Support to Businesses
Extending the Work-Sharing program
We are extending the maximum duration of the Work-Sharing program from 38 weeks to 76 weeks. The Work-Sharing program is offered to workers who agree to reduce their normal working hours because of developments beyond the control of their employers.
The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy
We have proposed the new Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy that would cover 75 per cent of salaries for qualifying businesses, for up to 3 months, retroactive to March 15, 2020. Employers of all sizes and across all sectors of the economy would be eligible with the exception of public sector entities.
This program is designed to help employers hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic to keep and retain workers.
Organizations that do not qualify for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy may qualify for the previously announced wage subsidy of 10 per cent of remuneration paid from March 18 to before June 20, 2020.
Eligible employers would be able to access the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy by applying through a Canada Revenue Agency online portal. More details on how to apply will follow soon.
Access to credit
Establishing a Business Credit Availability Program
We established a Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) to provide $65 billion of additional support through the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) and Export Development Canada (EDC).
BDC and EDC are working with private sector lenders to coordinate on credit solutions for individual businesses, including in sectors such as oil and gas, air transportation, exportation and tourism.
This program includes:
Canada Emergency Business Account
The new Canada Emergency Business Account will provide interest-free loans of up to $40,000 to small businesses and not-for-profits, to help cover their operating costs during a period where their revenues have been temporarily reduced.
To qualify, these organizations will need to demonstrate they paid between $50,000 to $1 million in total payroll in 2019.
Loan Guarantee for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises
EDC is working with financial institutions to issue new operating credit and cash flow term loans of up to $6.25 million to SMEs.
Co-Lending Program for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises
BDC is working with financial institutions to co-lend term loans to SMEs for their operational cash flow requirements.
Eligible businesses may obtain incremental credit amounts of up to $6.25 million through the program.
These programs will roll out in the three weeks after March 27, and interested businesses should work with their current financial institutions.
Support for farmers
Increasing credit available
We are supporting Farm Credit Canada by allowing an additional $5 billion in lending capacity to producers, agribusinesses, and food processors. This will offer increased flexibility to farmers who face cashflow issues and to processors who are impacted by lost sales, helping them remain financially strong during this difficult time.
Supporting financial stability
Launching an Insured Mortgage Purchase Program
We launched an Insured Mortgage Purchase Program, in which we will purchase up to $150 billion of insured mortgage pools through the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.
This action will provide long-term stable funding to banks and mortgage lenders, help facilitate continued lending to Canadian consumers and businesses, and add liquidity to Canada’s mortgage market.
Bank of Canada actions
The Bank of Canada is acting in several ways to support the economy and financial system and stands ready to take any and all actions that it can to protect the well-being of Canadians during this difficult time. The Bank has responded by lowering interest rates, intervening to support key financial markets and providing liquidity support for financial institutions.
Lowering the Domestic Stability Buffer
The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions announced it is lowering the Domestic Stability Buffer by 1.25% of risk-weighted assets. This action will allow Canada’s large banks to inject $300 billion of additional lending into the economy.
More time to pay income taxes
We are allowing all businesses to defer, until August 31, 2020, the payment of any income tax amounts that become owing on or after March 18 and before September 2020. This relief would apply to tax balances due, as well as installments, under Part I of the Income Tax Act.
No interest or penalties will accumulate on these amounts during this period.
Deferral of Sales Tax Remittance and Customs Duty Payments
We will allow businesses, including self-employed individuals, to defer until June 30, 2020 payments of the Goods and Services Tax / Harmonized Sales Tax (GST/HST), as well as customs duties owing on their imports.
The deferral will apply to GST/HST remittances for the February, March and April 2020 reporting periods for monthly filers; the January 1, 2020 through March 31, 2020 reporting period for quarterly filers; and for annual filers, the amounts collected and owing for their previous fiscal year and installments of GST/HST in respect of the filer’s current fiscal year.
For GST and customs duty payments for imported goods, deferral will include amounts owing for March, April and May.
These amounts were normally due to be submitted to the Canada Revenue Agency and the Canada Border Services Agency as early as the end of this month.
Support for the air transportation sector
Waiving ground lease rents
We are waiving ground lease rents from March 2020 through to December 2020 for the 21 airport authorities that pay rent to the federal government. We are also providing comparable treatment for PortsToronto, which operates Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport and pays a charge to the federal government.
This will help these airports reduce cost pressures and preserve their cash flow as they deal with the effects of COVID-19 on their revenue streams.