New Announcements for COVID-19 Supports from the Burnaby Board of Trade
Including Wage Subsidy, Tax Deferrals

The federal government announced today a series of new measures to support businesses and individuals during COVID-19. See below for the individual updates or click here for the full government debrief.

The Burnaby Board of Trade is speaking with the federal government daily to get the latest changes and to emphasize the need for an unprecedented response to this unprecedented economic challenge. In addition, we are engaging with local and provincial officials to push for additional, immediate supports for business.
In addition, our COVID-19 resource page is the place to find the latest information and guides to support you and your employees with tools on health, safety and business continuity.
New Measures Announced Today:
10% Wage Subsidy for Businesses – Immediate subsidy for small businesses to cover 10% of wages for up to 3 months. This subsidy will cover a maximum of $1,375 per employee and $25,000 in total per employer and is available immediately.
Income Tax Deferrals – Business and individuals can now defer paying income tax amounts due until after August 31.
Emergency Care Benefit – Up to $900 bi-weekly for those not eligible for EI sickness benefits and who are quarantined, isolated, or caring for sick family
GST Bonus – A one-time bonus payment to low and modest income families
Enhanced Canada Child Benefit – Increasing the maximum amount by $300 per child
Emergency Support Benefit – More details are to be announced, but this $5 billion program looks to support self-employed individuals who are facing unemployment

Existing Measures and Supports:

Business Credit Availability Program – The federal government has announced $10 billion in funding for establishing a Business Credit Availability Program under the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) and Export Development Canada (EDC). This funding will be in the form of loans to support business operations, finance purchasing, and provide capital.
Business Development Bank – Funding for Businesses and Entrepreneurs
BDC will support businesses in getting bridge financing in the form of small business loans, working capital loans, or purchase order financing to help businesses weather the economic impacts of COVID-19.  Visit the BDC’s landing page here, which will be updated as details are released.
Export Development Canada – Funding for Exporters
EDC is also being empowered to make similar access to credit for Canada’s exporters, and is able to help provide capital and credit to support exporters doing business internationally. For information on this program, visit the EDC’s landing page here, or call their hotline at 1-800-229-0575
If your business needs to reduce hours and staff because of COVID-19 related challenges, the Employment Insurance (EI) program has been adjusted to apply in more situations. Questions can be directed to 1-833-381-2725 and information on specific programs is linked below.
EI Sickness Benefits
EI sickness benefits can provide income support to people unable to work due to a COVID-19 quarantine, or for a self-isolation when it is on the recommendation of a public health official, their employer, medical doctor, a nurse or a person in authority.
For COVID-19, the government is eliminating the usual waiting period, so EI benefits are payable for an entire 14-day quarantine/isolation. Applications for COVID-19 benefits are also being fast-tracked. Employees affected can get more information, and apply online here.
Work Sharing Program
If your business may need to reduce staff in light of economic challenges due to COVID-19, this EI program may allow you to avoid laying off valuable staff by reducing hours and sharing work amongst employees. In this case, EI benefits would then provide income support to the employees who are working fewer hours.
This program proved useful during the 2008 recession, and it has been adjusted to allow for up to 76 weeks of support and to eliminate the waiting period.  Program information can be found online here, and the applicant guide with all the details and application forms is available here.
General Employment Insurance
General employment insurance is still available to individuals who lose jobs through no fault of their own, which would include a business downturn due to COVID-19. The EI process, including eligibility rules and online application, is available online here.
The Burnaby Board of Trade has curated useful resources below to assist local businesses with accessing relevant information from the appropriate authorities and finding helpful tools to prepare for and mitigate potential business challenges.
More information available here