What has the Government of Canada reported as far as support for Business Owners with the effects of COVID-19. The total package thus far will be an $82 billion response package for Canadians. 

Here is what we know so far as well as other areas to consider. We will continue to update as more details are known and programs are available.  It is good to see that it is not only employees that will receive the support but also those who do not qualify for Employment Insurance as well as business owners. Here's the Economic Response Plan:

Canada Emergency Response Benefit  

The Canada Emergency Response Benefit application will be available Monday April 6, 2020.  Government of Canada is asking however that Canadians apply on a certain date according to when your birthday month is.  

The application will be available online Monday April 6, 2020 and through a toll free number as well.

What's the Benefit Amount

The benefit amount is $2,000 per month for 4 months and Canadians can expect to receive their income within 10 days of application.  The benefit is eligible to be paid from March 15, 2020, until October 3, 2020

How to Apply

1.    Online in early April

2.    Automated Telephone Line

3.    Toll-Free Number

If you are still able to perform your work from home and can earn an income this benefit will not be available. It is there for those self-employed business owners who cannot go to work and cannot earn an income. 


Wage Subsidy 

An update to the wage subsidy came out March 27, 2020 indicating that the previous 10% subsidy offer was not enough.  This was following meeting with the G20 and realizing the support other countries were providing small business. It was stated that the government will cover up to 75% for small business payroll, interest free loans (see Government Loan section)  and changes to GST (see GST section).

This will accomplish two things.  Gives the Employee some job security knowing that the business still plans to be there when times become normal.  It will also take the strain off the system having less people apply for Employment Insurance.

There will be information release early next week.  We look forward to hearing how it can help.

GST Deferral

It was stated March 27, 2020 that Trudeau will defer GST remittances until June 30, 2020 with no interest accrual.  Here is the schedule base on your filing period

  • Those filing Monthly for collections February, March and April will be due June 30, 2020
  • Those filing Quarterly for collections January 1 to March 31 will be due June 30, 2020
  • Those filing Annually for collections from the prior year will be due June 30, 2020


The Federal Government has also announced a $10 Billion enhance credit funding. In talking to small business owners utilizing this program is not a first go to. Most business owners fear to get into more debt and this is a big uncertainty to them. If they get through this, figuring out how to pay that debt off afterwards is just as much of a concern to them.

Tax Deferral 

Another expense that can be delayed for business owners is one of their biggest expense and that is the income tax. CRA is allowing for an August 31, 2020 deadline for taxes due effective now and before September 2020.

What does this mean effective now? The majority of corporations have a December 31 corporate year-end. If your business qualifies for the Small Business deduction your taxes under normal circumstances would be due March 31, 2020, this is 3 months after your year-end. If you are a January 31 year-end, your tax is due April 30th and so on.   This announcement means that tax payments are not due until August 31, 2020.

Government Lending – Canada Emergency Business Account

The Federal Government has also announced enhance credit funding.  In talking to small business owners utilizing this program is not a first go to.  Most business owners fear getting into more debt and this is a big uncertainty to them.  If they get through this, figuring out how to pay that debt off afterwards is just as much of a concern to them.

The new release on March 27 2020 indicated there would be business loans up to $40,000 and will be interest free for one year.  The details of the criteria to qualify are not yet known and we look forward to hearing how to apply.

What to do now? 

  1. Get a clear picture of your business monthly expenses for the next 3 months 
  2. Contact all your financial institutions to apply for their relief program 
  3. Make decisions regarding employee layoffs and benefit plans 
  4. Apply for the programs offered by the Economic Response Plan 
  5. Determine what Fixed Expenses should remain and which could be suspended or cancelled 
  6. Suspend all Variable spending 
  7. Complete the Cash Flow exercise below and Relief program applications for the business owner`s matters to determine how much the business needs to pay you for the next 3 months
  8. Delay paying corporate taxes 

Here is an example of a Business Owner expending $80,300 month on Business Expenses before COVID-19 and a plan to get the expenses down to $6,000 - $12,000 month. Although not perfect and not without many hours on the phone it can be done. There is a lot of anxious business owners out there wondering how they will survive. It is possible and you are very important to our economy. 

What`s everyone else doing:

Most business owners are faced to make very difficult decisions. Many business owners are being forced to lay off an employee and are striving to hold onto key managers and utilize the programs such as the Wage subsidy to keep key employees on the payroll. For how long they can do this is unknown. 

In talking with employees being laid off from a stable thriving company before this pandemic feel that job security is there for them when this all settles out. The business that might be hurt for the long term and might need to close their doors for good is feeling uncertain during this time. During this time, it`s important to survive and persevere through this and show up full throttle when this is over. 

Canadians are all concerned about their own business and families but the government of Canada is also concerned for everyone. They are doing what they can during this time to have Canada as a whole survive.