nature, the National Gallery of Canada, the Canada Science and Technology Museum - and the National Battlefields Commission. The purpose of this funding is to support cultural and heritage organizations, as these organizations are drivers of innovation.

LINKS

Read more about the funding for Canada's six national museums and the National Battlefields Commission here

Funding for Canadian Institutes of Health Research and provincial competition partners

DESCRIPTION

Total funding of $109.7 million was awarded to 139 research teams across Canada for COVID-19 related research under the second rapid research funding competition of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and provincial competition partners. The funding will support projects across various research areas, including:

  • Clinical trials, epidemiological studies, and other relevant study designs to scale-up promising existing projects to address COVID-19.
  • Vaccines, diagnostics, or therapeutics, such as testing existing therapeutics to prevent and treat COVID-19, point of care diagnostics that can be applied at home or in remote locations, and application of anti-viral therapeutics for patients predicted to have unfavourable outcomes.
  • Clinical management and health system interventions, such as resource allocation decision-making, interventions to address surge capacity in health care, management of COVID-19 in cases with co-morbidities, and interventions to mitigate the impact on non-COVID care.
  • Social, policy, and public health responses and related indirect consequences, such as population-level containment strategies, public health communications and citizen engagement, impacts of external decisions on self-determination and self-governance of Indigenous Peoples, and real-time data development for predictive studies to inform policy-making.
The Government of Canada is providing the bulk of the funding for this research with $102.6 million from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and $6.6 million from the International Development Research Centre (IDRC). Provincial partners include Alberta Innovates (AI) with funding of $100,000; Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research (MSFHR) in British Columbia with funding of $150,000; Research Manitoba (RMB) and Research Nova Scotia (RNS) with each funding of $100,000; Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation (SHRF) with funding of $50,000, and the New Brunswick Health Research Foundation (NBHRF)

LINKS

Read more about the Government of Canada's funding for Canadian Institutes of Health Research here


TRADE COMMISSIONER SERVICE

CanExport SMEs

DESCRIPTION

Applicants for this program can apply online for up to $75,000 in CanExport SMEs funding to cover up to 75% of their international market development activities. Canadian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) may choose up to (5) export markets to target, where their company has no or minimal business.

Activities eligible for CanExport SMEs funding include:

  • Business travel (currently suspended)
  • Market research
  • Participation at virtual trade events and fairs
  • Adaptation and translation of marketing tools
  • Search engine optimization
  • Expert advice on legal, business and tax matters
Intellectual property protection, certification, and adaptation of contracts

ACCESS AND ELIGIBILITY

SMEs must meet the following to be eligible:

  • Be for-profit
  • Be an incorporated legal entity or a limited liability partnership (LLP)
  • Have a Canada Revenue Agency business number (unless Indigenous-owned or led)
  • Employ no more than 500 full-time equivalent employees
  • Declare between $100K and $100M in annual revenue in Canada during the last 12 months

See the CanExport SMEs Program Applicant's Guide here for detailed information on how to apply.

For detailed information on how the program has been specifically impacted by COVID-19, visit the CanExport SMEs FAQ page.

LINKS

Visit the CanExport SMEs Program webpage here.


TRANSPORT CANADA

Support to Canada's Airport Authorities

DESCRIPTION

To help airports reduce cost pressures and preserve cash flow as they deal with the effects of COVID-19 on their revenue, the government is waiving rents paid on ground leases for the 21 airport authorities that form part of the National Airport System and that pay rent to the government. The government will waive rent payments for March 2020 through December 2020. The government is also providing comparable treatment for PortsToronto, which operates Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, by waiving payments made to the federal government on revenues generated by the airport.

ACCESS AND ELIGIBILITY

The 21 National Airport System airport authorities covered by this measure are not-for-profit, non-share capital corporations that pay rents to operate airports in Canada under long-term leases with Transport Canada. Rents are based on revenues earned from operating the airports and related lands, which are owned by the government.

LINKS

See the Department of Finance's webpage updated March 30, 2020 here.

See the Department of Finance's news release dated March 30, 2020 here.

New Measured for Ferries and Commercial Passenger Vehicles

DESCRIPTION

The Minister of Transport has announced new measures to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission on commercial passenger vessels and ferries. The mandatory requirements and new measures will:

  • Prohibit all commercial marine vessels with a capacity of more than 12 passengers from engaging in non-essential activities, such as tourism or recreation. These measures will remain in place until at least June 30.
  • Prevent any Canadian cruise ship from mooring, navigating, or transiting in Canadian Arctic waters (including Nunatsiavut, Nunavik and the Labrador Coast). These measures will remain in place until October 31, 2020.
Require ferries and essential passenger vessel operators to: (i) Immediately reduce by 50% the maximum number of passengers that may be carried on board (conduct half-load voyages) to support the two-metre physical distancing rule; or (ii) Implement alternative practices to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 among passengers on board their vessels, such as keeping people in their vehicles, when feasible or enhanced cleaning and hygiene measures.

ACCESS AND ELIGIBILITY

The new measures are in effect as of April 6, 2020

The new measures preventing vessel activity do not apply to:

  • essential passenger vessels such as ferries, water taxis, and medical-use vessels;
  • cargo vessels, barges, work boats, fishing vessels and other commercial vessels who operate to support resupply operations and the movement of goods through Canada's supply chain;
  • Canadian commercial passenger vessels, without passengers, moving for repairs or repositioning;
  • Canadian commercial passenger vessels that are not in service; and pleasure craft (e.g. non-commercial vessels).

LINKS

See Transport Canada's news release dated April 5, 2020 here.

New Measures For Pleasure Craft In Northern Communities

DESCRIPTION

The Minister of Transport has introduced new measures to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission in remote and vulnerable Arctic communities.

As of June 1, 2020, pleasure craft will be prohibited from operating within Canada's Arctic coastal waters (north of the 60th parallel), as well as in the coastal areas of northern Quebec and Labrador.

These measures will remain in place until at least October 31, 2020.

These restrictions do not apply to pleasure craft used by local communities, or used for purposes such as essential transportation or subsistence fishing, harvesting and hunting.

ACCESS AND ELIGIBILITY

Canadians who want to operate their pleasure craft in non-Arctic coastal waters (south of the 60th parallel), as well as on inland lakes and rivers anywhere in Canada, should follow the guidance of their local health authority.

Where boating is allowed, people must continue to take steps to limit the spread of COVID-19, including practising good hygiene and frequent hand washing; and respecting physical distancing advice.

Recreational boaters can also wear a non-medical mask or face covering as an additional measure when physical distancing is not possible in public settings.

LINKS

See Transport Canada's news release dated May 14, 2020 here.


CANADA REVENUE AGENCY (CRA)

The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS)

DESCRIPTION

The CEWS will provide eligible employers with a 75% wage subsidy up to $58,700 per employee ($847 per week).

The subsidy amount for a given employee on eligible remuneration paid between March 15 and June 6 will be the greater of:

  • 75% of the amount of remuneration paid, up to a maximum benefit of $847/week
  • the amount of remuneration paid, up to a maximum benefit of $847 per week or 75 per cent of the employee's pre-crisis weekly remuneration, whichever is less

This program will be applied retroactively as of March 15, 2020. The program will be in place for a 12- week period, from March 15, 2020 to June 6, 2020. On May 15, 2020 the Government of Canada announced that it will extend the CEWS by an additional 12 weeks to August 29, 2020.

Amounts received by employees through EI pursuant to a Work Sharing Program and amounts received by employers pursuant to the 10% Temporary Wage Subsidy for Employers (see next row) will reduce CEWS amounts.

Additionally, the government has proposed to expand the CEWS by providing a 100% refund for certain employer-paid contributions to Employment Insurance, the Canada Pension Plan, the Quebec Pension Plan, and the Quebec Parental Insurance Plan. The refund will fully cover these contributions for eligible employees for each week throughout which those employees are on leave with pay and for which the employer is eligible to claim for the CEWS for those employees. This refund would not be subject to the weekly maximum benefit per employee of $847 that an eligible employer may claim in respect of the CEWS, and there would be no overall limit on the refund amount that an eligible employer may claim.

ACCESS AND ELIGIBILITY

On July 27, Bill C-20, An Act Respecting Further COVID measures, received Royal Assent. The legislation and provides changes to the CEWS Program. Read below for further details.
Eligible employers include:

  • individuals
  • taxable corporations
  • partnerships consisting of eligible employers, non‑profit organizations and registered charities.

The employer must also:

  • File an application with Minister of National Revenue in respect of a qualifying period before October 2020;
  • Have an individual who has principal responsibility for the financial activities of the employer attest that the application is complete and accurate in all material respects (e.g., a CFO);
  • Have had the requisite reduction in revenue, from arm's length sources, in each qualifying period; and
  • Have a business number on March 15, 2020 that is registered with the Minister to remit source withholdings.

On May 15, 2020, the Minister of Finance announced the approval of regulations that to extend eligibility for the CEWS to the following groups:

  • Partnerships that are up to 50-per-cent owned by non-eligible members;
  • Indigenous government-owned corporations that are carrying on a business, as well as partnerships where the partners are Indigenous governments and eligible employers;
  • Registered Canadian Amateur Athletic Associations;
  • Registered Journalism Organizations; and
  • Non-public colleges and schools, including institutions that offer specialized services, such as arts schools, driving schools, language schools or flight schools.

The changes to eligibility are retroactive to April 11, 2020, meaning that they apply to the first qualifying period starting March 15, 2020.

Qualifying Periods and Requisite Revenue Reduction for each period are as follows:
Period One

  • March 15 – April 11 (15% required reduction in revenue)

Period Two

  • April 12 – May 9 (30% required reduction in revenue)

Period Three

  • May 10 – June 6 (30% required reduction in revenue)

Period Four

  • June 7 – July 4 2020 (30% required reduction in revenue)
    • Announced June 16, 2020

Bill C-20 introduced the following key changes to the program to ensure a safe restart to the economy.

  • Allow the extension of the CEWS until December 19, 2020, including the addition of qualifying periods and redesigned program details until November 21, 2020.
  • Eliminate the 30 per cent revenue decline threshold to promote economic growth and hire back of employees.
  • Introduce a top-up subsidy of up to an additional 25 per cent for employers that have been most adversely affected by the pandemic.
  • CEWS Eligibility criteria expanded
    • Sliding revenue/support options: support for businesses who list 50%+ in revenue to 30% and under, on a sliding scale based on need.
  • Gradual decrease in support from CEWS
    • To prevent businesses from falling off an eligibility cliff and to acknowledge that businesses need planning security and this program has become an important tool for employee retention.

The reference period for eligibility is the same month of the prior year, or an average of revenues for the two months preceding the period in the previous year (for example, the reference time for period one eligibility is March 2019 or an average of January and February 2019). Once a metric is chosen, it must be used consistently.

Eligible employees must be:

  • Working in Canada;
  • Not receiving CERB for the period claimed by the employer;
  • On payroll, but can either be working or laid off.

Non arm's-length employees (e.g. owners/ shareholders) will be eligible if they were previously on payroll.
As of April 27, 2020, eligible employers can apply for the CEWS through the CRA's My Business Account portal. See the CEWS How to Apply page here.

Beginning April 27, 2020, certain financial institutions will offer CRA direct deposit online enrolment for business payroll accounts through their websites, helping businesses get their payments quickly and securely. Employers can sign up for direct deposit with their financial institutions even after applying for the CEWS. Employers are directed to visit the Canada Direct Deposit website or their financial institutions directly for more information.

The Government of Canada has launched the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy Calculator to help employers as they prepare to apply for the CEWS. Employers who have used the calculator will be able to use the printable statement feature to enter required information into their application.

According to the June 16, 2020 update, any changes to eligibility criteria, which are to be determined, will commence for periods 5 and/or 6.

LINKS

Read about Bill C-20, An Act Respecting Further COVID-19 Measures here.
See the Department of Finance's July 17, 2020 update here
See the Department of Finance's June 16, 2020 update here
See the Department of Finance's news release dated May 15, 2020 here.
See the Department of Finance's Backgrounder on Extending Eligibility for the CEWS dated May 15, 2020 here.
See Prime Minister Trudeau's COVID-19 news conference on CBC's May 8, 2020 article here.
See the CRA's CEWS webpage here
See the CRA's news release on CEWS Application process dated April 27, 2020 here.
See the CRA's news release on the CEWS Calculator dated April 21, 2020 here
See the Government of Canada's "Additional Details on the CEWS" here
See the Department of Finance's news release dated April 11, 2020 here
See the Government of Canada's news release dated April 8, 2020 here
See the Government of Canada's backgrounder on CEWS here.
See the Government of Canada's news release dated April 1, 2020 here.
See Global News' coverage on the wage subsidy here.

See detailed information from Gowling WLG here.

Temporary Wage Subsidy for Employers

DESCRIPTION

The Temporary Wage Subsidy for Employers is a three-month measure that will allow eligible employers to reduce the amount of payroll deductions required to be remitted to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).

The subsidy is equal to 10% of the remuneration the employer pays from March 18, 2020 to June 19, 2020, up to $1,375 for each eligible employee and to a maximum of $25,000 per employer.

The subsidy must be calculated by the employer, or whoever is responsible for the employer's payroll remittances. The CRA will not automatically calculate the allowable subsidy. The subsidy calculation is based on the total number of eligible employees employed at any time during the three-month period.

ACCESS AND ELIGIBILITY

Eligible employers must be

  • An individual, non-profit organization, registered charity, or Canadian-controlled private corporations (CCPC);
  • have an existing business number and payroll program account with the CRA on March 18, 2020; and
  • pay salary, wages, bonuses, or other remuneration to an employee.

For employers that are eligible for both the CEWS and the temporary wage subsidy for a period, any benefit from the 10 per cent wage subsidy for remuneration paid in a specific period would generally reduce the amount available to be claimed under the CEWS in that same period.

LINKS

See the CRA's FAQs on the Temporary Wage Subsidy here.

See the Department of Finance Canada's March 18, 2020 press release here.

Supplemental Unemployment Benefit (SUB) Program

DESCRIPTION

Employers can use a SUB plan to increase their employees' weekly earnings when they are unemployed due to a temporary stoppage of work, training, illness, injury or quarantine.

Employees who are off work temporarily and receiving regular or sickness EI benefits can receive supplementary payments from the employer to top up the employees earnings.

A SUB plan must be registered with Service Canada in order for its benefits not to be considered employment earnings and thereby deductible from EI.

A SUB plan can allow an employer to agree to make supplementary payments to any eligible employees. These payments, in conjunction with any EI or other benefits that the employee is receiving, cannot exceed 95% of the employee's regular weekly earnings. An employee whose net income (including EI and SUB) is above 1.25 times the maximum yearly insurable earnings may be required to repay some of the EI benefits received.

The plan cannot provide that the SUB payment will be made in one lump sum payment; payments must be made periodically.

ACCESS AND ELIGIBILITY

To register, an employer must create a SUB plan and submit it to Service Canada. There is no specific format but it must include a number of things:

  • The group(s) of employees covered by the plan
  • The type(s) of unemployment covered by the plan
  • A statement noting that employees must be in receipt of EI benefits
  • The value of the Supplemental Unemployment Benefit and SUB payments
  • Benefit duration (it must include the maximum number of weeks the SUB payments are payable, however there is no minimum or maximum threshold requirement)
  • Plan details, including: (i) duration of the plan (must be at least one year and can last up to five years), (ii) written notice of any subsequent changes (which must be given within 30 days of the effective date of change), (iii) the method used to finance the plan, and (iv) a statement indicating that separate records will be kept of all SUB payments.
  • A statement noting that payments received under the SUB plans will not be used to reduce or increase any other remuneration (e.g. guaranteed annual remuneration, deferred remuneration or severance pay).
Along with the plan itself, the employer must also submit a SUB plan Registration Form and any additional required documentation to Service Canada.

LINKS

See Employment and Social Development Canada's SUB Program website here

Deferral on Tax Payments

DESCRIPTION

The CRA will allow all businesses to defer the payment of any income tax amounts that become owing on or after March 18, 2020 until August 31, 2020.

The relief will apply to tax balances due as well as installments under Part I of the Income Tax Act. Interest and penalties will not accumulate on owing amounts during this period.

ACCESS AND ELIGIBILITY

The filing date for corporations remains 6 months after the end of the corporation's tax year. The payment date for the current tax year has been extended to September 1, 2020.

LINKS

See the CRAs webpage on Income Tax Filing and Payment Dates here.

Also see the Department of Finance's Press Release dated March 18, 2020 here.

Deferral of Administrative Tax Measures

DESCRIPTION

Unless otherwise noted, administrative income tax actions required of taxpayers by the CRA that are due after March 18, 2020, can be deferred to June 1, 2020. These administrative income tax actions include elections, designations and information requests. Payroll deductions payments and all related activities are excluded.

LINKS

See the Department of Finance's Additional Support for Canadian Businesses webpage here.

Deferral of the Goods and Services Tax (GST)/ Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) Remittances and Customs Duty Payments

DESCRIPTION

Businesses and self-employed individuals can defer payment of GST, HST, and customs duties owing on imports until June 30, 2020.

The deferral will apply to GST/HST remittances for the February, March and April 2020 reporting periods for monthly filers; the January 1, 2020 through March 31, 2020 reporting period for quarterly filers; and for annual filers, the amounts collected and owing for their previous fiscal year and instalments of GST/HST in respect of the filer's current fiscal year.

For GST and customs duty payments for imported goods, deferral will include amounts owing for March, April and May. No interest will apply if payments or remittances are made by the end of June, 2020.

ACCESS AND ELIGIBILITY

Businesses in need of information about their particular obligations may contact the Canada Revenue Agency or refer to its website.

Businesses in need of information about their particular accounting and payment obligations on imported goods may contact the Canada Border Services Agency for more details.

LINKS

See the CRAs webpage "Support for Employers" dated March 31, 2020 here.

See the Department of Finance's Additional Support for Canadian Businesses webpage here.

Relief from the Requirement to Pay (RTP)

DESCRIPTION

Banks and employers do not need to comply or remit on existing RTPs during this time.

LINKS

See the Department of Finance's Additional Support for Canadian Businesses webpage here.

Suspension on Collection and Audits

DESCRIPTION

Collections

Collections activities on new tax debts will be suspended until further notice, and the CRA has announced that flexible payment arrangements will be made available

Audits

The CRA has announced that it, generally, will not contact small or medium businesses to initiate any post-assessment GST/HST or income tax audits for the next four weeks

Objections

The CRA has identified objections related to Canadian's entitlement to benefits and credits as a critical service. The deadline for filing objections due March 18, 2020 or later has been extended to June 30, 2020. Objections related to other tax matters filed by individuals and businesses will be held in abeyance for the time being.

LINKS

See the CRA's webpage on Collections, audit, objections and appeals here.

Relaxing Review Procedures for SR&ED Credit Submissions

DESCRIPTION

The Scientific Research and Experimental Development Program has taken action to ensure claimants receive the credits to which they are entitled, as soon as possible.

For the time being, no new reviews/audits will be started and existing reviews/audits will be completed as soon as possible so that businesses have access to their credits faster. Most refundable claims will be processed as soon as possible with minimal burden on the claimant. Claims accepted at this time may be subject to review/audit at a future date to ensure eligibility.

LINKS

See the COVID-19 notice on the SR&ED website here.

Tax Filing and Electronic Signatures

DESCRIPTION

On a temporary basis, the CRA will recognize electronic signatures as having met the signature requirement of the Income Tax Act.

LINKS

See the CRA's webpage on electronic signatures here.

Funding for Provinces and Territories – Safe restart of economy

DESCRIPTION

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs Chrystia Freeland held a press conference on Parliament Hill to announce that the federal government would provide the provinces and territories with $19 billion for a safe restart of the economy.
The funding will focus on seven priority areas, including $4.2 billion for enhanced COVID-19 testing and contact tracing, $4.5 billion for the purchase of personal protective equipment (PPE) for front line and essential workers, and $625 million to fund more childcare spaces so that parents can get back to work, according to a government background document.
The federal government will put up to $2 billion toward the operating costs of Canadian cities for six to eight months; provinces and territories will be required to match that amount from their own funds. The federal government will also match any new funding that provinces and municipalities put toward public transit, up to $1.8 billion.

As part of the agreement, Ottawa will create a temporary national sick leave program — providing 10 days of paid sick leave to those who do not already have it through their employers — at an estimated cost of $1.1 billion.

LINKS

Read more about the funding for Provinces and Territories here

INDIGENOUS SERVICES CANADA

Relief Measures for Indigenous Businesses

DESCRIPTION

The Government of Canada is providing $306.8 million in funding to help small and medium-sized Indigenous businesses, and to support Aboriginal Financial Institutions that offer financing to these businesses. The funding comes by way of short-term, interest-free loans and non-repayable contributions for First Nations, Inuit, and Métis businesses. For more information how this funding works, see here.

On June 11, 2020, the Government of Canada has committed a further $133 million on helping Indigenous businesses suffering the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Of this funding, $117 million will help small and community-owned Indigenous businesses. $16 million of this additional investment will be provided to support Indigenous businesses in the tourism industry, a sector that supports thousands of jobs across the country.

LINKS

See the Government of Canada's page on Relief Measures for Indigenous Businesses.

See the Prime Minister's remarks on June 11, 2020 announcing further investment in Indigenous businesses.

See Indigenous Services Canada news release on the June 11, 2020 commitment.


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