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.


Francis Letendre
Head – Public Affairs
Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton
Tel: 514-390-4201
[email protected]

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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 August 12, 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
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) will be offered until October 23, 2021.

For a summary of these measures 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) will be offered until October 23, 2021.

More information here.

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.

10% Temporary Wage Subsidy

This subsidy will allow eligible employers to reduce the amount of payroll deductions required to be remitted to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). The subsidy is available for employers and is equal to 10% of the remuneration paid from March 18, 2020 to June 19, 2020, up to a maximum of $25,000 per employer. The amount to which an employer is entitled will reduce the amount that can be claimed for the period in question under the 75% Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy program.

GST/HST, QST and Customs Duties

GST/HST and QST remittances will be deferred to June 30, 2020. The extension applies to the following deadlines:

  • The date that monthly filers have to remit amounts collected for the February, March and April 2020 reporting periods;
  • The date that quarterly filers have to remit amounts collected for the January 1, 2020 through March 31, 2020 reporting period;
  • The date that annual filers, whose GST/HST return or instalment are due in March, April or May 2020, have to remit amounts collected and owing for their previous fiscal year and instalments of GST/HST in respect of the filer’s current fiscal year;
  • The extension also applies to customs duties.

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

Work-Sharing (WS) is a program that helps employers and employees avoid layoffs when there is a temporary decrease in business activity beyond the employer’s control. To support businesses affected by COVID-19, new measures provide for an extension of the maximum duration of a Work-Sharing agreement to 76 weeks. The mandatory waiting period for a new agreement has also been eliminated.

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

New dates have been added for filing income tax returns. The Canada Revenue Agency will allow all businesses to defer to September 1, 2020, the payment of any income tax amounts. This relief would apply to tax balances due, as well as instalments. No interest or penalties will accumulate on these amounts during this period. See all the tax return flexibility measures here.

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.

Relief for federally regulated pension plan sponsors

In order to provide employers with the financial resources needed for their operations, there will be a moratorium, through to December 31, 2020, on solvency payment requirements for federally regulated defined-benefit pension plans.

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 Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)

The federal government introduced this benefit of $2,000 per month for a maximum of 28 weeks for the period beginning March 15, 2020. The purpose of this benefit is to provide support to eligible workers who have lost their income due to the COVID-19 pandemic:

  • Canadians who have lost their job, are sick, quarantined or taking care of someone who is sick with COVID-19, including contract and self-employed workers;
  • Workers who are employed but are not receiving any income because of a disruption in their work due to COVID-19;
  • Workers who earn a maximum of $1,000 per month;
  • Seasonal workers who cannot work and have exhausted their Employment Insurance benefits or who have exhausted their Employment Insurance benefits and have not found a new job.

As of September 27, CERB will be replaced by Employment Insurance with more flexible criteria and other programs.

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.

Bank of Canada measures

The Bank of Canada has adopted a series of measures to support the economy and financial system. These include:

  • Policy rate set at 0.25%;
  • Lending operations to financial institutions and asset purchases in funding markets amounting to around $200B;
  • Purchase at least $5 billion in Government of Canada securities per week;
  • Increase in the amount of treasury bills acquired at auctions to up to 40%;
  • Purchase of up to $50B in provincial bonds under the Provincial Money Market Purchase Program;
  • Introduction of a Corporate Bond Purchase Program to purchase up to $10B in corporate bonds on the secondary market.

New wage boost for essential workers

The Government of Canada has also announced that it will support the provinces and territories through a transfer to share the cost of a temporary salary top up for low-income essential workers. Each province and territory will determine which workers qualify and the amount of assistance they will receive.

Since Quebec has already introduced the Incentive Program to Retain Essential Workers (IPREW), the federal government will share the cost of this wage support.

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.

Support for air transportation sector during the COVID-19 pandemic

On March 30, 2020, Finance Minister Bill Morneau announced that the government would be waiving ground lease rents from March 2020 through to December 2020 for the 21 airport authorities that pay rent to the federal government.

These measures will provide relief up to $331.4 million, reflecting payments in the same period of 2018.

Introduction of the Insured Mortgage Purchase Program (IMPP)

The government will purchase up to $50 billion of insured mortgage pools through the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).

This action will provide stable funding to banks and mortgage lenders in order to ensure continued lending to Canadian consumers and businesses. Find out more about purchase operations.

CMHC is also ready to expand the issuance of Canada Mortgage Bonds, which is part of its standard mortgage-funding suite of products.

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.

Financial support for indigenous businesses

This funding for small- and medium-sized indigenous businesses and the Aboriginal Financial Institutions that support them will allow businesses to obtain short-term, interest-free loans and non-repayable contributions. Financing provided through Aboriginal Financial Institution will be administered by the National Aboriginal Capital Corporations Association and the Métis capital corporations in partnership with Indigenous Services Canada.

New funds are specifically dedicated to the tourism industry and will be administered by the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada.

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.

Financial support for women entrepreneurs to adapt to digital marketplace

Additional financial assistance will be available throughout the COVID-19 pandemic to support women entrepreneurs through the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy (WES). This funding will help organizations receiving funding from the WES Ecosystem Fund to provide women entrepreneurs with workshops, mentoring and skills training to adapt to a digital marketplace.

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.

Rent relief for business tenants in all national parks, national historical sites and national marine conservation areas

Intended for corporate tenants on Parks Canada sites that are not eligible for the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) program, this relief can be up to 75% of commercial rents for the months of April, May and June 2020 or equivalent annual rental amounts. Parks Canada will contact targeted businesses directly to inform them of the terms and conditions.

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.

The federal government is injecting $12M into Show Local Some Love Small Business Relief Fund

The Show Local Some Love Small Business Fund, which is managed by the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, is supporting Canadian businesses in different sectors and industries with grants of up to $5,000.

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.

Emergency Processing Fund (EPF) for lucrative organizations, cooperatives and indigenous groups in the food production and processing industry

This new two-part program will focus on:

  • COVID emergency response for projects related to the transformation of facilities to ensure the health and safety of workers;
  • Strategic investments to modernize and automate facilities to increase food supply capacity.

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:

  • Benefit for fish harvesters: financial support for self-employed fish harvesters and fishers whose fishing income has decreased by more than 25% in the 2020 taxation year, relative to a reference period to be determined, and who are not eligible for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy;
  • Grant for fishers: non-repayable financial assistance of up to $10,000 to self-employed fish harvesters with valid fishing licenses who are not eligible for assistance under the Canadian Business Emergency Account or equivalent measures;
  • 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.

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

Creation of the Emergency Community Support Fund

The federal government will provide $350M in additional financial support to community organizations and charities that provide essential services through the “Emergency Community Support Fund”. The investment will flow through national organizations that have the ability to get funds quickly to local organizations that serve vulnerable populations.

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.

Call for proposals from Canadian organizations for the Women’s Program

The government has introduced a new call for proposals under the Department for Women and Gender Equality’s Women’s Program. Intended for certain organizations or educational institutions, the “Feminist Response and Recovery Fund” will provide $100M to counter the negative effects stemming from COVID-19 and increase women’s and girls’ participation in in Canada’s economic, social and political spheres.

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.

International students: temporary rule change aimed at helping essential services

The government is removing the restriction that limits international students to a maximum of 20 hours of work per week if they are working in an essential service or function, such as health care, critical infrastructure or the supply of food.


All SMEs and large enterprises
Agriculture and bio-food
Energy and mines
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

The purpose of the emergency aid for small- and medium-sized businesses program is to support eligible business experiencing financial difficulties that need less than $50,000 in cash.

For information, contact your RCM, your municipality or the organization managing the local investment fund in your RCM.

In order to support businesses in regions under maximum alert (red zones) that have ceased operations, in whole or in part, the Assistance for Businesses in Regions Under Maximum Alert (ABRUMA) component was created. It will take the form of a non-refundable loan (loan forgiveness) and will be up to 80% of eligible fixed costs, to a maximum of $15,000 per month of closure.

Closure of Non-essential Businesses for the Holiday Period – Quebec Extends Business Support Measures

Some non-essential services, such as personal care services (hairdressers, manicure businesses, etc.) must close from December 25, 2020 to January 10, 2021 inclusively, across Quebec. These businesses will qualify for the Aide aux entreprises en régions en alerte maximale (AERAM).

Quebec enhances Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA)

By registering with the federal CECRA program, business owners must commit to absorbing a 25% loss. The Quebec government will provide additional assistance corresponding to 50% of this loss. Thus, business owners will receive an amount equivalent to 12.5% of their loss from the Quebec government.

End of Temporary Aid for Workers Program (PATT)

To prevent program duplication, the PATT was ended at 4:00 p.m. April 10, 2020. If an application for financial assistance was submitted before 4:00 p.m. on April 10, the file will be processed. This assistance program was introduced on March 16, 2020 for workers who, because they were in isolation to control the spread of the virus, could not earn all their work income and did not qualify for another financial assistance program. On April 6, 2020, the Government of Canada launched the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), which covers the same needs as the PATT.

Low-income workers in essential service sectors to receive $100 per week

The government is introducing the Incentive Program to Retain Essential Workers (IPREW) that will provide a $100 per week benefit to low-income workers working full- or part-time in essential services.

As a result, full-time workers will receive a higher salary than the Canada Emergency Response Benefit.

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.

Programme actions concertées pour le maintien en emploi (PACME)

This subsidy program allows employers to provide training to their employees during a business’s slowdown or temporary closure.

Note that the PACME’s Enterprises component has reached its financial cap, given the strong demand by businesses. Businesses are asked to contact group sponsors now.

The Ministère du Travail, de l’Emploi et de la Solidarité sociale (MTESS) will analyze the applications received and refer applicants to the program’s Group Sponsors component or to another program that better suits their needs.

Businesses are welcome to consult the list of PACME-accepted Group Sponsor projects. The PACME’s Group Sponsors component will be available until September 30, 2020 or as soon as the budget envelope is exhausted.

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.

Deadline for payments to the Registraire des entreprises extended to September 1, 2020

Quebec businesses with a deadline for filing their annual updating declaration between March 13, 2020 and August 31, 2020 will benefit from an extension of the deadline to pay their annual registration fee to the Registraire des entreprises to September 1, 2020.

Support for workers: minimum wage increases as of May 1st

The general minimum wage will increase to $13.10 per hour as of May 1st (up $0.60) while the minimum wage of workers who earn tips will increase to $10.45 (up $0.40).

The Government of Quebec is therefore moving forward with its December 18th commitment and improving the buying power of low-income workers.

Retraite Québec: temporary easing measures

Three temporary easing measures have been implemented to assist administrators of supplemental pension plans and their members.

Extension of deadlines for certain regulatory obligations

The deadline for providing certain documents to Retraite Québec by administrator of supplemental pension plans and pension committees has been extended three months, without penalty.
The deadline for providing the annual information return (AIR) by administrators of Voluntary Retirement Savings Plans (VRSPs) has been extended to September 30, 2020.

Update to the degree of solvency taken into account for payments under defined benefit pension plans

All payments (transfers and refunds) until December 31, 2020 must be determined using the estimated degree of solvency updated as at March 31, 2020 or on the last working day of the month preceding the date on which the value of the member’s benefits was determined.

Relaxation of disbursement rules for locked-in amounts in life income funds (LIF)

It is possible to make a one-time payment out of a LIF equal to 40% of the maximum pensionable earnings, or $23,480 in 2020, regardless of income from other sources.

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.

$3,150,000 granted to Le Panier Bleu organization to carry out second development phase

This new phase will enable the Panier Bleu to pursue its mission by improving the performance of its digital platform. It will also contribute to the achievement of two major objectives:

  • continue to promote local purchasing by offering significant visibility to Quebec merchants and products;
  • continue the platform’s computer development.

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.

Emergency assistance for interurban transport

In order to help intercity bus transportation companies whose activities have been affected, and thus ensure an important service for citizens, the Government of Québec offers financial support to the organizations concerned. For more details on eligibility and terms and conditions, visit their website. Note that businesses may also be eligible for the Programme d’aide au développement du transport collectif.

Additional support announced on September 25, 2020 for Quebec public transport organizations of $1.2B, to be allocated this fall and at the beginning of 2021.

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.

Aid for municipalities

Quebec municipalities will be entitled to a total of $800M to cover additional costs and revenue losses caused by COVID-19.

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.

Réseau des Femmes d’affaires du Québec – Quebec invests $1.2M to foster the recovery of businesses owned by women

Under the Programme d’aide à l’entrepreneuriat, the Quebec government is providing a non-refundable financial contribution of $1.2M to the Réseau des Femmes d’affaires du Québec (RFAQ) to foster the recovery of businesses owned by women through the access to new markets.

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

Quebec invests $45M to support recruiting farm workers

The government has put four aid measures in place to support farmers at the time of planting and harvesting:

  • A $100 bonus will be offered to seasonal farm workers for a minimum work benefit of 25 hours per week;
  • Creation of a worker travel program that takes distancing rules into consideration;
  • Establishment of field squads to support producers in training new workers;
  • Financial support to the 12 agricultural employment centres to facilitate the matching of farm businesses and workers.

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.

More than $9.1M in subsiddies prepaid to agricultural businesses

For a second time this year, in support of agricultural businesses during the pandemic, the Financière agricole du Québec will advance the payment of subsidies for its investment programs. An amount of $9.1M will be paid to over 5,000 businesses on November 1, 2020 rather than December 1, 2020.

$450,000 to help reduce fish farm spring inventories

Quebec is launching an initiative to offset the decrease in spring orders to fish farms due to the uncertainty caused by the crisis. This financial support is intended for companies in the freshwater aquaculture sector and for customers who purchase fish to promote the sale of fish for stocking to private customers, thereby reducing the inventories of aquaculture companies supplying the stocking market.

In addition, the federal government announced that it was joining forces with the Quebec government to support Quebec fish farmers.

$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.

Quebec Supports Winter Fishing Industry

The call for projects starts today and closes on January 15, 2021. It allows organizations to obtain financial assistance to improve their facilities or equipment. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the program also provides funding for expenses related to the health management of facilities and equipment.

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.


Quebec announces two economic measures for the forest sector

Postponement of payments for harvested volumes

The government is postponing until September 2020 the billing of volumes harvested from public forests in March 2020 and subsequent months. Invoicing will subsequently be spread over the rest of the year 2020-2021.

Safer workplace: assessment of additional costs

The timber marketing board (known by its French acronym BMMB) is assessing the additional costs generated by the implementation of measures to ensure the safe execution of silvicultural work in the forest. These costs will be added to the silvicultural work tariff grids for the 2020-2021 year.

Forestry sector – Accelerated payments of Programme de remboursement pour des coûts de chemins multiressources

Quebec is accelerating payments under this program to support the forestry sector, which, as a result, will have more liquidities to invest in the forest road network and help stimulate the economy.

Accordingly, 60% of the annual envelope will now be allocated to recipients when the eligibility conditions are met, 30% when the work progress report is filed and 10% when the work is completed and complies with the requirements of the Ministère des Forêts, de la Faune et des Parcs.

Energy and mines

Quebec announces suspension of mining exploration rights validity period

The Quebec government suspends the validity period for all mining claims in effect throughout the province, for a 12-month period starting April 9, 2020. This measure extends the deadlines for regulatory work deposit obligations and allows companies in this sector to maintain their mining rights.

Temporary change to deadline for switching to summer gasoline

The Ministère de l’Énergie et des Ressources naturelles has extended the deadline for switching to summer gasoline to June 30, 2020. This will allow refiners, importers and distributors of petroleum products to be able to clear their inventories while beginning to produce and store lower volatility gasoline for the summer period.

Health and essential services

Health care workers get salary increase

Private sector health care attendants will benefit from a temporary $4 per hour wage increase (retroactive to March 13, 2020) as a result of the increased workload caused by the coronavirus.

In the public sector, health care workers in the emergency, intensive care and long-term care sectors, among others, will receive a temporary 8% bonus. Other health care sector workers, such as technicians and cleaning staff, will receive a 4% bonus.

New measures were announced on May 7th for full-time employees of Quebec CHSLDs and some Montréal hospital workers

Full time employees of CHSLDs will receive $100 per week and additional bonuses will be offered to those who work fulltime in an infected CHSLD, i.e., $200 more after two consecutive weeks and $400 more after four consecutive weeks.

The measures will also apply to hospitals in Greater Montréal hot zones for certain jobs: clinical and auxiliary nursing staff, inhalation therapists, patient service associates, health and social services auxiliary staff, service assistants and maintenance staff.

These subsidies will also be provided to intermediary resources (IR) and family type resources (FTR), private CHSLDs and seniors homes.

Health sector employees from another region who agree to work temporarily in areas considered to be hot zones, that is, Montréal, Laval or Montérégie, will receive $2,000 per month which can be in addition to the bonuses.

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.

More efficient job placement service for priority sector employers and employees

Businesses in essential sectors affected by COVID-19 can now use a new section on the Québec.ca site to post information on urgent workforce needs.

Emergency daycare services for children of health care and essential services personnel

Emergency daycare services are special services reserved exclusively for children of health care and essential services personnel who have no other alternatives.

Assistance for non-subsidized daycare centres

Non-subsidized daycare centres and managers of recognized non-subsidized daycare centres will receive assistance to cover, among others, lower income due to the educator-child ratios. Quebec already paid $30.5M to non-subsidized daycare centres from March 16 to May 21, 2020 to cover a portion of their fixed costs, i.e., $5.95 per day per spot. The amount will be increased to $10.10 per spot when the daycares reopen (either May 11th or 25th). This assistance will apply until June 19, 2020.

$15.7M incentive: call to members of the Réseau de coopération des entreprises d’économie sociale en aide à domicile (EÉSAD)

Workers from member social economy enterprises are encouraged to help beneficiaries in various living environments, including CHSLDs. Homecare workers in the EÉSAD will receive a $4 per hour salary increase. EÉSAD workers in homecare environments will receive an 8% increase.

Emergency financial assistance in housing for seniors and vulnerable persons

The Quebec government offering emergency financial assistance of more than $133M to housing resources for seniors and vulnerable people.

The assistance is divided as follows:

  • $40M will be allocated to certified private seniors’ residences (PSR);
  • $20M will be allocated to non-subsidized private CHSLDs;
  • $73M will be allocated to intermediary resources (IR) and family type resources (FTR).

$400M in emergency assistance for public transportation

This measure is being put in place to ensure the continuity of public transit services despite the pandemic. Half of this amount could come from the federal government following the payment to Quebec of the sums recently announced by Ottawa.

Community organizations

Financial Assistance for Organizations Specializing in Employability

This assistance will provide support to these organizations to purchase protective equipment, set up premises to meet health rules, hire new resources needed or train staff to adapt to the situation. If you qualify, the financing is retroactive to April 1, 2020.

$70M in emergency assistance for community organizations on a self-financing basis

This measure was introduced to support national and regional community organizations in making up their self-financing shortfall for the period of March 13, to September 30, 2020. The support is for organizations that qualify for the Programme de soutien aux organismes communautaires (PSOC) and have maintained their activities or wish to restart them.

$5M for aid in the recovery of international youth and solidarity activities

These sums are intended for international cooperation organizations (ICO) to ensure the continuity of their activities. Furthermore, a call for proposals will be issued to provide support to ICOs in Quebec and help implement projects to reduce the effects of COVID-19 in vulnerable countries.

17.6 million in emergency funding to enhance mental health services

This assistance is granted to community mental health organizations to support their services to the population.

$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.

$20M in additional financing for community organizations

The Quebec government is providing emergency financial assistance to meet the additional needs of regional and provincial community organizations. This assistance will be available to cover excess costs incurred as a result of the pandemic, such as purchasing sanitary supplies, hiring resources and overtime.

The Centres intégrés universitaires de santé et de services sociaux (CIUSS) will distribute funding to community organizations in the areas of food, shelter, volunteer transportation and health services.

$2M to support community organizations with lost revenue

This financial assistance will be available to organizations that were unable to maintain their self-financing activities during the health crisis and whose mission is supported by one of the following two programmes:

  • Programme de soutien financier aux orientations gouvernementales en action communautaire et en action bénévole, Promotion of Rights component and Multisector Organizations component;
  • Programme de soutien financier des corporations de développement communautaire (PSCDC).

Support for community organizations (OCF) and (OC-HGC)

The government is adding $5M to support family community organizations (OCF) and organizations providing community drop-in centre activities (OC-HGC). The purpose of this assistance is to assist and continue to monitor vulnerable families during the pandemic while covering the additional costs of implementing the Direction de la santé publique’s guidelines.

$2.5 M in additional assistance for agencies providing help and shelter for victims of violence

This additional assistance, provided through the CIUSS and CISSS, will be used to meet the increased needs of agencies providing help and shelter for women who are victims of domestic violence and abused women. It may cover, for example, accommodation and transportation costs, as well as the payment of overtime.

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

Tourism recovery plan

A new plan for supporting tourism businesses has been announced, including the following main measures:

  • Loan and preferential loan guarantees for businesses under the Concerted Temporary Action Program for Businesses (CTAPB);
  • Creation of the Programme d’appui au développement des attraits touristiques (PADAT) to finance hotel renovation or upgrading through preferential loan terms;
  • Increased assistance for the Ententes de partenariat régional en tourisme;
  • Funds injected into a program created by the Agences réceptives et forfaitistes du Québec to stimulate the demand for Quebec products;
  • Subsidies granted equivalent to the amount of the tax on tourist accommodation paid by hotels and bed & breakfasts for the first quarter of 2020.

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.

Relief measures for tourism businesses: Programme de soutien aux stratégies de développement touristique (PSSDT)

Businesses that received confirmation of financial assistance under the PSSDT will benefit from a deferral of the work start or end date.

The Department will also allow deferrals for companies whose project financing arrangements must be completed within a prescribed time frame.

Deferral of payment of lodging tax

In order to provide tourist accommodation establishments with cash, the Quebec government is deferring the payment of the lodging tax for the first quarter of 2020 until July 31, 2020.

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 day camps and municipalities

In order to allow private and municipal day camps to open this summer in compliance with public health measures, the Quebec government has confirmed financial assistance of $11 M to hire staff and meet the challenges related to their operations in the context of the pandemic.

In addition, the additional costs associated with holding municipal camps will be considered during the current fiscal year assessing the impacts of COVID-19 on municipalities.

The amounts set aside in the 2020-2021 budget for the sharing of premises between municipalities and schools may also be used for the use of these premises for day camps.

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.

Tourism signs – Financial relief of more than $2M to support advertised businesses

The Quebec government is granting a holiday for the payment of signage fees for the period from April 1 to September 30, 2020 for companies that already have signs before that period. This holiday is equivalent to a 50% rebate on their signage costs for the 2020-2021 year.

In addition, companies that will have filed a new signage application before September 30, 2020 will be entitled to a 25% rebate on their annual signage fees.

$70 assistance plan for sports and leisure

The financial support plan assists sport, recreation and outdoor industry stakeholders affected by the impacts of COVID-19. The plan includes:

  • An additional $28M in financial support for the operations of provincial, regional and local organizations;
  • Almost $23M invested this year only in sports federations;
  • Almost $18M invested in projects that promote physical, leisure, sports and outdoor activities;
  • $4.3M to create a sustainable transportation support measure for participation in recreational and sports activities;
  • A $2M increase in the assistance provided under the Programme d’assistance financière aux initiatives locales et régionales en matière d’activités physiques et de plein air;
  • $2M in support for the college and university sports network;
  • Over $1.3M to support the advancement of women and girls in sports and recreation.

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.

Adjustments to the Quebec Tourism Businesses Support Program for Compliance with Health Standards (COVID-19)

The program criteria have been amended by including a new eligible sector, chartered transportation, and businesses with annual sales between $5M and $10M in the program.

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.

$3M emergency regional fund to support cultural organizations impacted by the pandemic

The Quebec Ministère de la Culture et des Communications has created an emergency fund for non-profit cultural organizations that have been impacted by the COVID-19 crisis and whose short-term survival is threatened. Affected organizations may receive up to $50,000 to maintain their operations. Applications for financial assistance can be submitted to the Department by January 29, 2021.

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.

Quebec increases support for the craft sector

Support for the fine crafts is increased by nearly 55%, representing an additional $1.2 million allocated to the Société de développement des entreprises culturelles (SODEC). This additional assistance will be used to enhance the regular grants to businesses in the fine crafts industry and to increase the sums earmarked for programs specific to the fine crafts.

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.

Other SODEC measures to support its customers

  • Accelerated payment of subsidies under some of its regular programs;
  • Advance payment of the second instalments of grants under certain regular programs in the book, music and variety, arts and crafts, film promotion and distribution, international affairs and export sectors;
  • All grants to organize or participate in a national or international event that has been postponed, modified or cancelled due to COVID-19 will be evaluated;
  • Postponement, for a three-month period beginning March 16, 2020, of the repayment of loan capital and interest for all companies financed in direct loans by SODEC’s business bank.

SODEC – Extended deadlines for upcoming film filings (press release available only in french)

At this time of the COVID-19 crisis, SODEC’s Film and Television Production Branch is granting an extension to applicants wishing to submit a project under the following programs and components:

  • Emerging creating assistance program: the March 25th filing date is postponed to April 15, 2020;
  • Production assistance program (Part 3) Selective assistance for the production of medium- and feature-length documentaries – unique productions: the April 8th deadline is postponed to April 29, 2020;
  • Screenwriting Assistance Program – Component 1 | Selective Assistance to Production Companies: the April 29th deadline has been postponed to May 13, 2020.

SODEC extends temporary assistance programme for audiovisual sector

SODEC has postponed the deadline of the temporary assistance programme for the audiovisual sector until January 31, 2021: Component 2 – Filming interrupted due to COVID-19. The program, which came into effect on July 15, 2020, was put in place to ensure that filming would resume in Quebec.

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 [email protected]ès portal is here.

Support for book trade and publishing sector

The Société de développement des entreprises culturelles (SODEC) will allocate $6.8M more than last year to the book sector, for a total of $14.1M. This additional funding will enhance assistance programs for publishing and bookstores, in addition to supporting the development of new projects. SODEC will also make programs for the book sector available online, under modified and more generous parameters.

Program to Assist in the Resumption of Film and Television Activities

The provincial government is allocating $51 million to this temporary assistance program. The program will simplify the financial arrangements for filming and make it possible to resume preparation, production, post-production and dubbing activities in the film and television industry.


Ontario Small Business Support Grant

Small businesses required to close or significantly restrict services under the Provincewide Shutdown will be able to apply for a minimum of $10,000 to a maximum of $20,000 grant and use this funding in whatever way makes the most sense for their individual business needs. More information on the government website.

The Ontario government is providing additional support to the Ontario Small Business Support Grant. Eligible businesses will automatically receive a second payment equal to the amount of their first payment, for minimum total support of $20,000 up to a maximum of $40,000.

Ontario’s Action Plan: Responding to COVID-19

Here are the main measures that apply to Ontario workers and employers:

Ontario government commitment to workers

The government is committing $100 million in funding through Employment Ontario for skills training programs for workers affected by the COVID‑19 outbreak.

Employer Health Tax

The government is cutting taxes by $355 million for about 57,000 employers by proposing a temporary increase to the Employer Health Tax (EHT) exemption from $490,000 to $1 million for 2020. With this plan, more than 90% of private-sector employers would not pay EHT in 2020.

Regional Opportunities Investment Tax Credit

To support business investments in regions of the province where employment growth has been significantly below the provincial average, Ontario is proposing a new 10% refundable Corporate Income Tax credit.

$6 billion in tax deferrals

The government is providing a five-month (April 1, 2020 to August 31, 2020) interest and penalty-free period for businesses to make payments for the majority of provincially administered taxes.

$1.8 billion in education property tax deferrals

The government is deferring the property tax payments municipalities make to school boards by 90 days.

$1.9 billion in workplace safety expenses

The Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) will allow employers to defer payments for a period of six months. In addition, no interest will be accrued on outstanding premium payments and no penalties will be charged during this six-month deferral period.

The government is suspending time-of-use pricing until October 31

The province is suspending time-of-use pricing until October 31 and has been uniformly applying a new flat rate of 12.8¢/kWh since June 1, including for small businesses and agricultural businesses.

Benefits for childcare and emergency daycare services

  • One-time payment of $200 per child up to 12 years and $250 for those with special needs;
  • Emergency childcare options to support parents working on the front lines, such as health care workers, police officers, firefighters and correctional officers.

Ontario Action Plan: Over $37 million for indigenous communities

The government is investing over $37 M to support outbreak planning, prevention and mitigation efforts to ensure the health and well-being of Indigenous people and communities.

The investment will be allocated to an emergency fund and among various support organizations to meet essential needs and provide, among others, food, care and transportation, ensure housing services for Indigenous people and maintain services for remote airports.

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.

Energy bill support for small businesses and charities impacted by COVID-19

The AIEC-EP Program offers a one-time, on-bill credit for small businesses and registered charities affected by COVID-19 to help them catch up on their energy bills. The amount can be up to $425.

Ontario defers provincial land tax payments in remote Northern regions by 90 days

The Ontario government is deferring $15 million in property taxes for people and businesses in parts of Northern Ontario located outside of municipal boundaries.

Under this initiative, taxpayers in unincorporated areas will have 90 extra days to pay without incurring interest or penalties.

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.

Child care assistance

The Ontario Government has announced a plan to support child care service providers, in particular:

  • Supporting fixed childcare operating costs;
  • Waiving childcare licensing applications, renewal and revision fees for licensed childcare centres, extending childcare licenses that will expire during the emergency period;
  • Protecting existing base funding for licensed childcare agencies, and regular funding and wage enhancement grant funding for childcare providers who have remained active during the emergency closure.

Additional assistance to protect workers in meat processing plants

The governments of Ontario and Canada are investing $2.25M to help meat processing plants better protect their employees. The funds will be used to purchase additional personal protective equipment, redesign workstations, support employees who require mandatory isolation and ensure worksite mobility and transportation.

Agri-food sector supply chain support

In order to offset the workforce problems in the agri-food sectors and keep the supply chains strong, the governments of Canada and Ontario are investing $1M to support matching employers and workers in that sector. Applications will be accepted immediately and the approval process will be expedited.

Up to $10 million in emergency assistance for beef and hog farmers

The funding will help cover the increased costs of feeding market ready cattle and hogs due to COVID-19 related processing delays, while redirecting surplus pork products to help those in need.

$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 investment to protect workers during tree planning season

This financial assistance will be used to expand camp facilities, add kitchens and purchase personal protective equipment, plastic partitions for transporting workers and more wash stations in order to comply with health and safety measures.

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

New Brunswick Business Support Plan

Information on assistance for New Brunswick businesses is available online. Additionally, here is a guide for New Brunswick businesses on provincial relief measures.

Waiving late penalties on property taxes

Business property taxes must be paid by May 31, 2020. Late penalties will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis to see if the penalty can be waived based on undue financial challenges, such as having to close a business because of COVID-19.

Deferring interest and principal payments on existing provincial loans of government of New Brunswick

The provincial government will defer loan and interest repayments, on a case by case basis, for up to six months on existing provincial loans for businesses. The deferral can be requested by contacting the department that issued the loan.

Support for small businesses

  • Small businesses are eligible for loans up to $200,000. Principal repayments will not be required for a maximum of 12 months;
  • Loans can reach a maximum of $200,000;
  • Opportunities New Brunswick (ONB) will work with a trusted partner to administer the application process;
  • More details will be available on the application process in the coming days.

Injecting working capital needed for mid-to-large employers

  • ONB will offer support to mid-to-large sized employers;
  • ONB will also provide – upon request – working capital in excess of $200,000 to help large employers manage the impacts of COVID-19 on their operations;
  • Large employers will be able to apply for this assistance directly from ONB.

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.

WorkSafeNB defers premium payments for three months

WorkSafeNB is deferring assessment premiums related to employer payrolls for March, April and May for three months without interest charges.

This affects employers who pay their premiums on a monthly basis. It is not a permanent reduction in assessments payable, but a temporary postponement of payment.

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.


Quebec municipalities
Montréal area
Québec area
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.

$1.4M to help 450 Montréal businesses resume their activities

Granted in connection with the Concertation pour l’emploi measure, this contribution aims to increase the support available for Montreal businesses and encourage them to work together to find lasting solutions.

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.

$50 M additional assistance for Montréal SMEs

Administered by PME Mtl, new government funds will be allocated specifically to the City’s merchants and SMEs in the form of low-interest loans. These additional funds will come from the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) and the Aide d’urgence aux petites et aux moyennes entreprises, both of which will be subsidized for this purpose.

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.

Terrace Permits: Permit Issuance Fees Suspended

The Borough of Ville-Marie is suspending the fees for occupying public property as well as the fees for issuing permits for sidewalk cafés for the 2020 summer season. Only the file analysis fee, at the reduced rate of $50, will be charged. No fee will be charged for installing a parklet.

Terraced cafés may be set up to 50% larger on pedestrian streets, under certain conditions, and will be authorized directly on the street, without a platform.

$6M for Montreal plan to encourage local purchasing for the Holidays

The City of Montréal has announced measures including:

  • Subsidies of up to $10,000 for retailers;
  • Buy-local awareness campaigns will be deployed in the coming months;
  • Free parking at meters on weekends across its territory from November 14 to December 31, 2020;
  • Possibility for retail owners to extend their opening hours until 10 p.m. on weekdays, and until 7 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.

Business crowd funding campaign

The City will support the Du cœur à l’achat proximity crowdfunding campaign designed to help businesses through the purchase of gift cards that can be used in the businesses. Montréal will increase the amount of purchases up to $500,000 that will be paid to the businesses.

Fonds de développement de l’économie sociale (FDÉS) requirements reduced and social economy technical support

In order to support social economy businesses, the City has announced that the conditions for direct financing that could be as much as $50,000 under the Fonds de développement de l’économie sociale (FDES) would be reduced.

The reduced requirements for access to the FDES include:

  • Consolidation businesses will have until September 30, 2020 to submit a financing request for a non-refundable contribution;
  • An injection of at least 10%, instead of 20%, of the total project cost will be required.

The financing can be used to cover the entity’s working capital costs (payroll, current operating expenses, supplier payments) and help it adapt to the consequences of COVID-19, for example by using e-business.

Social economy businesses will have free access to technical support (online financial and human resource management, bank of hours of personalized advice at no cost, etc.).

Postponement of two municipal tax installments in 2021

In order to support building owners and companies, the City is extending the deadline to pay two installments of municipal taxes. This will allow owners and businesses to make their first payment by June 1, 2021, instead of March 1, 2021. The second payment will be due by September 1, 2021, instead of June 1, 2021.

Urban delivery

The City of Montréal is implementing a delivery service so that local merchants can have their products delivered even if they do not have a transactional web site or delivery system.

Merchants can express their interest for the urban delivery project by completing the form on the montreal.ca web site.

Digital transition

The City of Montréal is offering a new guidance service, at no cost, to create or improve an online shopping platform or enhance a business’s web presence.

Interested businesses should complete this form by April 17, 2020.

PME MTL: Automatic moratorium on capital and interest

The PME MTL network is offering an automatic, six-month moratorium on capital and interest to private and social economy businesses who have received a loan through the PME MTL fund, Fonds Locaux de Solidarité and Fonds de commercialisation des innovations. The city will pay the portion of interest during this period.

COVID-19 – The City of Montréal defers taxi permit payment date by two months

Taxi owners will have an extra two months to pay the annual fee to ensure their permit’s validity. The payment date is deferred to May 31, 2020.

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 cultural organizations

An amount of $500,000 will be allocated to support private, non-subsidized performance venues, such as alternative venues and independent theatres.

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.


Emergency financial assistance measure for small businesses: Shawinigan releases a $1M envelope

The $600,000 financial assistance announced today by the City of Shawinigan is from the LIF and RTA funds. After analysis, these loans could be supplemented by a grant from a $400,000 FDT emergency fund.

These are businesses in the manufacturing, processing and motor tertiary (value-added services) sectors. This measure is intended to provide rapid, short-term assistance to businesses awaiting the government assistance announced.

The city has also implemented other relief measures for businesses. In particular, there is a three-month moratorium on the capital and interest on loans currently in effect.


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.

Corporation d’innovation & développement Alma – Lac-Saint-Jean-Est (CIDAL) sets up a $500,000 emergency fund for businesses impacted by COVID-19

The result of close collaboration with CIDAL’s financial backers, namely the RCM of Lac-Saint-Jean-Est and the City of Alma, the emergency fund will be used to support businesses during the pandemic, but also in the post-crisis period.

Certain measures are already in place, including a complete moratorium with a six-month interest holiday for all businesses with a CIDAL loan.

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.

BMO Announces Dedicated Financial Relief for Canadian Businesses Affected by COVID-19

In support of Canadian businesses, BMO is introducing dedicated relief measures including :

  • Deferral of payment on small business credit cards and credit lines
  • Payment deferral on the principal of a small business loan
  • Increases on small business operating lines to help with short-term working capital. For clients requesting an increase on an operating line, BMO may advance payroll to help ensure consistency with employee pay
  • Tailored relief programs for other businesses, which may include payment deferrals on loans, lines of credit and access to additional working capital

Call 1-877-788-1923 to talk to a BMO representative.

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

Effective immediately, 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 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.

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.

Canadian Securities Administrators publish blanket relief for market participants due to COVID-19

The Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) have published temporary blanket relief from certain regulatory filings for market participants as a result of COVID-19.

The blanket relief provides a 45-day extension for periodic filings normally required to be made by issuers, investment funds, registrants, certain regulated entities and designated rating organizations on or before June 1, 2020 and for certain other requirements outlined in the orders.

Four other significant measures have been announced:

Implementation date for Client Focused Reforms adjusted

The CSA has published a relief order that provides registrants with an additional six months to comply with the conflict of interest provisions in the Client Focused Reforms. Registrants will now have until June 30, 2021 to implement these changes.

Syndicated mortgage regime: timeline adjustment

The CSA is adjusting the timeline to implement changes that will harmonize the regulation of syndicated mortgages across Canada. The CSA now expects the implementation will take effect on January 1, 2021.

Temporary increase in short-term borrowing limits for mutual funds investing in fixed income securities

The CSA issued temporary blanket relief that permits mutual funds that invest in fixed income securities to engage in additional short-term borrowing from April 17, 2020 to July 31, 2020.

Temporary Relief for Public Companies with Delayed Annual Meetings

The Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) are granting temporary blanket relief to public companies from certain filing and delivery requirements for annual general meeting (AGM) material.

As a result, public companies will have until December 31, 2020 to file executive compensation disclosure. In addition, companies will be exempted from the requirement to provide investors with copies of their financial statements and MD&A within a certain period of time.

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.

Fondaction announces a three-month reprieve for companies in its portfolio (press release available only in French)

Fondaction announces the deferral, for a period of three months, of the payment of loans, principal and interest for all the companies it directly finances. This measure will provide more than 200 Québec SMEs with increased liquidity.

Furthermore, Fondaction would like to emphasize that all current investment files and new files will continue to be handled diligently. The fund does not plan to re-evaluate transactions that have already received a green light.

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.

New relief measure for Énergir customers

Énergir is implementing a new relief measure for its residential and business customers so they can spread any late payments over 12 months, from July 1, 2020 to July 1, 2021.

Since the start of the crisis, Énergir has put in place several measures, including suspending collection procedures and not proceeding with any service interruptions.

COVID-19: Tenants of Ivanhoé Cambridge shopping centres in Quebec will be granted support measures

Ivanhoé Cambridge announces that it will be granting a deferral of the rent payable by those tenants of its retail properties in Quebec, until a later date to be identified in the future, according to their respective situation, and for a period to be determined according to the evolution of the situation.

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.

Facebook: US$100 million grants program to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) around the world whose activities may be disrupted by the coronavirus crisis

This program is aimed in particular at helping to pay the rent and operational costs of SMEs. The eligibility criteria are as follows:

  • Businesses with two to fifty employees;
  • In business for more than one year;
  • Experiencing difficulties related to COVID-19;
  • Located in or near an area served by Facebook.

Under this program, Facebook is now accepting applications for assistance from SMEs located in eligible cities across Canada.

Empire Company Limited Supports Small Supplier Partners During COVID-19 Crisis

Empire will help our 13,000 smaller suppliers across Canada by shortening its usual payment terms, automatically paying all of its small suppliers within 14 days without exception.

Empire has contacted all of its small business tenants in its owned mall properties, such as food service providers, about taking advantage of a two-month rent deferral starting April 1st.

Walmart Canada supports small Canadian suppliers and licensees

Walmart Canada has made the decision to accelerate payments to its Canadian suppliers. The company will reach out to its small suppliers to get payments to them as rapidly as it can – ideally within 14 days. The measure will be put into place for April and May.

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.

$10M provided by TD Bank Group

Through the 2020 TD Ready Challenge, TD Bank Group will provide financial support to North American organizations that have developed innovative, scalable and replicable solutions for mitigating the impact of the pandemic on the hardest-hit communities. Organizations will be eligible to receive $250,000 to $1M in funding.

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.

Funds to help Canadian co-operatives thrive in the economy

Under the Co-operators Community Fund’s Co-op Impact Program, Canadian small- and medium-sized co-operatives can apply for patient capital to adapt to new needs.

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.

TD Bank: $25M to support community organizations

The TD Community Resilience Initiative will provide funding for philanthropic efforts to support short- and long-term community resilience. For more information on the assistance, go to their website.

McConnell Foundation: New emergency fund and new stream for existing fund

To help community organizations, the McConnell Foundation announced the following measures:

  • New “COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund” to provide short-term support to organizations facing increased demands and to help them meet new demands during the pandemic and recovery period;
  • A new stream of the “Social Innovation Fund” entitled “Organizational Rebuilding” to help charities implement the organizational changes needed to better serve their communities in the coming months.

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

SOCAN Announces $2 million enhanced emergency program for its struggling members

This program is primarily for songwriters and screen composers whose ability to sustain their income has been compromised by the impact of the crisis on the music industry, especially on those whose concerts have been cancelled, or whose television and movie productions have been suspended. The interest-free advances will be considered based on each member’s most recent earnings history, urgency and need.

Conseil des arts de Montréal: Acceleration of grant payments

The Conseil will speed up $13M in funding payments, or 76% of the grants planned for 2020 for several of its programs. This means that the regular terms of payments are cancelled and subsequently amended. The organizations concerned will be notified by letter shortly.

The Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal (MAC) supports Quebec artists

Le Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal (MAC) and the Fondation du MAC are taking concrete steps to support the Quebec arts community:

  • The MAC will devote its total acquisition budget (100%) for the purchase of works by artists living and working in Quebec;
  • To support the visual arts sector, the MAC and its foundation intend to double the Museum’s acquisition budget of $300,000 for 2020 by launching a fundraising campaign;
  • Lastly, the MAC is participating in the foundation’s collective appeal by immediately increasing its acquisition budget by $50,000.

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.

The Fondation des artistes announces a $500,000 donation from Netflix to support Quebec artists affected by the coronavirus crisis (press release available only in french)

The Fondation des artistes is proud to announce an exceptional $500,000 donation from Netflix to support Quebec artists affected by work stoppages due to the coronavirus crisis.

Netflix has announced a US$100 million global relief fund to support workers in the creative community. The Fondation des artistes will receive C$500,000 and the Actors’ Fund of Canada will receive C$1M.

With this amount, the Fondation des artistes plans to grant modest, one-off sums to as many artists as possible who apply to the Fondation.

Spotify to help creators

The organization announced that it would collect donations for music artists on its website and match each donation raised, up to a maximum of $20 million ($10 million in donations and $10 million from Spotify).

The money raised will be donated to recognized organizations that support musicians such as MusiCares, PRS Foundation and Help Musicians.

Known as the Spotify COVID-19 Music Relief, the plan also includes the implementation of a tool that will allow individual artists to do their own fundraising. The operating mechanisms of this tool have yet to be determined.

Government agencies: maintain donations and sponsorships

The SAQ, Hydro-Québec and Loto-Québec are maintaining their financial contributions in the form of donations or sponsorships even if events must be cancelled or postponed due to the current situation. Refer to the press releases for details of these initiatives concerning each of these organizations.

Facebook offers $100M to support the news industry

Facebook reported Monday that it would be investing $100M to support an already precarious news industry that is hard hit by the COVID-19 epidemic in providing reliable information when it is most needed.

The investment includes $25 million in emergency grant funding for local news and $75 million in additional marketing spending.

Google: Global Journalism Emergency Relief Fund for local news

In order to support regional media, Google News Initiative has launched a Journalism Emergency Relief Fund.

This financing is intended for media producing original news for local communities during the current crisis. Depending on the region and newsroom size, the funding will range from the low thousands of dollars to the low tens of thousands of dollars.

Local media can apply for the fund by filling in the form. Applications will be accepted until Wednesday, April 29, 2020 at 11:50 p.m. PT.

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.

Canadian Hospitality Worker Relief Fund

The Fund, initiated by Canadian chiefs, will provide one-time $500 grants to restaurant and hospitality workers including cooks, servers, dishwashers, bartenders and delivery people who find themselves in urgent needs. This new fund will be accepting applications starting May 6.

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, 2021.

Next article

16 Mar 2020
Vincent Cartier
Partner | CPA, CA | Management consulting

In this time of crisis associated with the rapid spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus), the impact on organizations is already being felt on several levels.

Immediate measures must be put in place to protect the health of all those around and within the organization. Decisions must be made in anticipation of the coming months, particularly with respect to planning the various possible financial scenarios, implementing technological systems or new business models or managing human resources over the medium and long term.

We offer organizations in all industries leading-edge services in business continuity planning. Our team of experts, with recognized crisis management experience, can guide you through the steps to be taken from a strategic and operational standpoint.

To help you deal with this global threat, our specialists can assist you, among others, in:

  • The current situation with the pandemic;
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  • Managing procurement chains;
  • Technology considerations and cybersecurity;
  • Legal considerations and contractual obligations;
  • Third-party relationships (suppliers, customers, etc.);
  • Communication.

Contact us today and ensure your business’s continuity.

22 Apr 2020  |  Written by :

Vincent Cartier is an Advisory Services expert at Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton. Contact him today.

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