Dear Kanata North Business Community,
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve, additional support measures for business owners have been announced this week from our municipal, provincial and federal governments. These measures are intended to support people and businesses through tax and other deferrals to improve their cash flow, protect their jobs and meet immediate business and household budgets.
Our local leaders, MP Karen McCrimmon, MPP Merrilee Fullerton, Councillor Sudds as well as Senior Business Advisor from the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, Marcelo Grinfeld all continue to proactively reach out to KNBA to provide links to important resources to support business continuity for you and your team through this extremely challenging time. Our team have summarized these updates below.
To further support small businesses, the Government of Canada announced today that they will:
- Announce a 75 per cent wage subsidy for qualifying businesses, for up to 3 months, retroactive to March 15, 2020. This will help businesses to keep and return workers to the payroll. More details on eligibility criteria will start with the impact of COVID-19 on sales, and will be shared before the end of the month.
- Allow businesses, including self-employed individuals, to defer all Goods and Services Tax/Harmonized Sales Tax (GST/HST) payments until June, as well as customs duties owed for imports. This measure is the equivalent of providing up to $30 billion in interest-free loans to Canadian businesses. It will help businesses so they can continue to pay their employees and their bills, and help ease cash-flow challenges across the country.
- Launch the new Canada Emergency Business Account. This program will provide up to $25 billion to eligible financial institutions so they can provide interest-free loans to small businesses. These loans – guaranteed and funded by the Government of Canada – will ensure that small businesses have access to the capital they need, at a zero per cent interest rate, so they can pay for rent and other important costs over the next number of months.
- Launch the new Small and Medium-sized Enterprise Loan and Guarantee program that will enable up to $40 billion in lending, supported through Export Development Canada and Business Development Bank, for guaranteed loans when small businesses go to their financial institutions to help weather the impacts of COVID-19. This is intended for small and medium-sized companies that require greater help to meet their operational cash flow requirements.
These new investments will help Canada’s financial institutions provide the credit and liquidity options that a range of Canadian businesses need immediately.
The Government of Canada understands that some sectors have been disproportionally impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. We will continue to carefully monitor all developments, and take further action in the near term. We’re all in this together, and the Government of Canada will continue to work around the clock to ensure all Canadians and small businesses get the support they need to weather this crisis.
Additional Federal Support for Employers
To further support businesses and their employees, the Federal Government has announced:
- enhancing the Work-Sharing program to support employers and their workers who are experiencing a downturn in business
- a new Business Credit Availability Program to make more than $10 billion available to Canadian businesses in financing and credit insurance solutions through:
- the Canada Revenue Agency will defer tax payments until August 31, 2020, to help businesses with cash flow
- a new Emergency Care Benefit of up to $900 biweekly for up to 15 weeks for self-employed people and others who are not eligible for EI sickness benefits
- increased credit available to farmers and the agri-food sector through Farm Credit Canada
- NOW AVAILABLE – an additional $5 billion to increase Farm Credit Canada’s lending capacity to producers, agribusinesses, and food processors.
Additional Federal Support for Support for employees
No Canadian should have to worry about losing their job, paying their rent or putting food on the table because of COVID-19. That’s why the Federal Government is:
- waiving the one-week waiting period and the requirement for a medical certificate for employment insurance (EI) sickness benefits to provide immediate support for workers in quarantine
- temporarily boosting Canada Child Benefit payments to ensure working families have enough money to support their kids
- introducing an Emergency Support Benefit to provide support to workers facing unemployment who are not eligible for EI
- extending the tax filing deadline to June 1, 2020
- and much more
The Ontario Government is enabling $1.9 billion in relief for employers to reduce the financial strain on businesses brought on by COVID-19. The measure, which will run through the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB), will see premium payments deferred for six months for all businesses in the province.
Additionally, the WSIB will cease interest accrual on all outstanding premium payments. They will not charge penalties during this six-month deferral period. There will be no negative consequences for businesses who defer premium reporting and payments. The WSIB will continue to fully cover workers at eligible workplaces.
- The Workplace Safety and Insurance Board covers over five million people in more than 300,000 workplaces across Ontario.
- Businesses are not required to inform the WSIB that they will be taking advantage of this financial relief package.
- The deferred premiums will amount to an average $1,760 for approximately 275,000 Ontario businesses.
- The WSIB’s new Employer Relief Package
- Visit Ontario’s website to learn more about how the province continues to protect Ontarians from COVID-19
Interim Property Tax Grace Period for All Property Owners
The interim tax bills, which represent 50 per cent of the previous year’s tax bill, were mailed to property owners in mid-February with payment to the City of Ottawa due Thursday, March 19, 2020. The City will be extending a payment grace period to April 15, 2020. More information on property tax bills can be found on the Taxes homepage on ottawa.ca.
New 2020 Property Tax Hardship Deferral Program
The City has implemented a new 2020 Property Tax Hardship Deferral Program for residential property owners and small business property owners (assessed property value of up to $2.5 million) that have been financially affected as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The deferral application is available on ottawa.ca and extends the interim (March 19) and final (June 18) tax due dates to October 30, 2020.
Support for Small Business
Following today’s announcements, we continue to work closely with the City of Ottawa to establish support programs for our small business owners, who will be heavily impacted by this next wave of social distancing.
As a grass roots measure to support our small businesses in Kanata North, KNBA have launched a #shoplocal campaign powered by Shopify to encourage our community to order takeout and purchase gift cards to be used at a future date. Please consider supporting our restaurants, retailers, health and wellness shops.
We are all in this together.
If you are a small business owner and would like to connect to have your business featured on the landing page, please reach out to email@example.com for further details.
Credible Sources of Information from our Public Health Officials
Please continue to visit the following credible sources of information and follow updates from Ottawa Public Health, Councilor Sudds and the City of Ottawa for the most accurate information as material information becomes available.
Ottawa Public Health
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/ottawahealth
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ottawahealth/
- Web: https://www.ottawapublichealth.ca/coronavirus
Ontario Ministry of Health
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/ONThealth
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ONThealth/
- Web: https://www.ontario.ca/page/2019-novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov
Health Canada / Public Health Agency of Canada
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/GovCanHealth
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HealthyCdns/
- Web: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection.html
Our team will continue to post updates to the dedicated landing page on the KNBA website with real time updates and information on covid-19 recommendations as it relates to our businesses.
Finally, I again want to stress that as the COVID19 situation unfolds, please be mindful of its impact on your MentalHealth. It’s normal for situations like this to affect you and it’s completely OK to ask for help. If you need support, Distress Centre Ottawa is available 24/7 at 613-238-3311 or dcottawa.on.ca.
President & Executive Director
Kanata North Business Association