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

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.

Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan includes the following support to businesses:

LOANS & MORTGAGES

TAXES & OTHER GOVERNMENT PAYMENTS

The Canada Small Business Financing Program makes it easier for small businesses to get loans from financial institutions by sharing the risk with lenders (PDF Overview).

Government of Canada Overview of Services for Small Business: Find everything that the government can do for your business, all in one place. Download the PDF.

LABOUR

The Canada Emergency Response Benefit replaces the previously announced Emergency Care Benefit and the Emergency Support Benefit. For questions and answers on the Canada Emergency Response Benefit, click here.

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)

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.

Latest Provincial Recovery Updates

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

Additional financial support for Albertans and employers

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.

Alberta ESA announcement on providing more ESA flexibility.

LABOUR

Alberta Health has updated their Non-healthcare Workplace Guidance During COVID-19 document. Please find below a link to the revised document as well as a link to their Support for Employers and Employee page which contains this and other documents as well as orders issued.

Non-healthcare Workplace Guidance During COVID-19 document

Support for Employers and Employee page.

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.

Latest Provincial Recovery Updates

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.

Click here to see the relief measures implemented by BC Hydro as of April 1, 2020.

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

Latest Provincial Recovery Updates
Manitoba has now restricted restaurants to take-out and delivery.

The Manitoba government has authorized the sale of liquor with take out and delivery meal service by licensed establishments.

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

Latest Provincial Recovery Updates

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

COVID-19 Guidance for Businesses

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 on 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.

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.”

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

Atlantic Lottery Corporation Inc. has been instructed by its provincial government shareholders to postpone collecting its share of video lottery terminal revenue for the one week period prior to the mandatory VLT shut down on March 15. This means that the amount of ALC’s share that it would have swept on March 17 was not swept and will be available to retailers across Atlantic Canada as temporary financial assistance during the mandatory VLT shut down.

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.

Remittance Deferral for GST, HST and Duties and Taxes on Imports

  • Businesses, including self-employed individuals, may defer all Goods and Services/Harmonized Sales Tax remittances until June 30, 2020, as well as customs duties owed for imports. 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

  • The New Brunswick Workers Emergency Income Benefit – A one-time income benefit of $900 is available for workers or self-employed people residing in New Brunswick who have lost their job due to the state of emergency.
  • WorkSafeNB has announced assessment premiums related to employer payrolls for March, April and May will be deferred for three months without interest charges.
  • Temporary Wage Subsidy for Employers: Eligible employers include individuals (excluding trusts), non-profit organizations, registered charities, or Canadian controlled private corporations (CCPC) who have an existing business number and payroll program account with the CRA on March 18, 2020; and pay salary, wages, bonuses, or other remuneration to an employee.

General provincial health information about COVID-19

Latest Provincial Recovery Updates

TAXES & OTHER GOVERNMENT PAYMENTS

All tax returns falling under the purview of the Revenue Administration Act and Regulations, which would otherwise be due March 20, 2020, to May 31, 2020, are now due June 23, 2020. The tax returns applicable to this extension include:

  • Gasoline Tax
  • Carbon Tax
  • Health and Post-Secondary Education Tax
  • Insurance Companies Tax
  • Mining and Mineral Rights Tax
  • Tax on Insurance Premiums
  • Tobacco Tax

For monthly filers, this means they will have the option to extend the filing and remittance of tax amounts for the February, March and April 2020 reporting periods to June 23, 2020.

Atlantic Lottery Corporation Inc. has been instructed by its provincial government shareholders to postpone collecting its share of video lottery terminal revenue for the one week period prior to the mandatory VLT shut down on March 15. This means that the amount of ALC’s share that it would have swept on March 17 was not swept and will be available to retailers across Atlantic Canada as temporary financial assistance during the mandatory VLT shut down.

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).

LOANS & MORTGAGES

  • The 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, the government will guarantee the first $100,000.

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.

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 the property of businesses who cannot pay rent if the business closed directly because of COVID-19 public health orders.

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

  • 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, the government will guarantee the first $100,000.
  • Small businesses that do business with the government will be paid within five days instead of the standard 30 days.
  • 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 Impact Grant: Through this new $20-million program, eligible small businesses and social enterprises will receive a grant of 15 per cent of their revenue from sales, either from April 2019 or February 2020, up to a maximum of $5,000. This flexible, one-time, upfront grant can be used for any purpose necessary. Funding for both programs will come from a new $50 million fund administered by Dalhousie University.

Atlantic Lottery Corporation Inc. has been instructed by its provincial government shareholders to postpone collecting its share of video lottery terminal revenue for the one week period prior to the mandatory VLT shut down on March 15. This means that the amount of ALC’s share that it would have swept on March 17 was not swept and will be available to retailers across Atlantic Canada as temporary financial assistance during the mandatory VLT shut down.

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 order for takeout or delivery.  These changes are effective immediately and last until December 31, 2020.

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

Guidance for food premises (PDF)

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

Atlantic Lottery Corporation Inc. has been instructed by its provincial government shareholders to postpone collecting its share of video lottery terminal revenue for the one week period prior to the mandatory VLT shut down on March 15. This means that the amount of ALC’s share that it would have swept on March 17 was not swept and will be available to retailers across Atlantic Canada as temporary financial assistance during the mandatory VLT shut down.

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

  • Alignment with the federal government on extending the 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

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.

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

Financial support plan for employers

Saskatchewan businesses who are unable to remit their PST due to cash flow 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 on 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

The Saskatchewan Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) is introducing additional relief measures for employers who are unable to pay their WCB premium payments. Effective April 1 until June 30, 2020, the WCB will waive penalties and interest charges for late premium payments.

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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