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SR&ED vs IRAP: Everything You Need to Know

The National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP) and the CRA’s scientific research and experimental development tax credit (SR&ED) are two programs of major importance for Canadian innovators.  

In this article, we will examine the key similarities and differences between SR&ED and IRAP and how these programs can work together to maximize your government funding for your innovative technology project.   

Nature & Timing of Funding 

The first fundamental difference between SR&ED and IRAP is that the former is a tax credit, while the latter is a grant. This mainly affects when the funding is received from each program, but also the administrative overhead necessary to access funds, as well as the reporting requirements that come with the funding.  

A tax credit – like SR&ED – provides funding after the expenses are incurred. For Canadian Controlled Private Corporations, the SR&ED program offers a refundable tax credit disbursed after the CRA receives the claim. Therefore, SR&ED is typically less useful in cases when a business is looking to sustain their cash flow as they undertake a project.  

This is especially true when a business submits their first SR&ED claim, since the retroactive funding will not arrive until after the end of the fiscal year. However, when claiming SR&ED every year, the refund from the previous year helps sustain the cash flow for the next period.   

IRAP, on the other hand, requires monthly refund requests after the initial application is received and accepted. This means that a grant program such as IRAP is naturally more apt at sustaining a business’ cash flow while a specific project requires it. This is especially true for first-time applicants.  

Funding Amounts 

Once the federal and provincial tax credits are combined, SR&ED typically offers a refundable tax credit ranging from 54% (no provincial tax credit) to 74% (Quebec, beyond the threshold) of eligible salary expenditures to Canadian controlled private corporations. The exact tax credit rate depends on the size of the claimant company and a few other factors.  

IRAP on the other hand is a grant and its funding is allocated on a discretionary basis. A certain amount is approved with the initial application when a budget is submitted. Therefore, the final funding amount will vary depending on  the project, but typically goes up to 80% of salaries expenditures.  

Eligible Expenses 

IRAP and SR&ED share salaries as eligible expenditures, but treat them very differently. Since IRAP is a grant program and must be applied for before the project starts, applicants submit a budget which will end up dictating the amounts of funding they are entitled to receive, if accepted into the program.  

For example, ABC Corp plans to assign 2 employees to work on a project they wish to fund through IRAP. They include this in their application, and the NRC agrees to fund up to 50% of those 2 employees’ salaries. Three months later, they realize they will need an additional team member to complete the project. The additional employee who ends up working on the project will, in this example, not be covered by the initial agreement, and therefore, their salary will have to be paid by ABC Corp, with no additional support from the NRC.  

Since SR&ED is a refundable tax credit, it is able to account for all the actual costs incurred for a given project for the past fiscal year. Those costs are eligible salaries, subcontracting expenses, and other eligible expenditures related to eligible R&D activities for the SR&ED project. This may also include certain overhead expenses. 

This level of specificity is why time tracking is important for a company planning to claim SR&ED.  

Let’s consider ABC Corp again. Say they decide to forego IRAP funding altogether for simplicity’s sake – we will return to stacking IRAP & SR&ED later. They decide to attempt to claim SR&ED for their project at the end of the year instead and are tracking their employees’ time as it is spent on different tasks and projects.  

We will assume, for simplicity sake, that ABC Corp is eligible for the maximum 74% refundable credit and have 5 employees in total. 2 of them begin working on the SR&ED project, but at some point during the year a third employee joins the project. When the time comes to submit the SR&ED claim, their eligible expenses would be as follows, assuming they did not receive any other overlapping funding for the project:  

First, because they did not work on the R&D project at all, 0% of the salary of the 2 employees who did not do any experimental development work would be eligible for SR&ED.  

For the 3 remaining employees who did do eligible experimental development work, the amount of time spent on the project needs to be taken into account in order to determine which portion of their salary is eligible for SR&ED. 

According to their timesheets, at the end of the year it can be concluded that: 

  • Employee #1 worked on eligible experimental development work 75% of their time.  
  • Employee #2 worked on eligible experimental development work 50% of their time. 
  • Employee #3, who joined the project much later, worked on eligible experimental development work 25% of their time. 

Therefore: 

  • 75% of Employee #1’s salary for the claim year is eligible for a 74% refundable tax credit.  
  • 50% of Employee #2’s salary for the claim year is eligible for a 74% refundable tax credit. 
  • 25% of Employee #3’s salary for the claim year is eligible for a 74% refundable tax credit. 

Of course, SR&ED claims are never this straightforward, but this example seeks to illustrate the basic principles that guide how the eligible salaries are determined.  

SR&ED can also fund materials necessary for the project, something IRAP does not do.  

Evaluation Criteria 

While there is some overlap when it comes to the eligibility criteria of SR&ED and IRAP, there are some important differences to note. 

First, neither SR&ED nor IRAP have industry specific criteria – therefore, any company could theoretically be eligible as long as they are conducting eligible experimental development activities. 

Experimental development can look drastically different depending on the industry. Find out how to determine if your project is eligible in our blog post all about the topic here.   

This does not mean either program funds anything or everything. For example, IRAP excludes any clinical trial activities from their eligible project costs. This does not exclude pharmaceutical companies altogether but is still important to keep in mind when applying for funding.  

Furthermore, neither program formally requires a minimum number of employees or years in business in order to be eligible. That said, while SR&ED can be claimed by an individual – there is no incorporation requirement – IRAP does require the company to be incorporated, and the company generally needs to be revenue-generating as well. Businesses with more than 500 employees are not eligible for IRAP, as the program is purposed to support small and medium businesses.  

While IRAP does not require a minimum number of employees, the program’s monthly reporting requirements make it more complicated to handle for small businesses with little administrative staff. A business entirely run by its two co-founders or an otherwise very small, specialized technical staff are rarely awarded IRAP funding. Therefore, the size of the team does have an impact on the usefulness of IRAP to a specific company.  

SR&ED is usually more advantageous for such smaller teams because, while it requires diligent time tracking of all activities related to the project throughout the year, the claim is only submitted once for the whole year. 

A key difference to note between SR&ED and IRAP’s evaluation criteria is that the CRA has no return-on-investment considerations when they fund a SR&ED project. On the other hand, IRAP’s mission is to advance technology in Canada and stimulate Canada’s growth as a science and technology leader on the world stage. Therefore, eligible projects are selected much like investments. Only those with the greatest commercialization potential and that advance science and technology in a way that the NRC considers significant enough will receive funding. In this way, NRC IRAP is a competitive program – not all applicants, even if they may be eligible, receive funding.  

SR&ED is not subjective. As long as a project and related corporation/individual meet the criteria according to the lawit will be accepted – assuming the claim is submitted correctly and on time.  

Stacking  

It is perfectly possible for a company to benefit from both SR&ED and IRAP for the same project. However, a few things must be kept in mind.  

Since some eligible expenses could both be covered by SR&ED and IRAP, having received IRAP funds throughout the project would necessarily reduce the amount of the future SR&ED refund. Of course, the difference here is the timing of when the funds are received. As mentioned earlier, IRAP is better designed for supporting cash flow because of its monthly reimbursement structure, so it makes sense to apply for IRAP if increasing cash flow during the project is a primary concern. It will still be possible to submit a SR&ED claim and receive the refundable tax credit amount, but it will almost certainly be reduced by the amounts that overlap with NRC IRAP funded activities.  

Want to find out more about the best practices related to stacking funding programs? Read our dedicated blog post here.   

Stacking funding programs requires paying extra attention to the stacking limits of each program and how they interact with each other. Double-dipping – covering the same expense twice – can come with its fair share of trouble.  

This is particularly true when using IRAP as the NRC conducts a systematic audit of every application, whereas SR&ED claims do not automatically get audited.  

Have questions about the SR&ED audit process and how to prepare for it? Find out more here.  

Whether you get audited or not, you should always be ready by preparing your claim carefully and having all the necessary documentation. 

 

Disclaimer: This article is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice.

To know more about SR&ED, IRAP and any other funding program and how your business can benefit from it, contact Mike Lee at:  1-800-500-7733, 110 [email protected]  

Federal Budget 2022: Key Measures and New Funding for Canadian Innovators

Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland unveiled the 2022 Federal budget on April 7, 2022. Titled “A Plan to Grow Our Economy and Make Life More Affordable,” the budget announces a number of changes to existing programs and new initiatives to fund the development of green energy, the circular economy and Canadian innovation.

The following article offers a brief overview of some of the highlights of the 2022 Federal budget and the impact these new measures may have on innovative Canadian companies in the years to come.

Updates to the SR&ED Tax Credit 

After nearly three years of no major changes to the federal Scientific Research & Experimental Development tax credit program – the last significant modifications date back to 2019 – Budget 2022 officially announced that the program will be undergoing a formal review to find out if changes to the eligibility criteria are necessary. The review will also consider the possibility of implementing a “patent box” regime to encourage the development of innovative IP in Canada. A “patent box” essentially allows income earned from IP to be taxed at a lower rate than other business income, encouraging innovation.

This review was just announced, so we cannot be sure of its impact on the program at present. However, there are reasons to believe that any changes may expand access to the program and program funding, rather than restricting it. This is because expanding access to SR&ED was part of the Liberals platform for the 2021 election.

Learn more

Creation of an Innovation and Investment Agency

Budget 2022 announces the creation of an operationally independent federal innovation and investment agency, with a planned budget of $1 billion for its first five years of operation – starting in 2022-3. Additional details have yet to be announced, but the agency’s mandate will generally be to work with existing and new businesses in crucial industries and help them make investments necessary for their growth and increase their competitiveness.

Learn more

Creation of the Canada Growth Fund

This brand-new investment fund aims to attract private capital to Canada to encourage growth in strategic sectors and fund initiatives related to key economic goals like emissions reduction, low carbon technology development, supply chain restructuring, the development of the primary resource sector, and more. Funding will take a variety of forms, including equity, debt financing, and loan guarantees.

Learn more

Introduction of a new Investment Tax Credit for Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage

A new refundable tax credit, effective for projects starting on or after January 1, 2022, will be introduced to offset the cost of carbon dioxide capture and storage equipment purchases. This new credit’s rates will vary between 37.5% and 60% until 2030.

Learn more

Additional Funding for the Development of Semiconductors

Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada will receive $45 million over 4 years to engage in various activities aiming to support semiconductor projects and strengthen Canada’s place in the sector.

Learn more

Additional Funding for Canada’s Superclusters

The budget plans for an additional $750 million in funding over 6 years for the 5 innovation superclusters to support projects and foster public-private collaboration in key economic sectors. The superclusters have also been officially renamed Global Innovation Clusters moving forward.

Learn More

Read our article dedicated to the Supercluster initiative to find out more about each cluster and their programs.

Making the SME lower tax rate more accessible

Canadian small businesses already benefit from the reduced federal tax rate of 9% on their first $500,000 of taxable income, a 6% tax cut from the general 15% federal corporate tax rate. The current rule only allows businesses to access this lower corporate tax rate as long as their level of capital employed in Canada stays under $15 million.

For taxation years beginning on or after April 7, 2022 – budget day – access to the reduced tax rate will instead be phased out gradually, and only businesses with $50 million or more in employed capital in Canada will be fully excluded from the reduced rate.

The goal of this measure is to incentivize small businesses to grow and make capital investments without drastically increasing their tax burden.

Learn more

How R&D Partners can help

If you have any questions about this or other tax credit programs, do not hesitate to contact Jacob Ma at [email protected]

Other Resources

Federal Budget Summary

Full Budget PDF

This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not constitute professional accounting or tax advice.

2022-3 Quebec Budget: Key Takeaways for Quebec Innovators

Finance minister Eric Girard tabled budget 2022-2023 on March 22nd, 2022. The budget includes several measures to address the rise of the cost of living for Quebec taxpayers, but also many interesting updates that innovative businesses headquartered in or with operations in the province of Quebec will want to be aware of.  

The largest spending envelope identified in this year’s budget is the $8.9 billion earmarked for the restoration and the enhancement of Quebec social services and healthcare system by 2026-2027. A $4.2 billion spending package dedicated to fueling economic growth in the province comes second. 

This article will mainly focus on identifying new or modified tax measures and how they will benefit Quebec businesses. We will also discuss some measures that have yet to be precisely defined, but are likely to lead to funding or opportunities for Quebec science and technology innovators.  

General Research and Development Investments for 2022-2027  

Within the $1.3 billion set aside by the Quebec government for the continuation of R&D efforts in the province, $500 million will be allocated to private equity funds and $100 million directly to the Impulsion PME Program. Both of these spending envelopes seek to encourage the development of even more innovative businesses in the province. (E.11) 

Find the Impulsion PME Program in our funding search engine 

C3i Tax Credit Bonified Rates Further Extended Until December 31st 2023 

The 2021-2022 Quebec budget introduced doubled base rates for the C3i tax credit, which were initially going to apply to eligible equipment purchased between March 25, 2021 and December 31st 2022. These doubled rates are now available until December 31st 2023. This gives eligible businesses another full year to make equipment and software package purchases and benefit from the doubled tax credit rates. (E.28 

Read our full article on the C3i tax credit to learn more about the eligibility criteria and the types of expenses that qualify here 

Launch of a New Cybersecurity Enhancement Program  

While the budget states that details will be communicated by the appropriate bodies at a later date, we know that a total of $100 million – $30 million in 2022-3 and $70 million in 2023-4 – have been set aside for the creation of a new program to fund initiatives aiming to strengthen cybersecurity in Quebec. (E.25) 

Projects will be deployed in public bodies with the goal of helping the government ensure its digital transformation, protect citizens’ information and ready themselves in the case of cyberattacks.  

Supporting the Bio Food and Forestry Sectors 

The Financière Agricole du Québec (FADQ) will receive an additional $50 million over the next two years to continue funding eligible projects through its Growth Investment Program. Its strategic investment subsidiary known as Capital Financière Agricole will also receive $10 million more in capitalization to continue to support a variety of food processing and agri-food related innovative projects. (E.47) 

Innovation Bois, a program created to support innovation in the forestry sector, will also receive an additional $75 million in funding to increase productivity and support the sector’s diversification.  

New Biofuel and Pyrolisis Oil Production Tax Credits 

Two brand new biofuel and pyrolisis oil production tax credits will replace three previous refundable tax credits: one for the production of ethanol in Quebec, one for the production of cellulosic ethanol in Quebec, and one for the production of biodiesel fuel in Quebec. All three will expire on March 31, 2023. (F.14) 

The new tax credits’ assistance amounts will be calculated based on the carbon intensity reduction offered by the biofuel, ethanol or pyrolysis oil produced compared to the use of an equivalent quantity of regular fossil fuels. Additional details have yet to be released.  

 

How R&D Partners can help 

If you have any questions about funding for innovative companies in Quebec, do not hesitate to contact Jacob Ma at

 

Other Resources 

Ministère des finances du Québec 

2022 Quebec Budget: Province to Keep Spending Taps Open (TD)   

 

This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not constitute professional accounting or tax advice.    

Funding Opportunities for Black-Owned Businesses

To celebrate Black History month in Canada, we took a closer look at a few funding opportunities from government organization, public-private partnerships and non-profits specifically intended for black and other minority business owners across the country. This article offers an overview of some key funders and support organizations Black business founders in Canada should know about as well as some details on some of the opportunities they offer.  

Futurpreneur Canada: Black Entrepreneur Startup Program  

Futurpreneur is a non-profit organization that offers financing, mentoring and support tools to business owners aged between 18 to 39 years old. 

The Black Entrepreneur Startup program provides startup loan financing from $5,000 to $60,000 and up to two years of one-on-one expert mentorship. Recipients also have access to resources and the opportunity to engage with a national network of Black entrepreneurs, leaders and Black-led community organizations at a variety of entrepreneurship events.  

This program is funded by the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) and BDC.  

The FACE Coalition: Entrepreneurship Loan Fund 

The FACE coalition is a Black-led non-profit organization focused on providing resources and information to the Black community across Canada. They support sustainable economic initiatives and help develop strategic partnerships to accelerate the creation of generational wealth in Canada’s Black communities. The Black Entrepreneurship Loan Fund was created to provide funding for Black business owners seeking investments, working capital, or additional resources to expand their businesses.  

The fund offers micro and macro loans to eligible entrepreneurs. The micro loans are administered by Vancity Credit Union and Alterna Savings and are available in Ontario and British Columbia. Their macro loans, on the other hand, are funded by BDC and the Government of Canada and are available across the country. Macro loan amounts range from $25,000 to $250,000 and principal payments can be deferred for up to a year. 

This loan fund was created as a part of the Government of Canada’s Black Entrepreneurship Program 

EVOL: Business Financing

Evol is an organization financially supported by the Quebec Ministry of Economic Development and the Government of Canada. It supports the development, acquisition, and growth of diversified and inclusive businesses with positive impacts in accordance with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and seeks to contribute to the development of more diverse and sustainable businesses. With a combination of financing and personalized guidance, as well as adapted complementary services, EVOL supports under-represented groups in entrepreneurship and their businesses. EVOL defines these underrepresented groups as those who identify as one or more of the following: women, racialized people, immigrants, First Nations, Inuit, LGBTQ2+ community and people with disabilities.  

EVOL offers two business lending options: startup loans ranging from $20,000 to $75,000, and growth and acquisition project loans offering between $20,000 and $450,000 in repayable financing.  

Afro Caribbean Business Network Foundation: Micro Loan Fund

The Afro Caribbean Business Network Foundation supports African and Caribbean entrepreneurs with their business projects. They develop funding programs and compile tools and resources to help all kinds of entrepreneurs. Their network of experts also provides assistance for all stages of business planning and development. 

Their Microloan Fund offers low interest loans to African and Caribbean. The program offers micro-loans ranging between $500 and $2,500.   

DMZ: Black innovation fellowship

DMZ supports several technology incubator and accelerator programs around the world. Their programs support tech startups by offering them expert mentoring, access to capital and a community of entrepreneurs and influencers. 

Their incubator program supports early-stage tech startups by helping them start their business in earnest. Startups join with a minimum viable product and some form of market validation, and over the course of 8 to 12 months receive the hands-on support needed to further develop their product, build their team and create a sales strategy.  

The Black Innovation Fellowship offers a number of added benefits and opportunities in addition to the incubator’s regular programming and is specifically destined for black tech startup founders. These opportunities include tailored workshops, exclusive marketing and networking opportunities and dedicated support from DMZ’s Black Innovation Programs staff.  

Financial Aid for Businesses Impacted by COVID-19

R&D Partners is compiling a list of financial aid and other measures created or amended to help businesses struggling in the wake of COVID-19.

We will continue to update this list as the situation progresses, so please check back regularly. 

Table of Contents

Federal

Provincial

General

Municipal

 

Federal

Grants, Subsidies, & Loans


Government of Canada: Temporary Wage Subsidy (10%)

This program is a three-month measure that will allow eligible employers (individuals, NPOs, charities and/or CCPCs eligible for the small business deduction) to reduce the amount of payroll deductions required to be remitted to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). The subsidy is calculated when employers remit federal, provincial, or territorial income tax to the CRA. Payroll remitance of these amounts can then be reduced to obtain the subsidy, up to a maximum of 10% of the remuneration paid and $25,000 per employer.


Government of Canada: Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS)

The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy initially provided a 75% wage subsidy to eligible employers for up to 12 weeks, retroactive to March 15th, 2020.

The Government of Canada’s Fall 2020 Economic Statement, published on November 30th, proposed to increase the maximum subsidy rate back to its original 75%. It had previously been reduced to 65%. The subsidy is expected to be in place until March 2021.


BDC: Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program (HASCAP) Guarantee

This new loan guarantee is intended for businesses that were greatly affected by COVID-19 and the lockdown measures. To be eligible, businesses need to have benefited from the CEWS or CERS by showing a 50% revenue decline for at least three months (consecutive or not) in the eight-months preceding their HASCAP Guarantee application. If they were not eligible for CEWS or CERS, businesses could still qualify for HASCAP if they can still show a 50% year-over-year revenue decrease for three months.

BDC will guarantee 100% of a new term loan, with actual amounts ranging from $25,000 to $1 million.

Applications must be submitted to the business’ primary financial institution.


EDC: EDC Loan Guarantee for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (BCAP Program)

Canadian small and medium-sized businesses from all sectors that were financially viable and generating revenue prior to the COVID-19 outbreak can access credit and cash flow terms loans backed by EDC and co-lending arrangements with BDC. Financial institutions will be able to issue credit and cash flow terms loans of up to $6.25 million to existing clients. These loans will be guaranteed at 80% by the EDC.

This money is to be used for operational expenses, not for dividend payouts, shareholder loans, bonuses, stock buyback, option issuance, increases to executive compensation or repayment/refinancing of other debt.


BDC: Co-Lending Program for Small and Medium Enterprises (BCAP Program)

This program provides term loans for operational and liquidity needs of businesses, which could include interest payments on existing debt. The program is designed in three segments to better support different business sizes:

  • Loans of up to $312,500 to businesses with revenues of less than $1 million.
  • Up to $3.125 million for businesses with revenues between $1 million and $50 million.
  • Up to $6.25 million for businesses with revenues in excess of $50 million.

Loans will be interest-only for the first 12 months, with a 10-year repayment period.


Government of Canada: Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) (BCAP Program)

This program will provide interest-free loans of up to $40,000 to help cover small businesses’ operating costs while their revenues are reduced because of COVID-19. Loans that are repaid on or before December 31st, 2022 will receive a loan forgiveness of 25% (up to $10,000). To be eligible, businesses must demonstrate they paid $20,000 to $1.5M in total payroll in 2019.

A new loan of up to $20,000 is being made available in addition to the original CEBA loan. $10,000 of this new loan is also forgivable if the remaining amount is repaid on or before December 31st, 2022.

Applicants should contact their financial institutions in order to begin the application process.


The Government of Canada: Farm Credit Canada

The Government of Canada will support Farm Credit Canada by providing $5 billion in additional lending capacity to producers, agribusinesses and food processors. This is meant to address farmers’ cashflow issues as well as help processors absorb the cost of lost sales.


BDC: Special COVID-19 Initiatives

BDC is offering new relief measures for qualified businesses, including:

  • Working capital loans of up to $2 million with flexible repayment terms such as principal postponements for qualifying businesses
  • Small business loans of up to $100,000 for businesses that are generating revenue and have been in operation for at least 24 months
  • Postponement of payments for up to 6 months, free of charge, for existing BDC clients with total BDC loan commitment of $1 million or less
  • Reduced rates on new eligible loans

BDC: Mid-Market Financing

In order to better support medium-sized companies, BDC will offer loans ranging from $12,5 to $60 million to eligible Canadian businesses. 


Government of Canada: Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS)

This program replaces the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA). Businesses, charities and NPOs can qualify for this program. The rent subsidy will be paid directly to tenants or property owners, eliminating the need to go through landlords to apply for the program. Subsidy amounts will be proportional to the business’s revenue drop.

Application periods have been harmonized with the CEWS, with CERS’s period one corresponding to the CEWS period 8 (September 27 to October 24, 2020).


Government of Canada: Regional Relief and Recovery Funds (RRRF)

The federal government will provide loans, some of which will be partially forgivable, to Canadian companies affected by COVID-19 for whom previous federal support was unavailable or insufficient. Details such as eligibility, funding amounts, and conditions vary from province to province. 


Government of Canada: Canada Seafood Stabilization Fund (CSSF)

This program is offered by different regional agencies across Canada and aims to support fish and seafood processors. Direct aquaculture and fishing enterprises are not covered by this initiative.

The delivery agencies are: 

Atlantic Canada: Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA)

Quebec: Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions (CED)


Canada Enterprise Emergency Funding Corporation (CEEFC) and Canada Development Investment Corporation (CDEV): Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility (LEEFF)

This program will provide loans of $60 million or above to large Canadian employers affected by COVID-19. Companies will need to demonstrate yearly revenues above $300 million, as well as significant operations in Canada, in order to justify their eligibility. The loans will be repayable at any time during the lending term without penalty.


Telefilm Canada: Short-Term Compensation Fund for Canadian Audiovisual Productions (STCF)

Film and TV productions that have been pre-approved by Telefilm can obtain a reimbursement of up to 20% of their approved, eligible production costs in the case of a filming interruption caused by COVID-19.

The following conditions must be met:

  • An Actor or Director declared on the insurance policy covering the project has to have tested positive for COVID-19 or;
  • There must be a confirmed COVID-19 outbreak on set and it must cause a production shut down.

In all cases, reasonable and systematic measures must have been taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19 on set, in compliance with public health measures.

The program will offer compensations to eligible productions until March 2021.

Challenges/Calls for Solutions


The Government of Canada: Calling All Suppliers – Help Combat COVID-19

The Government of Canada is calling on suppliers capable of providing disposable N95 masks, disposable surgical masks, hand sanitizer, and other products and services to combat COVID-19. If you’re able to help, you can fill out the submission form for Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) products and services.

For more information, contact their info line.


NRC-IRAP/Innovative Solutions Canada: Pandemic Response Challenge Program

This program will receive $15M in funding to foster collaboration between academia and Canadian SMEs taking up R&D challenges related to COVID-19. To start, the main research areas will be: 

  • Rapid detection and diagnosis
  • Therapeutics and vaccine development 
  • Digital health

The specific R&D challenges have yet to be announced, but interested researchers and SMEs can register here to begin the team-building process.


Thales Digital Solutions: COVID-19 Rapid Response Call

Thales Digital Solutions is looking for partners to develop specific solutions to help fight COVID-19 on several fronts. Companies that manufacture and supply medical equipment, as well as healthcare organizations and more are invited to manifest their interest. 

Tax Deferrals


The Canadian Revenue Agency: Flexibility for Businesses Filing Taxes

The Canada Revenue Agency will allow all taxpayers to defer, until after August 31st, 2020, the payment of any income tax amounts that become owing on or after March 18th, 2020 and before September 2020. This relief will 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.

Provincial

ALBERTA


Government of Alberta: Relaunch Funding

Alberta will help eligible businesses that were affected by mandatory closures–or that remained open but were severely affected,–to re-open and adapt to the new public health guidelines through a first grant of up to $5,000.

A second grant will soon be made available. This amount will be up to $15,000 per business, giving access to up to $20,000 total through the program.

The funds may be used for various expenses essential to business continuity (such as rent or salaries) as well as non-medical PPE and other equipment.


Government of Alberta: Payments and Tax Deferrals

The Government of Alberta has announced the following tax and payment deferrals, including:

  • Deferral of corporate income tax balances and installment payments from March 19 until August 31, 2020 to increase employers’ access to cash so they can pay employees, address debts, and continue operations. 
  • Deferral of electricity and natural gas bill payments for the next 90 days for residential, farm, and small commercial customers. Call your utility provider directly to arrange the deferral.

Government of Alberta: Alberta Bits and Pieces Program

A call for products and services that can help deal with COVID-19 can manifest their interest through this form.


Government of Alberta: Site Rehabilitation Program

This program will provide grants to eligible oil and gas industry contractors to close up inactive pipelines and other oil and gas exploitation sites. Projects submitted to this program could see 100% of their eligible costs covered.

There will be multiple application periods, each catering to specific types of projects, sites, and costs. 


Canada Agricultural Partnership: Agriculture Training Support

Eligible Alberta farms and agribusinesses could benefit from a grant of up to $2,000 per eligible new employee (up to $50,000 per employer) to cover various training costs or the purchase of PPE or other materials and equipment related to public health measures. 

 

BRITISH COLUMBIA


Creative BC: Amplify BC

Amplify BC is adapting many of its programs to the new COVID-19 reality in order to better support British-Columbia’s musical artists, production companies, concert venues, and event organizers.

 

MANITOBA


Government of Manitoba: B2B Manitoba

This online platform aims to connect non-medical grade personal protective equipment (PPE) suppliers with businesses who may need PPE to open and operate safely.


Government of Manitoba: Manitoba Bridge Grant

The Manitoba Bridge Grant has begun issuing second payments to eligible businesses that submitted applications between November 16 and December 31, 2020.

NEW BRUNSWICK


Government of New Brunswick: General Measures for Businesses

  • Late penalties accumulated on business property taxes due on May 31st will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Undue financial challenges such as business closures caused by COVID-19 will be taken into account and late fees may be waived. 
  • Existing provincial loan and interest repayments could be deferred for up to six months.

Government of New Brunswick/Community Business Development Corporations (CBDCs): Working Capital Loans for Small Businesses

Loans of up to $100,000 will be allocated to eligible small businesses to help them respond to challenges associated with COVID-19. Examples of eligible small businesses include restaurants, seasonal tourism operators, service sectors, and self-employed business owners impacted directly by the pandemic. These loans will be interest-free for the first 6 months. 


Government of New Brunswick: Working Capital Loans for Mid-to-Large Employers

Opportunities New Brunswick (ONB) will make support available to mid-to-large-sized employers. ONB will also provide –upon request–working capital in excess of $100,000 to help large employers manage the impacts of COVID-19 on their operations.

 

NORTHWEST TERRITORIES


Northwest Territories Business Development and Investment Corporation: Deferred Loan Payments 

From April 1st, 2020 to February 24th, 2021, clients of the Business Development and Investment Corporation (BDIC) can apply to reduce or defer up to three months of loan payments without penalty or additional interest charges. Regular interest will still be charged. Businesses are automatically approved and not required to demonstrate financial hardship or impacts resulting from the COVID-19 crises. Businesses only need to notify their Department of Industry Tourism and Investment regional office that they wish to suspend their payments and specify the three month time period in which they need the suspension to take effect.

 

NOVA SCOTIA


Government of Nova Scotia: Tourism Accommodations Real Property Tax Rebate Program

This 25% tax rebate is available to operators of qualified roofed tourism accommodations (like hotels, motels, bed and breakfasts…) who have incurred a 30% or more revenue loss from 1 April 2020 to 31 October 2020 compared to the same period in 2019.


Government of Nova Scotia: Small Business Impact Part 2

This program offers financial help to Halifx and Hants county that were forced to close or reduce operations under public health directives in effect from 26 November 2020. The program will offer funding amounts of up to %15 of the business’s revenue from sales for the month of April 2019 or February 2020 as selected by the applicant.

Eligible businesses include restaurant, bars, gyms and various leisure facilities, from escape rooms to board game bars and restaurants.

NUNAVUT


Nunavut Department of Economic Development and Transportation Services: Small Business Support Program – Special COVID-19 Grants

Nunavut small businesses can access short-term relief in the form of a $5,000 non-repayable contribution.

 

ONTARIO


Government of Ontario: Ontario Small Business Support Grant 

This new grant is intended for businesses ordered to shut down or severely curtail their operations by the provincial lockdown put in place on December 26th, 2020. To qualify, businesses need to demonstrate a 20% revenue loss compared to the same period in the previous year. Alternative comparison periods are accepted in the case of seasonal businesses. 

These grants from $10,000 to $20,000 are intended to offset this revenue loss and businesses may use the funds for any necessary expenses.


Government of Ontario: Main Street Relief Grant for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

This program offers a grant of up to $1,000 to help cover PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) purchase costs. Eligible businesses can have between 2 and 9 employees.


Ontario Energy Board: Energy Assistance Program for Small Business (CEAP-SB)

This program provides a one- time, on-bill credit to eligible small business and registered charity customers affected by COVID-19 to help them catch up on their energy bills and resume regular payments.

Businesses can apply for a $1,500 rebate.


Ontario Arts Council: Artist-Presenter Collaboration Projects

Due to COVID-19, OAC’s 2021 Touring and Market Development program is temporarily on hold and is replaced by this program. The goal is to keep developing relationships and artistic projects while touring is suspended.


Government of Ontario: Property Tax and Energy Cost Rebate Grants

Businesses that were forced to close or significantly curtail their operations due to new lockdown measures may be eligible for a grant to help cover their property tax or energy bills.


Ontario Ministry of Finance: Employer Health Tax Exemption

This tax exemption has been bonified from $490,000 to $1 million for 2020 in order to relieve some of the tax burden on eligible Ontario employers.


Government of Ontario: WSIB Deferment

$1.9 billion will go to the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) to allow employers to defer their payments by up to six months.


Government of Ontario: Regional Opportunities Investment Tax Credit

This new refundable Corporate Income Tax Credit is designed to support regions where employment growth is lagging behind the rest of Ontario. It will help eligible businesses to save up to $45,000 (10% tax credit rate) on the construction, renovation or acquisition of commercial or industrial buildings.


Ontario Ministry of Finance: Interest and Penalty Relief for Businesses

Ontario businesses who are unable to file or remit select provincial taxes on time, due to the special circumstances caused by the coronavirus (COVID‑19) in Ontario, will benefit from a five-month relief period to file or pay them. The payments remain due at the normal dates, but no late fees or interests will accumulate for five months, starting on April 1st, 2020. This relief is automatic, that is businesses that find themselves unable to meet tax deadlines do not need to contact the Ontario Ministry of Finance to notify them.


Ontario Call for Suppliers and Solutions: Emergency Products

Producers, manufacturers and suppliers are invited to fill out this form if they have any supplies which can be used to fight COVID-19.


Government of Ontario: Innovative Solutions

Suppliers and innovators are invited to submit proposals to help address the spread and impact of COVID-19. Businesses that can support virtual mental health services, supply chain monitoring, or financial advice for small businesses are invited to submit their proposals.


Ontario Centers of Excellence: COVID-19 Collaboration Platform

OCE is looking to match collaborators with access to assets, technologies or products which could be instrumental in fighting the  COVID-19 virus. 

Application here


ENCQOR: Call for projets – Resilience to Pandemics

This technological challenge calls on Quebec and Ontario SMEs to develop innovative 5G solutions to help Canada become more resilient when facing situations such as the COVID-19 pandemic. 

A wide variety of economic sectors could benefit from the proposed solution, from the health sector to manufacturing, transportation and more.


Digital Main Street: Digital Transformation Grant

This program aims to help Ontario businesses to implement technological strategies and tools to facilitate their digital transformation and increase their online presence.

 

PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND


Finance PEI: Emergency Working Capital Financing

This new loan program will help qualifying companies maintain normal business operations during these difficult times. Eligible applicants can apply to receive a working capital loan of up to $100,000 with a fixed interest rate of 4% per annum to be used to assist with fixed operating costs.

To be eligible, a business must:

  • be located, operating, and generating revenue in the Province of PEI
  • be registered to conduct business within the Province of PEI
  • have a satisfactory credit rating and no defaulted outstanding debt obligation on file in the Province’s Central Default Registry

Finance PEI: Fisheries Emergency Loan 

These loans of up to $25,000 are intended for eligible fisheries or aquaculture businesses operating in PEI. Borrowers will benefit from deferred interest payments for a maximum of 18 months.

 

QUEBEC


Caisse de dépot et placement du Québec (CDPQ): Support for Québec Businesses

Loans of $5 million or more to Quebec companies that can demonstrate that they were profitable before the start of the COVID-19 crisis and have a promising growth outlook in their sector. Companies from all sectors and sizes may apply.


Investissement Québec: Concerted Temporary Action Program for Businesses (PACTE)

This measure is designed to shore-up Quebec businesses’ working capital in response to temporary difficulties they may be experiencing as a result of COVID-19. To be eligible for funding, they must demonstrate that:

  • their financial structure offers realistic prospects for profitability outside of these extraordinary circumstances. Financing can also take the form of a loan from Investissement Québec, but guarantees will be the preferred funding method.
  • their cash flow issues are temporary and that the liquidity shortage stems from:
    • A problem involving the supply of raw materials or products (goods or services)
    • An inability, or a substantially decreased ability, to deliver goods, products or services

Investissement Québec: Concerted Temporary Action Program for Businesses (PACTE): Red Zone Businesses

This new stream of the PACTE is intended for businesses located in “Red zones” currently under maximum alert and targeted by government-mandated closures. Some examples of eligible industries for this special stream include:

  • Restaurants;
  • Theatres;
  • Bars;
  • Museums;
  • Spas;
  • and more.

The main difference between the original PACTE and this special stream is that 80% of the loan (up to a maximum of $15,000 for each month of closure) can be written off.


Quebec Ministry of Tourism: Regional Tourism Partnerships

This program funds projects according to three streams, two of which are reserved for COVID-19 struggles encountered by the tourism industry in Quebec:

  1. Stream one is intended to help tourism businesses adapt their workplaces to meet the new public health guidelines regarding COVID-19. 
  2. Stream two will focus on collective projects that will help tourism-sector SMEs to adapt to the new COVID-19 guidelines and restrictions. 

Businesses must contact their regional tourism associations in order to access the application form and obtain more details about the program. Funding amounts will depend on the specifics of each project.


Investissement Québec: PACTE Tourism Industry Stream 

The new stream of the Concerted Temporary Action Program for Businesses offers the same loan guarantees as it does to all other eligible sectors, with a few new, advantageous conditions for the tourism sector: 

  • A 24-month moratorium on reimbursement of capital;
  • A repayment term of up to 60 months after the end of the moratorium;
  • And no minimum loan amount

Quebec Ministry of Tourism / Investissement Québec: Support for the Development of Tourism Attractions – Component 2: Hotel Renovation Fund 

This new stream of the “PADAT” will provide term loans to eligible hotels for the purposes of facilitating major renovations in order to boost the tourism sector in Quebec after COVID-19. Loan amounts will range from $100,000 to $5 million and cover up to 80% of eligible expenses. All costs directly related to the approved construction or renovation activities could be deemed eligible, including equipment and furniture expenses, among others.


SODEC: Temporary Support for Film and TV Production

The SODEC is offering this new program to help the film and TV production recover from the financial impact of the COVID-19 crisis. 

Two streams were available, the first offering general support to production activities and the second one emergency grants meant to offset the cost of interrupting a production because a member of the cast or one of the directors received a positive COVID-19 diagnostic. The second stream has now been terminated, but general support remains available. 


SODEC: Temporary Working Capital Support

Exceptional support for SODEC-supported sectors. These new support measures include a new line of credit, a new loan guarantee and a new term loan.


Government of Quebec: Emergency Support for Small and Medium-Sized Businesses

As short-term support, Quebec government will offer loans or loan guarantees of up to $50,000 to Quebec SMEs.

Eligible businesses include:

  • Those in all sectors that are otherwise viable
  • Those significantly impacted by COVID-19
  • Those that have cash flow issues directly related to the impacts of the pandemic

Government of Quebec: Emergency Support for Small and Medium-Sized Businesses: Support for Businesses in a Red Alert Zone

This new stream of this emergency support program is intended for businesses located in “Red zones” and affected by government-mandated closures.
This stream offers the possibility to forgive up to 80% of the loan (up to a maximum of $15,000 per month of closure).


Financière agricole du Québec (FADQ): Loan guarantee

FADQ financing clients experiencing temporary cash flow issues due to the COVID-19 pandemic can now access loan guarantees for loans of up to $50,000. 


Quebec Ministry of Tourism: Tourism Industry Support

The Quebec government has announced several measures that will benefit the tourism industry, hard hit by COVID-19. A total of $750 million is expected to be spent across various programs and measures.


ENCQOR: Call for projets – Resilience to Pandemics

This technological challenge calls on Quebec and Ontario SMEs to develop innovative 5G solutions to help Canada become more resilient when facing situations such as the COVID-19 pandemic. 

A wide variety of economic sectors could benefit from the proposed solution, from the health sector to manufacturing, transportation and more.


La Piscine and SODEC: SURF

La Piscine is partnering with SODEC to offer support to the businesses and non-profits of the cultural industry. Group coaching sessions will help participants address their particular challenges related to the pandemic.

The program is entirely offered online.

 

YUKON


Government of Yukon: Increase to Tourism Cooperative Marketing Fund

The Department of Tourism and Culture has announced a one-time, $1 million increase to the Tourism Cooperative Marketing Fund (TCMF) in the interest of helping support more businesses in the summer when the pandemic subsides. Where the fund previously covered 50% of marketing costs it will now cover 100%. It will also be extended to cover initiatives targeting people already in the Yukon.


Government of Yukon: Paid Sick Leave Rebate for Employers

This program will reimburse employers who pay their employees to take sick days and self-isolate. The rebate will cover a maximum of 10 days of wages per employee, up to $378.13 per day per employee. This program can also support self-employed workers who lose income due to taking sick leave.

Provincial – General

MANITOBA


Government of Manitoba: General Economic Measures

Until October 1st 2020: 

  • Manitoba Hydro, Centra Gas, Workers Compensation Board and Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI) will not charge interest or penalties. 
  • Manitoba Hydro and Centra Gas will not disconnect any customers. 
  • MPI will relax ordinary practices on policy renewals and collections. 
  • Interest will not be charged on education property taxes.
  • Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries will not charge restaurants receivables.

 

NOVA SCOTIA


Government of Nova Scotia: COVID-19 Economic Budget

Small and medium-sized businesses in Nova Scotia will receive $161 million to help them weather the economic storm caused by COVID-19.

 

ONTARIO


Ontario Ministry of Finance: Economic Support in Response to COVID-19

The government of Ontario has pledged $17 billion to fight COVID-19. Of this amount, $200 million will provide emergency support for individuals experiencing financial difficulties, and to municipalities and other services so they can quickly respond to local needs. How this amount will be divided and administered has yet to be disclosed. 

A $1.5B increase in electricity cost relief will make electricity bills more affordable for eligible residential, farm, and small business consumers. In addition, the Province is also setting electricity prices for time-of-use customers at the lowest rate, known as the off-peak price, 24 hours a day for 45 days, to support ratepayers in their increased daytime electricity usage as they respond to the COVID‑19 outbreak.

Other measures (with no clear guidelines to date) include:

  • $200M for research institutions, industry, and nonprofit scientific partners to develop tools and resources to combat COVID-19 and related diseases.
  • $100M in skills training for workers affected by the outbreak.

 

Municipal

MONTREAL


Municipal Government of Montreal: Business Support Hotline

Montreal is offering a hotline for small business owners looking for general information about assistance programs as well as answers to questions about support measures offered by the city. The hotline is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Friday.

To decrease wait times on calls, business owners are encouraged to ask their questions via a short online questionnaire. They will receive an answer from a city economic development advisor within four hours, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday to Friday.

Fill out the form (French).

Or call: 514 394-1793


PME MTL: Automatic, Interest-Free Moratorium

The PME MTL network is partnering with the Fonds de solidarité FTQ to offer an automatic, six-month moratorium on capital and interest to private and social economy businesses that have received a loan through the PME MTL fund, Fonds Locaux de Solidarité, and Fonds de commercialisation des innovations. This measure is effective as of March 19th, 2020.

Clients of PME MTL can contact their advisor for more information.


PME MTL:  Recovery Fund for LaSalle Businesses

This $200,000 fund is meant to ensure socio-economic vitality on LaSalle’s commercial arteries and to maintain commercial diversity despite the impact of COVID-19. Targeted sectors are those particularly affected by the pandemic such as retail, food services and personal services. 

 

EDMONTON


City of Edmonton: Edmonton Economic Recovery Grants: Phase 1

Phase 1 of the Edmonton Economic Recovery Grants will be delivered as micro grants ranging from $1,000 to $5,000. Businesses may use these funds to purchase equipment and services needed to adapt their business to the new public health measures and allow them to resume their activities more quickly. Eligible businesses can come from any sector of activity, but must demonstrate that they have experienced significant financial hardship as a result of the pandemic and the related public health closures, restrictions, and measures. 

Businesses can apply every Monday of the intake period, which will end in December 2020.

Phase 2 funding will begin rolling out in 2021 and will address more long-term recovery and development goals. It is important to note that businesses that receive funding under Phase 1 will not be eligible for Phase 2 funding.


For general information about COVID-19, visit the Government of Canada.

Stay home and stay healthy!

 

 

 

Financial Aid for Workers Impacted by COVID-19

R&D Partners is compiling a list of financial aid and other measures created or amended to help workers and businesses struggling in the wake of COVID-19.

We will continue to update this list as the situation progresses, so please check back regularly. 

Table of Contents

Federal

Provincial

Municipal

 

Federal


Government of Canada: Employment Insurance Updates

Employment Insurance (EI) sickness benefits provide up to 15 weeks of income replacement to eligible claimants who are unable to work because of illness, injury, or quarantine. 

Canadians in quarantine because of COVID-19 may benefit from the following amendments and additions to the existing employment insurance policy:

  • Waiving of the one-week waiting period for EI sickness benefits for new claimants so they can be paid for the first week of their claim
  • A new dedicated toll-free phone number to support inquiries related to waiving the EI sickness benefits waiting period
  • Priority processing of applications concerning EI sickness benefits for claimants under quarantine
  • No medical certificate needed for people claiming EI sickness benefits due to quarantine
  • Backdating of EI claims for those who cannot complete their claim for EI sickness benefits due to quarantine

Regular eligibility criteria (such as the 600 insured hours of work completed in the 52 weeks before the start of claim) still apply.

Eligible parties should contact one of the following numbers to have their sickness benefits waiting period waived:

  • Telephone: 1-833-381-2725 (toll-free)
  • Teletypewriter (TTY): 1-800-529-3742

Government of Canada: Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB)

This new benefit replaces CERB along with two new benefits (the CRSB and the CRCB) as of October 2020. The CRB is intended for workers who are self-employed or are not eligible for Employment Insurance (EI) and who still require income support. The benefit will provide $500 per week ($450 after taxes withheld) for a maximum of 26 weeks. Many of the conditions of new benefit are similar to the ones that applied to CERB:

Having earned at least $5,000 in 2019, in 2020, or in the 12 months preceding the first application for this benefit and;
Being out of work due to COVID-19 or seeing one’s employment income reduced by at least 50%.
It is not possible to benefit from CRB and any of the following programs in the same program week:

  • Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB);
  • Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB);
  • Short-term disability benefits;
  • Workers’ compensation benefits;
  • Employment Insurance (EI) benefits or;
  • Quebec Parental Insurance Plan (QPIP) benefits.

Government of Canada: Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB)

This benefit will provide $500 ($450 after taxes withheld) a week for up to two weeks for workers who cannot work because they are sick or must self-isolate for reasons related to COVID-19 if they don’t already receive paid sick leave from their employer. Other conditions similar to those of the CRB also apply, most notably the requirement to have earned at least $5,000 in 2019 or in 2020 or in the 12 months preceding the first application to the program. An individual cannot benefit from the CRSB and any of the following programs for the same week:

  • CERB
  • EI Emergency Response Benefit (ERB);
  • Canada Recovery Benefit;
  • Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit;
  • Short-term disability benefits;
  • Workers’ compensation benefits;
  • EI benefits or;
  • Quebec Parental Insurance Plan (QPIP) benefits.

Government of Canada: Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB)

This benefit will provide $500 ($450 after taxes withheld)  per week, for up to 26 weeks, to eligible workers who cannot work because they must provide care to children or family members due to the closure of schools, day cares or care facilities. Only one person per household may claim the benefit in a given week. To be eligible, the caregiver’s work hours must have been reduced by at least 50% due to having to stay home to take care of a child or other dependent. Applicants need to have earned at least $5,000 in 2019 or in 2020 or in the 12 months preceding the first application to the program to be eligible.

Claiming the CRCB for a given week is not allowed if the applicant is already benefiting from any of the following programs or benefits for the same week:

  • Paid leave from an employer;
  • CERB;
  • EI Emergency Response Benefit (ERB);
  • Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB);
  • Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB);
  • Short-term disability benefits;
  • Workers’ compensation benefits;
  • EI benefits or;
  • Quebec Parental Insurance Plan (QPIP) benefits.

Government of Canada: Work Sharing Program

The Government of Canada’s Work Sharing program, which aims to help employers and employees avoid layoffs when there is a reduction in the normal level of business activity that is beyond the control of the employer, has implemented temporary special measures to combat the impacts of COVID-19, including:

  • extending the Work-Sharing agreements by an additional 38 weeks
  • waving the mandatory waiting period between agreements
  • easing the recovery plan requirements
  • expanding the eligibility to include businesses that have been in operation for only one year rather than two.
  • eliminating the need to provide sales and production figures

In order to be eligible, employees must be:

  •  year-round, permanent, full-time, or part-time employees that are needed to carry out the day-to-day functions of the business
  • eligible for EI benefits
  • willing to reduce their normal working hours by the same percentage as other employees and to share the available work with other employees

Revenu Québec: Incentive Program To Retain Essential Workers (IPREW)

Workers will receive $100 for eligible work fees that occur between March 15th, 2020 and the following sixteen weeks. To receive this assistance for any given week, applicants must not have received funding from CERB or the Temporary Aid for Workers Program for that same week. However, workers whose employers receive the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy are still eligible.


Fast Grants: Fast Funding for COVID-19 Science

Grants of between $10k and $500k to help academic researchers speed the completion of projects that could be used to combat COVID-19. Applicants must be:

  • A PI at an academic institution;
  • Already working on a project that could help with the COVID-19 pandemic within the next six months;
  • In need of additional funding to complete the project.

Application here


Government of Canada: Canada Summer Jobs (CSJ)

Companies that have been approved for Canada Summer Jobs 2020 will be able to benefit from the following modifications to the program to better deal with the new realities brought on by COVID-19. 

  • All funded employers will be:
    • eligible to receive a wage subsidy reimbursement of up to 100% of the provincial or territorial minimum hourly wage for their interns. CSJ normally only covers up to 50% of the intern’s wages;
    • able to offer part-time placements (less than 30 hours a week) and/or the usual full-time 6 weeks placements; 
    • And allowed to extend job placements until February 28th, 2021. 

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation: Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance for small businesses (CECRA)

This program aims to reduce the rent of small businesses that have been significantly affected by COVID-19 by 75% for April, May, and June. Forgivable loans will be provided to commercial building owners whose small commercial tenants, paying less than $50,000 per month in rent, have ceased operations or have seen their revenue reduced by 70% compared to before the pandemic.

Federal and provincial governments will provide a loan of a total of up to 50% of the tenant’s rent to the property owner. The loan will be forgiven if the property owner agrees to reduce the eligible small business tenants’ rent by at least 75 per cent for April, May, and June under a rent forgiveness agreement. The agreement must include a moratorium on evictions for its duration. The property owner would then assume 25% of their tenant’s rent, and the small business tenant would cover the rest, up to 25% of their rent.

 

 

 

Provincial

ALBERTA

Government of Alberta: Emergency Isolation Support

The government is offering a one-time payment of $1,146 to working Albertans who:

  • must self-isolate because of COVID-19  (whether they are sick, ordered to self-isolate, or are the sole caregiver of a dependent who is in self-isolation)
  • have experienced a total or significant loss of income as a result of this isolation
  • do not have access to another source of pay during their isolation while they wait for federal measures to become available in April

Apply here.


Government of Alberta: Job-Protected Leave

Changes to the Employment Standards Code will allow full and part-time employees to take 14 days of job-protected leave if they are:

  • required to self-isolate
  • caring for a child or dependent adult that is required to self-isolate

To be eligible, employees:

  • will not be required to have a medical note
  • do not need to have worked for an employer for 90 days

So far, there is no word on whether financial aid will be offered in tandem with this new measure.


Government of Alberta: Vacation Pay, Leave, or Banked Overtime

Employees may consider using their regularly available leaves should they be required to self-isolate; however, employers are not required to grant the request. Provincial employment rules only require employers to provide vacation pay, vacation leave, or banked overtime within a year of it being earned.

Employers can request employees voluntarily take vacation leave and/or use their vacation pay or banked overtime, but cannot force them to do so under provincial employment rules.


ATB Financial: Bank and Credit Union Measures

ATB Financial is allowing customers to apply for a payment deferral on loans and lines of credit for up to 6 months as well as access additional working capital. 

 

BRITISH COLUMBIA


Government of British Columbia: Changes to Employment Standards Act

The B.C. government will make changes to the Employment Standards Act to protect workers and prevent layoffs; however, no details have been announced so far. 


Government of British Columbia: B.C. Emergency Benefit for Workers

This program is aimed at B.C. residents, whether they are EI and/or CERB eligible, who have lost income because of COVID-19. The program will provide a one-time, $1,000 payment to eligible recipients while they wait for other forms of more regular support. 

You can apply online starting May 1st, 2020.


Government of British Columbia: Climate Action Tax Credit

The government of B.C. is enhancing the July payment of the provincial climate action tax credit for moderate to low-income families. 

  • Adults will receive up to $218.00 (increased from $43.50)
  • Children will receive $64.00 (increased from $12.75)

BC Housing: Supporting renters, landlords during COVID-19

Housing BC has introduced a number of measures to support renters and landlords. General measures include: 

  • Landlords may not issue a new notice to end tenancy for any reason at this time. In extreme cases, when health and safety have to be ensured or undue damage to the property prevented, landlords can still apply to the Residential Tenancy Branch for a hearing.
  • Existing eviction orders will also not be enforced at this time, except in extreme cases where there are safety concerns. 
  • Annual rent increases will be frozen for the duration of the state of emergency. 

BC Housing: Temporary Rent Supplement

The new rental supplement will help households that do not qualify for existing rental assistance programs by offering them up to $500 a month to go towards their rent. The funds will be paid directly to landlords on behalf of the household to ensure landlords continue to receive rental income during the pandemic.

To be eligible, a household must:

  1. Have a 2019 gross household income of less than:
    • $74,150 for singles and couples without dependents
    • $113,040 for households with dependents
  2. As a result of COVID-19:
    • Be receiving or eligible for Employment Insurance; or
    • Be receiving or eligible for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit offered by the federal government; or
    • Have experienced, and be able to provide evidence of, a drop of 25% or more in monthly household employment income
  3. Be paying more than 30% of current household income towards rent

The application is two stepped, and must be started by the tenant. Apply here.


Government of British Columbia: Student Loan Payment Deferral

B.C. Student loan payments are frozen for 6 months starting on March 30th, 2020. 


Government of British Columbia: Deferred Tax Payments 

All the following taxes’ filing and payment deadlines are being deferred until September 30th, 2020: 

  • Employer Health Tax
  • Sales taxes
    • Provincial sales tax (including municipal and regional district tax)
    • Carbon tax
    • Motor fuel tax
    • Tobacco tax

What’s more, the carbon tax increase announced in the provincial 2020 budget is being delayed until further notice, and School Tax Rates for Businesses are being reduced by 50% for the 2020 tax year.


BC Hydro: COVID-19 Customer Assistance Program

This program provides customers the option to defer bill payments or arrange for flexible payment plans with no penalty. They can call the following number to contact BC Hydro’s customer team: 1 800 BCHYDRO (1 800 224 9376).


BC Hydro: Customer Crisis Fund 

Customers facing temporary financial hardship and possible disconnection of their service due to job loss, illness, or loss of a family member may be eligible for grants of up to $600 to pay their bills.


Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada: Call for prototypes to help combat COVID-19

Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada is looking for prototypes falling within a technology readiness level (TRL) of 7 to 9 that can help combat current and future outbreaks of COVID-19 and other similar threats. 

Innovative solutions can fall under one of two categories:

  • Medical innovations that will directly support doctors, researchers, and healthcare workers in their efforts to battle the COVID-19 pandemic. 
  • Non-medical innovations that will assist Government of Canada departments and agencies, including through their partnerships with provinces, territories and municipalities, in addressing the challenges and impacts posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and other public health emergencies in the future.

 

NEW BRUNSWICK


Government of New Brunswick: Income Support for Workers

New Brunswick is investing $4.5 million to support workers who have lost their job due to COVID-19. This benefit is intended to help workers until the CERB and other federal measures are available. 


Government of New Brunswick: Job Protection for Workers

Workers will be able to take up to 15 weeks of upaid leave if they have COVID-19 or are caring for someone with the virus.

 

NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR


Government of Newfoundland and Labrador: Urgent Legislative Sitting Supports Social and Economic Well-Being of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians 

Measures include: 

  • Providing employees with protections from losing their job if they must take time away from work as a result of COVID-19. 
  • Ensuring tenants of rental properties cannot be evicted if they have lost income resulting from COVID-19 and are not able to pay rent.
  • Extending interim supply to September 30th, 2020, in the event that the House of Assembly is disrupted until June 2020. This ensures that existing government services such as health care can continue.
  • Introducing $200 million in contingency funding to address the impacts of COVID-19 and reduced oil prices.
  • Providing long-term borrowing authority of $2 billion. This will allow for ongoing government operations, as well as the ability to respond to current revenue volatility.
  • Authorizing the temporary variation of deadlines and time periods for activities such as annual reports and audit reviews.
  • Changing the Hydro Corporation Act, 2007 to authorize additional borrowing capacity to protect against a potential reduction in revenues as a result of COVID-19.

 

NOVA SCOTIA


Government of Nova Scotia: Income Assistance

Every individual and family member on income assistance will receive an additional $50, starting Friday, March 20th, 2020. No application necessary. 


Government of Nova Scotia: Suspension of Student Loan Payments

Nova Scotia student loan payments are suspended until September 30th, 2020. There is no need to apply, and no interests will accumulate for non-payment during this period.


Government of Nova Scotia: Worker Emergency Bridge Fund

The Worker Emergency Bridge Fund will help self-employed and laid-off workers who do not qualify for Employment Insurance. The government will provide a one-time, $1,000 payment, to bridge the gap between layoffs and closures and the Federal Government’s Canada Emergency Response Benefit.

 

NORTHWEST TERRITORIES


Northwest Territories Government: Emergency Allowance for Income Assistance Recipients 

Income assistance recipients will receive $500 if they are a single recipient and $1000 if they are a household of two or more so that they can prepare for 14 days of isolation in the event that they contract COVID-19 or have symptoms.

 

ONTARIO


Ontario Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development: Employment Standards Amendment Act

In light of COVID-19, employees will be able to take a leave of absence without pay, starting on the prescribed date, if the employee will not be performing the duties of his or her position because of various reasons related to a designated infectious disease, including:

  • that the employee is under medical investigation, supervision or treatment
  • that the employee is in quarantine or isolation
  • that the employee is providing care or support to another individual
  • or that the employee is affected by travel restrictions

Government of Ontario: Employment Protection

Employees in isolation or quarantine, or employees that need to be away for childcare, will be able to take job-protected leave.

 

PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND


Government of PEI: Employee Gift Card Program

This temporary program is a joint initiative between the PEI Government and Sobeys to provide PEI workers who have been laid off between March 13th, 2020 and March 31st, 2020 with emergency relief while they wait for Employment Insurance. This relief will be provided in the form of $100 gift cards, which can be used at Sobeys, Lawtons Drugs, Foodland and participating Co-Ops. Employers must apply on behalf of their employees.


Government of PEI: Emergency Income Relief for the Self-Employed

The Emergency Income Relief Fund is a temporary program put in place to support self-employed workers who have been significantly affected by COVID-19. 

To be eligible, self-employed individuals must:

  • Have declared business income on their most recent tax return.
  • Business income must be their primary source of income.
  • Be able to demonstrate direct financial losses resulting from the COVID -19 isolation measures at the time of application.
  • Not be EI eligible or receiving any other income support (ie. Business Interruption Insurance).

Applicants can receive a maximum of $500 per week for the period of March 16th, 2020 to March 29th, 2020 (this period will be reviewed as required).

 

QUEBEC


Government of Quebec: Concerted Actions Program for the Maintenance in Employment (PACME–COVID-19)

This program offers financial support to companies affected by COVID-19 to train their employees and adapt their human resources operations to the current crisis. The training could be related to ensuring a faster return to full operations when the crisis ends, improving employees’ technological competences in order to better manage operations during the crisis, or any other training relevant to the companies’ regular or adapted activities.


Tax Deadline Extended

The deadline for filing the personal income tax return has been extended to June 1st, 2020. Both individuals and businesses will have until August 31, 2020, to pay their income tax due for the 2019 taxation year.

 

Saskatchewan


Government of Saskatchewan: Job Protected Leave

Saskatchewan is amending its employment act to ensure that employees can access unpaid public health emergency leave. The amendments include:

  • The removal of the requirement of 13 consecutive weeks of employment with an employer prior to accessing sick leave; and
  • The removal of the provision requiring a doctor’s note or certificate.

Government of Saskatchewan: Self-Isolation Support Program

This program will provide eligible workers who are forced to self-isolate and thus lose their employment income with $450 per week, for a maximum of two weeks. 

To be eligible, applicants must meet one of the following criteria:

  • They have contracted COVID-19 or are showing symptoms; or
  • They have been in contact with an individual infected with COVID-19; or
  • They have recently returned from international travel and have been required to self-isolate

AND

  • They are not eligible for compensation including sick leave, vacation leave from their employer;
  • They do not have private insurance covering such disruptions;
  • They are not covered by other programs such as federal employment insurance (which has been updated)

Government of Saskatchewan: Student Loan Repayment Moratorium

Student loan payments have been suspended for 6 months.

 

YUKON


Government of Yukon: Paid Sick Leave Rebate for Employers

The Paid Sick Leave Rebate supports Yukon workers and self-employed people affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, offering them financial support if they become sick or are required to self-isolate and don’t have paid sick leave. This program will reimburse employers who pay their employees to take sick days and self-isolate, up to a maximum of 10 days of wages per employee, and up to $378.13 per day per employee.


Government of Yukon: Paid Sick Leave for the Self-Employed 

The Paid Sick Leave Rebate supports Yukon workers and self-employed people affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The rebate allows Yukon workers without paid sick leave to stay at home if they become sick or are required to self-isolate while still meeting their basic financial needs. Self-employed Yukoners can be covered for a maximum of 10 days of documented average daily earnings to allow for a 14-day self-isolation period. The maximum daily rebate will be $378.13 per day.

 

 

Provincial – General

MANITOBA


Government of Manitoba: General Economic Measures

Until October 1st 2020: 

  • Manitoba Hydro, Centra Gas, Workers Compensation Board and Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI) will not charge interest or penalties. 
  • Manitoba Hydro and Centra Gas will not disconnect any customers. 
  • MPI will relax ordinary practices on policy renewals and collections. 
  • Interest will not be charged on education property taxes.
  • Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries will not charge restaurants receivables.

ONTARIO


Ontario Ministry of Finance: Economic Support in Response to COVID-19

The government of Ontario has pledged $17 billion to fight COVID-19. Of this amount, $200 million will provide emergency support for individuals experiencing financial difficulties, and to municipalities and other services so they can quickly respond to local needs. How this amount will be divided and administered has yet to be disclosed. 

A $1.5B increase in electricity cost relief will make electricity bills more affordable for eligible residential, farm, and small business consumers. In addition, the Province is also setting electricity prices for time-of-use customers at the lowest rate, known as the off-peak price, 24 hours a day for 45 days, to support ratepayers in their increased daytime electricity usage as they respond to the COVID‑19 outbreak.

Other measures (with no clear guidelines to date) include:

  • $200M for research institutions, industry, and nonprofit scientific partners to develop tools and resources to combat COVID-19 and related diseases.
  • $100M in skills training for workers affected by the outbreak.

 

 

Municipal – For Workers

MONTREAL


Montréal inc.: Support for Montreal Entrepreneurs – COVID-19

Montreal inc., in collaboration with Bonjour Startup Montréal, has created a support initiative reuniting a group of coaches ready to offer crisis management support to businesses of all sectors affected by COVID-19.


PME MTL/Fonds Locaux de Solidarité/Fonds de commercialisation des innovations: Automatic moratorium on capital and interest 

The PME MTL network is offering an automatic, six-month moratorium on capital and interest to private and social economy businesses who have received a loan through the PME MTL fund, Fonds Locaux de Solidarité, and Fonds de commercialisation des innovations.

The city will pay the portion of interest during this period.


Ville de Montréal: Second installment of municipal taxes postponed

  • The deadline for the second instalment of owners’ annual property taxes is now July 2, 2020. 
  •  The deadlines for other invoices, such as SDCs contributions, remain unchanged.

 

TORONTO


Municipal Government of Toronto: Grace Period for Property Taxes & Utility Bills

Property owners can expect the following extensions, depending on their plan: 

  •  For property owners on the regular three-installment payment plan, the April 1st property tax installment due date will be extended to June 1st, 2020.
  • For property owners on the 11-installment pre-authorized payment plan, Interim 2020 installment due dates will be extended by 60 days.
  • Late payment penalties (applied on the first day following the installment due date where payment in full is not received) will be waived for 60 days, starting March 16th, 2020.
  • utility bill deadlines–usually due within 21 days after the billing date–will be extended by an additional 60 days.

Interim 2020 bills with the regular installment due dates have already been mailed. The City will therefore use other means (such as their website, social media, other advertising) to identify this grace period to property owners. Property tax accounts will be adjusted as necessary to reflect these relief measures. Automatic withdrawals scheduled for the next 60 days (starting on March 16) have also been suspended, and customers will be advised of their re-scheduling.


Municipal Government of Toronto: Contingency Fund

The City of Toronto has announced the creation of a “substantial contingency fund to support businesses and affected groups”, however, the details of this fund are still pending.

 

Municipal – General

TORONTO


Municipal Government of Toronto: Economic Support & Recovery Task Force

Toronto has assembled a task force to create immediate and longer-term economic recovery strategies for residents and businesses, with a focus on supporting those industries most impacted by COVID-19, such as tourism, hospitality, and entertainment.

No new federal or provincial programs have been announced to date.


For general information about COVID-19, visit the Government of Canada.

Stay home and stay healthy!

MONTREAL