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COVID-19 Information for Businesses

Direct Business Support Programs

Provincial Government:

  • Launch of a $50M Ontario Together website Ontario Together that will help businesses and their employees work with the Province to meet the challenges of COVID-19.


  • The Ontario Together Fund assists businesses as they provide innovative solutions or retool their operations in order to manufacture essential medical supplies and equipment, including:
  1. Gowns
  2. Coveralls

iii. Masks & face shields

  1. Testing equipment
  2. Ventilators

This Fund will support the development of proposals submitted by businesses through the Ontario Together web portal. The government will be looking for the most viable, innovative proposals that can quickly provide critical goods and services and the greatest benefit to the people of Ontario. The fund is time-limited and will be available to companies and organizations across the province.

Federal Government

Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) to help workers and businesses, including EI for self-employed, mortgage deferrals, and extended deadline for income tax.  Applications will open April 6th.

Will provide workers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic with $2,000 per month for the next four months.

Applicants who have requested EI will not need to register for the CERB.

If applying online, with direct deposit requested, applicants can expect the payment within three to five days.

The CERB payment cannot be combined with the 75% wage subsidy for businesses.

The CERB would cover:

  1. Workers who must stop working due to COVID19 and do not have access to paid leave or other income support.
  2. Workers who are sick, quarantined, or taking care of someone who is sick with COVID-19.

III. Working parents who must stay home without pay to care for children that are sick or need additional care because of school and daycare closures.

  1. Workers who still have their employment but are not being paid because there is currently not sufficient work and their employer has asked them not to come to work.
  2. Wage earners and self-employed individuals, including contract workers, who would not otherwise be eligible for Employment Insurance.

The CERB would be paid every four weeks and be available from March 15, 2020 until October 3, 2020. Application details will be available through CRA MyAccount and My Service Canada Account. Those recently laid off or have reduced hours are encouraged to apply for Employment Insurance Benefits


  • Wage subsidies: To support businesses that are facing revenue losses and to help prevent lay-offs, the government is proposing to provide eligible employers a temporary wage subsidy. Details:
  1. 75% wage subsidy for qualifying businesses, for up to 3 months, retroactive to March 15, 2020.
  2. Funds will be distributed to employers via the Canada Revenue Agency and are slated to begin in approximately six weeks.

iii. Employers will have to show that their revenues have fallen by at least 30 % compared to the same month last year.

  1. Number of people a business employs will not determine the firm’s eligibility for the program.
  2. The subsidy will be available to large and small companies as well as charities and non-profit organizations (companies which are publicly funded are not eligible).
  3. The subsidy will cover up to 75% of salary on the first $58,700 earned by employees affected by COVID-19. This translates to a maximum of up to $847 a week per employee.
  • Establishment of a Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) to provide $65B of additional support through the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) and Export Development Canada (EDC). BDC and EDC are working with private sector lenders to coordinate on credit

solutions for individual businesses, including in sectors such as oil and gas, air transportation, exportation and tourism. This program includes:

Canada Emergency Business Account – this 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. To qualify, these organizations will need to demonstrate they paid between $50,000 to $1M 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).

Loan Guarantee for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises. EDC is working with financial institutions to issue new operating credit and cash flow term loans of up to $6.25M to SMEs.

Co-Lending Program for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises. BDC is working with financial institutions to co-lend term loans to SMEs for their operational cash flow requirements. Eligible businesses may obtain incremental credit amounts of up to $6.25M through the program.

Interested businesses should work with their current financial institutions.

  • Taxes: GST and HST payments will be deferred as well as duties and taxes owed on imports until June. This will allow companies to keep the money they would have sent to the government and use it instead for immediate needs.
  • Extension of 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.
  • Ensuring businesses have access to credit - $10B of additional support for small and medium sized businesses provided through BDC and EDC. Interest rates have been cut to 3.3% and actions taken enabling banks to inject $300B of additional lending.
  • Flexibility for individuals & businesses filing taxes - Tax filings have been delayed for individuals to June 1, 2020 and for Trusts to May 1, 2020. Taxpayers who owe income tax balances or income tax instalments on or after March 18, 2020 and before September 2020 have until September 1, 2020 to remit these amounts.  No interest or penalties will accumulate on these amounts during this period. The Canada Revenue Agency will not contact any small or medium (SME) businesses to initiate any post assessment GST/HST or Income Tax audits for the next four weeks. For the vast majority of businesses, the Canada Revenue Agency will temporarily suspend audit interaction with taxpayers and representatives.
  • Goods and Services Tax (GST) Credit - Special Top-Up Payment .Will provide a one-time special payment on April 9, 2020. This payment will double the maximum annual GST/HST credit payment amounts for the 2019-20 benefit year. The average boost to income for those benefitting from this measure will be close to $400 for single individuals and close to $600 for couples. Those eligible will receive this payment automatically.
  • Liaison Officer Service - The Liaison Officer service offers help to owners of small businesses to understand their tax obligations. Traditionally available in-person, this service is now available over the phone and will be customizing information during these challenging times by ensuring small businesses are aware of any changes such as filing and payment deadlines, proactive relief measures, etc. 

Business Development Bank of Canada

  • Working capital loans of up to $2M with flexible repayment terms such as principal postponements for qualifying businesses;
  • Flexible repayment terms, such as postponement of principal payments for up to 6 months, for existing BDC clients with total BDC loan commitment of $1M or less;
  • Reduced rates on new eligible loans;

Export Development Canada: 

A $10B federal Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) will allow EDC to enhance its financing and insurance programs to ensure that financially viable impacted companies have access to the credit and support they require during the coronavirus pandemic. We are working in concert with the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) and private sector. Businesses can register for a MyEDC account for unlimited access to expert insights and trade information.

Major Canadian Banks: 

Bank of MontrealCIBCNational Bank of CanadaRBC Royal BankScotiabank and TD Bank have made a commitment to work with personal and small business banking customers on a case-by-case basis to provide flexible solutions to help them manage through challenges due to COVID-19. Individual Canadians or business owners facing hardship are encouraged to contact their bank directly to discuss options that could be available to them. 

NECO is a Community Futures Development Corporation, funded by FedNor/Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada that provides loans to new and existing businesses who are planning to invest in building, equipment, training and technology.

IION Innovation Initiatives Ontario North is a Regional Innovation Centre that assists innovative entrepreneurs, start-ups and existing companies develop and scale with Step Forward and iRAPID funding programs currently still active.

NGEN Next Generation Manufacturing Canada will invest $50M in Supercluster funding to support companies as they rapidly respond to the COVID-19 pandemic by building a Canadian supply of essential equipment, products, and therapeutics.   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.

OCE (Ontario Centres of Excellence) has created the Covid-19 Collaboration Platform an online portal that allows experts, agencies and companies who have a piece of the puzzle – whether it is an asset, a technology or a product – bring their solution to market.  For companies looking for partners in response to Covid-19, please visit the OCE website to connect their initiative, to assets and collaborators across the province.

National Research Council of Canada (NRC) - COVID-19 Challenge Program. This program will post challenges seeking near-to-market solutions from small and medium-sized businesses (fewer than 500 staff) that need financial support from the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC IRAP) to refine and sell their product or solution to meet a COVID-19 related need.  Innovative Solutions Canada will launch calls for proposals over the next few weeks to address challenges, to fund development of solutions, and to buy successful products and services needed to address COVID-19. Challenges will be posted on the Innovative Solutions Canada website. Businesses which are selected to proceed will receive funding to develop a proof of concept for their solution; Phase 2 funding will be awarded to firms with the best concepts, enabling them to develop a working prototype; Federal government departments or agencies will then be able purchase the product for use against COVID-19.


Additionally, NRC IRAP has been tasked to work with Canadian industry to address a range of medium-term Public Health Agency of Canada and Health Canada needs, including:

  1. Personal protective equipment
  2. Sanitization

iii. Diagnostic and testing

  1. Therapeutics
  2. Disease tracking technology

If your company is involved in developing or producing any of the products or technologies listed above, please complete the online registration form with all information.

Helpful Links 

Government of Ontario updates (COVID – 19)

Government of Canada updates (COVID – 19)

Government of Canada Wage Subsidy

Trade Commissioner Resources for Canadian Businesses

Employment Insurance and Labour and Occupational Health and Safety - Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) - Employment Social Development Canada

Canadian Chamber of Commerce COVID-19 Resources: Pandemic Preparedness

Canadian Chamber of Business Resilience Network

North Bay & District Chamber of Commerce

Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB): Corona Virus Resources

Canada’s  Regional Development Agencies information on COVID-19 (FedNor)

Canadian Federation of Agriculture (CFA): Resources on COVID-19

Canadian  Manufacturer’s & Exporters  COVID-19 Resources

Canadian Federation of Agriculture COVID-19 Resources

Canadian Federation of Independent Business - Coronavirus and small business: keeping

you and your employees safe

Toolkits and Guides 

Canadian Chamber of Commerce – Pandemic Preparedness Resources

Ontario Chamber of Commerce COVID-19 Pandemic Preparedness Toolkit for Ontario businesses

BDC - Business continuity plan and templates for entrepreneurs

Canadian Payroll Association - Guide to online payroll

Workplace Safety & Prevention Services Business Pandemic Preparedness Checklist


Click HERE to view the April 3 Business Recovery Readiness Call.

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