Economic Relief for SMEs

We understand the financial hardship that members of our community are facing arising from the COVID-19 crisis. Over the past few months, 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.

Federal Measures

Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program (HASCAP) Guarantee

Businesses heavily impacted by COVID-19 can access guaranteed, low-interest loans of $25,000 to $1 million to cover operational cash flow needs.

Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS)

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 6 (August 2 to August 29, 2020) is February 25, 2021.  Applications for claim period 12 (January 17 to February 13, 2021) are now open.

Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF)

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.

Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS)

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.

Black Entrepreneurship Loan Fund

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. Details to come.

Emergency Support Fund for Cultural, Heritage and Sport Organizations

$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.

Changes to Canada Summer Jobs Program

Increase to the wage subsidy, so that employers can also receive up to 100% of the provincial or territorial minimum hourly wage for each employee, including additional flexibility for hiring

Transition from CERB to Employment Insurance (EI)

If you were receiving CERB, you may be eligible for one of the new recovery benefits (CRB, CRCB, CRSB listed above) retroactive to September 27, 2020, and available until September 25, 2021.

Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) to Help Workers and Businesses

No longer available, please review the measures put in place above. 

  • CERB payments of up to $2,000 per month for up to 4 months to help employees and self-employed individuals who lose their income because of COVID-19 (work shortage, illness or taking care of their children) to be extended for an awdditional 8 weeks (ending on October 3rd, 2020).

PM Announces Support for Small Businesses Facing Impacts of COVID-19

  • Businesses will be eligible for up to a 75% wage subsidy (Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy – CEWS) if they experience at least a 15% revenue reduction in March resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, retroactive to March 15, 2020; for April and May, the revenue reduction threshold is 30%
  • 100% refund for certain employer-paid contributions for eligible employees
  • Businesses, including self-employed individuals, will be allowed to defer all Goods and Services Tax/Harmonized Sales Tax (GST/HST) payments until June, as well as customs duties owed for imports
  • Canada Emergency Business Account will provide up to $25 billion to eligible financial institutions (applications open April 9) to provide government-guaranteed, interest-free loans of up to $40,000 to small businesses

Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan

  • Canada Revenue Agency will allow all businesses to defer, until after August 31, 2020, the payment of any income tax amounts owing on or after March 18 and before September 2020
  • The government will purchase up to $50 billion of insured mortgage pools through the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) to help facilitate continued lending to Canadian consumers and businesses
  • Small and Medium Enterprise Loan and Guarantee program established to enable lending, supported through Export Development Canada (EDC)
  • Co-Lending Program will bring the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) together with financial institutions to co-lend term loans to SMEs for their operational cash flow requirements
  • EI Work Sharing adjustment program created to help employers and employees avoid layoffs when a temporary reduction in workload is beyond the control of the employer

Canada Outlines Measures to Support the Economy and the Financial Sector

  • Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) established to allow BDC and EDC to provide more than $10 billion of additional support to businesses

View all Federal Government announcements

Provincial Measures

Ontario Small Business Support Grant 

The new Ontario Small Business Support Grant will help small businesses that are required to close or significantly restrict services under the new Provincewide shutdown. The grant will provide a minimum of $10,000 and up to $20,000 to eligible businesses.

Ontario’s Main Street Relief Grant 

One-time grants of up to $1,000 to cover unexpected costs of personal protective equipment.

COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program for Small Business (CEAP-SB)

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.

Property Tax and Energy Rebates

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.

Ontario’s Action Plan: Responding to COVID-19

  • Deferral of $6 billion of provincially administered taxes (from April 1 to August 31)
  • Deferral of $1.9 billion of Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) premiums for employers for 6 months
  • Deferral of $1.8 billion in property taxes for provincial education tax purposes for 90 days to assist municipal partners and property owners
  • Postponement of the 2021 property tax reassessment
  • A retroactive reduction of the Employer Health Tax (EHT) and temporary increase of the exemption from $490,000 to $1 million
  • Creation of the new Regional Opportunities Investment Tax Credit
  • Energy rate reductions for small business, farm, and residential consumers

Employment Standards Amendment Act (Infectious Disease Emergencies)

  • Job-protected leave for employees who are in isolation/quarantine or taking care of family or children due to school/daycare closures

View all Provincial Government announcements

City of Burlington

Temporary Outdoor Patios: Burlington City Council Approves Bylaw Amendments and Program Changes

In support of COVID-19 recovery, the City of Burlington is permitting Temporary Outdoor Patios through a streamed lined process until Oct. 31, 2021. Temporary outdoor patios on private property are permitted in association with a legally existing restaurant in a non-residential zone in accordance with By-law 2020.422, and amendment to the Zoning By-law which includes a temporary use by-law and by-law to regulate temporary outdoor patios.

Team Burlington, City of Burlington and POST Promise Partner to Launch the Burlington Safe Restart Program

Program provided eligible small businesses with grants of up to $2500 to purchase PPE equipment and/or renovate their physical space to adhere to reopening guidelines. Review first-round and second-round recipients.

Burlington Approves Interim Property Tax Relief

  • No penalty will be charged on the April 21 property tax installment for all property owners
  • No month-end interest will be charged in April and May
  • No returned payment admin fill will be charged by the City (ex. Insufficient funds, stop payments)
  • Next tax payment is not due until June 30, 2020
  • Final billing installment dates have been moved to August and October to provide additional time for the two remaining property tax installments

Council Considering Tax Relief for Businesses and Residents

City offers free Transit, Closes City Hall

City Waives Downtown Parking fees

View all the City of Burlington’s announcements

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