Support for Small Business

This week we provided an update to clients on the measures in place and being proposed by various levels of government to assist businesses during this evolving COVID-19 situation. While not all of these proposed measures have taken affect, we want you to be aware of what is available and what may be coming so that you can plan and be proactive in applying for any of these that may benefit your business.

To support businesses, the Federal government is proposing:

  • A wage subsidy of 10% up to $1,375 per employee and $25,000 per employer
    • Limited details on how this will be applied, however CRA has released a FAQ section here.
  • Any tax that becomes due on or after March 18, 2020 and before September 1, 2020 will have no interest accrue. This includes installments as well as actual balances.
    • May be applicable if your business has a December through May year-end and income is derived from active operations (operating companies).
    • May be applicable if your business has a January through June year-end and income is derived from passive operations (holding companies).
  • Business Credit Availability Program that will allow BDC, EDC and FCC to provide credit to small businesses.
    • Consider reaching out to your lender early as there is expected to be a large number of requests for this financing, and lenders may be overwhelmed.
  • A number of supports for you personally and your employees.
    • Waiving the EI one-week waiting period if individuals quarantined.
    • Waiving the requirement to provide a medical certificate to access EI sickness benefits.
    • Emergency Care Benefit providing $900 bi-weekly for up to 15 weeks for workers directly effected by COVID-19 but do not otherwise qualify for EI sickness benefits.
    • A number of other measures, some of which are yet to be clarified.

The Alberta government is also proposing a number of measures to support business:

  • Deferral of corporate income tax balances from March 19, 2020 until August 31, 2020.
    • May be applicable if your business has a December through May year-end and income is derived from active operations (operating companies).
    • May be applicable if your business has a January through June year-end and income is derived from passive operations (holding companies).
  • Residential, farm and small commercial customers can defer electricity and natural gas bill payments for the next 90 days to ensure no one will be cut off, regardless of the service provider.
  • Specifically, for small business customers with ATB financials, a deferral on loans and lines of credits up to 6 months and access to additional working capital.
    • Consider reaching out to your ATB banker in order to see what may be done for your situation.
  • Support for your employees.
    • Job-protected leave if required to self isolate or are caring for a child or dependent adult that is required to self-isolate.

We understand these are difficult times for some businesses, and we are here to support you where we can. As we are now in our busiest time of year, and with the increased uncertainty, our response time may be slower than you are accustomed to, however, we are committed to providing you information and advise as quickly as possible.

We wish you and your families all the best during this time. Stay healthy.

Best Regards,

Eric, Peter & Cascade

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