Re-Open Saskatchewan is the Government of Saskatchewan's plan built on a methodical and phased-in approach to slowly and responsibly lift restrictions on businesses and services.
Support for businesses
Federal, provincial and municipal governments are all providing measures that will help businesses stabilize finances and maintain connections with employees. Measures include direct financial supports, access to credit, deferrals of government-related charges and targeted incentives. Agencies across government and the private sector are also providing vital information and best practices that will help businesses make decisions about their operations. Review Canada's Economic Response Plan.
Access to capital
The Federal Government has provided Canada’s three financial Crown corporations (Export Development Canada, Business Development Bank of Canada and Farm Credit Canada) with additional capital to ensure customers have adequate access to credit as they work through the economic downturn.
- Will provide $65B in direct lending and other types of financial support at market rates to businesses with viable business models whose access to financing would otherwise be restricted.
- How: Businesses seeking support through BCAP should contact the financial institutions with whom they have a pre-existing relationship so they can assess the client’s financial request. If needs of the client exceed the level of support the financial institution is able to provide, they will work alongside BDC or EDC to access additional resources.
- Programs will roll out three weeks after March 27.
- Businesses to work with their financial institutions. This program includes:
1.) Canada Emergency Business Account*
- A $25B program to be implemented by eligible financial institutions in cooperation with EDC.
- This program will provide interest-free loans of up to $40K to small business and non-profits to help cover operating costs.
- Work directly with your financial institution. To apply, and for more information, follow the links below
*Note: CEBA application deadline extended to October 31 2020-09-10
Please contact the Government of Canada’s new CEBA Call Centre at 1-888-324-4201 between Monday to Friday from 8:00 am to 9:00 pm EST.
- Organizations must demonstrate they paid between $20K - $1.5M in total payroll in 2019.
- If you can pay the balance of the loan, on or before Dec 31, 2022 this will result in a loan forgiveness of 25% (up to 10K).
- Update: Eligability has been expanded to include sole proprietorships, businesses that rely on independent contractors, and family-owned business that pay employees in dividends.
2.) Loan Guarantee for SMEs
- To support operations of SME’s, EDC will guarantee new operating credit and cash flow term loans that financial institutions extend to SME’s, up to $6.25M.
- Program cap is $20B for export sector and domestic companies.
- BDC will work with financial institutions to co-lend term loans to SMEs for their operational cash flow requirements.
- Businesses may obtain up to $6.25M BDC’s portion of this program is up to $5M max per loan.
- Lending cap is $20B
- Contact financial institutions will conduct the underwriting and manage the interface with their customers.
- Contact financial institutions will conduct the underwriting and manage the interface with their customers.
Contact: If you are interested in exploring financing opportunities for your business through the BCAP, please contact your financial institution directly and it will contact BDC and EDC where appropriate.
- Business Development Bank of Canada at 1-877-232-2269
- Export Development Canada at 1-800-229-0575
- The Fund aims to help western Canadian businesses cope with the financial hardship resulting from COVID-19.
Click for specific eligibility requirements for:
- The program is designed to provide bridge financing to Canada’s largest employers, whose needs during the pandemic are not being met through conventional financing, in order to keep their operations going.
- Companies seeking support must demonstrate how they intend to preserve employment and maintain investment activities
- Recipients will need to commit to respect collective bargaining agreements and protect workers’ pensions.
- The program will not be available to companies that have been convicted of tax evasion.
- The program will also not be available to companies in the financial sector
Applications are open through the Canadian Development Investment Corporation portal as of May 20.
BDC Capital, BDC’s investment arm, launched the BDC Capital Bridge Financing Program where it matches, with a convertible note, a current financing round being raised through qualified existing and/or new investors made into eligible Canadian start-ups. Any matching investment by BDC Capital will be further subject, notably, to satisfactory due diligence review by BDC, agreement on terms of the investment and approval by a BDC investment committee.
- Companies must be Canadian, backed by a qualified venture capital firm, have raised at least $500,000 in external capital before applying for the program, and be specifically impacted by Covid-19
- The program is ideal for high potential companies who have venture capital investor syndicates that are willing to support them. BDC will invest alongside these groups.
This is not limited to BDC’s portfolio. All companies that meet the criteria are eligible to apply. Interested companies should speak to their lead investor for details.
On October 20, Minister Ng announced a $12-million investment in the Canada United Small Business Relief Fund. This initiative provides grants of up to $5,000 to small businesses to cover the costs of responses to COVID-19, such as the purchase of PPE, renovations to meet public health requirement, or establishing online business platforms.
The Canada United fund is administered by the Ontario Chamber of Commerce and is open to businesses across Canada. Applications are being accepted from the other provinces, including Saskatchewan.
More information, including how to apply is available here.
Business Resilience Service
The Government of Canada supported the launch of a four-week hotline service called the Business Resilience Service. This service will help entrepreneurs and small business owners in need of financial planning advice, particularly those who may not have access to an accountant. The service will also be open to not-for-profit organizations and charities. The hotline is a national, bilingual service operated by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce.
Business advisors—125 members of Chartered Professional Accountants Canada (CPA Canada)—will be available to provide customized financial guidance to the smallest business owners in the most urgent need and help them make the best decisions for their business as they navigate this crisis. Advisors can answer questions about tax regulations and the implications of COVID-19, inform business owners about government support programs that best fit their unique circumstances, and provide strategic financial planning for their road to recovery.
Small business owners with pressing financial needs can call 1-866-989-1080 (toll-free) seven days a week, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (ET).
- Supporting FCC by allowing an additional $5B in lending capacity to producers, agribusinesses and food processors.
- FCC supports by offering:
- A deferral of principal and interest payments up to 6 months for existing loans
- A deferral of principal payments up to 12 months
- Access to an additional credit line up to $500K
- 24-month credit line, at a rate of prime plus 1% and no fees
- Your local FCC office or FCC Customer Service Centre at 1-888-332-3301
Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) for Small Businesses
Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) for small businesses provides much needed relief for small businesses experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19. It offers 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 between April and Septermber 2020*. Learn more here.
*Note: The period has been extended to September.
- You own property that generates rental revenue from commercial real property located in Canada.
- You are the property owner of the commercial real property where the impacted small business tenants are located.
- You have a mortgage loan secured by the commercial real property, occupied by one or more small business tenants.*
- You have entered or will enter into a rent reduction agreement for the period of April, May, and June 2020, that will reduce impacted small business tenant’s rent by at least 75%.
- Your rent reduction agreement with impacted tenants includes a moratorium on eviction for the period of April, May and June 2020.
- You have declared rental income on your tax return (personal or corporate) for tax years 2018 and/or 2019.
* For those property owners who do not have a mortgage, an alternative mechanism will be implemented. Further information will be outlined in the near future.
Applicantions are now open at CMHC's Portal here.
In order to help employers keep and return workers to their payroll, the Federal Government is offering an emergency wage subsidy to eligible employers from March 15 – November 21, 2020*. This subsidy will cover up to 75% on the first $58,700 of an employee’s salary up to a maximum $847 per week. It is also offering 100 per cent refund for certain employer-paid contributions to Employment Insurance and the Canada Pension Plan, for employees on leave with pay and that the employer is eligible to claim under the CEWS. Employers are being encouraged to re-hire employees they have laid off over the last two weeks and they will be eligible for the subsidy once they are re-hired.
As of July 17 eligible employers who had any drop in revenue can now qualify for the wage subsidy, starting with the claim periods that began July 5.
*The Subsidy has been extended from August to November 21.
Employers that experience a 15% or greater decline in gross revenue in March, and 30% decline in the following months. The reference period used to demonstrate this loss in revenue can either be from the same period the previous year, or from the average of revenue earned in January and February 2020. Non-profits and charities may choose to include or exclude government funding when making their calculations.
Eligible employers would include individuals, taxable corporations, partnerships consisting of eligible employers, non‑profit organizations and registered charities. The subsidy is open to all companies regardless of size, and has no cap on number of employees that can be supported.
Public bodies, including municipalities, local governments, Crown corporations, publics universities, colleges, schools and hospitals are not eligible for this subsidy.
Employees must be employed in Canada, and not without renumeration for 14 or more consecutive days in the eligibility period (as those are covered by the CERB)
Businesses may be open and operating, or not.
Businesses will be required to attest that they are doing everything they can to pay the balance (25%) of their employee’s wages not covered by the subsidy.
Eligible employers would be able to apply for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy through the Canada Revenue Agency’s My Business Account portal as well as a web-based application. To apply, click below.
Once an employer is found eligible for a specific period, the employer would automatically qualify for the next period, however must show that they have paid the employee to receive payments.
For organizations that do not qualify for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy, the Federal Government may cover 10% of renumeration paid from March 18-June 20 to a maximum of $1,375 per employee and $25,000 per employer. This is not tied to a decline in gross revenue.
You do not need to apply for this subsidy. You will need to calculate the subsidy manually and reduce your current payroll remittance of federal, provincial or territorial income tax that you send to the CRA by the amount of the subsidy.
For employers that are eligible for both the 75% Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy and the 10% wage subsidy for a period, any benefit from the 10% wage subsidy for remuneration paid in a specific period would generally reduce the amount available to be claimed under the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy in that same period.
The Work Sharing Program is a three-way agreement that can be negotiated between Service Canada, the employer and the employee to provide EI benefits to workers who agree to reduce their normal working hours as a result of developments beyond the control of their employers. The 30-day wait period will be waived for only those who have used the work-sharing program in the past.
- Have been in business in Canada year-round for at least 2 years
- Be a private business, publicly held company or non-profit
- Demonstrate the shortage of work is temporary and beyond their control
- Demonstrate a recent decrease in business activity of approximately 10%
- Submit and implement a recovery plan to return the Work-Sharing unit to normal working hours by the end of the agreement
- Employees must be a core employee, be eligible to receive EI and agree to a reduction of their normal working hours.
- Employer Contact Centre 1-800-367-5683 or 1-855-881-9874
Employers can use a Supplemental Unemployment Benefit (SUB) plan to increase their employees’ weekly earnings when they are unemployed due to a temporary stoppage of work, training, illness, injury or quarantine. Payments from registered plans are not deducted from the employee's EI benefits
Payments under a registered SUB plan are not considered as insurable earnings; therefore, EI premium are not deducted.
GST/HST Remittance Deferral
To support Canadian businesses in the current extraordinary circumstances, the Canadian government announced on March 27, 2020, that it will extend to June 30, 2020, the date by which:
- Monthly filers have to remit amounts collected for the February, March and April 2020 reporting periods;
- Quarterly filers have to remit amounts collected for the January 1, 2020 through March 31, 2020 reporting period; and
- Annual filers, whose GST/HST return or instalment is 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 their current fiscal year.
CRA will allow businesses to defer until Sept 1, 2020 the payment of any income tax amounts that become owing on or after March 18, 2020 and before Sept 2020. This relief applies to tax balances due, as well as income tax instalments. Corporation Tax Filing remains unchanged, 6 months after your year end. Self-Employed Income Tax Filing remains unchanged, still due June 15, 2020.
Under this authority, payment deadlines for statements of accounts for March, April, and May are being deferred to June 30, 2020.
- Canada Border Services Agency
Federal Knowledge and resources for business
- Canada's COVID-19 Economic Response Plan
- Government of Canada: COVID-19 Travel Advice
- Health Canada Decision-Making Guidelines for Mass Gatherings during COVID-19
- Canadian Trade Service: Key Considerations for Canadian Businesses
- Destination Canada: Tourism Industry Update
- Canada's Regional Development Agencies (Western Economic Diversification Canada)
- Personal protective equipment (PPE) supply hub
BUSINESS RESPONSE TEAM
Saskatchewan’s Business Response Team is there to help businesses and employees navigate through this difficult time. The team brings together resources from across provincial government, including employment standards, listings of allowable business services during the pandemic, managing staff, utilities, workers’ compensation and others. The Business Response Team is available to assist you 8 AM to 8 PM Monday to Friday.
- 1-844-800-8688 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Re-Open Saskatchewan Training Subsidy (RSTS) has been extended to December 31, 2020. This program provides a 100% reimbursement up to $10,000 for businesses to train employees, and support the safe re-opening of businesses in accordance with the Re-Open Saskatchewan Plan.
Extending the application deadline allows employers to access training and participate in the safe re-opening of the Saskatchewan economy. Please find the information re. this program in the attached PDF.
Applicants must demonstrate that the requested training supports the safe re-opening of the service or business, increased health and safety requirements, or adoption of innovative practices that align with social distancing protocols.
Tax and Crown Utility Deferral
Businesses will receive a 3-month PST relief from penalty and interest charges. Business unable to file their PST return by the due date may submit a request for relief.
- SK tax inquiry line 1-800-667-6102 or email@example.com
The Crown Utility Interest Deferral Program is waving interest on late bill payments for up to six months. The program is available to all crown utility customers. Over this period, no late payment charges or interest will be applied. After six months, the balance of regular monthly payments will be due. To help customers get back on their feet, they will have a year after that six-month period to pay off any outstanding balance over the next year with equal monthly installments. No additional interest will be charged. In total, this provides customers with 18 months to recover from the impact of the pandemic to their finances.
- SaskPower 1-888-757-6937
- SaskEnergy 1-800-567-8899 or 1-306-777-9200 to discuss the program and payment plan options
- Sasktel 1-800-SASKTEL (1-800-727-5835) (Consumer) or 1-844-SASKTEL (1-844-727-5835) (Business)
In addition to changes made to the Saskatchewan Employment Act that introduced a new unpaid public health emergency leave and removed the 13-week employment requirement to access sick leave and the requirement for a doctor’s note to access sick leave, The Employment Standard Regulations have been amended to:
- Ensure that during a public emergency, businesses will not have to provide notice or pay in lieu of notice when they lay-off staff if it is for a period of 12 weeks or less in a 16-week period.
- If an employer lays off employees periodically for a total of more than 12 weeks in a 16-week period, the employees are considered to be terminated and are entitled to pay instead of notice as outlined in the Act. This will be calculated from the date on which the employee was laid off.
The Province is delivering webinars to guide business owners through Employment Standards Public Emergency Provisions. Look for the next webinar or view a previous session.
Provincial Knowledge and resources for business
A dedicated portal with regularly updated information of available supports and new regulations for businesses and workers.
Tourism Saskatchewan is working closely with provincial and federal agencies, Destination Canada, the Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC) and other industry partners to develop plans and support programs for the industry's recovery.
The Government of Saskatchewan announced its $35 million investment in the Saskatchewan Tourism Sector Support Program (STSSP). The program offers relief to tourism businesses that suffered severe losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A portion of the investment is targeted for marketing support to reignite interest in and demand for Saskatchewan travel experiences.
SquareOne is ready to provide you with relevant and timely information to help you navigate the current business environment. They offer one-on-one virtual appointments with business service experts as well as online learning opportunities to help you adapt your business in the wake of COVID-19.
Businesses can apply for grant funding in one of two phases:
- Phase 1: Matching grants of $1000, $2500 or $5,000 (August - December 2020)
- Phase 2: Matching grants of up to $25,000 for longer-term diversification initiatives that will support business sustainability (Beginning January 2021)
Maximum grant amounts are not guaranteed, and lesser amounts may be allocated at the discretion of the City. Businesses are only eligible for funding during one of the phases. Assess your business needs and the timing funding is released to determine which phase to apply in.
Residents and businesses can defer payments toward their water utility account for up to six months with no late payment charges or interest charges applied.
Tax notices will still be issued in May, but property owners will have until after Sept 30 to pay their property taxes before penalties are applied.
Audacity Mentorship Program
The Audacity Mentorship Program connects Regina entrepreneurs with local, purpose-driven leaders to help solve problems and to build and grow businesses – together. These relationships create opportunities to exchange knowledge and experience that help local businesses survive, grow and thrive.
Guidance for Employers of Temporary Foreign Workers Regarding COVID-19
This document outlines the expectations for employers of temporary foreign workers.
Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau announced $50 million in federal funding Monday to provide $1,500 per worker, which can be used to cover wages while they are in quarantine or the costs of space to isolate for the 14 days required under a law meant to stop the spread of COVID-19. As labour circumstances are different across regions in Canada, the Government will work with interested provinces and territories in the coming days to ensure this funding is delivered in a manner that meets their needs and best ensures quarantine requirements are met.
Find Information and resources to support the agriculture industry and you navigate through COVID-19.
APAS is committed to supporting Saskatchewan producers as they learn to navigate the significant provincial, national, and global changes that are resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. Here you will find key resources for agricultural producers who need information about managing the risk to their businesses and families.
Agriculture and Food Business Solutions Fund
If your agribusiness or agri-food company (including those involved in primary production, agri-tech, manufacturing, packaging and distribution) has been negatively affected by COVID-19, you could get convertible debt investments or other flexible financing solutions up to a maximum of $10 million to help you return to a sound financial footing through Forage Capital Inc. to a maximum of $10,000,000.
Contact Forage Capital Inc. for more information on the funding criteria and application process. Supported by Government of Canada, Farm Credit Canada https://www.fcc-fac.ca/en/covid-19.html
Contact:- Randi at firstname.lastname@example.org Tel. 403-215-5492
Information and updates on COVID-19.
Other supports for business
Tourism Industry Resources
- Destination Canada – COVID-19 industry webinars
- Destinations International – Industry Update COVID-19 Webinar; Weekly Webinars - Registration Page
- Service Hospitality – Free webinar series, Tuesdays and Thursdays
- Service Hospitality – Covid-19 Guide for the Restaurant Services Industry
- Restaurants Canada Free Webinar – COVID-19 HR & Employment Information for Food service
- Conference Board of Canada – Upcoming webinars and daily Updates
- Business Development Bank of Canada – How to Cope with the Impacts of COVID-19 on Your Business