If your small- or medium-sized business has been facing challenges because of the COVID-19 pandemic, you may be eligible for one or more of the following financial support programs offered by the Government of Canada and major financial institutions. (Current as of December 2020)
Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) — UPDATED: Extended to June 2021
This subsidy is designed to help cover part of employees’ wages. It is available to eligible Canadian employers who have experienced a decrease in revenue because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) — UPDATED: increase in funds
These interest-free loans of up to $60,000 (previously up to $40,000) are forgivable up to $20,000 if paid back by December 31, 2022. Applicants who received the $40,000 loan may apply for the $20,000 expansion.
Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS) — NEW: September 27, 2020, to June 2021
This subsidy is valid towards property expenses or commercial rent. It is available to eligible Canadian businesses, non-profit organizations or charities that experienced a decrease in revenue because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Grants of up to $5,000 are available to businesses to help manage costs related to COVID-19, such as reopening safely or moving more of their business online. This funding is provided by the federal government, RBC and Canada United partners.
This program helps qualifying businesses improve cash flow through their bank or credit union to help manage day-to-day expenses or new costs related to COVID-19. Administered by Export Development Canada (EDC) and financial institutions.
This fund provides more than $1.5 billion to help businesses recover from challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is available to qualifying businesses that weren’t able to access other federal programs first.
These interest-free loans (up to $30,000) and non-repayable contributions (up to $10,000) are available to First Nations, Inuit and Métis businesses as part of the Government of Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan.
The Government of Canada has created a list of financial programs and support options for businesses.
The Government of Canada proposes to work with financial institutions to provide new support measures in 2021 to help the hardest-hit sectors including tourism, hospitality, live events, and the arts.
Relief programs that have ended
Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance Program (CECRA) — CLOSED, replaced by Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS), see above