Personal and Business COVID-19 Crisis Management Resource Guide

Below are resources, actions steps and links to help you and your businesses navigate through these nexts months as we learn what the long term impact COVID-19 will have on our lives and livelihoods.

Employment Insurance (EI)

Overview

• If you are self-employed, you can apply for sickness benefits if you’ve had to be in quarantine

• However, self-employed persons must register or be registered with the Canadian Employment Insurance Commission (CEIC) to participate in the EI program and be eligible for sickness benefits

• Self-employed applicants have to have been registered with the CEIC for 12 months before being eligible for EI

• Currently, the medical certificate requirement for EI is being waived

• If you qualify for sickness benefits, the 1 week waiting period is also being waived

• EI payments may be backdated from 15 March 2020 depending on the applicant’s personal circumstances

Application Steps

1. Gather supporting documents

– Record of Employment (ROE)

– *Medical certificate — not necessary if the applicant has been asked to self-isolate or quarantine

2. Complete online application: https://www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/ei/ei-regularbenefit/apply.html

Requirements

o The names and address of your employers in the last year

o Dates employed with each employer and the reason(s) you are not longer employed

o Personal information, including: mailing address, Social Insurance Number (SIN), banking information (transit number, branch number, and account number)

– Once the online application is completed, the applicant must call the COVID-19 EI hotline 1-833-381-2725

3. Provide supporting documents

– The applicant should visit their My Service Canada Account to view ROEs that have been provided by past and current employers

– It is also possible to have a paper copy ROE filled out by a current employer and mail it in

4. Received access code by mail

– Service Canada will mail the applicant a benefit statement, which includes a 4-digit access code

– This code is required, along with the applicant’s SIN, to obtain updates about the EI application

5. Review application status

– Biweekly employment reports are required for the applicant to continue to receive benefits once they have been initiated

– These reports are to be completed online:

https://www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/ei/ei-internet-reporting.htm

Emergency Care Benefit

Overview

• If you do not qualify for EI, you may apply for an Emergency Care Benefit

• The Benefit provides up to $900 every two weeks for up to 15 weeks

• Retroactive payments from 15 March 2020 will be available, depending upon the applicant’s personal circumstances

• Applications for this Benefit will not be available until April 2020

• The applications are to be made through the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) website, here:

https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency.html

Tax Breaks

Personal Taxes

• The return filing date for personal income taxes is deferred until 1 June 2020

• Tax deferral will also be allowed for the payment of any income tax amounts that become owing on or after today and before September 2020 (tax payments may be deferred until after 31 August 2020)

Business Taxes

• The CRA is allowing all businesses to defer the payment of any income tax amounts that become owing on or after today and before September 2020 (no interest or penalties will accumulate during that period)

Mortgage Payment Deferrals

**Please see previous Blog Post outlining specific lender responses and contact numbers!

Major Canadian Banks, Credit Unions, and Monolines

• Lenders and insurers have confirmed that they will support up to six-month deferrals for mortgages

• Banks will also provide opportunities for relief on other credit products

• To arrange a mortgage payment deferral, you must contact your lender directly

•• Call your mortgage company directly to inquire as to what deferral options they intend to offer

• It is important that a call is made before a mortgage payment is missed

• Many mortgage companies offer a “skip-a-payment” options, which allows for 1 or more payments to be deferred with any negative effects on one’s credit rating

Wage Subsidies

Overview

• The Canadian Government has announced a 10% wage subsidy that small business can receive to cope with the COVID-19 crisis

• The subsidy will allow a maximum of $1,375 per employee, up to $25,000 per employer

• As of 19 March 2020, applications for this wage subsidy are not yet open/available

• There has been some discussion about increasing the wage subsidy to a greater amount than 10%, but the Government of Canada has only mentioned the 10% amount

Resources for Small Businesses

Training Programs

• Canada Job Grant

o Current and future employees are eligible, but the employer must have a guaranteed job for the participant when the training is complete

o Employers receive up to two thirds of the training cost up to $10,000

o The training must be delivered by a third-party and be completed within 1 year of receiving the grant

o If the business has less than 50 employees, there are flexible arrangements for paying the remaining one third of the training cost (e.g. wages can count as the employer contribution)

o Applications for this grant are made on a provincial basis; please see the information for British Columbia below

• BC Employer Training Grant

o Employer must have a job for the participant one the training is completed

o Employers are required to submit the application on their own behalf

o Priority is given to first-time applicants and small businesses

o Different grant streams depending upon the trainee(s): Foundational, Technical, Workforce, Employment Transition

o To apply for this grant, visit this site: https://www.workbc.ca/Employer-Resources/BCEmployer-Training-Grant/What-is-the-B-C-Employer-Training-Grant.aspx#anchor1

• Apprenticeship Job Creation Tax Credit

o Offered by the CRA

o If your business hires an apprentice, you may be eligible for a tax credit equal to 10% of that person’s salary (maximum of $2,000 per year per eligible apprentice)

o The trainee has to be in the first two years of an apprenticeship program registered with the Government of Canada

o The trainee has to be in a trade like those listed in the Red Seal Trades

o The trainee has to be working towards getting a certificate/licence in that trade

Financing and Credit

• Canada Small Business Financing Program

o Loan program offered in collaboration with other financial institutions

o Loan amounts are negotiated on an individual basis for up to $1 million

o These loans may be used for purchasing or improving land/building for commercial purposes, purchasing or improving equipment (including commercial vehicles), and purchasing renovations to premises occupied by the business

o Small businesses whose gross annual revenues are $10 million or less are eligible

o To apply, your business must present a business plan to the relevant financial institution

o A list of lenders can be accessed here: http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/csbfppfpec.nsf/eng/h_la00007.html

• Business Credit Availability Program

o Application are to be made through the Business Development Bank of Canada

o If your business already has an account manager with this institution, you must make direct contact with that manager to apply for credit

o If your business does not have an account manager with this institution, you must call 1-877-232-2269 to make a financing request

o The Business Development Bank of Canada is offering a free webinar on how small businesses can manage the COVID-19 crisis on 25 March 2020; registration is here:

https://www.bdc.ca/en/articles-tools/entrepreneur-toolkit/webinars/pages/how-copeimpacts-covid-19-on-your-business.aspx

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