How to access financial support
The below surveys can help you determine which programs to look at:
You can also view a chart outlining significant government support programs, including links to application forms here.
For student job subsidies, check out our list of student workplace programs.
Resources for small business grants
- Canada GrantWatch
- Canada Startups funding database
- Etools for exporting (Canada business database)
- Funding programs for employment and social development
- Futurepreneur Canada
- Government of Canada business grants and financing
- Startup Canada grants and programs
You can view a chart outlining significant support programs, including links to application forms here.
You can view a chart with links to application forms here.
What should I do if I cannot pay my federal taxes?
If a business already owes remittance to CRA, it can create a payment plan by calling 1-800-675-6184. This is not recommended if you have no outstanding remittance.
If you can’t remit your QST/GST/HST payment on the due date, try to make a payment agreement with Revenu Quebec.
If that’s not possible, you can apply in writing to have your penalties and interest cancelled. Cancellations will be granted on a case-by-case basis.
The new Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) provides $40 billion of additional support to businesses experiencing challenges through the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) and Export Development Canada (EDC). BCD & EDC work together with eligible financial institutions to offer you solutions through your regular financial institution. These are available at participating banks and credit unions. Please speak to your financial institution account manager to determine what help is available to your business.
This program includes:
- Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) a 40k loan to be provided through financial institutions.
- Loan Guarantee for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises to support their operations. EDC will guarantee 80% of new operating credit and cash flow term loans that financial institutions extend to SMEs, up to $6.25 million. The program cap for this new loan program will be a total of $20 billion for the export sector and domestic companies.
- Co-Lending Program from Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises to provide additional liquidity support to Canadian businesses. The Co-Lending Program will bring the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) together with financial institutions to co-lend term loans to SMEs for their operational cash flow requirements. Eligible businesses may obtain incremental credit amounts up to $6.25 million, 80 percent of which would be provided by BDC, with the remaining 20% by a financial institution. BDC’s portion of this program is up to $5 million maximum per loan. Eligible financial institutions will conduct the underwriting and manage the interface with their customers. The potential for lending for this program will be $20 billion.
All eligible credit unions will be added to the list of providers. There are 232 Financial institutions offering the BCAP programs. Please check the list provided on the CEBA website under “How can I apply”.
Effective March 24, 2020, EDC is stepping up to support all exporting companies by offering their bank a guarantee on loans of up to $5M so that companies can access more cash immediately. For more details, contact your financial institution.
For credit insurance customers, EDC understands how difficult this time is and therefore effective immediately EDC will:
- Cover losses for goods shipped even if the buyer has not accepted the goods, subject to terms.
- Waive the 60-day waiting period for claims.
- If you’re new to EDC and are seeking more information please call 1-800-229-0575 or contact them here.
- Current EDC Customers who need working capital and financial solutions should contact their account manager.
- Existing EDC customers who need assistance with insurance products and online portals should contact 1-866-716-7201 and email@example.com.
- If you only sell products and services within Canada, other Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) partner financial institutions are here to help you. Contact the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) at 1-877-232-2269 as a first step to see how they are helping businesses like yours.
What is the 10% Temporary Wage Subsidy for Employers (TWSE)?
The TWSE allows a business to reduce their payroll remittances by 10% of the paid employee wages during the period of March 18 to June 19, 2020. Over the 90- days period, the limit is $1,375 per employee and $25,000 per employer.
- Individuals (excluding trusts)
- Partnerships with members who are individuals (excluding trusts), registered charities, other partnerships eligible for the subsidy or eligible Canadian-Controlled Private Corporations (CCPCs)
- Canadian-Controlled Private Corporation (incorporated) eligible to the small business deduction or non-profit organizations, registered charities
- Have an existing business number & payroll program account with CRA on March 18; and
- Pay salary, wages, bonuses, or other remunerations to an employee in Canada.
It is a 10% subsidy, so if you have 2 employees that you pay $1,500 each, every two weeks, the subsidy will be $150 * 2 = $300
The maximum that you can receive per employee is $1,375.
The maximum amount of TWSE that an employer can receive is $25,000.
- You do not need to apply to the subsidy
- Continue to deduct income tax, CPP and EI from the salary, wages, bonuses, or other remuneration paid to your employees.
- Calculate the 10% subsidy that you would be eligible for.
- Reduce your current payroll remittance of federal, provincial, or territorial income tax that you send to CRA by the amount of the 10% wage subsidy that you are eligible for.
- If applying after June 19th, you will have to complete and submit a CRA self-identification form which will help CRA reconcile the subsidy with your payroll program account. This form is not yet available. If a business has not reduced their remittances, then CRA can credit your payroll program account after receiving the self-identification form.
Example: if you have two employees for a total bimonthly labour cost of $3,000 and you deduct $700 from their pay for the federal and provincial income tax, you will be able to remit to CRA only $400 and keep the remaining $300 for you as you have a subsidy of $300 (as calculated above).
The calculation is the following: Planned Income Tax remittance – 10% subsidy = New Income Tax remittance
You cannot however reduce your remittance of Canada Pension Plan contributions (CPP) or Employment Insurance (EI) premiums. You must continue to remit the CPP contributions and EI premiums you have deducted from your employees’ pay, as well as the employer’s share of the CPP contributions and EI premiums.
For more details, see the Frequently Asked Questions from CRA.
Is the 10% Temporary Wage Subsidy for Employers (TWSE) being extended past June 19, 2020?
No, at this time the government has not indicated that they will be extending this program. Government is still reviewing the CEWS consultations and COVID-19 support program changes are still under consideration at this time.
Are month to month leases eligible under the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA)?
How can I contact CMHC regarding the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA)?
- E-mail CECRA@cmhc.ca
- The CECRA application line is 1-833-610-0515
- The general program inquiries line is 1-800-668-2642
Note that both of these lines are experiencing high call volumes (currently averaging a wait time of 1:20mins), and you may not be able to get through. CMHC has recommended that you leave a voicemail and that they will call you back.
We have raised these issues with CMHC; please let us know if you experience problems contacting CMHC.
From March 15, 2020 to September 26, 2020 if you had lost income because of COVID-19, the CERB will provide you with temporary income support, whether you are EI-eligible or not.This benefit is available until you have received it for 28 weeks or until October 3rd, whichever comes first. For non-EI eligible applicants who have applied through the CRA, the last CERB period ended September 26, 2020, and applications for this period only are currently being accepted retroactively. All other claim periods are temporarily closed for applications
Retroactive applications for earlier periods will reopen soon and be done via the CERB line at 1-800-959-8281, with a Deadline of December 2, 2020.
Effective September 27:
- EI-eligible workers will be transitioned into the EI program.
- Pending legislation, non-EI-eligible workers will be transitioned into:
- Canada Recovery Benefit
- Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit
Are the new programs available to students using the Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB)?
A student could potentially qualify for the new programs (CRB, CRSB, CRCB); however, they are intended for workers. With regards to the EI eligibility requirements, there is a need for a layoff and an availability to work.
Will employers be allowed to use the Supplemental Unemployment Benefit (SUB) plans again?
Yes, once we get the EI system back, the Supplemental Unemployment Benefit (SUB) programs will be available again.
If you are not eligible for EI, CRA CERB will provide you with a flat rate of $2,000/4 weeks for up to 16 weeks.
If you are eligible for EI, Service Canada EI-CERB will provide you the below options:
Option 1. $1000/2 weeks for up to 16 weeks; or
Option 2. $2000/4 weeks for up to 16 weeks
Yes, the benefit is taxable, but you will receive the $2000 upfront. When the time comes for you to prepare your income tax return for the year 2020 you will need to claim it as income.
- You must reside in Canada and have a valid social insurance number
- You are 15 years of age or older at the time of application
- You are earning employment income of $1,000 a month or less for reasons related to covid-19, or because you are unable to work due to illness, or because you lost your employment for other reasons beyond your control
- You have not quit your job voluntarily
- You are not receiving nor have you applied for the CERB from the Canada Revenue Agency nor are you receiving Employment Insurance benefits for the same benefit period
- You have earned a minimum of $5,000 in income within the last 12 months or in the 2019 calendar year from one or more from the following sources:
- Employment income
- Self-employment income
- Dividend, under certain conditions.
Application portals and phone lines are open now. CERB will be available until October 3, 2020.
- EI-eligible applicants should apply through the E-Service Canada portal.
- Non-EI-eligible applicants should apply through the CRA My Account.
To avoid overloading the CRA portal, CRA has recommended that the day to apply will depend on your month of birth. If you were born in:
- January, February and March, you can apply starting April 6
- April, May and June, you can apply starting April 7
- July, August and September, you can apply starting April 8
- October, November and December, you can apply starting April 9
In order to receive your benefit faster, make sure that you have signed-up for direct deposit with CRA and that the information you provided is up to date.
More details here.
There are three ways to apply:
- Online with E-Service Canada portal (recommended for those eligible for EI)
- Online with CRA My Account (recommended for those non-eligible for EI)
- Over the phone with an automated phone service:
- If you have Portal Account issues:
- If you have filed tax returns prior to 2018:
- If you have never filed a tax return before:
- If you have Portal Account issues:
Note: Ensure that you have your SIN, your postal code, and that you know the period that you are applying for when you call.
The fastest way to apply to CERB would be to call 1-833-966-2099.
You will have to re-apply for each claiming period.
More details here.
Service Canada and the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) deliver this benefit jointly so if you have already applied for Employment Insurance, you do not need to re-apply.
The CERB is available in 4-week periods:
|1||March 15, 2020 - April 11, 2020|
|2||April 12, 2020 - May 9, 2020|
|3||May 10, 2020 - June 6, 2020|
|4||June 7, 2020 - July 4, 2020|
|5||July 5, 2020 - August 1, 2020|
|6||August 2, 2020 - August 29, 2020|
|7||August 30, 2020 - September 26, 2020|
Applicants will begin to receive their CERB payments within 10 days of their application.
The Federal Government has announced that if you are earning less than $1000 per month, you can work and claim CERB. Anyone earning more than $1000 per month will not be eligible for CERB.
First 4-week eligibility period: if you earn more than $1000 (gross) in the form of employment and/or self-employment income over two consecutive weeks during the 4-week period which made you eligible for the CERB, you will have to repay the $2000 you received from CERB.
Second 4-week eligibility period: if you earn more than $1000 (gross) in the form of employment and/or self-employment during the 4-week period, you will have to repay the $2000 you received from CERB.
Yes, if you have seasonal employment and can’t find a job due to COVID-19 you are eligible for CERB provided you meet all the eligibility criteria.
The federal government announced that anyone whose EI claim ran out after January 1, 2020, will be eligible for CERB.
You have the option to return or repay your CERB payment if you return to work sooner than anticipated, or if you applied but later realized you’re not eligible.
If you received CERB by cheque and have not yet cashed/deposited it, you can return it to the address below.
If you no longer have the cheque, or you received direct deposit, you can mail the repayment to the CRA:
- Make the payment out to Receiver General for Canada”
- Indicate it is for Repayment of CERB”
- Include your Social Insurance Number (SIN)
- Mail the payment to:
- Revenue Processing – Repayment of CERB
- Sudbury Tax Centre
- 1050 Notre Dame Avenue
- Sudbury, ON, P3A 0C1
As an employer, you are required to file an ROE whenever an employee experiences or anticipates an interruption of earnings. This is generally 7 consecutive days of no earnings or if the employee has fallen below 60% of their regular weekly earnings for reasons like illness, pregnancy or caring for an ill family member. All to say, an employer still needs to submit an ROE for their employee to Service Canada (the fastest way to do this is through ROE web, not Paper ROEs).
Employees applying for CERB do not need their ROE to apply to CERB.
Employees applying for EI, can use their previous 12 month pay stubs to create an interim ROE. This will allow them to start and process their ROE while waiting for employers to submit their ROE.
Please note that all EI applications received after March 15th are automatically being treated as CERB applications.
If an employee quits their job/takes a leave of absence voluntarily, they will not be eligible for the CERB. This program is designed for employees who are no longer able to work due to COVID-19. People will have to self-attest multiple times during the CERB payment period, and post-mortem audits may occur.
In Quebec, to compensate for the wage gap between people who receive CERB and essential workers on low incomes, the government introduced the Incentive Program for the Retention of Essential Workers (PIRTE).
Yes, if they meet the eligibility criteria above.
This will be done purely by attestations. Government will reserve the right to ask to see bank statements, check CRA T4s and T4Sums, and post-mortem audits may occur.
Yes. For example, in Quebec you can receive the temporary aid for workers from the Quebec government and the CERB from the federal government.
You are eligible for EI if you meet the regular eligibility criteria. You are eligible for the CERB if you have a valid social insurance number and meet all the criteria.
No, applicants cannot receive EI regular or sickness benefits and the CERB at the same time but:
- Those who are already receiving EI regular benefits will continue to receive the same benefits until the end of their benefit period. If these benefits end before October 3, 2020, they may then apply for the CERB if they meet the eligibility requirements.
- EI claims of those who became eligible for EI regular or sickness benefits March 15th onward will be automatically processed through the CERB. After 4 months of receiving the CERB, they will still be able to apply for their regular EI benefits if they are still unemployed. Receiving the CERB first will not affect their eligibility to receive EI benefits after.
Yes, you are eligible for CPP and CERB at the same time. However, you must meet all the other eligibility criteria for CERB.
Agents are available to speak to about CERB or CRA My Account at 1-800-959-8281. You can also check out the CERB website.
What if I know my employee is abusing the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)?
Report a lead on suspected tax or benefit cheating in Canada by providing key identifiers and factual details to the CRA by phone, mail, fax or submitting a lead online.
If you are a farmer or part of the agri-food sector, the below are some government programs and changes that may affect you:
- There’s been an increase in Farm Credit Canada, which provides credit to farmers and the agri-food sector.
- Farmers with an outstanding Advance Payment Program (APP) loan due on or before April 30 will have an additional six months to repay the loan.
- 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 $1 million.
- The Government of Canada will provide support of $1,500 per temporary foreign worker to help pay the cost of the mandatory 14-day isolation period required of all workers arriving from abroad. Applications will be made through the Ministry of Agriculture website – more details to come.
- The launch of a $100M Agriculture and Food Business Solutions Fund through Farm Credit Canada
What is the Mandatory Isolation Support for Temporary Foreign Workers Program (MISTFWP)?
The Mandatory Isolation Support for Temporary Foreign Workers Program (MISTFWP) is a $50-million program designed to help employers who employ temporary foreign workers with the extra cost associated with the 14 day isolation period required under the Quarantine Act.
Eligible employers can receive a non-repayable contribution of up to $1,500 per temporary foreign worker.
Funding will be available until September 15, 2020 or until the $50-million has been distributed and as long as the order under the Quarantine Act is in force and the isolation protocol has to be followed.
Who is an eligible employer under the Mandatory Isolation Support for Temporary Foreign Workers Program (MISTFWP)?
Eligible employer are:
- Canadian employers in the following sectors
- fish harvesting
- food production and processing
- comply with the mandatory 14-day isolation protocol and other public health requirement
- comply with the regulation of the Temporary foreign workers Program
- comply with regulations regarding wage and employment conditions from the program they use to hire their temporary foreign workers
What are the supported incurred incremental costs admissible under the Mandatory Isolation Support for Temporary Foreign Workers Program (MISTFWP)?
- Wages and benefits of the temporary foreign workers during the mandatory 14-day isolation period
- Off site accommodations during the mandatory 14-day isolation period
- Transportation to and from off site accommodations required during the mandatory 14-day isolation period
- Food or a food allowance during the mandatory 14-day isolation period
- Health and safety supplies such as gloves, masks, hand sanitizer, disinfectant cleaners and soaps required for the mandatory 14-day isolation period
- Other incremental costs directly associated to the 14 day mandatory isolation period imposed on temporary foreign workers under the Quarantine Act
It is possible to claim retroactive cost. Retroactive costs are expenses that were made on or after March 26, 2020. In order for those cost to be reimbursed, they must be:
- approved or deemed eligible
- incurred during or for the purpose of the mandatory 14 day isolation period
How can I apply to the Mandatory Isolation Support for Temporary Foreign Workers Program (MISTFWP)?
Eligible employers can download the application form here. Only one form is necessary to request funds for all of your temporary foreign workers.
Application must be submitted before September 15, 2020.
You can send the application by email to: aafc.MISP-PAIO.firstname.lastname@example.org
I was approved for funding with the Mandatory Isolation Support for Temporary Foreign Workers Program (MISTFWP), what are the next steps?
- You will need to sign the Contribution Agreement. This document includes information such as the maximum amount you can receive. This will be accompanied by a step-by-step guide on how to complete a claim for reimbursement.
- Once the 14 day isolation period is over, submit documentation supporting your claim. You can submit more than one claim if you have workers arriving on different dates or you can wait and submit all you claim at once.
Claim must be submitted by August 14, 2020
- For every worker, you will be required to provide their Unique Client Identifier (UCI). The UCI can be found on the worker’s work permit.
Once all the documentation is received and processed by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, you will receive a cheque that covers the whole amount of the claim. Individual cheques will be sent for each requested claim.
Can I receive money for all my temporary foreign workers under the Mandatory Isolation Support for Temporary Foreign Workers Program (MISTFWP)?
In order to be eligible, workers must have arrived in Canada between March 26, 2020, and June 30, 2020.
Can I still receive the Mandatory Isolation Support for Temporary Foreign Workers Program (MISTFWP) if I received financial assistance from a provincial or territorial government to help cover these costs?
Your MISTFWP contribution may be reduced.
Can I still receive MISTFWP if my incremental costs per employee is less than $1,500?
Yes, however should the $1,500 exceed the incremental costs per employee your MISTFWP contribution may be reduced.
How can I make a change or withdraw my application to the Mandatory Isolation Support for Temporary Foreign Workers Program (MISTFWP)
If you need to make a change to your application, you need to contact the program. Do not resubmit a claim.
If you need to withdraw a claim, you need to contact the program.
How can I contact the Mandatory Isolation Support for Temporary Foreign Workers Program (MISTFWP)?
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Mandatory Isolation Support for Temporary Foreign Workers Program
1341 Baseline Road
Tower 7, 7th floor
Ottawa ON K1A 0C5
The federal government announced $470million in support to fish harvesters, including:
- The Fish Harvester Benefit - income support for up 75% of losses for harvesters experiencing a 25% drop in revenue, up to $10,000. Available to anyone who can’t access the 75% Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy.
- The Fish Harvester Grant - non-repayable grants up to $10,000 to owners of fish harvesting businesses.
- Amendments to employment rules next year to allow workers to apply for EI based on the income of previous years.
What are the changes to EI for fishers?
The government has implemented temporary measures due to COVID that will allow EI fishing benefits for fishers to be calculated using either their actual fishing earnings for their current claim, or their fishing earnings from their claim for the same season from the previous year, whichever is higher.
Service Canada has mentioned that these programs will not be available at this time. This is because they are pushing out as many CERBs as possible.
Employees on CERB may receive employment income of up to $1000/CERB period. This could be provided by an employer in the form of a top up.
What other Student Workplace programs exist through which I would be able to receive a subsidy?
- WIL Digital: https://www.wil-amt.digital/en/
- Mitacs: https://www.mitacs.ca/en
- Business + Higher Education Roundtable (BHER): http://bher.ca/
- Co-operative Education and Work-Integrated Learning Canada (CEWIL Canada): http://bher.ca/news/bher-and-cewil-announce-grant-funding-to-create-new-work-integrated-learning-opportunities
- Private and public sector employers can now receive up to 100% of the provincial or territorial minimum hourly wage for each employee instead of the previous 50%.
- Employers will be allowed to hire staff on a part-time basis
- Agreed upon contract can be extended to February 28, 2021
The WIL program, offered by the Information and Communications Technology Council, helps employers grow their business by providing up to $7,000 in financial assistance to hire post-secondary students from a publicly funded Canadian post-secondary institution (this includes universities, colleges and CEGEP). These students can be full-time or part-time, vary in their year of study and be from any discipline (including Arts, Humanities, Social Sciences, STEM, Business, etc.).
- 50% of the student’s salary, up to $5000; or
- 70% of the student’s salary, up to $7000, if the student falls into an under-represented group
The WIL subsidy can be used in conjunction with wage subsidies offered by the provinces and territories.
- Registered businesses
- Non-for-profit organizations
- Post-secondary institutions in Canada
- Businesses creating a new student position for this program
For more information please see the WIL Digital website.