Canada Government Assistance for Employers
In Canada, there are several government assistance programs that help employers in several situations. The help comes in many forms such as financial aid, as well as help in the recruitment of workers.
These programs are designed to offer the employer the ability to overcome any situation, whether they are small, medium, large or even non-profit organizations, but most are designed to aid small businesses.
Today there are many programs created to help small businesses and other businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic which we will also talk about in this article.
We’ll separate these government assistance programs into several categories:
Loans and Grants
These are flexible financial solutions to aid businesses affected by the pandemic, but also general help.
- COVID Closure Relief Grant
This is designed to help provide businesses that had to close on the 22nd of December, 2021 because of the order of the Provincial Health Officer (PHO). To be eligible, businesses need to meet these requirements:
- The business had to be closed if it were to comply with the Provincial Health Officer order announced on December 22, 2021.
- Tourism Accommodation and Commercial Recreation Relief Fund
This fund is designed to help tourism businesses during the pandemic by providing one grant to be used to fixed costs such as rent or wages. To be eligible, companies need:
- Be tourism or commercial recreation business in British Columbia or Crown land.
- Have to be a large accommodation business such as a hotel.
- Not owing any tax from previous years.
- Not have closed permanently.
- Jobs and Growth Fund
This type of fund is designed to help companies and organizations for the future by allowing growth and building resilience. In order to be accepted a company or organization needs:
- To have less than 500 employers at full time, if they want to qualify for no interests with repayable contributions up to 50%.
- Non-profit companies or organizations may be able to access a non-repayable contribution for up to 90%.
- Companies that support a green economy such as:
- Work or support clean technology
- Work with communities to plan sustainable economic growth
- The company partners with organizations that allow green economy
- Companies that support inclusion such as:
- Businesses or companies that are owned by underrepresented groups
- Businesses or companies that hire more underrepresented groups
In this case, underrepresented groups can be racialized communities, youth, women, LGBTQ, people with disabilities, and recently arrived in Canada
- Companies or organizations that allow Canada to be competitive through the adoption of technology and digital mediums:
- Businesses or companies that use or invest in technology that allows scalability
- Businesses or companies that adopt technological and digital solutions such as Industry 4.0 solutions
- Companies or organizations that help essential sectors that are critical for Canada’s growth, such as:
- Businesses or companies that develop and explore emerging areas where there is a global competition
- Businesses or companies that develop and adapt supply chain, as well as diversification in Canada’s critical sectors such as food production and biomanufacturing
To apply, eligible businesses need to submit an application and complete a Supplemental Form. When that is done, they need to submit the Jobs and Growth Fund application form.
- Tourism Relief Fund
This fund supports tourism businesses and organizations. The fund pledges to provide $500 over two years, as well as $50 million dedicated only to Indigenous organizations linked to tourism. This type of government assistance allows eligible businesses to have non-repayable contributions of up to $100,000, up to 50% of the cost, or repayable contributions of up to $500,00, up to 75% of the cost. Any business or organizations where their work entails mainly to visitors, for example:
- Non-profit organizations
To be eligible, applicants need to have one of the following:
- Be an operator or supplier of services within the tourism area
- Be part of a tourism community
- Provide services or products to a tourism destination
- Major Festivals and Events Support Initiative
Pledges to provide $200 million over two years to help Canadian events and festivals. This only applies to events and festivals where their revenues exceed $10 million. To be eligible, companies and organizations have to:
- Have liquidity to make sure operations remain the same or adapt to new activities regardless of pandemic-related issues
- Have an updated product or experience where the organization can place itself in a better position to tackle issues
Wage and Rent Support
These types of government assistance help businesses and organizations to keep employees’ jobs and rehire employees if they have been laid off, as well as a program that allows for the temporary reduction of rent.
- Canada Recovery Hiring Program
This is a wage subsidy that businesses can apply to for employers who have had a decline in their revenues of at least 10% since the COVID-19 pandemic started. To be eligible, businesses and organizations need to meet the following requirements:
- For wage and hiring
- The employer had to have a CRA payroll account on March 15, 2020, or a majority part of another person’s partnership business assets
- You are a non-profit, boards of trade, agricultural organization, corporation for scientific research for non-profit, labour organizations society, a registered charity or a partnership with all members are eligible employees
- For rent and property
- If your company or organization had a CRA businesses number by September 27, 2020, or your company had a payroll by March 15, 2020
- Your company is exempt from income under Part I of the Income Tax Act, is a registered charity, partnership where all members are eligible entities
- Tourism and Hospitality Recovery Program
This is a wage and rent support program dedicated to helping businesses and organizations that:
- due to the COVID-19 pandemic saw their revenues decrease at least 40% in the last 12 months or they currently have a 40% or more revenue loss.
Eligible businesses might be able to get up to 75% of their revenue. To be eligible, businesses and organizations need to have the above criteria, as well as:
- Being a business or an organization in the tourism sector such as travel agencies, hotels, restaurants and bars
- Hardest-hit Business Recovery Program
Serves businesses and organizations with rent and wage support that:
- Can’t directly qualify for the Tourism and Hospitality Recovery Program
- Had a decrease of their monthly revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic of at least 50%
- The company or organization has a 12-month average revenue decrease of at least 50% from March 2020 to February 2021
- Local Lockdown Program
Any business or organization that saw their revenues decrease at least 25% and a capacity on their business reduced by 50% or more due to local lockdown and public health restrictions. Companies and organizations that want to apply for this support need:
- To be affected by a public health restriction, such as a local lockdown
- Have to have claimed a revenue decrease of at least 40%
Other Support for Community Groups and Business Sectors
These are financial supports that aid certain business sectors and community groups that have been affected more than the average company or sector due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Agriculture and farmers
- Canadian Fish and Seafood Opportunities Fund
This is a fund that will enable the Government of Canada and other local and provincial partners to aid industries’ projects related to people and businesses in the fish and seafood sector. This fund aims to create jobs and develop products, as well as opportunities. To be eligible companies need:
- Companies and organizations linked to this particular sector
- Small companies that can show they can deliver a project that aligns with the national vision
- Loan deferrals and financing through Farm Credit Canada
The Farm Credit Canada (FCC) is offering loan deferrals and other financial solutions to companies that have products in the food and agricultural industries. In order to be eligible for this, companies and organizations need:
- Interest payments and a deferral principal of up to six months for loans that they had already taken
- A deferral of principal payments up to 12 months
- Tourism Relief Fund (Federal)
Aids businesses and organizations in the tourism sector invest in services that will help their operations grow in the future. To be eligible for this fund, companies or organizations need:
- To be essential in the visitors’ experience through supplying or operating a service
- Supply a product or service in a certain tourism destination
- Food Delivery Fee Cap
This cap limits recurring fees that delivery companies can charge to food places. This measure aids restaurants that manage to continue operating during the pandemic. The cap limits the charge, usually at 15%, with a 5% cap while using these services. Businesses, in order to be eligible need:
- Be in the restaurant sector, such as bars and restaurants
- Use any sort of delivery service
- Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy and Lockdown Support
This subsidy helps non-profit organizations and charities that have been affected by a decrease in revenues. To be eligible these non-profit or charities need:
- Have a CRA businesses number by September 27, 2020, or had a payroll account on March 15, 2020
- Or are exempt from income under Part I of the Income Tax Act, are registered charities, or partnerships where all members are eligible people
What different benefits are in place for businesses and organizations in Canada?
There are many benefits and aids the Canadian Government has put in place to help several sectors of the Canadian economy. From loans and grants to wages and rents, as well as specific industry-related grants and funds.
What companies or organizations are eligible for such benefits?
Companies that have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic might be able to get financial aid and other support, however, depending on the sector, companies need to report a loss in their revenues in the last 12 months.
Are there any benefits for hard-hot industries?
Yes, some sectors have been hard-hit by some of the measures put in place to fight the COVID-19 pandemic and the Canadian government offered more types of aid for some sectors such as tourism and food industries.
There are many different types of help and financial support for companies assisted by the Canadian Government, especially for those that have been affected by the recent pandemic. Most of these funds, grants and support were in response to the pandemic but many of them recently extended their period of applying for it, which gives businesses and organizations more time to allow growth and rehire some employees that had been laid off.