Resources for Canadian Individuals & Businesses During COVID-19

This article was last updated on April 27, 2020.

We’ve put together a helpful library of resources to help Canadian individuals and businesses through COVID-19.

This post includes information about government updates, grants available and communicates numerous programs and tips to help you find the right relief package and receive benefits during this time.

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Relief Packages for Individuals

If you’re a recipient of Canada Child Benefit (CCB), the government is providing an additional benefit of up to $300 per child for eligible parents. Only those who are not enrolled need to apply for this benefit.

If you’re finding it difficult to come up with mortgage payments, you can get a relief of up to six months through payment deferrals (both principal as well as interest payments). You have to contact your lender to find out more about the relief.

For those losing their jobs due to COVID-19, they’re eligible to receive monthly benefits of up to $2,000 under Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB).

The borrowers of Canada Student Loans or Canada Apprentice Loans do not have to make any loan payments until September 30, 2020. In the case of pre-authorized payments, these will stop immediately. If you are paying through cheque deposits, you don’t have to submit cheques until September 30, 2020.

The income tax filing date for individuals has been extended to June 1, 2020, and the payment date has been extended to September 1, 2020.

Under the special GST/HST credit, families with low or modest income will receive additional benefits of $400 for individuals and $600 for couples.

Most of the Canadian provinces are providing additional support to people affected by COVID-19.

That Federal Government just announced a cost-sharing program with the provinces and territories to increase the earnings of those deemed “essential” to at least $2,500 per month.

At this point in time, however, the federal government is leaving it up to the premieres to define for themselves who qualifies as “essential,” and that definition could range significantly between provinces and territories.

The Canada Emergency Student Benefit provides $1,250 per month for eligible students from May through August. The program also ups the benefit for students with dependants or those with permanent disabilities to $1,750 per month.

The company is allowing customers to defer their minimum monthly credit card payments and is increasing the limit on contactless payments, which is now eligible on transactions of up to $250.

Lending Loop has implemented a “temporary hardship program” for borrowers impacted by the crisis. The program allows qualifying customers the opportunity to make interest-only payments on their loans for up to three months.

The action plan offers a series of steps that can help those who recently lost their job survive the crisis by focusing on necessities, deferring whatever payments they can, taking advantage of relevant government programs and finding the money they need to get by.

Relief Packages for Businesses

Under the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy program, the government will provide subsidy to eligible employers for up to 3 months for covering 75% of their employees’ salaries.

Employers affected by COVID-19 can benefit from the extended work-sharing Program, with a maximum duration of 76 weeks from the earlier 38-weeks limit.

Businesses can defer their income tax payments until August 31, 2020, with no applicable interest or penalties on due tax amounts.

Businesses, as well as self-employed professionals, can defer their GST/HST payments until June 30, 2020.

The government has set up the Business Credit Availability Program for small and medium-sized enterprises, under which it will provide additional support of up to $40 billion in the form of loan guarantees and co-lending programs.

As per the relief measures, Canadians small businesses and not-for-profit establishments can apply for an interest-free loan of up to $40,000.

Facebook has set up a USD100 million fund to provide financial aid to small businesses and entrepreneurs of 30 countries where the social network is operational.

Restaurant Canada has taken numerous steps, including conducting a survey to indicate the challenges faced by restaurants and sharing proceedings with governments, working with provincial governments to stop evictions, and helping businesses with advice to claim government relief.

Individual provinces have announced support local businesses through various relief and financing programs. 

A petition has been making rounds to garner more support for small businesses across the nation. It advocates rent relaxation, wage subsidy, and relief from immediate debt obligations for small businesses.

The Bank of Canada is implementing multiple support measures for financial institutions, small businesses, self-employed professionals, and individuals. Here is a list of the actions they’ve taken. 

The government has made provisions for up to $5 billion to Farm Credit Canada for extending working capital and relief in principal or loan payments for up to 6 months to producers, food processors, and agribusiness.

The government is providing immediate relief to the struggling air transport sector with relaxation in lease rents for 21 airports during March 2020 and through December 2020.

The program, which was developed in partnership with the provinces and territories, attempts to lower rent by 75% for small businesses that have been affected by COVID-19. The program will also offer forgivable loans to commercial property owners to help cover 50% of monthly rent payments that are owed by small businesses affected by the pandemic from April to June.

On the heels of their Small Business Health Index, Thinking Capital has just released another tool for helping Canadian entrepreneurs through the crisis.

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Jenna West

Jenna West has built up a list of published work on various global recognized websites like RE/MAX Canada, Freeman Audio Visual Canada and now carries the title of Freelance Content Manager for Smarter Loans. Jenna adds creative value and fresh perspectives on all things finance, especially pertaining to millennials, and has a natural knack for turning a page full of words into a visual reading experience.

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