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COVID-19 Programs and Measures – Self-employed workers | Employees

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Consult this updated directory of key programs intended for self-employed workers and employees to help them through the COVID-19 pandemic.

  1. Federal government
  2. Provincial government
  3. Municipal government (Montréal)
  4. Private sector
  5. Other resources

Federal government

Bridge Financing Program

Business Development Bank of Canada

The Bridge Program provides eligible companies with financing in the form of a convertible note to match a current financing round being raised through qualified investors into Canadian start-up companies.

Eligibility criteria: 

  • Must be Canadian incorporated with Canadian operations and senior management residing in Canada.
  • Have previously raised at least $500,000 and be specifically impacted by COVID-19.
  • Be part of traditional high-growth venture-capital backed industries. 
  • Have at least one qualified investor investing in the round being matched by BDC.

Interested companies must first speak to their investors.

For more information, please write to programrelaisCR@bdc.ca.

Conditions apply.

COVID-19 Emergency Loan Program for Canadians Abroad

Government of Canada

The COVID-19 Emergency Loan Program for Canadians Abroad was introduced to help Canadians with no source of financing to come home.

Canadians and some Canadian permanent residents abroad who are directly affected by the impact of the COVID-19 can request a repayable emergency loan to help them return to Canada. To apply, contact:

or

Some conditions apply.

Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA)

Ministère des Finances

The Canada Emergency Business Account will make $80,000 available to eligible Canadian businesses in the form of an interest-free loan.

Every business could receive up to $60,000 to pay operating costs during the crisis. This loan will be supplemented by a second loan of $20,000 for those who were more impacted by the pandemic.

Businesses should contact their financial institution to request the loan and show that they paid between $20,000 and $1.5 million in total payroll in 2019 or that they have non-deferrable expenses.

Repayment of the balance of the loan at the latest by December 31, 2022 will generate a writeoff of 25% of the loan, up to $10,000.

Businesses have until June 30, 2021 to apply.

For more details, the list of participating financial institutions and complet admission criteria, visit program's website.

Some conditions apply.

Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)

Government of Canada

The Canada emergency response benefit (CERB) has ended.

  • Retroactive applications for period 7 (August 30 to September 26, 2020) are still accepted.
  • New recovery benefits are available betwen September 27, 2020 and September 25, 2021.

Some conditions apply.


Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB)

Canada Revenue Agency (CRA)

The CRB, along with the CRCB and the CRSB, follows on the CERB, which has now ended.

The CRB offers eligible workers a weekly income of $500.

If your situation continues past 2 weeks, you will need to apply again. You may apply up to a total of 19 eligibility periods (38 weeks) between September 27, 2020 and September 25, 2021.

To be eligible, workers must, in part:

  • Not be an employee or self-employed worker during the period covered by the application (or have had a drop in income of 50% or more);
  • Have not received one of the other income benefits available (see the list on the program website);
  • Not be eligible for employment insurance;
  • Reside and be present in Canada;
  • Have earned at least $5,000 in 2019, in 2020, or in the 12 months preceding the date of the application.

Some conditions apply.

Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB)

Canada Revenue Agency (CRA)

The CRCB, along with the CRB and the CRSB, follows on the CERB, which has now ended.

The CRCB offers eligible workers who are caregivers weekly income of $500.

If your situation continues past 1 week, you will need to apply again. Each household may apply up to a total of 38 weeks between September 27, 2020 and September 25, 2021.

To be eligible, the caregiver must, in part:

  • Be unable to work at least 50% of their work week because they are caring for a family member;
  • Be caring for a child under 12 years old or a family member whose school, daycare, or care establishment is closed because of COVID-19 or because that person is suffering from COVID-19, is in quarantine, or is at risk of serious complications;
  • Have not received one of the other income benefits available (see the list on the program website);
  • Not be on paid leave for this period;
  • Have earned at least $5,000 in 2019, in 2020, or in the 12 months preceding the date of the application;
  • Reside and be present in Canada.

Some conditions apply.

Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB)

Canada Revenue Agency (CRA)

The CRSB, along with the CRB and the CRCB, follows on the CERB, which has now ended.

The CRSB offers eligible workers a weekly income of $500.

If your situation continues past 1 week, you will need to apply again. You may apply up to a total of 4 weeks between September 27, 2020 and September 25, 2021. You cannot apply for periods that are closed.

To be eligible, workers must, in part:

  • Be unable to work for at least 50% of the week because they may or do have COVID-19, they have received the recommendation to self-isolate, or they are at risk of serious complications in case of contagion;
  • Have not received one of the other income benefits available (see the list on the program website);
  • Not receive paid leave for this period;
  • Have earned at least $5,000 in 2019, in 2020, or in the 12 months preceding the date of the application;
  • Reside and be present in Canada.

Some conditions apply.

Canada emergency wage subsidy

Government of Canada

The federal government will make available to eligible businesses a wage subsidy to cover up to 75% of salaries.

This subsidy, for a maximum period of six months, retroactive from March 15, 2020 until June, 2021 is designed to help businesses retain or rehire their employees.

Eligibility critirea for employers:

  • Being an eligible employer;
  • Having experienced an eligible reduction in revenue; and
  • Having had a CRA payroll account on March 15, 2020.

Calculate your subsidy amount here.

To view the changes made to the CEWS, click here.

Some conditions apply.

FCC Advancer

Farm Credit Canada

If you are a Canadian agri-food or agricultural entrepreneur with a growing operation, you could be eligible for an FCC Advancer.

Some of the benefits:

  • Funds readvanced with no paperwork;
  • Lower payments than with a regular loan;
  • Ability to set your own interest rate.

Loan features:

  • Renewable, pre-approved loan;
  • Open variable rate;
  • Ongoing re-advance of funds;
  • Ability to make only interest payments;
  • Guarantee negotiated in advance.

Some conditions apply.

FCC line of credit

Farm Credit Canada

If you are a Canadian agri-food or agricultural entrepreneur, you could have access to an FCC line of credit to meet your cash flow requirements.

Some of the benefits:

  • Release of funds and consultation of information through your online account;
  • Immediate access to working capital;
  • Loan renewal based on your production cycle.

Loan features:

  • Renewable, pre-approved loan;
  • Open variable rate;
  • Ongoing re-advance of funds;
  • Ability to make only interest payments;
  • Monthly statements;
  • No guarantee required.

Some conditions apply.

Insured Mortgage Purchase Program (IMPP)

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation - CMHC

As part of this program, the government is prepared to buy up to $150 billion in insured mortgage pools through the CMHC.

Eligibility for the NHA MBS:

  • All NHA MBS maturing on or before the maturity date indicated on the web site.

Participation rules:

Some conditions apply.

Purchase Order Financing

Business Development Bank of Canada

Do you want to take advantage of new business opportunities, but are short on cash? Receive financing for up to 90% of the purchase order.

Purchase order financing is the ideal solution for:

  • Accepting major contracts;
  • Preserving your line of credit and your working capital;
  • Extending your activities to national and international markets.

Advantages for your company:

  • Flexible terms adapted to the terms of the purchase order;
  • Payment in Canadian or American dollars;
  • Building trust with your clients and suppliers;
  • Peace of mind.

Conditions apply.

Temporary wage subsidy for employers

Government of Canada

Take advantage of a wage subsidy equal to 10% of compensation paid from March 18, 2020 to June 20, 2020, up to $1,375 per employee and a maximum of $25,000 per employer.

Eligibility:

  • You are a or an:
    • individual (excluding trusts);
    • partnership; 
    • non-profit organization;
    • registered charitable organization; or
    • Canadian-controlled private corporation (CCPC) (including a cooperative corporation) eligible for the small business deduction.
  • You have a business number and a payroll program account with the Agency as of March 18, 2020;
  • You have paid a salary, stipend, bonuses or other compensation to an employee from March18 to June 19, 2020.

Some conditions apply.

Tourism Relief Fund - Quebec

Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions

The Tourism Relief Fund enables Canadian tourism businesses and organizations to attract more visitors by creating new or enhanced services and products and by improving positioning among foreign visitors.

Contributions to businesses will take the form of non-repayable contributions of up to $100,000 (50% of eligible costs) or repayable contributions of up to $500,000 (75% of eligible costs).

A company cannot receive both types of contributions.

Not-for-profit organizations and Indigenous entities (that do not generate profits) will be eligible for non-repayable contributions.

Eligible Applicants :

  • Businesses;
  • Not-for-profit organizations (e.g. tourism associations);
  • Band Councils (or other Indigenous organizations and cooperatives).

Eligibility Criteria (meet at least one of the criteria):

  • Be a key provider or operator in the visitor experience;
  • Be part of a defined tourism cluster or tourism dependent community;
  • Provide an anchor product or service in a tourism destination.

Conditions apply.

Work sharing program – Temporary special measures in response to the slowdown in activities due to COVID-19

Government of Canada

During the COVID-19 pandemic, all Work-Sharing agreements fall under the COVID-19 temporary special measures. The Government of Canada has extended these measures to September 26, 2021. During the Special Measures, there are changes to this program and this page is not accurate at the moment.

Consult the Work-Sharing Program – COVID-19

Temporary special work sharing (WS) measures for workers and employers are in effect March 15, 2020 to March 14, 2021.

Eligibility:

You are experiencing a slowdown in commercial activities because of the global COVID-19 epidemic and have WS agreements:

  • Signed between March 15, 2020 and March 14, 2021;
  • That started or ended between March 15, 2020 and March 14, 2021;
  • That ended between June 23, 2019 and March 14, 2020 and that are in a mandatory waiting period.

applicant guide available here.

Some conditions apply.

Work sharing program – Temporary special measures in response to the slowdown of activities in the forestry sector due to COVID-19

Government of Canada

During the COVID-19 pandemic, all Work-Sharing agreements fall under the COVID-19 temporary special measures. The Government of Canada has extended these measures to September 26, 2021. During the Special Measures, there are changes to this program and this page is not accurate at the moment.

Consult the Work-Sharing Program – COVID-19

Temporary special work sharing (WS) measures for workers and employers in the forestry sector are in effect July 30, 2017 to March 28, 2020.

Eligibility:

Your company has been directly or indirectly affected by the slowdown in the forestry sector and you have:

  • Signed a work sharing agreement that ended between October 30, 2016 and July 29, 2017;
  • Entered into a work sharing agreement that was or will be signed between July 30, 2017 and March 28, 2020 (the date of the start of the agreement should be no later than March 29, 2020); or
  • Entered into a work sharing agreement that will start or end between July 30, 2017 and March 28, 2020.

Applicant guide available here.

Some conditions apply.

Work sharing program – Temporary special measures in response to the slowdown of activities in the steel and aluminium sector due to COVID-19

Government of Canada

During the COVID-19 pandemic, all Work-Sharing agreements fall under the COVID-19 temporary special measures. The Government of Canada has extended these measures to September 26, 2021. During the Special Measures, there are changes to this program and this page is not accurate at the moment.

Consult the Work-Sharing Program – COVID-19

Temporary special work sharing (WS) measures for workers and employers in the steel and aluminium sector are in effect August 19, 2018 to March 27, 2021.

Eligibility:

Your company has been directly or indirectly affected by the slowdown in the steel and aluminium sector and you have:

  • Signed a work sharing agreement that ended between November 25, 2017 and August 18, 2018;
  • Entered into a work sharing agreement that was or will be signed between August 19, 2018 and March 27, 2021 (the date of the start of the agreement should be no later than March 28, 2021); or
  • Entered into a work sharing agreement that will start or end between August 19, 2018 and March 27, 2021.

Applicant guide available here

Some conditions apply.

Working Capital Loan

Business Development Bank of Canada

Get your operations back to their pre-pandemic level. Receive up to $2 million to cover your operational activities to increase sales, stimulate revenue growth or support your recovery plan.

Principal payments for this loan can be postponed for the first 12 months. Thereafter, they can be made according to a flexible schedule.

Eligibility requirements:

  • Your business has been impacted by COVID-19;
  • Your business was stable and financially viable prior to the pandemic;
  • You have a plan in place that demonstrates the effectiveness of this loan in adjusting your business;
  • The loan is for the maintenance or recovery of your business.

Conditions apply.

Federal measures

Provincial government

Local investment fund (LIF)

Ministère de l'Économie et de l'Innovation

WARNING! 

A SIX-MONTH MORATORY HAS BEEN ESTABLISHED FOR THE REPAYMENT (CAPITAL AND INTEREST) OF THE LOANS ALREADY GRANTED BY THE INTERMEDIARY OF THE FLI.  THIS MORATORY MAY BE EXTENDED BY SIX MONTHS FROM OCTOBRE 1ST, 2020.

If you are starting or expanding a business, you could be eligible for financing in the form of various types of loans or loan guarantees.

Loans can cover eligible expenses such as:

  • Capital expenditures
  • Technology acquisition
  • Working capital for operations

You could get an interest-free loan to help you acquire at least 25% of an existing rural business that you plan to take over.

COVID-19: $40 million budget from Fondaction for Quebec SMEs in the agri-food sector

Fondaction

Over the next year, Fondaction will make available to Quebec SMEs in the agri-food sector $40 million in funding to ensure their vitality.

Main eligibility criteria:

  • Profitability before the crisis
  • Strong prospects for growth
  • Solid management team

Business that would like to benefit from this funding should complete a form.They will be contacted by Fondaction’s investment experts who will evaluate their application and discuss flexible, personalized solutions.

It should also be noted that Fondaction has made its funding offer more flexible for projects of $500,000 or more.

Some conditions apply.

Financing from the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec

The CDPQ is making available to Quebec companies affected by measures to limit the spread of COVID-19 additional financial aid of $4 billion.

To be eligible, businesses must meet the following criteria:

  • have been profitable before the start of the COVID-19 crisis;
  • have a promising outlook for growth in their sector;
  • be seeking financing of over $5 million.

Some conditions apply.

Regional Tourism Partnership Agreement (EPRT)

The Government of Québec has renewed the 2016-2020 EPRT for 2020-2021 and 2021-2022 to support tourism businesses suffering the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and to stimulate the economy of different regions through tourism benefits.

4 parts of the EPRT:

  • Support for tourism SMEs for the opening of the 2020 season (part 1)
  • Support for collective projects among tourism SMEs to adapt to the new health realities (part 2)
  • Support for development and structuring projects for the tourism offer (part 3)
  • Support for strategic downtown tourism businesses for Quebec tourism gateways (part 4)

Eligible businesses:

For-profit organizations;

  • NPOs;
  • Cooperatives;
  • Municipalities;
  • Indigenous communities, businesses, nations and organizations;
  • Sector, regional and representative tourism associations.

Financial aid, in the form of a non-repayable grant, varies by region and category of project.

For application dates, contact your regional tourism association(In French only)

Some conditions apply.

Temporary aid program for music and variety show performances

Société de développement des entreprises culturelles (SODEC)

This program is designed to compensate for revenue losses for artistic performances that were scheduled between October 1, 2020 and March 31, 2021 and that have been cancelled or postponed because of government public safety guidelines.

Eligibility conditions:

  • Be a company legally constituted whose primary activities are presenting music and variety shows;
  • Have a head office and main place of business in Quebec.

For complete details about the program: Program Guide ​(French only)

Some conditions apply.

The SADC de Papineau-Collines Exceptional Support Measures for Small Businesses

SMEs in the RCM of Papineau, the RCM of Collines-de-l’Outaouais and Basse-Lièvre affected by the COVID-19 pandemic can benefit from flexible loans between $5,000 and $60,000 on advantageous terms offered by the Société d’aide au développement des collectivités (SADC) de Papineau-Collines through the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF PDC).

Some conditions apply.

Provincial measures

  • July 13 – Update – Emergency Assistance for Small and Medium-Sized Businesses (COVID-19):
    • Applications for financial assistance submitted under the PAUPME can be submitted not later than four weeks after the health emergency is lifted.
    • Enterprises in the tourism sector can submit applications under the ACEST section within the same time frame or four weeks after the full opening of the Canada-US border, whichever date is later.
    • The moratorium on the repayment of principal and interest related to the financial assistance granted under the AERAM section of the PAUPME has been extended until November 30, 2021.
  • August 2 – Enhanced Recovery Grant Program - More support for Québec women entrepreneurs in response to COVID-19 issues (in French only)

  • August 24 – COVID-19 vaccination passport
    • How the vaccine passport works
    • QR code on paper (business-card)
    • VaxiCode and VaxiCode Verif applications
    • Protection status
    • QR codes for exemptions
    • QR code for participants in the Medicago Inc. clinical study
    • Instructions for travellers to Québec
    • Difference between proof of vaccination and the vaccination passport
  • September 7 – Full vaccination (2 doses) required for health care workers by October 15. Workers who are not properly vaccinated by this date will be suspended without pay.

  • September – Vaccination passport: With the grace period over, merchants who do not request proof of vaccination from their customers are now subject to fines of $1,000 to $6,000.

Municipal government (Montréal)

City of Laval’s COVID-19 loan

The City of Laval’s COVID-19 term loan offers eligible businesses financial assistance of up to $100,000 to cover their working capital costs.

Main eligibility criteria:

  • Apply for a minimum loan amount of $25,000
  • Operate in an eligible sector and offer B2B services or products
  • Have a Beacon score above 650
  • Have been in operation for more than 2 years
  • Was financially healthy before the current crisis

Main documents to be submitted:

  • Financial statements for the last 3 years and the current year
  • Business owner’s personal balance sheet and credit record
  • Cash budget for the next 12 months

To make an appointment, contact the Service du développement économique:

Some conditions apply. 

Municipal measures (Montréal)

Private sector

Business assistance – Temporary support for working capital – COVID-19

Société de développement des entreprises culturelles (SODEC)

SODEC is offering financial assistance in the form of revolving credit, a term loan or a loan guarantee of between $10,000 and $2,000,000.

Main eligibility criteria for the company:

  • Have its head office in Quebec and demonstrate that it is primarily controlled by people whose tax residence is in Quebec.
  • Have been in operation for at least one year.
  • Be experiencing uncertainty and temporary difficulties due to COVID-19.
  • Demonstrate that the company’s financial structure has good potential for profitability.

Conditions apply.

DEL's COVID-19 Loan

DEL's COVID-19 Loan offers eligible businesses located (or that plan to be located) in the DEL region with a term loan of up to $100,000 (repayable in 12 months) at an interest rate of 6% to provide them with the working capital they need to get through the current crisis.

Main eligibility criteria:

  • Apply for a minimum loan of $25,000.
  • Be legally constituted.
  • Operate in an eligible industry and offer B2B services.
  • Have a Beacon credit score that is greater than 750.
  • Submit a project with demonstrated economic benefits in terms of maintaining jobs.

Main documents to be submitted:

  • Financial statements for the last 3 years and the current year.
  • Entrepreneur’s personal financial statement and credit report.
  • A cash budget for the next 12 months.

Conditions apply.

Emergency financial aid from the AFC

The AFC offers financial support to meet basic needs for two to three weeks following the application.

To access it, you must:

  • Be eligible professionally;
  • Show an immediate financial need;
  • Explore all other avenues for support;
  • Provide the documentation required.

Note that this assistance is for people in the greatest need, i.e. people without the funds in their bank to pay their bills (rent, mortgage, food, utilities, insurance, etc.).

To submit an application, please complete the AFC application form and send it to contact@AFChelps.ca.

Some conditions apply. 

FCC – COVID-19 support program

Farm Credit Canada

The FCC – COVID-19 support program has two components:

1. Deferral program for payments and credit line 

  • Deferral of principal and interest payments for up to six months for existing loans;
  • Deferral of principal payments for up to 12 months;
  • Access to an additional credit line of up to $500,000.

2. Term loans for eligible clients 

  • Term loan of a maximum of $2.5 million, with no fees, with an interest-only payment option for 18 months and a maximum amortization of 10 years.

For more information, please contact your local office or call the Customer Service Centre at 1 888 332-3301.

Some conditions apply.

Fondation des artistes aid

The Fondation des artistes offers financial support to artists whose professional activities have been disrupted by the pandemic.

To access the aid, complete the application form for your profession:

and send all supporting documents requested to accueil@fondationdesartistes.ca

Some conditions apply.

MTL Resto Relief Fund

If you work at a Montréal restaurant, bar or café and you need monetary support to meet your urgent financial obligations, you can apply to the MTL Resto Relief Fund.

Some conditions apply.

SOCAN emergency aid program

The SOCAN has put in place a $2 million emergency aid program to help its members.

The financial aid is intended primarily for songwriters and screen composers affected by the crisis, particularly those whose shows have been cancelled or TV and film productions suspended.

The program takes the form of emergency advances on royalties.

Members who would like to submit an application can do so at

  • 1-866-307-6226

or

Some conditions apply.

Shopify Capital Funding

Shopify has launched a program for loans of up to $500,000 to support small businesses during the COVID-19 crisis.

This program is solely for Shopify clients.

Loans will be reimbursed from future sales.

For more information, connect to your Shopify account.

Some conditions apply.

Temporary assistance in the audiovisual sector (film and television)

Société de développement des entreprises culturelles (SODEC)

This SODEC assistance program, the goal of which is to relaunch the film and television industry, has two components:

  1. Assistance to maintain production capacity in the audiovisual sector
  2. Temporary pilot component (shoot interruption because of COVID-19)

The two components are designed to combat the effects of production stoppages due to the pandemic. The first component is for productions stopped because of government measures, and the second is for productions stopped because of an infection on the team.

Consult full details for the program and its two components here ​(French only)

Some conditions apply.

Private sector measures

Other resources

You can also consult our other directories of programs not related to COVID-19.

For any inquiries, please contact our information agents.

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