COVID-19 Federal & Provincial Government Resources

Published March 23, 2020

This page will be updated as new information becomes available. We encourage you to check back on a regular basis to stay informed.

Government Relief Measures – Federal & Provincial

Restaurants Canada is engaging with governments across the country to ensure the concerns of the foodservice community are addressed as part of evolving responses to COVID-19. Below is a summary of current relief measures at the federal and provincial levels.

On March 27, Prime Minister Trudeau announced more help for small and medium-sized businesses to keep employees on the payroll during the COVID-19 crisis. These relief measures included:

  • a 75 per cent wage subsidy (backdated to March 15, 2020)
  • guaranteed bank loans of up to $40,000 for small businesses which will be interest-free for the first year.
  • Businesses will be permitted to delay until June any GST and HST payments as well as duties and import taxes that become payable.

Details are expected to be made available on Monday, March 30th.

Support to businesses include:

LOANS & MORTGAGES

TAXES & OTHER GOVERNMENT PAYMENTS

LABOUR

The Canada Emergency Response Benefit replaces the previously announced Emergency Care Benefit and the Emergency Support Benefit.

PUBLIC HEALTH RESOURCES

For further information on COVID-19 coronavirus, we recommend calling the Public Health Agency of Canada’s (PHAC) Novel Coronavirus information line at 1-833-784-4397 or visiting the Government of Canada’s COVID-19 resource page. This page includes key updates, guidance documents and information for employees on symptoms. (English / French)

  • Subscribe to PHAC’s COVID-19 Public Health Updates (English / French)
  • Information on Risk Assessments for Mass Gatherings (English / French)

On March 17, the Alberta government declared a State of Public Health Emergency. Take-out, delivery or drive-through service is permitted. Sit-down restaurants, cafés, coffee shops, food courts and other food-serving facilities, including those with a minors-allowed liquor license, are limited to 50 per cent capacity to a maximum of 50 people. Licensed facilities will also be permitted to deliver liquor. Please reference the AGLC fact sheet (PDF) on this measure.

Provincial support measures are available to support local businesses, employers and employees.

RENT / UTILITIES

Commercial landlords are encouraged to pass savings on to their tenants through reduced or deferred payments to help employers pay their employees and stay in business.

Residential, farm and small commercial customers can defer electricity and natural gas bill payments for the next 90 days to ensure no one will be cut off, regardless of the service provider.

TAXES & OTHER GOVERNMENT PAYMENTS

Corporate income tax balances and instalment payments will be deferred from March 19 until August 31, 2020 to increase employers’ access to cash so they can pay employees, address debts and continue operations.

Collection of non-residential education property tax for businesses will be deferred for 6 months.

LABOUR

Eligible working Albertans can receive a one-time emergency isolation support payment of $1,146.

Small, medium and large private sector employers can defer WCB premium payments until 2021.

  • For small and medium businesses, the government will cover 50% of the 2020 premium when it is due in 2021 – saving businesses $350 million.
  • Large employers will have their 2020 WCB premium payments deferred until 2021, at which time their premiums will be due.

Employers who have already paid WCB premiums in 2020 are eligible for a rebate or credit.

General provincial health information about COVID-19

The government of British Columbia’s priority is to provide and ensure our province is positioned to effectively respond to the pandemic. $1.5 billion in provincial funding will support economic stimulus once the pandemic has passed, particularly for hard hit parts of the economy such as tourism, hospitality and the culture sectors.

As of March 21st, liquor primary and food primary licensees in BC that are permitted to remain open during the current health crisis are authorized to sell and deliver packaged liquor of all types from the service area for off-site consumption to patrons with the purchase of a meal, subject to new terms and conditions for these purposes. A new policy allows drivers until April 20th to get their Serving it Right certification.

RENT / UTILITIES

A number of property classes will see school tax reduced by 50%. This will allow immediate relief and allow commercial landlords to immediately pass on savings to their tenants with triple-net leases.

TAXES & OTHER GOVERNMENT PAYMENTS

Effective immediately, B.C. is extending filing and payment deadlines for the following taxes until September 30, 2020:

  • Employer health tax
  • Provincial sales tax (including municipal and regional district tax*)
  • Carbon tax
  • Motor fuel tax
  • Tobacco tax

New provincial sales tax measures announced in budget on e-commerce and sweetened carbonated beverages that were to be implemented in July will be delayed with an implementation decision by September 30, 2020.

LABOUR

Find out what you must do if employees fall ill, are absent from work or your business is unexpectedly disrupted.

WorkSafeBC resources for employers

General provincial health information about COVID-19

Information for Workplaces and Employees in Manitoba.

TAXES & OTHER GOVERNMENT PAYMENTS

Manitoba has extended the April and May tax filing deadlines until June 22, 2020 for small and medium businesses with monthly RST remittances of no more than $10,000. Additionally, businesses that file on a quarterly basis that have a due date of April 20, 2020 have had the due date extended to June 22, 2020. Please see this bulletin for full details.

General provincial health information about COVID-19

On March 24, the Government of New Brunswick announced assistance to support New Brunswick businesses.

COVID-19 Guidance for Businesses

LOANS & MORTGAGES

Deferring interest and principal payments on existing loans:

  • The Government of New Brunswick will defer loan and interest repayments for up to six months on existing provincial loans.
  • The deferral can be requested by contacting the department that issued the loan.

New operating loans for small business

  • Loans will be up to $200,000.
  • Payments of interest and principal will not be required during the first 12 months.

RENT / UTILITIES

The New Brunswick emergency provision protects restaurants and other commercial tenants from eviction (Section 19):

“No commercial landlord shall give any tenant any sort of notice to quit, re-enter or re-possess demised premises or exercise any right of distress, until May 31, 2020 for non-payment of rent that came due after March 19, 2020.”

TAXES & OTHER GOVERNMENT PAYMENTS

Waiving late penalties on property taxes:

  • Though business property taxes must be paid by May 31, late penalties will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis

LABOUR

  • WorkSafeNB has announced assessment premiums related to employer payrolls for March, April and May will be deferred for three months without interest charges.

General provincial health information about COVID-19

TAXES & OTHER GOVERNMENT PAYMENTS

WorkplaceNL is deferring the collection of assessment payments from employers until June 30, 2020, and waiving interest charges or penalties.

The deferral will be applied to all existing payment plans and post-dated cheques. Employers do not need to contact WorkplaceNL.

This is not a permanent reduction in assessments payable, but a temporary postponement of payments. Employers will be able to revise their payroll estimates, used to calculate their assessment payable, prior to their payments being reinstated.

General provincial health information about COVID-19

The Province of Nova Scotia is offering support for people and businesses who are facing hardship because of COVID-19.

LOANS & MORTGAGES

  • Government will defer payments until June 30 for all government loans, including those under the Farm Loan Board, Fisheries and Aquaculture Loan Board, Jobs Fund, Nova Scotia Business Fund, Municipal Finance Corp. and Housing Nova Scotia.
  • Changes to the Small Business Loan Guarantee Program, administered through credit unions, include deferring principal and interest payments until June 30, enhancing the program to make it easier for businesses to access credit up to $500,000, and for those who might not qualify for a loan, government will guarantee the first $100,000.

RENT

The Nova Scotia government is encouraging retail and commercial landlords to defer lease payments for the next three months for businesses that had to close directly due to the public health order. Landlords who participate by granting such businesses a three month deferral and register by April 3 will be able to claim losses of up to $5,000 per month, if the renting business does not continue operating. Landlords are not permitted to change locks or seize property of businesses who cannot pay rent, if the business closed directly because of COVID-19 public health orders.
Here are instructions and a sample Rent Deferral letter for a Gross Lease (PDF) and a Net Lease (PDF) which you can complete and submit to your landlord.

TAXES & OTHER GOVERNMENT PAYMENTS

  • Government will defer payments until June 30 for small business renewal fees, including business registration renewal fees and workers compensation premiums (a list of fees will be posted online early next week).
  • Small businesses which do business with the government will be paid within five days instead of the standard 30 days.

LABOUR

  • Ensuring more Nova Scotians can access the internet to work from home, by providing $15 million as an incentive to providers to speed up projects under the Internet for Nova Scotia Initiative and complete them as soon as possible.

Halifax Municipal updates

General provincial health information about COVID-19

Ontario’s Action Plan: Responding to COVID-19 outlines the government’s $17 billion response to ensure our health care system, communities and economy are positioned to weather the challenges ahead.

Ontario is making $10 billion available to improve cash flows for people and businesses through tax and other deferrals.

Supports for businesses include:

RENT / UTILITIES

  • Electricity cost relief as the government sets electricity prices for time-of-use customers at the lowest rate, known as the off-peak price, 24 hours a day for 45 days

TAXES & OTHER GOVERNMENT PAYMENTS

  • A five-month interest and penalty-free period for businesses to make payments for the majority of provincially administered taxes, including Employer Health, Tobacco and Gas Tax, beginning April 1, 2020.
  • Deferring the upcoming quarterly (June 30) remittance of education property tax to school boards by 90 days, allowing municipalities to defer these payments to employers.

LABOUR

General provincial health information about COVID-19

Guidance for food premises (PDF)

If you are self-employed, a worker or a business, there are now supports available for emergency relief.

LOANS & MORTGAGES

Emergency Working Capital Financing

A financing program has been developed to provide emergency working capital financing to assist PEI’s small business during this unprecedented economic disruption to business, caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. This new loan program is to assist 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 (including payroll, rent, utilities etc) with principal & interest payments deferred for a minimum of 12 months.

RENT / UTILITIES

Broadband Fund for Businesses

The Prince Edward Island Broadband Fund provides financial assistance to local Prince Edward Island internet service providers (ISPs), communities and businesses for the installation of infrastructure for enhanced broadband services. Through this program, partnerships and collaborations are encouraged and support is provided for increased service levels, improved access and consumer choice for connectivity.

LABOUR

Employee Gift Card Program

The Government of Prince Edward Island has partnered with Sobeys on the PEI Employee Gift Card Program.  This is a temporary program put in place to offer a $100 Sobeys gift value to any employee, living and working on Prince Edward Island, who has received a lay-off notice as a direct result of the impacts associated with COVID-19. The application form is to be completed by the employer, who will then distribute the gift card letters to affected employees.

General provincial health information about COVID-19

The following measures have been announced to help businesses impacted by COVID-19:

LOANS & MORTGAGES

  • The announcement of the Concerted temporary action program for businesses (PACTE) offering financial support to businesses experiencing difficulties obtaining supplies of raw materials or products (goods or services) or whose ability to deliver products is halted or reduced.
  • $2.5 billion dollars to help and support businesses with cash flow in loans and loan guarantees.
  • $50,000 minimum help, granted through Investissement Québec. Small and medium businesses from all sectors are eligible, as long as their cash flow problems are related to COVID-19.
  • Flexibility measures respecting the terms and conditions of loans already granted by Investissement Québec or through the local investment funds

TAXES & OTHER GOVERNMENT PAYMENTS

  • Alignment with federal government on extending individual business tax payment deadline to September 1, 2020.
  • One month deferral on residential and commercial taxes in Montreal.

General provincial health information about COVID-19

Provincial support is available to assist Saskatchewan businesses affected by COVID-19, including a Business Response Team: Call: 1-844-800-8688 or supportforbusiness@gov.sk.ca

Any licensed restaurants and taverns in Saskatchewan will be permitted to sell alcohol as an offsale according to SLGA regulations indefinitely, as per the province’s March 18th statement announcing a State of Emergency and Imposing Additional Measures.

RENT / UTILITIES

All Crown utilities will implement bill-deferral programs allowing a zero-interest bill deferral for up to six months for Saskatchewan customers whose ability to make bill payments may be impacted by the COVID-19 restrictions.

TAXES & OTHER GOVERNMENT PAYMENTS

Saskatchewan businesses who are unable to remit their PST due to cashflow concerns will have three-month relief from penalty and interest charges.

Businesses that are unable to file their provincial tax return(s) by the due date may submit a request for relief from penalty and interest charges on the return(s) affected.

Audit program and compliance activities have been suspended to allow businesses time to focus on the health and safety of their customers and staff, reduce impacts to their business operations, and minimize the spread of the virus through reduced audit travel.

For more information call the Saskatchewan tax inquiry line at 1-800-667-6102 or email us at SaskTaxInfo@gov.sk.ca

LABOUR

Managing Staffing and Leave

Information to help you manage staffing, work-sharing, layoffs and leave.

General provincial health information about COVID-19

General provincial health information about COVID-19

General provincial health information about COVID-19

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