COVID-19 | Resources for Self Employed, Small Business + More

THIS POST WILL BE REGULARLY UPDATED AS NEW INFORMATION AND RESOURCES BECOMES AVAILABLE CONCERNING CANADIAN SELF-EMPLOYED, ENTREPRENEURS & SMALL BUSINESSES.

WHAT'S THE LATEST FROM OUR GOVERNMENT?WAYS TO APPLY FOR FUNDINGADDITIONAL WAYS  TO GET ASSISTANCE

The team at SALT decided to close our doors to the public on March 17th. We did this to support the movement of social distancing and to flattening the curve. I instantly felt a sense of relief, followed by sadness having made this decision. It was a very hard one as it impacts all my staff, makers and supply accounts for the SALT brand; this choice halts everything. Moving forward from that moment I asked myself what's next.

Like many entrepreneurs my brain jumped into overdrive on how to get thru this. I came up with online initiatives for SALT and it also landed on the need to be in the know with the resources that are being put forth by the Government of Canada. Which led me to think, if i'm learning about it, I can share it with all of you!

This post will be regularly updated with links and information on how to apply for all of the funding available for access by the Government of Canada. I will do my best to explain how, when and who can apply. We are all in this together, this is my part in helping all of you to access the funds you need to get thru this storm.

 APRIL 21ST 2020

UPDATES TO THE CERB (CANADIAN EMERGENCY RESPONSE BENEFIT). 

The CERB has been adjusted to include Canadians who are still employed but are earning less than $1000 per eligibility period. March 15-April 11 is the first period. April 12-May 9 is the next upcoming period and both have open applications on the CRA website. This is open to self-employed and part-time employees. 

APRIL 2ND, 2020

Today I looked into a few things to make sure this post was up to date. Some things I added to the funding section are the The Canada Emergency Business Account which explains the 40,000 no/low interest loans. As well as the Business Credit Availability Program. Which was launched early March. It is the loans you can access thru the EDC and the BDC. Hope down to the funding section to learn more. 

ANNOUNCED MARCH 30TH, 2020

The government has announced  a few new support incentives for small business. The first is an increase to the wage subsidy, from 10% to 75%!!! The second, is a promise from the government to grantee loans, See below.

Trudeau said the government also promised to guarantee loans of up to $40,000 for small businesses which will be interest-free for the first year, as a way to help businesses "bridge to better times."

Under certain conditions, up to $10,000 of the loans could be non-repayable.

ANNOUNCED MARCH 25TH, 2020

Income tax filing deadline has been bumped from April 30 to June 1. This doesn't mean you should put off prepping your taxes. Especially if you were expecting a return, now is the perfect time to file! The payment deadline for income tax has also been bumped to August 31.

A new benefit was announced today, The Canadian Emergency Response Benefit. This benefit it replacing the original two benefits: the one for workers who qualified for Employment Insurance, and the one for workers who didn't. This new emergency response benefit has been augmented from the original proposal announced last week and will provide $52 billion in direct support, instead of the initial $27 billion. Another $55 billion will be accessible in tax deferrals.

 

ANNOUNCED MARCH 19TH, 2020

Morneau stated this morning, "we expect, will be able to have money to people in the two to three-week time period,"  

So hang in there gang, its coming and I will let you know how and when! -Jess

The above is great news, but how do we apply for it!? You can find a TON of information on Canadas COVID-Economic Response Plan webpage linked below. 

https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/news/2020/03/canadas-covid-19-economic-response-plan-support-for-canadians-and-businesses.html

When you navigate to this page I pay special attention to the Support for Small Business section. If we can get support, we can continue to support those that we work with to continue some sense of normalcy.  But the real question is, How to do we access and apply for these funds. Stay tuned, I'm researching it! 

CFIB has a page online that is a fantastic resource for independent business's. You can find it linked here. It has some great FAQ's 

 

ANNOUNCED MARCH 18TH, 2020

Today Justin Trudeau announced a $82-billion aid package to help Canadians and small business get thru this unusual time.

The most stress relieving release that I saw today was the following;

  • A new Emergency Care Benefit of up to $900 biweekly, up to 15 weeks, to provide income support to workers, including the self-employed, who have to stay home and don't qualify for paid sick leave or employment insurance. The measure could disburse up to $10 billion.

Other important plans include:

  • Temporarily boosting Canada Child Benefit payments, delivering about $2 billion in extra support.
  • A six-month, interest-free reprieve on student loan payments.
  • Doubling the homeless care program. 
  • Extending the tax filing deadline to June 1.
  • Allowing taxpayers to defer until after Aug. 31 tax payments that are due after today and before September.
  • $305 million for a new Indigenous Community Support Fund to address immediate needs in First Nations, Inuit and Métis Nation communities.

All of this information was pulled from an article on CBC news the morning of the 18th of March. You can read the article here.

 

HOW TO APPLY FOR FUNDING

SMALL BUSINESS 

LOANS / GRANTS / FUNDING

You can access up $100,000 if needed quite easily. The government just announced that they are reducing the risk weighted asset rules to 1.25% so if you couldn't get funding before, you might be able to now! APPLY - it can't hurt.

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THE CANADIAN EMERGENCY BUSINESS ACCOUNT (CEBA LOAN) | This will offer business's interest-free loans of up to $40,000 with up to 25% ($10,000) is forgivable loan if it’s repaid by Dec 31 2022.

FAST FACTS

  • To qualify you have to have paid $50,000+ in payroll in 2019
  • This $25-billion program opened to small and medium-sized businesses on April 9
  • These loans are backed by the government.
  •  The loan can be converted into a three-year term loan at an interest rate of 5% after Dec 31 2022.

TO QUALIFY THE BUSINESS MUST

  • Be Canadian-operated
  • have federal tax registration and a payroll in the 2019 calendar year of between $50,000 and $1-million

You can apply for a CEBA Loan through The bank that houses your primary business operating account. 

THE BUSINESS WON'T QUALITY IF

  • They were behind on their payments for an existing loan on March 1 2020
  • They are a Sole proprietor who uses a personal chequing account while operating in the name of a business.
  • It's owned by a government body or an elected official.

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THE BUSINESS CREDIT AVAILABILITY PROGRAM | Also know as BCAP, this program will provide additional support through the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) and Export Development Canada (EDC).

BDC* |  The BDC is working with financial institutions to co-lend term loans to small and medium sized business for their operational cash flow requirements. Their webpage dedicated to the support of entrepreneurs impacted by the Coronavirus is great. I seriously advise you all to apply. The payments are deferred for 6months. See link here. 

EDC |  The EDC is working with financial institutions to issue new operating credit and cash flow term loans. You can find there Corona-19 page here. 

 

STAFF SUPPORT

THE CANADA EMERGENCY WAGE SUBSIDY (30% Loss or more)

We feel this subsidy supports both the business and the employees enabling business to return to normal quickly once this pandemic starts to pass. The subsidy helps with employee retention. 

FAST FACTS

  • 75% wage subsidy 
  • retroactive to March 15th
  • For both part time + full time employee
  • Must show a 30% drop in revenue (March 2020 compared to March 2019, ect)
  • Can apply thru My CRA Business Account
  • Employees who receive this subsidy are not eligible for the CERB as well.
  • funds give we be a taxable income to the business. 
See below for a copy from the Government of Canada giving an example of what this can look like in action.  

 

How businesses will benefit from the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy

Bruno and Tisha run a floral shop in Burnaby, British Columbia. They have four full‑time employees, each earning $800 per week, and 6 part-time employees, each earning $400 per week, for a total weekly payroll of $5,600. Bruno and Tisha have closed their shop and are only fulfilling online orders during this challenging period. They are keeping all of their employees on the payroll, paying them their full regular wages, despite their revenues being down by 30 per cent. Bruno and Tisha would be eligible for a weekly wage subsidy of $4,200 ($600 for each of their full-time employees and $300 for each of their part-time employees).

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WORK SHARING (10% Loss or more)

Work Sharing is an adjustment program designed to help employers and employees avoid layoffs when there is a temporary reduction of 10% or more in the normal level of business activity that is beyond the control of the employer. It provides income support to employees eligible for Employment Insurance benefits. It is a three-party agreement between the employer, the employees and Service Canada. Work Sharing agreements must have a minimum duration of 6 weeks. The maximum duration of the agreements has been temporarily extended due to COVID-19, from 38 weeks to 76 weeks. The downside, it takes 30 days for the application to kick in. However it can be hugely helpful to your employees. It may require so paperwork and report pulling. But heck, we can do that from home!

FAST FACTS

  • sup income support for eligible employees
  • application takes 30 days, (this may be changing)
  • eligible to apply if you have a downturn in business due to COVID19
  • must have two eligible "core" employees
  • employees and business's apply together
  • employees will share available work and get subsidized for what is missing.
  • employees must be eligible for EI, (but who knows what that means under these circumstances)
  • support available for up to 76 weeks
  • must Be a private business, a publicly-held company or a not-for-profit
  • must be a year round business for at least 2 years

For more info + how to apply, take a look at the link here.  It's a lot of wordy shit, but its worth applying if you qualify. 

 

SELF EMPLOYED / ENTREPRENEUR 

THE CANADIAN EMERGENCY RELIEF BENEFIT

This benefit it replacing the original two benefits: the one for workers who qualified for Employment Insurance, and the one for workers who didn't. This new benefit will be available to Canadians who earned $5,000 or more in the past 12 months, but their pay has been affected due to COVID-19. $2,000 a month for the next four months will be provided to people whose earnings have been affected due to COVID-19, regardless of whether they are unwell. 

FAST FACTS:

  • Available to Canadians who have earned $5,000 in the past 12 months
  • The benefit will also support Canadians who are sick, in quarantine, or are looking after a family member or child. 
  • You can not receive this if you are getting EI or a wage subsidy thru your employer.
  • Are Earning $1000 or less per period.
  • will have to re-apply for each 4 week period you continue to be affected
  • People will start to receive money within 10 days of applying.
APPLY HERE: https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/benefits/apply-for-cerb-with-cra.html

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    PAID SICK LEAVE - EVEN FOR FREELANCERS

    This is called the "Emergency Care Benefit”. It is available to anyone who doesn't get sick leave through work already.

    • $900/2 weeks for up to 15 weeks
    • no Dr's note required
    • covers those who miss work because they have COVID-19
    • covers those who miss work because they were caring for someone with COVID-19
    • covers those who are in self-isolation or quarantine.
    • apply through your CRA MyAccount

     

    ADDITIONAL ASSISTANCE

    • ATTN Designers, Freelancers, and Adobe product users: Adobe is currently waiving 90 days of subscription costs. Call 1-800-833-6687 and press 1, 1, 2 at the prompts. Or request it through their live online chat service.
    • BOOST WITH FACEBOOK Facebook will be announcing 100M in cash grants and add credits to get all of us small business's thru this weird time in life. Check out there page and stay informed about whats coming! 
    • BCHYDRO is coming out with great support deferring and even waiving 3 months of bills on some cases. Check out the link here. 
    • Telus - Offering flexible payment if you need it. 
    • B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan and Quebec are deferring student loan payments. Contact your Province's StudentAid to adjust your plan.

     

    (i'll update this as often as I consume the information).

    9 comments

    You’re a rockstar, Jess!

    Jessi-anne March 30, 2020

    Thanks for this

    Debby March 20, 2020

    Thank you so much! This is really helpful.

    Andrea March 20, 2020

    This is super cool of you. And super helpful. Thanks for all the info!

    Paige March 20, 2020

    Thank my you for this information.. and taking the time to put it together!! Very appreciated!!

    Barb March 20, 2020

    Thank you! Part of my work supports small business and many of my friends are entrepreneurs. I have shared your page link on Facebook. Gratitude for wading through the wordy details to summarize here.

    Pamela March 19, 2020

    Thanks so much for your efforts. I’ve shared your blog and page on social media and so many are grateful! So great!

    Sherryn Rault March 19, 2020

    Thank you for this!!! It is absolutely appreciated; you’re the best.

    Krystal Lea March 19, 2020

    Thank you for this!!! I have been searching for clear information for self employed and this really helped. Best to you

    Chelsea March 18, 2020

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