Economic Relief for Burlington Businesses
We understand the financial hardship that members of our community are facing arising from the COVID-19 crisis. There have been continuous updates from various levels of government as their efforts to provide financial relief to businesses and employees have evolved.
Since the crisis emerged, we have been working closely with all levels of government to explore and advocate for a broad range of relief measures for residents and businesses across Burlington and beyond. The City of Burlington, Government of Ontario and the Government of Canada have each released economic relief packages that are intended to provide protection. It is our hope that the consolidated list below will be of assistance to outline the key options that may be available to employers and employees during this unprecedented time.
As of December 4, 2020, hard-hit small businesses and not-for-profits could be eligible for an additional $20,000 CEBA loan, on top of the $40,000 already available. The CEBA program continues to actively work with more than 230 financial institutions to finalize the processes that will allow select $20,000 expansion applicants that were previously informed to submit additional information. Applicants now have until June 30, 2021 to apply for a $60,000 CEBA loan or the $20,000 expansion at their financial institution.
The HASCAP Guarantee is available until June 30, 2021.
Businesses heavily impacted by COVID-19 can access guaranteed, low-interest loans of $25,000 to $1 million to cover operational cash flow needs. These loans are for small and medium-sized businesses that have seen their revenues decrease by 50% or more as a result of COVID-19.
As a Canadian employer who has seen a drop in revenue during the COVID-19 pandemic, you may be eligible for a subsidy to cover part of your employee wages, retroactive to March 15, 2020. The last day to apply for claim period 13 (February 14 – March 13, 2021) is September 9, 2021.
Applications for RRRF loans will be accepted until June 30, 2021, or until such time that the Fund is fully committed. The timeframe to consider costs has been extended to September 30, 2021.
Provision of $675 million to give financing support to small and medium-sized businesses that are unable to access other COVID-19 business supports, through Canada’s Regional Development Agencies. The RRRF is a liquidity lifeline for businesses and organizations impacted by the economic disruption associated with the COVID-19 pandemic in nearly every sector of the economy. It aims to address gaps in or supplement other federal relief measures, as well as complement those provided by other levels of government. When RRRF was launched in May 2020, $252.4 million in liquidity support was provided for southern Ontario businesses. On October 2, 2020, an additional $184 million was made available to FedDev Ontario to continue to help organizations in southern Ontario deal with the ongoing economic impacts of COVID-19.
Canadian businesses, non-profit organizations, or charities who have seen a drop in revenue during the COVID-19 pandemic may be eligible for a subsidy to cover part of their commercial rent or property expenses, starting on September 27, 2020, until June 2021. This subsidy will provide payments directly to qualifying renters and property owners, without requiring the participation of landlords.
Futurpreneur Canada’s new Black Entrepreneur Startup Program, funded by RBC, with additional loan financing provided by BDC, will provide financing, mentorship, networking opportunities and resources to aspiring, young Black entrepreneurs.
The program offers up to $60,000 in startup funding and expert mentorship, in addition to connecting entrepreneurs to cash flow planning services, business training and much more. This new program is devoted to empowering young Black entrepreneurs to launch successful businesses across Canada.
The Black Entrepreneurship Loan Fund is a partnership between the Government, Black-led business organizations, and several financial institutions. It will provide loans up to $250,000 to Black business owners and entrepreneurs across the country. The program will open May 2021.
$500 million in funding to Heritage Canada to support artists, creators and athletes. This funding will help artists, athletes and cultural organizations with wage supports and liquidity.
For CSJ 2020, the Department introduced temporary flexibilities to respond to the needs of employers and youth in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. The program will continue to offer these temporary flexibilities for 2021 in order to continue to support employers and youth. The following temporary flexibilities will be in place for CSJ 2021:
- Wage subsidies: Funded public and private sector employers will be eligible to receive a wage subsidy reimbursement of up to 75% of the provincial or territorial minimum hourly wage. Under regular rules, private and public sector employers are only eligible to receive up to 50% of the provincial or territorial minimum wage.
- Part-time employment: All funded employers may offer part-time placements (for example, fewer than 30 hours per week). Under regular rules, all CSJ-funded employment has to be full time (a minimum of 30 hours per week).
- Employment period: All funded employers may offer job placements between April 26, 2021 and February 26, 2022. Under regular rules, all CSJ-funded positions have to be completed during the summer months.
- Changes to project and job activities: All funded employers may amend project and job activities if the proposed project is impacted by COVID-19 restrictions after an agreement is signed. In such cases, the employer should contact Service Canada to discuss potential amendments. All changes must be approved by Service Canada.
If you were receiving CERB, you may be eligible for one of the new recovery benefits listed below retroactive to September 27, 2020, and available until September 25, 2021.
- Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB)
- Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB)
- Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB)
This program is no longer available. If you continue to need support, please visit the Government of Canada COVDI-19 Economic Response Plan for information on how to access programs that are available (or review the programs on this webpage).
Up to $6.25 million to help cover operating costs during a period where revenues have been temporarily reduced due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Some eligibility criteria listed below:
- Your business is Canadian-based and in operation as of March 1, 2020
- Your business was directly or indirectly impacted by COVID‐19
- Your business must have been financially stable and viable prior to the current economic turmoil
- Subject to each financial institution’s underwriting criteria
The government is introducing the new Ontario Tourism and Hospitality Small Business Support Grant, which will provide an estimated $100 million in one-time payments of $10,000 to $20,000 to eligible small businesses in the tourism and hospitality sector. Application details will be available soon. Note: Any small businesses that received the Ontario Small Business Support Grant will not be eligible for this new grant.
The Start Company Plus provides funding up to $5,000, one-on-one advice from a Small Business Advisor and 6 biweekly coaching sessions for businesses in their first 5 years in business.
Eligible small business and registered charity customers may qualify for a one-time CEAP-SB credit for the electricity or natural gas charges that are overdue on the date of their application for CEAP-SB, up to a maximum of $1,500.
Businesses that are, or were, required to shut down or significantly restrict services due to provincial public health measures can apply for rebates, provided in the form of grants, to help with their fixed costs. Businesses struggling to pay their energy bills as a result of COVID-19 may also be eligible for the COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program for Small Business (CEAP-SB), which you can apply to through your utility provider.
The Ontario government is investing $105 million through the new Community Building Fund to support non-profit tourism, culture, sport and recreation organizations. The funding will be used to help these non-profits recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and meet the needs of their communities. The operating stream of the Community Building Fund will open for applications on March 31, 2021, while the fund’s capital stream will open later in 2021.
Job-protected leave for employees who are in isolation/quarantine or taking care of family or children due to school/daycare closures.
Municipal and Local Measures
In support of COVID-19 recovery, the City of Burlington is permitting Temporary Outdoor Patios through a streamed lined process until October 31, 2021. The City of Burlington is reimbursing the building permit fee for restauranteurs wanting to install a temporary tent/structure on their patio.
Property owners that are experiencing financial hardship directly related to COVID-19 and unable to pay property taxes by the regularly scheduled tax due dates can apply for a deferred pre-authorized monthly payment plan if they meet eligibility criteria. Equal monthly withdrawals will allow for the property taxes to be paid in full by December 1, 2021. Property owners may choose which month they would like to start the pre-authorized monthly payments. The options for start dates are April 1, May 1, June 1 or July 1.
Property owners with an unpaid balance on their account from March 1, 2020 onward can include this balance in the pre-authorized monthly payment plan. Immediately following enrollment, penalty/interest is suspended for the duration of the deferral as long as payments are made.
The monthly withdrawal amount is calculated by taking an estimate of the total 2021 tax year levy plus any eligible 2020 tax year balance. This total amount will be divided over the number of monthly withdrawals based on the start date, to the last withdrawal on Dec. 1, 2021. Read more.
The Digital Service Squad is part of the Ontario Business Improvement Area Association’s (OBIAA) newly introduced Digital Main Street program. The Squad is composed of trained specialists who will introduce you to the digital tools and technologies businesses need today to stay competitive and grow. These resources are particularly important with the advent of physical distancing and mask laws.
The Squad will first conduct a complimentary audit of your digital presence, then help you develop a Digital Transformation Plan. A $2,500 grant is available to help you purchase equipment and services necessary to implement your plan.
DSS services can include:
- Training you or your staff on a basic website build.
- Improving your existing online presence (through a Google My Business account, Social Media channels, 360º photos and more).
- Introducing you to Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM) techniques.
- Setup of E-commerce, Point of Sale (POS) and Customer Database programs.
Additional grant amounts may also be available.