COVID 19 INFORMATION FOR EMPLOYERS AND EMPLOYEES – Federal and Provincial Source Information

GOVERNMENT OF CANADA

PROVINCE OF BC

COVID 19 INFORMATION FOR EMPLOYERS AND EMPLOYEES

PROVINCE OF BRITISH COLUMBIA

 

COVID-19 Provincial Support and Information

 

 

Government of Canada

 

Call to action: Canadian manufacturers needed to help combat COVID-19

If you are a Canadian manufacturer or business that can assist Canada in meeting the need for medical supplies, your help is needed.

If you can say yes to the following, we want to hear from you.

  • You manufacture in Canada and/or have ready access to necessary inputs through your supply chain.
  • You have equipment or facilities that can be rapidly re-tooled to meet medical needs, including for personal protective equipment (PPE) such as gloves, masks and surgical gowns; sanitizers; wipes; ventilators; and other medical equipment and supplies.
  • You have skilled workers who are able to respond and who could be available for work in the current circumstances.

The Plan to Mobilize Industry to fight COVID-19 directly supports businesses to rapidly scale up production or re-tool their manufacturing lines to develop products made in Canada that will help in the fight against COVID-19.

The National Research Council’s Industrial Research Assistance Program will build on its existing relationships with thousands of Canada’s most innovative small and medium-sized businesses to pose challenges to the marketplace for innovative solutions to fight COVID-19. The most promising solutions will be selected for procurement, working with Innovative Solutions Canada.

We are stronger when we work together.

Please send a short summary of your offer to ic.mid-dim.ic@canada.ca.

Canadian Businesses 

Resources for Canadian businesses: COVID-19

Description: Lists key considerations for businesses and related resources:

Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan

Description: The Government of Canada is taking immediate action to support Canadian businesses facing financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Decisions regarding these actions are still ongoing, but details so far include:

  • Supporting Canadian business through the Canada Account, which is used by the government to support exporters when deemed to be in the national interest. This will allow the government to provide additional support to Canadian companies through loans, guarantees or insurance policies during these challenging times.
  • Helping businesses keep their workers by proposing to provide eligible small employers a temporary wage subsidy for a period of three months. The subsidy will be equal to 10% of remuneration paid during that period, up to a maximum subsidy of $1,375 per employee and $25,000 per employer.
  • Flexibility for businesses filing taxes: The Canada Revenue Agency will allow all businesses to defer, until after August 31, 2020, the payment of any income tax amounts that become owing on or after today and before September 2020.
  • Temporary Work Sharing measures, extending the duration of Work-Sharing agreements by an additional 38 weeks, for a total of 76 weeks.

Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC)

EDC & BDC:  Canada’s Minister of Finance, Hon. Bill Morneau, recently announced a $10B fund to support SMEs. This is an increase in capital for EDC (and BDC). This will provide them with more flexibility/capacity to respond to the needs of Canadian business at this time.  Currently, there are no new specific programmes set up by EDC. Companies are encouraged to approach EDC and BDC in the regular fashion to discuss what assistance might be available.

Support for entrepreneurs impacted by the coronavirus COVID-19

Description: BDC has a specific page addressing COVID-19, please see here. For general inquiries, please call 1-800-INFO-BDC. Should your company have serious financial concerns, please reach out to our team and we may assist you with direct contacts. As announced by the Finance Minister, BDC is increasing the amount of financing available to entrepreneurs during the COVID-19 outbreak. These measures include:

  • Working capital loans of up to $2 million with flexible terms and payment postponements for up to 6 months for qualifying businesses;
  • Postponement of payments for up to 6 months, free of charge, for existing BDC clients with total BDC loan commitment of $1 million or less;
  • Reduced rates on new eligible loans;
  • Additional details regarding Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) measures, including industry specific support, to be announced in the coming days.

Additional financing includes:

Economic Development Canada (EDC)

Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP)

EDC is committed to helping Canadian exporters access capital if needed and they have increased internal capacities to better respond to the concerns of customers at this time. For information on their response to COVID-19 and for a link to their taped webinar on COVID-19 Impacts and Business, please see here. For existing customers, please contact your existing EDC rep or contact them via 1 866 716 7201, or support@edc.ca

Description: The BCAP will allow the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) and Export Development Canada (EDC) to provide more than $10 billion of additional support, largely targeted to small and medium-sized businesses.

EDC has a suite of financial and insurance solutions to support businesses, who can also register for a MyEDC account for unlimited access to expert insights and trade information.

Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC)

COVID-19 update

To read more on the Government of Canada’s updated policy on Employment Insurance (EI) and on our work-sharing program, please see here for information on the Employment and Social Development Canada website.

On EI: For Canadians without paid sick leave (or similar workplace accommodation) who are sick, quarantined or forced to stay home to care for children, the Government will: (1) Waive the one-week waiting period for those individuals in imposed quarantine that claim Employment Insurance (EI) sickness benefits. (2) Waive the requirement to provide a medical certificate to access EI sickness benefits.

A temporary wage subsidy is available for eligible small businesses for a maximum of 3 months. The subsidy will be equal to 10% of remuneration paid during that period, up to a maximum subsidy of $1,375 per employee and $25,000 per employer.

Emergency Benefits:

  1. Emergency Care Benefits: Subject to eligibility requirements, workers can get up to $900 biweekly, for up to 15 weeks, to provide income support to workers, including the self-employed, who have to stay home and don’t qualify for paid sick leave or employment insurance. Applications will open in April, at a date to be determined. At such time, Canadians will be able to apply for them through CRA MyAccount or My Service Canada Account or by calling a toll-free number that has not yet been made public.
  2. Emergency Support Benefits: This benefits program provides for payments of undisclosed amounts to unemployed workers that are not eligible for EI. Applications will open in April, at a date to be determined. When that happens, Canadians will be able to apply for them through CRA MyAccount or My Service Canada Account or by calling a toll-free number that has not yet been made public.
  3. Canada Childcare Benefit: There will be a plan to add $2B to the existing Child Care Benefit program. The website has yet to updated as this program is due to be implemented in May, please see here.

Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD)

Western Economic Diversification’s Business Scale-up Program continues to accept expressions of interest; however, we can reasonably expect that the delivery of this program will delayed given the current situation. Please see here.

COVID-19 and the western Canadian economy

Description: WD is one of the Regional Development Agencies tasked to keep Canada’s economy stable. This page contains a Q&A section and pamphlet that describes the approach WD is taking with RDAs to support businesses through this crisis.

TRADE COMMISSIONER SERVICE (TCS)

Travel: Please be sure to consult the Travel Canada website for COVID-19 specific travel advice. You can also register with them to receive important information (travel.gc.ca/register) and for emergencies, please use these contacts: sos@international.gc.ca or +1 613 996 8885. Other important pages to consult are the Transport Canada website (measures regarding air travel), as well as the Canada Border Services Agency website (measures regarding border travel).

TCS Support: The TCS network remains fully operational under revised working conditions and are available to support Canadian businesses. We will not be holding in-person meetings at our offices until further notice however we are fully available to hold meetings via teleconference/webex and continue to available via email/phone. Please see here for the TCS page on resources for Canadian businesses.

CanExport: CanExport has adjusted their policies in light of the new regulations surrounding international travel. To see how this may affect any currently approved or submitted CanExport SME, please see here. For CanExport Innovation, please see here. Should you have specific questions that this page does not answer, please feel free reach out to your local TCS contact.

CanExport SMEs Applicant’s Guide Updated

Description: Summarizes changes for CanExport SME applicants and recipients. The FAQ has also been updated. Key changes to the program are listed below:

***CanExport SME cannot approve any travel and related activities until new direction will be reflected in the advisory. All other market development activities will remain eligible for funding for the program.

Guides and tools

Small Business BC: 

Resources for Small Businesses during COVID-19. This page includes a Business Continuity & COVID-19 Checklist

PreparedBC: 

Guide for Tourism Operators and Emergency Plan for Tourism Operators

BC Centre for Disease Control:

Business Pandemic Influenza Planning Checklist

World Health Organization:

Getting your workplace ready for COVID-19

Quick Chart for Emergency Benefits

Measure

Details

Implementation

Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP)

·       $10 billion in financial support via BDC and EDC to support SMEs.

·       EDC: please contact your existing EDC rep or contact them via 1 866 716 7201, or support@edc.ca

·       BDC has a specific page addressing COVID-19, please see here. For general inquiries, please call 1-800-INFO-BDC.

Immediately

Flexibility for Businesses Filing Taxes

·       Allow all businesses to defer, until after August 31, 2020, the payment of any income tax amounts that become owing on or after March 18th and before September 2020.  No interest or penalties will accumulate on these amounts during this period.

Immediately

Wage Subsidy for Employers

·       A temporary wage subsidy for eligible small businesses for a maximum of 3 months.

·       The subsidy will be equal to 10% of remuneration paid during that period, up to a maximum subsidy of $1,375 per employee and $25,000 per employer

Immediately

(Supporting legislation to follow)

Flexibility claiming EI

For Canadians without paid sick leave (or similar workplace accommodation) who are sick, quarantined or forced to stay home to care for children, the Government will:

·       Waive the one-week waiting period for those individuals in imposed quarantine that claim Employment Insurance (EI) sickness benefits.

·       Waive the requirement to provide a medical certificate to access EI sickness benefits.

·       Instructions on how to apply are available on Employment & Social Development Canada’s website here.

 

Immediately

Emergency Care Benefit

·       Details: Up to $900 biweekly, for up to 15 weeks, to provide income support to workers, including the self-employed, who have to stay home and don’t qualify for paid sick leave or employment insurance

·       Eligibility Requirements:

o   Workers, including the self-employed, who are quarantined or sick with COVID-19 but do not qualify for EI sickness benefits.

o   Workers, including the self-employed, who are taking care of a family member who is sick with COVID-19, such as an elderly parent, but do not quality for EI sickness benefits.

o   Parents with children who require care or supervision due to school closures, and are unable to earn employment income, irrespective of whether they qualify for EI or not.

·       Applications will open in April, at a date to be determined. When that happens, Canadians will be able to apply for them through CRA MyAccount or My Service Canada Account or by calling a toll-free number that has not yet been made public.

Early April

Emergency Support Benefit

·       Payments of undisclosed amounts to unemployed workers not eligible for EI

·       Applications will open in April, at a date to be determined. When that happens, Canadians will be able to apply for them through CRA MyAccount or My Service Canada Account or by calling a toll-free number that has not yet been made public.

 

Early April

Canada Child Care Benefit

·       $2B in payments through the Child Care Benefit

May