COVID-19 Business Resources

COVID-19 Guidance and Resources 

(updated as of December 8, 2020)

LOCAL RESOURCES:

BACK TO BUSINESS TOOLKIT

BUSINESS RESPONSE PLAN – developed in partnership with the Prairie Sky Chamber of Commerce, City of Warman and City of Martensville.

PROVINCIAL RESOURCES:

  • Strong Recovery Adaption Rebate (SRAR) – Provincial Government
    • assists businesses as they adapt their business models to address the challenges caused by the global COVID-19 pandemic.
    • The rebate will assist businesses who have adapted to different business models, such as changing the use of square footage, installing physical infrastructure to comply with COVID-19 mitigation guidelines, and upgrading technology, such as websites, to enhance their business.
    • The program is for Saskatchewan businesses that employ less than 100 people, have or will incur expenses to adapt their business model between April 1, 2020, and February 28, 2021, plan to continue operating, and have experienced at least a 30 per cent revenue decline compared to 2019.
    • Eligible applicants will receive a rebate of 50 per cent up to a maximum of $5,000 for a $10,000 expenditure, with amounts being determined based on business expenditures for changing business models to adapt to the current environment brought about due to the global COVID-19 pandemic.
    • Applications are now open until March 31, 2021.

 

  • Lower Taxes for Small Business – Provincial Government
    • Under this initiative, Saskatchewan’s small business corporate income tax rate drops from two per cent to zero effective October 1, 2020.   Beginning July 1, 2022, the small business tax rate will move to one per cent.  And on July 1, 2023, the small business tax rate will return to two per cent.  The amount which small businesses can earn at the small business tax rate will remain at $600,000—the highest threshold in Canada

 

 

  • NEW – PHASE 2 -Saskatchewan Small Business Emergency Payment Program  – Provincial Government
    • Financial assistance includes a payment of up to $5,000 for February and/or March 2021 that can be used for any purpose.
    • The program was initially offered April through June of 2020, Phase 2 of the program was established for December 2020 thru to March 2021.  Applications for phase 2 opened Monday, December 7, 2020, and ending on Friday April 30, 2021.

FEDERAL RESOURCES:

  • CANADA SUMMER JOB PROGRAM– Federal Government
    • Canada Summer Jobs is an initiative of the Youth Employment and Skills Strategy, which aims to provide flexible and holistic services to help all young Canadians develop the skills and gain paid work experience to successfully transition into the labour market.
    • The program provides wage subsidies to employers from not-for-profit organizations, the public sector, and private sector organizations with 50 or fewer full-time employees, to create quality summer work experiences for young people aged 15 to 30 years. Funded employers are not restricted to hiring students — all youth aged 15 to 30 years may be eligible participants.
    • Deadline to submit applications is February 3, 2021.
  • CANADA EMERGENCY BUSINESS ASSISTANCE (CEBA) – Federal Government
    • 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, due to the economic impacts of the COVID-19 virus. To qualify, these organizations will need to demonstrate they paid between $20,000 to $1.5 million 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).
    • Applications are now open.  Please contact your financial institution directly for application.
    • UPDATES:
      • As of October 26, 2020, eligible Canadian businesses that currently operating through a personal bank account will be able to apply for CEBA.
      • All applicants now have until December 31, 2020, to apply for CEBA.
      • Effective December 4, 2020 CEBA support has been expanded from $40K to $60K.
        • Applicants who have received the $40,000 CEBA loan may apply for the $20,000 expansion, which provides eligible businesses with an additional $20,000 in financing.
        • All applicants have until March 31, 2021, to apply for $60,000 CEBA loan or the $20,000 expansion.

 

  • LOCKDOWN SUPPORT 
    • On October 9, the government proposed new targeted, direct supports for businesses, non-profits and charities facing ongoing economic challenges amidst the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. For organizations that are subject to a lockdown and must shut their doors or significantly limit their activities under a public health order issued under the laws of Canada, a province or territory (including orders made by a municipality or regional health authority under one of those laws), the government proposed a top-up under the new Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy to provide additional support while they face lockdowns.
    • The new Lockdown Support would be available retroactive to September 27, 2020, until June 2021, during periods when businesses are facing eligible public health restrictions. The government is providing the proposed details for the first 12 weeks of the program, until December 19, 2020. The proposed program would align with many aspects of the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy to provide a simple, easy-to-understand program directly to renters and property owners.

 

  • CANADA RECOVERY CAREGIVING BENEFIT (CRCB)
    • The Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB) gives income support to employed and self-employed individuals who are unable to work because they must care for their child under 12 years old or a family member who needs supervised care. This applies if their school, regular program or facility is closed or unavailable to them due to COVID-19, or because they are sick, self-isolating, or at risk of serious health complications due to COVID-19. The CRCB is administered by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).
    • If you are eligible for the CRCB, your household can receive $500 ($450 after taxes withheld) for each 1-week period.
    • If your situation continues past 1 week, you will need to apply again. You may apply up to a total of 26 weeks between September 27, 2020 and September 25, 2021.

 

  • CANADA RECOVERY BENEFIT (CRB)
    • The Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) gives income support to employed and self-employed individuals who are directly affected by COVID-19 and are not entitled to Employment Insurance (EI) benefits. The CRB is administered by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).
    • If you are eligible for the CRB, you can receive $1,000 ($900 after taxes withheld) for a 2-week period.
    • If your situation continues past 2 weeks, you will need to apply again. You may apply up to a total of 13 eligibility periods (26 weeks) between September 27, 2020 and September 25, 2021.

 

  • CANADA RECOVERY SICK BENEFIT (CRSB)
    • The Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) gives income support to employed and self-employed individuals who are unable to work because they are sick or need to self-isolate due to COVID-19, or have an underlying health condition that puts them at greater risk of getting COVID-19. The CRSB is administered by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).
    • If you are eligible for the CRSB, you can receive $500 ($450 after taxes withheld) for a 1-week period.
    • If your situation continues past 1 week, you will need to apply again. You may apply up to a total of 2 weeks between September 27, 2020 and September 25, 2021.

 

  • **NEW **CANADA EMERGENCY  RENT SUBSIDY (CERS) – Federal Government 
    • Canadian businessesnon-profit organizations, or charities who have seen a drop in revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic may be eligible for a subsidy to cover part of their commercial rent or property expenses, starting on September 27, 2020, until June 2021.

 

 

  • REGIONAL RELIEF & RECOVERY FUND (RRRF) – Federal Government
    • Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) will provide eligible small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with an interest-free repayable contribution of up to $40,000 to help alleviate financial hardship resulting from COVID-19. The objective of this program is to assist western Canadian SMEs that do not qualify for the Canadian Emergency Business Account (CEBA) program, the “RRRF – Community Futures Stream,” or the “RRRF – Women’s Enterprise Initiative Stream.”

 

  • SELF-ISOLATION PROGRAMGovernment of Saskatchewan
    The program will provide $450 per week, for a maximum of two weeks or $900.  The program is targeted at Saskatchewan residents forced to self-isolate that are not covered by recent federally announced employment insurance programs and other supports. The program is designed to ensure that all Saskatchewan residents are covered by either a federal or provincial program to ensure no one is faced with choosing to work instead of protecting their family and community from COVID-19 by self-isolating. This will mostly benefit self-employed residents of Saskatchewan.

 

  • BUSINESS CREDIT AVAILABILITY PROGRAMExport Development Canada and Business Development Bank of Canada
    • Provides $10 billion of additional funding to Canadian businesses facing economic challenges brought on by COVID-19.
    • Helps Canadian businesses in all sectors and regions gain access to credit through EDC, BDC and private sector lenders.
    • The short-term credit available to farmers and the agri-food sector will also be increased through Farm Credit Canada.
    • Note: Businesses must go to their current bank first, then that bank will refer the business to the BCAP only if the bank is not able to help them. Businesses that are already a BDC client, can contact their Account Manager for information on BCAP.

 

  • CO-LENDING PROGRAM – Federal Government – Business Development Bank of Canada
    • Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) together with financial institutions will offer co-lend term loans to SMEs for their operational cash flow requirements.
    • Eligible businesses may obtain incremental credit amounts up to $6.25 million BDC’s portion of this program is up to $5 million maximum per loan.
    • Eligible financial institutions will conduct the underwriting and manage the interface with their customers.
    • Businesses should contact their financial institution to determine whether this program is a good fit for their needs.

 

  • WORK SHARE PROGRAMFederal Government
    • For workers who agree to reduce their normal working hour as a result of developments beyond the control of their employers. Changes to the program are:
      • Program has extended from 38 weeks to 76 weeks.
      • Businesses must be in operation for 1 year
      • Retroactive to March 15, 2020.  For the month of March businesses must demonstrate a 15% loss in revenue.  For the months of April & May businesses must demonstrate a 30% loss in revenue.
      • For more information on the federal updates to this program provided on April 8, 2020, please click HERE.

 

  •  SUPPLEMENTAL UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFIT PROGRAM (SUB)Federal Government
    • Provide supplemental payments to Employment Insurance (EI) benefits during a period of unemployment due to: temporary stoppage of work, training or illness, injury or quarantine.
    • Employers use SUB plans to increase the employee’s weekly earnings during periods of unemployment.
    • Payments from registered plans are not deducted from the employee’s EI benefits.
    • Payments under a registered SUB plan are not considered as insurable earnings; therefore, EI premiums are not deducted.

 

  • CROWN UTILITY INTEREST DEFERRAL PROGRAMGovernment of Saskatchewan
    • The Government of Saskatchewan is waiving interest on late bill payments for up to six months. Interest on late bill payments will be waived for up to six months.
    • This program is available to all crown utility customers.

 

  • PST REMITTANCEGovernment of Saskatchewan
    • Businesses that are unable to file their provincial tax return(s) by the due date may submit a request for relief from penalty and interest charges on the return(s) affected.
  • SASKATCHEWAN WORKERS’ COMPENSATION BOARD (WCB)

    • Effective April 1 until June 30, 2020, the WCB will waive penalties and interest charges for late premium payments.
    • Forgiving interest and penalties for late payments on 2020 premiums applied in the month of March.
    • Prioritizing employer payroll revisions to help employers reduce their premiums.
    • Suspending payroll audits until further notice except in situations where an employer may be eligible for a refund.
  • SMALL BUSINESS EMERGENCY CONTINUITY GRANT PROGRAM – SREDA
    •  This program provides grans of up to $5,000 to small businesses located in the Saskatoon region.
    • Applications are now open with deadline of April 6th at 12pm.
    • ***THIS PROGRAM IS NOW CLOSED***

 

 

 

  • CHANGES TO EMPLOYMENT STANDARD REGULATIONSGovernment of Saskatchewan
    In addition to changes made to the Saskatchewan Employment Act that introduced a new unpaid public health emergency leave and removed the 13-week employment requirement to access sick leave and the requirement for a doctor’s note to access sick leave, The Employment Standard Regulations have been amended to:

    • Ensure that during a public emergency, businesses will not have to provide notice or pay in lieu of notice when they lay-off staff if it is for a period of 12 weeks or less in a 16-week period.
    • If an employer lays off employees periodically for a total of more than 12 weeks in a 16-week period, the employees are considered to be terminated and are entitled to pay instead of notice as outlined in the Act. This will be calculated from the date on which the employee was laid off.

PROFESSIONAL ADVICE

Legal Advice:

  • The W Law Group (offices in Warman & Martensville)
    • Stephen Nicholson (306) 665-9508