• What to Do(See programs below for details)                                               Updated:  April 16, 2020

    • Ensure your CRA business account and direct deposit are set up correctly.  The 75% wage subsidy will require this.  Be Ready!
    • Defer your Employer Health Tax and PST until September
    • Defer your GST and Federal Tax until the end of June
    • Talk to BC Hydro about waiving bills or deferring payments
    • Defer ICBC payments for 90 days
    • Provide your staff with information on the benefits available to them
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    Canadian Business Resilience Network   www.cbrn.ca - Up To Date info on government programs, news and recovery.  

    Find the benefits relevant to you through this questionnaire https://newsinteractives.cbc.ca/coronavirusbenefits/

     

    FEDERAL PROGRAMS

    Access to Capital

    Canada Emergency Business Account   - Interest-free loans of up to $40,000 to help cover operating costs during a period where their revenues have been temporarily reduced due to COVID-19. This program is for businesses with a total payroll between $20,000 to $1.5 million in 2019. Repayment of the loan on or before December 31, 2022 will result in loan forgiveness of 25% (up to $10,000). This will better position companies to quickly return to providing services to their communities and create employment. Applications are available through your primary bank or credit union.

    Tax flexibility: Businesses can defer paying income tax until September 1, 2020. GST payments, duties, and other remittances can be deferred until June 2020

    Wage and Income Support

    10% Wage Subsidy

    Three-month measure that will allow eligible employers to reduce the amount of payroll deductions required to be remitted to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA)

    75% Wage Subsidy 

    To support businesses and help prevent layoffs, the government is providing eligible business and non-profits a temporary 75% wage subsidy for a period of three months retroactive to March 15, 2020.   To prepare business will need to prove 15% decrease in revenue for March  and 30% decrease in revenue after and show wages paid.  Employers will have to apply each month for the 3 month period.  Still waiting on application details - Portal is expected soon.  Government encourages businesses to ensure they are signed up with the CRA for direct deposit. 
     

    The Work Sharing Program helps eligible employers to retain skilled employees and workers to remain employed.   Program has been streamlined and expanded to meet the needs of employers during the COVID-19 crisis.  Duration of agreements has been extended  from 38 weeks to 76 weeks. 

    Canada Emergency Response Benefit provides direct financial support of $500 per week for up to 16 weeks to Canadians who have lost their job, have had their hours reduced, have had their EI recently run out, are seasonal workers, are sick, quarantined, or taking care of someone who is sick with COVID-19, as well as working parents who must stay home without pay to care for children who are sick or at home because of school and daycare closures. Employed workers who earn up to $1,000 per month may still qualify for the CERB. CERB applications are available through Service Canada and the CRA, though please only apply through one of the portals – not both.   The portal for accessing the CERB would be available in early April. EI eligible Canadians who have lost their job can continue to apply for EI here, as can Canadians applying for other EI benefits.  

    Employment Insurance  changes to the EI program include waiving the one-week waiting period for and priority application processing for COVID-19 related claims.

    GST Credit: Credits available will be increased up to $400 for single adults and $600 for couples (more details will be available closer to the rollout date). 

    PROVINCIAL PROGRAMS

    Tax Remittance Deferrals  

    The provincial government is extending tax filing and payment deadlines to September 30th, 2020, including:

    • Employee Health Tax (EHT) 
    • Motor Fuel Taxes 
    • Carbon Tax (the scheduled increase of carbon tax has been canceled) 
    • Provincial Sales Tax (PST) 
    • Municipal & Regional District Tax 
      • Tobacco Tax
      • Business and light and major industrial property classes will see a 50% cut to provincial school tax. The expectation is businesses will pass the savings on to tenants in triple-net leases 
      • The new PST increase for e-commerce and sweetened beverages has been deferred, and will be reviewed by Sept. 30, 2020.

    Reduction School & Property Tax - further reducing the school property tax rate for commercial properties to achieve an average 25% reduction in the total property tax bill for most businesses, providing up to $700 million in relief. This enhances the 50% reduction to the provincial school property tax rate that was originally announced for classes 4, 5, and 6 as part of B.C.’s COVID-19 Action Plan.

    Postpone Tax Late Payment Penalties - Postponing the date that late payment penalties apply for commercial properties in classes 4,5,6,7 and 8 to Oct. 1, 2020, to give businesses and landlords more time to pay their reduced property tax, without penalty.

    B.C. Business COVID-19 Support Service  - Will serve as a one-stop resource to answer pressing questions about support available to businesses from the provincial and federal governments, industry, and community partners during this time. As part of the support service, a dedicated website – https://covid.smallbusinessbc.ca – will feature announcements from industry and community partners, as well as a variety of important resources, including webinars and practical tools. Advisors at the B.C. Business COVID-19 Support Service can be reached by phone toll-free at
    1-833-254-4357, by email covid@smallbusinessbc.ca and live chat. Hours of operation are Monday to Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

    Support will be available in several languages and a call-back feature will be in place to help manage high call volumes.

    ICBC 

    Defer ICBC payments for 90 days. You need to use the online tool before your insurance is due.  Individual & fleet insurance is eligible

     

    Provincial Support for Individuals  

    Business to Business SUPPORT

    • B.C. Business COVID-19 Support Service Will serve as a one-stop resource to answer pressing questions about support available to businesses from the provincial and federal governments, industry, and community partners during this time
    • Community Futures Emergency Loan - financial support to businesses that have not been able to operate or have operated at a reduced level for more than 5 days due to the emergency situation.
    • ICBC is offering payment plan deferrals for up to 90 days with no penalties.
    • BC Hydro: For individuals or businesses that have lost employment or been forced to close may be eligible for three months of bill credit based on average consumption.  COVID-19 Relief FundThe COVID-19 Customer Assistance Program allows customers to defer bill payments or arrange for flexible payment plans with no penalty. Call 1 800 BCHYDRO (1 800 224 9376)  
    • FortisBC is waiving late payment fees and ensuring no customer is disconnected and will discuss flexible payment options.
    • WorkSafeBC will be allowing employers to defer payment of their Q1 2020 payments by three months.
      ​WorkeSafeBC -Returning to Safe Operation  
    • Hootsuite is offering free access to their Professional Plan to help small businesses and non-profits stay connected to their customers and audiences. 

    Online Resources