Last updated November 23, 2021

Government of Canada Announces Adjustments to Canada’s Border Measures

Effective November 30, fully vaccinated individuals with right of entry to Canada who depart and re-enter the country within 72 hours of leaving Canada will not have to present a pre-entry molecular test. This exemption is only for trips originating in Canada taken by fully vaccinated Canadian citizens, permanent residents or individuals registered under the Indian Act, who depart and re-enter by land or by air. Also effective November 30 Canada will expand the list of COVID-19 vaccines that travelers can receive to be considered fully vaccinated for the purpose of travel to Canada.

Federal Government Announces Targeted COVID-19 Support Measures

Recently, the Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, announced that the government is taking targeted action to create jobs and spur economic growth. This includes moving from the very broad-based support that was appropriate at the height of lockdowns to more targeted measures that will provide help where it is needed, while prudently managing government spending.
 
The government is proposing the following changes:
  • Extend the Canada Recovery Hiring Program until May 7, 2022, for eligible employers with current revenue losses above 10 per cent and increase the subsidy rate to 50 per cent.
  • Deliver targeted support to businesses that are still facing significant pandemic-related challenges. Support would be available through two streams:
  • Tourism and Hospitality Recovery Program, which would provide support through the wage and rent subsidy programs, to hotels, tour operators, travel agencies, and restaurants, with a subsidy rate of up to 75 per cent.
  • Hardest-Hit Business Recovery Program, which would provide support through the wage and rent subsidy

Federal Government extends COVID-19 Benefits and Business Supports

Late last week, the government announced the extension of crucial COVID-19 support measures for Canadians and Canadian businesses in recognition that uneven economic reopening across regions and sectors means workers and businesses continue to need support. These extensions include:
  • Extending the eligibility period for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy, the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy and Lockdown Support until October 23, 2021, and increasing the rate of support employers and organizations can receive during the period between August 29 and September 25, 2021.
  • Extending the Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB), the Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB), and the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) until October 23, 2021.

In addition to the recently announced Tourism Relief Fund program, here is a list of federal funding programs currently available.

Canadian Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS): Subsidy to cover a portion of eligible expenses until September 25, 2021. Also includes an additional Lockdown Support of 25% if your business was significantly affected by a public health order. Hotline: 1-800-959-5525 

Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program (HASCAP): Aimed at sectors like tourism and hospitality, hotels, arts and entertainment, and will offer 100% government-guaranteed financing and provide low-interest loans up to $1 million for up to ten years. 

Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS): Covers part of your employee wages retroactively back to December 20, 2020 until September 25, 2021. The maximum subsidy is 75%. Hotline: 1-800-959-5525 

Canada Recovery Hiring Program (CRHP): The new Canada Recovery Hiring Program (CRHP) is designed to encourage businesses to grow as the economy recovers, whether it’s due to hiring and re-hiring staff, increasing shifts, or increasing overall pay. 

Note: Your business can only claim the CEWS OR CRHP - here is a comparison between the two programs 

Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB): $400 per week for 13 two-week periods between September 27, 2020, and September 25, 2021 for self-employed workers and those in the gig economy. Applications are handled through the Canada Revenue Agency. Hotline: 1-833-966-2099 

Indigenous Programs: First Peoples' Cultural Council Arts Program. Grants ranging from $3,000 to $20,000 for Indigenous B.C. residents open for the Spring 2021 intake.

 

Tourism and Hospitality Student Work Placement Program Now Open
Aimed squarely at the tourism and hospitality sector, Propel is a new initiative to help the hardest-hit sector recover from the devastating impacts of the pandemic. The latest addition to the Government of Canada’s Student Work Placement Program, Propel offers post-secondary students opportunities to develop the work-ready skills required to secure meaningful employment upon graduation. Qualifying employers are provided with a wage subsidy of up to $7,500 for each student hired through the program. The application process is now open. READ MORE
 

Applications Open: Canada Recovery Hiring Program

Applications are now open for the Canada Recovery Hiring Program. As a Canadian employer who continues to be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, you may be eligible to apply for one of the two subsidies to cover part of your employee wages. The Canada Recovery Hiring Program (CRHP) and the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) support wages you pay through different phases of your economic recovery. Each claim period, eligible employers can claim either CRHP or CEWS, whichever is higher. READ MORE

 

Federal Government Announces new Tourism Relief Fund

Last week, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, and the Minister responsible for tourism, Mélanie Joly announced details of the $500 million Tourism Relief Fund, first tabled in the 2021 Federal Budget, which will be rolled out over two years. Canada’s regional development agencies (RDAs) will deliver $485 million directly to businesses and organizations to help them adapt their operations to meet public health requirements while investing in products and services to facilitate future growth. Applicants must fall under one of the following parameters to be eligible for funding:
  • A key supplier or operator in the visitor experience
  • Part of a defined tourism cluster or tourism-dependent community
  • An anchor product or service in a destination

READ MORE

 

Feds Extend Canada Emergency Business Account Applications

On March 22, the federal government announced that the deadline for new Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) applications is being extended from March 31 to June 30, 2021.This deadline extension applies to any new applications for CEBA loans of $60,000 or to new applications from businesses that have already received the $40,000 loan and intend to apply for the additional $20,000.
 

Federal Gov't Announces Wage & Rent Subsidy Amounts to Remain Same til June 

March 3, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, the Honourable Chrystia Freeland, announced that the government intends to extend the current rate structures for these subsidies from March 14 to June 5, 2021. READ MORE

 

$500M in Additional RRRF for Small Businesses

The Government of Canada recently announced an additional $500 million in support through the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) for small businesses that continue to suffer from COVID-related losses and earmarked at least 25% of the funds for the struggling tourism sector. Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) is delivering the RRRF in BC. Financial support may be available to tourism businesses that have sustained COVID-related losses since April 1, 2020 or if further losses are anticipated going forward. LEARN MORE

 

Canada United Reopens with Grants of Up To $5,000 Available

Grants of up to $5,000 are still available for small businesses to cover expenses related to personal protective equipment (PPE), renovations to accommodate re-opening guidelines and developing or improving website and e-commerce capabilities. Applications are now being accepted. APPLY NOW

 

New Pre-Departure COVID-19 Testing Requirements Come into Effect

While it has received mixed reviews, the federal government is now requiring all travelers entering Canada to provide proof of a negative laboratory test result for COVID-19 prior to boarding their flight. The federal government says they are taking this step in an attempt to keep Canadians safe and help limit the global spread of COVID-19. LEARN MORE
 

Upcoming Measures to Create Healthier, Safer & Fairer Work Environments

As we entered 2021, the federal government announced the coming into force of important measures aimed at creating work environments that are healthier, safer, and fairer. These measures include anti-harassment and violence legislation, amendments to increase pay transparency, and penalties for employers who do not comply with health, safety, and labour standards. LEARN MORE
 

UPDATE: Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) Sees Changes

Recently, details of the next CEWS claim periods were finalized with the following changes a) the maximum top-up subsidy rate is 35%, and b) the maximum subsidy amount for employees on leave with pay is $595.  LEARN MORE

Federal Economic Response Plan

Visit the federal government’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan website for information about supporting your employees and your business.

PPE Supply Hub

Check out the new PPE Supply Hub – Canadian businesses in need of personal protective equipment, and businesses looking to sell these supplies can go to this hub to connect.

Free Online Course from the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health & Safety

Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety – for a free online course to provide businesses with all the information they need to reopen safely.

UPDATE: Canada Updates Emergency Rent Subsidy Program

The federal government has revamped and update the commercial rent subsidy program and the CERS is now open to receive applications from qualifying organizations. Organizations can now apply directly for the subsidy for the period from September 27 to October 24, 2020 through the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) either through your My Business Account or through a Represent a Client portal. Applications for the second CERS period (October 25 to November 21, 2020) will open on November 30. LEARN MORE

 
Government Introduces Legislation for New, Targeted Support to Help Businesses Through Pandemic
 
The government is taking targeted action to support Canadians and Canadian businesses, non-profits and charities that continue to face uncertainty and economic challenges because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister, the Honourable Chrystia Freeland has introduced Bill C-9, An Act to Amend the Income Tax Act (Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy and Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy), which would implement new, targeted support to help hard-hit businesses. LEARN MORE.

Government Brings Forward Bill C-9; New Rent Program & Wage Subsidy Improvements 

The federal government has tabled Bill C-9, which includes the new and improved commercial rent program and updates to the wage subsidy program. These measures are designed to help businesses get through the second wave of the virus so they can protect jobs, continue to serve their communities, and be positioned for a strong recovery. LEARN MORE

New Measures Available to Help Canadian Small Businesses Access Global Markets

The Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade has announced new actions to help Canadian businesses grow while navigating the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic in the global marketplace through the CanExport SME program. Originally launched in 2016, the program is pivoting to help small businesses build a sustainable and resilient recovery. LEARN MORE.

POST Promise to Prevent the Spread of COVID-19

Make the POST Promise to show employees and customers that you take COVID-19 prevention seriously by practicing key health and safety steps and maintain a safe workplace.

CEBA Now Open to Businesses using Personal Banking Accounts

October 26, the Federal Government announced that the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) will be available to businesses that have been operating out of a non-business banking account. To be eligible, businesses must have been operating as a business as of March 1, 2020, must successfully open a business account at a Canadian financial institution that is participating in CEBA, and meet the other existing CEBA eligibility criteria. The deadline to apply for CEBA is December 31, 2020. LEARN MORE.

Canada United: Updated Funding News for Small Businesses Announced, Grants Now Available

October 26, applications became available again for grants under the Canada United Small Business Relief Fund. Created and launched by RBC, Canada United is a national movement to support local businesses in communities across the country. The $5,000 grant can be used towards purchases that are eligible for reimbursement under the program, such as: Purchase of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), Renovation of space to adhere to re-opening guidelines, Enhancement of website / developing e-commerce capabilities. LEARN MORE.

Government of Canada Launches Recovery Benefit Applications

The Government of Canada introduced three new benefits, delivered by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA): the Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB), the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB), and the Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB).  The application process is now open for the CRSB and the CRCB and CRB

Government Of Canada Expands Regional Relief & Recovery Fund

October 2, the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, announced an additional $263.7 million for Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) to help businesses across the West through the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF). This flows from $600 million in new national RRRF funding announced by the Prime Minister last week. Of these additional funds, $67 million will be used by Community Futures (CF) organizations to support businesses in rural communities across the West. Learn More.

Safe Restart Agreement Announced

The Safe Restart Agreement (SRA) is a federal investment of more than $19 billion to help provinces and territories safely restart their economies and make our country more resilient to possible future surges in cases of COVID-19. Learn More.

Canadian Mortgage & Housing Corporation: Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA)

Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) for small businesses provides much needed relief for small businesses experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19. Effective September 8, the CECRA will be extended by one month to help eligible small businesses pay rent for September. This will be the final extension of this program as the government explores options to support small businesses as they face the ongoing challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn More HERE. 

CERB Extended, Simplified Employment Insurance Program Announced

The Government of Canada has announced that the transition to a simplified Employment Insurance (EI) program, which will become effective September 27, 2020. This program aims to provide income support to those who remain unable to work and are eligible. While the Government prepares for this transition the CERB will be extended by an additional four weeks, providing a new maximum of up to 28 weeks of benefits. Learn More HERE. 

Federal Government Expands Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) Eligibility Criteria
On Friday June 26, new applications will be accepted so that more small businesses can access the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA). Owner-operated small businesses that had been ineligible for the program due to their lack of payroll, sole proprietors receiving business income directly, as well as family-owned corporations remunerating in the form of dividends rather than payroll will become eligible this week. The expanded CEBA is being made available gradually by more than 230 financial institutions across the country, starting with the larger banks.  Other participating financial institutions will start offering the program over the coming weeks. Learn More & Apply Here.

Government Announces Targeted Support for Black Entrepreneurs & Business Owners

Mid September, the government announced up to nearly $221 million in support for Black entrepreneurs and business owners, in partnership with Canadian financial institutions. One of the goals is to launch Canada’s first-ever Black Entrepreneurship Program. We, along with the Canadian Chamber and our fellow Chambers, applaud the announcement as it aligns with our core values, as well as our views on the importance of an inclusive recovery that leaves no opportunity for growth left un-pursued. Learn More HERE. 

Regional Relief & Recovery Fund Announced by Western Economic Diversification Canada
The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, announced that businesses in western Canada that are unable to access other existing measures can now apply for the new Regional Relief and Recovery Fund through Western Economic Diversification Canada. A total of $304 million will be available for western Canadian businesses with Community Futures charged with managing the process. For more information visit their website HERE. 

Federal Government Announces Support for Female Entrepreneurs

The Government of Canada will provide $15 million in additional funding to support female entrepreneurs through the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy (WES). These funds will go directly to select organizations that are currently WES Ecosystem Fund recipients, and will help women entrepreneurs through the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information on the eligibility criteria, and to learn more visit their website HERE. 

Federal Government Announces $500 Million for Cultural, Heritage & Sport Organizations

May 8th, 2020, the Government of Canada announced $500 million in temporary relief measures to support the culture, heritage and sport sectors as they manage the challenges and impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, and plan for the future. A total of up to $500 million has been set aside to help alleviate the financial pressures of affected organizations. Learn More HERE. 

Federal Government Announces Support for Agriculture Sector

May 5th, 2020, the Government of Canada announced $252 million to support farmers, food business and food processors that provide essential services to Canadians every day by ensuring a safe and reliable food supply. It was announced that the government intends to propose an additional $200 million in borrowing capacity for the sector. Learn More HERE. 

Government of Canada – COVID-19 Resources for Business:

The Government of Canada is taking immediate, significant and decisive action to support Canadians and businesses facing hardship as a result of the global COVID-19 outbreak. For more information regarding accessing federal financial support, as well as resources regarding the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy program, visit their website HERE.

Canadian Business Resiliency Network - Federal Support for Small and Medium Sized Enterprises

Learn more about the programs available to you from the federal government as a small or medium sized business. Mary Jo Fedy, National Enterprise Leader, KPMG in Canada, has shared with us her insights on COVID-19 in order to help Canadian businesses persevere and remain resilient throughout the COVID-19 crisis. Learn More HERE.