Whether you are self-employed, a small business owner or a large enterprise, you shouldn’t have to worry about losing your business, and your employees shouldn’t have to worry about losing their jobs.

On this page, we highlight public and private sector programs and initiatives across Canada that support businesses and their employees.

A listing of the programs and supports available from Finance Canada through Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan is also available on the Government of Canada’s website.

If you aren’t sure which supports you may be eligible for, the best place to start is with the Benefits Finder, which guides you towards programs that may help based on your answers to a few short questions. The tool is available for both businesses (including non-profits and charities) and individuals.

Direct Financial Support

  • Video and webinar resources

    There is an impressive array of federal, provincial and territorial government programs that offer subsidies, loans and other measures to meet the urgent needs of businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. Professionals from KPMG joined us for a live interactive discussion to help you better understand these programs and how they can help your operations.

    Perrin Beatty and Tara Benham from Grant Thornton discuss the financing available to businesses and employees due to COVID-19 as well as impacts the pandemic will have on our economy.

    With SMEs providing nearly 90% of all private sector employment in Canada, we know they are being hit the hardest by COVID-19. Susanna Cluff-Clyburne, our Senior Director of Parliamentary Affairs, shares the support measures that are available to SMEs and what the Canadian Chamber is doing to advocate on their behalf.

    Are you a non-essential business and wondering what you should be doing during this crisis to get your finances in order? If so, Patrick Gill, our Director of Tax and Financial Policy, has some advice for you.

    Perrin Beatty and Min. Mary Ng discuss the impact of COVID-19 on SMEs and what supports are available to help them get through this pandemic.

  • Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS)

    Canadian employers that have seen a drop in revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic may be eligible for a subsidy to cover part of employee wages, retroactive to March 15. This subsidy will enable companies to re-hire workers, help prevent further job losses, and ease back into normal operations.

    More information is available here.

  • Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA)

    What is it?

    • The Government of Canada is providing businesses with interest-free loans of up to $60,000 to help cover operating costs during a period where their revenues have been temporarily reduced due to COVID-19. This will better position companies to quickly return to providing services to their communities and create employment.

    Who is eligible?

    • This program is for businesses with a total payroll between $20,000 to $1.5 million in 2019.
    • Repayment of the loan on or before December 31, 2022 will result in loan forgiveness of 25% (up to $10,000).

    Expanded eligibility criteria

    To qualify under the expanded eligibility criteria, applicants with payroll lower than $20,000 need:

    • a business operating account at a participating financial institution;
    • a Canada Revenue Agency business number, and to have filed a 2018 or 2019 tax return;
    • eligible non-deferrable expenses between $40,000 and $1.5 million. Eligible non-deferrable expenses could include costs such as rent, property taxes, utilities, and insurance.

    How to apply?

    • Apply now through your primary financial institution.

    More information is available on the official CEBA website, here.

  • Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)

    The CERB has closed and has been replaced by updates to EI, the Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB), the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB), and Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB).

    More information is available here.

  • Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB)

    The Canada Recovery Benefit will provide eligible workers with $500 per week (taxable, tax deducted at source) for up to 26 weeks for those who are not employed or self-employed due to COVID-19 and who are not eligible for EI, or had their employment/self-employment income reduced by at least 50% due to COVID-19. This benefit will be paid in two-week periods.

    More information is available here.

  • Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB)

    The Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB) will provide $500 per week (taxable, tax deducted at source) for up to 26 weeks per household for workers unable to work for at least 50% of the week because they must care for a child under the age of 12 or family member because schools, day-cares or care facilities are closed due to COVID-19, or because the child or family member is sick and/or required to quarantine or is at high risk of serious health implications because of COVID-19. This benefit will be paid in one-week periods.

    More information is available here.

  • Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB)

    The Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) will provide $500 per week (taxable, tax deducted at source) for up to a maximum of two weeks, for workers who are unable to work for at least 50% of the week because they contracted COVID-19, self-isolated for reasons related to COVID-19, or have underlying conditions, are undergoing treatments or have contracted other sicknesses that, in the opinion of a medical practitioner, nurse practitioner, person in authority, government or public health authority, would make them more susceptible to COVID-19. This benefit will be paid in one-week periods.

    More information is available here.

  • Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA)

    The application process and extension request is closed and the program has ended. The CECRA program has been replaced by the Canada Emergency Rent Support (CERS) program.

    More information is available here.

  • Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS)

    Canadian businesses, non-profit organizations, or charities who have seen a drop in revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic may be eligible for a subsidy to cover part of their commercial rent or property expenses, starting on September 27, 2020, until June 2021.

    More information and applications are available here.

  • Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF)

  • Employment Insurance (EI)

    As of September 27, you may be eligible for EI if you:

    • were employed for at least 120 insurable hours in the past 52 weeks
    • received the CERB, the 52 week period to accumulate insured hours will be extended
    • stopped working through no fault of your own
    • have not quit your job voluntarily
    • are ready, willing and capable of working each day (EI regular benefits)
    • are temporarily unable to work while you care for someone else or yourself (EI maternity, parental, sickness, compassionate care, and family caregiver benefits)

    If you are eligible for EI benefits, you will receive a minimum taxable benefit at a rate of $500 per week, or $300 per week for extended parental benefits.

    Apply to EI

  • Sector-specific supports

    The federal government has announced funding specific to several sectors of the Canadian economy. Detailed information is contained with the “support for sectors” section of the Economic Response Plan, available here.

    Additional support for businesses is also available through non-sector specific federal programs or regional development agencies. Use the ‘find financial help during COVID-19’ tool, which guides you towards programs that may help based on your answers to a few short questions. The tool is available for businesses (including non-profits and charities) here.

  • Support for women entrepreneurs

    On May 16, the Government of Canada announced an additional $15 million in funding to the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy (WES). The money will go directly to select organizations that are currently WES Ecosystem Fund recipients to help women entrepreneurs through the COVID-19 pandemic.

    More information is available here.

  • Work-Sharing Program

    The Government of Canada has enhanced its Work-Sharing Program to support employers and their workers who are experiencing a downturn in business by expanding the program from 38 to 76 weeks and by streamlining processes to improve access.

    More information is available here.

Access to Capital

  • Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP)

    Through the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) and Export Development Canada (EDC), the new Business Credit Availability Program will increase the credit available to small, medium and large Canadian businesses, providing more than $65 billion in direct lending and other types of financial support. More information is available here.

  • Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility (LEEFF)

    What is it?

    • The LEEFF program is meant 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. The objective of this support is to help protect Canadian jobs, help Canadian businesses weather the current economic downturn, and avoid bankruptcies of otherwise viable firms where possible.
    • This support cannot be used to resolve insolvencies or restructure firms, nor will it provide financing to companies that otherwise have the capacity to manage through the crisis.

    Who is eligible?

    • The LEEFF program will be open to large for-profit businesses – with the exception of those in the financial sector – as well as certain not-for-profit businesses, such as airports, with annual revenues generally in the order of $300 million or higher.
    • To qualify for LEEFF support, eligible businesses must be seeking financing of about $60 million or more, have significant operations or workforce in Canada, and not be involved in active insolvency proceedings.
    • Recipients will need to commit to respect collective bargaining agreements and protect workers’ pensions. It will require strict limits to dividends, share buy-backs, and executive pay.
    • An assessment may be made of companies’ employment, tax, and economic activity in Canada, as well as its international organizational structure and financing arrangements.
    • The program will not be available to companies that have been convicted of tax evasion.
    • Recipient companies would be required to commit to publish annual climate-related disclosure reports consistent with the Financial Stability Board’s Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures, including how their future operations will support environmental sustainability and national climate goals.
    • Financing is intended to be applicable to all eligible sectors in a consistent manner.

    How to apply?

    • Applications are available now through the Canada Enterprise Emergency Funding Corporation, here.

    More information is available here.

  • Farm Credit Canada COVID-19 Support Program

    Farm Credit Canada (FCC) will augment credit available to farmers and the agri-food sector by $5 billion, including a deferral of principal and interest payments up to six months for existing loans or a deferral of principal payments up to 12 months, access to an additional credit line up to $500,000, secured by general security agreements or universal movable hypothec (Québec only). More information is available here.

  • Energy sector support from the federal government

    The federal government has announced $1.7 billion for the cleanup of orphaned oil and gas wells, which includes:

    • Up to $1 billion to the Government of Alberta;
    • Up to $400 million to the Government of Saskatchewan;
    • Up to $120 million to the Government of British Columbia; and
    • $200 million to the Alberta Orphan Wells Association (OWA) to support its work to clean up orphan oil and gas wells and well sites across Alberta. The OWA will fully repay this amount.

    The federal government has also announced $750 million for Natural Resources Canada over two years, starting in 2020-21, to create a new repayable loan program to work with conventional and offshore oil and gas companies to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. Of this amount, $75 million will be allocated to investments in the offshore sector. A portion of these loans will be convertible to grants.

    The federal government is also continuing to work with EDC and BDC to make additional credit solutions available.

  • Additional funding through regional development agencies, industrial research, and Heritage Canada

    To help reach people and businesses who may not be able to receive funding through other programs and financial lenders, the federal government is also allocating an additional:

    Applications for funding may be made directly to those organizations.

  • Financial relief offered by Canadian banks

    Banks will provide financial relief to businesses affected by the economic consequences of COVID-19. Effective immediately, Bank of Montreal, CIBC, National Bank of Canada, RBC Royal Bank, Scotiabank and TD Bank will work with personal and small business customers, on a case-by-case basis, to provide flexible solutions to help them manage challenges, such as pay disruption, childcare disruption due to school closures or those facing illness from COVID-19.

  • Bank of Canada interest rate

    The Bank of Canada cut its overnight rate to 0.25% – the interest rate at which major financial institutions borrow and lend one-day (or “overnight”) funds among themselves.

Tax Relief

  • For businesses

    The Canada Revenue Agency (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 18 and before September 2020, with no interest or penalties applicable during this period.

  • For individuals

    The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) will defer the filing due date for the 2019 individual tax return to June 1, 2020, and to May 1, 2020 for trusts with a taxation year ending on December 31, 2019.

    Payments of tax owing are deferred until after August 31, 2020, with no interest or penalties applicable during this period.

  • Deferred GST/HST remittance

    The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) will defer the Goods and Services Tax/Harmonized Sales Tax (GST/HST) remittances to June 30, 2020.

Savings Programs

  • BlackBerry

    COVID-19 has changed business workflows and processes. To help businesses meet these new challenges, BlackBerry has compiled several resources to help your organization navigate the crisis.

    BlackBerry Digital Workplace Equip your workforce with the resources they need to be productive on managed or unmanaged devices, with a robust self-contained platform that’s continuously protected from evolving cyber threats.

    SecuSUITE Secure Messaging and Phone Calls Get high security voice and messaging for iOS and Android devices.

    BlackBerry AtHoc Quickly enables your organization to communicate with stakeholders and keep track of what matters most: the safety and well-being of your staff, friends and community.

    BlackBerry Cylance Keep your organization ahead of threat actors with AI-driven security tools that provide best-in-class detection, prevention, and response capabilities.

    Securely Working from Home Empower your employees to work remotely using their own devices, safely and securely.

    To assist transitioning employees to work-from-home routines securely, BlackBerry is currently offering a range of its secure communication solutions for enterprises – free for a 60-day period. Please inquire at [email protected].

  • Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA)

    From April 1 – September 30, 2020, CIRA is making its malware and phishing cybersecurity service free to SMEs of 100 employees or less.

    Members of the Canadian Chamber also get a 20% discount on their annual subscription to CIRA’s online cybersecurity training platform. Click here to learn more.

  • Esso

    Esso/Mobil is working with its station owners and operators to ensure the safety of their staff and customers. Members of the Canadian Chamber get 3.5 cents off per litre at all Esso and Mobil branded stations in Canada and the U.S. Click here to learn more.

  • Facebook

    Through its Small Business Grants Program, Facebook is offering $100 million in cash grants and ad credits to help small businesses affected by COVID-19.

    Up to 30,000 eligible small businesses in more than 30 countries where Facebook operates will be able to receive the grant.

    Click here for more information.

    As an additional resource, you can visit Facebook’s Business Resource Hub.

  • Google

    Google is donating $800+ million globally in ad grants to support small- and medium-sized businesses, health organizations, government and health workers on the frontline of this global pandemic.

    As part of this commitment, Google is providing $340 million in Google Ads credits available to all small businesses, including Canadian small businesses, with active accounts over the past year. These credits can be used towards future ad spends, until the end of 2020 across Google Ads platforms.

    Click here for more information.

    As an additional resource, you can visit the Google for Small Business site.

  • Johnson Insurance

    Johnson Insurance is pleased to announce updates to its Customer Care Program in response to COVID-19. Click here to learn more about how Johnson Insurance is helping customers navigate the crisis.

  • Pragmatic

    Pragmatic Conferencing is currently offering audio customers its Unified Meeting service at no extra cost and is also offering its services free of charge to senior care facilities. Unified Meeting is integrated with Pragmatic’s audio service so that you can give presentations, annotate live documents and meet face-to-face over video for up to 16 participants. You can also manage calls, including creating breakout rooms, locking calls, muting participants and more. Regular audio rates apply.

    Members of the Canadian Chamber save 30% on conference and video calls with Pragmatic. Click here to learn more.

  • TELUS Health

    Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, TELUS Health is leveraging the full capability of its innovative technology to be at the forefront of helping Canadians stay healthy and safe.

    The Canadian Chamber has partnered with TELUS Health to make sure you are able to support your employees, take care of their health and enable your business to be the most productive during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Akira by TELUS Health provides 24/7 direct access to medical consultations through secure text and video chat. You can ask questions, get treated, renew prescriptions and get referrals.

    As an exclusive offer to members of the Canadian Chamber, when you sign up for Akira by TELUS Health, you will also get complimentary in-person service by the Medisys Health Group, which includes preventative health assessments for your employees, occupational health and onsite fitness programs.

    Click here for more information.

Additional Financial Assistance

  • Canada Child Benefit

    Enhancements to the Canada Child Benefit (CCB) will see recipients receive $300 more per child with their regular May CCB payment. If you have previously applied for the CCB, you do not need to re-apply.

    For more information on the Canada Child Benefit, such as how to apply and eligibility requirements, go to  Canada Child Benefit or call 1-800-387-1193.

  • Emergency Community Support Fund

    The Government of Canada is spending $350 million through charities and non-profit organizations that deliver essential services to those in need. The funding will flow through national organizations that have the ability to get funds quickly to local organizations that serve vulnerable populations.

    It will support a variety of activities, such as:

    • increasing volunteer-based home deliveries of groceries and medications
    • providing transportation services, like accompanying or driving seniors or persons with disabilities to appointments
    • scaling up help lines that provide information and support
    • helping vulnerable Canadians access government benefits
    • providing training, supplies, and other required supports to volunteers so they can continue to make their invaluable contributions to the COVID-19 response
    • replacing in-person, one-on-one contact and social gatherings with virtual contact through phone calls, texts, teleconferences, or the Internet

    Find more information on how and when to apply:

  • GST credit

    12 million low- and modest-income families will receive $5.5 billion through a one-time GST credit. This will mean payments of roughly $400 for an individual and $600 for couples.

    There is no need to apply for this payment. If you are eligible, you will get it automatically.

    More information on the GST credit is available here.

  • Deferred repayments of student loans

    Deferral of repayments for the Canada Student Loans programs until September 30, 2020, with no accrual of interest. These measures will become effective March 30, 2020 and will be automatic.

Resources for Indigenous Communities

  • Funding for small and medium-sized Indigenous businesses and financial institutions

    On March 18, the federal government provided up to $306.8 million in funding to help small- and medium-sized Indigenous businesses, and to support Aboriginal Financial Institutions that offer financing to these businesses.

    The funding will allow for short-term, interest-free loans and non-repayable contributions through Aboriginal Financial Institutions, which offer financing and business support services to First Nations, Inuit and Métis businesses.

    The program will be provided through Aboriginal Financial Institutions, and administered by the National Aboriginal Capital Corporations Association and the Métis capital corporations in partnership with Indigenous Services Canada.

    The funding will allow for interest-free loans, as well as non-repayable contributions, to help Indigenous businesses unable to access the government’s existing COVID-19 support measures. Additional funding will help Aboriginal Financial Institutions cover operational expenses, and help the National Aboriginal Capital Corporations Association increase its operational capacity.

    On May 21, the government announced an additional $75 million in funding for Indigenous organizations providing services to Indigenous peoples in urban centres and off reserve. This additional funding will support more community-based projects that address the critical needs of Indigenous populations during this crisis, including food security, mental health support services, and sanitation and protective equipment. It could also help with other needs, such as support for Elders, transportation, and educational materials for Indigenous children and youth.

  • Additional Resources

Provincial and Territorial Resources

Additional Resources

“We’re partnering with Canadian industry and business so we can act fast to ensure our health care providers have the products and supplies they need to help Canadians. Together, we are mobilizing all of Canada to fight the spread of the virus.”

Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada


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