Government programs available to support Canadian entrepreneurs through the coronavirus pandemic
Last updated: September 8, 2020
This page will be updated as new details on governmental supports for Canadian businesses impacted by COVID-19 become available.
Providing lines of credit and financial support to businesses
Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP)
BCAP will provide more than $10 billion of additional support to businesses experiencing cash flow challenges. The funds will be distributed through programs by the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) and Export Development Canada (EDC).
How to access program: Businesses seeking support through BCAP should first contact their financial institutions for an assessment of their situation. Financial institutions will refer to EDC and BDC their existing clients whose needs extend beyond what is available through the private sector alone.
Provides credit and cash flow term loans to small and medium-sized Canadian businesses in all sectors that were otherwise financially viable and revenue generating prior to the COVID-19 outbreak
Financial institutions can issue operating credit and cash flow term loans of up to $6.25 million to existing clients, with 80 per cent guaranteed by EDC
See list of the 38 financial institutions offering the BCAP Guarantee here
Please contact your financial institution for application details
Additional EDC Supports:
EDC also provides support through their insights, tools and advice offerings like Export Help Hub. Through a MyEDC account Canadian businesses can access free services and information. Standard EDC programs are also available to support Canadian companies with international trade.
Allow banks to give up to $40,000 in government-backed loans to most owner-operated small businesses, to help them cover their operating costs during this time when their revenues are temporarily reduced. There is zero interest on the loan until December 31, 2022, and repaying the loan by December 31, 2022 will result in forgiveness of up to 25% of the loan (up to $10,000). Contact your primary financial institution to apply.
Eligibility (updated on June 17):
The borrower has a federal tax registration and a business operating account at a participating financial institution
The Borrower’s total employment income paid in the 2019 calendar year was between $20,000 and $1,500,000. For applicants with $20,000 or less in total employment income paid in the 2019
The Borrower has a Canada Revenue Agency business number and has filed a 2018 or 2019 tax return.
The Borrower has eligible non-deferrable expenses between $40,000 and $1,500,000. Eligible non-deferrable expenses could include costs such as rent, property taxes, utilities, and insurance. Expenses will be subject to verification and audit by the Government of Canada.
Forgivable loans to eligible commercial property owners so that they can reduce the rent owed by their impacted small business tenants by at least 75% for the months of April, May, June, July and August 2020.
Government will offer a forgivable loan worth 50% of the value of the small business’ rent each month
The small business tenant will pay up to 25% of rent
Impacted small business tenants are businesses, including non-profit and charitable organizations who:
pay no more than $50,000 in monthly gross rent per location (as defined by a valid and enforceable lease agreement),
generate no more than $20 million in gross annual revenues, calculated on a consolidated basis (at the ultimate parent level), and
have temporarily ceased operations (i.e. generating no revenues), or has experienced at least a 70% decline in pre-COVID-19 revenues on average for April, May and June.
The government is removing the requirement that the forgivable loan amount paid to property owners exclude non-repayable proceeds received by the property owner or tenant from existing rental support programs or other abatements, provided by any level of government, and insurance proceeds, if applicable.
Loans of up to $50,000 will be available to small and medium-sized businesses that are either ineligible for, or unable to access, existing federal and provincial COVID-19 response initiatives for small businesses.
Loans will be available through Aboriginal Financial Institutions.
Up to 50% of each loan will be in the form of a non-repayable grant, with no interest due on the loan portion until December 31, 2022.
The Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF)
Provides financial contributions (interest-free loans) to help support fixed operating costs of SMEs, where business revenues have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic
The Fund, valued at more than $962 million nationally, is delivered by Canada’s six regional development agencies.
This adjustment program is designed to help employers and employees avoid layoffs when there is a temporary reduction in the normal level of business activity that is beyond the control of the employer.
What’s new: The Government of Canada will enhance this program at an estimated cost of$12 million to help employers who are experiencing a downturn in business due to COVID-19, and their workers.
You are an eligible employer if you have seen revenues decrease by 15% in March 15 to April 11 (claim period 1) or 30% for following claim periods due to COVID-19.
Eligible employers includes individuals, taxable corporations, partnerships consisting of eligible employers as well as non‑profit organizations and registered charities.
See details on claim periods, and how revenue is calculated here.
August 21 update: extension for furloughed employees by 4 weeks – from August 30 to September 26.
July 27 update: changes to program have been approved: extension of the subsidy to December 19, 2020 and changes to the eligibility requirements and subsidy amounts (goal to make the subsidy more accessible to a broader range of employers). Further details on the new program structure can be found here.
A three-month measure allows eligible employers to reduce the amount of payroll deductions required to be remitted to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA)
10% of the remuneration you pay from March 18, 2020 to June 19, 2020, up to $1,375 for each eligible employee to a maximum of $25,000 total per employer
Note: this is a separate program from the Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy
You are eligible if you are a Canadian-controlled private corporation (including a cooperative corporation) eligible for the small business deduction, an individual, partnership, non-profit corporation, or registered charity;
have an existing business number and payroll program account with the CRA on March 18, 2020; and
pay salary, wages, bonuses, or other remuneration to an eligible employee
For further information, please see this FAQ page.
Added flexibility for corporate taxes
T2 Corporation Income Tax Returns: The CRA will allow all businesses to defer T2 corporation income tax returns otherwise due in June, July or August, to September 1, 2020. As previously announced, any income tax balance due on or after March 18 and before September 1 will also be due by September 1, 2020.
The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) gives financial support to employed and self-employed Canadians who are directly affected by COVID-19
If you are eligible, you can receive $2,000 for a 4-week period (the same as $500 a week).
Who have stopped working because of reasons related to COVID-19 or are eligible for Employment Insurance regular or sickness benefits or have exhausted their Employment Insurance regular benefits or Employment Insurance fishing benefits between December 29, 2019 and October 3, 2020;
Who had employment and/or self-employment income of at least $5,000 in 2019 or in the 12 months prior to the date of their application; and,
Who have not quit their job voluntarily.
Note: The CERB was announced on March 25,200 as a more accessible combination of the previously announced Emergency Care Benefit and Emergency Support Benefit.
a tax-free quarterly payment that helps individuals and families with low and modest incomes offset all or part of the GST or HST that they pay. It may also include payments from provincial and territorial programs.
Support in assessing and navigating funding options