Cambridge Chamber of Commerce


Recent Updates


AUGUST 5, 2020: Government Of Canada's COVID-19 Resilience' Infrastructure Funding Stream
Today the federal government announced the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program is being adjusted so that provinces and territories can use federal funding to act quickly on a wider range of more pandemic-resilient infrastructure projects. Under a new COVID-19 Resilience funding stream worth up to $3.3 billion, projects will be eligible for a significantly larger federal cost share – up to 80% for provinces, municipalities and not-for-profit organizations in provinces and raising it to 100% for remote, northern and territorial projects designated under the new stream. More information.


Government Of Canada's Vaccine Task Force Update
Today the federal government announced the members of its Vaccine Task Force as well as agreements with Pfizer and Moderna to secure doses of COVID-19 vaccine candidates. Learn more.


JULY 31, 2020: Commercial Rent Relief Extended Into August
Today the Government of Canada announced that the CECRA program is being extended by one month to cover August rents. All provinces and territories are continuing to participate in the program. Learn more.  Access CECRA


JULY 30, 2020: Government Of Canada Introducing Stricter Rules For Foreign Nationals Transiting Through Canada To Alaska

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) is announcing that as of July 31, 2020 at 12:01 a.m. PT stricter rules and additional entry conditions will be imposed on travellers transiting through Canada to Alaska for a non-discretionary purpose. These measures are put in place to further reduce the risk of introduction of COVID-19 cases and to minimize the amount of time that in-transit travellers are in Canada. Learn More.


Essential Services Contingency Reserve Registration To Open August 3

The Government of Canada recently announced the launch of the Essential Services Contingency Reserve to ensure essential service organizations have emergency access to the personal protective equipment and critical supplies they need to keep themselves and others safe during COVID-19. Registration will open August 3. Learn More.


JULY 28, 2020: Bill C-20, Which Includes Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy Improvements, Receives Royal Assent

The proposed improvements to the CEWS passed through the Senate and received Royal Assent on July 27. Among other things, Bill C-20 extends the CEWS to December 19, introduces a sliding scale and made some eligibility improvements. These are improvements we advocated and are pleased to see implemented on behalf of our members. Learn More.


JULY 24, 2020: Canada Labour Code Leave Of Absence Period Extended
For federally regulated members, this week the Government of Canada amended the Canada Labour Standards and extended the maximum allowable length for a leave of absence due to COVID-19 from 16 to 24 weeks. This change allows the eligibility to match the previously extended Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB). Learn More.


JULY 21, 2020:  Improved Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy Bill Passes The House

This afternoon MPs in the House of Commons passed Bill C-20, including the improved CEWS, which was announced on Friday last week. The Senate must now study the bill before it can be implemented. We have called for the bill to be swiftly passed and are grateful MPs on all sides worked to achieve that goal. We are hopeful the Senate will now do the same. The improved CEWS will help get Canadians back to work. Learn More.


JULY 17, 2020: Government Of Canada Rolls Out Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy Improvement Details

This afternoon the government released details of the proposed CEWS program extension and improvements. Legislative approval is still required, however the draft would: 


  • Allow the extension of the CEWS until December 19, 2020, including redesigned program details until November 21, 2020.

  • Make the subsidy accessible to a broader range of employers by including employers with a revenue decline of less than 30% and providing a gradually decreasing base subsidy to all qualifying employers. This would help many struggling employers with less than a 30% revenue loss get support to keep and bring back workers while also ensuring those who have previously benefited could still qualify, even if their revenues recover and no longer meet the 30% revenue decline threshold.

  • Introduce a top-up subsidy of up to an additional 25% for employers that have been most adversely affected by the pandemic. This would be particularly helpful to employers in industries that are recovering more slowly.

  • Provide certainty to employers that have already made business decisions for July and August by ensuring they would not receive a subsidy rate lower than they would have had under the previous rules.

  • Address certain technical issues identified by stakeholders.

  • We issued a statement that today’s improvements would help get Canadians back to work.

Learn more.


JULY 16, 2020: Federal Government To Provide $19 Billion To Provinces And Territories

This afternoon it was announced that the federal, provincial and territorial governments have reached an agreement in which the federal government will provide over $19 billion in funding to help the country’s economic recovery. The funding will target seven key areas: 


  • Testing, contact tracing and data management

  • Health care, including mental health and addictions

  • Aiding vulnerable populations, including in nursing homes

  • Personal protective equipment

  • Early learning and child care

  • Municipal budgets, including public transit

  • Paid sick leave

Learn More.


JULY 15, 2020: The Bank Of Canada’s July 2020 Monetary Policy Report
The Bank of Canada expects a sharp rebound in economic activity in the reopening phase of the recovery, followed by a more prolonged recuperation phase, which will be uneven across regions and sectors. As a result, Canada’s economic output will likely take some time to return to its pre-COVID-19 level. Many workers and businesses can expect to face an extended period of difficulty.  Learn More.


Government Announces Changes To Facilitate Online Learning For International Students 
The federal government has announced additional measures to support international students beginning a new program online this fall with a Canadian learning institution, if their institution is offering the program online, so that they can pursue their education while ensuring everyone’s safety. The new measures include: 

  • Providing priority study-permit processing for students who have submitted a complete application online to ensure permits are processed as quickly as possible.
  • Allowing students to count the time spent pursuing their studies online abroad toward their eligibility for a post-graduation work permit, if they have submitted a study permit application and if at least 50% of their program is completed in Canada.
  • Providing reassurances to international students who cannot submit all of the documentation needed to complete processing of their applications, and who choose to pursue programs through distance learning, by implementing a temporary two-stage approval process.

Learn more.


JULY 13, 2020: Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) To Be Extended Until December

The Government of Canada announced its intention to extend the CEWS program until December. Details on the extension are expected to be released later this week. We commented that news of the extension was positive, but a successful CEWS update must also expand revenue eligibility and provide absolute clarity and consistency about the criteria for eligibility. Too many businesses are still uncertain about their ability to qualify for the program.


JULY 2, 2020: Canadian Government Extends Mandatory Quarantine Requirement For Anyone Entering Canada Until August 31

The Government of Canada extended the Emergency Order requirements related to mandatory isolation and quarantine until August 31, 2020, for travellers entering Canada. Anyone entering Canada—whether by air, land or sea—will continue to be required to isolate for 14 days if they have COVID-19, or have reasonable grounds to suspect that they have signs and symptoms of COVID-19, or quarantine for 14 days if they do not have signs and symptoms of COVID-19. The order also clarifies when travellers are required to wear a non-medical mask or face covering. This includes a new requirement for individuals who are otherwise exempt from quarantine to wear a non-medical mask or face covering when in public settings if physical distancing cannot be maintained.  Learn More.


Government Introduces Draft Regulations Providing Relief For Registered Pension Plans

On July 2 the government released draft regulations that would help employers who sponsor a Registered Pension Plan (RPP) or salary deferral leave plan for their employees to manage and maintain their benefit obligations through the pandemic. It will also assure employees who participate in salary deferral leave plans that suspending their leave of absence (e.g., via a recall to essential-service work), or deferring their scheduled leave for up to one year, will not put their plan at risk. Learn More.


JUNE 30, 2020: CRA Deadline Changes

The CRA has advised that T2 Corporation Income Tax Returns and T3 Trust Income tax Returns that would have been due in June, July, or August are now due on September 1. For T2s and T3s, as previously announced, any income tax balance due on or after March 18 and before September 1 will also be due by September 1. Learn More.


Government Ends GST/HST And Customs Duty Payment Deferrals

The federal government has confirmed it is ending the payment deferrals as planned on June 30, today. Businesses that continue to experience difficulty in remitting GST/HST and customs duty amounts owing can contact the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) to make a request for the cancellation of penalties and interest, and/or for a flexible payment arrangement with the CRA. Learn More.


JUNE 29, 2020: Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance Program (CECRA)

On June 29, the federal government announced an extension of the CECRA program until July. The program was initially intended to support small businesses during the months of April, May, and June. Learn more or apply


JUNE 28, 2020: Federal Government Looking To Extend Rent Assistance For Another Month

Today the Government of Canada indicated that it is looking to extend the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) for small businesses to provide relief for small businesses experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19. Currently the program covers April, May and June. The federal government is now working with the provinces and territories to continue the program into July. Learn More.


JUNE 26, 2020: Expanded CEBA Now Partially Available

After a week’s delay, the expanded Canada Emergency Business Account loan program is now available; however, only if you bank with one of Canada’s six largest banks. The CEBA expansion will be available from more lenders over the coming weeks. To apply for a CEBA contact your primary financial institution. Learn More.


JUNE 23, 2020: Federal Government Extends Time Periods Given To Employers To Recall Employees Laid Off Due To COVID-19 

Prior to these changes, employers could temporarily layoff their employees for up to three months if no notice with a recall date was provided or for a period of up to six months if they provided a notice with an expected recall date before the layoff became a termination. The amendments, which are set out in the Canada Labour Standards Regulations, temporarily extend these time periods by up to six months:  


  • For employees laid off prior to March 31, 2020, the time period is extended by six months or to December 30, 2020, whichever occurs first. 
  • For employees laid off between March 31, 2020 and September 30, 2020, the time period is extended until December 30, 2020 unless a later recall date was provided in a written notice at the time of the layoff. 

These changes, which came into effect on June 22, 2020, do not apply to employees who are covered by a collective agreement that contains recall rights. Learn more.


JUNE 16, 2020: Canada-U.S. Land Border To Be Closed For A Further 30 Days

The Government of Canada has announced an agreement with the U.S. to keep the border closed for an additional 30 days, extending the closure to July 21, 2020. Learn more.


Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) Extended To Cover 24 Weeks
The government is extending the CERB from the current 16 weeks of eligibility to up to 24 weeks. The CERB provides financial support to employed and self-employed Canadians who are directly affected by COVID-19. Canadians may apply for the CERB through either Service Canada or the Canada Revenue Agency—but not both. Learn more.http://www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/ei/cerb-application.html


JUNE 11, 2020: Gas Tax Fund Allocation Details Announced 

On June 11, the federal government announced the details of how the $2.2-billion Gas Tax Fund would be distributed across communities. This year, the government is distributing the money as a single payment in June to help communities address immediate pandemic costs.  Ontario Distribution.


Government Of Canada Announces Additional Support For Indigenous Businesses And The Indigenous Tourism Industry 
On June 11, the government announced new funding totaling $133 million to support Indigenous business through the pandemic and into recovery. Of these additional funds, $117 million will reach more community-owned First Nation, Inuit and Métis businesses, including microbusinesses, that are not eligible for existing business support measures. Learn More.


JUNE 10, 2020: Bill C-17 To Allow Deadline Extensions For Federal Corporations 

On June 10, 2020, a new bill was tabled in the House of Commons that will allow the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry to issue orders to extend various deadlines for federal businesses, not-for-profits, cooperatives, and boards of trade. 

Bill C-17 affects the following acts administered by Corporations Canada: 

  • Canada Business Corporations Act 

  • Canada Not‑for‑profit Corporations Act 

  • Canada Cooperatives Act 

  • Boards of Trade Act

The bill grants authority to extend the period for holding annual meetings and, for boards of trade, the deadline for filing annual summaries. We will provide more information as soon as it is available. 


JUNE 5, 2020:  Today, the Prime Minister announced that the federal government will pay a one-time tax-free payment of up to $600 for Canadians with disabilities to help cover the cost of unexpected bills due to the pandemic. This new financial aid will go to all who are eligible for the Disability Tax Credit, as of June 1.


Top-up payments of $300 to Old Age Security and $200 to the Guaranteed Income Supplement will begin to be issued the week of July 6. This is part of the series of measures back in April to support seniors. Learn more. 


MAY 29, 2020: Government Announces $650 Million More For Indigenous Health, Economic And Social Support

Today the Government of Canada announced an additional:


  • $285.1 million to support the ongoing public health response to COVID-19 in Indigenous communities.

  • $270 million to supplement the On-Reserve Income Assistance Program to address increased demand on the program.

  • $44.8 million over five years to build 12 new shelters, which will help protect and support Indigenous women and girls experiencing and fleeing violence. 

  • $40.8 million to support operational costs for these new shelters over the first five years and $10.2 million annually ongoing.

  • $1 million a year ongoing, starting this year, to support engagement with Métis leaders and service providers on shelter provision and community-led violence prevention projects for Métis women, girls, and LGBTQ and two-spirit people

More information


MAY 25, 2020: Commercial Rent Assistance Registration Now Available
Landlords may now register for the CECRA program through the Canada Mortgage Housing Corporation portal. CMHC asks you register according to the following schedule: 


  • Monday: Property owners who are located in Atlantic Canada, BC, Alberta and Quebec, with up to 10 tenants who are eligible for the program.

  • Tuesday: Property owners who are located in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Ontario and the Territories, with up to 10 tenants who are eligible for the program.

  • Wednesday: All other property owners in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Ontario and the Territories

  • Thursday: All other property owners in Atlantic Canada, BC, Alberta and Quebec

  • Friday: All

More information and registration.


MAY 20, 2020: More Information For Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) Program Released

Today the government provided more information on the CECRA program, including eligibility, what is needed to apply and that applications will become available on May 25. Landlords looking to use the program to help their tenants mitigate the impacts of COVID-19 are encouraged to prepare for the application process prior to Monday. Learn more.


Application Process For The Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility (LEEFF) Program Now Open
This program will provide emergency funding support for large Canadian enterprises facing financial challenges in light of the economic impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic. LEEFF will be open to large Canadian employers who (a) have a significant impact on Canada’s economy, as demonstrated by (i) having significant operations in Canada or (ii) supporting a significant workforce in Canada; (b) can generally demonstrate approximately $300 million or more in annual revenues; and (c) require a minimum loan size of about $60 million. Learn more.


AS OF MAY 19, 2020: Canada-U.S. Border Closure Extended

Today it was announced the closure of the Canada-U.S. border would be extended an additional 30 days to June 21. The conditions of the closure remain unchanged, which bans non-essential travel.


AS OF MAY 19, 2020: Expanded Eligibility For The Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA)

Today the government announced it was expanding the criteria used by businesses in calculating their CEBA eligibility. To qualify under the expanded eligibility criteria, applicants with payroll lower than $20,000 need:


  • a business operating account at a participating financial institution;

  • a Canada Revenue Agency business number, and to have filed a 2018 or 2019 tax return;

  • eligible non-deferrable expenses between $40,000 and $1.5 million. Eligible non-deferrable expenses could include costs such as rent, property taxes, utilities and insurance.

Expenses will be subject to verification and audit by the Government of Canada. Learn more.


AS OF MAY 16, 2020: Additional Government Supports For Women Entrepreneurs

On May 16, the Government of Canada announced an additional $15 million in funding to the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy (WES). The money will go directly to select organizations that are currently WES Ecosystem Fund recipients to help women entrepreneurs through the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more.


AS OF MAY 15, 2020: Today, the Finance Minister Bill Morneau today announced that the Government of Canada will extend the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) by an additional 12 weeks to August 29, 2020. The CEWS was in place for a 12-week period, from March 15 to June 6. Neither the 30% drop in revenue requirement nor the allowed types of payroll used in calculations have changed. This extension will help to prevent further job losses, encourage employers to rehire workers previously laid off as a result of COVID-19, and help better position Canadian companies and other employers to more easily resume normal operations following the crisis. 


The federal government has also shared that the first set of job postings for students and recent graduates are now up on the jobbank.gc.ca website and also on the Job Bank Canada app with more jobs being posted in coming weeks. 


The Prime Minister announced $450 million in funding to help Canada’s academic research community during the COVID-19 pandemic.


The governments of Canada and Ontario are investing up to $2.25 million to help farmers better protect employees and ensure the continued supply of healthy food products for consumers during the COVID-19 outbreak.


AS OF MAY 13, 2020: Government Announces Details Of The Regional Relief And Recovery Fund

Today the government announced the details of the nearly $1 billion in funding being provided to the Regional Development Agencies ($675 million) and the national network of Community Futures Development Corporations ($287 million). SMEs may now apply for support through their local Regional Development Agency. Learn More.


AS OF MAY 11, 2020: Additional Support For Medium And Large Businesses 

The Government of Canada today announced its intention to create the Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility (LEEFF) to provide bridge financing to Canada’s largest employers, whose needs during the pandemic are not being met through conventional financing, in order to keep their operations going. This support will not be used to resolve insolvencies or restructure firms, nor will it provide financing to companies that otherwise have the capacity to manage through the crisis. The additional liquidity provided through LEEFF will allow Canada’s largest businesses and their suppliers to remain active during this difficult time and position them for a rapid economic recovery. 

The government also announced it will expand the Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) to mid-sized companies with larger financing needs, including loans of up to $60 million per company and guarantees of up to $80 million. Learn More.


AS OF MAY 8, 2020 Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) Program To Be Extended

The Government of Canada today announced its intention to create the Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility (LEEFF) to provide bridge financing to Canada’s largest employers, whose needs during the pandemic are not being met through conventional financing, in order to keep their operations going. This support will not be used to resolve insolvencies or restructure firms, nor will it provide financing to companies that otherwise have the capacity to manage through the crisis. The additional liquidity provided through LEEFF will allow Canada’s largest businesses and their suppliers to remain active during this difficult time and position them for a rapid economic recovery.

The government also announced it will expand the Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) to mid-sized companies with larger financing needs, including loans of up to $60 million per company and guarantees of up to $80 million.
Today, the Government of Canada indicated the CEWS program will be extended beyond the current June 6 cut-off. No further details are available at the time of this writing; however, they are expected to be released by the government next week. We are pleased the CEWS is being extended.


Details Of Emergency Support Fund For Cultural, Heritage And Sport Organizations Announced
Today, the Government of Canada shared further details about its April 17 announcement of temporary relief measures to support the culture, heritage and sport sectors as they manage the challenges and impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and plan for the future. A total of up to $500 million has been set aside to help alleviate the financial pressures of affected organizations. Learn more.


AS OF MAY 4, 2020: Canada and international partners launch the Coronavirus Global Response

The Canadian government announced today that Canada and partners from around the world have launched the “Coronavirus Global Response.” This online event aims to initially raise more than $8 billion (USD) to help researchers and innovators develop solutions to test, treat, and protect people, and to prevent the further spread of COVID-19. Learn more.


AS OF April 28, 2020: First Ministers Statement On Restarting The Economy

This afternoon, Canada’s First Ministers released a joint statement. It includes a set of common principles for restarting the economy and acknowledges the need for a gradual approach that prioritizes public health and allowing for differences between provinces. Read the statement.


AS OF April 24, 2020: Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance Details Announced

The Government of Canada announced it has reached an agreement in principle with all provinces and territories to provide rent relief for small businesses. The program will see tenants receive a 75% reduction in their rent payments for April, May and June.

The program is for small businesses, non-profits and charities that:


  • Pay less than $50,000 per month in rent.

  • Have temporarily ceased operations or have experienced at least a 70% drop versus pre-COVID-19 revenues.


The program will provide forgivable loans to qualifying commercial property owners to cover 50% of the eligible rent payments. The loans will be forgiven if the property owner agrees to reduce the eligible small business tenants’ rent by at least 75% and agrees not to evict the tenant. More information.


AS OF April 22, 2020: Today, the Government of Canada announced a series of programs directed toward students and recent graduates, including the newly proposed Canada Emergency Student Benefit (which still requires legislative approval). This benefit would provide $1,250 per month for eligible students or $1,750 per month for eligible students with dependents or disabilities. This benefit would be available from May to August 2020. More Information.


AS OF April 21, 2020: Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy Calculator Now Available

Ahead of the Wage Subsidy application process, which will be available in the coming days, additional details and a calculator are now available for businesses. Calculate Your Subsidy


New Resource Web Page From Finance Canada 
Finance Canada has produced a refined search tool to help businesses find the financial supports they may be eligible for, including direct financial support programs, access to credit and more. More information.


AS OF April 20, 2020: Canada – U.S. Land Border Restrictions Extended
On Saturday, April 18, it was announced that restrictions on travel across the land border between Canada and the U.S. would be extended until May 20. The current restrictions remain in place. Click here for more information.


AS OF April 16, 2020: The Government of Canada is:

  • Expanding the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) to businesses that paid between $20,000 and $1.5 million in total payroll in 2019. This new range will replace the previous one of between $50,000 and $1 million, and will help address the challenges faced by small businesses to cover non-deferrable operating costs.

  • Announcing its intent to introduce the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) for small businesses. The program will seek to 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. Implementation of the program will require a partnership between the federal government and provincial and territorial governments, which are responsible for property owner-tenant relationships. We are working with the provinces and territories to increase rent support for businesses that are most impacted by the pandemic and we will have more details to share soon.

The government will continue to monitor and respond to the wide-ranging impacts of COVID-19, and take additional actions as needed to protect the health and safety of Canadians and stabilize the economy.


WHERE TO START:

Whether you are self-employed, a small business owner, or an entrepreneur – you shouldn’t have to worry about having to lose your business or your job. 


To get the help you need: 

  1. Visit our government’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan website for information about supporting your employees and your business. It is constantly updated as the COVID-19 crisis evolves. 
  2. Contact your local financial institution. Since we know most small businesses have a relationship with their local financial institution already, we’ve worked with the financial sector to increase their lending capability to support you in in this challenging time. They are a good first place to start for help.
  3. Consult the Canadian Business Resilience Network and Canadian Chamber of Commerce’s pandemic preparedness guide to help prepare you business in the days and weeks to come.

AS OF April 15, 2020: Federal Government Expands CERB Qualification Criteria

The Government of Canada announced, today, that more Canadians will now qualify for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB). In addition to those who already qualified, the CERB is expanding to include people who:


  • earn up to $1,000 per month;

  • are seasonal workers;

  • have recently had their EI run out.

The changes are retroactive to March 15.


AS OF April 1, 2020: the latest updates on the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) can be found below.

To support businesses that are facing revenue losses and to help prevent lay-offs, the government is proposing to provide eligible small employers a temporary wage subsidy for a period of three months.


  • The subsidy will be equal to 10% of remuneration paid during that period, up to a maximum subsidy of $1,375 per employee and $25,000 per employer. Businesses will be able to benefit immediately from this support by reducing their remittances of income tax withheld on their employees’ remuneration.
  • This subsidy continues to exist.


The Federal government announced further, increased wage subsidies to any business, big or small, along with charities and not-for-profit organizations, so long as they are not publicly-funded, and meet the criteria below.


  • A 75% wage subsidy is available, up to 3 months. This subsidy will be backdated to March 15th, 2020. 

  • To qualify, gross businesses revenues must have decreased by at least 30%, this will be reviewed and verified after the fact.

  • Revenues will be compared to the respective month in from last year (2019) in March, April or May.

  • Details for businesses who do not have revenue data from last year will come soon.

  • Companies will be required to show pre-crisis income of an employee. Business will then get 75% of the wages they paid out returned to them through the CRA.

  • Companies will need to apply for the subsidy each month. 

  • This subsidy applies to any business, big or small, including the hospitality sector (bars, restaurants).

  • The number of employees in your organization won’t determine if you qualify.

  • The subsidy will cover 75% of a salary on the first $58,700 earned.

  • Program will provide up to $847 per week for each worker.

  • Your business does not need to be open to receive the subsidy.

  • The remaining 25% of wages is not required to qualify for the subsidy. However, employers will need to attest that they are doing everything they can to pay the remaining 25%of people’s wages.

  • Any one who fraudulently accesses these subsidies will face serious penalties.

  • Businesses will apply through the CRA website. 

  • The portal will open shortly; the funds will be available in 6 weeks (as of April 1st)

  • Further details of how and where to access the subsidy to come


AS OF March 30, 2020: the Federal government provided further details on wage subsidies for businesses.

  • The Federal government announced increased wage subsidies for SME business and not-for-profits. The wage subsidy is increasing from 10% to 75%, for 3 months. This subsidy will be backdated to March 15th, 2020. 

  • To qualify, businesses revenues must have decreased by at least 30%, this will be reviewed and verified after the fact 

  • The number of employees in your organization won’t determine if you qualify

  • The subsidy will cover 75% of a salary on the first $58,700 earned

  • Program will provide up to $847 per week for each worker

  • Your business does not need to be open to receive the subsidy

  • The remaining 25% of wages is recommended, but not required to qualify to for the subsidy

  • Further details of how and where to access the subsidy to come



Canadian Chamber of Commerce


Canadian Chamber Launches National Food Services Working Group To Bolster Economic Recovery 

JUNE 16, 2020:  We have launched the National Food Services Working Group to address the economic challenges of the food services industry. With approximately 98,000 foodservice establishments in Canada, the industry is integral to the economic vibrancy of communities. Co-chaired by David Lefebvre of Restaurants Canada and Steve Zmudczynski of Molson Coors Beverage Company, the Working Group is comprised of the presidents and CEOs of many of Canada’s best-known food service and restaurant brands.  Learn more.


Coming Soon: Canadian Business Resilience Network Small Business Relief Fund

MAY 25, 2020: Applications are opening Monday, June 1 for our Canadian Business Resilience Network Small Business Relief Fund. We are offering grants to Canadian small businesses that have been adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic to provide a lifeline and support their resilience. These grants are possible through the generosity of Salesforce (NYSE:CRM) and will be offered as a one-time payment of $10,000 to 62 businesses across the country. Applications will be accepted from June 1 to June 12, 2020. More information


CBRN Launches National Guide For Business Reopening

MAY 20, 2020: As businesses prepare to reopen or revamp their operations amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, there are numerous issues and challenges to consider. This toolkit prepared by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce’s Canadian Business Resilience Network is designed 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. Access toolkit.


RESULTS ARE IN: Major Survey On Business Conditions Amid COVID-19 Shows Economic Clock Is Ticking 

AS OF APRIL 29, 2020: The Canadian Survey on Business Conditions, a joint effort between Statistics Canada and the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, provides the most detailed insight yet into the impact of COVID-19 on Canadian businesses. The survey is Canada’s first comprehensive view into how our businesses are managing as the COVID-19 shutdown continues. In all, more than 13,000 businesses participated – thank you!  Explore the findings


Five Keys To Reopening The Economy

AS OF APRIL 28, 2020: Businesses want to ramp up economic activity quickly and safely in a way that allows Canadians to get back to work while protecting employees, customers and the general public. As they implement public health measures, businesses will need time to procure personal protective equipment and change how they operate. Policymakers need to develop clear, predictable measures that are coherent domestically and aligned internationally where possible, and that minimize unintended consequences. Doing so will give Canadians the confidence to return to their workplaces and patronize businesses in their communities. Read more.


Positive Changes To Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy Program, Interest-Free Loans available April 9. 


AS OF APRIL 8, 2020: Today, we learned of several important changes to the wage subsidy program that will help more businesses access funding: 


  • A business will now be able to compare its revenue to the same month last year OR an average of January and February 2020. This will help new and growing firms who may not have qualified based on a comparison to the same month in 2019.

  • A business needs only to demonstrate a 15% reduction in gross revenues for March. A 30% reduction will still be required to receive the subsidy in April and May.

  • The program will now allow businesses to use either accrual or cash accounting methods.

  • Employer paid Employment Insurance (EI), Canada Pension Plan (CPP), Quebec Pension Plan (QPP) and Quebec Parental Insurance Plan premiums will be reimbursed.

  • Registered charities and not-for-profit organizations are eligible employers to apply for the wage subsidy. They also have the choice of whether or not to include government funding in their revenue calculations.

  • Businesses can start applying for interest-free loans on April 9. Applications are available through local financial institutions.


While these are positive changes, the Canadian Chamber continues to focus on the importance of getting funds to businesses in days, not weeks.


New Website with COVID-19 Supports for Business Launches Monday


APRIL 3 , 2020. Our official COVID-19 website launches on Monday, April 6, in collaboration with the Government of Canada. We have partnered with our chamber network and a number of Canada’s leading business organizations, including the Business Council of Canada, the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business and Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters. We are also grateful for the support of a number of our members, including Canada Life, Canadian Western Bank, Grant Thornton, EDC and Advertek.
 
The website will host resources for business, news and insights, progress on policy and more. You’ll receive an invitation next Monday to check out the new website – keep an eye on your inbox! 


Government Delivers What SMEs Need to Protect the Jobs in Their Businesses 


March 27, 2020.  Prime Minister Justin Trudeau delivered some welcome news for SMEs across the country. That news included the following announcements:


•    A 75% wage subsidy for qualifying businesses, for up to three months, retroactive to March 15, 2020. This will help businesses to keep and return workers to the payroll. More details on eligibility criteria will start with the impact of COVID-19 on sales and will be shared before the end of the month.
 
•    Allow businesses, including self-employed individuals, to defer all Goods and Services Tax/Harmonized Sales Tax (GST/HST) payments until June as well as customs duties owed for imports. This measure is the equivalent of providing up to $30 billion in interest-free loans to Canadian businesses. It will help businesses so they can continue to pay their employees and their bills and help ease cash-flow challenges across the country.
 
•    The launch of the new Canada Emergency Business Account. This program will provide up to $25 billion to eligible financial institutions so they can provide interest-free loans to small businesses. These loans – guaranteed and funded by the Government of Canada – will ensure small businesses have access to the capital they need, at a zero per cent interest rate, so they can pay for rent and other important costs over the next number of months.
 
•    The launch of the new Small and Medium-sized Enterprise Loan and Guarantee program that will enable up to $40 billion in lending, supported through Export Development Canada and Business Development Bank, for guaranteed loans when small businesses go to their financial institutions to help weather the impacts of COVID-19. This is intended for small and medium-sized companies that require greater help to meet their operational cash flow requirements.


Helping Your Business Prepare for and Manage Through COVID-19


In today’s global world, systems are more interconnected than ever. It stands to reason then, if a pandemic strikes in one part of the world, the opportunities for it to spread are that much greater.


To help businesses prepare for and manage through a potential COVID-19 escalation in Canada, the Canadian Chamber has developed a brief guide source from a number of best practice documents and designed to assist business planning and continuity efforts. This tool includes links to the some of the most relevant and credible information, best practice tools and resources and can be found here Pandemic Preparedness Guide.


COVID-19: Top Five Things SMEs Need to Know (Blog by Perrin Betty)


The Canadian Chamber has  prepared an FAQ based on questions we have received from members on the government's measures to support business during the COVID-19 pandemic and about how we are adjusting our own operations. Please visit www.chamber.ca/resources/pandemic-preparedness




Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Canada’s response


How Canada is responding to COVID-19

For detailed information on Canada's whole-of-government actions to respond to the outbreak, refer to the Government of Canada's response to COVID-19.


Economic and financial support

To learn more about Canada’s actions to help Canadians and businesses facing hardship as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, refer to Canada’s COVID-19


Travel advisories

The Government of Canada is continually assessing travel risks for Canadians. An official global travel advisory is in effect: Avoid all non-essential travel outside of Canada until further notice. In addition, a pandemic COVID-19 travel health notice with travel health advice for Canadians has also been issued.

It may be increasingly difficult to travel in and out of some destinations. If you are currently in a destination with travel restrictions and your presence there is not essential, you should consider leaving by commercial means while these are still available.