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, March 31 at 3:30 p.m.
The Government of Saskatchewan’s Business Response Team is available to assist you 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. Monday to Friday:
SREDA SMALL BUSINESS EMERGENCY CONTINUITY GRANT PROGRAM (applications available)
Saskatoon Regional Economic Development Authority
The SREDA Small Business Emergency Continuity Grant Program provides grants of up to $5,000 to small businesses located in the Saskatoon Region that are experiencing significant financial challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic. To be eligible for a grant, businesses must have experienced a substantial downturn in business activity related to the outbreak of COVID-19, resulting in significant financial challenges. They must also:
- Operate in the Saskatoon Region,
- Be a for-profit commercial business,
- Have 10 or fewer employees, including owner(s),
- And have been in business for more than 6 months but less than 5 years.
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.
SASKATCHEWAN EMPLOYMENT SUPPLEMENT (applications available)
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 (applications available)
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 (applications available)
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 (applications available)
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 (available)
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 (available)
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.
FACEBOOK SMALL BUSINESS GRANTS PROGRAM (applications available)
The Small Business Grants Program is offering $100 million in cash grants and advertising credits for up to 30,000 eligible small businesses in over 30 countries.
Yet to be released:
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).
EMERGENCY SUPPORT BENEFITS (approved, effective April 6, 2020)
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:
- Workers who must stop working due to COVID19 and do not have access to paid leave or other income support.
- Workers who are sick, quarantined, or taking care of someone who is sick with COVID-19.
- Working parents who must stay home without pay to care for children that are sick or need additional care because of school and daycare closures.
- Workers who still have their employment but are not being paid because there is currently not sufficient work and their employer has asked them not to come to work.
- Wage earners and self-employed individuals, including contract workers, who would not otherwise be eligible for Employment Insurance.
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.