Covid-19 Resources for small businesses

 

A Message from Our Chair

COVID-19 has caused much financial uncertainty for our economy and this is particularly true for small, independent business owners. But have faith - when this ends - AND IT WILL END, our restaurants will have wait times and shoppers will be craving the in-person shopping experience that Amazon can’t provide and main street shops and restaurants provide in abundance.

In the interim, here at Weston Village BIA, we’re doing everything possible to ensure that you have all the tools at your disposal to help you make it through any financial hardships you are experiencing as a result of Covid-19.

COVID-19 Programs and Resources for Businesses

The municipal, provincial and federal governments have put measures in place to protect the public and the business community during the pandemic. We encourage you to rely on government sources to ensure that information is up-to-date and correct. It is unfortunate that people have to consult three different websites to get all the information they need. And in recognition of this inconvenience, your Weston Village BIA, Board of Directors is recommending to our political representatives that one site be created that will provide information from all levels of government. 

Primary Government Sources

  • Federal Government website, please visit: https://www.canada.ca - general information on COVID-19 response;
  • Provincial Government website, please visit: https://www.ontario.ca - general information on COVID-19 response;
  • Municipal Government website, please visit: https://www.toronto.ca - general information on COVID-19.

The following is a list our office put together with respect to key resources provided by all levels of government. The information provided is a short synopsis of each resource. Please refer to the three government sites, if further information is required.

Grace Period for Municipal Property Taxes: The City of Toronto will provide a grace period for property tax payments and payment penalties for businesses for 60 days, starting March 2020.

Grace Period for Municipal Utility Bills: (Water/Sewer Service and Solid Waste Management charges where applicable): The City is extending the due date for all utility bills issued to businesses for 60 days in addition to the current 21 days to take advantage of the early payment discount.

Small Business Tax Deferral: The CRA will allow all businesses to defer, until after August 31, 2020, the payment of any income tax amounts that become owing on or after March 19, 2020 and before September 2020.

Wage subsidies: The federal government will cover 75 per cent of wages for workers of qualifying small and large businesses meant to cushion the blow from the COVID-19 pandemic; employers will have to show that their revenues have fallen by at least 30 per cent due to COVID-19 and the wages the subsidy covers will be capped at $847 per week. Businesses that get the subsidy are being asked to rehire workers laid off over the last two weeks and ensure that all the money through the program goes to employees.

Today, Finance Minister Bill Morneau, the Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade, Mary Ng, and the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, Navdeep Bains, announced the details of the proposed Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy:

 

The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy would apply at a rate of 75 per cent of the first $58,700 normally earned by employees – representing a benefit of up to $847 per week. The program would be in place for a 12-week period, from March 15 to June 6, 2020.

  • Eligible employers who suffer a drop in gross revenues of at least 30 per cent in March, April or May, when compared to the same month in 2019, would be able to access the subsidy.
  • Eligible employers would include employers of all sizes and across all sectors of the economy, with the exception of public sector entities.
  • For non-profit organizations and registered charities similarly affected by a loss of revenue, the government will continue to work with the sector to ensure the definition of revenue is appropriate to their circumstances. The government is also considering additional support for non-profits and charities, particularly those involved in the front line response to COVID-19. Further details will be announced in the near term.
  • An eligible employer’s entitlement to this wage subsidy will be based entirely on the salary or wages actually paid to employees. All employers would be expected to at least make best efforts to top up salaries to 100% of the maximum wages covered.

 

Those organizations that do not qualify for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy may continue to qualify for the previously announced wage subsidy of 10 per cent of remuneration paid from March 18 to before June 20, up to a maximum subsidy of $1,375 per employee and $25,000 per employer.

 

Please find bellow the Backgrounder to this program as it pertains to todays announcement.

 

EN https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/news/2020/04/the-canada-emergency-wage-subsidy.html

 

Please be advised that this is the second change since the announcement and could change again as this has not been passed in Parliament as yet.

Loans: The government has launched the Canada Emergency Business Account, which will involve banks soon providing government-guaranteed loans of up to $40,000 for small businesses. Those loans will be interest-free for the first year and up to $10,000 could be waived for repayment.

Taxes: GST and HST payments will be deferred as well as duties and taxes owed on imports until June.

24 Hour Retail Delivery Noise Exemption. All retail businesses are noise exempt from the Noise By Law to facilitate after hour deliveries. Retailers can receive deliveries 24/7 to ensure goods remain in stock.

Emergency Response Fund: The benefit will provide $2000 per month for the next four months for workers who are not getting a pay cheque because of COVID-19. This fund is also available to those who are self-employed, who can no longer work due to COVID-19. Application portals are expected to be launched on April 6, 2020 and applicants will receive funding within 10-days of applying.

Lastly, but most importantly, we urge you to take every precaution necessary to ensure the safety of yourself, your employees and your customers. The following are recommended:

  • Activate measures to ensure that not too many people are allowed into your store or business at the same time, thus ensuring people can maintain the mandatory two meter “Safe Distancing” criteria.
  • Clean every surface and object accurately and regularly with disinfectant.
  • Distribute information on effective handwashing procedures to staff.
  • Provide hand sanitizers and single use disposable gloves to staff, especially staff who are in direct contact with customers and those who work in the kitchens of coffee shops and restaurants.
  • Send staff members home if they are showing symptoms of COVID-19; if an employer is advised that a worker is ill resulting from an exposure at work or a claim has been filed with the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) with respect to COVID-19 exposure at work, the employer must notify the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development, in writing within four days.

Staying in Touch

New Information is coming to us on a daily basis and we will post new information on here on a regular basis.

 

Stay Safe! We will get through this together!

 

Masum Hossain, Chair                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Weston Village BIA                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            416-249-0691

 

 

Last Updated: 2020-03-25 at 4:17 pm

 

NEW! 2020/03/25 Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB): The benefit will porovide $2000 / month for the next four months for workers who are not getting a paycheque because of COVID-19. This includes:

  • Persons who have lost their job due to COVID-19
  • Persons who are contract workers who can no longer work due to COVID-19
  • Persons who are Self employed who can no longer work due to COVID-19
  • Persons who are sick or in quarentene and not recieveing a slaary due to COVID-19
  • Persons who are looking after someone who is ill due to COVID-19
  • Persons who are looking after children or parents due to COVID-19
  • Persons who are employed but are not receiveing a an income due to COVID-19

A application portal will be launched very soon, and applicants will recieve funding within 10-days of applying. CERB payments will be issued every four weeks, and will be available from March 15, 2020 to Oct. 3, 2020.

https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/news/2020/03/introduces-canada-emergency-response-benefit-to-help-workers-and-businesses.html

Status: Early April

Provided by: Federal Government

Beneficial to: Workers, Business Owners

 

Small Business Tax Deferral: The CRA will allow all businesses to defer, until after August 31, 2020, the payment of any income tax amounts that become owing on or after March 19, 2020 and before September 2020.

https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/news/2020/03/canadas-covid-19-economic-response-plan-support-for-canadians-and-businesses.html#Support_for_Businesses

Status: Available

Provided by: Federal Government via Canada Revenue Agency

Beneficial to: Businesses

 

Grace Period for Municipal Property Taxes: The City of Toronto will provide a grace period for property tax payments and payment penalties for businesses for 60 days, starting March 16, 2020:

  • For businesses on the three-instalment payment plan: the April 1 tax due date is extended to June 1, 2020;
  • For property owners on the 11-instalment pre-authorized payment plan, the 2020 due dates will be extended by 60 days;
  • Late payment penalties are waived for 60 days (as of March 16, 2020).

https://www.toronto.ca/home/covid-19/economic-support-recovery/economic-support-recovery-for-businesses/ 

Status: Available

Provided by: Municipal Government

Beneficial to: Businesses, Property Owners

 

Grace Period for Municipal Utility Bills: (Water/Sewer Service and Solid Waste Management charges where applicable): The City is extending the due date for all utility bills issued to businesses by an additional 60 days in addition to the current 21 days to give utility customers an additional 60 days to make payment to take advantage of the early payment discount.

https://www.toronto.ca/home/covid-19/economic-support-recovery/economic-support-recovery-for-businesses/

Status: Available

Provided by: Municipal Government

Beneficial to: Businesses, Property Owners

 

24-hour Retail Delivery Noise Exemption: All retail businesses are noise exempt from the City’s Noise Bylaw to facilitate after-hour deliveries. Retailers can receive deliveries 24 / 7 to ensure goods remain in stock.

https://www.toronto.ca/home/covid-19/economic-support-recovery/economic-support-recovery-for-businesses/

Status: Available

Provided by: Provincial, Municipal Government

Beneficial to: Businesses

 

Employer obligations for workers infected with COVID-19: Currently under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, if an employer is advised that a worker is ill resulting from an exposure at work (including COVID-19), or a claim has been filed with the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) with respect to COVID-19 exposure at work, the employer must notify the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development in writing within four days. The employer must also notify the workplace joint health and safety committee or a health and safety representative and trade union, if any.

https://news.ontario.ca/opo/en/2020/03/employment-standards-amendment-act-infectious-disease-emergencies-2020.html

Status: Available

Provided by: Provincial, Municipal Government

Beneficial to: Businesses

 

The Employment Standards Amendment Act 2020: Provides job-protected leave for employees who are in isolation or quarantine due to COVID-19, or those who need to be away from work to care for children because of school or daycare closures or to care for other relatives. Retroactive to January 25, 2020, and employees cannot be required to show sick notes.

https://news.ontario.ca/opo/en/2020/03/employment-standards-amendment-act-infectious-disease-emergencies-2020.html

Status: Available Retroactive to January 25, 2020

Provided by: Provincial Government

Beneficial to: Workers

 

Temporary Business Wage Subsidy: A subsidy equal to 10% of employee remuneration paid for a period of 3 months up to a maximum subsidy of $1375 per employee and $25,000 per employer between March 18, 2020 and June 20, 2020. The subsidy is provided to businesses through employers reducing their payroll remittances of federal and provincial income tax by 10% of qualified employees’ salaries, not including CPP or EI. The Temporary Business Wage Subsidy can be utilized by corporations that are also eligible to receive the small business deduction when filing their corporate taxes, as well as non-profit organizations and charities.

Note 1: Businesses that qualify for the small business deduction are Canadian-controlled private corporations with taxable capital employed in Canada of less than $15 million.

Note 2: Businesses must manually calculate the subsidy based on the CRA guidelines – companies must keep records of all information used to determine the subsidy, including total remuneration and taxes that were deducted during that time, and the number of employees who were paid.

https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/campaigns/covid-19-update/frequently-asked-questions-wage-subsidy-small-businesses.html#h1

Status: Available immediately, supporting legislation to follow.

Provided by: Federal Government via Canada Revenue Agency

Beneficial to: Businesses

 

Employment Insurance Work Sharing Program: A program that helps employers and employees avoid layoffs when there is a temporary decrease in business activity beyond the control of the employer (such as COVID-19) provides a 10% percent wage subsidy for the next 90 days, up to a maximum of $1,375 per employee and $25,000 per employer.

https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/services/work-sharing/guide-applicant.html#hb3

Status: Available

Provided by: Federal Government via Employment Insurance

Beneficial to: Businesses, Workers

 

Banking Solutions: The Bank of Canada has cut the interest rate to 0.75%, and the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions announced the release of an additional $300 billion in lending capacity by the major banks with the expectation that they will support Canadian businesses and households.

In turn, the big six Canadian banks: Bank of Montreal, CIBC, National Bank of Canada, RBC Royal Bank, Scotiabank and TD Bank have made a commitment to work with personal and small business banking customers on a case-by-case basis to provide flexible solutions to help them manage through challenges such as pay disruption due to COVID-19; childcare disruption due to school closures; or those facing illness from COVID-19.

https://www.canada.ca/en/services/business/maintaingrowimprovebusiness/resources-for-canadian-businesses.html

Status: Available, Case by Case

Provided by: Federal Government via the Bank of Canada, Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions, Major Canadian Banks.

Beneficial to: Businesses, Property Owners, Workers

 

Business Development Bank Financing: Small business loans up to $100,000 that can be obtained in as little as 48 hours, working capital loans, and purchase order financing loans.

Note 1: Businesses are encouraged to seek commercially available finaicneing first as were enabled through the measures put in place through Banking Soloutions. Businesses should reference this Government of Canada flowchart prior to applying for BDC financeing. http://www.waterfrontbia.com/business-flowchart-en/

Note 2: Some businesses such as pubs/ bars/ clubs and marijuana companies, and non-Canadian companies are not eligile to apply.

https://www.bdc.ca/en/about/mediaroom/public_statements/pages/useful-advice-help-entrepreneurs-plan-respond-impacts-coronavirus.aspx

Status: Available, Existing Program

Provided by: Federal Government via Business Development Bank of Canada

Beneficial to: Businesses

 

Business Credit Availability Program: Working capital loans of up to $2 million with flexible terms and payment postponements for up to 6 months for qualifying businesses.

https://www.bdc.ca/en/about/mediaroom/public_statements/pages/useful-advice-help-entrepreneurs-plan-respond-impacts-coronavirus.aspx

Status: Coming Soon

Provided by: Federal Government via Business Development Bank of Canada

Beneficial to: Businesses

 

Employment Insurance (EI) – Regular Benefits: Employees who lose their job through no fault of their own, and have been without work and pay for at least seven consecutive days, and have worked for the required number of insurable hours in the last 52 weeks since their last claim.

Note: individuals should apply for EI as soon as soon as they lose their job, even if their Record of Employment (ROE) is not yet available.

https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/corporate/notices/coronavirus.html

Status: Available immediately, Existing Program

Provided by: Federal Government via Employment Insurance

Beneficial to: Workers

 

Enhanced Canada Child Benefit: An increase to the Canada Child Benefit (CCB) for the 2019-20 benefit year, by $300 per child.

NOTE: persons who expect to receive the Enhanced Canada Child Benefit are encouraged not to delay the filing of their taxes due to the personal tax fileing deferral in order to ensure that their entitlements are properly determined for 2020-21.

https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/news/2020/03/canadas-covid-19-economic-response-plan-support-for-canadians-and-businesses.html

Status: Early May

Provided by: Federal Government via the Canada Revenue Agency

Beneficial to: Workers

 

Enhanced GST Credit for low & modest income families: A one-time special payment to families with low to modest incomes in early May through the Goods and Services Tax Credit (GSTC) providing families with close to $400 for single individuals, and close to $600 for couples.

NOTE: persons who expect to receive the Enhanced GST Credit are encouraged not to delay the filing of their taxes due to the personal tax fileing deferral in order to ensure that their entitlements are properly determined for 2020-21.

https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/news/2020/03/canadas-covid-19-economic-response-plan-support-for-canadians-and-businesses.html

Status: Available

Provided by: Federal Government via the Canada Revenue Agency

Beneficial to: Workers

 

Digital Main Street one-on-one support for getting businesses online: Digital Main Street is a program provided by the City of Toronto and the Toronto Association of BIA’s to help businesses develop their online footprint. They have made their staff person Bashar Saqr available to support Waterfront BIA Businesses increase their online business presence through free one-on-one online consultations.

WBIA members can book their free consultations with Bashar Sqar through the below link, or by email: bashar@digitalmainstreet.ca

https://calendly.com/bashar-dms

Status: Available

Provided by: Municipal Government via the Toronto Association of BIA’s

Beneficial to: Businesses

 

Ontario Providing Electricity Relief to Small Businesses: The provincial government has suspended time-of-use hydro rates for a period of 45-days, holding electricity prices to the off-peak rate of 10.1 cents-per-kilowatt-hour. This discount will be applied automatically for all customers.

https://news.ontario.ca/opo/en/2020/03/ontario-providing-electricity-relief-to-families-small-businesses-and-farms-during-covid-19.html

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