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.
The Business Credit Availability Program is comprised of BDC’s Co-lending Program for SMEs, and its Mid Market Financing Program, and EDC’s Loan Guarantee for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs), as well as its Mid-Market Guarantee and Financing Program which will be launching soon.
- BDC CO-LENDING PROGRAM FOR SMALL AND MEDIUM ENTERPRISES
- Through the Business Credit Availability Program, Business Development Canada (BDC) is working with financial institutions to co-lend term loans of up to $6.25 million to SMEs for their operational cash flow requirements. The program offers differing maximum finance amounts based on business revenues. This program is now available at various banks and credit unions. This support is available until June 2021.
- BDC Mid Market Financing Program
- Through the Business Credit Availability Program, the Business Development Canada's (BDC) Mid-Market Financing Program will provide commercial loans ranging between $12.5 million and $60 million to medium-sized businesses whose credit needs exceed what is already available through the Business Credit Availability Program and other measures. BDC anticipates that qualifying companies will have annual revenues in excess of approximately $100 million. This support is available until June 2021.
- EDC SME LOAN AND GUARANTEE PROGRAM
- Through the Business Credit Availability Program, Export Development Canada (EDC) is working with financial institutions to guarantee 80% of new operating credit and cash flow term loans of up to $6.25 million to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). This financing support is to be used for operational expenses and is available to both exporting and non-exporting companies. This program is now available at various banks and credit unions. This support is available until June 2021.
- EDC Mid-market Guarantee and Financing Program (launching soon)
- EDC’s Mid-Market Guarantee and Financing Program will bring liquidity to companies who tend to have revenues of between $50 million to $300 million, to sustain operations during this uncertain period. EDC will continue to work with Canadian financial institutions to guarantee 75 % of new operating credit and cash-flow loans – ranging in size from $16.75 million to a maximum of $80 million.
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.
- 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 Rent subsidy program
The Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS) provides a direct and easy-to-access rent and mortgage subsidy of up to 65% of eligible expenses to qualifying businesses, charities and non-profits. The subsidy is available form September 27, 2020 until June 2021. This support is available directly to tenants.
Qualifying organizations that have been significantly restricted by a mandatory public health order issued by a qualifying public health authority can receive an additional 25% of rent support through the Lockdown Support.
The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy supports you to keep and re-hire your employees and avoid layoffs. It provides a subsidy to eligible employers, retroactive to March 15, 2020.
Changes to the CEWS were announced on November 19th. The subsidy available to you is based on the number of employees you have, the amount and type of pay they received, and the rate of eligible revenue reduction to experienced. The CEWS is available until June 2021.
The deadline to apply is January 31, 2021, or 180 days after the end of the claim period, whichever comes later. For the most recent program details, and to use the subsidy calculator, click here.
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
Strong recovery adaptation rebate (srar)
The SRAR program assists businesses as they adapt their business models to address the challenges caused by the global COVID-19 pandemic. It reimburses eligible small businesses in Saskatchewan for one-time, incremental expenses they have incurred to adapt their business model to operate during the COVID-19 pandemic. The program reimburses businesses for 50% of total eligible business-adaptation investments made by the applicant between April 1, 2020, and February 28, 2021, up to a maximum of $5000.
The program is for Saskatchewan businesses that employ less than 100 people, have or will incur expenses to adapt their business model between April 1, 2020, and February 28, 2021, plan to continue operating, and have experienced at least a 30 per cent revenue decline compared to 2019.
Program details and applications will be available in the coming weeks.
Small business emergency payment program (ssbep)
The Saskatchewan Small Business Emergency Payment (SSBEP) provides a one-time grant for small and medium-sized enterprises directly affected by government public heath orders related to COVID-19. It is in it’s second phase for businesses that have been ordered to temporarily close or substantially curtail operations due to a public health order related to COVID-19.
Grants will be paid based on 15 per cent of a business’s monthly sales revenue, to a maximum of $5,000.
The program was initially offered April through June of 2020. An amended Phase 2 of the program has been established for December 1–31, 2020, with the program open for applications as of Monday, December 7, 2020.
Businesses should review all of the eligibility criteria, as outlined in the Program Overview and Application Instructions, Q&A document and the program Regulations.
Complete the online application and:
- Include banking information for direct deposit;
- Acknowledge the attestation at the end of the application; and
- Click on 'submit'.
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
EMERGENCY SUPPORT FUND FOR CULTURAL, HERITAGE AND SPORT ORGANIZATIONS
The $500 million Emergency Support Fund provides additional temporary relief to support cultural, heritage and sport organizations and help them plan for the future. The Fund will be administered by Canadian Heritage and divided among select departmental programs and Portfolio agencies as well as key delivery organizations. For more information, click here.