• MRSB Group

Support During COVID-19

Updated: 2 days ago

With the emergence of COVID-19, our primary concern at MRSB is keeping you, your employees and your business safe. We will continue to provide you with expert advice to guide you through this difficult time. The federal and provincial governments have announced numerous measures for businesses, individuals, families and workers in an effort to stabilize the economy and provide support for Canadians.

To help navigate these measures we have compiled a summary of the latest federal and provincial relief measures announced to date for you and your business and will provide updates in the days and weeks ahead of any new initiatives. This list will be updated daily as changes are announced If you have any questions or need any assistance completing applications please contact our office. SUPPORT FOR BUSINESSES – FEDERAL

Extended Income Tax Payments Deadlines (Reference link here)

  • Businesses will be allowed to defer payment of any income tax amounts that become owing on or after March 18, 2020 and before September 2020 until after August 31, 2020

  • This would apply to tax balances due, as well as instalments under Part I of the Income Tax Act (does not apply to HST or payroll remittances)

  • Interest or penalties will not accumulate on these amounts during this period · The Charities Directorate is extending the filing deadline to December 31, 2020 for all charities with a Form T3010, Registered Charity Information Return due between March 18, 2020 and December 31, 2020

Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (Reference link here)

  • A 75% wage subsidy 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

  • Eligible employers who suffer a drop in gross revenues of at least 30% in March, 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 definition of revenue 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 can access this subsidy by applying through CRA online portal

  • Details on the application process will be announced


Temporary Business Wage Subsidy (Reference link here)

  • A 10% wage subsidy for the next 90 days (on remuneration paid between March 18, 2020, and June 20, 2020) of up to a maximum of $1,375 subsidy per employee and $25,000 subsidy per employer for all eligible small business

  • This assistance will be beneficial for businesses who retain staff during this period

  • Benefit immediately by reducing their remittances of income tax withheld on their employees’ remuneration

  • Eligible small businesses would include

    • an individual who runs an unincorporated business

    • partnerships

    • corporations eligible for the small business deduction

    • NPO’s & charities


(Individuals and partnerships were added to the list while the draft legislation was in progress. As of March 26, 2020, the FAQs on Canada Revenue Agency's website were not updated for the change.)


Business Credit Availability Program (Reference link here)

  • An increase in the credit available to small and medium Canadian businesses · The program will provide more than $10B of additional support to businesses experiencing cash flow challenges through the BDC and EDC


Deferral of ACOA Payments (Reference link here)

  • Regional Development Agencies, including ACOA, will apply a deferral of three months on all payments due to the government, as of April 1, 2020

  • Deferral of payments and related interest charges

  • Contact your ACOA account manager to formalize these deferrals into an amended repayment schedule


Farm Credit Canada (Reference link here)

  • Increase in near term credit available to farmers and the agri-food sector through FCC

Insured Mortgage Purchase Program (IMPP) (Reference link here)

  • Government to purchase up to $50B of insured mortgage pools through the CMHC

  • Provide stable funding to banks and mortgage lenders and support continued lending to Canadian businesses and consumers

  • CMHC ready to further support liquidity and the stability of the financial markets through its mortgage funding programs as necessary

  • Government will raise CMHC’s legislative limits to guarantee securities and insure mortgages by $150B each


Canada Emergency Business Account (Reference link here)

  • Provides up to $25B to eligible financial institutions to provide interest-free, guaranteed loans to small businesses

  • Ensure small businesses have access to needed capital, at zero percent interest rate


Small and Medium-sized Enterprise Loan and Guarantee Program (Reference link here)

  • Enable up to $40B in lending, supported through Export Development Canada and Business Development Bank, for guaranteed loans when small businesses go to their financial institutions

  • Intended for small and medium-sized companies that require greater help to meet operational cash flow requirements


Deferred GST and HST payments (Reference link here)

  • Allow businesses, including self-employed individuals to defer all GST/HST payments until June 2020, as well as custom duties owed for imports


SUPPORT FOR BUSINESSES – PROVINCIAL

Emergency Working Capital Fund (Reference link here)

  • To assist PEI’s small businesses with maintaining normal business operations

  • Working capital loan of up to $100,000 per company

  • Fixed interest rate of 4% per annum, commencing at first disbursement and accruing during the term of the loan

  • Can be used to assist with fixed operating costs (payroll, rent, utilities, etc.)

  • Repayment will commence 12 months after the first disbursement, with the balance outstanding to be repaid over the remaining 5-year period (for a total term of 6 years)

  • Eligibility criteria:

    • Existing small business (not start-ups) located and operating in PEI and generating revenue on PEI

    • Registered to conduct business within PEI

    • Applicant has satisfactory credit rating and must not have any defaulted outstanding debt obligation on file in the Province’s Central Default Registry

  • Security on loans:

    • Promissory Note for the full amount of the loan

    • Personal guarantees of the business owner(s)

    • General Security Agreement

  • No application fee


Employee Gift Card Program (Reference link here)

  • The program offers $100 Sobeys gift card to any employee, living and working on PEI, who has received a lay-off notice as a direct result of the impacts associated with COVID-19

  • The application form is completed by the employer, who then distributes the gift card letters to the affected employees

  • Eligibility:

    • Issued lay-off notices to 1 or more employees as a result of COVID-19 between March 13th-March 31st, 2020

Emergency Income Relief Fund (Reference link here)

  • Temporary program to support self-employed

  • Our understanding from discussions with Innovation PEI is that this program is available to owners of incorporated small businesses

  • To be eligible for this, self-employed individuals must:

    • Have declared business income on their most recent tax return

    • Business income must be the primary source of income

    • Be able to demonstrate direct financial losses resulting from COVID-19 isolation measures at the time of application

    • Not be EI eligible or receiving any other income support

  • Maximum of $500 per week for the period March 16 to March 29, 2020

Commercial Lease Rent Deferral Program (Reference link here)

  • Support to small and medium-sized businesses who have closed due to impacts of COVID-19

  • Landlords who defer rent payments from their commercial tenants for three months (May – July) could be eligible for financial assistance (up to maximum of $50,000 per landlord and $15,000 per tenant) if the deferred rent can’t be recovered

  • Landlords can register for the Commercial Lease Rent Deferral Program by contacting Finance PEI at financepei@gov.pe.ca by April 15


Business Adaption Advice Program(Reference link here)

  • A non-repayable contribution towards the cost for a Prince Edward Island businesses and entrepreneurs to hire a professional to provide advice and support to adapt to or recover from the impacts of COVID-19

  • This assistance will contribute to the costs, up to $2,500 associated with:

• obtain business, human resources and financial planning and advice

obtain advice on transitioning to digital or IT solutions

obtain advice on exporting, marketing, and logistics

obtain other professional services which may be of assistance in adapting or recovering from the impacts of COVID-19 determined in consultation with Innovation PEI


SUPPORT FOR INDIVIDUALS, FAMILIES AND WORKERS - FEDERAL

Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) (Reference link here)

  • Provides a taxable benefit of $2,000 per month for up to four months to:

    • 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.


The Canada Emergency Response Benefit will be accessible through a secure web portal starting in early April. Applicants will also be able to apply via an automated telephone line or via a toll-free number. Canadians will be able to apply starting April 6, 2020 at Canada.ca/coronavirus.


Note: this benefit replaces the previously announced Emergency Care Benefit and the Emergency Support Benefit.


Extended Tax Filing Deadlines (Reference link here)

  • Individual’s personal tax filing deadline has been extended from April 30, 2020 to June 1, 2020

  • CRA is encouraging individuals who expect to receive GSTC or CCB not to delay filing of their return to ensure their entitlements for 2020-21 are properly determined

  • The deadline to pay any balance due for your individual income tax and benefit return for 2019 has been extended from April 30, 2020, to September 1, 2020. This means you will not be assessed any penalties or interest if your balance due is paid by September 1, 2020.

  • This applies to tax balances due and instalments under Part I of the Income Tax Act.

  • Interest or penalties will not accumulate on these amounts during this period

  • Trusts having a taxation year ending December 31, 2019 filing deadline has been extended to May 1, 2020

Enhanced Canada Child Benefit (CCB) (Reference link here)

  • Temporary boost to CCB payment to be implemented in May 2020

  • For the 2019-20 benefit year, an increase in the maximum annual CCB payment amount by $300 per child

  • This extra $300 per child will be part of the May payments

Work Share Program (Reference link here)

  • Extension of maximum duration of Work-Sharing agreements from 38 weeks to 76 weeks across Canada

  • Ease eligibility requirements and streamline the application process

  • Program supports workers who agree with their employer to a reduction of normal working hours


Increased GST Credit (Reference link here)

  • Assistance for individuals and families with low and modest incomes

  • One- time special top-up payment under the GST credit

  • Starting in May, on average, close to $400 for single individuals and close to $600 for couples

Employment Insurance (EI) Access (Reference link here)

  • CRA has waived the one-week waiting period for the claim of EI sickness benefit

  • Employees who have no paid leave benefit but are eligible for EI benefits can apply for EI sickness benefits if:

    • They are in medical quarantine

    • Asked to self-isolate by their employers for 14 days

  • In order to claim EI sickness benefits, employees must be losing 40% or more of their weekly income and have worked 600 hours or more during the last 52 weeks or since their last claim for EI benefits

  • The requirement for a medical certificate has been waived

    • Employees can get EI benefits for the full 14 days and employees who fall sick beyond the 14-day period can receive an additional 13 weeks of EI sickness benefits up to a maximum of 15 weeks total

    • Benefit is calculated based on 55% of an individual’s insurable earnings for the last 12 months (or since the last claim) up to a maximum of $573 per week

  • If an employer chooses to “top-up” benefits to an employee who is unable to work due to COVID-19 while collecting EI benefits they must register under the Supplementary Unemployment Benefit Plan


Supplementary Unemployment Benefit Plan (SUB Plan) (Reference link here)

  • Employers can use a SUB plan to increase their employees’ weekly earnings when they are unemployed due to a temporary shortage of work, training, illness, injury or quarantine

  • SUB plans must be registered with Service Canada

  • Payments from SUB plans that are registered are not considered employment earnings and therefore are not subject to CPP or EI contributions and are not deducted from EI benefits, but are reported on a T4A slip

  • An acceptable plan:

    • Identifies the group of employees covered and the duration or the plan

    • Covers a period of unemployment caused by 1 or a combination of the following:

      • Temporary stoppage of work

      • Training

      • Illness, injury or quarantine

  • Requires employees to apply for and be in receipt of EI benefits in order to receive payments under the plan

  • Requires combined weekly payments from the plan and the portion of the EI weekly benefit rate does not exceed 95% of the employee’s normal weekly earnings

  • Requires it to be entirely financed by the employer

  • Requires that on termination, all remaining assets of the plan will be reverted to the employer or be used for payments under the plan or for its administrative costs

  • Requires that written notice of any change to the plan be given to Service Canada within 30 days after the effective date of the change

  • Provides that the employees have no vested right to payments under the plan except during a period of unemployment specified in the plan

  • Provides that payments in respect of guaranteed annual remuneration, deferred remuneration or severance pay will not be reduced or increased by payments received under the plan


Deferred Mortgage Payments (Reference link here)

  • Increased flexibility to lenders to defer mortgage payments on the homeowner government-insured mortgage loans for borrowers facing financial difficulties related to COVID-19

  • Lenders will be allowed to defer payments beginning immediately

  • Up to six-month payment deferral


Registered Retirement Income Funds (RRIFs) (Reference link here)

  • Reduction of minimum withdrawals from RRIFs by 25% for 2020 to limit the impact on seniors’ retirement savings


Canada Student Loan Payment Extension (Reference link here)

  • Six-month, interest-free moratorium on loan payments for all individuals who are in the process of repaying these loans starting in April


Indigenous Community Support Fund (Reference link here)

  • $305M new distinctions-based Indigenous Community Support Fund starting in April

  • Address immediate needs in First Nations, Inuit, and Metis Nation communities


Women And Domestic Violence Shelter Funding (Reference link here)

  • Provide up to $50M to women’s shelters and sexual assault centers to help with capacity to manage or prevent an outbreak in their facilities starting in Apri

  • Includes funding for facilities in Indigenous communities


Reaching Home Program Funding (Reference link here)

  • Assistance for homeless shelters starting in April

  • Additional $157.5M to address needs of Canadians experiencing homelessness

  • Can be used for a range of needs such as purchasing beds and physical barriers for social distancing and securing accommodation to reduce overcrowding in shelters

SUPPORT FOR INDIVIDUALS, FAMILIES AND WORKERS – PROVINCIAL

Income Support Fund (Reference link here)

  • Intended to bridge gap between loss of employment/income

  • Individuals who have lost their job, been laid off, Employment Insurance benefits have expired or have lost all revenues through self-employment on or after March 13, 2020 AND Individuals MUST have applied for OR intend to apply for support through one of the following the federal government programs – Employment Insurance or Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)

  • Applicants will be required to complete an online application form and attestation confirming they meet the eligibility requirements of the program.

  • A one-time lump-sum payment of $750

  • Self-Employed individuals who have lost all revenues through self-employment on or after March 13, 2020 due to the public health state of emergency in Prince Edward Island and have not already accessed the Emergency Income Relief Fund for the Self-Employed are eligible to apply for the fund. Eligible applicants must also have applied for or plan to apply for support under CERB

Early Learning and Education Support (Reference link here)

  • Fund of up to $2 million to support early learning centers and their staff, maintain child care spaces and ensure parents do not pay fees during the period of closures

  • Suspending repayments for provincial student loans for the next six months

  • Providing home learning activities for students for the duration of the confirmed school closures through the Public School Branch and La Commission scolaire de langue francaise websites – accessible Monday March 23


Emergency Relief Worker Assistance Program (Reference link here)

  • For employers to provide temporary financial support to their employees who have experienced a significant reduction in their hours of work

  • Assistance of $250 per week

  • Employers to complete applications to help identify their workers who have experienced a significant reduction in their work hours

Temporary Rental Assistance Benefit (Reference link here)

  • To assist Island households that are currently renting and have unexpected loss of income due to COVID-19

  • The benefit is $1,000 per household to help cover the cost of rent for a three-month period. Eligible Islanders will receive $500 in the first month and $250 the following two months, regardless of the number of people in the household or living in the rental unit.

  • Application form is available here


COVID-19 Special Situations Fund (Reference link here)

  • A $1M fund for Islanders who may not qualify for existing support programs

  • Call 1-833-533-9333 and select “3” for business supports

  • Applications must be received by April 15, 2020


HELPFUL LINKS

princeedwardisland.ca/covidforbusiness


https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/coronavirus-disease-covid-19.html


https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/economic-response-plan.html#individuals


https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/economic-response-plan.html#businesses

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