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Prince Edward Island: COVID-19 relief measures for your business

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We know that this is a difficult time, full of uncertainty. The information you need to run your business changes rapidly, and it can be hard to keep track and make sense of it all.  

In order to relieve some of the pressure on small businesses such as yours, we are gathering all the information you need about government services and supports in Prince Edward Island and putting it in this one location. We will continue working with governments to ensure additional relief measures become available for your business as the situation evolves.  

Please check back regularly. We will update this page as more information becomes available. 

Closures

Consult our guide to learn which businesses are currently closed in P.E.I. 

Commercial Leases: rent deferral program

Prince Edward Island landlords who defer rent payments from their commercial tenants for three months (May-July) could be eligible for financial assistance (up to a maximum of $50,000 per landlord and $15,000 per tenant) if the deferred rent can’t be recovered. Landlords can register for the Commercial Lease Rent Deferral Program by contacting Finance PEI at [email protected] by April 15.

Workers' Compensation: deferred premiums

WCB will defer all assessment due dates related to 2020 employer payrolls. This temporary change means that covered employers will not have to pay WCB premiums until June 30, 2020.  Neither interest nor penalties will accrue during this time.

Information and updates on workers’ compensation issues related to COVID-19 can be found on the WCB website. You can find answers there to questions like: 

  • Are workers eligible for WCB benefits if they have COVID-19?
  • What happens if a worker files a claim?
  • Are quarantined or self-isolated workers eligible for benefits?
  • And much more.
Maritime Electric: suspending disconnections

Maritime Electric is suspending disconnection for non-payment for two weeks.

Provincial Government: loans and loan deferrals

The government has announced Emergency Working Capital Financing to help small businesses maintain normal business operations. Each qualified company is eligible to receive up $100,000. To qualify, you must be:

  • An existing small businesses (startups not eligible) located and operating in the Province of PEI, and have been generating revenue on PEI 
  • Registered to conduct business within the Province of PEI
  • Satisfactory in terms of credit rating and without any defaulted outstanding debt obligation on file in the Province’s Central Default Registry

Click here to find out how you can apply. 

As well, the government is:

  • deferring all scheduled loan payments for clients of Finance PEI, Island Investment Development Inc., and the PEI Century Fund for the next 3 months; 
  • providing $4.5 million to Community Business Development Corporations across the province to deliver financing to small business and entrepreneurs; and
  • providing a temporary allowance of $200 per week for anyone who has experienced a significant drop in their working hours.

There is a toll-free support line 1-866-222-1751 between 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Monday through Friday or you can email [email protected] 

Broadband Fund for Businesses 

The Prince Edward Island Broadband Fund for Business provides financial assistance to local Prince Edward Island internet service providers (ISPs), communities and businesses for the installation of infrastructure for enhanced broadband services.

Webpage dedicated to business that details about available programs, supports and online applications: https://www.princeedwardisland.ca/en/topic/for-business

COVID-19 Business Adaptation Advice Program

The COVID-19 Business Adaptation PROGRAM provides a non-repayable contribution towards the cost for a Prince Edward Island businesses and entrepreneurs to hire a professional to provide advice and support to adapt to or recover from the impacts of COVID-19.

 

Self-employed and worker COVID-19 income support program

COVID-19 Income Support Program 

Islanders who, as of March 13, 2020, have lost their job or have been laid off, have had their Employment Insurance benefits expire and do not yet have a job to return to, or are self-employed and have lost all revenues through self-employment may be eligible for The COVID-19 Income Support Program.  The fund provides a one-time, taxable payment of $750.

To qualify, Islanders must:

  • be 18 years of age or older;
  • be a resident of Prince Edward Island as of December 31, 2019;
  • have earned a minimum of $5,000 gross earnings in the last 12 months; 
  • lost their primary source of income because of COVID-19 and have no other income; and 
  • have applied for federal benefits (e.g. Employment Insurance or the Canada Emergency Response Benefit).

Employee Gift Card Program

The Employee Gift Card Program is a temporary program put in place to offer a $100 Sobeys gift card to any employee, living and working on Prince Edward Island, who has received a lay-off notice as a direct result of the impacts associated with COVID-19. The application form is to be completed by the employer, who will then distribute the cards to affected employees.

Employment Standards Requirements

If you need to lay off employees temporarily, there is no requirement to give or pay notice since the employee is not being terminated, but rather being put on a leave of absence not currently covered by Employment Standards.

If you do not intend to have the employee return to work after the crisis is over, then it is a termination and notice requirements must be met. If government directs the closure of a business due to COVID-19, it is likely the notice requirement will be waived; however, this will be judged on a case-by-case basis. 

What is CFIB doing?

As we regularly communicate with the Prince Edward Island government to get answers your questions, we are actively lobbying them to:

  • waive interest and penalty fees for any late/deferred property tax payments; 
  • provide relief from payment, penalties and interest for late remittances for Workers Compensation Board (WCB) premiums; and
  • prompt payment.

FAQ on COVID-19

We’re dedicated to supporting your business through this difficult time by compiling answers to the most common COVID-19 questions and keeping you up to date on the latest relief measures from the Federal government. Visit our Small Business Help Center to learn more.