Depending on your province, the government may have required you to temporarily shut down your business if they consider you to be a non-essential service. Provincial governments are progressively announcing their plan for reopening business, mostly on a sectoral basis.
If your business is able to keep operating at a distance, through telework, or online commerce you will likely be permitted to continue to stay operational throughout this period.
Fines may be applicable for non-compliance.
To find out if your provincial government is requiring you to temporarily close or have given you the right to reopen please see our online guide.
The definition of an essential service can vary from one province to another. Please see our online guide to find out if your province has defined essential services.
Unfortunately, this is the case for many businesses. The government has announced a number of measures to help you get through this difficult time. There are also steps you can take to determine your business’ future:
- Review your finances: Look at your revenue vs your expenses – are you able to meet your basic expenses? Speak to your accountant/bookkeeper about your options and whether it makes sense to stay open, pause your business, shut down until an opportunity in the market arises, or close your business.
- Make a Business Continuity Plan: Weathering the storm will be difficult, make sure you have a plan as to how to do it. Restarting a business that has been suspended will take thought and time to bring back to its former level. Are there other options for your business to stay open? Can you find new suppliers? Can you change your business model to continue to serve your clients (i.e. provide delivery of food instead of having sit-in customers)
- Speak to your commercial insurance provider: We have been hearing from you and insurance companies that COVID-19 is very rarely covered. Some insurance companies require that you have physical damage in order to access your Business Interruption insurance, others just do not cover diseases. Because every commercial insurance policy is different, we recommend that you speak with your insurance provider to better understand what coverage is available to you under the terms of your policy. If anything, you should check if any flexibility exists with your insurer and figure out what you may need to know to keep your commercial and personal insurance policies valid for when you are ready to open your business doors again. For more information visit the Insurance Bureau of Canada.
- The Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) is implementing a series of consumer relief measures to ease the financial burden on insurance customers. These include immediate auto premium reductions and waiving NSF fees charged by insurers for insufficient funds to cover a customer’s premium. IBC members will also work with small business to help manage costs, exploring flexible payment options for those in a vulnerable position or facing financial hardship as a result of COVID-19. For more information about business interruption coverage, read IBC’s FAQ. You should review it before calling your insurance provider.
- Communicate with your employees twice a week:
- Let employees know what safety measures/policies you are putting in place to keep them safe.
- Post educational posters and share safety tips.
- Ensure that there is a way for employees to notify you if they are sick whether that be through the health and safety representative/committee or though their manager.
- Talk to employees about their job security/health status/vacation/benefits options.
- Look at your contract or lease to see if there is a clause regarding extreme circumstances.
- If there is nothing in the contract, you can try and negotiate an agreement to reduce or delay your payment.
- Document any negotiations, discussions, agreements and/or payments.
- Look carefully at your finances, so you know exactly what you can afford before you speak with your landlord/a supplier. If they permit you to reduce payments, you want to be sure it is an amount you can comfortably afford.
- Speak with your bank, credit union, BDC, EDC or other loan provider for some relief.
- We have been hearing from you and insurance companies that COVID-19 is rarely covered. Some insurance companies require that you have physical damage in order to access your Business Interruption insurance, others just do not cover diseases. Because every commercial insurance policy is different, we recommend that you speak with your insurance provider to better understand what coverage is available to you under the terms of your policy. If anything, you should check if any flexibility exists with your insurer and figure out what you may need to know in order to keep your commercial and home policies valid for when you are ready to open your business doors again. For more information visit the Insurance Bureau of Canada.
Customers who requested Hold Mail service between March 13 and April 13 will get it for free. Residential and business customers must register online and fees will be refunded after purchase. The offer may be extended beyond April 13.
By using Canada Post’s online mail-forwarding service you can have business mail forwarded to an address of your choosing.
If you have subscribed to this service after March 13 Canada Post has confirmed that they will provide you with a refund when the service is cancelled.
For more information see the Canada Post Q & A.
For refunds, complaints or questions please contact Canada Post’s Customer Service at 1-866-607-6301.
CFIB continues to work with its trusted partner, PrimaSure to provide low-cost group benefits for business owners and their employees.
To alleviate some of your stress during the crisis,PrimaSure, offered by Nexim Insurance Solutions, has opened its call lines to all business owners with group insurance questions - not just PrimaSure clients.
The below answers mainly pertain to PrimaSure products. For more information, on how your particular contract is affected, contact Nexim by phone at 1 866 693-2342 or email at [email protected].
During a layoff, all benefits are maintained, including disability insurance (if this is a benefit on your plan) for up to 3 or 4 months (depending on your contract), as long as premiums continue to be paid.
Employers have different options to be applied to the entire class of employees which are:
- Maintain all benefits for their employees during layoff;
- Maintain all benefits without disability insurance;
- Terminate all benefits or Suspend the group plan.
- In Quebec, Members whose health coverage has been terminated, must register with the RAMQ in order to have coverage for their medications. Once they have returned to work and are actively back on the group insurance plan they will have to contact the RAMQ to advise they again have access to private medical.
Please call Nexim Canada before making a decision on one of the above options to be properly informed on the forms that must be completed and information that must be submitted to the carrier.
While in the short term it may seem better to terminate the benefits for employees while on layoff, it is important to consider the following points that could affect the decision:
- Should an unfortunate death occur during the layoff, there would have not been active life insurance in place for the participants and their dependents;
- Once a participant has decided to terminate disability benefits during a layoff:
- Should the participant fall ill and are unable to return to work once the layoff has ended, they will not be eligible to make a disability claim if the disability occurred during the time they were not covered; and
- Once returned to work, the pre-existing clauses may once again be applied for the disability benefit.
- All participants who are currently out of the country will be left without coverage for any emergencies that occur;
- All employees who decide to terminate their benefits by their own will risk having to provide proof of good health to re-adhere to the plan once returned to work; and
- If the re-enrolment period for the group is missed, participants may need to provide proof of good health to re-enrol on the plan.
Yes, a group can decide to suspend coverage for all employees (during that period any claims incurred will not be reimbursed including Life) for a period of up to 3 or 4 months depending on their contract. During this period the group would not pay for any premiums.
In order to avoid a re-enrollment process, the group would need to reinstate the benefits prior to the maximum layoff period indicated in their contract.
The employees no longer fulfilling the minimum amount of hours to be eligible for the plan will be able to remain active on the plan for the length of the layoff period indicated for their plan, after which they will need to fulfill the minimum hours required to stay active on the plan.
This will depend on your provider and plan – please contact Nexim for more information on your specific plan.
There are postal pharmacies at your disposal that will deliver medication to your door. Pharmacies in your area may also be delivering prescriptions to avoid an overload of people in their establishments. Maintenance drugs can easily be delivered on schedule to your door and can be processed by phone or online.
Carriers are asking for classes within the policies to be dealt with the same way. A decision must be made for the entire class of people. In the situation that only partial staff is laid off, those employees or owners who are still actively working can continue to have access to the Group Insurance Plan as usual.
As businesses close and there is a move to working at home, cyber-security is more important than ever. There have already been reports of malicious emails masquerading as legitimate entities using the COVID-19 pandemic in an effort to capture private and personal information.
NOTE: Government will not reach out to you directly by phone or email to offer you relief
When fraudsters pose as a company, brand or e-mail address you recognize, it’s called phishing. A play on the word fish, the perpetrators are fishing for someone to fall for their scam by sending emails (usually with a link to a website) purporting to be from a reputable company. They’re hoping to trick people into giving out personal information or making payments.
- Make sure you have a spam filter on your emails
- Look for tell-tale signs such as typos, grammar errors or poor image quality
- Check the e-mail address – businesses and organizations don’t use hotmail or gmail accounts
- Don’t assume people or businesses are who they say they are
- Don’t give out personal/business information unless you’re absolutely sure of who you are dealing with.
- Trust your instincts – if you’re not comfortable, contact the company directly to find out if the message is legitimate.
Callers will try to trick you into handing over personal information (full name, address, Social Insurance Number, etc.) by posing as a government official. A true government official will be willing to provide you with their name, agent ID number (if applicable), department, the building they are calling from, and will provide you with a phone number that you can call back to reach them. Government agents will also already have your information. Please double check your online portal accounts for any notifications of an audit. We are aware that CRA agents may require a second profile verification call to verify the legitimacy of businesses who have applied to CEWS. If you are unsure of the caller's identity, do not give out any personal information and say that you will call the CRA at another time.
Examples of scam calls include callers pretending to be from CRA either threatening criminal action if a fine isn’t paid or offering relief monies paid by direct deposit. These scammers often try to keep victims on the phones as long as possible with stress tactics and sometimes even pretend to reroute you to a phone line impersonating the local police authority.
Similar to phishing, text scams will try to get you to click a link that will either lead to a malicious website or download malicious content onto your phone. Recent examples include a fake Red Cross text offering free face masks if you just click the link.
Stop and think before you share personal information over the phone or click on COVID-19-related links.
The quickest way to access CERB if you can’t do it through the portal would be to call the automated CERB telephone service at either 1-800-959-2019 or 1-800-959-2041 (if you have filed your taxes up to 2018) or at 1-800-959-8281 if you have never filed a tax return.
If you wish to speak with an agent about CERB, you can call CRA at 1-833-966-2099.
If you wish to talk to an agent about the issues with your My Account portal, you can call 1-800-959-8281.
Please note that all CRA numbers are currently experiencing higher than normal call volumes, and therefore wait times to speak with an agent are longer.
If you need help with My Business Account you can call 1-800-959-5525.
Please note that all CRA numbers are currently experiencing higher than normal call volumes, and therefore wait times to speak with an agent are longer.
Arm's-length: Generally, an arm's length employee is any employee who does not own the business (or in the case of a corporation, has a controlling interest in the corporation) and is not a member of the owner’s immediate family.
Non-arm's length (not at arm's length): A non-arm's length employee is someone who owns the business (or in the case of a corporation, has a controlling interest in the corporation) or is part of the owner’s immediate family.
Immediate family can be related by:
- grandparents of spouse,
- parents of a spouse,
- brothers and sister of a spouse,
- children of a spouse,
- spouse of a brother or sister,
- spouse of a child,
- spouse of a grandchild.
- Common-law partnership ;
- treated the same way as legally married spouses.
- adopted children are treated in the same way as blood-related children.
As per the CRA, Employment income is the number that you would find in box 14 of an individual’s T4Slip. This includes:
- Salary, wages (including pay in lieu of termination notice), tips or gratuities, bonuses, vacation pay, employment commissions, gross and insurable earnings of self-employed fishers, and all other remuneration (see Box 14 – Employment income for a detailed list) you paid to employees during the year
- Various taxable benefits or allowances
- Retiring allowances
- Deductions you withheld during the year
- Pension adjustment (PA) amounts for employees who accrued a benefit for the year under your registered pension plan (RPP) or deferred profit sharing plan (DPSP)
Every province has its own legislative requirements and recommendations that must be followed when reopening businesses, otherwise you could be fined. Not knowing could cost you! We've created customize provincial FAQs for everything you need to know when it comes to reopening your business.
|British Columbia||Prince Edward Island|
|New Brunswick||Newfoundland and Labrador|
How to access financial support
You can view a PDF of chart outlining significant support programs, including links to application forms here.
You can also view a PDF of the chart outlining all support measures, including links to application forms here.
- Income Tax Return Submissions are extended to June 1, 2020
- Those expecting a GSTC or Canada Child Benefit should try not to delay their filing to ensure that their 2020-21 benefit is properly determined.
- Payment arrangements are available if you cannot pay your taxes, child and family benefit overpayments, Canada Student Loans, or other government program overpayments in full
You can view a PDF of chart outlining tax deferrals with links to application forms here.
If you are in Quebec, know that Revenu Quebec is applying similar measures to CRA.
- GST/HST remittances will be extended until June 30, 2020. Eligibility is as follows:
- Monthly filers have to remit amounts collected for the February, March and April 2020 reporting periods;
- Quarterly filers have to remit amounts collected for January 1, 2020 through March 31, 2020 reporting period; and
- Annual filers, whose GST/HST return or instalment are due in March, April or May 2020, have to remit amounts collected and owing for their previous fiscal year and instalments of GST/HST in respect of the filer's current fiscal year.
Note: although remittances are deferred, you must still file your GST/HST return on time. Quebec business can postpone filing until June 30, 2020.
- Corporate income tax payments due between mid-March to September 1st, 2020 are deferred till August 31, 2020. Must still submit them by June 1, 2020.
- Customs Duty and Sales Tax for Importers for statements of accounts for March, April, and May will be deferred to June 30, 2020.
- More information about particular accounting and payment obligations on imported goods can be found by contacting the Canada Border Services Agency at 1-800-461-9999.
- Trusts, Partnerships and NR4 information returns are all extended to May 1, 2020.
- Existing Requirements to Pay (RTPs) do not need to be remitted or complied by Banks and Employers during this time until further notice
- Charities submitting a Form T3010 (Registered Charity Information Return) due between March 18, 2020 and December 31, 2020 will have an extended filing deadline of December 31, 2020
- Charities Directorate has suspended all operations until further notice (call centre, registration and audit activities)
- No deferrals or exemptions on payroll deduction payments and all related activities at this time.
- Administrative Income Tax actions required by the CRA that are due after March 18, 2020, can be deferred to June 1, 2020.
- These administrative income tax actions include returns, elections, designations and information requests. Payroll deductions payments and all related activities are excluded.
- Income Tax Payment Deferrals for taxes owed between March 18, 2020 and September 2020 until after August 31, 2020
- Penalties & Interest Relief will be provided to those affected by COVID-19 on a case-by case basis when submitting the Form RC4288, Request for Taxpayer Relief - Cancel or Waive Penalties or Interest
- Objections related to:
- Canadians' entitlement to benefits and credits will continue to be processed
- Other tax matters will be suspended until further notice by CRA
- Appeals before the Tax Court of Canada are suspended until further notice
- Objection Requests due March 18 or later now have an extended deadline until June 30, 2020
- Collections activities will be suspended until further notice and flexible payment arrangements can be made by:
- Contacting your CRA Collections Officer
- Calling CRA at 1-800-675-6184
- GST/HST & Income Tax Audits:
- Interaction with taxpayers will be limited to high risk and exceptional cases, or cases of high risk GST/HST refund claims which require some contact before they can be paid out
- No new post assessment GST/HST or Income Tax audits for the next four weeks.
- Other Audits:
- No new audits will be launched;
- No requests for information relating to existing audits; and
- No audits should be finalized and no reassessments should be issued
- CRA Outreach Officers are now available to Communities/Organizations over the phone by completing their online form
- Bank Mortgage Payment Deferrals (for up to 6 months) with Canada's large banks are available on a case-by-case basis. Contact your financial institution to find out more information.
- CMHC Mortgage Payment Deferrals and other mortgage tools are available immediately. Contact the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation for more information.
- Auto insurance premium reductions from Insurance Bureau of Canada members
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. 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.
These are now available through eligible banks and credit unions.
Speak to your current financial institution. Your assigned account manager will likely have access to these loans or have a method of contacting BDC and EDC.
CEBA applications are available now, but only through financial institution online portals.
All eligible credit unions will be added to the list of providers. Check with your financial institution if they have been added or are still waiting to be added.
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 protected].
- 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.
Update: On May 19, it was announced that eligibility will be expanded to:
- Sole proprietors who have 40,000 to 1.5 million in non-deferrable expenses
- Businesses that employ contractors
- Businesses that pay in dividends
Eligibility criteria for businesses with a payroll lower than $20,000 in 2019:
- A business operating account at a CEBA-participating financial institution
- A CRA business number, and to have filed tax returns in 2018 or 2019
- Eligible non-deferrable expenses between $40,000 and $1.5 million. Eligible non-deferrable expenses include:
- Property taxes
As these requirements will necessitate more steps to confirm the eligibility of a business, this expansion will not be available yet for another few weeks. More details, including the start of the application period, will come soon.
Government also announced they are looking at ways to help business owners and entrepreneurs who don’t have business bank accounts (preferring to use a personal bank account), and those who have not yet filed a tax return, i.e. new businesses. More information to come.
The Prime Minister announcement can be found here.
Update: On April 16, it was announced that eligibility will be expanded to businesses with a total payroll in 2019 of $20,000 to $1.5 million.
CEBA is a lending program that can help businesses pay their expenses that cannot be deferred during this challenging period. These loans are government funded, interest free and provided through financial institutions in cooperation with Export Development Canada (EDC).These loans have a forgivable portion of $10,000 when the loan is paid back, starting in 2021. Some banks are offering these as a $40,000 term loan and others are offering a line of credit up to $40,000-sometimes through a zero-interest credit card.
If your business would be helped by the $10,000 forgivable portion, but is concerned about incurring more debt during this crisis, you are able to take out the full $40,000 loan and set aside the $30,000 to ensure you have the funds to repay the loan in its entirety when it becomes due. By doing this, the $10,000 acts as a non-repayable grant, helping the business pay some of its ongoing costs until revenues improve.
Keep in mind your business would have to take out the full $40,000 in order to get the $10,000 maximum benefit. If you take out a smaller amount with financial institutions offering a line of credit approach, only 25% of that amount would be non-repayable.
It is also important to note that the loan is interest free up until December 31, 2022. To qualify for forgiveness, the loan needs to be repaid by then (i.e., if paid down earlier, a payment of 75% of the loan value would fully extinguish the payment obligations on the loan). After that date the loan converts into a 3 year term loan, with 5% yearly interest, and there will be no forgiveness of 25% up to $10,000.
A loan of up to $40,000.
Repaying the balance of the loan on or before December 31, 2022 will result in loan forgiveness of 25 percent (up to $10,000). If you take out the whole $40,000 out up front you can use the $10,000 as if it were a grant. If you do this then remember to keep the rest of the $30,000 safe for when you need to pay it back.
- Borrowers with a Canadian operating business open as of March 1, 2020; and
- Borrowers with a federal tax registration; and
- Borrowers with a total employment income paid in the 2019 calendar year between $20,000 to $1.5 million in total payroll in 2019 (found on your T4Sum); and
- Borrowers with an active business chequing/operating account with their primary financial institution opened on/prior to March 1, 2020 and was not in arrears on existing borrowing facilities by 90 days or more as at March 1, 2020; and
- Borrowers who have not already used the CEBA and will not apply for the CEBA with other financial institutions; and
- Borrowers who acknowledge their intention to use the loan to continue to operate their business or to resume their operations; and
- Borrowers who agree to participate in post-funding surveys conducted by government or any of its agents
CEBA is available in some financial institutions as of April 9, 2020. More financial institutions are being added to the list of CEBA providers every day. This list is expected to be completed by the end of April. Check with your financial institution if they have been added.
Eligible businesses should go to their financial institution’s website to apply for these loans. Your assigned account manager will likely have access to these loans or have a method of contacting BDC and EDC.
Here are the details for the main financial institutions:
All eligible credit unions will be added to the list of CEBA providers. This list is growing daily and should be completed by the end of April at latest. Check with your financial institution's website if they have been added or are trying to be added. Customer service agents may not yet be aware of the offering.
We encourage you to keep in touch with CFIB by sending an email at [email protected] to let us know about your situation.
The Regional Development Agencies (RDAs) are providing the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) an alternative for businesses who fall through the cracks. The below are programs available and similar to the CEBA loan.
|RDA||Who is eligible?||Who is not eligible?||How much money can I get?|
|Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions||Businesses (including self-employed and start-ups) and organisations that:
||Businesses and organisations that:
||One-time financial assistance of $40,000 or less:
|FedDev (southern Ontario)||Businesses (including sole proprietor) and organisations that:
||Businesses and organisations that:
||Repayable contributions up to $40,000
|FedNor (Northern Ontario)||Businesses and organisations that:
||Businesses and organisations that:
||Repayable Contribution up to $40,000
Cover the following costs:
|Western Economic Diversification Canada||Businesses and organisations that:
||Businesses and organisations that:
||Repayably contributions up to $40,000
- Double check your application! We are hearing that many businesses are inputting their legal business name, branch number, business number, business address, or payroll amount incorrectly. These should reflect what the financial institution has on file. Please ensure to look at the format of the answers that you are required to provide.
- Is your account a personal one or a business account? Only business accounts are eligible for CEBA at this time.
- Try calling your financial institution's customer service line to determine the reason for your rejection.
- Email [email protected] and include:
- Your business legal name (according to your financial institution)
- Your financial institution
- A summary of your situation
- Your contact information
- If you want to speak to a live person, we encourage you to keep in touch with CFIB (whether your CEBA application is successful or declined) by sharing your situation with a Business Counsellor at 1-888-234-2232 or by email at [email protected]
If you are rejected due to a need to update your financial institute's profile you may need to wait 24-48hrs for this to be updated before you apply again.
If you are rejected due to an inputting error then you can try applying again. Financial institutions are telling us that they are seeing many inputting errors in applications. They do encourage you to try applying again.
Check out our CFIB's page on federal government relief measures here.
The federal government is providing a 75% wage subsidy for employee wages in the private sector. Businesses that are able to show a drop in revenue will be eligible to receive the subsidy for the wages they have paid their employees from March 15th to June 6th.
On May 15, the government announced that the wage subsidy would be extended until August 29, 2020. Government is doing consultations with businesses to review the program, including the 30% revenue drop requirement, to make sure the program is available to as many businesses as possible. More details to come.
Provide your feedback on these consultations here. Feedback will be accepted in the form of a short survey or e-mail.
The announcement can be found here.
The CRA has provided a Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy Calculator available now.
The CRA presented a video that you can watch for free on YouTube on what you need to know about the 75% wage subsidy.
To determine if your business is eligible to use the 75% wage subsidy determine the below:
- Am I an eligible employer?
- Can I demonstrate a revenue reduction of 15% in March and/or 30% in April/May?
- Are my workers eligible employees?
If all of the above are yes, then you can start calculating the wage subsidy for the application.
- Businesses (regardless of the number of employees)
- Individuals (including trusts)
- Not for profit organizations
that experienced a:
- 15% reduction of their gross revenue in March; and/or
- 30% reduction of their gross revenue in April or May.
With eligible employees who have been paid eligible remuneration.
Determine your eligible revenue reduction by comparing your gross revenue for the CEWS period for which you wish to receive the subsidy and one of two possible baseline revenues calculations. This comparison should demonstrate a 15% drop in March and/or a 30% drop in April & May. Below are the two methods of calculating your eligible revenue reduction:
Option 1: You can compare your revenue for the month you wish to receive the subsidy with your revenue earned in the corresponding month in 2019, or
Option 2: You can compare your revenue for the month you wish to receive the subsidy with your revenue from January and February 2020.
If you are currently using accrual accounting you can use cash flow accounting to calculate your revenue drop. However, you cannot switch from cash flow accounting to accrual accounting.
Please note that once you choose a baseline revenue option and accounting method, you will have to keep using it for all the claiming periods you are applying for.
More details on eligible employees can be found here.
As the subsidy is for salaries paid between March 15 and June 6, there are three claiming periods which are as follows:
Period 1: March 15 to April 11: compare March 2020 over March 2019.
Period 2: April 12 to May 9: compare April 2020 over April 2019
Period 3: May 10 to June 6: compare May 2020 over May 2019
Please note that it has been announced that the CEWS periods will be extended past June.
An eligible employee:
- Is employed in Canada by the eligible employer during the claim period; and
- Has not been without pay from the eligible employer for more than 14 consecutive days in the claim period.
More details on eligible remuneration can be found here.
The subsidy is applicable to employees' wages paid by the employer on the condition that they are not without pay for 14 or more consecutive days during the eligibility period.
Employees who have been laid off or furloughed can become eligible retroactively when you decide to provide them retroactive pay and status for the claiming period. You must have already paid these employees in order to include them in your subsidy. If you decide to do so, inform your employee in writing that this may affect their eligibility to CERB.
If you are unsure whether a worker is an employee, the easiest way to find out is to check if their employment income is reflected on a T4 or T4Sum.
More details on eligible remuneration can be found here.
The CRA says yes, if you meet the criteria for the 10% wage subsidy, you need to take advantage of it.
You will also be required to subtract that TWSE eligible amount from the amount of 75% CEWS that you are eligible to.
If you still have a payroll remittance of fed, prov, or territorial income tax to send to the CRA
- Continue to deduct income tax, CPP, and EI from your employee’s wages
- Calculate the subsidy that you would be eligible from the wages paid from March 18, 2020 to June 19, 2020
- Reduce your current payroll remittance of federal provincial, or territorial income tax to the CRA
If you do not have a payroll remittance of fed, prov, or territorial income tax to send to the CRA
- Your business will be treated as if they have over-remitted to the CRA.
- The CRA will provide you with a self-identification form to confirm that you have not yet received the TWSE.
- The CRA will credit your payroll account by the amount of your eligible subsidy.
Basic CEWS amount
+ Amount of EI/CPP/QPP/QPIP paid to employees who are furloughed (on leave with full or partial pay)
- Amount claimed under the 10% Temporary Wage Subsidy for Employers
- Amount employes received from the Work-Sharing Program
= Your CEWS claim amount
To calculate the Basic CEWS amount determine the:
- Number of eligible employees for each week in the qualifying period
- Subsidy amount that would apply to each employee. To do this, you will need to determine the lesser of:
i) 100% of your employee’s current weekly remuneration paid up to a maximum of $847/week; or
ii) 75% of the pre-crisis weekly remuneration
Then determine the greater between the above two calculations and the below:
- 75% of the current remuneration paid to a maximum of $847/week
The maximum subsidy per employee is $847/week.
You can/will have to apply for each RP account as the CEWS is being processed at the payroll program (RP) account level.
As of April 27 businesses are able to apply for the CEWS in 3 different ways Please be mindful to only apply through one method.
When registering for CEWS75 through My Business Account you can request a new CRA security code be e-mailed to you through the Personal Tax Line 1-800-959-8281. You can only request this once the mailout request has been made through the registration of the My Business Account (online or over the phone at 1-800-595-8281)
When registering for CEWS75 through the Web forms online application (similar process to filing T4s) you can request the web access code online. If you are an authorising authority on the payroll account, you can request the web access code over the Business Tax Line 1-800-959-5525. They will tell you the 4 digits and 2 letters verbally on the call.
Once an employer is approved for a specific period, they will automatically qualify for the next period of the program. However those who will want to be eligible for more than two periods will have to continue to apply each month.
For example, an employer with a proven revenue drop of 15% or more in March would qualify for the 75% wage subsidy for the first and second period, covering remuneration paid between March 15 and May 9. Similarly, an employer with a revenue drop of 30% or more in April would qualify for the second and third periods of the program, covering remuneration paid between May 10 to June 6.
- Have a direct deposit set up with CRA
- Update your financial accounts for the last year. Determine what indicators prove that you deserve the subsidy. It is always recommended that you use an accountant for this step.
- Have your updated gross payroll information for each of your subsidy eligible employees
- Have the amount of EI premiums and CPP contributions that you have paid on behalf of those employees
- Have the amount you have deducted by using the 10% Temporary Wage Subsidy for employees
- Have the amount that you have received from ESDC's Work-Sharing program to pay your employees (if applicable)
- Calculate your subsidy amount using the CEWS calculator
Before using the calculator, you should prepare and have on hand the following information:
- Updated gross payroll information for each of your employees
- The amount of EI Premiums and CPP contributions that you have paid on behalf of those employees
- The amount you have deducted by using the 10% Temporary Wage subsidy
- The amount that you have received from ESDC’s Work-Sharing program to pay your employees (If applicable)
- Download the provided spreadsheet
- Calculate the basic CEWS using the provided spreadsheet:
i) Determine which employees’ wages are eligible to be subsidized. You can use this flow chart for guidance.
ii) Determine the number of employees associated with each employee type and the total gross payroll amount for the employees in that type group. (The spreadsheet will give you a total base CEWS amount in the first page of the spreadsheet)
- Input the amounts from the spreadsheet at step 2 c. of the calculator. Although from what we know, you won’t need the spreadsheet to apply, we recommend that you save it for your records and for future auditing purposes. Enter the refund of employer contributions for any employees on leave with pay
- Enter any amounts for employees receiving a Work-Sharing benefit through Employment Insurance (If applicable)
- Enter the amount you are eligible for under the 10% temporary wage subsidy program for this claim period
- Print and save the information to enter in your future CEWS application(s) or to keep for next year’s audits season
All employers would be expected to at least make and provide proof of their best efforts to top up salaries to 100%. While topping the last 25% is a requirement for the CEWS, the business should take Provincial Employment Standards and common law practices into consideration before reducing their employee’s wages. Your province may see a 25% reduction of wage as a constructive dismissal if not managed properly.
- Use the 10% wage subsidy (see details below). Using the 10% wage subsidy will reduce the amount you will be able to receive from the 75% wage subsidy.
- Try applying for the 75% wage subsidy anyways. This is no promise that you will receive the wage, but exceptions may be made if proper evidence is demonstrated. When the portal is available, be ready by having:
- Your financial books/ledgers/journals up to date
- Proof based on your finances to show that your business did have a decrease in cashflow/revenue/gross revenue
- Determine your payroll (i.e. this could be by requesting your T4Sum from CRA)
Government is currently considering expanding the requirements for the 75% wage subsidy.
Your employees can earn up to $1,000 per month and keep receiving CERB. Businesses cannot subsidize an employee's wage if they have not paid for it.
The CEWS & CERB programs operate independently from each other. If your employee receives over $1000/CERB period then they will have to pay it back to whoever sent them the benefit (ESDC or CRA).
The subsidy is calculated on employee wages paid. Should you be eligible for the subsidy (able to show the drop in revenue) you will still receive the subsidy for the remunerations paid after March 15.
For example, if you are eligible for the first claiming period (from March 15 to April 11), but were required to lay off your employees on March 31, you will receive the subsidy for employee wages paid between March 15 and March 31. You will not be able to subsidize any wages that you have not paid to your employees. As long as your employees have no employment income for 14 consecutive days within a 4-week period they would be eligible to receive the CERB.
Technically no. If you no longer have work for your employee, you could decide to continue to pay them and benefit from the subsidy. In that case, you would not have to lay off your employee.
Please note: EI and CPP (as well as the Quebec Pension Plan and the Quebec Parental Insurance Plan, in Quebec) can be refunded for employees who are paid while on leave. The employee would still be required to pay their share of the EI and CPP. This can be applied for when applying for the 75% wage subsidy.
It depends on the structure of the business. Wages can only be subsidized if there is an employee/employer relationship. If an employee receives a T4 at the end of the year, the business would be able to subsidize their salary. To determine your payroll amount to be subsidized check your T4Sum. CFIB is lobbying the Ministry of Finance to expand this to other kinds of wages.
Please note that should you make changes to your business structure now in order to include your wage in the T4Sum, you will be required to provide proof of reason for this change. Changing your business structure at this time may be perceived as trying to take advantage of the program and may make you ineligible for the subsidy.
The definition for arm's length can be found on CRA's website.
Simply put, a person at arm's length does not have a blood, trust or controlling relationship with the business entity. Persons not at arm's length can be more simply viewed as family, significant others, partnerships, or businesses where one partner has controlling interest/voting shares.
For example, an owner's daughter works for a business. She would be a "related person" not at arm's length. Whether the daughter's salary could be subsidized would depend on how her pay and decision making is structured within the business.
- Arm's length - Should the daughter be paid a salary reflected on a T4 and T4Sum, the business entity could subsidize her wage like other employees
- Not arm's length - Should the daughter not be considered an employee under CRA employer/employee rules, the business entity would not be able to subsidize her wage
- Should the daughter be hired after March 15th and given a salary that can be reflected on a T4 and T4Sum her wage would not be eligible for the subsidy. This would seem like the controlling partnership/family is creating a wage to subsidize.
- Canadian-Controlled Private Corporation (incorporated) eligible to the small business deduction or non-profit organizations, registered charities; and
- Have an existing business number & payroll program account with CRA on March 18; and
- Pay salary, wages, bonuses, or other remunerations to an employee.
For salaries paid from March 18 to June 20, 2020.
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
Over the 90 days period, the limit is $1,375 per employee and $25,000 per employer
- 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 fed, prov, or territorial income tax that you send to CRA by the amount of the 10% wage subsidy that you are eligible to.
For 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.
In the first remittance period that includes remuneration paid between March 18, 2020, and June 20, 2020
For more details, see the Frequently Asked Questions from CRA.
On April 16, 2020, Prime Minister Trudeau announced a new rent assistance program aimed at those with commercial properties for the months of April, May and June. This program will be provided through Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) to offer a forgivable loan to voluntary eligible landlords with eligible tenants. This forgivable loan will lower rent by 75% for eligible small businesses that have been impacted by COVID-19 and will prevent them from being evicted from April to June. More details to come.
Funds will begin to flow shortly after applications open on May 25.
How will the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) be administered and distributed?
The CMHC has engaged MCAP and First Canadian Title (FCT) to deliver CECRA. You may be contacted by these organizations throughout the validation & funding process. Funds will be transferred to the property owner’s financial institution.
% of the Rent covered
Landlords/Property owners who own commercial real property that:
- Own commercial property located in Canada; and
- Are renting to one or more COVID-19 impacted small business tenants who are:
- Eligible small business tenants; or
- Eligible small business subtenants; or
- Eligible mixed usage tenants (residential components and multi-unit residential properties with commercial tenants); and
- Have entered or will enter into a rent reduction agreement & include a moratorium on eviction for the period of April, May, and/or June 2020 which will reduce the impacted tenant’s rent by at least 75%; and
- Have declared rental income on their income tax return (personal or corporate) for the tax years of 2018 and/or 2019.
Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) is available to eligible property owners/landlords who do not have a mortgage.
A newly purchased or constructed property will still be considered eligible for the CECRA if all other program eligibility requirements are met. This includes having entered into a lease agreement with an eligible tenant on or before April 1, 2020.
Eligible businesses, nonprofits and charitable organizations who:
- Pay $50,000/month or less in rent;
- Generate no more than $20million in gross annual revenues, calculated on a consolidated basis; and
- Have temporarily ceased operations or
- have experienced a minimum of 70% drop in pre-COVID-19 revenues
Pre-COVID-19 revenue is to be determined by comparing the average revenues from April, May and June 2020 to:
- The same months from year 2019; or
- The average of the revenues earned in January and February of 2020
to demonstrate a drop in gross revenue of 70%.
- Property address and any information pertaining to the program criteria, such as information on the Borrower/Landlord, number of tenants, rent rolls, etc.
- Signed tenant and property owner attestations
- Agreeing to comply with the program’s terms and conditions
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) reserves the right to request any additional reporting it deems reasonably necessary.
CECRA funds can be used for the following:
- Net rent / minimum rent / base rent (in a net lease)
- Regular monthly installments of operating costs (in a net lease)
- Regular monthly installments of property taxes payable to the landlord (in a net lease)
- Regular monthly installments of other additional rent amounts payable to the landlord — for example: maintenance costs, repairs, utilities, management fees, etc. (in a net lease)
- Gross rent (in a gross lease)
- Percentage of sales rent paid (if included in the lease arrangement)
CECRA funds cannot be used for the following:
- Property Damages
- Indemnity payments
- Payments arising due to tenant default / landlord enforcement
- Payments arising due to landlord exercise of self-help remedies
- Interest and penalties on unpaid amounts
- Fees payable for discrete items or special services (for example: fees to landlord for reviewing plans, supervising work, considering requests for consent, performing exceptional tasks at tenant’s request)
- Reconciliation adjustment payments
- Amounts required under the lease agreement to be paid separately by the tenant to 3rd parties (for example: property taxes, utilities, insurers)
- Costs of non-monetary obligations (e.g., repairs and maintenance)
- Insurance proceeds or proceeds from other rent subsidy programs
- Note: applying for insurance coverage does not remove you from being eligible for the program, but it may adjust the amounts received if you successfully receive payments from insurance claims or other programs to cover rent
Applications for the CECRA are now open. Click here to apply. The deadline to apply for the program is August 31, 2020.
Landlords will have to apply to CECRA through the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). CMHC asks property owners to apply using the following schedule:
Day 1 - Property owners located in NB, NS, NL PEI, BC, AB, and QC with up to 10 tenants who are eligible for the program
Day 2 - Property owners located in MB, SK, ON, and the Territories, with up to 10 tenants who are eligible for the program
Day 3 - All other property owners in MB, SK, ON, and the Territories, with up to 10 tenants who are eligible for the program
Day 4 - All other property owners in NB, NS, NL PEI, BC, AB, and QC with up to 10 tenants who are eligible for the program
Day 5 - All property owners who have not yet applied
Landlords will need to provide in their application to CMHC:
- Tenant or Sub-tenant’s Attestations
- Property Owner’s Attestation
- The signed Rent reduction Agreement (sample)
- The signed Forgivable Loan Agreement (sample)
- Property information: address, type, property tax statement, latest rent roll for each property and the number of commercial units
- Property owner information: banking information (including bank statements), property owner contact information, business ownership details and any co-ownership information and contact details
- Tenant information: contact information, registered business name, lease area, and average monthly gross rent from April to June 2020
These details are not yet available. We will share the information as soon as it becomes available.
The agreement is to be retroactive to April 1, covering rent payments for April, May and June 2020. If you already paid your rent, the property owner can offer a rebate or a credit on future rent payments. If a property owner has already provided a discount for April that will count towards the program.
Every situation is different, but the most important first step is to start the conversation with your landlord. Remember it is in everyone’s best interest to work an agreement out. Below are some tips to be considered to facilitate process:
- Communicate your situation with your landlord. Feel free to try using CFIB’s CECRA letter template to open a dialogue. You may want to include in the letter what other government programs, if any, you are eligible for.
- Think of other fair options that you might be able to put forwards to your landlord before speaking with them.
- Remind your landlord of your past good tenant history. This may make them less likely to want to start the 6 to 18 month search for a new tenant or risk having to rent their space at a lower pandemic price due to a lack of demand.
- Even if the landlord does not want to agree to CECRA, they may be open to other arrangements. Approach your landlord the same way that you would want any of your customers to approach you if they couldn’t pay and had an outstanding bill.
CECRA is not mandatory. You might consider:
- Contacting other tenants in your complex (if applicable) to appeal with a unified voice.
- Some provinces have one-time grants that might help with rent.
- Contacting your provincial government & local MP with a letter
- Sharing you situation with CFIB at [email protected] or our BR help line at 1-888-234-2232
Every situation is different, but the most important first step is to start the conversation with your tenant. Below are some tips to be considered to facilitate process:
- Provide communications to your tenants that, should they be suffering due to COVID-19, that they should be reaching out to you. Not all tenants will be aware of:
- Your willingness to participate in CECRA
- Use CFIB’s CECRA template letter, bearing in mind that every situation is different.
- Many businesses have lost significant revenue and do not always have access to other programs. If CECRA is not a good fit, then maybe think of another fair option to put forward. Please feel free to use CFIB’s letter template to open a dialogue
A business is eligible if they have temporarily ceased operation due to COVID-19, OR have experienced at least a 70% drop in pre-COVID revenues
Each location is eligible if:
- it has a gross rent of no more than $50,000,
- you have a valid lease agreement for each location, and
- you do not generate more than $20million in gross revenues annually
Both the maximum rent and the revenue reduction requirements are location specific. However, if the tenant generates more than $20M in consolidated revenues (at the parent level) then this tenant would not be eligible.
No. CECRA cannot be used to leverage a future lease extension or increases in rent.
The CECRA program will not be available to businesses that opened on or after March 1, 2020.
Based on the current eligibility criteria, you would not qualify for CECRA. There must be a lease agreement in place between a landlord and a tenant.
If the landlord is a corporation and the tenant is another corporation, but both corporations are owned by the same person, are they eligible for the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA)?
- there is a lease agreement in place;
- the value of the lease is comparable to market value; and
- all other eligibility requirements are met.
The program is based on the amount of rent that each individual business tenant pays; so, in this case, you should qualify for CECRA.
You would be considered an eligible tenant as long as you have a valid lease agreement in place that is comparable to market value.
A formal agreement must be in place to be eligible, but the agreement can be month-to-month. The agreement must have been in place on or before April 1, 2020.
Yes, commercial tenants of mixed-use buildings are eligible (providing they meet all the criteria)
CMHC has confirmed that the 30% was an early policy requirement, but that it has since been removed.
Yes, providing you and your landlord meet all the other eligibility criteria.
You cannot double dip. The total rent relief cannot be more than 75%. If some relief has been provided through other mechanisms, like property tax relief, they will be counted towards the 75% reductions.
Many businesses are barely hanging on; this program could be what saves them. That said, you have a business to run as well and need to decide if it is worth rolling the dice on this program to keep your current tenant, or to try and find a new business to rent to, in an economy that will have a lot less potential renters.
We believe it will be considered taxable income, but we are waiting for confirmation from CMHC.
Yes, if you can afford it and if you and your tenant meet the eligibility criteria for CECRA. However, note that the applications opened May 25th and it could take a few weeks to get the money
Yes, as long as they meet the eligibility requirements of the program.
A landlord is welcome to provide additional relief to their tenants beyond the 75% rent reduction defined by the program.
If a tenant misrepresents their losses, the program will consider this a breach of the terms of the loan and will enter collection with the burden on the tenant.
The 70% revenue reduction requirement can be achieved over the three month period by averaging the monthly revenue declines. It is not necessary for the 70% reduction to be achieved in each individual month.
This will require ongoing communications with your landlord.
No. As currently designed, the program requires the tenant and landlord to contribute 25% each and the government will provide the other 50% directly to the landlord.
In most places, yes the landlord can evict the tenant. CFIB has been advocating for all provinces to put in place protections against commercial rent evictions during this time. Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island have commercial rent protections in place.
The landlord and tenant must come to a mutual agreement on this. Rebates may be provided or discounts on future rents.
The federal government will share the program funding costs with the provinces and territories 75%/25%. The total funding cost is estimated to be $2,296 million.
B.C. will be contributing an estimated $80 million. See more information here.
Alberta expects to commit up to $67 million. See more information here.
Nova Scotia’s anticipated contribution will be $9.1 million. See more information here.
Ontario government is contributing $241 million. See more information here.
Please note, that CECRA is one program offered through CMHC, not multiple programs tailored to each province. As more provinces provide us with information, we will add the links in this section.
CECRA does not apply to properties owned by the federal, provincial, or municipal governments. However, there are certain exceptions, including airports, post-secondary institutions, hospitals, First Nation and indigenous organizations and governments, and crown corporations (must be deemed eligible by CMHC).
If you consolidated statements then the tenant would use revenues reported for the group level of companies.
If you have lost income because of COVID-19, the CERB will provide you with temporary income support, whether you are EI-eligible or not.
Not eligible for EI: A flat rate of $2,000/4 weeks for up to 16 weeks.
Eligible for EI:
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 realised 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 PaperROEs).
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.
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
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.
More details are to come.
Work-Sharing (WS) is a program that helps prevent layoffs when there is a temporary reduction in the normal level of business activity that is beyond the control of the employer. The program provides income support to employees eligible for Employment Insurance benefits who work a temporarily reduced work week while the business recovers.
Employees, their employers and Service Canada negotiate a Work-Sharing agreement. Employees must also agree to a reduced schedule of work and to share the available work over a specified period of time.
If you still have questions about how this will work with your business specifically, e-mail [email protected].
- Have you been in business in Canada year-round for at least 1 years?
- Are you a private business, a publicly held company or non-for-profit organization?
- Can you show a decrease in business activity of approximately 10%?
- Are you employees eligible to receive Employment Insurance benefits?
- Will your employees agree to a reduction of their normal working hours?
- Do you have a minimum of two employees?
- Can you wait 10 days to negotiate your Workshare agreement?
If all the above are a yes, then Apply for Work-Sharing.
Email the below two items to Service Canada to start the negotiation process for your workshare agreement (this will be unique for every location or work-sharing unit.)
Note: Service Canada must receive the package at least 10 days before the requested start date of the Work-Sharing Agreement.
- an Application for a Work-Sharing Agreement ESDC-EMP5100 (including attachments and signatures of both employer representative(s) and employee representative(s)
- Attachment A (a list of employees included in the Work-Sharing unit) available in PDF (8 KB) and Excel (36 KB) format)
Atlantic Provinces - [email protected]
Quebec - [email protected]
Ontario - [email protected]
Western Canada and Territories - [email protected]
For more information please read the Work sharing program Applicant Guide.
COVID update: Those who have implemented work-sharing in the past will have the 30-day negotiation/application period waived. If you have signed a work-sharing agreement before please consult the temporary special measures to see if you are eligible for the COVID-19 extension of the Work-Sharing agreements from 38 weeks to 76 weeks.
Since the people, location and agreement will be different for each one, you will need separate work-sharing agreements for each location/unit.
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.
The Canada Summer Jobs Program (CSJ Program) is an initiative to help students (15-30 years of age) gain quality work experience and to encourage businesses, who would normally not have the financial capability, to hire a student worker by subsidizing their wage.
- 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
- Local MPs will be able to recommend businesses they deem as an essential service in their communities for consideration to be late applicants into the CSJ Program
- Government has not announced if there will be an application system available to date. If you would like your local MP to consider you, we encourage you to write them a letter explaining your situation as an essential service and how this program could benefit you and your community.
- $675 million in RRRF loans
- $287 million in Community Futures Development Corporations programs which target small businesses and rural communities across the country
Program details will vary in each Regional Development Agency and the application process is available now. Some RDAs programs can be used to supplement other Government COVID-19 relief while other RDA programs are only available to those who were denied by the Government COVID-19 relief. Please keep reading to find the RDA programs that apply to you.
What are the 6 different Regional Development Agencies (RDA)?
- Atlantic Canada Opportunity Agency (ACOA) - NS/NB/PE/NL
- Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions (CED) - QC
- Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency - YT/NT/NU
- FedDev Ontario (Southern Ontario) - ON
- FedNor (Northern Ontario) - ON
- Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) - AB/BC/MB/SK
Yes, however you must apply for other federal relief measures first, such as the Canada Emergency Business Account (aka 40K loans), the 75% wage subsidy, and the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) before applying to the RRRF.
Businesses and organizations who have either:
- Applied for other federal relief measures but were unsuccessful; or
- Accessed other federal relief programs but are still experiencing financial hardship. For these applicants only eligible costs for which the applicant has not received any other assistance may be covered by the RRRF
Note: Critical sectors to the resilience and survival of Atlantic Canada’s economy (i.e. manufacturing, ocean industries, clean growth technology and tourism) may be given priority.
Actual amounts of potential assistance under the RRRF will be discussed on a case-by-case basis with a ACOA program officer.This assistance is to cover cash flow for up to 6 months. Only eligible costs that are not covered by any other assistance for emergency relief will be cosidered to be covered under RRRF.
Yes, the RRRF is meant to assist with eligible costs that have not been assisted by other emergency relief. Eligible costs will be determined on a case-by-case basis and detailed in your contribution agreement. RRRF Eligible costs that can be requested by an applicant are:
- Rent or lease of equipment and machinery
- Salaries and benefits
- Property taxes
- Cleaning Supplies
- Additional safety measures
- Bank interest charges
- Interest portion of loan payments
- Office supplies
- Vehicle operating expenses
- Professional fees
- Other fixed overhead costs
- One time stabilization expenditures
Eligible Speak with an ACOA program officer to discuss your particular circumstance.
- Download the RRRF online application form
- Upload the below either online (fastest method of application) or by mail
- Application for Financial Assistance Regional Relief and Recovery Fund
- Externally prepared financial statements for years 2018 & 2019
- Projected cash flow for six months
- Copy of articles of incorporation (if applicable)
- All other documentation relevant to your request
- If you are uncertain if the RRRF is right for you speak to an ACOA program officer:
- If you are a current ACOA client, please contact your program officer directly
- All other businesses and organizations,please call 1-800-561-7862 or e-mail [email protected]
Applications will be assessed as they are received. Ensure that your application is properly completed to be processed quickly. Incomplete applications may prevent ACOA from considering your application. Speak to ACOA before submitting an application to ensure the process goes smoothly. Help with fillable forms is also available.
Applications are open now online. They will be accepted and assessed until March 31, 2021 or until the funding runs out, whichever comes first.
While every effort will be made to provide RRRF funding to as many businesses as possible, demands for funds may exceed the amount that is available.
Once you are approved for the program, and you have accepted the offer, ACOA will give you an advance of half of the amount. The rest of the funding will be provided after you submit eligible claims to ACOA.
Yes, it is repayable. There is a 2-year “grace” period which ends on December 31, 2022. Payments will start on January 1, 2023 and the full amount must be repaid by December 31, 2025.
This will be determined on a case-by-case basis, but you may be eligible for amounts comparable to the federal relief already announced. Speak with an ACOA program officer to discuss your particular circumstance.
Eligible costs will be determined on a case-by-case basis, and these costs will then be detailed in your contribution agreement.
Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions (CED) will distribute a RRRF of $211 million for Quebec.
- $140million in financial support for vulnerable SMEs ineligible for measures already in place and facing cash-flow problems
- $71million to support SMEs and non-profit organizations by providing capital and technical assistance in rural communities that are served by Community Futures Development Corporations and Business Development Centres.
The CED will provide two kinds of financial assistance based on the SMEs profiles and needs:
- Loan up to $40,000
- Loan for over $40,000
Yes, but you must have applied & have received a response from the below support measures that are applicable to you under Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan :
- Canada Emergency Business Account (aka 40K loans)
- Canadian Heritage Emergency Fund for Culture
- Financial assistance for Aboriginal SMEs
- Canada’s Emergency Wage Subsidy (75% wage subsidy)
- NRC IRAP Innovation Assistance Program (DAP)
The Quebec RRRF program provides payroll and working capital support to those who are not eligible for other support measures under Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan. Should you be receiving these support measures, but still require additional assistance your applications will not be processed on a priority basis.
- Non-profit organizations
- Business support organizations
- Indigenous organizations
- registered/based in Quebec; and
- suffering a negative impact related to COVID-19 (i.e. revenue loss, layoffs, cashflow pressure,etc); and
- aware of their support measure applications under the Canada COVID-19 Economic Response Plan having being accepted or refused
Then determine which profile best matches your situation.
- Businesses with revenues of $250,000 and more, including:
- Manufacturing businesses
- Value-added services (e.g., sectors creating jobs or contributing to technology transition, the green economy or business resilience)
- Food processing (primary, secondary and tertiary processing)
- Businesses from all industries, including tourism, requiring over $40,000 in funding
- High-potential start-ups in the manufacturing and value-added services sectors
If this profile matches your circumstances, you must complete the pre-eligibility questionnaire. If you are eligible, you will then be invited to complete an application for financial support.
- Retail businesses and local services
- Social economy enterprises (all sectors)
- Artisanal production and specialty local food products
- Tourism industry projects requiring funding of $40,000 or less
- Businesses with less than $250,000 in sales (all other sectors)
- Self-employed workers (all sectors)
- Start-ups other than in the manufacturing and value-added services sectors
- Businesses matching Profile 1, but that are already clients of a SADC/CAE
If this profile matches your circumstances and:
- you are in a metropolitan area, please call 1-800-561-0633
- you are outside a metropolitan region contact your SADC or CAE
If you’re not sure which profile best suits you, please call 1-800-561-0633 to speak with a CED advisor.
You can also Check your pre-eligibility using CED’s questionnaire here.
If you do not qualify for other federal relief measures, you must determine which profile best represents your situation. Please read both profile criteria before determining which is the best fit for you:
- Ensure that you have applied for the other government COVID-19 relief measures that apply to your business. Keep your evidence of rejection.
- Check your eligibility
- Complete the online Request for financial assistance RRRF (once opened you have 12 hours to complete it)
- Attach in 6 documents :
- Evidence of rejection from any federal emergency measures
- Financial statements for the last year and the most recent interim
- Recent statement from your financial institution
- Void cheque or direct deposit validated by your Canadian financial institution
- Copy of the delegation instrument(if applicable)
- Formal or informal notice indicating that the customer could be or is in violation of an environmental law or regulation (if applicable)
Applications are being accepted now, and can be made through the CED’s website.
Financial aid will generally not exceed $40,000; however, SMEs and non-profits in the manufacturing sector, or other value-added services, may qualify for more than $40,000. Amounts will be determined based on need, and will have different repayment terms.
Businesses looking for less than $40,000:
- If 75% of the contribution is repaid by December 31, 2022 (based on a predetermined payment schedule), the remaining 25% becomes non-repayable.
- If 75% of the contribution is not repaid by December 31, 2022, then the entire contribution is considered repayable over a 3-year period starting January 1, 2023
For businesses looking for more than $40,000:
- The entire amount is considered repayable over a five-year period, based on a predetermined payment schedule, starting January 1, 2023.
The funding can be used to stabilise SMEs and non-profit organizations, and to mitigate the effects of COVID-19. Eligible costs include:
- Equipment and machinery rental or leasing
- Wages and benefits
- Property taxes
- Professional fees
- Other fixed overhead costs and one-time stabilization costs
If you SME is based in Quebec, please call 1-800-561-0633 or email to [email protected].
In Southern Ontario, the regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) will be administered by FedDev Ontario.
- $213 million for SMEs facing financial pressures
- $39.4 million for rural businesses in the form of capital and business support; delivered by southern Ontario’s Community Futures Development Corporations.
You must either be disqualified from accessing federal relief measures, or have applied to the federal relief measures and been declined, in order to access the RRRF.
Canadian or provincially incorporated businesses, co-operatives, Indigenous-owned businesses located in southern Ontario who
- have 1 to 499 full-time equivalent employees;
- are facing funding pressures with fixed operating costs due to COVID-19;
- were a viable business before the pandemic, and plan to continue the business or resume operations; and
- have already applied to the federal government’s emergency credit relief measures for which they are eligible.
Applications are open now, using the Applicant Toolkit available on the FedDev website.
Applications can be made using the application form. It is strongly recommended to consult the program guidelines and the frequently asked questions before completing your application. If you have questions, you can contact FedDev at 1-866-593-5505.
There are two funding options:
Option 1: Up to $40,000 in a conditionally repayable contribution (interest-free loan)
- No payments required until December 31, 2022, but can opt to make payments between January 1, 2021 and December 31, 2022
- If 75%, or up to $30,000 is repaid by December 31, 2022, then the remaining 25%, up to $10,000 is forgivable.
- If 75% is not repaid by December 31, 2022, the balance owing converts to a 3-year loan, with a fixed repayment schedule beginning January 1, 2023 with no forgivable portion
- Full amount must be repaid by December 31, 2025.
Option 2: Up to $500,000 unconditionally repayable contribution (interest-free loan)
- Interest-free, fully-repayable loan
- 100% must be repaid
- No payments required until December 31, 2022
- Fixed payment schedule begins January 1, 2023
The loan amount will be determined based on:
- The funding option selected
- Eligible operating costs
- Whether any other federal relief measures have been accessed, and in what amounts
- Applicants ability to repay the loan
The loan funds cannot be used for:
- Monthly mortgage and loan payments;
- New capital expenditures;
- Refinancing of existing debt;
- Costs of amortization or goodwill;
- Purchase of land or buildings; or
- Any costs deemed not reasonable or not directly related to a business’ fixed operational expenses.
In Northern Ontario, the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund will be administered by FedNor Ontario.
Incorporated companies, corporations, co-operatives, Indigenous organizations (such as Indigenous/First nation/Métis Settlement owned businesses) that:
- Are located or operating in Northern Ontario;
- Don’t qualify for, or have been declined for other federal relief measures;
- Employ between 1 and 499 full-time equivalent employees; and
- Are negatively impacted by COVID-19.
Non-profit organizations, for example Chambers of Commerce, Industry Associations and Tourism organizations that:
- Are based in Northern Ontario and/or offer support to businesses in Northern Ontario; and
- Carry out commercial activities; and
- Are able to support SMEs regarding COVID-19
- Sole proprietorships
- Businesses in the following sectors:
- Food and Beverage
- Professional Services
Businesses in these sectors should contact the Community Futures Development Corporation in Northern Ontario.
The application period opened on May 13, 2020, and will remain open until all the funds are allocated.
The maximum amount is $250,000.
- SMEs will receive repayable or conditionally-repayable loans.
- Non-profit organizations will receive non-repayable loans.
Loans to SMEs will be repayable, or conditionally-repayable, with no interest or security required.
- Payments will be made in installments over a maximum of 5 years from the date the first payment was issued.
- A payment moratorium is available until December 31, 2022; however
- SMES that receive $40,000 or less, and who repay at least 75% before December 31, 2022, will have the remaining 25% (up to $10,000) forgiven.
- The full balance must be paid by December 31, 2025
- Loans to non-profit organizations are non-repayable.
Eligible costs are retroactive to March 15, 2020, and include:
- Commercial Rent / Mortgage (rent is only eligible if not supported by the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance program);
- Rent or lease of equipment and machinery;
- Salaries and benefits (only eligible if not eligible or rejected through the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy);
- Property taxes;
- Cleaning supplies;
- Additional safety measures;
- Bank interest/charges and loan repayment (interest);
- Office supplies;
- Vehicle operating expenses;
- Professional fees;
- Insurances, and
- Other fixed overhead costs and one-time stabilization expenditures.
Costs incurred before March 15, 2020 are ineligible. Other ineligible costs include:
- Land and buildings acquisition;
- Entertainment expenses;
- Salary bonuses and dividend payments;
- Refinancing of existing debts;
- Amortization or depreciation of assets;
- Federal and provincial income taxes, GST (recoverable portion), taxes or surtaxes on excess profit;
- Provisions for contingencies;
- Lobbying activities or commissions paid to consultants to secure funding; and
- Donations, dues and membership fees.
The RRRF will be provided in two different ways:
- A loan up to $40,000 where repayment of 75% of the contribution before December 31, 2022 will result in forgiveness of 25% (up to $10000). This is for businesses not eligible to the Canada Emergency Business Account or RRRF - Community Futures Stream
- A loan greater than $40,000 up to a maximum of $1,000,000 where this contribution is fully repayable to businesses that can demonstrate a meaningful contribution to the western Canadian economy, and experiencing liquidity issues. These companies may or may not have accessed other Government of Canada relief programs, but need more funding to mitigate cash flow pressures.
- RRRF Funding up to $40,000
- Were refused for the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA)
- Are not eligible for the RRRF - Community Futures Stream
- Are not a sole proprietor
- Are not non-for profit organizations
- Have fewer than 500 full-time employees
- Are located in Western Canada (BC, AB, SK and/or MB)
- Are not in an area serviced by a CF office
- Were operational as of March 1, 2020
- Have suffered financially because of COVID-19
- Intend to continue operations in Western Canada
Examples of businesses that are eligible to apply are pre-revenue firms and businesses who pay workers in dividends or have independent contractors.
- RRRF Funding over $40,000
- Are not a sole proprietor
- Are not a not-for-profit
- Have less than 500 full-time employees
- Are incorporated to operate in Canada
- Were operational as of March 1, 2020
- Are located in Western Canada (defined as British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan or Manitoba)
- Have suffered financially because of the COVID-19 pandemic
- Can demonstrate 2019 revenue of less than $10 million, or pre-revenue businesses that received angel or venture capital funding
- Have applied for funding from other federal COVID-19 support measures, such as the Business Development Bank of Canada's Co-Lending Program, and Export Development Canada's Business Credit Availability Program
- Intend to continue operations in Western Canada
- Can describe the financial impact that COVID-19 has had on its operations, and outline how WD funding will help support the western Canadian economy to:
- retain diverse and valuable talent
- maintain sector knowledge and skills
- maintain capital flow
- maintain critical supply chains and increase capacity to withstand supply chain disruptions
- protect technologies and processes that improve resilience, productivity, and/or competitiveness
- protect vital intellectual property
This will depend on the relief program.
Businesses who have received the Canada Emergency Business Account (aka 40K loans) or the Community Futures Emergency Loan Program will not be eligible for the $40,000 RRRF.
Businesses that have received support from other Government of Canada relief funding measures, including the Business Development Bank of Canada's Co-Lending Program, Working Capital Loan, and Oil and Gas Sector Capital Loan, as well as Export Development Canada's Business Credit Availability Program, but require additional funding to mitigate liquidity pressures may still apply.
Either up to $40,000 or up to $1,000,000 depending on your situation and sector.
Applications are currently being accepted on an ongoing basis and will be assessed as they are received. The WD RRRF will close once it has successfully distributed all available funds to eligible businesses.
The application process is the same for both loan amounts. Only one application can be submitted per business.
- You must apply for the Canada Emergency Business Account (aka 40K loans).
- If you are not eligible for the Canada Emergency Business Account and you are located in an area serviced by a Community Futures Organization you must apply to the Community Futures Emergency Loan Program
- If you do not meet the criteria of either above programs
- If applying for funding up to $40,000 attach the below items to your completed Regional Relief and Recovery Fund application
- Void cheque or direct deposit form validated from your bank
- If applying for funding over $40,000 attach to your Regional Relief and Recovery Fund application:
- Financial statements for the past 2 years
- Estimated 2020 cash flow needs from April 1, 2020, to September 30, 2020
- Void cheque or direct deposit form validated from your bank
- Receive and print your confirmation message with your Reference #
- You will be notified by email with a decision on your application
At the end of your Contribution Agreement, you will be required to submit a final report that includes:
- Number of jobs maintained, thanks to RRRF
- Confirmation that the business is continuing its operations
- Any other metrics requested by WD
- Recipient’s financial statements (at the request of WD)
Check out the guide here.
Up to $40,000
- Repayment of 75%, or up to $30,000 of the contribution about paid before December 31, 2022, will result in a 25% forgivable portion (max. $10,000)
- No scheduled monthly repayments are required until after December 31, 2022
- If 75% is not paid before December 31, 2022, the balance owing will be converted to an additional 3 year term loan with a fixed monthly repayment schedule. This will begin January 2023 and will not have any forgivable portion
- 100% of contributions must be repaid by December 31, 2025
- 100% of contributions must be repaid by December 31, 2025
- No scheduled monthly repayments are required until after December 31, 2022
- 3 year repayment period beginning January 2023
- Check that you are eligible
- Check that your application is not missing any mandatory information or documentation
- Ensure that you have only submitted one RRRF application
- Contact the WD at 1-888-338-WEST (9378)
Up to $40,000
If your application is approved, you will be asked to review and accept a Contribution Agreement before a single payment is provided to you.
If your application is approved, you will be asked to review and accept a Contribution Agreement before your funds will be disbursed. This may include advance payments.
Please feel free to contact your Western Economic Diversification Canada Office at 1-888-338-WEST (9378)
Vancouver, BC - Tel: 604-666-6256 - Email: [email protected]
Calgary, AB - Tel: 1-888-338-9378 - Email: [email protected]
Edmonton, AB - Tel: 780-495-4164 - Email: [email protected]
Saskatoon, SK - Tel: 306-975-4373 Email [email protected]
In the territories, the RRRF provides support in key sectors including, but not limited to, tourism, fisheries, the mining supply chain, local food production and processing, regional innovation ecosystems and community infrastructure, as well as support to Community Futures Networks in Nunavut, Northwest Territories and relevant stakeholders in Yukon. There are three ways to receive funding:
- NBRF - CanNor’s Northern Business Relief Fund - non-repayable grant
- Targeted relief and stabilization measures for key sector
- Community Futures Network - More information to come soon
All registered northern-based business including sole-proprietors, partnerships and incorporated companies who:
- predominantly operate in one or more of the territories, and their operations have a direct impact on the northern economy
- have been in operation since October 1, 2019
- have fewer than 100 employees - priority will be given to SMEs with less than 20 employees
- were solvent, financially viable, and not declared bankrupt prior to the onset of economic disruptions associated with COVID-19
- are currently, and expect to continue, operating at a loss over the coming months (i.e. to incur ongoing expenses that are higher than incoming revenues) as a direct result of COVID-19.
- franchisees or subsidiaries of larger corporations where financial support can be provided by the franchisor, parent or holding company or trust fund, or where the total number of employees of the corporation and all its subsidiaries is greater than 100
- territorial, municipal or other governments, agencies of government and crown corporations
- not-for-profit organizations, societies, co-operatives, unincorporated associations
The NBRF amounts available will vary on the SME’s eligible fixed operating costs. This amount can vary from $2500-$100000 and will be covered at 100% in the form of a non-repayable grant for a maximum of $100000 in total costs over the 4 month period. Any amount claimed that would allow a recipient to generate profit will make the SME ineligible to NBRF.
Eligible fixed operating costs include:
- rent/mortgage; and
- utilities (Heat, electric, water & sewer, phone and internet); and
- subscriptions (i.e. financial or booking systems);and
- insurance; and
- other fixed costs as deemed reasonable at the sole discretion of CanNor
Ineligible fixed operating costs:
- salaries and wages
- costs covered by business continuity insurance
- mortgage for property(ies) other than the primary business location OR residential properties used for income generation (for example, AirBnB)
- rent or mortgage for home-based businesses
- other home-based business costs where the costs are not 100% attributable to the business (for example, while a home-based business can request reimbursement for business insurance, it cannot request reimbursement of 20% of its electricity bill on the basis that the business occupies 20% of the floor space of the primary residence)
- other costs that may be deemed ineligible and/or are not deemed by CanNor to be essential during the period of business closure or reduced operations
- any amount claimed that would allow a recipient to generate profit will makes the SME ineligible to NBRF
When Applying provide:
- Complete Application-Agreement form
- Direct Deposit Form
- Detailed General Ledger (March-June 2019) OR Monthly invoices for the eligible fixed costs of the months for which they are being claimed.
- Income Statement of General Ledger Summary for the year 2019
- Articles of incorporation
- Lease/mortgage agreement for commercial space (if applicable)
- Franchise agreement (if applicable)
At the end of the agreement
- Income Statement of General Ledger Summary for agreement period (April-July 2020)
- Copy of all invoices for fixed costs claimed for the entire agreement period
- Copy of agreement and payments received from any other federal, territorial, municipal or other COVID-19 relief program including (CEWS, EI Work sharing program, Government of Nunavut Small Business Support Program, Government of Yukon SME Relief Program)
E-mail CanNor at [email protected] to obtain a copy.
Nunavut Regional Office
E-mail: [email protected]
Northwest Territories Regional Office
E-mail: [email protected]
Yukon Regional Office
E-mail: [email protected]
Work refusals are becoming more prevalent with COVID-19 Health and Safety concerns. Make sure you keep the below in mind when dealing with employee work refusals.
- Create a business pandemic policy to communicate and educate employees about your new workplace expectations and measures in the workplace.
- Keep the lines of communication open with your employee. Ask for the work refusal reasons in writing/email. The situation is likely to fall into the below categories:
- Health and Safety concern (fear of getting sick)
- Sickness (from Covid-19 or not)
- Caring for or living with a dependent or at-risk demographic (child or parent)
- Communicating, but not willing to come back to work
- Not communicating (job abandonment)
- Determine if there is any way that your business can accommodate the employee’s situation. Health and safety in the workplace are the employer’s priority and the responsibility of all those in the workplace. Should there be an opportunity to accommodate a reasonable concern, then it will be the responsibility of the business to consider accommodations to the point of undue hardship. Accommodation can take many forms such as providing more PPE, allowing an employee to work from home, or allowing an employee to use a protected provincial/territorial/federal leave of absence, if available.
- Keep documented proof. Whether it’s accommodations for an employee who feels unsafe in the workplace, or weekly registered letters sent to an employee to prove a history of non-responsiveness, it is always advised that you keep communications with employees in their employee files.
It is important to remember that an employee’s non responsiveness cannot be assumed to be a resignation. Thus, an employee’s refusal to report to work, or his or her absence without justification or resignation letter, cannot automatically be interpreted as a voluntary departure/resignation.
If you are unable to communicate with your employee, you are required to follow up with them in a verifiable method such as registered mail. This letter should come from a place of concern for the employee and request that the employee provide you with an update on their situation. The letter should in no way be threatening or presumptive. Should the employee persist in being non-responsive, you should continue to document this history of non-responsiveness before considering job abandonment or frustration of contract. These situations should be dealt with on a case-by-case basis. If you are in this situation, please contact your Business Counsellor or employment lawyer.
The government advises people 70 years of age or older to stay home unless necessary. However, it is not prohibited to ask them to work. Before acting on a decision, ensure that you know what your provincial laws and HR best practices are on this matter.
Provincial Health and safety laws provide that an employee has the right to refuse to work if they have reason to believe that their health or safety is at risk. It is the responsibility of an employer to provide a safe workplace, so if there is a refusal of work related to health and safety it should be documented and addressed in the workplace. Should the refusal of work persist, then your provincial ministry of labour or department of Health and Safety will likely need to be involved to investigate the matter.
Provincial Human Rights laws provide protected grounds on age. This means that an employer unjustifiably treating employees differently because of age would leave themselves open to a human right’s claim for age discrimination.
HR best practices:
It is often recommended to refrain from categorizing your employees by age and instead base employee safety measures and policies on all employees’ ability to work. This reduces the risk of human rights claims, allows employers to set health and safety expectations across all their employees and deal with the case-by-case situations as they come up.
Should a case come up, consider whether the worker's presence at work is necessary, and whether their health allows it. Should there be reasonable cause for concern, you may need to consider additional preventive measures/policies in the workplace to accommodate their situation and ensure their wellbeing and that of others in the workplace.
Should an employee be willing to work, but you, as the employer, feel uncomfortable having them in the workplace, you will likely need to pay for their leave to stay home.
An alternative solution would be to try to find work from home solutions for this employee.
What do I do with employees who cannot return to work because they are taking care of a dependent (child or parent)? What do I do if my employees don’t feel safe sending their children to school or daycare?
Pre-COVID-19, an employee who does not return to work could be disciplined up to and including dismissal; however, our current situation is very unique and will require drastic changes in the workplace. Employers will be required to be flexible and accommodate employees who cannot return to work. Each employee will likely have their own needs that should be managed on a case-by-case basis.
Here are some tips for managing the situation:
- Talk to your employee about their situation and what their needs might look like. Is this a matter of health and safety in the workplace? Is this a matter of being available to watch the dependent?
- Determine if there are any accommodations that you as the employer can provide, such as working from home or a change in their job description to allow them to do work from home.
- Check to see what provincial, territorial and/or federal protected leaves might apply to your employee. As provinces move to re-open, following public health guidelines, your employees are expected to return to work in a safe workspace.
- Call your CFIB Business Counsellor to discuss your employee’s situation and how to find the best solution for both of you.
Note that some jurisdictions have enacted protections for employees who are unable to work due to COVID-related reasons; talk to your Business Counsellor before disciplining an employee in this situation.
Pre-COVID-19, an employee who does not return to work could be disciplined up to and including dismissal; however, our current situation is very unique and will require drastic changes in the workplace. Employers will be required to be flexible and accommodate employees who cannot return to work. Each employee will likely have their own needs which should be managed on a case-by-case basis.
Here are tips on managing the situation:
- Talk to your employee about their situation and what their needs might look like to feel safe coming into the workplace. In these situations, it is not uncommon for the employee to be afraid of coming into the workplace altogether.
- Determine if there are any accommodations that you as the employer can provide, such as telework, working from home or a change in their job description to allow them to do work from home, or leave without pay.
- Check which provincial, territorial, and/or federal protected leaves might apply for your employee. for personal or family leave that may apply to this situation. As provinces move to re-open, following public health guidelines, your employees are expected to return to work. Under normal circumstances, an employee who does not return to work could be disciplined up to and including dismissal.
Note that some jurisdictions have enacted protections for employees who are unable to work due to COVID-related reasons; talk to your Business Counsellor before disciplining an employee in this situation.
- We know that these situations are not always easy or clear. Call your CFIB Business Counsellor to discuss your employee’s situation and how to find the best solution for you and your employee.
- Check the public health guidelines in your jurisdiction on how to proceed in this situation.
- If the employee has not come into the workplace, you can require an employee to self-isolate for 14 days. The worker must take all necessary measures to protect their health and safety, and those of others in the workplace. As an employer you have a duty to take all necessary measures to protect the health and safety of your workers.
- Provide the employee with their provincial, territorial, and federal leave/pay options and ensure that they know who to call at the workplace to keep updated on their situation.
- Request the employee provide you with a fit-to-work assessment before coming back into the workplace. Please note that provincial rules will vary on being able to ask for doctor’s notes.
This will vary depending on the level of exposure to your workplace and the provincial rules provided by your ministry of labour and your public health authority. Please consider the general recommendations below:
- Request that the worker leave the premises, use the COVID-19 Symptom Self-Assessment Tool, and self-isolate for 14 days
- Evacuate the space/send employees home
- Determine the level of exposure in your workplace
- Check the public health guidelines in your jurisdiction on how to proceed in your situation.
- Clean and disinfect the exposed premises. Ensure that workers are not using the space to give the disinfectants time to take effect.
- Re-educate employees on company policies to ensure that the incident does not happen again.
Being allowed to require a medical note from your employee will depend on your business’s provincial employment standards and on the severity of the employee’s shared situation.
To reduce the strain on health care providers, some provincial governments recommend that only persons experiencing serious symptoms attend hospitals or medical clinics. Some provincial governments are requesting that businesses do not ask employees for medical notes before or after sickness. As an alternative, your provincial government may allow you to ask for a fit-to-work assessment/functional abilities form upon your employee’s return to ensure their ability to work.
If a particular situation allows you to request a medical note, it will be important to check whether your province's standards require you to cover the costs related to this request (transportation, remuneration, medical assessment, etc.).
Should you be uncertain of what is acceptable in your province feel free to contact a CFIB Business Counsellor to speak about your situation.
Provincial Health and Safety legislation allows an employee to refuse work they feel is unsafe. Health and Safety in the workplace is an employer priority and the responsibility of all those in the workplace. It is important to talk to the employee about their concerns, explain to them all the safety measures put in place at the workplace to keep employees safe, and ask the employee what would make them feel safer. Including employees in these decisions lets them know their voices are heard and that their safety really is a priority.
Should the employee still feel that they are unsafe in the workplace past the point of accommodation, you may need to request the complaint in writing and involve your provincial Ministry of Labour to investigate your workplace to make a health and safety ruling. If the complaint is deemed reasonable, then you will be required to accommodate the employee. If the complaint is deemed unreasonable, then you can require the employee to return to work.
Having a COVID-19 Health and Safety policy in place will help to clearly show the measures that the business has taken to keep workers, customers and suppliers safe. It should also provide information on how employees can report concerns. In some jurisdictions, a COVID-19 Health and Safety policy, or a COVID-19 operational plan is a requirement to re-open your business. Check with your Business Counsellor to find out what is needed in your province/territory.
Employees can work while on claim using the workshare program.
This is a three-way agreement with the employee, employer and Service Canada that takes about 30 days to negotiate. If the employer has already put this in place, Service Canada will waive the 30 days of negotiation.
The first CERB period for an employee is the first 4-week period where they have not earned more than $1000 in employment and/or self-employment income for 14 consecutive days. Should you be eligible for EI this will not necessarily be the first CERB period (March 15 - April 11, 2020). Should you not be eligible for EI these 14 or more consecutive days will be within the four-week benefit period of your claim.
Subsequent CERB periods are the 4-week in length. If you are eligible for EI, this will not necessarily follow the CERB period schedule. If you are not eligible for EI, this will follow the CERB period schedule. An employee can earn $1000 in employee income and/or self-employment income in each period and still claim CERB.
- Provide a copy of the employee’s pay stub or a copy of the to-be-filed” ROE to the employee
- File the ROE when possible on ROEweb
We know this is very frustrating. CFIB is raising this issue with the government.
In the meantime, the fastest way for an employer to submit their ROEs is still online through ROEweb. Although paper ROEs seem like a quick solution for businesses it will not help Service Canada work more efficiently.
For employees applying for EI, know that employees can always provide Service Canada with pay stubs/a copy of the ROE to create an interim ROE while waiting for their employer’s ROE.
When laying off employees you will be required to file a Record Of Employment (ROE).
An ROE has to be filed when there is an interruption of earnings of seven days (known as the seven-day rule). The interruption of earnings occurs when there are seven consecutive days with no work and no insurable earnings, or when an employee’s salary falls below 60% of regular weekly earnings due to illness, injury, quarantine, pregnancy, etc.
If you are filing the ROE electronically, it must be issued within 5 calendar days of the end of the pay period in which the employee’s interruption of earnings occurs. If you are using a paper ROE, it must be issued within 5 calendar days of the employee’s interruption of earnings, or the date you became aware of the interruption of earnings.
There are two ways to complete the ROE:
- Through ROEweb either by using a:
- Select Sign-In Partner; or
Note: Service Canada will require a second method of verification which they will send by mail before you gain access to ROEweb.
- Calling Service Canada 1-800-622-6232 for a Paper ROE (unavailable at the moment)
For more information please read the steps to complete the ROE.
Shortage of Work (Layoff)
When you are laying off employees due to a shortage of work or a temporary business closure.
Illness or Injury
When an employee is absent due to illness, quarantine, or ordered self-isolation.
When an employee quits their job, or refuses to come into work.
When you have received approval to participate in the work-sharing program and the employee needs to apply for benefits.
Leave of absence
Can be used if an employee is unable to work; for example, schools and day cares are closed and so they must stay home with a child.
DO NOT put any comments in the comments box on the ROE; this will slow down processing as the ROE will need to be reviewed manually.
Service Canda offers a block-by-block guide to completing the ROE.
For now, the eligibility criteria remain unchanged. We will update the information if the government announces special measures.
Updated 2020-05-04: Service Canada is now allowing businesses to top up” their employees’ wages if they are receiving CERB up to a threshold of $1000/CERB period.
The Supplemental Unemployment Benefit Program is designed for businesses who do want to top-up”or increase their employees’ weekly earning when they are unemployed due to a temporary stoppage of work, training, illness, injury or quarantine. These SUB plans need to be registered with Service Canada and are not considered as earnings and therefore are not deducted from EI benefits. These are supplementations of the employer’s side
For more details see the SUB plan guide.
Workers with open work permits, international students, and workers on visas will be allowed entry into Canada, despite restricted border measures, provided that they self-isolate for 14 days.
For many businesses, the COVID pandemic may be the first time they’ve had to consider having employees working from home. Fortunately, it’s fairly easy to ensure productivity even while the team is geographically separated.
- Staying connected: communication will be more important than ever. As well as e-mail, consider a cloud-based platform such as Microsoft Teams, Slack, Skype or Facebook Workplace to allow for instant messaging. You can create group chats so members of internal teams can have virtual meetings and even conference calls without needing the telephone.
- Be clear in your expectations: Is it more important that employees work a certain number of hours or that they complete a certain task? How often should employees check in? Be mindful that employees may have unavoidable distractions such as child-care due to school closures.
- Make sure employees have what they need: Not everyone will be set up for working from home, so talk to employees and make sure they have what they need to do their job. Don’t assume that employees have landlines, printers, fast internet connection, etc.
- Be patient: This is a time of huge turmoil for everyone, and some employees will adapt better than others. Acknowledge the stress your employees are feeling and work with them to find solutions.
If employees are concerned about working from home, you can share with them our top tips for a productive home office.
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.
- Honour the worker’s period of employment to start upon their arrival to Canada
- Paying the wages and benefits during the TFW’s self-isolation period
- Specifically, for the workers in the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program
- Other workers must be paid for a minimum of 30 hours per week and at the rate specified on the LMIA
- The employer can withhold standard contract deductions (e.g. Employment Insurance, housing, transportation, etc.) as per their TFW Program stream requirements.
- No deductions of any additional amounts due to the self-isolation period
- Keep a proof of employee wages paid
- Cannot authorize the worker to work during the self- isolation period, even if requested by the worker. The only exception is if the service is deemed an essential service by the Chief Public Health Officer. No other duties other than those approved by the Chief Public Health Officer may be asked of the worker.
- Regularly monitor the health of workers who are self-isolating or workers who become sick after the self-isolation period.
- Communicate with your employee on a daily basis (call, text, email, or in-person two metres away if necessary) during self-isolation and ask if they are experiencing any symptoms
- Maintain a record of responses received
- If a worker becomes symptomatic at any time the employer must:
- Immediately arrange for the worker to be fully isolated from others
- Contact the local public health officials
- Contact the appropriate consulate (suggested)
- Ensure workers have the tools and supplies necessary to practice good hygiene:
- Access to hand-washing facilities
- Provide soap
- Provide alcohol-based hand-sanitizer if hand-washing facilities are not available and hands are not soiled
- Provide information on COVID-19 to the worker on or before the first day of self-isolation
- Try to provide the information in a language understood by the employee. Contact the Public Health Agency of Canada at 1-833-784-4397 or by e-mail at [email protected] for materials in different languages.
- Provide information in writing or orally (i.e. by telephone) as appropriate
- The employer must report any violation of the Quarantine Act to local law enforcement; including workers who do not observe the mandatory self-isolation period.
- Employers must follow all federal and provincial/territorial employment and health and safety laws, as well as the public health requirements of both the federal and provincial/territorial governments
Additional requirements for employers who provide accommodations:
- Self-isolating workers must be housed separate to those who are not self-isolating
- Self-isolating workers can be housed together; however, the workers must be able to maintain at least a 2 metre distance between them at all times. If this requirement cannot be met, then alternate housing arrangements (e.g. hotel) may be required.
- Note: if new workers are housed for self-isolation with workers already in self-isolation, the calendar resets to the day the most recent worker arrived.
- Surfaces in the accommodations must be cleaned and disinfected regularly. In bathrooms, kitchens and common areas cleaning/disinfecting is recommended to be done at least daily and a log should be kept of all cleaning.
- Workers can do this as it is considered essential work, alternatively a professional cleaner can be hired
- The employer must provide all supplies – paper towel, cleaning/disinfecting products, dish soap, laundry soap, etc.
- Information on preventing the spread of COVID-19 must be posted in the accommodations, including information on best practices in maintaining facilities:
- Information should be posted in bathrooms, kitchens, common areas
- Information should be in the language of the worker(s)
- The accommodations must prevent the self-isolating worker from coming in contact with older adults (65+) and people with medical conditions who are at risk of developing serious illness. A caregiver for an elderly person must spend the self-isolation period in different accommodations to the elderly person.
Occupational Health and Safety requires employers to provide a safe workplace for their employees.
Preventive measures could include:
- Ensuring that handwashing facilities are readily available and encouraging employees to practice good hygiene.
- Ensuring employees are aware of the symptoms and risk of the virus.
- Having a Health and Safety meeting with your committee or representative (if applicable) to review business policies and protocols.
- Posting safety measures and encouraging employees to follow them to help prevent person to person transmission.
- Permitting employees to work remotely where possible. Communicate this to employees, so they will feel comfortable working from home if they are feeling under the weather.
- Having safety products available (hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes, gloves, etc.).
- Paying additional attention to cleaning – disinfecting door handles, computer keyboards, telephones, etc.
Note: these measures also help prevent the spread of other infections such as colds, the flu, and stomach bugs.
Be wary of singling out an employee to stay home as a preventive measure, if other employees are continuing to come into the workplace. The reason to remove the employee from the workplace needs to be supported by facts, and be in line with public health guidelines, to avoid the possibility the move could be perceived as being discriminatory.
Having a small business sick policy or attendance policy is good business sense at all times, not just when there is a pandemic. Letting employees know exactly what they are entitled to, based on Employment Standards requirements and your own internal policies, will set expectations and reduce confusion and frustration.
Under Occupational Health and Safety legislation, employees have a right to refuse work if they have reasonable grounds to believe it is dangerous to their health or safety. Remind your employees of the preventive measures that have been put in place, and the safety products available to them. This may help mitigate instances of employees refusing to work due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Each employee has a duty to report any dangerous situation to their supervisor. The employer then has a duty to take remedial action by having the workplace health and safety committee and/or representative investigate. In some cases, a government health and safety officer may need to investigate as well.
The employer may choose to reassign work. In this case, the employee must receive the same wages and benefits as they would have received under their previous assignment.
Please review the OH&S legislation in your jurisdiction for guidance on further reporting responsibilities, or talk to a CFIB Business Counsellor.
The federal government is requiring all travelers arriving from an international destination to self-isolate for 14 days. If the employee develops even a low-grade fever or mild cough they should avoid close contact with other people, and call their healthcare provider or public health department (contact information below).
If the employee is ill and still exhibiting symptoms, you can ask the employee to provide a note from a healthcare practitioner that gives them clearance to return to work, before the employee may return to their regular duties.
The federal government is recommending that all international travel be restricted. International flights will only be permitted to land at certain airports, and travellers arriving from international destinations will be required to self-isolate for 14 days. It is also possible that travellers will find themselves quarantined in the country they are visiting.
Self-insolation/quarantine requirements are decided by the destination’s provincial government.The employee may well be required to self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival in the destination province, and again when they return home.
Should an employee be travelling to provinces without self isolation/quarantine requirements, an employer should still consider the risks to the employee’s Health & Safety and determine if having a self isolation term in the business’ travel policy is necessary.
Some provinces are now mandating a 14-day self-isolation for any person returning from outside the province. If this is the case in your province, then the employee will have no choice but to self-isolate.
If your province does not have the requirement to self-isolate following inter-provincial travel, the business could set the expectation of self isolating in the business’ travel policy. An employer is responsible for the health and safety of it’s employees and can ask the employees to stay home should there be reasonable cause . Requiring an employee to self-isolate when it’s not mandated by the government may mean still paying the employee. It would be best to talk to a lawyer in those situations to ensure the business is on-sides with any applicable employment standards rules and regulations.