Karen Vecchio's Facebook
Karen Vecchio's Twitter
Karen Vecchio's YouTube
Karen Vecchio's Instagram

COVID-19 Economic Support for Businesses UPDATED- March 31, 2020

COVID-19 Economic Support for Businesses 

UPDATED- March 31, 2020

Providing businesses with wage subsidies

Up to 75 per cent wage subsidy for qualifying businesses
Up to 3 months
Retroactive to March 15, 2020.

More details on eligibility criteria will start with the impact of COVID-19 on sales, and will be shared in the coming days

Deferral of Sale Tax Remittance and Customs Duty Payments

The Government is deferring Goods and Service Tax/ Harmonized Sales Tax (GST/HST) remittances and customs duty payments to June 30, 2020.

  • Monthly filers have to remit amounts collected for the February, March and April 2020 reporting periods; 
  • Quarterly filers have to remit amounts collected for the January 1, 2020 through March 31, 2020 reporting period; and
  • Annual filers, whose GST/HST return or instalment are due in March, April or May 2020, have to remit amounts collected and owing for their previous fiscal year and instalments of GST/HST in respect of the filer’s current fiscal year.

Underthe Customs Act, the Minister has extended payment deadlines for statements of accounts for March, April, and May. These payments are being deferred to June 30, 2020

Canada Emergency Business Account

In cooperation with the Export Development Canada (EDC), this program will provide interest-free loans of up to $40,000 to small businesses and not-for-profits, to help cover their operating costs during a period where their revenues have been temporarily reduced, due to the economic impacts of the COVID-19 virus. Small business and not-for profits should contact their financial institution to apply for these loans.

To qualify, these organizations will need to demonstrate they paid between $50,000 to $1 million in total payroll in 2019. Repaying the balance of the loan on or before December 31, 2022 will result in loan forgiveness of 25 percent (up to $10,000).


A New Loan Guarantee for Small and Medium Enterprises

To support their operations, EDC will guarantee new operating credit and cash flow term loans that financial institutions extend to SMEs, up to $6.25 million. The program cap for this new loan program will be a total of $20 billion for export sector and domestic companies.

A New Co-Lending Program for Small and Medium Enterprises

Eligible businesses may obtain incremental credit amounts up to $6.25 million BDC’s portion of this program is up to $5 million maximum per loan. Eligible financial institutions will conduct the underwriting and manage the interface with their customers. The potential for lending for this program will be $20 billion.


Preventing Layoffs

To support businesses that are facing revenue losses and to help prevent lay-offs, the government is proposing to provide eligible small employers a temporary wage subsidy equal to 75% of remuneration paid. More information on this wage subsidy will be released soon, and I will continue to update my social media pages and website as details become available. I also encourage all small businesses to monitor the government’s websites for any updates.

Supporting Employees and Self-Employed Individuals

The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) is a new taxable benefit that combines the Emergency Care Benefit and Emergency Support Benefit.

Applicants must have had $5,000 in employment income, self-employment income, or maternity or parental leave benefits in 2019 or in the 12-month period proceeding the day you make the application.

The CERB will provide $2,000 a month for up to four months for workers who lose their income as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic including:

  • People sick with COVID-19 and those caring for people sick with COVID-19
  • People who are in quarantine due to COVID-19
  • Those who have lost their job due to COVID-19
  • Working parents who must stay home without pay to care for children who are sick or at home because of school and daycare closures.
  • Wage earners, contract workers and self-employed individuals who would not otherwise be eligible for EI
  • Workers who are still employed but are not receiving income because of disruptions to their work situation due to COVID-19 for at least 14 consecutive days within the four-week period proceeding the application
  • The applicant must be in Canada.


The CERB will be accessible through a secure web portal starting in early April. Applicants will also be able to apply via an automated telephone line or via a toll-free number. I will continue to update my website and social media as information becomes available.

If you’ve already applied for EI you do not need to reapply for the CERB. Your claim will be automatically be transferred to the CERB program if your Employment Insurance Claim was not processed. This specific date is unknown.

Apply on-line for your CRA account (MyAccount) ( https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency.html)  Phone numbers for CERB-related support will be available soon.

EI Work Sharing Program

EI benefits to workers who agree to reduce their normal working hour as a result of developments beyond the control of their employers, by extending the eligibility of such agreements to 76 weeks, easing eligibility requirements, and streamlining the application process.

Business Tax Filing

The Canada Revenue Agency will allow all businesses to defer, until after August 31, 2020, the payment of any income tax amounts that become owing on or after today and before September 2020.  This relief would apply to tax balances due, as well as instalments, under Part I of the Income Tax Act. No interest or penalties will accumulate on these amounts during this period. 

Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP)

BDC and EDC are cooperating with private sector lenders to coordinate on credit solutions for individual businesses, including in sectors such as oil and gas, air transportation and tourism. The near-term credit available to farmers and the agri-food sector will also be increased through Farm Credit Canada.



Canada Account

The government is changing the Canada Account so that the Minister of Finance would now be able to determine the limit of the Canada Account in order to deal with exceptional circumstances. This will allow the government to provide additional support to Canadian companies through loans, guarantees or insurance policies during these challenging times.

Support for Small Businesses


Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC)

BDC is offering flexible and tailored solutions for entrepreneurs:


  1. Small Business Loan

Get up to $100,000 through a completely online application process. Postpone capital payment for the first 6 months and repay your loan over 5 years. Interest rate of 5.05% (variance ranging between 1% and 12%).


Click here for Terms and Conditions

Click here to apply now


Note: "The Small Business Loan is offered at BDC's Floating Base Rate* of 5.05% (effective March 17, 2020) plus a variance ranging between 1% and 12%, which is confirmed once the loan is approved. The interest rate is subject to change without notice."


  1. Working Capital Loan


Apply for additional funds to bridge cash flow gaps and support operations. Click here to learn more


  1. Purchase Order Financing


Cover up to 90% of a Purchase Orders(PO) amount with shorter term financing options.

Click here to apply


  1. Advisory Services for Financial Managementand Operations


For more information and support, please contact a BDC representative:

Call: 1-877-232-2269 (Mon-Fri 7:30am to 8:00pm ET / Sat-Sun 9:00am to 5:00pm ET

Submit an online inquiry by clicking here