This is the Oakville Chamber of Commerce’s central hub for business resources and updates regarding COVID-19. Please visit this page often as we continue to provide the most up-to-date information.
Oakville Chamber of Commerce
Canadian Business Resilience Network launches Small Business Relief Fund
(May 25, 2020)
The Canadian Business Resilience Network (CBRN) has announced the Small Business Relief Fund. It is a national initiative to provide small Canadian businesses with $10,000 grants to help in their COVID-19 recovery efforts. These grants are made possible by Salesforce.
Government of Canada partners with Canadian Chamber of Commerce to launch Busines Resilience Service
(May 25, 2020)
The Business Resilience Service (BRS) allows you to connect with experienced business advisors from across Canada for guidance on which government relief programs will be most appropriate to support your small- to medium-sized business, not-for-profit or charity on how to respond and reshape amid uncertainty.
The program, delivered to your organization free of charge, provides:
- Guidance on COVID-19 financial support program options and eligibility
- Direction on accessing the most appropriate support organizations
- Help to make decisions to support recovery plans
- Real time insights and feedback to policymakers
To access the BRS call 1-866-989-1080 to connect with a business advisor from the accounting profession. The service is available 7 days/week from 8am – 8pm ET (5am – 5pm PT).Learn more.
May Events Update
(May 4, 2020)As we continue to follow the recommendations of the Public Health Agency of Canada, all May have been postponed or rescheduled. Please continue to monitor our website for updates. If you have any questions regarding tickets purchased or your participation in any of our upcoming events, please do not hesitate to reach out to our team at email@example.com – we are happy to assist you with any inquiry.
Recent Government Announcements
Ontario Helps People Impacted by COVID-19 Get Back to Work and introduces Ontario Tools Grant – May 22, 2020
Ontario makes legislative changes to allow corportations to operate virtually and electronically – May 22, 2020
Government of Canada Expands Eligibility Criteria for Canada Emergency Business Account – May 19, 2020
Government of Canada Extends Emergency Wage Subsidy – May 15, 2020
Reopening the Ontario Economy: Stage One – May 14, 2020
The government also launched the Workplace PPE Supplier Directory has an up-to-date list of Ontario companies and business associations that are ready to supply personal protective equipment.
Before your business reopens, review the Government of Ontario’s sector-specific guidelines and posters to help protect workers, customers and the general public from COVID-19
If you have questions about what will be open or impacts to your business, read the Government of Ontario’s frequently asked questions or call the Stop the Spread Business Information Line at 1-888-444-3659. Read the media release.
Prime Minister announces Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility and Expansion of the Business Credit Availability Program – May 8, 2020
Support for Business
Direct Financial Support for Businesses
Canada Emergency Wage SubsidyThe Government of Canada will provide eligible businesses, charitable or not-for-profit organizations that have experienced at least a 15% decline in revenue in March 2020 and a 30% decline in revenue in April and/or May 2020, when compared to the same month in 2019, with a 75% wage subsidy for up to three months. Alternatively, organizations would qualify if they can demonstrate a drop in gross revenues of 30%+ in these months against January and February of this year.
The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy will cover employees’ salaries on the first $58,700 earned this year – to a maximum amount of $847 per week. The program will be backdated to March 15, 2020 and is designed to protect jobs and maintain the important link between employees and employers.
Frequently Asked Questions for the Temporary Wage Subsidy for Employers.
Use the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy Calculator
The Government of Canada is providing businesses with 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.
Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA)
On May 19th, the Government of Canada announced an expansion to the eligibility criteria for the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) to include many owner-operated small businesses. This extended measure will help small businesses protect the jobs that Canadians rely on. Read the media release. More details, including the launch date for applications under the new criteria, will follow in the days to come.
The Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) is being delivered by Regional Development Agencies (RDAs) to help more businesses and organizations in sectors across the economy such as manufacturing, technology, tourism and others that are key to the regions and local economies. As the RDA for southern Ontario, FedDev Ontario will work with key partners, such as the Community Futures Development Corporations, across the region to help southern Ontario businesses during these difficult times.
Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF)
Facebook knows that your business may be experiencing disruptions resulting from the global outbreak of COVID-19. They’ve heard that a little financial support can go a long way, so we’re offering $100M in cash grants and ad credits to help during this challenging time.
Facebook Small Business Grants
Up to 30,000 eligible small businesses in more than 30 countries will be able to receive a grant from Facebook. To be eligible to apply, your business must:
- Have between 2 and 50 employees
- Have been in business for over a year
- Have experienced challenges from COVID-19
- Be in or near a location where Facebook operates
Apply / Learn more.
Direct Financial Support for Workers
Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)The CERB 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. Payments will be received within 10 days of application with payments made every four weeks for the period of March 15 to October 3, 2020.
Ongoing access to the Employment Insurance (EI) program is available for eligible workers who have lost their job. EI is designed to provide temporary financial support for those workers who have lost their job, are sick, pregnant, caring for a newborn or adopted child, caring for a family member who is seriously ill with a significant risk of death or providing care or support to a critically ill family member.
Access to Capital
Business Credit Availability ProgramThrough the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) and Export Development Canada (EDC), the new Business Credit Availability Program will increase the credit available to small, medium and large Canadian businesses, providing more than $65 billion in direct lending and other types of financial support.
Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility (LEEFF)
The program will support Canada’s largest employers, whose needs during the pandemic are not being met through conventional financing. LEEFF will help successful applicants keep their operations going. The objective of this support is to help protect Canadian jobs, help Canadian businesses weather the current economic challenges, and avoid bankruptcies of otherwise viable firms where possible. This support will not be used to resolve insolvencies or restructure firms, nor will it provide financing to companies that otherwise have the capacity to manage through the crisis.
The government’s support for large employers through LEEFF will be delivered by a subsidiary of the Canada Development Investment Corporation (CDEV), in cooperation with Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) and the Department of Finance. Additional information on the application process is available on the CDEV website. Broader sectoral dynamics for LEEFF applicants will be considered through processes led by Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada.Learn more.
Financial Relief Offered by Canadian BanksBanks will provide financial relief to businesses affected by the economic consequences of COVID-19. Effective immediately, Bank of Montreal, CIBC, National Bank of Canada, RBC Royal Bank, Scotiabank and TD Bank will work with personal and small business customers, on a case-by-case basis, to provide flexible solutions to help them manage challenges, such as pay disruption, childcare disruption due to school closures or those facing illness from COVID-19.
Bank of Canada Interest RateThe Bank of Canada cut its overnight rate to 0.25% – the interest rate at which major financial institutions borrow and lend one-day (or “overnight”) funds among themselves.
Deferred Income Tax Payment for BusinessesCanada Revenue Agency (CRA) will allow all businesses to 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, with no interest or penalties applicable during this period.
Deferred GST/HST RemittanceCRA will defer the Goods and Services Tax/Harmonized Sales Tax (GST/HST) remittances to June 30, 2020.
Deferred Provincial Taxes
Beginning April 1, 2020, the Government of Ontario is providing flexibility to about 100,000 businesses in Ontario to help manage their cash flows during this challenging time. This will continue for a period of five months, up until August 31, 2020.
For this period, the Province will not apply any penalty or interest on any late-filed returns or incomplete or late tax payments under select provincially administered taxes, such as the Employer Health Tax, Tobacco Tax and Gas Tax.
Deferred Property Tax in Town of Oakville
Tax installments due April 24: Penalty and interest for non-payment, and non-sufficient funds charges for returned payment will be waived until June 30, 2020.
Outstanding property taxes: Penalty and interest will be waived until June 30, 2020.
Pre-authorized payment plans: Property owners may opt-out without penalty from April 1 to June 30, 2020. Property owners must contact firstname.lastname@example.org by the 15th of the month to opt-out before payment is set to withdraw.
Additional Assistance For Business
Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance Program
On April 24th, the Federal Government announced that this program will lower rent by 75 per cent for small businesses that have been affected by COVID-19. Read the media release.
On May 20th, the Federal Government announced that application documents and updated criteria for Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) for small businesses are now available, and that the program will be opened for applications beginning on May 25th. Learn more.
Oakville’s Economic Task Force announces the launch of Distantly.ca in Oakville; an online crowd-funding platform to connect small business with community donations. Learn more. Learn how to set up your business page.
The Government Ontario is temporarily reducing electricity rates for small businesses, farms, and residential customers that pay time-of-use (TOU) rates. TOU rates will be suspended until at least May 8, 2020, holding electricity prices to the off-peak rate of 10.1 cents-per-kilowatt-hour.
Elecricity Rates Reduction
The Government of Ontario has launched a toll-free line 1-888-444-3659 to provide support to Ontario businesses who have questions about the province’s recent emergency order to close at-risk workplaces following recommendations by Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health.
Stop the Spread Business Information Line
Help is available from Monday to Sunday, from 8:30 a.m.―5:00 p.m. A complete list of essential services is available on the Government of Ontario’s website.
The Government of Canada has enhanced its Work-Sharing Program to support employers and their workers who are experiencing a downturn in business by expanding the program from 38 to 76 weeks and by streamlining processes to improve access.
WSIB Deferred Payments
The Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) will allow employers to defer payments for a period of six months. This will provide employers with $1.9 billion in financial relief.
All employers covered by the WSIB’s workplace insurance are automatically eligible for the financial relief package. Schedule 1 employers with premiums owed to the WSIB will be allowed to defer reporting and payments until August 31, 2020. The deferral will also apply to Schedule 2 businesses that pay WSIB for the cost related to their workplace injury and illness claims. In addition, no interest will be accrued on outstanding premium payments and no penalties will be charged during this six-month deferral period.
Resources for Business
Navigating the support programs for business
- Business Resilience Service – To access the Business Resilience Service, call 1-866-989-1080 to connect with a business advisor from the accounting profession. The service is available 7 days/week from 8am – 8pm ET – Canadian Chamber of Commerce and the Government of Canada
- Canadian Business Resilience Network – Canadian Chamber of Commerce and the Government of Canada
- COVID-19: Making Sense of Federal and Provincial Business Support Programs – Ontario Chamber of Commerce and MNP LLP
- New Details: The Canada Emergency Response Benefit and the Canada Emergency Wage Benefit – Comparison by the Oakville Chamber of Commerce
- 1-888-444-3659 for Provincial business enquiries
- Support for your business: Find COVID-19 support and other programs and services – Innovation Canada
- Where to start for COVID-19 Support – The Office of the Minister of Small Business, Government of Canada (March 25, 2020)
Business Continuity and Recovery
- Toolkit for Reopening Canada’s Economy – Canadian Business Resilience Network
- Business Continuity and Recovery Plan – Canadian Chamber of Commerce
- Chambers Plan: COVID-19 Business Resource Centre – The Chambers Plan
- Mental Health Resources – Canadian Mental Health Association
- Payroll and COVID-19 – Canadian Payroll Association
Safety and Security
- COVID-19 General Information for Halton Workplaces – Halton Public Health
- COVID-19 Recommendations for Grocery and Retail Stores – Halton Public Health
- Commercial Business Security and Safety Tips – Halton Regional Police Service
- Resources to prevent COVID-19 in the Workplace – Government of Ontario
Workplace PPE Supplier Directory – Government of Ontario
- Partners in Prevention Health & Safety: Free Virtual Event Series – Workplace Safety & Prevention Services
Stay up-to-date on the rapidly evolving situation, and on the nature of the virus itself, by frequently checking municipal, provincial, and national websites.
- Halton Region Public Health
- Ontario Ministry of Health
- Government of Canada Public Health
- Centre for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention: COVID-19 Resources
- World Health Organization (WHO): COVID-19 Updates