Navigating COVD-19: Government Updates

Published September 29, 2020

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

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.

Reopening Plans Tracker

Stay updated on how and when each province is planning to permit restaurants to reopen: This tracker provides weekly updates on government announcements and activities across the country related to lifting restrictions and reopening the economy.

Raising the Voice of Foodservice: Feeding the Recovery

Working together with Restaurants Canada, all levels of government can help foodservice businesses continue playing an integral part of the social and economic fabric of communities across the country. Together we can raise awareness about how critically important the restaurant industry is to Canada’s recovery from COVID-19. Learn more at: feedingtherecovery.ca.

Navigating COVID-19: Federal and provincial government resources

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. This subsidy will enable you to re-hire workers, help prevent further job losses, and ease your business back into normal operations.

 

Extending The Work-Sharing program

We have extended the maximum duration of the Work-Sharing program from 38 weeks to 76 weeks for employers affected by COVID-19. This measure will provide income support to employees eligible for Employment Insurance who agree to reduce their normal working hours because of developments beyond the control of their employers.

 

The Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA)

Provides interest-free, partially forgivable, loans of up to $60,000, to small businesses and not-for-profits, that have experienced diminished revenues due to COVID-19 but face ongoing non-deferrable costs, such as rent, utilities, insurance, taxes, and wages.

We have recently expanded CEBA to include an additional interest-free $20,000 loan, 50% of which would be forgivable if repaid by December 31, 2022.

This means the additional loan effectively increases CEBA loans from the existing $40,000 to $60,000 for eligible businesses, of which a total of $20,000 will be forgiven if the balance of the loan is repaid by December 31, 2022.

Business owners can apply for support until June 30, 2021, through their banks and credit unions.

 

The Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS)

Provides a direct and easy-to-access rent and mortgage subsidy of up to 65% of eligible expenses to qualifying businesses, charities and non-profits. This support is available directly to tenants.

 

Lockdown Support

Qualifying organizations that have been significantly restricted by a mandatory public health order issued by a qualifying public health authority can receive an additional 25% of rent support through the Lockdown Support.

The combined effect of the rent subsidy and the Lockdown Support is that hard-hit businesses, non-profits, and charities subject to a lockdown can receive rent support of up to 90%

 

The Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program (HASCAP)

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

HASCAP is available to businesses that operate in sectors such as tourism and hospitality, restaurants, and those that primarily rely on in-person services.

The program is available at some participating financial institutions. Other participating financial institutions will deploy the program progressively over the days that follow.

For a full list of federal support for businesses, click here.

BANK SUPPORT PAGES

Below you will find direct links to the COVID-19 section of each of the banks below and information on how you can get in touch with them.

GRANTS

Small and Medium Enterprise Relaunch Grant

Funding for small- and medium-sized businesses, co-ops, and non-profits impacted by COVID-19 to offset a portion of their costs.

 

TESTING & VACCINES

Rapid Testing Program

Employers and service providers can apply to implement a rapid COVID-19 testing program in their organization.

 

Providing paid COVID-19 vaccination leave

All working Albertans are eligible for paid, job-protected leave to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

 

WCB Premium Payment Deferrals

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.

 

Small Business Advice

Talk to a small business strategist at Business Link for one-on-one coaching, advice, and information on COVID-19 resources and supports.

 

To connect with a Business Link strategist:

Submit your question online or contact them directly:

Toll free: 1-800-272-9675 (Canada only)

TTY: 1-800-457-8466 (For the deaf or hard of hearing)

Hours: 8:30 am to 4:30 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed weekends and statutory holidays)

 

Guidance Documents

Workplace guidance documents to help businesses reopen and resume operations safely.

 

Public Health Measures

Mandatory, provincewide restrictions are in effect to protect the health system and slow the spread of COVID-19.

For a full list of provincial support for businesses, click here.

B.C. Business COVID-19 Support Service

The B.C. Business COVID-19 Support Service provides information and support to business owners to help navigate challenges from COVID-19. 

Advisors are ready to help, Monday to Friday, 9 am to 5 pm.

Call 1-833-254-4357

Email: covid@smallbusinessbc.ca

 

COVID-19 Support for Businesses Guide

The COVID-19 Supports for Businesses Guide is a comprehensive resource about government and private sector financial supports.

This guide is updated regularly to reflect new supports and information.

<<Download Guide>> 

 

GRANTS

Small and Medium Sized Business Recovery Grant

The Small and Medium Sized Business Recovery Grant provides grants of $10,000 to $30,000 to support eligible B.C. businesses that employ between two and 149 B.C. residents or sole proprietorships and partnerships with fixed costs related to tangible assets, and have experienced declines in revenue since March 2020.

  • An additional $5,000 to $15,000 grant is available to eligible tourism-related businesses
  • As of March 4, 2021, a business is required to demonstrate only a 30% revenue loss in any one month between March 2020 to the point of application
  • The program runs until Aug. 31, 2021

 

Launch Online Grant Program

The Launch Online Grant program provides grants up to $7,500 to eligible B.C. businesses to create an online shop and/or improve their e-commerce experience to attract new local customers and expand to new markets.

  • The grant will pay for up to 75% of eligible expenses
  • Up to 30% of the grant funds are reserved for rural, Indigenous, Black and people of colour owned businesses
  • The funds must be used to hire B.C.-based companies to do the online store development

In response to a high number of applications, the B.C. government is investing an additional $30 million in the Launch Online Grant program.

Applications are open until September 30, 2021, or until the funds have been fully subscribed.

 

Circuit Breaker Business Relief Grant

The Circuit Breaker Business Relief Grant provides funding to businesses affected by the March 30, 2021 provincial health orders. It can help with expenses like rent, insurance, employee wages, maintenance, utilities or unexpected costs, such as the purchase of perishable goods.

The grant was recently expanded to provide up to $20,000 to eligible businesses. Businesses that already applied for or received the grant do not need to apply again. They will automatically receive the additional funding.

 

B.C. Increased Employment Incentive

The B.C. Increased Employment Incentive offers a refundable tax credit for all private-sector B.C. employers to encourage the creation of new jobs for B.C. workers or increased payroll for existing low or medium-income employees.

  • The tax credit is calculated at 15% of the amount that the employer’s qualifying B.C. remuneration exceeds the employer’s base B.C. remuneration
  • Remuneration increases over the last quarter of 2020 (October to December) are eligible
  • Applications are open

 

BC Employer Training Grant

The BC Employer Training Grant offers employers 100% of eligible training costs, up to a maximum of $10,000 per participant per fiscal year, to support British Columbians that are employed or have been employed in sectors impacted by COVID-19.

For a full list of provincial support for businesses, click here.

Latest Provincial Recovery Updates

Manitoba Economic Support Centre

Many businesses and not-for-profits in Manitoba are facing significant challenges due to COVID-19. If you’re one of them, the Manitoba Economic Support Centre is here for you.

Call us to learn more about provincial and federal support programs like wage subsidies, loans, rent assistance, hiring students, and the new Manitoba Gap Protection Program.

Dial 1-888-805-7554 today to speak with a service representative at the Manitoba Economic Support Centre.

Dine-in Restaurant Relief Program 

The Manitoba government has announced an additional $2 million to expand the Dine-in Restaurant Relief Program, administered by the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce in partnership with the Manitoba Restaurant and Foodservices Association.

The Dine-in Restaurant Relief Program was initially funded by a $5 million grant and was designed to provide a rebate to dine-in restaurants that shifted to a delivery model due to Critical (red) level restrictions of the #RestartMB Pandemic Response System.

For a full list of provincial support for businesses, click here.

Latest Provincial Recovery Updates

LOANS & MORTGAGES

Small business owners impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic can apply for working capital loans up to $100,000 through the NB Small Business Emergency Working Capital Program.

  • Accessible to small businesses employing 1 to 49 employees, including sole proprietors/self-employed, with sales of less than $10 million in the most recent fiscal year.
  • Examples of sectors that would benefit from this support include restaurants, full-time & seasonal tourism operations, service sectors, and self-employed business owners impacted directly by the pandemic.
  • The loans are funded by Government of New Brunswick and are administered by the Community Business Development Corporation (CBDC). Applications can be completed online.

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.

Small and Medium-Sized Enterprise Loan Guarantee Program

  • For Small and MediumSized Enterprises (SME’s). The program is to support the financing in the private sector through the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) and Export Development Canada (EDC). For more information click here.

Credit and Liquidity Support to the Agricultural and Agri-Food Sector

  • Provides credit to producers, agribusinesses and food processors. For more information click here.

Electricity Bill Payment Deferrals and Suspension of Disconnections for NonPayment

  • NB Power will suspend disconnections for nonpayment and defer electricity bill payments for residential and small business customers for up to 90 days. For more information, visit the NB Power website.
  • Saint John Energy customers are encouraged to contact the company to discuss payment options. For more information, visit the Saint John Energy website.
  • The City of Edmundston has put a number of measures in place for water, sewer and energy customers. For more information call the Finance Department at 506-739-2118.

TAXES & OTHER GOVERNMENT PAYMENTS

NB Small Business Recovery Grants

Eligible small businesses and employers in New Brunswick who have been impacted by COVID-19 are now able to apply for relief to the provincial government via a one-time grant.

For grant details and eligibility requirements, check out our FAQs and application checklist.

Government of New Brunswick Small Business Emergency Working Capital Program

The Government of New Brunswick and Community Business Development Corporations (CBDCs) understand the difficulties the COVID-19 pandemic has caused businesses in our communities.  As a result, the Government of New Brunswick has made funds available to the CBDC s to provide Small Business Emergency Working Capital to help provide relief for the impacts our communities are encountering as a result of this crisis.

Small business owners impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic can apply for working capital loans up to $100,000 through the Small Business Emergency Working Capital Program. 

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

Income Tax Payment Deferrals

  • All New Brunswick businesses may defer, until after August 31, 2020, the payment of any income tax amounts that become owing on or after March 18 and before September 2020. For more information click here.

Deferrals of Interest and Principal Payments on Existing GNB Loans

  • Defer loan and interest repayments for up to six months on existing provincial loans. This assistance is available, on a case-by-case basis, to any business that has a loan with GNB. For more information click here.

Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA)

  • Small businesses and not-for-profits who need access to the capital to help cover operating costs. For more information click here.

LABOUR

General provincial health information about COVID-19

Latest Provincial Recovery Updates

Guidance for Restaurants and Lounges

It is important to monitor the public health guidance from the Department of Health and Community Services as the situation can change quickly. Please check www.gov.nl.ca/covid-19, which is updated daily.

Guidance applicable to all workplaces including restaurants and lounges, can be found at https://www.gov.nl.ca/covid-19/files/Guidance-for-Workplaces.pdf. Licenced food premises must abide by the requirements of the provincial Food Premises Regulations.

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.

Latest Provincial Recovery Updates

Licensed establishments are now permitted to sell liquor products with takeout and delivery orders.

Home delivery of alcohol with food purchases for takeout or delivery is permitted by those licensed establishments that have a valid Food Safety Permit. Only employees of the licensee may deliver alcohol with food. More information for licensees (PDF).

RENT

Nova Scotia has introduced provisions to deal with uncooperative landlords.  The landlord will not be able to issue a Notice to Quit, to change locks or distraint under the Tenancies and Distress for Rent Act. Read more.

Rent Deferral Support Program Guidelines

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

  • Worker Emergency Bridge Fund: We’re contributing $20 million to help self-employed people and laid-off workers who don’t qualify for Employment Insurance. The government will provide a one-time payment of $1,000 to bridge the gap between layoffs and closures and the federal government’s Canada Emergency Response Benefit

  • Small Business Loan Guarantee ProgramThe Small Business Loan Guarantee Program is available for qualifying businesses.
  • Small Business Real Property Tax Rebate ProgramThe COVID-19 Small Business Real Property Tax Rebate Program will provide eligible businesses with a one-time rebate of $1,000 or 50% of property taxes paid for the last 6 months of the 2020-21 tax year.The program is for dine-in restaurants and drinking establishments, gyms and fitness establishments, and personal service businesses like salons, spas and body art establishments. Businesses must have either received the Nova Scotia Small Business Impact Grant (Part 1 or 2), have experienced a year-over-year decline in revenue of at least 30% for the period of 30 April 2020 to 31 January 2021, or be a new business established on or after 1 January 2020.

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

Latest Provincial Recovery Updates

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.

The Government has amended Regulation 719 under the Liquor Licence Act (LLA) to temporarily allow liquor sales licensees (i.e., licensed bars and restaurants) to sell beer, wine and spirits as part of food orders for takeout or delivery.  These changes are effective immediately and last until December 31, 2020.

Supports for businesses include:

Restaurant and food services health and safety during COVID-19

Find resources, best practices and information to help keep your workers safe and healthy, and your business in operation, during COVID-19.

Businesses: Get help with COVID-19 costs

Find out if your business is eligible for grants to help with the cost of property taxes, energy bills and extra support if you have to close or significantly restrict services because of provincial public health measures.

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.
  • Employer Health Tax reliefWe increased the Employer Health Tax (EHT) exemption from $490,000 to $1 million starting in 2020.Along with doubling the exemption, we doubled the installment threshold from $600,000 to $1.2 million starting with the 2021 tax year.Regional Opportunities Investment Tax CreditIf your corporation is building, renovating, or acquiring an eligible commercial or industrial building in a designated region in Ontario, you may be eligible to claim a tax credit of up to $90,000 in a year.In the 2021 Budget, Ontario announced that it will temporarily enhance this tax credit by investing an additional $61 million, resulting in total tax credit support of about $155 million by 2022–23.

    The tax credit will be available to claim on your corporate income tax return.

    Learn more about the tax credit and if your project qualifies.

    Jobs Training Tax Credit

    The temporary Ontario Jobs Training Tax Credit will help workers get the training they need.

    It will provide up to $2,000 to individuals with eligible training expenses in 2021. This measure would provide about $260 million in support to 230,000 Ontario individuals.

    Learn more about the tax credit.

LABOUR

For a full list of provincial support for businesses, click here.

Latest Provincial Recovery Updates

LOANS & MORTGAGES

Special Situation Fund

Available for businesses that don’t qualify for any federal program.

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 to 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.

TAXES & OTHER GOVERNMENT PAYMENTS

Apply for the Tourism Activation Grant

The intent of the Tourism Activation Grant program is to provide tourism businesses with a non-repayable financial contribution toward eligible expenses to assist with capital and/or maintenance costs associated with opening for the 2021 season.

COVID-19 Special Leave Fund

The COVID-19 Special Leave Fund is a temporary support for workers and self-employed people who are unable to work due to illness or COVID-19 testing or self-isolation requirements, and who do not qualify for the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit

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.

Employers: COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions

As part of the provincial response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Government has announced a new Emergency Contingency Fund as an initial step to help support Island businesses.

Tourism Assistance Loan Program

A funding program has been developed by the Province of PEI to support the PEI Tourism Operators through a joint partnership of Finance PEI and Tourism PEI.

Tourism Interest Relief Program

The Tourism Interest Relief Program announced by the Province of Prince Edward Island will provide assistance to Island tourism operators through a joint partnership of Finance PEI and Tourism PEI.

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 to 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.

Commercial Lease Rent Deferral Program

To support small and medium-sized businesses, landlords are encouraged to defer rent payments from their commercial tenants for 3 months, spreading the deferred rent amount over the rest of the lease term.

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.

Emergency Income Relief for the Self-Employed

The Emergency Income Relief Fund is a temporary program put in place to support the self-employed who have been significantly affected by COVID-19.

Emergency Relief – Worker Assistance Program

he Emergency Relief – Worker Assistance Program is a temporary program to provide financial support to employers to assist their employed workers who have been impacted by reduced hours at work as a result of COVID-19.

General provincial health information about COVID-19

Latest Provincial Recovery Updates

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

General provincial health information about COVID-19

For a full list of provincial support for businesses, click here.

Latest Provincial Recovery Updates

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 off-sale according to SLGA regulations indefinitely, as per the province’s March 18th statement announcing a State of Emergency and Imposing Additional Measures.

 

Saskatchewan Small Business Emergency Payment Program No. 2 (SSBEP 2)

The program provides financial assistance to small and medium-sized businesses that have been ordered to temporarily close or substantially curtail operations between December 1 and 31, 2020, January 1 and 31, February 1 and 28, and/or March 1 and 31, 2021 due to a public health order to control the transmission of COVID-19.

Saskatchewan Tourism Sector Support Program No. 2 (STSSP 2)

The STSSP 2 has a new eligibility period and provides financial assistance for tourism businesses that have seen a significant drop in sales revenue as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic

Re-Open Saskatchewan Training Subsidy (RSTS) Program

Funding to support training for businesses to avoid layoffs, maintain operations and prepare for the phased re-opening of Saskatchewan’s economy.

Saskatchewan Temporary Wage Supplement Program

The Saskatchewan Temporary Wage Supplement Program (STWSP) provides a temporary wage supplement to eligible workers employed by an eligible essential care facility. The temporary supplement is $400 for each four-week period, provided for two periods from November 19 to December 16, 2020 and December 17, 2020 to January 13, 2021.

Food Service Delivery Cap

The Government of Saskatchewan is temporarily capping delivery and online ordering fees charged to restaurants.

For a full list of provincial support for businesses, click here.

General provincial health information about COVID-19

General provincial health information about COVID-19

Restaurants Canada Digital

Nam dapibus nisl vitae elit fringilla rutrum. Aenean sollicitudin, erat a elementum rutrum, neque sem pretium metus, quis mollis nisl nunc et massa. Vestibulum sed metus in lorem tristique ullamcorper id vitae erat.

More from Restaurants Canada Digital

STAY IN THE KNOW

SIGN UP FOR RESTAURANT'S CANADA NEWSLETTER

RC Insider gives you snackable bites of must-read industry news and timely research, as well as useful tools and tips, every two weeks.