Business Aid - COVID-19

Government COVID-19 Financial Programs for Businesses

(revised of as March 28th, 2020)CDN dollars

Bank of Canada Rates

The Bank of Canada has made a second unscheduled cut to its benchmark interest rate, lowering it to 0.25 percent amid the COVID-19 crisis. This overnight lending rate is what the bank charges for short-term loans between retail banks, but it impacts the rates that Canadian consumers get from their banks on things like savings accounts and variable rate loans. As of March 30, most of the big banks will offer a prime rate of 2.45%.


As of March 30, most of the big banks will offer a prime rate of 2.45%.

Government of Canada

Federal updates as of March 27, 2020

  1. INCOME TAX - The deadline for businesses to pay any income tax amounts that become owing or due after March 18, 2020, and before September 1, 2020, has been extended to September 1, 2020. This means you will not be assessed any penalties or interest if your balance due is paid by September 1, 2020. This relief would apply to tax balances due, as well as installments, under Part I of the Income Tax Act. No interest or penalties will accumulate on these amounts during this period.
  2. WAGE SUBSIDIES – The federal government announced a 75% wage subsidy for qualifying businesses, for up to 3 months, retroactive to March 15, 2020. The Temporary Wage Subsidy for Employers will allow eligible employers to reduce the amount of payroll deductions required to be remitted to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). More details on this program are expected on Monday, March 30. 

    What we know right now is:

    * Employers will get a subsidy of up to 75%* if they continue to pay their employees during the COVID crisis.

    * The Canada Revenue Agency seems to be running the program by having employers take the subsidy out of the money they usually have to send to the government each month for the income tax, EI and CPP that they have to deduct from your paycheque but that may change with a 75% subsidy.

    * Eligible employers are small corporations, non-profits, and charities but check for changes coming on March 30.

  3. BUSINESS CREDIT AVAILABILITY PROGRAM – was established to provide more than $10 billion of additional support, largely targeted to small and medium-sized businesses, through the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) and Export Development Canada (EDC). BDC and EDC are cooperating with private-sector lenders to coordinate on credit solutions for individual businesses. As a first step, businesses in need of credit support should contact their financial institution.
  4. GUARANTEES ON LOANS - Export Development Canada (EDC) is offering their bank a guarantee on loans of up to $5 million. For more details, contact your financial institution.
  5. WORK-SHARING PROGRAM – The federal government is extending the maximum duration of the Work-Sharing program from 38 weeks to 76 weeks. The Work-Sharing program is offered to workers who agree to reduce their normal working hours because of developments beyond the control of their employers.
  6. CANADA EMERGENCY BUSINESS ACCOUNT (NEW PROGRAM) - a new loan program, that will be implemented by eligible financial institutions in cooperation with Export Development Canada (EDC). This $25 billion program will 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.  To qualify, these organizations will need to demonstrate they paid between $50,000 to $1 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).
  7. LOAN GUARANTEE FOR SMALL AND MEDIUM-SIZED ENTERPRISES (NEW) - Export Development Canada is working with financial institutions so that they can issue new operating credit and cash flow term loans of up to $6.25 million to SMEs. Businesses should contact their financial institution to determine whether this program is a good fit for their needs.
  8. CO-LENDING PROGRAM FOR SMALL AND MEDIUM-SIZED ENTERPRISES (NEW) - will bring the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) together with financial institutions to co-lend term loans to SMEs for their operational cash flow requirements. Through the Co-Lending Program, eligible businesses may obtain incremental credit amounts of up to $6.25 million through the program.
  9. DEFERRAL OF SALES TAX REMITTANCE AND CUSTOMS DUTY PAYMENTS – The federal government will allow businesses, including self-employed individuals, to defer until June 30, 2020 payments of the Goods and Services Tax / Harmonized Sales Tax (GST/HST), as well as customs duties owing on their imports.  The deferral will apply to GST/HST remittances for the February, March and April 2020 reporting periods for monthly filers; January 1, 2020, through March 31, 2020 reporting period for quarterly filers; and for annual filers, the amounts collected and owing for their previous fiscal year and installments of GST/HST in respect of the filer’s current fiscal year.  For GST and customs duty payments for imported goods, the deferral will include amounts owing for March, April, and May.  These amounts were normally due to be submitted to the Canada Revenue Agency and the Canada Border Services Agency as early as the end of this month.

Province of Ontario

From Ontario’s Economic and Fiscal update March 25, 2020 

  • INTEREST PENALTY RELIEF - $6 billion made available by providing five months of interest and penalty relief for businesses to file and make payments for the majority of provincially administered taxes.
  • EDUCATION PROPERTY TAXES - $1.8 billion made available by deferring the upcoming June 30 quarterly municipal remittance of education property tax to school boards by 90 days, which will provide municipalities the flexibility to, in turn, provide property tax deferrals to residents and businesses, while ensuring school boards continue to receive their funding.
  • WORKPLACE SAFETY AND INSURANCE BOARD - $1.9 billion made available by allowing employers to defer payments for up to six months.

COVID 19 graphic


  • This collection of information has been compiled as a quick reference. Do not make financial decisions based on this info without confirming all information with federal and provincial sources. 
  • takes no responsibility for the accuracy or currency of this info. It is provided as a courtesy and should not be considered as a primary source of information for any decisions including financial ones.
  • Supplemental and source information can be found by clicking on the titles.