28 Apr 2020

Updated December 22, 2021

To help businesses keep their workers through the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government of Canada has introduced the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS). In addition, to encourage the hiring of new workers, the Canada Recovery Hiring Program (CRHP) has been introduced.

On October 21, 2021, the government announced introduction of the Tourism and Hospitality Recovery Program (THRP) and the Hardest-Hit Business Recovery Program (HHBRP). These new programs would be in effect from October 24, 2021 to May 7, 2022 and would provide rent and wage subsidies for certain selected struggling businesses. These subsidies, which are similar to the CEWS and CERS, could cover as much as 75% of eligible expenses under the THRP and 50% under the HHBRP.

The CRHP, which provides eligible employers with a subsidy of up to 50% of the additional remuneration paid to eligible active employees will be extended to May 7, 2022 and the CEWS ends on October 23, 2021.

The deadline to claim the CEWS for Period 18 (July 4 to July 31, 2021) is January 27, 2022.

Eligible employers can apply for the CEWS or the CRHP, or modify a previous claim, through the CRA’s My Business Account portal or the web form no later than 180 days following the end of the qualifying period. They must make every effort to submit or change a claim before the applicable deadline, but in some circumstances, the CRA may authorize a late (initial or changed) claim.

In addition to these wage subsidies, the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS), offers eligible entities that have experienced a revenue reduction direct support in relation to the cost of renting or owning a qualifying property used in their activities.

Our experts are trained to assist you in the analysis of the eligibility criteria for the CEWS and for the preparation of your application. They will be able to help you make informed choices, particularly as to the methods for calculating the income reduction test. With their advice, you can maximize the amounts claimed while limiting your risk of dispute in this regard. Don’t hesitate to contact your advisor to discuss it.

To learn more regarding this wage subsidy, please read our tax news, which is regularly updated. You will also find information on CRHP, HHBRP and THRP.

You can also visit our section on financial support measures for businesses, which is regularly updated.

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22 Apr 2020

Preparing SMEs for a rapid recovery from the COVID-19 crisis

Montréal, April 22, 2020 – The COVID-19 pandemic has sent shockwaves through the business community and forced many small- and mid-size businesses to either scale back their operations or stop them altogether. As a firm that’s committed to helping businesses survive and thrive, Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton has just launched Solutions for SMEs, a new program for developing effective business continuity and recovery strategies in uncertain times.

Emilio B. Imbriglio, President and CEO stated: “Ensuring that Quebec businesses succeed is key to getting the economy back on its feet. They’re the backbone of our economy and they need to be ready for a strong comeback—and that means preparing for a new reality starting now. Agility, innovation and a proactive approach are more important than ever before. And that’s precisely where Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton can be of assistance.”

Eight priority actions for effective recovery planning

Risk management partner Vincent Cartier said: “All businesses are facing a new reality that requires them to be more flexible and adaptable. There will be bumps in the road to recovery and leaders will have to be vigilant, organized and agile to respond quickly and effectively.”

To this, management consulting partner Pierre Fortin added: “In just a matter of weeks, our world has changed. Yesterday’s imperatives no longer apply, and consumer behaviours have shifted. That’s why Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton has developed a program with eight priority actions to help businesses redefine their business continuity and recovery strategies.

Solutions for SMEs uses a personalized approach to address each company’s unique needs through the following eight priority actions:

1. Managing cash flows
2. Supporting managers and employees
3. Stabilizing and boosting revenues
4. Managing procurement
5. Monitoring business performance
6. Managing risks
7. Prioritizing digital transformation and cybersecurity
8. Reassuring stakeholders

Management consulting partner Nancy Jalbert stated: “Organizations will need to revisit their procedures, including operations and procurement, and many will also need to review their digital transformation plans regularly as the situation evolves. Agility is essential. It has become a defining feature of any company that wants to be strong, efficient and competitive.”

Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton will provide an overview of the Solutions for SMEs program during a webinar to be held on April 23 at 10:30 a.m. To register, click here.

Eligible businesses interested in taking advantage of Solutions for SMEs can obtain funding for it through the Gouvernement du Quebec’s Concerted Actions Program for Maintenance in Employment (PACME).

About Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton

Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton is a professional services firm dedicated to the success of organizations and their leaders since 1948. The firm’s advisors are committed to helping clients thrive by obtaining a deep understanding of what is important to them, their business and their industry. This knowledge, combined with a team of motivated and talented professionals help accelerate growth. A Quebec and Canadian leader in the areas of assurance, tax, advisory services and business recovery and reorganization, Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton boasts more than 2,800 professionals, including approximately 200 partners, working in over 100 offices across the province of Quebec and in the Ottawa and Edmundston regions.

Together with Grant Thornton LLP, another Canadian firm, and the Grant Thornton global organization, our global footprint spans across more than 140 countries with over 56,000 people who provide real insight, a fresh perspective and agility to keep clients moving ahead.

Source:

Francis Letendre
Head – Public Affairs
Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton
Tel: 514-390-4201
letendre.francis@rcgt.com

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26 Mar 2020

The current situation is evolving rapidly due to the COVID-19 crisis. We would like to assure you that our team is available to assist you during this period of uncertainty.

We’ve taken special measures to ensure that we can continue offering quality service while protecting the health of our employees and clients.

We expect the current climate of uncertainty to have significant economic and operational impacts on businesses. As a result, you may need support to:

  • Assess your short, medium and long-term cash flow needs;
  • Determine your short and medium-term financial projections, define different optimistic and pessimistic scenarios, and ensure the adequacy of the contingency measures put in place;
  • Apply to the various business support programs offered by the federal and provincial governments;
  • Review and negotiate your commitments with your lenders;
  • Develop a business plan with a temporary contingency plan;
  • Evaluate and optimize your financial structure;
  • Review the management of your strategic projects;
  • Finalize a financing project.

Our Financial Advisory team has extensive experience in providing support during periods of uncertainty. It also specializes in corporate financing and has privileged access to key players in capital markets.

We look forward to hearing from you. We will respond as soon as possible in order to work together towards achieving your business objectives.

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18 Mar 2020

Information updated December 21, 2021

In the current context resulting from the coronavirus, several tax and economic measures have been put in place to support Quebec and Canadian businesses and organizations.

Our experts have determined the support measures that seem to generate the most interest from businesses:

You will find on this page details related to government and institutional measures, as well as hyperlinks to the organizations’ sites. We remain on the lookout for future announcements in order to continue making updates and keep you informed about the new measures.

For details about measures implemented for individuals, please go to raymondchabot.com

Note that the Quebec and federal governments have put tools in place for businesses to determine which government assistance measures apply to their situation.

Federal measures
Québec measures
Ontario measures
New Brunswick measures
Municipalities measures
Other measures

Federal Government

All SMEs and large enterprises
Young and small businesses
Agriculture, fishing and bio-food
Energy sector
Tourism
Media, culture and heritage
Community organizations
Student jobs

SMEs and large enterprises

Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan

The Canadian government is taking measures to support Canadian businesses and individuals facing financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy

The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) ended on October 23, 2021. For a summary of these measures, to learn about the claim periods and to find out how our experts can support you in this process, read our explanatory document.

Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS)

The Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS) ended on October 23, 2021. For a summary of these measures, to learn about the claim periods and to find out how our experts can support you in this process, see our explanation document.

Canada Recovery Hiring Program  

To encourage organizations to hire new workers, the Canada Recovery Hiring Program (CRHP) provides employers experiencing a current drop in revenue of more than 10% subsidies of up to 50% of additional remuneration paid to eligible active employees. This program has been extended to May 7, 2022.

The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) is no longer in effect since October 23, 2021. You can however still claim any subsidies to which you are entitled.

Information on these two programs is updated regularly here.

Hardest-Hit Business Recovery Program (HHBRP)

The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) and Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS) program expired on October 23, 2021.

They have been replaced by the HHBRP program that provides support for businesses having incurred heavy losses through wage and rent subsidies at rates of up to 50%. This program is offered until May 7, 2022 and the proposed subsidy rates will be in effect until March 13, 2022. The rates will be reduced by half from March 13 to May 7, 2022. Find out more in our explanatory document.

Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility (LEEFF)

This measure provides bridge financing for large employers affected by the pandemic whose needs are not being met through conventional financing. Its objective is to help large businesses protect Canadian jobs during the economic slowdown.

Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) through EDC and BDC

A Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) has been introduced primarily to support small- and medium-sized enterprises through Expert Development Canada (DC) and the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC).

Additionally, EDC will guarantee new operating credit and cash-flow term loans that financial institutions extend to small- to medium-sized enterprises, up to $6.25 million.

BDC will also work with financial institutions to provide joint financing to SMEs to meet their operational cash flow requirements. Under this program, eligible businesses can receive additional credit up to $6.25 million.

It was announced on May 11th that this program would be expanded to mid-sized companies with larger financing needs. It will include loans of up to $60M per company and guarantees of up to $80M.

Work-Sharing temporary special measures to support employers and workers affected by COVID-19

The Work Sharing Program (WS) is a program intended to help employers and employees avoid layoffs when there is a temporary decrease in the organization’s activities for reasons beyond the employer’s control. The program provides employment insurance (EI) benefits to eligible employees who agree to reduce their normal work hours and share work while their employer recovers. The Government of Canada has extended this program until September 24, 2022.

Canada Revenue Agency: Flexibility measures for businesses and individuals (filing income tax returns)

The filing deadline of individuals income tax returns is not postponed and remains on April 30, 2021 (or June 15 if applicable).

No filing or payment deadline extensions are announced in 2021 for corporations, trusts, partnerships or any other obligations.

Canada Revenue Agency: reimbursement of employee teleworking equipment

In the context of the COVID-19 crisis, an employer may reimburse an employee up to $500 for the acquisition of computer equipment allowing the employee to work from home, with no taxable benefit for the employee.

Regional Development Agencies (RDA): Assistance for regional small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), tourism operators and SMEs without access to other support measures

The federal government, through its Regional Development Agencies (RDA), is providing additional assistance to support rural businesses and communities, in particular with access to capital, and businesses that have been impacted by the situation that do not have access to broader support measures.

If you are a tourism operator or small- or medium-sized business or organization and have received RDA funding, you may be eligible to receive additional funding and/or flexible arrangements. Additionally, the RDAs have introduced a three-month moratorium on any payment to the government, effective April 1, 2020.

Aid for workers: EI sickness benefits

Quarantined Canadians can apply for EI sickness benefits. These benefits provide up to 15 weeks of income replacement to eligible claimants who are unable to work due to illness, injury or quarantine so that they can take the time to regain their health before returning to work. Quarantined Canadians are not required to provide a medical certificate to access EI sickness benefits.

Canada Recovery Benefit

To meet the ongoing needs covered by the CERB, which is coming to an end, the Canada Revenue Agency has launched the application process for the Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB), Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) and Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB). Refer to the respective sites to find out about the terms of each of these programs.

Temporary foreign workers: Reduced time for starting a new job

The processing time for a work permit will go from 10 weeks to 10 days or less and a worker who is already in Canada and obtained a work offer will be able to start the new job even if the work permit is still in process. This measure takes into account increased labour needs in essential services. Workers can apply here.

Tariff relief for businesses importing medical goods

The government is waiving tariffs on certain medical equipment, including personal protective equipment (PPE), such as masks and gloves.

This will reduce the cost of imported PPE for businesses that face tariffs of up to 18%.

Tariff relief for these goods will remain in place for as long as necessary to deal with the pandemic.

First Nations Finance Authority: Interest relief for First Nations

First Nations that have loans with the First Nations Finance Authority (FNFA) will be eligible for interest relief, following a $17.1 M investment from the Government of Canada. This will allow First Nations to use their financial resources to meet essential needs during the pandemic.

Program to support black business owners and entrepreneurs in Canada

In total, nearly $221M will be invested in partnership with the federal government and Canadian financial institutions. This program will help thousands of black business owners and entrepreneurs across the country recover from the crisis and grow their businesses.

Gas Tax Fund: Financing accelerated

In June, $2.2 B in federal infrastructure funding for communities will be paid out in a single payment for projects that will help stimulate local economies.

These funds could be used for projects such as improving access to high-speed Internet, upgrading road and water systems, and building cycling and walking paths.

Safe Restart Agreement

This federal investment of more than $19 billion will help provinces and territories restart their economies. The funds are primarily intended for the following individuals and sectors:

  • Municipalities;
  • Workers;
  • Daycare services;
  • Health care systems.

Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program (HASCAP) Guarantee

Small and medium-size enterprises that have seen their revenues decrease by 50% or more as a result of COVID-19 will be able to access a garanteed low-interest loan of $25,000 to $1 million. This program is designed to ensure a degree of continuity for your business through the pandemic. The Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) will work with participating Canadian financial institutions.

Two new funding programs for Canada airports

The Department of Transport has introduced two new contribution funding programs to help Canada’s airports recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic:

  • The Airport Critical Infrastructure Program (ACIP) will provide close to $490 million to support Canada’s larger airports with investments in critical infrastructure-related to safety, security or connectivity;
  • The Airport Relief Fund (ARF) will provide close to $65 million in financial relief.

Young and small businesses

Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA)

Please note that the deadline of 30 June 2021 has now passed and it is no longer possible to apply for the CEBA.

Aimed at Canadian small businesses whose revenues have decreased as a result of COVID-19, this financial assistance provides a government-backed loan of $40,000, $10,000 of which may be non-repayable. Repayment of the loan balance, before December 31, 2022, will result in a 25% write-off of the loan.

Eligible businesses now include those of sole proprietors who earn their income directly from their business, those whose operations depend on contract workers, family businesses that pay their employees through dividends as well as certain businesses with a payroll lower than $20,000.

This contribution helps alleviate or cover non-deferrable costs such as rent, utilities, insurance, taxes and employer expenses.

Support to early-stage businesses

To support start-ups and innovators who do not have access to existing support measures, $250 million in assistance will be provided through the Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP), which provides advice, connections and financing for Canadian small and medium-sized enterprises to increase their innovation capacity and commercialize their ideas.

Support for young entrepreneurs

To assist young entrepreneurs who are facing challenges because of COVID-19, the government is providing $20.1M to Futurpreneur Canada. The organization will therefore be able to provide payment relief for its clients for up to 12 months.

Agriculture, fishing and bio-food

Revamped Canadian Trade Commissioner Service’s CanExport SMEs program in context of pandemic Will Help Small Agri-Food Businesses

The program will provide small- and medium-sized enterprises with financial assistance to carry out development activities in international markets while travel is restricted by the pandemic.

Farm Credit Canada (FC) increases its lending capacity by $5B to alleviate industry financial pressure

With this additional capacity, producers, agribusinesses and food processors will continue to have access to necessary capital at this challenging time. Effective immediately, FCC has put in place :

  • access to an additional credit line up to $500,000, secured by general security agreements or universal movable hypothec (Quebec only);
  • a deferral of principal and interest payments up to six months for existing loans; or
  • a deferral of principal payments up to 12 months.

An Agriculture and food business solutions fund of $100 M was created to help businesses whose operations have been affected by the outbreak of COVID-19. This financial assistance will be used to make up for a significant loss: facility, key supplier, essential employees and others.

Enhancement of “Youth Employment and Skills Program” to help agriculture sector

To support the agriculture sector and attract Canadians aged 15 to 30 to farming, the federal government is investing $9.2 M to enhance the “Youth Employment and Skills Program (YESP)” and fund up to 700 new jobs in the sector.

Applications are being accepted now and the YESP will provide agriculture employers (including producers, agri-businesses, industry associations, Aboriginal organizations and research institutions) with up to 50% of the cost of hiring a young Canadian, to a maximum of $14,000.

For the hiring of Indigenous youths or youths facing barriers, it will cover 80% of the costs.

Additional federal financial assistance for agrifood sector

The Government of Canada recently announced several other measures to support farmers, agrifood businesses and the food supply chain:

  • Assistance to producers through the AgriRecovery Program to deal with the additional costs of the pandemic;
  • Assistance to beef and pork processing producers to help them adapt to the changing market and keep their animals longer before placing them on the market due to temporary processing plant closures;
  • Possible increase in the borrowing limit by $200M from the Canadian Dairy Commission to allow for the temporary storage of cheese and butter to avoid food waste (legislative changes required);
  • Launch of a surplus food purchase program to redistribute unsold food to local food organizations;
  • Creation of an emergency processing fund to help food processors provide personal protective equipment to workers, adapt to health protocols and automate or modernize their facilities and operational processes;
  • Interim payments increasing from 50% to 75% to support producers experiencing income declines (through the AgriStability Program, already implemented in some provinces);
  • Expansion of the AgriInsurance Program, in collaboration with the provinces, to include labour shortages as an eligible risk.

Temporary foreign workers: financial assistance during isolation period

To help farmers, fish harvesters and all food production and processing employers, the government will pay $1,500 for each temporary foreign worker during their mandatory 14-day isolation period.

The funding could be used for accommodation, transportation and food for the workers during this transition period.

Canada Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) gets $20M to support critical food inspection services

The investment will allow the CFIA to hire and train additional staff and reassign staff to critical food inspection services.

This investment will also make it possible to work more closely with trading partners to minimize supply disruptions during the crisis.

In order to redirect food destined for restaurants and hotels to retail outlets and grocery stores, for a 90-day period, the CFIA will be more flexible regarding standard packaging and labelling requirements that are not related to food safety.

New Canadian Seafood Stabilization Fund

This $62.5M fund for the fish and seafood processing sector will help businesses:

  • access short-term financing to pay for maintenance and inventory costs and add storage capacity for unsold products;
  • comply with new health and safety measures for workers;
  • support new manufacturing technologies to improve productivity and the quality of finished seafood products;
  • adapt products to new market demands.

The government also announced additional financial assistance for fish harvesters:

  • New employment insurance (EI) rules for fish harvesters: EI benefits will be calculated based on insurable earnings from previous seasons (winter and summer claims).

Emergency Funding for Safety Measures in Forestry Operations

Thirty million dollars will be provided to offset the additional costs associated with safety measures implemented by small and medium enterprises in the forest sector.

Energy sector

Support for the Energy Sector

Loan program

Natural Resources Canada will create a loan program to help oil and gas companies reduce their greenhouse gas emissions while maintaining industry jobs.

Rapid access to financing

The Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) and Export Development Canada (EDC) will provide energy sector companies with rapid access to the financing they need to maintain operations and keep their employees working.

Financial support to clean up oil and gas wells

The Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) is providing $1.7B in financial support to the energy sector for the clean up of orphan and inactive oil and gas wells in Alberta, Saskatchewan and British Columbia.

Tourism

Tourism and Hospitality Recovery Program (THRP)

This new program provides support for hotels, tour operators, travel agencies and restaurants through wage and rent subsidies at rates of up to 75%. This program is offered until May 7, 2022 and the proposed subsidy rates will be in effect until March 13, 2022. The rates will be reduced by half from March 13 to May 7, 2022. Find out more in our explanatory document.

Media, culture and heritage

Ottawa provides assistance for the media

In order to help the publishing and news sectors during the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government is investing $30M, essentially in conventional media.

Additionally, Canadian Heritage is working to establish a simplified procedure to submit and process 2020-2021 funding requests for magazines and publishers for the Canada Book Fund and Canada Periodical Fund.

The federal government has also published additional proposals to make adjustments to the tax measures to support the news and broadcasting sectors.

Short-term compensation fund to support Canadian audiovisual productions (STCF)

Administered by Telefilm Canada, in collaboration with the Canada Media Fund, this fund will compensate independent production companies. This measure is temporary and is intended to compensate for the lack of insurance to cover production stoppages related to confirmed cases of COVID-19 on film sets in the audiovisual industry.

Government of Canada Provides Relief to the Broadcasting Sector

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) will not issue letters requesting payment for Part I licence fees by broadcasters for the 2020-21 fiscal year. Waiving these regulatory charges for broadcasters provides immediate financial relief for the broadcasting industry, freeing up more than $30 million in cash.

The Government of Canada will provide additional relief of up to $50M to eligible television and radio stations by waiving Part II broadcasting licence fees in 2020-21, which are collected annually by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC).

Financial support to meet the needs of cultural, heritage and sport organizations

A $500 million fund has been created to help cultural, sports and heritage organizations. It will provide wage support to artists, creators and athletes and financing for organizations with cash flow problems. The amounts will be allocated through partner organizations. They will be divided among select departmental programs and key delivery organizations:

  • $198.3M for beneficiaries of arts and culture funding;
  • $72M for the sport sector;
  • $53M for the heritage sector through the emergency component of the Museums Assistance Program;
  • $3.5M for COVID-19 related projects under the Digital Citizen Initiative;
  • $55M to be distributed by the Canada Council for the Arts;
  • $115.8M to be distributed by the Canada Media Fund ($88M) and Telefilm Canada ($27M) to support the Canadian audiovisual sector.

The use of the remaining funds will be assessed based on needs.

Community organizations

Assistance for community projects for seniors

The government is investing an additional $20 M in the New Horizons Program for seniors to help organizations carrying out community projects the purpose of which is to reduce isolation, improve seniors’ quality of life and maintain a social support network.

Financial assistance for Indigenous community projects

Additional financial assistance will provide support for community projects that meet the immediate needs of Indigenous peoples living in urban centres and off reserve during the pandemic.

Among others, the funds will support projects that address food security, mental health support services, and sanitation and protective equipment needs as well as support for Elders, transportation, and educational materials for Indigenous children and youth.

Student jobs

Changes to Canada Summer Jobs Program

Temporary changes made to the Canada Summer Jobs Program to help employers hire young workers for the summer in this current situation. These changes include, among others:

  • Increase in the wage subsidy enabling public and private sector employers to receive up to 100% of minimum wage for each employee;
  • Possibility of hiring part-time staff;
  • Extension of employment end date to February 28, 2021.

Other measures taken by federal government to create student jobs:

Youth employment and skills strategy

Providing $153.7M for the “Youth Employment and Skills Strategy” to help young people gain experience in high-demand sectors such as agriculture, technology, health and essential services. This initiative will create an additional 6,000 jobs.

Student work placement program

$80M to the Post-Secondary Student Work Experience Program to provide post-secondary students with work experience related to their field of study.

Investment in “Mitacs” and redirection of federal support for the “Business/Higher Education Roundtable”

In order to create 5,000 new jobs, the government is injecting $40 M to support Mitacs.

Furthermore, by redirecting current federal support and reinforcing online tools, “Business/Higher Education Roundtable” should also create 5,000 to 10,000 new student placements.

Quebec

All SMEs and large enterprises
Agriculture and bio-food
Health and essential services
Community organizations
Tourism, hotels and leisure
Art and cultural sector

SMEs and large enterprises

Concerted Temporary Action Plan for Businesses

Thanks to the Concerted Temporary Action Plan for Businesses (CTAPB), eligible businesses, including cooperatives, NFPOs and social economy enterprises carrying out commercial activities, are eligible for financial support to address the cash shortfall associated with COVID-19 due to:

  • a problem in the supply of raw materials or products (goods or services);
  • an inability or substantial decreased ability to deliver goods, products or services.

With few exceptions, businesses in all activity sectors are eligible for this program. Financial assistance, of a minimum amount of $50,000, is provided in the form of a loan guarantee, but may also take the form of a loan.

The program is enhanced for businesses in the red zone; the financing granted to these businesses targets needs as of October 1, 2020.

Emergency aide for small- and medium-sized businesses (PAUPME)

The Emergency Assistance Program for Small and Medium-Sized Businesses seeks to support the working capital of SMEs for a period no more than six months to enable them to maintain, consolidate or recover their activities. The assistance granted will take the form of a loan or loan guarantee of up to a maximum of $50,000 at a 3% interest rate.

For information on the Emergency Assistance for Small and Medium-Sized Businesses Program, contact your RCM, your municipality’s office or the organization in charge of managing your RCM’s Fonds local d’investissement (FLI).

To support establishments subject to a closure order, the Assistance for Businesses in Regions on Maximum Alert (AERAM) section allows for loan forgiveness (non-repayable financial assistance) for loans granted under the PAUPME after October 1, 2020. The loan forgiveness could reach 100% of the eligible fixed expenses, up to $15,000 per month of closure. Loan forgiveness cannot exceed 80% of the loan granted under the PAUPME.

The moratorium on the repayment of principal and interest related to financial assistance granted under the AERAM section of the PAUPME has been extended until March 31, 2022.

Relief measures for loans and loan guarantees outstanding

A six-month moratorium has been introduced for the repayment (principal and interest) of loans already granted through local investment funds. Interest accumulated during this period will be added to the loan balance.

For more information about the FLI, contact your RCM or local fund manager.

Payment of QST

Quebec is following the federal government’s lead and will allow businesses to defer, until June 30, their returns and remittances for the QST payments scheduled for March 31, April 30 and May 31, without interest or penalties.

Accelerated processing of tax credit claims

Revenu Québec will accelerate its processing of income tax credit requests for businesses and tax refunds.

Note that the deadline for filing claims for refundable tax credits for businesses, claims for non-refundable tax credits for international financial centres, non-refundable tax credits for the development of e-business and claims for the deduction of expenses incurred for scientific research and experimental development, has been extended to December 31, 2020.

Revenu Québec: reimbursing employees for teleworking equipment

Given the COVID-19 situation, Revenu Québec considers that reimbursing an employee up to $500 for computer equipment needed for teleworking primarily benefits the employer and is not a taxable benefit for the employee.

Credit for businesses for contributions to the Health Services Fund for employees on forced leave

This Quebec assistance will compensate for costs not covered by the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy and will be in effect until November 21, 2020.

Quebec supports local buying with the Panier Bleu project

To promote local purchasing in Quebec, the government is launching LePanierBleu.ca, a non-transactional digital platform designed to list all Quebec retailers and their products under the same banner. Consumers will be able to locate businesses by region online. Merchants can add their business now.

Regional air transportation: aid program to maintain essential services in the regions

In order to maintain essential air services to remote regions, the government is offering financial assistance to ensure the transportation of goods and patients requiring medical care.

The target regions are: Îles-de-la-Madeleine, Basse-Côte-Nord, Île d’Anticosti, Eeyou Istchee Baie-James, Schefferville and Fermont sectors and Nunavik.

Quebec investing in scientific and technological projects

To support scientific and technological projects relating to the pandemic, the province will invest $10 M through the Programme innovation, the Programme de soutien aux organismes de recherche et d’innovation and the Quebec Research Funds.

Quebec Provides $100M for the National Bank SME Growth Fund

This Fund will complement the financing usually offered to SME owners by providing equity or quasi-equity financing. It is intended for SMEs in all sectors of activity that have reached various development stages.

This growth fund is being financed through a $100M investment from the Government of Quebec and the same amount from National Bank and private investors, for a total of $200M.

Creation of Réseau Accès entreprise Québec

Accès entreprise Québec will be the gateway for businesses to access services and organizations focusing on entrepreneurs. The Quebec government wants to ensure that businesses have access to high-quality coaching, growth capital and investment services that are comparable from one region to another and respect regional specificities. More information on the government’s website.

Transition Fund: loans to support social economy enterprises

This fund help social economy enterprises to recover from the COVID-19 health crisis with projects adapted to the new reality: business transformation, creation of new product or service, innovation in processes.

Agriculture and bio-food

La Financière agricole du Québec: measures to support farm producers

Here are some measures put in place by the Financière agricole du Québec (FADQ) to support farm producers:

Loan moratorium

Six-moratorium on loan repayments for La Financière agricole clients who apply for it.

Crop Insurance Program (ASREC): dates postponed

The enrolment date for the Crop Insurance Program (ASREC) is extended from April 30 to July 1, 2020.

Farm Income Stabilization Insurance Program (ASRA): payments and advances for the cattle, hog and sheep sectors

No notices of assessment will be sent before July 1st. Additionally, final payments for the 2019 insurance year will be made in April for the cattle and hog sectors and in May for the sheep sector, as scheduled. The second advance for cereal and canola compensations will be paid in April.

Loan of up to $50,000 to support cash flow needs

A loan of up to $50,000 can be quickly granted by the FADQ with a possible ten-year repayment term and a 12-month capital payment relief.

Early investment grant payments

Investment grant payments scheduled for June 1st will be made on May 1st. These payments relate to the following programs:

Support for Diversification and Regional Development Program (PDDR);

Support for Québec Farm Business Development Program (PADEAQ); and

Program to Support Funding of Animal Welfare and Energy Efficiency Investments (PSFI).

AgriStability: insurance and income protection

It is possible to obtain interim AgriStability payments. Interim payments will increase from 50% to 75% of program benefits. The deadline to apply and make a contribution payment is postponed to July 3, 2020.

These additional measures can be viewed here.

$2.4M for 2019-2022 mariculture park revitalization program

This initiative supports Quebec mariculture producers who wish to renew their equipment or facilities. Assistance may be up to 35% of eligible expenses for these projects, to a maximum of $150,000 per project, except for mariculture producers in the Magdalen Islands, who may obtain up to 45% of eligible expenses, to take into account this region’s special character.

Financial assistance to make public markets accessible online

Quebec is providing $50,000 to the Association des marchés publics du Québec (AMPQ) to launch a transactional digital platform for the purchase of local products, which will be operational as of May 16.

Health and essential services

Financial assistance for the psychological support of health network workers

This additional financing will boost the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) to meet increased needs given the current context. All network employees and managers will be entitled to three additional psychological support sessions in addition to the five or six already provided per 12-month period.

Community organizations

$3M in emergency assistance for addiction lodging resources

Quebec grants additional funding, through the CIUSSS and CISSS, to private or community resources offering addiction lodging. This assistance will cover additional costs relating to the pandemic such as the purchase of health equipment, hiring of resources and payment of overtime, and maintenance, surveillance and food costs.

Creation of a temporary component for the Mille et UN Fund for Young People to help youth organizations

Quebec is setting aside $1M from the Mille et UN Fund to help youth organizations during their funding campaigns. The assistance provided will range from $5,000 to $50,000 and will be a maximum of 50% of the goal. The first payment will be made when the organization has achieved 50% of its crowdfunding goal and the second one at the end of the campaign.

Tourism, hôtels and leisure

Programme Passeport Attraits: Quebec increases assistance by $8.7M to stimulate tourism

$8.7M has been added to the Programme Passeport Attraits which was launched on June 21, 2020. This additional funding will make it possible to continue the initiative by stimulating fall and winter tourism in all regions of Quebec. The program will be in effect until December 31, 2021, or until the budget envelope is exhausted.

Flexible measures concerning annual certification fees for touristic accommodation establishments

Since March 28, 2020, the Corporation de l’industrie touristique du Québec has suspended the billing of annual fees for holders of a classification certification. No penalty will be imposed on the holders concerned and no certification will be cancelled.

Financial assistance for tourism festivals and events

Organizations receiving financial assistance for tourism festivals and events for the 2020-2021 summer-fall period will receive their first installment, or 80% of the total subsidy amount, whether or not their activities are maintained. They will receive their second installment – up to 20% of the financial assistance – according to the amount of expenses incurred at the time the event is cancelled.

Creation of Fonds de développement des entreprises touristiques of $11.5M

The Quebec Government and Filaction are joining forces to support projects that target new clienteles or extend the operating period of tourism businesses. A loan ranging from $50,000 to $500,000 may be granted to existing or start-up businesses in the tourism sector that request it and whose main activity is in Quebec.

Adjustments to PACTE – Tourism component: More inclusive and generous

The criteria to access this program have been broadened. Previously, only hotels and tourist attractions were eligible for the PACTE – Tourism component. In the context of the crisis provoked by COVID-19, this assistance will further support the industry.

In addition, tourism businesses that have an active case file under the program could have 100% of their monthly energy costs incurred between January 1, 2021 and June 30, 2021 forgiven, up to $35,000 per month, for a maximum of $210,000 per establishment. (up to a maximum of $250,000).

The initial repayment period, which was five years following a two-year moratorium on principal and interest, has been extended by three years to eight years. Note that these changes can be applied to loans granted under the PACTE-Tourism component since they were implemented in the summer of 2020.

Art and cultural sector

Recovery plan for cultural sector

In order to stimulate artistic creation and support cultural organizations and artists affected by the crisis, the Government of Quebec has presented a recovery plan for the cultural sector. It intends to inject nearly $290 M in 2020-2021, including $110 M in additional investments for the current fiscal year.

In particular, the plan aims to:

  • support film and television production ($91.5 M);
  • support cultural businesses and organizations in resuming their activities ($71.9 M);
  • support innovation and creation in the performing arts (theatre, dance, circus, music, etc.) ($50.9 M);
  • increase the envelopes for the music sector for the implementation of innovative projects ($33.5 M);
  • give the cultural community the means to achieve its digital ambitions ($14 M);
  • promote Quebec culture and large-scale projects ($13 M);
  • support artists and writers in their creation ($6.5 M);
  • enhance existing financial assistance to revive artistic and cultural festivals and events ($5.9 M);
  • document the effects of the pandemic on the cultural community and support smaller real estate and equipment acquisition projects ($2.2 M).

Additionally, cultural organizations that present Quebec performances in the performing arts, music and variety, and literature and tale will be able to benefit from a new temporary measure that will be administered by the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec and the Société de développement des entreprises culturelles. This measure consists of paying out up to 75% of box office revenues that could not be collected due to the health measures, compared to the same operating period of the previous year. It covers revenues for the period beginning October 1, 2020 and ending March 31, 2021.

In addition to improving its financial assistance for the circus community, the CALQ is introducing two new financial assistance measures to help produce and present circus shows:

  • Support for the presentation of shows before an audience, while complying with the rules of physical distancing in effect;
  • Support through the Digital Exploration and Deployment program, whose envelope has been increased, for projects to adapt existing works for digital distribution.

For more information, refer to this detailed document on the recovery plan.

Emergency fund for performing arts artists and cultural workers

The Ministère de la Culture et des Communications has provided $2M, which the Fondation des artistes can use to make a $2,000 donation to any artist or cultural worker who satisfies the following criteria:

  • Works in the performing arts and contributes directly to the creation or presentation of the creative work;
  • Is a professional performer, whether or not a member of an association;
  • Has been active professionally in the past 18 months;
  • Is having financial difficulties.

SODEC: Temporary working capital support

The purpose of this program is to support businesses with temporary cash problems with renewable credits, loans and loan guarantees.

Eligibility criteria include: be a legally incorporated for-profit or not-for-profit entity that works primarily in the SODEC’s fields of activity.

Cultural Sector Recovery Plan – Quebec Provides Support of over $4.5M for Quebec Movie Theaters

An amount of $4.6M has been allocated for a call for projects aimed at providing support to Quebec-owned commercial movie theatres, as part of the Plan de relance économique du milieu culturel. Driven by the Société de développement des entreprises culturelles (SODEC), this new call for projects is an addition to existing government measures. The objectives of the resulting financial assistance that will be provided as subsidies are to:

  • Support movie theaters facing a liquidity crisis caused by the shutdown or slowdown of their activities due to COVID-19;
  • Contribute to maintaining the distribution capacity of movie theatre operators showing Quebec films.

The Sod@ccès portal is here.

Ontario

Ontario – Employment Standards Amendment Act (Infectious Disease Emergencies), 2020

The 2020 Employment Standards Amendment Act (Infectious Disease Emergencies) provides job-protected leave to employees in isolation or quarantine due to COVID-19, or those who need to be away from work to care for children because of school or daycare closures or to care for other relatives. Find out more.

Creation of a Community Support Program

The government is working with Ontario Community Support Association (OCSA) to launch a Community Support Program to expand Meals on Wheels services for low-income seniors and people with disabilities and chronic medical conditions.

The program will also develop organizations’ capacity to deliver medication and other essentials.

$2.5M to grow agri-food e-business

The governments of Canada and Ontario have announced they are investing $2.5M to help the agri-food sector (producers, retailers, garden centres, greenhouses and agricultural associations) grow its online business.

There are two funding streams:

  • Bring Your Business Online: grant of up to $5,000 for organizations and businesses that want to establish an online e-business;
  • Develop Online Business Opportunities: cost-share funding of up to $75,000 to implement higher-impact e-business projects.

Financial relief for industrial and commercial electricity consumers

The Ontario government is deferring a portion of global adjustment (GA) charges for industrial and commercial electricity consumers who do not participate in the Regulated Price Plan (RPP). This temporary measure will provide relief on their electricity bills for the months of April, May and June 2020.

Ontario Tourism and Hospitality Small Business Support Grant

The Ontario government is providing an estimated $100 million for this program that supports the province’s tourism industry as it recovers from the impacts of COVID-19.

Ontario Investing in the Sport and Recreation Sector

The Ontario government is providing more than $15 million to support grassroots activities, sport and recreation organizations and high-performance athletes. This funding will encourage even more children, youth, families and athletes to get active and return to play safely, as the sector continues to follow COVID-19 restrictions and reopening regulations.

Implementation of the Stop the Spread Business Information Line

Businesses that have questions about the recent Ontario emergency decree can call 1-888 444-3659 toll-free. The line is open seven days a week from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

New Brunswick

Emergency income benefits for New Brunswick workers

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.

The benefit will help to bridge the gap between when a person lost their job or closed their business on or after March 15, 2020, to when the national benefit takes effect. The benefit will end on April 30, 2020.

The period to submit an application to take advantage of the $900 one-time income benefit has ended.

Job protection for workers

Legislative and regulatory amendments will be introduced to provide job protection for workers who must take a leave of absence due to COVID-19. It will allow an unpaid leave of up to 15 weeks to New Brunswickers who have COVID-19 or are caring for someone with the virus.

Launch of job matching platform

This web platform was developed to help with job matches during the pandemic. It is intended to assist employers in meeting their urgent recruitment needs and to allow job seekers to apply for vacant positions.

Essential service workers can still obtain child care services

Information for essential service workers on how to access child care services is now available through the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development’s Parent Portal or by calling 1-833-221-9339.

Additionally, essential workers will not be required to pay double childcare expenses.

This includes those paying to reserve a space at their usual childcare facility but whose child is attending one of the emergency childcare facilities. In this situation, the department will cover the costs of emergency childcare.

Support for non-profit organizations

The provincial government will offer subsidies $500 to $10,000 through the Community Investment Fund (CIF) to support small- or medium-sized non-profits impacted by COVID-19.

Municipal

Quebec municipalities
Montréal area
Québec area
Saguenay−Lac-Saint-Jean
Ottawa area

Quebec municipalities

Municipal tax payments deferred

In order to support businesses and companies in their territory, several municipalities have announced special measures to defer payment of municipal taxes.

For more information, contact your municipal councellor.

Other municipal and regional assistance programs have been implemented, in particular through the local investment funds (assistance measures previously announced by the provincial government). Here are some examples below.

A sample COVID_19 pandemic recovery plan offered to municipalities by the Association de sécurité civile du Québec (ASCQ)

This planning tool is intended for all stakeholders working to restore municipal services in preparation for the transition to the post-pandemic period.

Montréal area

A $60M Recovery Plan for the City of Montréal for 2021

As the first measure in this 10-year recovery plan, the City is injecting $60M to fund 10 measures starting in 2021 to support the most vulnerable sectors, while laying the foundations for a more resilient, greener and inclusive economy:

  • A strategy for a robust, resilient city centre – $10M;
  • Stimulus for business vitality – $12.2M;
  • Increased support for the cultural and creative sectors – $5.6M;
  • A green shift for a successful transition – $8M;
  • The social economy, an asset for recovery – $6M;
  • Food self-sufficiency and urban agriculture – $5M;
  • Development of the territory at the heart of Montréal’s revitalization – $4.7M;
  • Innovation at the heart of recovery – $3M;
  • People at the heart of our economy – $3.2M;
  • Outreach as the foundation of a world-class metropolis – $2.3M.

Montréal presents economic recovery plan: Act now

The City is announcing its plan, which represents an investment of close to $22M and consists of 20 measures in four areas:

  • Putting business at the heart of the recovery ($5.6M): stimulating commercial arteries and supporting merchants;
  • Helping organizations do business differently ($4.8M): acting on the issues of debt, business model transformation, supporting start-ups and the social economy;
  • Reinventing the territory’s economic development ($10.5M): building on the territory’s strategic assets and creating new support programs for sustainable investment;
  • Mobilizing the economic ecosystem and generating renewed economic commitment ($1.1M): supporting and coordinating initiatives in terms of international outreach, research, data and training.

Programme d’aide financière aux établissements situés dans un secteur affecté par des travaux majeurs

In order to optimize this program following its initial implementation, Montréal mandated the firm Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton to conduct a study aimed at identifying the factors that would allow a greater number of businesses to benefit from this program.

In light of this study, Montréal increased the financial envelope for the program by $1.2 million and modified some of its terms and conditions to facilitate access to the program for a greater number of merchants.

City of Montréal and Fondaction announce $30M investment fund

The purpose of this fund is to finance and support SMEs with innovative business models or that wish to transform their model by integrating principles of circularity, in particular to reduce greenhouse gas emissions or the production of residual waste.

Support measures for Montreal businesses

The City of Montréal has announced several support measures, which you can consult HERE.

Here are the main support measures.

Montréal: Assistance to SMEs

Under the Quebec government’s Aide d’urgence au petites et moyennes entreprise program, Montréal will receive $40M to support SMEs. In order to make the funds available, the City will advance the $40M until it receives the government assistance.

The assistance will be channeled through PME MTL and take the form of a loan of up to $50,000 at an interest rate of 3% (six-month moratorium on principal and interest).

Businesses could also benefit from a 36-month amortization period to repay the loan. An additional 12-month moratorium on principal could also be granted.

Grants to support retailers

The City of Montréal is creating a $2M temporary grant fund to support retailers in light of the upcoming resumption of commercial activities and the new health measure requirements. The PME MTL network will be responsible for managing the fund, which is in addition to the $1M provided for the Fonds entrepreneuriat commercial.

Support for commercial recovery in downtown Montréal

Temporary program to support COVID-19 commercial recovery

This program assists commercial development corporations (CDCs), associations of registered merchants and non-profit organizations in the Ville-Marie borough whose recovery projects meet the objectives. All program details and the support application form are available online.

More than $850,000 to increase the microcredit offer to small and new Montreal businesses

Ville de Montréal, Microcrédit Montréal and the Mirella and Lino Saputo Foundation are joining forces to facilitate access to microcredit for Montreal businesses.

Businesses wishing to take advantage of this additional financing offer should contact Microcrédit Montréal.

Tourisme Montréal opens admission to projects under Part 1 of the EPRT and EDNET agreements

As part of the financial assistance measures granted by the Ministère du Tourisme du Québec to the tourism industry, Tourisme Montréal announces the implementation of the first part of the Entente de partenariat régional en tourisme 2020-2022 (EPRT) and the resumption of calls for projects related to the Entente de développement numérique des entreprises touristiques (EDNET). These programs are aimed at maintaining, adapting and developing Montréal’s tourism product, which has been affected by the consequences of COVID-19 since last March.

Support for renovations for buildings that house artists’ studios (City of Montréal)

To help artists recover from the effects of the pandemic, the City of Montreal and the Ministère de la Culture et des Communications are providing funding for feasibility studies and renovations for professional artists’ studios, primarily in the visual arts or crafts. Selected projects will be eligible for a maximum of $5,460,000 in financial support.

Développement économique de l’agglomération de Longueuil (DEL)

DEL could grant a three-month moratorium on loan repayments to businesses in its portfolio.

COVID-19 loan: This loan that will be repayable in 12 months, with possible refinancing after 12 months, is managed by DEL and could be used to cover the business’s operating expenses.

Québec area

Over $20M now available for Québec City SMEs

As part of its economic plan for SMEs and local businesses in the agglomeration, the Québec City and the government of Québec have made several assistance measures available to support businesses through these various measures:

Québec City: Tax freeze for 2021

To help citizens and merchants, Québec City has announced a tax freeze for the year 2021.

Saguenay−Lac-Saint-Jean

Saguenay releases $3.5M to support SMEs

The City of Saguenay and Promotion Saguenay will make a $3.5M envelope available to small- and medium-sized businesses to enable them to survive the current disruptions and ensure the recovery of economic activity as quickly as possible.

Ottawa area

City of Ottawa: Economic support and recovery

The Ottawa Board of Trade, Regroupement des gens d’affaires, Ottawa Tourism and Ottawa Festival Network have created an Economic Partners Task Force.

Several measures have been put in place, including a new 2020 Property Tax Hardship Deferral Program.

Other measures

SMEs and large enterprises
Community organizations
Culture and media
Hotel and tourism industry

SMEs and large enterprises

The Caisse frees up $4 billion for Quebec businesses

The Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec established a $4 billion envelope to support Quebec businesses temporarily affected by COVID-19.

This envelope is designed to meet the specific liquidity needs of companies meeting specified criteria, whether or not they are already in the portfolio. Among them, qualifying companies had to be profitable before the COVID-19 crisis, have promising growth prospects in their sector and are seeking financing of more than $5 million.

Organizations wishing to submit an application can fill in a form. Once this form is received, there will be an initial telephone contact to assess the application.

COVID-19: Desjardins announces relief measures for personal and business members and clients

Business members and clients directly impacted by COVID-19 can reach out to Desjardins to discuss their options. The financial cooperative will review each request on a case-by-case basis and provide options that could include relaxed credit terms and flexibility for loan repayment, such as a moratorium on principal debt repayment and payment deferrals on credit cards and Accord D financing.

COVID-19: National Bank to Offer Support to its Clients

Business clients who find themselves in difficulty due to current events will also be able to benefit from flexible solutions tailored to their specific situation and industry. Our experts will assess each situation and account managers will find solutions based on the client’s individual situation.

RBC: Canada’s Six Biggest Banks Take Decisive Action to Help Customers Impacted by COVID-19

Bank of Montreal, CIBC, National Bank of Canada, RBC Royal Bank, Scotiabank and TD Bank have made a commitment to work with personal and small business banking customers on a case-by-case basis to provide flexible solutions to help them manage through challenges such as pay disruption, childcare disruption due to school closures; or those facing illness from COVID-19.

This support will include up to a six-month payment deferral for mortgages, and the opportunity for relief on other credit products.

Individual Canadians or business owners facing hardship are encouraged to contact their bank directly to discuss options that could be available to them.

TD announces additional customer and colleague response to COVID-19

Alongside Canada’s six largest banks, TD has announced a commitment to work with personal and small business banking customers on a case-by-case basis to provide flexible solutions to help them manage through challenges such as pay disruption due to COVID-19; childcare disruption due to school closures; or those facing illness from COVID-19. This support will include up to a six-month payment deferral for mortgages, and the opportunity for relief on other credit products.

Scotiabank announces support for customers, employees and communities impacted by COVID-19

Scotiabank will offer assistance to customers impacted by COVID-19 including mortgage payment deferrals of up to six months. Scotiabank customers may also qualify for a variety of other support measures and are encouraged to visit Scotiabank.com to learn more. As every situation is different, Scotiabank is committed to working with all our customers on a case-by-case basis to help provide some relief for those who are suffering financial hardships experienced as a result of COVID-19.

In addition to mortgage payment deferral, Scotiabank is ready to support Canadians experiencing financial stress due to COVID-19. Customers and businesses are encouraged to visit Scotiabank.com or talk to their Scotiabank Advisor or Relationship Manager to learn about the relief options available.

Laurentian Bank Financial Group is supporting its customers during the COVID-19 pandemic

Accommodations for business customers are available. Laurentian Bank is proactively reaching out to its business customers but invite those in immediate need to contact their Account Manager to discuss solutions tailored to each situation.

HSBC (Canada) – COVID-19: How we’re here to help.

We will work with all of our personal and small business customers who may be experiencing financial hardship including job loss, illness, or other circumstances resulting in a reduction of income due to COVID-19.

All inquiries will be addressed on a case-by-case basis and we will offer flexible solutions that will best suit the needs of our customers. This will include up to six months of payment deferral for mortgages and relief on other credit products as needed.

The Autorité des marchés financiers du Québec (AMF) relaxes financial sector standards in Quebec to support the economy

To mitigate the negative impacts of COVID-19 on the Quebec financial system, the AMF has relaxed its standards. These measures include adjustments to capital and liquidity adequacy guidelines, as well as regulatory and administrative relief.

Specifically, the measures taken by the AMF are reflected in adjustments to the capital and liquidity adequacy guidelines, regulatory and administrative relief.

Desjardins Rolls Out Its Strategy to Help Get the Economy Back on Track

Desjardins is introducing a series of initiatives to help businesses and community organizations with their economic recovery. Here are the two main measures.

The GoodSpark Fund: $150M for Quebec and Ontario

This $150M fund will support initiatives extending into 2024 to stimulate social and economic activity. Financial support will go to employment, economic vitality, education and environment projects. Organizations that want to apply can contact their Desjardins caisse.

The Momentum Fund: $10M to stimulate local business development

This fund will provide funding equal to 25% of project costs, up to a maximum of $10,000. There is a wide range of categories, including digital transformation, ergonomics and physical distancing, psychological support, business model transformation, innovation, business succession, international market development, and investment in talent and energy-efficient equipment.

Le Fonds de solidarité FTQ: Measures to support partner companies and companies that are not yet partners

The Fonds is offering all its portfolio companies a six-month deferral of loan interest and principal payments.
This temporary relief will also be implemented by the Fonds locaux de solidarité FTQ, so that RCMs and other FTQ manager organizations can benefit from them.

Teams will assess all the financing requests received from businesses that are not yet partners. The Fonds de solidarité FTQ will collaborate with other institutional and bank investors to help support local businesses.

Hydro-Québec announces measures for its customers

In the coming weeks, Hydro-Quebec will not cut off power to any customers, whether residential or business. The suspension of service interruptions, which lasts from December 1 to March 31, will thus be extended until further notice. Residential and business customers who expect to have a difficult time paying their bill, are invited to make a payment arrangement on the web site.

Until further notice, Hydro-Québec will suspend the application of charges for unpaid invoices for all its customers. Customers who are unable to pay their electricity bills will therefore have no penalty. The suspension of these charges will be applied automatically.

Stingray Radio launches advertising grants recovery program for local businesses

Local entities that operate within 100 km of one of the 104 Stingray radio stations can submit an application for a grant in the form of free radio advertising for a value of $1,000 to $100,000. Recipient businesses will have 12 months to book and air their radio advertising campaign.

Shopify: measures to support merchants and businesses

Shopify will provide interest-free loans from $200 to $500,000 to help them deal with the crisis. The advances will be repaid through future sales.

Insurance Bureau of Canada: damage insurance providers of Canada commit to help consumers and business owners in these uncertain times

Consumers who have questions about their insurance coverage or are concerned about their ability to continue paying their premiums due to the impact of COVID-19 should contact their insurance representative to discuss a potential solution.

Commercial insurance products, in particular, are often highly specialized and tailored to the client’s unique needs. Therefore, it is important for commercial insurance clients to discuss their contract with their insurance representative.

BDC implements financing program for medium-sized businesses

This loan program is designed for medium-sized businesses with annual revenues of $100M to $500M that are particularly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and/or the recent decline in oil and gas prices. The terms and conditions are as follows:

  • Loans ranging from $12.5M to $60M, available until September 30, 2020;
  • 90% of the financing will be provided by BDC and 10% by participating financial institutions;
  • The loans will be for a four-year term, after which the principal must be repaid in a lump sum;
  • Interest payments for the first 12 months will be capitalized and due at maturity.

BMO Continues Support for Women Entrepreneurs With New Grant Program

Full details about the program’s criteria and terms and conditions will be announced and made available in early July on BMO’s website.

BDC Launches $160M Financing Envelope to Support Intellectual Property (IP) Development in Canada

This financing will provide IP-rich companies in Canada with access to customized patient capital that recognizes the strength and value of a company’s IP strategy and portfolio.

Community organizations

Launch of new Indigenous People’s Resilience Fund (IPRF)

The Fund is governed by an Indigenous Advisory Council. Any Indigenous-led or Indigenous-serving organization working to strengthen the resilience of First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities in Canada can apply for resiliency funding ranging from $5,000 to $30,000.

Autorité des marchés financiers supporting front-line organizations

The financial support for family economy cooperative associations (Associations coopératives d’économie familiale – ACEFs), Quebec’s consumer associations and three seniors associations will be provided over four years instead of five, thereby doubling the 2020-2021 assistance.

The assistance will help these community organizations affected by the COVID-19 situation to more effectively respond to the growing number of requests for assistance and financial advice from Quebeckers in a precarious situation.

The AMF is also making its financial education expertise and resources available to them as well as tools to facilitate their communications with consumers.

The organizations in question are:

  • Option consommateurs and members of the Union des consommateurs;
  • Members of the Coalition des associations de consommateurs du Québec;
  • The Association québécoise des retraité(e)s des secteurs public et parapublic (AQRP), Association des retraitées et retraités de l’éducation et des autres services publics du Québec and the FADOQ network.

Canadian Tire Jumpstart foundation launches $8M sport relief fund to preserve play

This fund supports sports and recreation organizations so that they can continue to offer programs in 2020 and beyond.

Culture and media

Emergency financial assistance for visual artists

The Regroupement des artistes en arts visuels du Québec (RAAV) has set up a special fund to help visual artists whose contracts have been cancelled due to the pandemic. Financial assistance is limited to a maximum of $500 per application. This measure is retroactive to March 15, 2020, and will remain in effect until the state of emergency is lifted or until the funds earmarked for this special assistance are exhausted.

Hotel and tourism industry

Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC): Development Stimulus Fund

The goal of this program is to assist in providing relief for Canadian Indigenous tourism businesses that are being affected by the impacts of travel restrictions and prepare for future tourism seasons. This can include market awareness, managing larger volumes of visitors, training qualified staff, and designing sustainable business growth strategies.

The funding amount for any one applicant will be up to a maximum of $25,000.

Alliance de l’industrie touristique du Québec: $7M to Help Tourism Businesses Adapt to Public Health Sanitary

This support is made possible thanks to the financial support of Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions and will be available while funds last or until March 31, 2022.