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 Government

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.

Commercial Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA)

  • Provides much-needed relief for small businesses experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19. It offers forgivable loans to eligible commercial property owners so that they can reduce the rent owed by their impacted small business tenants by at least 75% for the months of April, May and June 2020

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

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

  • 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).

Prime Minister 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


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
  • 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

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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