COVID-19 Support Resources
Questions? Please visit our Frequently Asked Questions page.
Below is a list of some of the key support resources currently available to Saskatchewan businesses:
Updated Tuesday, May 26 at 11:55 a.m.
CANADA EMERGENCY WAGE SUBSIDY (CEWS)
The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) would provide a 75% wage subsidy to eligible employers for up to 12 weeks, retroactive to March 15, 2020. Eligible employers would include individuals, taxable corporations, and partnerships consisting of eligible employers as well as non‑profit organizations and registered charities. Employers may be eligible for a subsidy of up to 100 per cent of the first 75 per cent of pre-crisis wages or salaries of existing employees. These employers would be expected where possible to maintain existing employees’ pre-crisis employment earnings. Eligible employers would be able to apply for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy through the Canada Revenue Agency’s My Business Account portal as well as a web-based application.
SASKATCHEWAN SMALL BUSINESS EMERGENCY PAYMENT (SSBEP)
The Saskatchewan Small Business Emergency Payment provides a one-time grant for small and medium-sized enterprises directly affected by government public health orders related to COVID-19. Grants will be paid based on 15 per cent of a business’ monthly sales revenue, to a maximum of $5,000. To be eligible for the SSBEP, a business must:
- Have been carrying on business in Saskatchewan on February 29, 2020;
- Have been ordered to temporarily close or curtail operations through a COVID-19 public health order;
- Have less than 500 employees;
- Attest that they:
- have experienced a loss in revenue due to a COVID-19 public health order;
- plan to reopen operations following the cancellation of the COVID-19 public health order; and
- have not received any payments or amounts from any other sources, including insurance, to replace or compensate for the loss of sales revenue other than amounts from other government assistance programs; and
- Apply on or before July 31, 2020
CANADA EMERGENCY BUSINESS ACCOUNT
Federal Government, Export Development Canada
This $25 billion Canada Emergency Business Account 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, due to the economic impacts of the COVID-19 virus. 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). Interested businesses should contact their financial institution for further information and to apply.
SME LOAN AND GUARANTEE PROGRAM
Federal Government – Export Development Canada
The SME Loan and Guarantee Program supports small and medium-sizes enterprises (SMEs) with guarantee new operating credit and cash flow term loans for financial institutions to extend to SMEs, up to $6.25 million. The program cap for this new loan program will be a total of $20 billion for export sector and domestic companies. Businesses should contact their financial institution to determine whether this program is a good fit for their needs.
BDC CO-LENDING PROGRAM
Federal Government – Business Development Bank of Canada
To provide additional liquidity support for Canadian businesses, the Co-Lending Program 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. Eligible businesses may obtain incremental credit amounts up to $6.25 million BDC’s portion of this program is up to $5 million maximum per loan. Eligible financial institutions will conduct the underwriting and manage the interface with their customers. Businesses should contact their financial institution to determine whether this program is a good fit for their needs.
CANADA EMERGENCY RESPONSE BENEFIT
To support workers the Government of Canada has proposed legislation to establish the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB). This taxable benefit would provide $2,000 a month for up to four months to individuals:
- Residing in Canada, who are at least 15 years old;
- Who have stopped working because of reasons related to COVID-19 or are eligible for Employment Insurance regular or sickness benefits or have exhausted their Employment Insurance regular benefits between December 29, 2019 and October 3, 2020;
- Who had employment and/or self-employment income of at least $5,000 in 2019 or in the 12 months prior to the date of their application; and,
- Who have not quit their job voluntarily.
Eligibility criteria have been changed to:
- Allow people to earn up to $1,000 per month while collecting the CERB.
- Extend the CERB to seasonal workers who have exhausted their EI regular benefits and are unable to undertake their regular seasonal work because of COVID-19.
- Extend the CERB to workers who have recently exhausted their EI regular benefits and are unable to find a job because of COVID-19.
SASKATCHEWAN EMPLOYMENT SUPPLEMENT
The Saskatchewan Employment Supplement (SES) provides assistance to families with lower-incomes who have children. It is a monthly payment that supplements income from a job, farming, self-employment, or from child or spousal support. To be eligible for SES you must:
- Have children under the age of 13 years;
- Receive more than $125 each month from employment, self-employment, farming and/or child or spousal support;
- Reside in Saskatchewan and hold a valid Saskatchewan Health Services card.
SELF-ISOLATION SUPPORT PROGRAM
The Self-Isolation Support Program will provide $450 per week, for a maximum of two weeks or $900. The program is targeted at Saskatchewan residents forced to self-isolate that are not covered by recent federally announced employment insurance programs and other supports. The program is designed to ensure that all Saskatchewan residents are covered by either a federal or provincial program to ensure no one is faced with choosing to work instead of protecting their family and community from COVID-19 by self-isolating. This will mostly benefit self-employed residents of Saskatchewan.
WORK SHARING PROGRAM
The Work Sharing Program is a three-way agreement that can be negotiated between Service Canada, the employer and the employee to provide EI benefits to workers who agree to reduce their normal working hour as a result of developments beyond the control of their employers. Changes to the program are:
- Extension of the maximum duration from 38 weeks to 76 weeks.
- The 30 day wait period will be waived for only those who have used the work-sharing program in the past.
Note: Applications take a minimum of 30 days to negotiate. If you do not have 30 days than this program is likely not for you.
TEMPORARY WAGE SUBSIDY
The Temporary Wage Subsidy for Employers is a three-month measure that will allow eligible employers to reduce the amount of payroll deductions required to be remitted to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). The subsidy will equal to 75% of remuneration paid during that period.
BUSINESS CREDIT AVAILABILITY PROGRAM
Export Development Canada and Business Development Bank of Canada
The Business Credit Availability Program will provide $10 billion of additional funding to Canadian businesses facing economic challenges brought on by COVID-19. This program helps Canadian businesses in all sectors and regions gain access to credit through EDC, BDC and private sector lenders. The short-term credit available to farmers and the agri-food sector will also be increased through Farm Credit Canada.
Note: Businesses must go to their current bank first, then that bank will refer the business to the BCAP only if the bank is not able to help them. Businesses that are already a BDC client, can contact their Account Manager for information on BCAP.
BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT BANK OF CANADA (BDC) RELIEF MEASURES
Business Development Bank of Canada
Effective March 18, 2020, new BDC Relief Measures for qualified businesses include:
- Working capital loans of up to $2 million with flexible terms and payment postponements for up to 6 months for qualifying businesses;
- Postponement of payments for up to 6 months, free of charge, for existing BDC clients with total BDC loan commitment of $1 million or less;
- Reduced rates on new eligible loans;
- Additional details regarding Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) measures, including industry specific support, to be announced in the coming days.
CALLS FOR A SOLUTION
CALLING ALL SUPPLIERS – HELP CANADA COMBAT COVID-19 (open)
The Government of Canada is asking suppliers that have products and services that can support Canada’s response to COVID-19 to consider completing a COVID-19 Products and Services submission form.
COVID-19 CHALLENGES PROCUREMENT PROGRAM (yet to be released)
National Research Council
This program will post COVID-19 related challenges seeking near-to-market solutions from small and medium-sized businesses (fewer than 500 staff). Financial support is available from the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC IRAP) to refine and sell products or solutions to meet a COVID-19 related need.
GUIDES FOR BUSINESS
BUSINESS CONTINUITY PLAN TEMPLATES
Business Development Bank of Canada
Creating and maintaining a business continuity plan helps ensure that businesses have the resources and information needed to deal with an emergency. BDC has developed Business Continuity Plan Templates for businesses to plan for business continuity and mitigate the potential effects of an emergency.
GOOGLE SMALL BUSINESS RESOURCE HUB
A compiled Small Business Resource Hub to help Canadian businesses navigate this unpredictable time. The hub includes tips and recommendations to connect with employees and customers, work remotely, and to manage advertising.