What are the main business support programs I should be applying for? Many small and medium businesses are reeling from the pandemic and will require government supports to stay open. But even for those whose balance sheets are looking okay, it probably makes sense to take advantage of some of the supports being offered, if you are eligible.
The federal government has two main small business support programs at this point. The biggest is the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS), which subsidises 75% of wages for up to 12 weeks, from March 15 to June 6, for businesses that have seen a significant drop in revenues. It also provides a refund of employer-paid contributions to EI and CPP. The goal of this program is to prevent layoffs and allow a quick return to business once public health restrictions are removed. Applications for the Subsidy can be made by eligible employers through Canada Revenue Agency’s My Business Account portal. It is expected to begin paying out in the next 2-4 weeks.
The second main program is the Canada Emergency Business Account. It provides interest-free loans of up to $40,000 to small businesses and not-for-profits that paid between $50,000 to $1 million in total payroll in 2019. If this loan is paid in full by December 2022, 25% (up to $10,000) will be forgiven. As such, every qualifying business should consider applying. Payout turnarounds are quick and have already been occurring at some financial institutions. Small businesses can apply at their regular bank or credit union.
The Government of Saskatchewan has also announced a small business support program, one of the first provinces to do so. The Saskatchewan Small Business Emergency Payment provides a grant of up to 15% of a business’s monthly sales revenue (based on either April 2019 or February 2020) up to $5000. The criteria is a bit more strict: eligible small businesses must have had to temporarily close or curtail operations due to public health orders.
In addition to these programs there are also a number of payment deferrals, loan programs and other supports available to small and medium businesses.
As governments identify pain points for small and medium business needing assistance, it is likely they will adjust programming to address challenges that are shared by many but are currently left unsupported. So if none of these programs apply to you, stay optimistic: more help may be on the way.
How can my business adjust to the new economic reality in Saskatchewan? CCDF is offering all of its clients up to $10,000 for professional assistance, through its Business Support Program, to navigate these difficult times, and has retained a number of consultants to help you with your specific needs. Areas of support include addressing HR issues, acquiring economic intelligence and financial management advice, and more. Call your CCDF Business Development Specialist to access this program right away, and better understand what supports and strategies will work best for your circumstances.
What are some good resources to learn more? Morris Interactive has compiled a list of free resources that will provide up to date economic information during the coronavirus crisis. You can view those resources here.
Document Prepared by Morris Interactive
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