We have heard from many anxious people over the last few days regarding the sudden changes to the BC business environment. Concerns range from laying off employees, to breaking commercial leases and accessing more immediate financing options to keep businesses afloat.
The Government of Canada has put various measures in place to support business in Canada, some of those measures are as follows:
FINANCING AND CREDIT ASSISTANCE
A new Business Credit Availability Program to make more than $10 billion available to Canadian businesses in financing and credit insurance solutions through:
Changes to the Tax Filing and Payment Deadlines
The Canada Revenue Agency will defer tax payments until August 31, 2020, to help businesses with cash flow.
Wage Subsidy for Eligible Employers
There is immediate relief for small businesses with a 10% wage subsidy for the next 90 days, up to a maximum of $1,375 per employee and $25,000 per employer: Effective immediately, eligible employers that pay remuneration to an employee, such as salary, wages, or taxable benefits, on or after March 18th and before June 20th, are permitted to reduce remittances of federal, provincial or territorial income tax by the amount of the subsidy. This measure is only applicable to remittances made to the CRA. Eligible employers include non-profit organizations, charities, and certain Canadian Controlled Private Corporations whose taxable capital employed in Canada for the preceding year is less than $15 Million. For more information, please visit the recently released Government of Canada FAQ page here.
Emergency Care Benefit for Self Employed
There is a new Emergency Care Benefit of up to $900 biweekly for up to 15 weeks for self-employed people and others who are not eligible for EI sickness benefits. Application for the Benefit will be available in April 2020, and require Canadians to attest that they meet the eligibility requirements. They will need to re-attest every two weeks to reconfirm their eligibility. Canadians will select one of three channels to apply for the Benefit:
- by accessing it on their CRA My Account secure portal;
- by accessing it from their secure My Service Canada Account; or
- by calling a toll free number equipped with an automated application process. We are not yet advised of the toll free number.
Increase to the Work Sharing Program
An increase in the maximum duration of the Work-Sharing program from 38 weeks to 76 weeks for eligible business who are affected by COVID-19
Our lawyers are here to assist with legal questions relating to measures you are taking to support your business in these difficult times. We encourage you to reach out to us with questions and we will continue to update with further information as it becomes available on the above initiatives.