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(Last Updated May 22 2020 17:11 EST)

We are Here to Help!

Do you…

  • Need assistance navigating the abundance of supports available?
  • Have questions about any of the support programs?
  • Need help filling out an application form to receive support?
  • Have a product or innovative solution you want to pitch to government?
  • Need assistance in connecting with the Ontario or federal government about a specific issue?

If you have any questions or need support, the Pathway Group team is here to assist you, either as an individual or as a business. Please reach out to us and we will do our best to help you during this challenging time. Click the “Get in Touch” link or email: info@pathwaygroup.com

The Ontario Jobs and Recovery Committee Wants to Hear From You!

The new Ontario Jobs and Recovery Committee wants to hear directly from people and organizations from all regions and sectors to help inform the next phases of Ontario’s Action Plan in response to COVID-19. The survey, which is seeking feedback on the impacts of COVID-19 on personal finances, business supports and government relief measures. 

The consultation closes on June 12, 2020.

How to Participate: Ideas can also be submitted by completing the online survey, by email at submissions@ontario.ca, or by mail.

Does Your Company Require PPE as Canada Returns to Work? As Canadians return to work, your employees need access to protective equipment including hand sanitizer, masks and other PPE. The Rapid Response Platform (RRP) is a free-to-use, automated platform that matches COVID-19 related suppliers with requestors. 

Federal

Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan – The Government of Canada is taking immediate, significant and decisive action to help Canadians facing hardship as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. On March 18, the government announced a new set of measures to assist individuals and families, as well as providing up to $27 billion in direct support to Canadian workers and businesses.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Outbreak Updates – Information for Canadians on coronavirus including current cases, how to contact the Government of Canada and updates from various federal ministries.

Calling All Suppliers: Help Canada Combat COVID-19 – The federal government is calling on Canadian manufacturers and businesses that can assist in providing products and services. Can you help? Contact Public Works and Government Services Canada.

Guidance on Essential Services and Functions in Canada During the COVID-19 Pandemic – The guidance document provides a list of services and functions across Canada’s 10 critical infrastructure sectors and is meant to assist various jurisdictions and businesses in their decision-making around the types of employees considered essential to maintain the health, safety, security and economic well-being of Canadians throughout this health crisis. The guidance is non-binding and advisory in nature and should not be considered to be a federal directive or standard.

Digital Technology Supercluster COVID-19 Program – If you have an idea for a project, contact Canada’s Digital Technology Supercluster. They are currently focused on solutions to protect the health and safety of all Canadians and our economy through the development, deployment, and scaling of digital technologies.

Federal Advanced Manufacturing Funding Program The federal government has made available $50 million to support members of the Next Generation Manufacturing Supercluster (NGen) to produce critically needed technologies, equipment, and medical products to aid in the fight against COVID-19. The program will fund projects that involve the rapid production launch of products in short supply, including virus screening test kits, gloves, gowns, masks, and other personal protective equipment, hospital equipment such as ventilators and peripherals, as well as cleaning and sterilization chemicals and equipment. Projects will be selected for funding according to critical needs identified by the Government of Canada and the ability of manufacturers to produce products that are safe for both patients and health care workers. Membership of NGen is free. When a manufacturer becomes a member of the NGen database, then they are able to participate in Supercluster projects, find partners and customers, and access NGen services. For more information about the NGen COVID-19 funding initiative, please visit www.ngen.ca/covid-19-response

Open Call for Goods and Services – The government is continuing to call on businesses that can supply products and services in support of Canada’s response to COVID-19. If you can provide any of the following goods or services, please contact Pathway Group so that we can initiate the Government procurement process for you under their immediate call for help. Funding for Essential Equipment, Products and Therapeutics – Are you a current manufacturer of, in the process of starting, or thinking of producing any kind of PPE? You could get up to $5 million to cover up to 100% of eligible costs for projects between May and June 2020 to build Canada’s supply of essential equipment, products, and therapeutics. This program will cover a maximum of 100% of eligible costs between May and June and 50% of eligible costs that extend past June 2020. There is approximately $100 million in this fund to be dispersed in $5 million dollar increments. Note: The awards of these non-repayable grants are for those who can produce PPE and contribute it to the National Stockpile within 4 weeks.

Open Call for Goods and Services – The government is continuing to calling on businesses that can supply products and services in support of Canada’s response to COVID-19. If you can provide any of the following goods or services, please contact Pathway Group so that we can initiate the Government procurement process for you under their immediate call for help.

Goods

  • Disposable N95 masks
  • Disposable surgical masks
  • Nitrile gloves
  • Vinyl gloves
  • Gowns and coveralls
  • Eye protection
  • Hand sanitizer
  • ICU-level ventilators
  • Ventilators
  • Thermometers
  • COVID-19 Testing kits
  • Flock swabs

Services

  • Nursing services
  • Guard/security services
  • Food services
  • Laundry services
  • Accommodation maintenance services
  • Personal services
  • IT support services

National Research Council (NRC) COVID-19 Challenge Procurement Program – The NRC is looking for solutions to specific challenges that are close to market-ready. You could get financial support from the NRC’s Industrial Research Assistance Program to refine and sell your product or solution to meet a COVID-19 related need.

 

Provincial

Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates – Learn how the Ministry of Health is helping to keep Ontarians safe during the 2019 Novel Coronavirus outbreak. Find out how to protect yourself and how to recognize symptoms.

The Ontario Ministry of Health is asking individuals to please do not visit an assessment centre unless you have been referred by a health care professional. Contact your primary care provider or Telehealth Ontario at  1-866-797-0000 if you’re experiencing symptoms of the 2019 novel coronavirus. Do not call 911 unless it is an emergency.

COVID-19 Health Care Provider Recruitment – The Ontario Government is looking for people with experience in health care who can help to prevent and control the spread of COVID-19. If you’re a health care provider and you think you can help, find out what the government is looking for and contact Health Force Ontario.

Ontario’s Action Plan: Responding to COVID-19 – On March 25, the government launched an action in response to COVID-19. The plan outlines the government’s $17 billion response to ensure Ontario’s health care system, communities and economy are positioned to weather the challenges ahead. The plan includes $7 billion in additional resources for the health care system and direct support for people and jobs. It also will make available $10 billion in support for people and businesses through tax and other deferrals to improve their cash flow, protecting jobs and household budgets.

Ontario Together – The government needs help from businesses and organizations who can supply emergency products and innovative solutions to support the province’s response to COVID-19. Through the portal, companies will be able to submit proposals for the government to procure required goods and services and share creative solutions quickly.

Ontario Together Calls for Suppliers and Solutions – The government is looking for your help! Businesses and organizations are being asked if they: can supply emergency products like ventilators, swabs and masks; have innovative solutions for specific scenarios; or if they have any ideas for other products or services that can help Ontarians. Can you help?

Ontario Workplace PPE Supplier Directory – To support business owners, workers and the economic recovery of the province, the Ontario government has launched a website to provide businesses with information on personal protective equipment (PPE) suppliers. The Workplace PPE Supplier Directory has an up-to-date list of Ontario companies and business associations that are ready to supply personal protective equipment.

Resources to Prevent COVID-19 in the WorkplaceThe Ontario government and health and safety associations have released more than 90 safety guidance documents to assist employers in multiple sectors, including construction, retail, facilities maintenance and manufacturing. These guidelines help to employers and workers better understand how to prevent the spread of COVID-19, as well as how to protect workers, customers and the general public. The resources are available for different sectors 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. As new sectors of the economy begin to reopen, additional COVID-19 workplace safety resources will be added.

Stop the Spread Business Line – Ontario has ordered the mandatory closure of all non-essential workplaces to help stop the spread COVID-19. If you have questions about what will be open or impacts to your business or employment, call the Stop the Spread Business Information Line at: 1-888-444-3659.

General Information

COVID-19 Assessment – If you think you have coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms or have been in close contact with someone who has it, the government is requesting individuals should first seek guidance on whether it is appropriate for them to visit an assessment centre. Ontarians can do so by using a new online self-assessment tool, calling Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000 or calling their local public health unit. People should not go to an assessment centre unless they have symptoms of the COVID-19.

Essential Businesses and Closing of At-Risk Workplaces – The Ontario Government has ordered at-risk workplaces to close-down to prevent the spread of COVID-19, while encouraging them to explore opportunities to continue operations through work-from-home and innovative business models. Essential businesses will remain open and are being asked to put into place any and all measures to safeguard the wellbeing of their employees on the front-lines. A complete list of essential services is available on the Government of Ontario’s website.

Check Your COVID-19 Lab Results – Members of the public can access their COVID-19 lab test results. Users will have to enter their health card number, first and last name, date of birth, gender and postal code. Anyone who still has a red and white health card cannot access the portal and must contact their local public health unit.

Sector Specific Guidance Documents – The Ontario Ministry of Health has released guidance documents on COVID-19 for a number of sectors.

Canada Revenue Agency – Measures for Individuals – The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) understands that individuals might be dealing with difficulties filing their income and benefit returns and could experience cash-flow challenges in the coming months. In response, the CRA will be applying additional measures.

Canada Child Benefit – The maximum annual Canada Child Benefit payment amount will increase for the 2019-20 benefit year only by $300 per child as part of the May payment. The average increase for families will be approximately $550. It is advised that you check your bank account to make sure you’re getting Canada Child Benefit. If you are, then in May the federal government will automatically pay a lump sum top-up to your Canada Child Benefit. If you don’t, then contact the Canada Revenue Agency.

COVID-19 Emergency Assistance – Funding to help individuals and families in financial crisis. This includes those who are not able to access federal assistance to cover needs such as food costs, rent, medicine and other essential services during this time. Those who are already on Ontario Works or Ontario Disability Support Program, tourists and visitors are not eligible. Individuals can apply for this assistance online at Ontario.ca/community or through local Ontario Works offices.

Extra Time to File Income Tax Returns – The federal government is deferring the filing due date for the 2019 tax returns of individuals. For individuals (other than trusts), the return filing due date will be deferred until June 1, 2020. They will also allow any new income tax balances due, or instalments, to be deferred until after August 31, 2020 without incurring interest or penalties. Note: If you expect to receive benefits under the Goods and Services Tax credit or the Canada Child Benefit, the government encourages you to not delay your 2019 return filing to ensure that your entitlements are properly determined.

Financial Assistance During School and Child Care Closures – The Ontario government is offering direct financial support to parents while Ontario schools and child care centres remain closed as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. The new Support for Families initiative offers a one-time payment of $200 per child 0 to 12 years of age, and $250 for those 0 to 21 years of age with special needs. Families can complete a simple online application at Ontario’s Support for Families web page to access this financial support. Parents already receiving Support for Parents payments through direct deposit will be automatically eligible for this financial support and do not need to submit a new application.

Financial Benefits Finder ToolThis tool helps people living in Canada determine which government benefits programs best meet their needs. By answering a few simple questions, individuals will be presented with a personalized list of financial benefits that could be available to them, based on their specific circumstances. The tool provides individuals with information on federal, provincial and territorial benefits programs available to them. It will be updated as needed as the government continues to support Canadians during this challenging time.

Hospitality Training Academy 75 – In partnership with UNITE HERE Local 75, the Government of Ontario has opened a virtual job training resource will that will provide unemployed workers in the hospitality sector with access to a wide range of services and supports online and over the phone, including:

  • Stress management and mental health resources through video conferencing;
  • Immediate health and safety online training for workers who return to work at designated quarantined sites;
  • Technical skills online training;
  • Online training to upgrade English language and digital skills;

Peer group facilitation and employment preparation through videoconferencing.

Increasing the Canada Child Benefit – The Government of Canada is providing an extra $300 per child through the Canada Child Benefit (CCB) for 2019-20. This will mean approximately $550 more for the average family. This benefit will be delivered as part of the scheduled CCB payment in May. Those who already receive the CCB do not need to re-apply. Apply for CCB on the Canada Revenue Agency website.

Mental Health Resources – Launched on April 6, 2020 as a result of a collaboration between corporate partners along with community and public sector partners, WellCan offers free well-being resources to help Canadians develop coping strategies and build resilience to help deal with uncertainty, mental health and substance abuse concerns during the COVID-19 pandemic. The program is available at wellcan.ca, in the Apple App Store and Google Play store

Mental Health Support – The Federal Government has launched an online portal and a Canada COVID-19 app dedicated to mental health and wellness. The app and the online Wellness Together site will connect people with peer support workers, social workers, psychologists and other professionals for confidential chat sessions or phone calls. It’s also a place to find credible information about how to address mental health and substance use issues. Users will be able to access different levels of support depending on their needs, ranging from information and self-assessment tools, to the opportunity to chat with professionals.

Mortgage Support Canadian banks have committed to work with their customers on a case-by-case basis to find solutions to help them manage hardships caused by COVID-19. Canadians who are impacted by COVID-19 and experiencing financial hardship as a result should contact their financial institution regarding flexibility for a mortgage deferral. This allows flexibility to be available − when needed − to those who need it the most.

Ontario Tools Grant – A new, non-repayable grant that will help new eligible apprentices purchase the equipment they need to start their careers. Applications for this grant program has not opened yet. Pathway Group will provide more details as they become available. 

Opening of Select Child Care Centres – To support health care and frontline workers during this COVID-19 outbreak, Ontario is exempting certain child care centres from the order to close all licensed child care centres pursuant to the state of emergency declaration. Once emergency child care centres open, a list of locations will be made available on: ontario.ca/coronavirus

Paying Rent – The province has suspended eviction orders “until further notice” and postponed scheduled enforcement of current eviction orders. Information is available on the government’s website about the temporary changes to residential rental rules and processes, and where landlords and tenants can get more help.

Post-Secondary Education Support – The government of Ontario is easing the financial burden on students and making sure they can complete their studies during the COVID-19 outbreak by temporarily deferring payments for Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) loans. To support borrowers during this difficult period, loan repayments will be subject to a six-month interest-free moratorium until September 30, 2020. This means that during this time, borrowers will not be required to make any loan payments and interest will not accrue on their OSAP loans. Borrowers can still make one-time payments via their online account or online banking if they want to repay their loans faster. Payments during this period will go entirely towards their loan principal. More information is available through the National Student Loans Service Centre.

Special Goods and Services Tax Credit Payment – One-time special payment by early May through the Goods and Services Tax credit for low- and modest-income families. The average additional benefit will be close to $400 for single individuals and close to $600 for couples. There is no need to apply for this payment. If you are eligible, you will get it automatically.

Support for Current Social Assistance Clients – The government is making additional resources available to enable Ontario Works administrators to provide discretionary benefits to those currently in receipt of social assistance. This funding can be used to meet a broad range of needs ― including cleaning supplies, transportation, food or clothing ― that individuals and families may be experiencing due to COVID-19. Individuals can access benefits through the Ontario Works program through online applications such as MyBenefits, contacting their Ontario Works caseworker or the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services. Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) recipients are also eligible to receive these benefits and can contact their ODSP caseworker for additional information.

Support for Students and Recent Graduates Impacted by COVID-19The Federal Government has announced comprehensive support for post-secondary students and recent graduates. This plan provides financial support through measures such as the Canada Emergency Student Benefit and Canada Student Service Grant, as well as ensure they gain valuable work experience and skills. For more information about available programs and supports for students and recent graduates, click here.

Ontario Together Fund – The government has launched a new $50 million Fund to help businesses provide innovative solutions or retool their operations in order to manufacture essential medical supplies and equipment, including gowns, coveralls, masks, face shields, testing equipment and ventilators. This new Fund will support the development of proposals submitted by businesses and individuals through the Ontario Together web portal. The government is providing this one-time funding in 2020-21 during the COVID-19 outbreak. It is time-limited and will be available to companies and organizations across the province.

Stop the Spread Business Information Line – Businesses who have questions about closures of at-risk workplaces or how emergency measures impact their business or employment can call the Stop the Spread Business Information Line at 1-888-444-3659. 

Accessing Capital during the COVID-19 Crisis with BDC and EDC – Webinar in which BDC and EDC go over the first wave of COVID-19 supports that have been announced, share insights on how the pandemic is impacting the cleantech sector today, and discuss how both organizations are working together to triage requests for support. They will also take your questions about existing measures and future ones under consideration.

Agri-Food Open for E-Business Program – The Federal and Ontario Governments have launched this initiative to help food producers, farmers markets, retailers, garden centres, greenhouses, nurseries, and agricultural associations develop online business, providing consumers with greater access to a wide variety of food and agriculture products. This targeted application intake features two funding streams:

  • Bring Your Business Online. Eligible organizations and businesses can apply for a grant of up to $5,000 to establish an online e-business and marketing presence. Funding under this stream will be quick and responsive for those needing immediate solutions.
  • Develop Online Business Opportunities. Eligible organizations, businesses and collaborations can apply for cost-share funding of up to $75,000 to implement high-impact projects.

The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs will immediately accept applications and expedite the approval process to help businesses and organizations develop, expand and enhance their current online presence. Questions? Need help with an application? Contact us.

Assistance with Finding and Applying for Federal Funding – If you are a tourism operator, a small business or an organization affected by COVID-19 and need pressing assistance, Canada’s Regional Development Agencies can review your situation and provide advice and pathfinding services to other federal programs and services available, and if eligible, could assist you with access to federal funding to help you stay in business.

Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) – The federal government established BCAP to provide more than $10 billion of additional support, largely targeted to small and medium-sized businesses, through the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) and Export Development Canada (EDC). BDC and EDC are cooperating with private sector lenders to coordinate on credit solutions for individual businesses, including in sectors such as oil and gas, air transportation and tourism. As a first step, businesses in need of credit support should contact their financial institution.

Business in International Markets – Canada is working with international partners to maintain open and connected supply chains during the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure that Canadian businesses can continue to deliver essential goods to people that need them. The Trade Commissioner Service also has experts in 160 cities worldwide who can provide small businesses with market-specific insights and guidance to help you mitigate the impacts of COVID-19, as well as access to funding to help smalls businesses in global markets.

Canada Emergency Business Account – The Government of Canada is announcing the launch of the new Canada Emergency Business Account, which will be implemented by eligible financial institutions in cooperation with Export Development Canada. This $25 billion program 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, due to the economic impacts of the COVID-19 virus. Small businesses and not-for-profits should contact their financial institution to apply for these loans. To qualify, these organizations will need to demonstrate they paid between $50,000 to $1 million in total payroll in 2019. Repaying the balance of the loan on or before December 31, 2022 will result in loan forgiveness of 25 percent (up to $10,000). The federal government announced it was expanding the criteria used by businesses in calculating their CEBA eligibility and that applicants with payroll lower than $20,000 may qualify under the expanded eligibility criteria.

Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) – As a Canadian employer whose business has been affected by COVID-19, you may be eligible for a subsidy of 75% of employee wages for up to 12 weeks, retroactive from March 15, 2020, to June 6, 2020. 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. The program was set to end in June but will now be extended. The federal government has announced more details of the CEWS extension. The wage subsidy will be extended to August 29, 2020 and additional types of organizations are now eligible to apply.

Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME), COVID-19 Resources – CME works with 2,500 leading manufacturers to help their businesses grow. Visit their website for information regarding: updates to COVID-19 government support programs, world economy summary, and CME policy recommendations. CME members can also access resources including how to help the government, registration for COVID-19 member briefing call series, EI and COVID-19 emergency benefits, developing a remote work policy during a pandemic, business continuity & disaster recovery planning guide, and CME Pandemic Guide. Additionally, CME is providing support for members including a daily newsletter, a list of postponed CME events, contact for supply chain issues, and relevant federal and provincial government resources.

Canada Revenue Agency – Measures for Businesses – The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) understands that businesses might be dealing with difficulties filing their income and benefit returns and could experience cash-flow challenges in the coming months. In response, the CRA will be applying additional measures.

Co-Lending Program for Small and Medium Enterprises – To provide additional liquidity support for Canadian businesses, the Co-Lending Program will bring the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) together with financial institutions to co-lend term loans to small and medium-sized enterprises for their operational cash flow requirements. Eligible businesses may obtain incremental credit amounts up to $6.25 million BDC’s portion of this program is up to $5 million maximum per loan. Eligible financial institutions will conduct the underwriting and manage the interface with their customers. The potential for lending for this program will be $20 billion.

COVID-19: Business Resilience Portal – The Canadian Chamber of Commerce has launched a web portal with information for businesses, including toolkits, technical briefings from government, FAQs, and funding opportunities, to support business during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Deferral of Customs Duty and Sales Tax for Importers – Typically, payments owing for customs duties and the GST on imports are due before the first day of the month following the month in which the Statements of Accounts are issued. Payment deadlines for statements of accounts for March, April, and May are now being deferred to June 30, 2020. Businesses in need of information about their particular accounting and payment obligations on imported goods may contact the Canada Border Services Agency for more details.

Deferral of Sales Tax Remittance and Customs Duty Payments – In order to provide support for Canadian businesses during these unprecedented economic times, the Government is deferring Goods and Services Tax/Harmonized Sales Tax (GST/HST) remittances and customs duty payments to June 30, 2020. This measure could provide up to $30 billion in cash flow or liquidity assistance for Canadian businesses and self-employed individuals over the next three months.

Electricity Relief for Small Businesses – Ontario is temporarily reducing electricity rates for small businesses, farms, and residential customers that pay time-of-use (TOU) rates. TOU rates will be suspended until at least May 8, holding electricity prices to the off-peak rate of 10.1 cents-per-kilowatt-hour. 

Federal Advanced Manufacturing Funding Program – The federal government has made available $50 million to support members of the Next Generation Manufacturing Supercluster (NGen) to produce critically needed technologies, equipment, and medical products to aid in the fight against COVID-19. The program will fund projects that involve the rapid production launch of products in short supply, including virus screening test kits, gloves, gowns, masks, and other personal protective equipment, hospital equipment such as ventilators and peripherals, as well as cleaning and sterilization chemicals and equipment. Projects will be selected for funding according to critical needs identified by the Government of Canada and the ability of manufacturers to produce products that are safe for both patients and health care workers. Membership of NGen is free. When a manufacturer becomes a member of the NGen database, then they are able to participate in Supercluster projects, find partners and customers, and access NGen services. For more information about the NGen COVID-19 funding initiative, please visit www.ngen.ca/covid-19-response

Guarantees on Loans – Offering a guarantee on loans Export Development Canada is supporting businesses by offering their bank a guarantee on loans of up to $5 million to ensure that companies can access more cash immediately. For more details, contact your financial institution. 

Helping Businesses Retool Operations – Ontario has launched a web portal, COVID-19: Tackling the Barriers, for businesses looking to retool operations to make health-related products during the COVID-19 pandemic. The province is using the new portal to solicit requests from businesses for temporary changes to provincial rules and regulations, in order to remove barriers that hinder businesses or Ontario’s supply chain.

Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility (LEEEF) – The federal government is offering companies across most sectors — including the airline industry — that have “larger financing needs” access to loans of up to $60 million per company and guarantees of up to $80 million. Eligible companies have annual revenues of $300 million or higher and are seeking financing of $60 million or more. Businesses in the financial sector are not eligible, nor are any firms convicted of tax evasion in the past. LEEFF applicants must also have “significant operations or workforce in Canada.” Their international organizational structure and financing arrangements will be taken into consideration, and each business will have to demonstrate some degree of environmental commitment and vow to report annually on its climate and sustainability initiatives.

Loan Guarantee for Small and Medium Enterprises –Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) and Export Development Canada (EDC) have launched this new program that will enable up to $40 billion in additional lending. To access these loans, business owners must contact their primary financial institution which will assess their situation and deploy the financing as appropriate.

National Guide for Business Reopening – The Canadian Chamber of Commerce’s Canadian Business Resilience Network (CBRN) has prepared a toolkit to provide guidance, or access to guidance, for business owners and senior managers responsible for re-establishing their operations while ensuring the health and safety of their staff, customers, suppliers and the general public is at the forefront.

The toolkit provides key information on government regulations, childcare availability, sourcing PPE, government financial supports and communicating to staff, customers and suppliers. The guide also includes links to a wide range of additional toolkits and resources prepared by members of the CBRN. Key sections of the guide will be regularly updated online to provide the most recent information available.

Ontario-Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance Program – The Ontario Government is committing $241 million to partner with the federal government and deliver more than $900 million in urgent relief to small businesses and their landlords through this program. Further program details available online here.. Questions? Can we help you navigate? Contact us.

Ontario Chamber of Commerce Webinar – COVID-19 Business Supports – Webinar on everything you need to know regarding business supports by the federal and provincial governments to assist your business through the COVID-19 pandemic. Watch it here and access the powerpoint deck.

Ontario Centres of Excellence COVID-19 Collaboration – If your organization has the expertise or capabilities to help fill the current product and service gaps related to COVID-19, the Ontario Centres of Excellence can help match you with other providers to collaborate on innovative solutions.

Ontario Tools Grant – A new, non-repayable grant that will help new eligible apprentices purchase the equipment they need to start their careers. Applications for this grant program has not opened yet. Pathway Group will provide more details as they become available.  

Hospitality Training Academy 75 – In partnership with UNITE HERE Local 75, the Government of Ontario has opened a virtual job training resource will that will provide unemployed workers in the hospitality sector with access to a wide range of services and supports online and over the phone, including:  

  • Stress management and mental health resources through video conferencing;
  • Immediate health and safety online training for workers who return to work at designated quarantined sites;
  • Technical skills online training;
  • Online training to upgrade English language and digital skills;
  • Peer group facilitation and employment preparation through videoconferencing.

Pandemic Preparedness Toolkit – The Ontario Chamber of Commerce and Hicks Morley have created a COVID-19 Pandemic Preparedness Toolkit to support Ontario businesses. 

Regional Relief and Recovery Fund – This 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.

Small Business Resources for Dealing with COVID-19 – The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) has created a web portal with expert advice to guide small businesses through this difficult time.

Support for Clean Technology Businesses – Canada’s Clean Growth Hub has launched a new webpage with resources available to help clean technology businesses during COVID-19. To access the website, click here.

Support for Entrepreneurs: Capital, Financing and Loans – The Business Development Bank of Canada, a financial institution devoted exclusively to entrepreneurs, has announced a range of financial products for qualified businesses.

Support for Self-Employed People – Self-employed workers can opt-in to Employment Insurance special benefits including Sickness benefits.

Support for Tourism Operators and SMEs – If the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting your operations, contact your local Regional Development Agency office to get a review of your situation and guidance on getting funding, support and/or flexible arrangements, on a case-by-case basis.

Sustainable Development Technology Canada — SD Tech Fund – Supports projects that are pre-commercial and have the potential to demonstrate significant and quantifiable environmental and economic benefits in one or more of the following areas: climate change, clean air, clean water and clean soil.

Tax Payment Deferrals

  • Federal Taxes: Individuals and businesses will be able to defer their income tax payment (for taxes owed between March 18, 2020 and September 2020) until after August 31, 2020.
  • Ontario and Municipal Taxes: Ontario is deferring provincially administered taxes from April 1 to August 31 (proposed). Ontario is also deferring education property taxes for 90 days and working with municipal partners to provide municipal property tax relief to businesses and residents (proposed).
  • Employer Health Tax: Ontario is retroactively reducing the Employer Health Tax and temporarily increasing the exemption from $490,000 to $1 million for 2020 (proposed).

The above are federal and Ontario tax measures. There are also business tax relief measures in place at the municipal level (e.g. City of Toronto has an extended grace period for tax and other payments for businesses). Please check your local municipality’s website for more details.

Tips for Closing a Business during the COVID-19 Outbreak – The Ontario Provincial Police have tips for businesses that are shutting their doors amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

Work Sharing Program – The Government of Canada 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. 

Workforce Talent Matching Tool for Retailers – The Retail Council of Canada is co-sponsoring the Eightfold Talent Exchange, a talent marketplace built and hosted by Eightfold.ai. The online portal will help companies identify the talent they have furloughed and make connections with companies that are hiring. This is a free platform for retailers until December 2020.

WSIB Financial Relief Package for Businesses – The Ontario Government is enabling $1.9 billion in relief for employers to reduce the financial strain on business 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. All employers covered by the WSIB’s workplace insurance are automatically eligible for the provisions of the relief package and can defer premium reporting and payments until August 31, 2020. They will not be required to opt in to receive this benefit.

Additional Resources for Businesses

Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance – This program will provide loans, including forgivable loans, to commercial property owners who in turn will lower or forgo the rent of small businesses for the months of April (retroactive), May, and June. This program has not yet been launched because it requires provincial cooperation. Make sure to inform your landlord of this program to see if you can benefit from its launch. If you are interested in accessing this program, please connect with us and we will keep you updated on when the program will be available and how to apply.

COVID-19 Relief Measures for SMEs: Canada – Information on what the federal government is doing to support small businesses across the country.

COVID-19 Relief Measures for SMEs: Ontario – A one-stop shop for all the measure government services and supports for SMEs in Ontario.

AgriRecovery Fund – The government is adding $125 million to the fund, a federal-provincial-territorial program aimed at helping farmers during disasters.

BDC Capital Bridge Financing Program – Canadian start-ups that have raised at least $500,000 in external capital and that are undergoing a current financing round with qualified investors may be eligible for a debt investment in an equivalent amount by BDC Capital. Eligible businesses must be Canadian, backed by a qualified venture capital firm and be specifically impacted by COVID-19. BDC Capital’s investment will be made in the form of a three-year convertible note and is subject to BDC’s due diligence and investment review process. The Bridge Financing Program is not limited to BDC’s current portfolio of companies.

Business Continuity Plan and Templates for Entrepreneurs – The Business Development Bank of Canada has released a toolkit for entrepreneurs to help navigate these uncertain times.

Canada Emergency Business Account – The Government of Canada is announcing the launch of the new Canada Emergency Business Account, which will be implemented by eligible financial institutions in cooperation with Export Development Canada. This $25 billion program 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, due to the economic impacts of the COVID-19 virus. Small businesses and not-for-profits should contact their financial institution to apply for these loans. To qualify, these organizations will need to demonstrate they paid between $50,000 to $1 million in total payroll in 2019. Repaying the balance of the loan on or before December 31, 2022 will result in loan forgiveness of 25 percent (up to $10,000). The federal government announced it was expanding the criteria used by businesses in calculating their CEBA eligibility and that applicants with payroll lower than $20,000 may qualify under the expanded eligibility criteria.

Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) – A small change has occurred within the CECRA. The program provides needed relief for small businesses experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19. It offers forgivable loans to eligible commercial property owners so that they can reduce the rent owed by their impacted small business tenants by at least 75% for the months of April, May and June 2020. Even if you have paid your rent, APRIL and MAY are REIMBURSABLE now.

Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) – As a Canadian employer whose business has been affected by COVID-19, you may be eligible for a subsidy of 75% of employee wages for up to 12 weeks, retroactive from March 15, 2020, to June 6, 2020. 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. The program was set to end in June but will now be extended. The federal government has announced more details of the CEWS extension. The wage subsidy will be extended to August 29, 2020 and additional types of organizations are now eligible to apply.

CFIB Webinar: FAQs and Government Support Update – The Canadian Federation of Independent Business is hosting weekly COVID-19 webinars, which is aimed at helping your business cope with the ongoing pandemic. In each webinar, we will update you on the government supports and business closures before our experts field your questions. Join us to get answers and share your own experiences as we tackle this crisis together. Watch the April 3rd here.

Child Care Providers – The Ontario Government will help cover fixed operating costs for child-care providers and waive all fees for child care licensing applications and renewals. Funding will be given out on a case-by-case basis and has not earmarked a set amount of money for the initiative. The funding will last for a period of months to ensure that childcare facilities are able to provide their services to parents when the economy returns to normal.

FAQ Document for SMEs – An FAQ document for SMEs created by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business that addresses common questions related to: business continuity; how to access financial support; employment insurance and employee income; employee management; fraud and business; health and safety; and, employee travel.

Federal Advanced Manufacturing Funding Program – The federal government has made available $50 million to support members of the Next Generation Manufacturing Supercluster (NGen) to produce critically needed technologies, equipment, and medical products to aid in the fight against COVID-19. The program will fund projects that involve the rapid production launch of products in short supply, including virus screening test kits, gloves, gowns, masks, and other personal protective equipment, hospital equipment such as ventilators and peripherals, as well as cleaning and sterilization chemicals and equipment. Projects will be selected for funding according to critical needs identified by the Government of Canada and the ability of manufacturers to produce products that are safe for both patients and health care workers. Membership of NGen is free. When a manufacturer becomes a member of the NGen database, then they are able to participate in Supercluster projects, find partners and customers, and access NGen services. For more information about the NGen COVID-19 funding initiative, please visit www.ngen.ca/covid-19-response

Helping Businesses Retool Operations – Ontario has launched a web portal, COVID-19: Tackling the Barriers, for businesses looking to retool operations to make health-related products during the COVID-19 pandemic. The province is using the new portal to solicit requests from businesses for temporary changes to provincial rules and regulations, in order to remove barriers that hinder businesses or Ontario’s supply chain.

Innovative, Early-Stage Companies – $250M has been allocated to assist companies that do not yet have revenue or are in the early stages of development. In order to be eligible, businesses must have fewer than 500 employees and not be eligible under the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy and the Business Credit Availability Program. Please contact us for more details.

Loans for Young Entrepreneurs – The federal government is providing $20.1M in support for Futurpreneur Canada to continue to support young entrepreneurs across Canada who are facing challenges due to COVID-19. Futurpreneur Canada, a national non-profit that provides financing, mentoring and support tools to entrepreneurs aged 18-39. Contact us to start your application today.

National Guide for Business Reopening – The Canadian Chamber of Commerce’s Canadian Business Resilience Network (CBRN) has prepared a toolkit to provide guidance, or access to guidance, for business owners and senior managers responsible for re-establishing their operations while ensuring the health and safety of their staff, customers, suppliers and the general public is at the forefront.

The toolkit provides key information on government regulations, childcare availability, sourcing PPE, government financial supports and communicating to staff, customers and suppliers. The guide also includes links to a wide range of additional toolkits and resources prepared by members of the CBRN. Key sections of the guide will be regularly updated online to provide the most recent information available.

National Research Council Industrial Research Assistance Program – Are you an SME seeking project funding in order to provide goods or services to health care workers and public health officials currently fighting COVID-19? If yes, this program can help fund the development of a product or solution to meet a COVID-19 related need.

National Trade Corridors Fund Get a financial contribution for projects that improve access to overseas markets, in particular ones that add capacity or address bottlenecks near major ports, airports, or along road and rail corridors in Canada. In this call, the government will evaluate projects on specific trade related criteria. They will be targeting projects that:

  • Improve the fluidity and/or performance of the transportation system to contribute to an increase in the value and/or volume of goods exported from Canada to overseas markets
  • Increase existing or generate new overseas trade flows as a result of the investment
  • In addition to the above criteria, the assessment will also consider the extent to which a project will add capacity or address bottlenecks near major ports, airports, or along road and rail corridors in Canada that contribute to generating or increasing overseas trade.

Ontario-Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance Program – The Ontario Government is committing $241 million to partner with the federal government and deliver more than $900 million in urgent relief to small businesses and their landlords through this program. Further program details available online here. Questions? Can we help you navigate? Contact us.

Ontario Tools Grant – A new, non-repayable grant that will help new eligible apprentices purchase the equipment they need to start their careers. Applications for this grant program has not opened yet. Pathway Group will provide more details as they become available.  

Hospitality Training Academy 75 – In partnership with UNITE HERE Local 75, the Government of Ontario has opened a virtual job training resource will that will provide unemployed workers in the hospitality sector with access to a wide range of services and supports online and over the phone, including:  

  • Stress management and mental health resources through video conferencing;
  • Immediate health and safety online training for workers who return to work at designated quarantined sites;
  • Technical skills online training;
  • Online training to upgrade English language and digital skills;
  • Peer group facilitation and employment preparation through videoconferencing.

Regional Relief and Recovery Fund – This funding is targeted towards SMEs that may require additional help to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic but have been unable to access existing support measures. 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; and, support projects by businesses, organizations, and communities to prepare now for a successful recovery. This initiative is implemented by the six regional development agencies, which are familiar with their regions’ economic realities and are often the first point of contact for people at the local level.

Resources for Retailers – To help all retailers navigate this crisis, the Retail Council of Canada has developed retail-specific resources on the COVID-19 section of its website.

Small Business Help Centre – The Canadian Federation of Independent Business has set up a support centre to help SMEs navigate the COVID-19 crisis.

Support for Clean Technology Businesses – Canada’s Clean Growth Hub has launched a new webpage with resources available to help clean technology businesses during COVID-19. To access the website, click here.

Support for Indigenous SMEs – The federal government announced $306.8M for Indigenous SMEs. The funding will provide approximately 6000 Indigenous-owned businesses access short-term, interest-free loans and non-repayable contributions through Aboriginal Financial Institutions (AFI). Contact us to access this funding and know who your local AFI is.

Support for Innovative Business that Have Not Qualified for Funding – The federal government is providing $675M through Canada’s Regional Development Agencies to provide financial support to small and medium-sized businesses that are unable to access the government’s existing COVID-19 support measures. Please contact us for more details.

Sustainable Development Technology Canada — SD Tech Fund – Supports projects that are pre-commercial and have the potential to demonstrate significant and quantifiable environmental and economic benefits in one or more of the following areas: climate change, clean air, clean water and clean soil.

Tourism Development Fund – Provides non-capital, project-based funding to: develop research-based innovative and emerging tourism sectors; support tourism organizations’ capacity building; encourage new private sector tourism investment attraction; and enhance Ontario’s overall economic competitiveness and opportunities for the Ontario tourism industry.

Workforce Talent Matching Tool for Retailers – The Retail Council of Canada is co-sponsoring the Eightfold Talent Exchange, a talent marketplace built and hosted by Eightfold.ai. The online portal will help companies identify the talent they have furloughed and make connections with companies that are hiring. This is a free platform for retailers until December 2020.

Mental Health Services for COVID-19 Healthcare Providers – An emerging network of Ontario-based mental health professionals are providing telephone therapy sessions to healthcare workers on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic. Frontline workers can sign up online and are paired up with three mental health workers to choose from.

Apply for Employment Insurance – If you were recently laid off or have reduced hours and qualify for Employment Insurance benefits, you can submit your request today.

Job Protected Leave – The Employment Standards Amendment Act (Infectious Disease Emergencies), provides job protection for employees unable to work for the following reasons:

  • The employee is under medical investigation, supervision or treatment for COVID-19.
  • The employee is acting in accordance with an order under the Health Protection and Promotion Act.
  • The employee is in isolation or quarantine in accordance with public health information or direction.
  • The employer directs the employee not to work due to a concern that COVID-19 could be spread in the workplace.
  • The employee needs to provide care to a person for a reason related to COVID-19 such as a school or day-care closure.
  • The employee is prevented from returning to Ontario because of travel restrictions. 

Canada Emergency Response Benefit – Provides temporary emergency income support to workers who have stopped working and are without employment or self-employment income for reasons related to COVID-19. Applications for the Benefit will open on April 6, 2020 at:  Canada.ca/coronavirus

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation Seed Funding – The Seed Funding program supports affordable housing through interest-free loans and/or non-repayable contributions to develop and preserve existing community housing projects.

Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) – As a Canadian employer whose business has been affected by COVID-19, you may be eligible for a subsidy of 75% of employee wages for up to 12 weeks, retroactive from March 15, 2020, to June 6, 2020. 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. The program was set to end in June but will now be extended. The federal government has announced more details of the CEWS extension. The wage subsidy will be extended to August 29, 2020 and additional types of organizations are now eligible to apply.

Child Care Providers – The Ontario Government will help cover fixed operating costs for child-care providers and waive all fees for child care licensing applications and renewals. Funding will be given out on a case-by-case basis and has not earmarked a set amount of money for the initiative. The funding will last for a period of months to ensure that childcare facilities are able to provide their services to parents when the economy returns to normal.

Community Organization SupportThe McConnell Foundation has launched a $750,000 COVID-19 response fund to provide short-term support for community organizations facing increased demands and help organizations respond to new opportunities during the first few months of the pandemic and recovery period.

COVID-19 Residential Relief Fund – Government of Ontario funding to support organizations that provide residential services for children and youth, people with developmental disabilities and emergency shelters for women and families fleeing domestic violence. The fund will cover costs such as additional staffing, residential respite for caregivers; personal protective equipment and supplies; initiatives to support physical distancing and transportation to minimize client exposure.

Emergency Community Support Fund – Charities and non-profit organizations requiring financial assistance to address the pandemic can now begin applying for funding through the Emergency Community Support Fund. The Government of Canada is working with the United Way Centraide Canada, the Canadian Red Cross and the Community Foundations of Canada to disburse the $350 million Fund. These trusted partners have each posted information on eligibility criteria and how to apply on their respective websites.

Pathway Group has prepared a one-stop webpage with information about each of the types of applications available through the Emergency Community Support Fund program.

Funding for Cultural, Heritage and Sports Sector – This $500M COVID-19 Emergency Support Fund for Cultural, Heritage and Sport Organizations was created to meet the financial needs of cultural, heritage and sport organizations facing significant losses due to COVID-19. The goal of the funding is to ensure business continuity for organizations whose viability has been negatively impacted by COVID-19. The Fund will be administered by Canadian Heritage with the support of its partners. Contact us to apply.

Ontario-Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance Program – The Ontario Government is committing $241 million to partner with the federal government and deliver more than $900 million in urgent relief to small businesses and their landlords through this program. Further program details available online here. Questions? Can we help you navigate? Contact us.

Regional Relief and Recovery Fund – This funding is targeted towards SMEs that may require additional help to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic but have been unable to access existing support measures. 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; and, support projects by businesses, organizations, and communities to prepare now for a successful recovery. This initiative is implemented by the six regional development agencies, which are familiar with their regions’ economic realities and are often the first point of contact for people at the local level.

Telus Friendly Future Foundation COVID-19 Funding – The Telus Friendly Future Foundation has committed $10 million to support COVID-19 response efforts. The TELUS Friendly Future Foundation is an independent registered charity dedicated to funding health and technology focused charitable programs in communities across Canada. This new funding will go toward purchasing new medical technology and equipment, such as ventilators, as well as increased support for food security, outreach to isolated seniors, virtual education programs, and mental health initiatives.

The Women’s Program – Purpose of the program is to achieve the full participation of women in the economic, social, and democratic life of Canada. Funding is provided to eligible organizations in support of projects at the local, regional, and national levels that address the following three priority areas: Ending violence against women and girls; improving women’s and girls’ economic security and prosperity; and, encouraging women and girls in leadership and decision-making roles.

Call for Volunteers Web Portal – If you are an organization in Ontario working to help people who are struggling as a result of COVID-19 and have volunteer opportunities available, please visit: www.sparkontario.ca/covid19

Child Care Providers – The Ontario Government will help cover fixed operating costs for child-care providers and waive all fees for child care licensing applications and renewals. Funding will be given out on a case-by-case basis and has not earmarked a set amount of money for the initiative. The funding will last for a period of months to ensure that childcare facilities are able to provide their services to parents when the economy returns to normal.

Emergency Community Support Fund – Charities and non-profit organizations requiring financial assistance to address the pandemic can now begin applying for funding through the Emergency Community Support Fund. The Government of Canada is working with the United Way Centraide Canada, the Canadian Red Cross and the Community Foundations of Canada to disburse the $350 million Fund. These trusted partners have each posted information on eligibility criteria and how to apply on their respective websites.

Pathway Group has prepared a one-stop webpage with information about each of the types of applications available through the Emergency Community Support Fund program.

Federal Government SupportImagine Canada has created an online chart of federal government measures impacting the charitable and non-profit sector that is being updated regularly. Click here to view the chart

Funding for Cultural, Heritage and Sports Sector – This $500M COVID-19 Emergency Support Fund for Cultural, Heritage and Sport Organizations was created to meet the financial needs of cultural, heritage and sport organizations facing significant losses due to COVID-19. The goal of the funding is to ensure business continuity for organizations whose viability has been negatively impacted by COVID-19. The Fund will be administered by Canadian Heritage with the support of its partners. Contact us to apply.

Telus Friendly Future Foundation COVID-19 Funding – The Telus Friendly Future Foundation has committed $10 million to support COVID-19 response efforts. The TELUS Friendly Future Foundation is an independent registered charity dedicated to funding health and technology focused charitable programs in communities across Canada. This new funding will go toward purchasing new medical technology and equipment, such as ventilators, as well as increased support for food security, outreach to isolated seniors, virtual education programs, and mental health initiatives.

The Women’s Program – Purpose of the program is to achieve the full participation of women in the economic, social, and democratic life of Canada. Funding is provided to eligible organizations in support of projects at the local, regional, and national levels that address the following three priority areas: Ending violence against women and girls; improving women’s and girls’ economic security and prosperity; and, encouraging women and girls in leadership and decision-making roles.

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