Information for Businesses, Charities, Employees, Students and Public Servants

Support for Businesses:

For the most up to date information please see the Economic Response Plan website or this page with Resources for Canadian Businesses

   The Government of Canada is providing support to businesses so that they can comply with public health guidelines about closing public spaces and not need to lay off employees during this extraordinary time.

Update for May 2020

Canada Emergency Commercial rent Assistance 

Government of Canada has now opened applications for the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance for commercial landlords to offer rent relief for Canadian small businesses. this will ensure small businesses stay afloat as we get through this crisis together. 


Support for small Businesses during COVID-19

  •    The government of Canada has now extended the eligibility criteria for the Canada Emergency Business Account to include many owner-operated small business.

Large Employers Emergency Financial Facility (LEEFF) 

  •     On May 11, 2020, the Prime Minister announced the establishment of (LEEFFF) to provide bridge financing to Canada's largest employers, whose needs during the pandemic are not being met through conventional financing. The objective of this support is to help protect Canadian jobs, help Canadian businesses weather the current economic downturn, and avoid bankruptcies. The program will require strict limits to dividends, share buy-backs, and executive pay. 

Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy

The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy would apply at a rate of 75 per cent of the first $58,700 normally earned by employees – representing a benefit of up to $847 per week. The program would be in place for a 12-week period, from March 15 to June 6, 2020. Extended until late summer to ease the impact of Covid19.
  *  Eligible employers who suffer a drop in gross revenues of at least 15 percent in March, or 30 percent in April or May, when compared to the same month in 2019, would be able to access the subsidy.
  *  Eligible employers would include employers of all sizes and across all sectors of the economy, with the exception of public sector entities.
  *  For non-profit organizations and registered charities similarly affected by a loss of revenue, the government will continue to work with the sector to ensure the revenue test is appropriate to their circumstances.
  *  An eligible employer’s entitlement to this wage subsidy will be based entirely on the salary or wages actually paid to employees. All employers would be expected to at least make best efforts to top up salaries to 100% of the maximum wages covered.
  *  Eligible employers would be able to access the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy by applying through the Canada Revenue Agency My Business Account portal.
  *  Applications will be accepted on Monday April 27th, and payments can be retroactive to March 15th 2020.

On April 24 2020 the Government announced that the federal government has reached an agreement in principle with all provinces and territories to implement the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) for small businesses. This program will lower rent by 75 per cent for small businesses that have been affected by COVID-19.

  • The program will provide forgivable loans to qualifying commercial property owners to cover 50 per cent of three monthly rent payments that are payable by eligible small business tenants who are experiencing financial hardship during April, May, and June. 
  • The loans will be forgiven if the mortgaged property owner agrees to reduce the eligible small business tenants’ rent by at least 75 per cent for the three corresponding months under a rent forgiveness agreement, which will include a term not to evict the tenant while the agreement is in place. The small business tenant would cover the remainder, up to 25 per cent of the rent.
  • Impacted small business tenants are businesses paying less than $50,000 per month in rent and who have temporarily ceased operations or have experienced at least a 70 per cent drop in pre-COVID-19 revenues. This support will also be available to non-profit and charitable organizations.


On April 16th the Government of Canada announced its intent to introduce the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) for small businesses. The program will seek to provide loans, including forgivable loans, to commercial property owners who in turn will lower or forgo the rent of small businesses for the months of April (retroactive), May, and June.
to protect Canadian jobs and provide more support to businesses and organizations dealing with the economic impacts of COVID-19, the Government of Canada will provide over $1.7 billion for targeted measures, including:
·      $675 million to give financing support to small and medium-sized businesses that are unable to access the government’s existing COVID-19 support measures, through Canada’s Regional Development Agencies.
·      $287 million to support rural businesses and communities, including by providing them with much-needed access to capital through the Community Futures Network.
·      $500 million to establish a COVID-19 Emergency Support Fund for Cultural, Heritage and Sport Organizations to help address the financial needs of affected organizations within these sectors so they can continue to support artists and athletes. This measure is consistent with the government’s other existing COVID-19 support measures for wages and fixed costs for organizations.
·      $250 million to assist innovative, early-stage companies that are unable to access existing COVID-19 business support, through the National Research Council of Canada’s Industrial Research Assistance Program.
·      $20.1 million in support for Futurpreneur Canada to continue to support young entrepreneurs across Canada who are facing challenges due to COVID-19. The funding will allow Futurpreneur Canada to provide payment relief for its clients for up to 12 months.


The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today announced additional new measures to support small businesses dealing with the economic impacts of the pandemic. These measures will help Canadian businesses protect the jobs that Canadians depend on, and pay their workers and bills during these difficult times.

To further support small businesses, the Government of Canada will:
·      Announce a 75 per cent wage subsidy for qualifying businesses, for up to 3 months, retroactive to March 15, 2020. This will help businesses to keep and return workers to the payroll.
·      Allow businesses, including self-employed individuals, to defer all Goods and Services Tax/Harmonized Sales Tax (GST/HST) payments until June, as well as customs duties owed for imports. This measure is the equivalent of providing up to $30 billion in interest-free loans to Canadian businesses. It will help businesses so they can continue to pay their employees and their bills, and help ease cash-flow challenges across the country.
·      Launch the new Canada Emergency Business Account. This program will provide up to $25 billion to eligible financial institutions so they can provide interest-free loans to small businesses. These loans – guaranteed and funded by the Government of Canada – will ensure that small businesses have access to the capital they need, at a zero per cent interest rate, so they can pay for rent and other important costs over the next number of months.
·      Launch the new Small and Medium-sized Enterprise Loan and Guarantee program that will enable up to $40 billion in lending, supported through Export Development Canada and Business Development Bank, for guaranteed loans when small businesses go to their financial institutions to help weather the impacts of COVID-19. This is intended for small and medium-sized companies that require greater help to meet their operational cash flow requirements.

Previously announced support to business

You can find more information in this Backgrounder.

Under the Canada Emergency Response Benefit, you do NOT need to lay off your employees. If you send them home without pay, they are eligible for the benefit of $2000 a month.
We are establishing a Business Credit Availability Program through the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) and Export Development Canada (EDC). Under this program, BDC and EDC will cooperate with private sector lenders to coordinate financing and credit insurance solutions for Canadian businesses. This will allow BDC and EDC to provide more than $10 billion of additional support to businesses. There is also support for businesses in Ottawa through FedNor Ontario.
Should a business need to reduce hours or numbers of employees, they can access the EI Work Sharing Program, which provides EI benefits to workers who agree to reduce their normal working hour as a result of developments beyond the control of their employers. We have extended the eligibility of such agreements to 76 weeks, eased eligibility requirements, and streamlined the application process.
The Canada Revenue Agency is also deferring all personal and business tax payments to the end of August 2020.
The Government is also providing small employers a temporary wage subsidy up to $1,375 per employee for a period of three months. Businesses will be able to benefit immediately from this support by reducing their remittances of income tax withheld on their employees’ remuneration. Employers benefiting from this measure will include corporations eligible for the small business deduction, as well as non-profit organizations and charities.

Canada's Plan to Mobilize Industry

The Government of Canada announced $250 million for farmers and food-related businesses, including $125 million for cattle, hog, and livestock farmers; $77.5 million for food processing; $50 million to redistribute surplus food to local food organizations that serve vulnerable Canadians; and other programs to avoid food waste and ensure food availability to all Canadians.    

The Government of Canada is investing $2 billion under Canada’s Plan to Mobilize Industry to fight COVID-19 to support diagnostic testing and to purchase ventilators and protective personal equipment, including for bulk purchases with provinces and territories. Personal protective equipment includes things like more masks and face shields, gowns, and hand sanitizer.
If you are a Canadian manufacturer or supplier who can provide products and services to help Canada combat COVID-19, or you can retool your manufacturing line or scale up production of critical health and safety supplies and equipment, including personal protective equipment, sanitization products, diagnostic and testing products, and disease tracking technology, please fill out this online form. We want to hear from you.




Employment Insurance, Sick Benefits and Income Replacement for all workers

Ottawa Public Health has issued a generalized sick note for anyone who has been asked to self-isolate.
The Government of Canada will provide support to workers in quarantine or who have been directed to self-isolate who will claim Employment Insurance (EI) sickness benefits by waiving the mandatory one-week waiting period. If you have already applied for the benefit and need the one-week waiting period removed call 1-833-381-2725.
The Canada Revenue Agency has established the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB). Because our Employment Insurance system was not designed for the level of demand we are currently facing, individuals may choose to apply for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit instead, regardless of whether they are eligible for Employment Insurance. Those whose EI runs out can also apply for CERB.

The new Canada Emergency Response Benefit

We will provide a taxable benefit of $2,000 a month for up to 4 months to workers who have earned at least $5,000 in 2019 or in the year prior to their application from any of a combination of the following sources: employment, self employment, Employment Insurance maternity and parental benefits and are without employment or self-employment income for at least 14 consecutive days in a four-week period, or whose income has been reduced so that they are earning less than $1000 per month, for reasons related to COVID-19, including if they have temporarily stopped working, lost their job, are sick or in quarantine, or need to care for a child or a family member. These include:

  • workers who must stop working due to COVID-19 and do not have access to paid leave or other income support.
  • workers who are sick, quarantined, or taking care of someone who is sick with COVID-19.
  • working parents who must stay home without pay to care for children that are sick or need additional care because of school and daycare closures.
  • workers who still have their employment but are not being paid because there is currently not sufficient work and their employer has asked them not to come to work.
  • wage earners and self-employed individuals, including contract workers, who would not otherwise be eligible for Employment Insurance.

These Benefits passed Parliament on March 25th 2020 as past of Bill C-13.  Eligible workers can apply now (depending on your birthday) and can be paid retroactively to March 15th.

  Applicants for the CERB will be directed to apply through one of two service options:
·      Canadians who would generally be eligible for EI benefits will be directed to apply through Service Canada through Appliweb; or
·      Canadians who would generally not be eligible for EI benefits will be directed to apply through the MyAccount secure portal or CRA’s automated toll-free line at 1-800-959-2019.

To apply for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit go to


Public Servants:

The Government of Canada has asked managers to be as flexible as possible around telework and alternative work arrangements, while also ensuring continuity of services to Canadians. You can see the letter to Government of Canada employees here. Employees who are exhibiting symptoms should not come to work. No doctors note will be needed except in particular circumstances. If you are a public servant, including students, term and casual employees, under quarantine or have been told to self isolate, or you have underlying medical conditions, or you have child care responsibilities due to school closures and you can not make alternate arrangements, please work with your manager regarding tele-work options or leave with pay.
For more information and for updates as the situation evolves please click here.


Charities are eligible for the same wage subsidies and supports as business. At the same time, we recognize that many charities are facing increased demand at the same time that their human resources are being stretched. Non-profit organizations will be eligible for the same relief outlined above for businesses and employees, including work-sharing, tax deferrals and temporary wage subsidies. In addition, the Canada Revenue Agency Charities Directorate has suspended all operations including their call centre, registration, and audit activities until further notice. If your charity has a T3010 or Registered Charity Information Return due between March 18th and December 31st, the filing deadline has been extended to December 31st.You can access our digital services for charities using My Business Account and fill out your T1030 there.
The Government of Canada is providing funding to various charities, including $100 million to Food Banks, $7.5 million for Kids Help Phone; $9 million for the United Way to support seniors with delivery of groceries and medicine and wellness checks; $157.5 million to those experiencing homelessness and $50 million to women's shelters and sexual assault centres.
The Government of Canada will provide additional support to charities and non-profit organizations through the Emergency Community Support Fund.

The investment will flow through national organizations that have the ability to get funds quickly to local organizations that serve vulnerable populations. It will support a variety of activities, such as:

  • Increasing volunteer-based home deliveries of groceries and medications
  • Providing transportation services, like accompanying or driving seniors or persons with disabilities to appointments
  • Scaling up help lines that provide information and support
  • Helping vulnerable Canadians access government benefits
  • Providing training, supplies, and other required supports to volunteers so they can continue to make their invaluable contributions to the COVID-19 response
  • Replacing in-person, one-on-one contact and social gatherings with virtual contact through phone calls, texts, teleconferences, or the Internet
Support for Students
Students and recent Grads can now apply for the Canada Emergency Student Benefit. 

Whether you’re a student living away from home and worried about covering your expenses, or you’re a recent graduate looking for work, we know the COVID-19 pandemic has affected you too. So here’s what we’re doing to support you today, this summer, and next year. We’re launching the Canada Emergency Student Benefit. With this benefit, you’ll get $1,250 a month from May to August. And if you’re taking care of someone or if you have a disability, that amount will go up to $1,750 each month. We’re also launching the new Canada Student Service Grant. If you’re volunteering this summer and you’re helping in the fight against COVID-19, this grant will provide you up to $5,000 for your education in the fall. Your energy and your skills can do a lot of good right now. We’re creating 76,000 more jobs for young people in sectors that need an extra hand right now or that are on the front lines of this pandemic. And if you’re a student researcher, we need your help, so we’re investing to extend your scholarships and fellowships by 3 to 4 months. We’re also doubling all student grants from the government for the 2020-2021 school year.

The Government of Canada has also provided a 6 month interest-free moratorium on repayment of Canada Student Loans.

The Canada Summer Jobs program will create over 70,000 summer jobs for students with a 100% wage subsidy to employers.

Canada Summer jobs website is now up with updated Canada Student Summer job postings.