Latest information and

updates on COVID 19

Guides and Services

Frequently Asked Questions

What financial support, loans, and access to credit available to help businesses during this pandemic?

Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA)
As of December 4, 2020, CEBA loans for eligible businesses will increase from $40,000 to $60,000. Applicants who have received the $40,000 CEBA loan may apply for the $20,000 expansion, which provides eligible businesses with an additional $20,000 in financing. All applicants have until March 31, 2021, to apply for a $60,000 CEBA loan or the $20,000 expansion.
This $55 billion program provides interest-free loans of up to $60,000 to small businesses and not-for-profits. Repaying the balance of the loan on or before December 31, 2022, will result in loan forgiveness of 33 percent (up to $20,000).

As of December 4, 2020, approved CEBA applicants can now receive a $60,000 loan. CEBA applicants who have received the $40,000 CEBA loan may apply for the CEBA expansion, which provides eligible businesses with an additional $20,000 of financing.

For more information: https://ceba-cuec.ca/

Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS)
The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) supports employers that are hardest hit by the pandemic, and protect the jobs Canadians depend on. The employer may be eligible for a subsidy of 75% of employee wages for up to 12 weeks. This wage subsidy will enable you to re-hire workers previously laid off as a result of COVID-19, help prevent further job losses, and better position you to resume normal operations following the crisis.

To be eligible to receive the wage subsidy, you must:

  • be an eligible employer
  • have experienced an eligible reduction in revenue, and
  • have had a CRA payroll account on March 15, 2020

Changes to CEWS as of January 6, 2021:Details for claim periods 11 to 13 (December 20, 2020, to March 13, 2021):

  • the maximum top-up subsidy rate is 35%
  • the maximum subsidy amount for employees on leave with pay is $595
  • the base revenue drop comparison months for period 11 will be the same as period 10

For more information: https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/subsidy/emergency-wage-subsidy.html

Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF)
The Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) is assisting businesses and communities that may require additional support to cope with and recover from the pandemic. Recognizing the importance of the RRRF in supporting small businesses, the government is increasing the fund by up to $500 million. The funds will go to regional development agencies and the Community Futures Network of Canada, bringing total funding to over $2 billion—25% of the funding is earmarked for the struggling tourism sector.

The Fund will help to:

  • mitigate the financial pressure experienced by businesses and organizations to allow them to continue their operations, including paying their employees.
  • support projects by businesses, organizations and communities to prepare now for a successful recovery.

For more information: https://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/icgc.nsf/eng/h_07682.html

Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility (LEEFF)

The Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility (LEEFF) will provide bridge financing to Canada’s largest employers, whose needs during the pandemic are not being met through conventional financing, to keep their operations going.
LEEFF will be open to large Canadian employers who (a) have a significant impact on Canada’s economy, as demonstrated by (i) having significant operations in Canada or (ii) supporting a significant workforce in Canada; (b) can generally demonstrate approximately $300 million or more in annual revenues; and (c) require a minimum loan size of about $60 million. The additional liquidity provided through LEEFF will allow Canada’s largest businesses, their workers and their suppliers to remain active during this difficult time, and position them for a rapid economic recovery.

For more information: https://www.cdev.gc.ca/home-ceefc/

Canada United Small Business Relief Fund

The Canada United Small Business Relief Fund provides relief grants of up to $5,000 to small businesses. The grant can be used for specific efforts: purchasing PPE, renovating physical spaces, or developing your website or e-commerce capabilities.

For more information: https://occ.ca/canada-united-small-business-relief-fund/

Mid Market Financing Program

Through the Business Credit Availability Program, the Business Development Canada's (BDC) Mid-Market Financing Program will provide commercial loans ranging between $12.5 million and $60 million to medium-sized businesses whose credit needs exceed what is already available through the Business Credit Availability Program and other measures. This support is available until June 2021.

For more information: https://www.bdc.ca/en/special-support/special-support-mid-market-financing-program

Mid Market Guarantee and Financing Program

EDC’s Mid-Market Guarantee and Financing Program will bring liquidity to companies who tend to have revenues of between $50 million to $300 million, to sustain operations during this uncertain period. EDC will continue to work with Canadian financial institutions to guarantee 75 % of new operating credit and cash-flow loans – ranging in size from $16.75 million to a maximum of $80 million.
These expanded guarantees are available to exporters, international investors and businesses that sell their products or services within Canada.

For more information: https://www.edc.ca/en/solutions/working-capital/bcap-guarantee.html

Loan Guarantee for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises

Business Credit Availability Program, Export Development Canada (EDC) is working with financial institutions to guarantee 80% of new operating credit and cash flow term loans of up to $6.25 million to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
This financing support is to be used for operational expenses and is available to both exporting and non-exporting companies.
This program is now available at various banks and credit unions.
This support is available until June 2021.

For more information: https://www.edc.ca/en/solutions/working-capital/bcap-guarantee.html

Co-Lending Program for Small and Medium-sized enterprises

Business Credit Availability Program, Business Development Canada (BDC) is working with financial institutions to co-lend term loans of up to $6.25 million to SMEs for their operational cash flow requirements.
The program offers differing maximum finance amounts based on business revenues. This program is now available at various banks and credit unions. This support is available until June 2021.

For more information:https://www.bdc.ca/en/special-support/special-support-co-lending-program

Black Entrepreneurship Program

The Black Entrepreneurship Program (BEP) is a partnership between the Government of Canada, Black-led business organizations, and financial institutions. With an investment of up to $221 million over four years, it will help Black Canadian business owners and entrepreneurs grow their businesses and succeed now and into the future.

For more information: https://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/150.nsf/eng/h_00000.html

What grants are available to the Businesses?

Ontario Small Business Support Grant

Starting at $10,000 for all eligible businesses, the grant provides businesses with funding to a maximum of $20,000 to help cover decreased revenue expected as a result of the Provincewide Shutdown.

The business must demonstrate they experienced a revenue decline of at least 20 percent when comparing monthly revenue in April 2019 and April 2020. This period was selected because it reflects the impact of the public health measures in spring 2020, and as such provides a representation of the possible impact of these latest measures on small businesses.

New businesses established since April 2019 are also eligible provided they meet the other eligibility criteria. The Ontario government has opened applications for the new Ontario Small Business Support Grant.

Ontario's Main Street Relief Grant: PPE support

This grants is to help small businesses with the unexpected costs of PPE. Eligible small businesses will get one-time grants of up to $1,000.

To be eligible, your business must have two to nine employees and be in one of the following sectors:

  • retail
  • accommodation and food services
  • repair and maintenance
  • personal and laundry services
  • gyms and yoga studios

For more information: https://www.ontario.ca/page/businesses-get-help-covid-19-costs#section-1

What rent assistance is available for small businesses?

Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS)
Canadian businesses, non-profit organizations, or charities who have seen a drop in revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic may be eligible for a subsidy to cover part of their commercial rent or property expenses, starting on September 27, 2020, until June 2021.

This subsidy will provide payments directly to qualifying renters and property owners, without requiring the participation of landlords. If you are eligible for the base subsidy, you may also be eligible for lockdown support if your business location is significantly affected by a public health order for a week or more.

For additional information: https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/subsidy/emergency-rent-subsidy.html

What are the Credit, Mortgage & Banking Support for Businesses?

Credit Support

The Government of Canada established a Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP), to help Canadian businesses obtain financing through Business Development Canada and Export Development Canada.

Additionally, the new Canada Emergency Business Account will provide interest-free loans of up to $40,000 to small businesses and not-for-profit companies, to help cover their operating costs.

Mortgage & Banking Solutions

The Government of Canada launched an Insured Mortgage Purchase Program Opens in a new window to expand the stable funding available to banks and mortgage lenders to ensure continued lending to Canadian consumers and businesses.

Bank of Montreal Opens in a new window, CIBC Opens in a new window, National Bank of Canada Opens in a new window, Royal Bank of Canada Opens in a new window, Scotiabank Opens in a new window, and TD Bank Opens in the new window have committed 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,
  • 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.

For more information: https://www.toronto.ca/home/covid-19/covid-19-economic-support-recovery-for-businesses/covid-19-credit-mortgage-banking-support-businesses/

What support is available for my employees if they are temporarily laid off due to COVID-19?

Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB)
The Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) will be available for up to 26 weeks (between September 27, 2020, and September 25, 2021) through Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) to provide income support to employed and self-employed individuals who have been impacted directly by COVID-19 and are not eligible for Employment Insurance (EI) benefits. CRB application will be available on October 12, 2020.
For more information: https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/benefits/recovery-benefit.html

Employment Insurance (EI)
If you have recently applied for Employment Insurance (EI) regular or sickness benefits, do not re-apply. Your application will automatically be assessed to determine if you are eligible for the CERB.

A medical certificate is no longer required for EI claims beginning March 15, 2020, or later.
If you have a new Regular or Sickness EI claim starting March 15, 2020, or after, your benefits will be delivered as part of the Government of Canada’s Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB).

For more information: https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/corporate/notices/coronavirus.html

Do businesses have flexibility in paying their WSIB payments?

The WSIB financial relief package allows businesses to defer premium reporting and payments until August 31, 2020. All businesses that chose to participate in the financial relief package will have until June 30, 2021 to repay deferred amounts, interest-free. Deferred amount payments can be made in one or multiple installments between January and June 30, 2021.

Each customer reports and pays on the previous full month or quarter, for example March 31 reporting and payment obligation cover the period of February 1-29. The following payments are eligible for deferral:
Monthly: March 31, April 30, May 31, June 30, July 31, Aug 31
Quarterly: April 30, July 31
Annual: April 30

The relief package also applies to Schedule 2 organizations – publicly funded organizations (municipalities, hospitals, school boards), and other businesses who are involved in federally regulated industries. All payment obligations (weekly and monthly) for Schedule 2 businesses could be deferred until August, 31, 2020.

Costs associated with COVID-19 related claims will not be allocated at an employer or class level. Instead, they will be allocated on a Schedule-wide basis and there will be no change in premium rates for 2020 or 2021. Premium rate stability will help Ontario business continue to adjust to the ongoing pandemic, while protecting coverage for the people we serve.

For more information: https://www.wsib.ca/en/financialrelief

Is there any relief period for the interest and penalties when remitting provincial taxes?

Relief Period: The deadline for Tax filing and remittance will remain the same. However, beginning April 1, 2020, penalties and interest will not apply to Ontario businesses that miss any filing or remittance deadline for five months in any of the following Taxes: Employer Health Tax, Tobacco Tax, Fuel Tax, Gas Tax, Beer, Wine & Spirits Tax, Mining Tax, Insurance Premium Tax, International Fuel Tax Agreement, Retail Sales Tax on Insurance Contracts and Benefit Plans, Race Tracks Tax.

Filing Late Return or Remittance: Ontario businesses must file any outstanding returns or payments from the relief period by October 1, 2020. Beginning October 2, 2020, interest will begin accruing on any outstanding balances. Businesses are encouraged to pay taxes and file returns using ONT-TAXS online, Ontario’s secure and free online tax service.

For more information: https://budget.ontario.ca/2020/marchupdate/relief-measures.html

Do businesses have relief or flexibility in paying their bills and taxes?

Electricity

To support Ontarians currently staying home during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ontario government is providing relief by temporarily holding the price of electricity at 8.5¢ per kWh for all customers paying Time-of-Use (TOU) and Tiered rates under the Regulated Price Plan (RPP).This lower rate will be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week from January 1, 2021 until January 28, 2021.

Also, The Government of Ontario has introduced the COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program for Small Business (CEAP-SB) to support small business and registered charity customers struggling to pay their electricity bills as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. CEAP-SB provides a one-time, on-bill credit to eligible customers in need of financial assistance during this time. They’re encouraging business customers to contact their Customer Care team directly at 416-542-8000 for help with billing concerns and payment options.

For more information: https://www.torontohydro.com/covid-19

Property Tax

You may qualify for the Property Tax, Water and/or Solid Waste Relief programs if you are a low-income senior or a low-income person living with a disability.Property Tax, Water and Solid Waste Relief applicants can only submit applications for their principal residence. To verify, the City requires that applicants provide an unaltered copy of their Notice of Assessment (NOA) to establish eligibility for the City’s Property Tax, Water and Solid Waste Relief Programs.

Solid Waste Rebate Program

If you are a low-income senior or a low-income person living with a disability and using a garbage bin or single-family bag-only customer; you may qualify to receive a rebate on the solid waste portion of your utility bill

For more information: https://www.toronto.ca/services-payments/property-taxes-utilities/property-tax/property-tax-rebates-and-relief-programs/property-tax-and-utility-relief-program/

What kind of support is available to help businesses avoid lay-off, rehiring employees and creating new jobs?

Work-Sharing (WS)
WS is a program that helps employers and employees avoid layoffs when there is a temporary decrease in business activity beyond the control of the employer. The program provides EI benefits to eligible employees who agree to reduce their normal working hours and share the available work while their employer recovers. The Government is 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.

For more information and how to apply: https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/corporate/notices/coronavirus.html

Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS)

CEWS provides a 75% wage subsidy to eligible employers for up to 12 weeks. The CEWS prevents further job losses, encourages employers to re-hire workers previously laid off as a result of COVID-19, and help better position Canadian companies and other employers to more easily resume normal operations following the crisis.

For more information and how to apply: https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/economic-response-plan/wage-subsidy.html

Canada Summer Jobs (CSJ) program

A wage subsidy, so that private and public-sector employers can receive up to 75 percent of the provincial or territorial minimum hourly wage for each employee (not-for-profit organizations will continue to receive 100 percent);

  • an extension to the end date for employment to February 26, 2022; and
  • allowing employers to hire staff on a part-time basis

For more information and how to apply: https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/services/funding/canada-summer-jobs.html

What are the tools and resources available for Post Pandemic Business recovery?

Ontario has released safety guidelines to protect workers, customers and the general public from COVID-19 as it prepares for a gradual reopening of the provincial economy. These resources are available for different sectors. They will help employers and workers better understand how to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Sector guidelines contain recommendations and tips for employers on how to keep workers safe on the job. Posters for both employers and workers also offer advice on preventative actions, including physical distancing and workplace sanitation. Employers are encouraged to download the posters to print and post in the workplace.

  • Post-Pandemic Business Playbook (PDF): A starter guide to restarting a Post Pandemic business.
  • Pandemic Recovery-Return to Business Checklist (PDF): This checklist is intended as a self-assessment tool to assist you in ramping back up to regular business operations.
  • Post-Pandemic Checklist: For Businesses Operating as Usual (PDF)
  • Post-Pandemic Checklist: For Businesses Returning After Shutdown (PDF)
  • Post-Pandemic Checklist: For Businesses Returning after Working Remotely (PDF)
  • COVID-19 Sector-Specific Health and Safety Guidance Documents
  • COVID-19 Workplace Safety Posters

For more information: https://www.wsps.ca/Information-Resources/Topics/COVID-19-Keeping-safe-during-the-pandemic.aspx
For more information: https://www.ontario.ca/page/resources-prevent-covid-19-workplace

How can a Canadian manufacturer help and receive help during this pandemic?

If you are a Canadian manufacturer or business that can assist Canada in meeting the need for medical supplies, your help is needed, if:

  • You manufacture in Canada and/or have ready access to necessary inputs through your supply chain.
  • You have equipment or facilities that can be rapidly re-tooled to meet medical needs, including for personal protective equipment (PPE) such as gloves, masks and surgical gowns; sanitizers; wipes; ventilators; and other medical equipment and supplies.
  • You have skilled workers who are able to respond and who could be available for work in the current circumstances.

The Plan to Mobilize Industry to fight COVID-19 directly supports businesses to rapidly scale up production or re-tool their manufacturing lines to develop products made in Canada that will help in the fight against COVID-19.
For more information: https://www.canada.ca/en/services/business/maintaingrowimprovebusiness/manufacturers-needed.html

Do businesses have flexibility in filing their Taxes?
  • The CRA will allow all businesses to defer, until after August 31, 2020, the payment of any income tax amounts that become owing on or after March 18 and before September 2020. This relief would apply to tax balances due, as well as instalments, Penalties and interest will not be charged if the deferred payment requirements are met by September 1, 2020. Penalties and interest relief will be considered on a case-by-case basis for income tax balances that are not covered by the COVID-19 relief provisions.
  • The CRA will allow all businesses to defer, until the end of June 2020, any GST/HST payments or remittances that become owing on or after March 27, 2020, and before June 2020. This means that no interest will apply if your payments or remittances are made by the end of June 2020
  • Payroll remittances – Due dates remain unchanged

For more information: https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/campaigns/covid-19-update/covid-19-filing-payment-dates.html

What are some of the options that I should consider when planning for the immediate financial impact of the pandemic to your business.
  • Review and understand your business interruption insurance.
  • Audit payable and receivable transactions to help plan your cashflow.
  • Look at limiting your monthly expenses to the essentials until such time as business picks up again.
  • Investigate possible sources or credit or financing to help with cash flow during this period.
  • Understand what support has been offered to businesses by the federal or provincial governments. (e.g. Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP))
What should I consider when creating a plan to mitigate some of the impact of the pandemic to my business?
  • What protective and preventative equipment and tools do you need to put in place to prevent the spread of infection?
  • How and how often are you communicating with employees, customers and suppliers?
  • How are you monitoring and managing employee fear, anxiety, rumors and misinformation?
  • Do you have platforms (e.g. hotlines, website etc.) in place for communicating pandemic status and actions to employees, vendors, customers, etc. and responding to their questions?
  • Are there guidelines and practices you can modify or put in place to curtail direct contact with the public if necessary?
  • Do you have a policy in place for flexible worksites and work hours?
  • Do you have a policy in place for employees who may, or think they may have been exposed to the virus?
How do I identify the potential impact of the pandemic to my business?
  • What is the risk of the pandemic to your employees, partners, suppliers and customers?
  • What is the decision-making process related to the pandemic and the execution of the business continuity plan?
  • Who are your most essential employees and what are the other critical inputs (e.g. raw materials, suppliers, subcontractor services/products, and logistics) required to maintain business operations by location and function during a pandemic?
  • How are you planning for significant staff absences?
  • Do you have the tools and technology in place to enable staff to work remotely?
  • If you were forced to close your doors for two weeks or more, do you have access to a line of credit that will cover ongoing expenses until you can reopen, and your cash flow resumes?
  • What is your plan for scenarios that are likely to result in an increase or decrease in demand for your products and/or services during a pandemic?
  • Is your emergency communications plan up to date and are key roles and responsibilities outlined and communicated? This plan should include identification of key contacts (with back-ups), a chain of communications (including suppliers and customers), and processes for tracking and communicating business and employee status.
What things should I consider when developing a business continuity plan for my business?
  • What is the process for decision-making during times of crisis?
  • What are the critical services, positions and skills required to keep your business running?
  • How and when are you communicating to internal and external stakeholders and managing the flow of information?
  • What is your plan for recovery?
As a business what are some of the things, I should plan for should COVID-19 escalate in Canada?
  • Staff absences due to a number of reasons (personal illness, ill family members, looking after children due to school closures, feeling of safety being at home etc.)
  • Disruption to essential services like information, telecommunications, financial services, energy supply, and logistics
  • Demand for business services may be affected – demand for some services may increase (e.g. internet access, anything health-related), while demand for others may fall (e.g. tourism, cultural events, marketing and promotion).
  • Supplies of materials needed for ongoing business activity may be disrupted. Further problems can be expected if goods are imported by air or land over international borders.
  • The increased public fear that causes citizens to avoid public places, including front line retail and tourist-related attractions, restaurants and leisure businesses.
My employee is invoking their “right to refuse” unsafe work – what do I do?

Under Occupational Health and Safety legislation, employees have a right to refuse work if they have reasonable grounds to believe it is dangerous to their health or safety. Remind your employees of the preventive measures that have been put in place, and the safety products available to them. This may help mitigate instances of employees refusing to work due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The employer may choose to reassign work. In this case, the employee must receive the same wages and benefits as they would have received under their previous assignment.

Please review the OH&S legislation in your jurisdiction for guidance on further reporting responsibilities.

Do I need a coronavirus sick policy?

Having a small business sick policy or attendance policy is a good business sense at all times, not just when there is a pandemic. Letting employees know exactly what they are entitled to, based on Employment Standards requirements and your own internal policies, will set expectations and reduce confusion and frustration. Company policy may become invalid if national policy and guidelines change. It is important to keep abreast of developments to ensure compliance with national policy during the pandemic.

Am I obligated to put preventive measures in place?

Occupational Health and Safety requires employers to provide a safe workplace for their employees. Some preventive measures could include:

  • Ensuring that handwashing facilities are readily available and encouraging employees to practice good hygiene.
  • Ensuring employees are aware of the symptoms and risks of the virus.
  • Posting safety measures and encouraging employees to follow them to help prevent a person to person transmission.
  • Permitting employees to work remotely where possible. Communicate this to employees, so they will feel comfortable working from home if they are feeling under the weather.
  • Having safety products available (hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes, gloves, etc.).
  • Paying additional attention to cleaning – disinfecting door handles, computer keyboards, telephones, etc.
What are the obligations of my employees?

Employees must take the necessary steps to protect their own health and well-being and that of their co-workers. Employees must comply with any preventive measures put in place by the employer (use of personal protective equipment, hygiene requirements, etc.), and they must report hazards to their employers. The possibility they may have been infected with COVID-19 is a hazard that must be reported to the employer. It is also important that employees follow any guidelines suggested by Health Canada.

Do I need to file the ROE when laying off employees?

When laying off employees you will be required to file a Record Of Employment (ROE). An ROE must be filed whenever there is a change in the status of an employee including when a business is forced to close by the government.

Once the ROE is filed your employees will be able to apply for regular Employment Insurance benefits. In many jurisdictions, there is an exemption from giving or paying notice when a business needs to close due to unforeseen circumstances. We have requested clarification from provincial and territorial governments on this.

How do I complete the ROE?

An ROE has to be filed when there is an interruption of earnings of seven days (known as the seven-day rule). The interruption of earnings occurs when there are seven consecutive days with no work and no insurable earnings, or when an employee’s salary falls below 60% of regular weekly earnings due to illness, injury, quarantine, pregnancy, etc.

If you are filing the ROE electronically, it must be issued within 5 calendar days of the end of the pay period in which the employee’s interruption of earnings occurs. If you are using a paper ROE, it must be issued within 5 calendar days of the employee’s interruption of earnings, or the date you became aware of the interruption of earnings.

How do I complete my employee’s ROE?

1. Through ROEweb either by using a: Select Sign-In Partner; or GCKey
2. Calling Service Canada 1-800-622-6232 for a Paper ROE (unavailable at the moment)

For more information: https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/programs/ei/ei-list/reports/roe-guide/instructions.html

If my employees are laid off, can they work while receiving EI?

Employees can work while on a claim using the Workshare program, this is a three-way agreement with the employee, employer and Service Canada that takes about 30 days to negotiate. If the employer has already put this in place, Service Canada will waive the 30 days of negotiation.

What COVID scams do I need to be aware of?

As businesses close and there is a move to working at home, cyber-security is more important than ever. There have already been reports of malicious e-mails masquerading as legitimate entities using the COVID-19 pandemic in an effort to capture private and personal information.
NOTE: Government will not reach out to you directly by phone or email to offer you relief
Phishing
When fraudsters pose as a company, brand or e-mail address you recognize, it’s called phishing. A play on the word fish, the perpetrators are fishing for someone to fall for their scam by sending e-mails (usually with a link to a website) purporting to be from a reputable company. They’re hoping to trick people into giving out personal information or making payments.
How to prevent phishing:

  • Make sure you have a spam filter on your e-mails
  • Look for tell-tale signs such as typos, grammar errors or poor image quality
  • Check the e-mail address – businesses and organizations don’t use Hotmail or Gmail accounts
  • Don’t assume people or businesses are who they say they are
  • Don’t give out personal/business information unless you’re absolutely sure of who you are dealing with.
  • Trust your instincts – if you’re not comfortable, contact the company directly to find out if the message is legitimate.

Phone Scams
Callers will try to trick you into handing over personal information (full name, address, Social Insurance Number, etc.) by posing as a government official. A true government official will be willing to provide you with their name, agent number (if applicable), department, and the building they are calling from. They will also already have all your information. Examples of these scams include callers pretending to be from CRA either threatening criminal action if a fine isn’t paid or offering relief monies paid by direct deposit.
Text Scams
Similar to phishing, text scams will try to get you to click a link that will either lead to a malicious website or download malicious content onto your phone. Recent examples include a fake Red Cross text offering free face masks if you just click the link…
Stop and think before you share personal information over the phone or click on COVID-19-related links.

Updates to the Canada Summer Jobs Program (aka 100% wage subsidy)

The Canada Summer Jobs Program (CSJ Program) is an initiative to help students (15-30 years of age) gain quality work experience and to encourage businesses, who would normally not have the financial capability, to hire a student worker by subsidizing their wage.
I have applied. How will the updates affect my business if I am approved in May?
Private and public sector employers can now receive up to 100% of the provincial or territorial minimum hourly wage for each employee instead of the previous 50%. Employers will be allowed to hire staff on a part-time basis. Agreed upon contract can be extended to February 28, 2021
I have not applied to this program, but I am an essential service who could really benefit from this program. How will the updates affect my business?
Local MPs will be able to recommend businesses they deem as an essential service in their communities for consideration to be late applicants into the CSJ Program
The government has not announced if there will be an application system available to date. If you would like your local MP to consider you, we encourage you to write them a letter explaining your situation as an essential service and how this program could benefit you and your community.
For more information: https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/services/funding/canada-summer-jobs/screening-eligibility.html

Useful Links

World Health Organization: Latest updates
Centres for Disease Control and Prevention: Hand washing techniques
Government of Canada: Coronavirus disease (COVID-19)
Bing COVID Tracker: COVID-19 Tracker
Anxiety Canada: Anxiety management
City of Toronto COVID-19 Economic Support and Recovery: Economic Support and Recovery
City of Toronto COVID-19 Health Advice: Health Advice
BDC: Support for entrepreneurs impacted by the COVID-19 coronavirus
Business Development Bank of Canada: Business continuity plan and templates
EDC: COVID-19
Toronto Region COVID-19 assessment centres: https://www.toronto.ca/home/covid-19/covid-19-what-you-should-do/covid-19-have-symptoms-or-been-exposed/covid-19-assessment-centres/
COVID-19 Assessment centres by City: https://covid-19.ontario.ca/assessment-centre-locations/

Additional Updates and Resources

Tax Filing Deadline has been extended by at least 1 month: Click Here
Uber has waived all its delivery fees and will allow same day payouts to for Local Restaurants everywhere: Click Here
Latest news releases from the Prime Minister of Canada: Click Here
Facebook is offering cash grants and ad credits: Click Here
The major banks have announced mitigation measures to help small businesses: Click Here
Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan: Support for Canadians and Businesses: Click Here
Canadian Chamber of Commerce – Business preparedness guide: Click Here
Latest list of essential business services: Click Here
TABIA CERS Information: Click Here

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