There are a variety of supports available for individuals and businesses impacted by COVID-19
Last updated September 3, 2021 at 8:35 am
The Government of Saskatchewan’s Business Response Team is available to assist businesses 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. Monday to Friday:
SUPPORT FOR INDIVIDUALS AND EMPLOYEES – effective immediately
EMPLOYMENT INSURANCE PROGRAM
Temporary changes were made to the Employment Insurance (EI) program to better support Canadians looking for work. As of September 27, you may be eligible for EI if you:
- Were employed for at least 120 insurable hours in the past 52 weeks
- Received the CERB, the 52 week period to accumulate insured hours will be extended
- Stopped working through no fault of your own
- Have not quit your job voluntarily
- Are ready, willing and capable of working each day (EI regular benefits)
- Are temporarily unable to work while you care for someone else or yourself (EI maternity, parental, sickness, compassionate care, and family caregiver benefits)
CANADA RECOVERY BENEFIT
The Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) gives income support to employed and self-employed individuals who are directly affected by COVID-19 and are not entitled to Employment Insurance (EI) benefits. The CRB is administered by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). If you are eligible for the CRB, you can receive $1,000 ($900 after taxes withheld) for a 2-week period. If your situation continues past 2 weeks, you will need to apply again. You may apply up to a total of 13 eligibility periods (26 weeks) between September 27, 2020 and September 25, 2021.
CANADA RECOVERY SICKNESS BENEFIT
The CRSB provides $500 per week for up to a maximum of two weeks, for workers who:
- Are unable to work for at least 50% of the week because they contracted COVID-19
- Are self-isolated for reasons related to COVID-19
- Have underlying conditions, are undergoing treatments or have contracted other sicknesses that, in the opinion of a medical practitioner, nurse practitioner, person in authority, government or public health authority, would make them more susceptible to COVID-19.
CANADA RECOVERY CAREGIVER BENEFIT
The Canada Recovery Caregiver Benefit provides $500 per week for up to 26 weeks per household for workers:
- Unable to work for at least 50% of the week because they must care for a child under the age of 12 or family member because schools, day-cares or care facilities are closed due to COVID-19
- Because the child or family member is sick and/or required to quarantine or is at high risk of serious health implications 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.
MORGAGE PAYMENT DEFERRAL
The deferral is an agreement between you and your lender. Typically, the agreement indicates that you and your lender have agreed to pause or suspend your mortgage payments for a certain amount of time. After the agreement ends, your mortgage payments return to normal and the deferred payments — including principal and accumulated interest – are added to the outstanding principal balance and subsequently repaid throughout the life of the mortgage. To know if you are eligible for a mortgage payment deferral or to learn what options are available, contact your lender — your bank or your mortgage professional.
SUPPORT FOR BUSINESS – effective immediately
CANADA EMERGENCY WAGE SUBSIDY
As a Canadian employer who has seen a drop in revenue due to COVID-19, you may be eligible for a subsidy to cover part of your employee wages, retroactive to March 15. This subsidy will enable you to re-hire workers, help prevent further job losses, and ease you back into normal operations. Applications for claim period 17 (June 6 to July 3, 2021) are now open. Changes to CEWS were recently announced, including an extension to October 23, 2021.
CANADA RECOVERY HIRING PROGRAM
As a Canadian employer who continues to be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, you may be eligible to apply for one of the two subsidies to cover part of your employee wages. The Canada Recovery Hiring Program (CRHP) and the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) support wages you pay through different phases of your economic recovery. Each claim period, eligible employers can claim either CRHP or CEWS, whichever is higher. Support is available retroactively to June 6 2021 and until November 20, 2021.
HIGHLY AFFECTED SECTORS CREDIT AVAILABILITY PROGRAM
Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC)
Some businesses, such as those in tourism and hospitality, have been more heavily impacted as a result of COVID-19 and are struggling more than others to access financing. This is why BDC will provide 100% guarantees of up to $1 million to help qualifying businesses finance day-to-day business operating costs through the Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program. Note that this program was recently extended to December 31, 2021.
CANADA EMERGENCY RENT SUBSIDY
The Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS) would provide direct and easy-to-access rent and mortgage support directly to qualifying organizations. Qualifying businesses, charities and non-profits would receive a subsidy of up to 65% of eligible expenses, starting on September 27, 2020, until October 23, 2021.
Qualifying organizations that have been significantly affected by a mandatory public health order issued by a qualifying public health authority would receive an additional 25% of rent support through the CERS. Combined with the other support received under the CERS, this means that hard hit businesses, non-profits, and charities could receive a rent subsidy of up to 90%.
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.
BDC’S MID-MARKET FINANCING PROGRAM
Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC)
BDC’s Mid-Market Financing Program will provide commercial loans ranging between $12.5 million and $60 million to medium-sized businesses whose credit needs exceed what is already available through the Business Credit Availability Program and other measures. BDC anticipates that qualifying companies will have annual revenues in excess of approximately $100 million. The program is effective immediately to December 31 2021.
CO-LENDING PROGRAM FOR SMALL AND MEDIUM ENTERPRISES
Through the Business Credit Availability Program, Business Development Canada (BDC) is working with financial institutions to co-lend term loans of up to $6.25 million to SMEs for their operational cash flow requirements. The program offers differing maximum finance amounts based on business revenues. This program is now available at various banks and credit unions. The program is effective immediately to December 31 2021.
JOBS AND GROWTH FUND
The Jobs and Growth Fund provides funding to businesses and organizations to help create jobs and position local economies for long-term growth. In the West, Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) is investing $217 million to help job creators and the organizations that support them to future-proof their businesses, build resiliency and prepare for growth by transitioning to a green economy, fostering an inclusive recovery, enhancing competitiveness and creating jobs in every corner of the country. This program is effective immediately through January 2023.
LOAN GUARANTEE FOR SMALL AND MEDIUM-SIZED BUSINESSES
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) may be particularly vulnerable to the impacts of COVID-19. To support their operations, EDC will guarantee 80% of new operating credit and cash flow term loans that financial institutions 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. This program is effective immediately to December 31 2021.
MID-MARKET GUARANTEE AND FINANCING PROGRAM
EDC’s Mid-Market Guarantee and Financing Program will bring liquidity to companies who tend to have revenues of between $50 million to $300 million, to sustain operations during this uncertain period. EDC will continue to work with Canadian financial institutions to guarantee 75 % of new operating credit and cash-flow loans – ranging in size from $16.75 million to a maximum of $80 million. These expanded guarantees are available to exporters, international investors and businesses that sell their products or services within Canada. This program is effective immediately to December 31 2021.
LARGE EMPLOYER EMERGENCY FINANCING FACILITY
The Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility program will be open to large for-profit businesses – with the exception of those in the financial sector – as well as certain not-for-profit businesses, such as airports, with annual revenues generally in the order of $300 million or higher. To qualify, eligible businesses must be seeking financing of about $60 million or more, have significant operations or workforce in Canada, and not be involved in active insolvency proceedings.
REGIONAL RELIEF AND RECOVERY FUND
The Regional Relief and Recovery Fund aims to help western Canadian businesses cope with the financial hardship resulting from COVID-19. Go to the eligibility criteria for:
- Funding up to $60,000, for rural businesses
- Funding up to $60,000, for women-owned or women-led businesses
- Funding up to $60,000, for all other small- and medium-sized businesses
- Funding of up to $1 million
AGRICULTURE SECTOR CREDIT INCREASE
Farm Credit Canada
Farm Credit Canada has received an enhancement to its capital base that will allow for an additional $5 billion in lending capacity to producers, agribusinesses, and food processors. Effective immediately, FCC has put in place:
- A deferral of principal and interest payments up to six months for existing loans; or
- A deferral of principal payments up to 12 months
AGRICULTURE AND FOOD BUSINESS SOLUTIONS FUND
Farm Credit Canada and Forage Capital Partners
The $100-million Agriculture and Food Business Solutions Fund was launched to support proven, viable companies through unexpected business disruptions, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. The fund is set up to provide companies with the financial stability and flexibility they need to rebuild their business models during challenging times. FCC is the sole investor in the fund and Forage Capital is the fund manager. The fund will focus on agriculture and food industry companies that have suffered a significant disruption to their business model, and will be supported to a maximum of $10 million.
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 then this program is likely not for you.
This program was recently extended to September 26, 2021.
SUPPLEMENTAL UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFIT PROGRAM
The purpose of a Supplemental Unemployment Benefit Program (SUB) plan is to provide supplemental payments to Employment Insurance (EI) benefits during a period of unemployment due to: temporary stoppage of work, training or iIllness, injury or quarantine. Employers use SUB plans to increase the employee’s weekly earnings during periods of unemployment. Payments from registered plans are not deducted from the employee’s EI benefits. Payments under a registered SUB plan are not considered as insurable earnings; therefore, EI premiums are not deducted.
All businesses are able to defer, until after August 31, 2020, the payment of any Income Tax amounts that become owing on or after today and before September 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. This measure will result in businesses having more money available during this period.
PST REBATE ON NEW HOME CONSTRUCTION
The PST Rebate on New Home Construction will provide up to 42% of the PST paid on a new house contract up to $350,000 (excluding land) for new homes purchased after March 31, 2020, and before April 1, 2023. This not only helps the construction industry, Saskatchewan’s home builders and associated trades that are important job creators, it helps families afford a newly built home.
ISC SUSPENSION ORDER FOR STRIKE OFF PROVISIONS
Information Services Corporation
The Information Services Corporation (ISC) has Suspended the Strike Off Provisions for non-profit corporations, co-operative and new generation co-operative entities. The suspension is meant to assist organizations that are not in a position to file annual returns and financial statements at the Corporate Registry due to delays in annual meeting caused by the restrictions and recommendations on public gatherings. To further lessen the impact of being unable to file in a timely manner, annual return late filing fees for Not-For-Profit corporations and co-operatives will be suspended.
SUPPORT FOR BUSINESS – yet to be released
NONE AT THIS TIME
CALLS FOR A SOLUTION
CANADA EMERGENCY RENT SUBSIDY (CERS)
The Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS) would provide direct and easy-to-access rent and mortgage support directly to qualifying organizations. Qualifying businesses, charities and non-profits would receive a subsidy of up to 65% of eligible expenses until December 19, 2020.
Qualifying organizations that have been significantly affected by a mandatory public health order issued by a qualifying public health authority would receive an additional 25% of rent support through the CERS. Combined with the other support received under the CERS, this means that hard hit businesses, non-profits, and charities could receive a rent subsidy of up to 90%. The CERS including the Lockdown Support would be available until June 2021.
CALLING ALL SUPPLIERS – HELP CANADA COMBAT COVID-19
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
LABOUR PROGRAM AND FEDERALLY REGULATED WORKPLACES
An online guide for workplaces wanting more information on how to handle the virus in the workplace.
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.
PANDEMIC PREPAREDNESS GUIDE
Canadian Chamber of Commerce
Preparedness, not panic, is the best way to mitigate the risks posed by a COVID-19 pandemic to the Canadian economy and our citizens. The Pandemic Preparedness Guide includes links to the some of the most relevant and credible information, best practice tools and resources.
INFORMATION FOR EMPLOYERS ON COVID-19
Workers Compensation Board
WCB Information to assist employers in determining their responsibilities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Most instances of COVID-19 are not work-related and do not need to be reported, however, there are some exceptions.