Daily COVID-19 Bulletin: May 15, 2020

Today’s Top Story

Government Announces Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) Extension

The government announced more details of the CEWS extension today. The wage subsidy will be extended to August 29, 2020 and additional types of organizations are now eligible to apply. Neither the 30% drop in revenue requirement nor the allowed types of payroll used in calculations have changed. More information.

For Your Attention

Wage Subsidy Program Extension Welcome But Improvements Needed To Ensure More Businesses Qualify

Canadian businesses have undertaken many efforts to support their employees through the crisis and keep them connected to the labour force. When businesses have been forced to lay off workers, they have been determined to get as many employees back to work as quickly, safely and smoothly as possible. Unfortunately, the update for the Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy is far below original expectations. Improvements are needed to ensure more businesses get the support they need to get them through this crisis. Read more.

Smaller Businesses Hit 50% Harder By COVID-19

The Canadian Survey on Business Conditions demonstrates some surprising resilience of small- and medium-sized businesses despite having outsized disadvantages when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Read more.

Tender Opportunity: Cloth Facial Masks For The RCMP

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) has posted an urgent requirement for cloth facial masks on the Government of Canada’s procurement site. This opportunity closes on May 28, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. ET. More information.

Funding For Academic Research Community Through COVID-19 Announced

Today the Government of Canada announced its intention to provide $450 million in funding for the academic research community. The funding will provide wage supports to universities and health research institutes as well as measures to allow them to maintain essential research activities during the pandemic. More information.

Canada Emergency Student Benefit Applications Open Today

Students and recent graduates can start applying for the CESB program today. The benefit provides $1,250 for each four-week period or $2,000 for each four-week period if you have dependants or a disability. Please note: if you have already applied, or are receiving support from the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) or Employment Insurance (EI), you are not eligible to apply for the CESB. Apply here.

Have You Read This Month’s 5 Minutes for Business?

“Business as usual” was a thing we used to hear people say. However, this week’s edition of 5 Minutes for Business will help you to better understand how unusual business has become amid COVID-19 and what the new normal will look like. Read more.

How We’re Helping Canadian Business

Teleconference: The Impact Of COVID-19 On The Travel And Tourism Industry

The travel, tourism and hospitality sector was among the first to feel the impact of COVID-19, but it will take the longest to recover. While the federal government’s business supports are appreciated, consumer confidence will be the key to economic recovery in the long term. Join us on Wednesday, May 20 at 2:00 p.m. ET as we discuss the issues facing the travel, tourism and hospitality industry. This will be an opportunity to share feedback and concerns on policy developments in this sector. Register now.

A Q&A With The Canada Revenue Agency On The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS)

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) will host an interactive Q & A session for SMEs on the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS). The session will respond to general questions about the CEWS and will provide resources needed to apply.

The session takes place via teleconference on May 20 from 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. ET. Please note: If the session is full, you will be able to add your name to the CRA’s waitlist. CRA will contact you if it organizes future sessions. Register now.

Free Webinars From The Office Of Small And Medium Enterprises (OSME)

Are you a business that can supply products or services in support of Canada’s COVID-19 response and recovery? Are you wondering how to find specific opportunities that may be of interest to your business? Do you want to better understand how the government buys goods and services?

The Office of Small and Medium Enterprises (OSME) is hosting a series of free webinars to help businesses find federal bid opportunities and related procurement information in the current context of COVID-19. The first seminars are scheduled for May 20 (in French) and May 21 (in English). More information.

Webinar Recording: The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) Explained, With Grant Thornton LLP

The CEWS was created to help businesses retain their employees during the COVID-19 pandemic. The application for this subsidy opened on April 27 and managing through eligibility requirements, meeting the specific revenue tests and ensuring your documentation is correct can be complex and cumbersome. Grant Thornton LLP hosted a webinar for us where one of its tax partners provided an overview of the CEWS and addressed some frequently asked questions. If you weren’t able to attend the session, a recording is available. Watch the recording.

Webinar Recording: What To Feel When Stressors Collide, With Canada Life

We all juggle work, financial, family and social demands, but unexpected circumstances, like the ones we are experiencing right now, can cause multiple stressors to coincide. Canada Life hosted a webinar for us where Leah Nord, our Director of Workforce Strategies and Inclusive Growth, and Mary Ann Baynton, Director of Collaboration and Strategy from Workplace Strategies for Mental Health (compliments of Canada Life), discussed building resilience when stressors are high. If you weren’t able to attend the session, a recording is available. Watch the recording.

The Economic Effects Of COVID-19

Our Chief Economist and Vice President of Policy, Dr. Trevin Stratton, was a guest on the Political Stripes podcast with Bob Rae where he discussed the economic effects of COVID-19 on the Canadian economy from the perspective of small businesses. Listen now.

Canadian Business: Where Do We Go From Here?

Our Chief Economist and Vice President of Policy, Dr. Trevin Stratton, and Tim Caddigan, Chair of the Oakville Chamber of Commerce, discuss the next steps for Canadian businesses amid COVID-19. Watch now.

A #TeamCanada Approach

In Support Of Mental Health And Well-Being

On May 16, starting at 7:00 p.m. ET, PTBO Strong invites you to tune into covAID, an entertainment-filled evening to enjoy with the family at home. Funds raised during covAID will flow through the COVID-19 Community Response Fund to charities providing mental health supports in Peterborough, Ontario. More information.


To help tackle COVID-19 in Canada, IKEA is donating over $2 million in home furnishings and supplies to directly support vulnerable communities, including the homeless, refugees, newcomers and children. IKEA is also supporting those leading relief efforts by providing supplies to healthcare providers. More information.

Camp At Home – Tourism Marketing In A Pandemic

Tourism Medicine Hat is promoting Camp at Home this May long weekend. The first long weekend of the warmer weather is traditionally the opening for camping and cottages. That’s not easy right now. So, making the best of the situation, Tourism Medicine Hat is encouraging locals to camp at home and share their experience on social media. You can also register and share your dream camping experience or the one from this holiday weekend. There are prizes to be won! Register now.

Mining In Canada During COVID-19

The pandemic has had an impact on all sectors, including mining. In efforts to bolster information sharing within the industry, the Mining Association of Canada has established a COVID-19 working group made up of over 50 representatives from Canada’s leading mining companies. The working group is in constant contact to discuss relief efforts and best practices in health and safety.

If you know of a business that has taken steps to help Canadians through this pandemic, please contact us.