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COVID-19 - Tools and Information for Local Business

The Federal and Provincial initiatives to support businesses and individuals is summarized in this resource - 

April 21, 2020 - Government Announced Support

June 10, 2020 - Wellington County Supports the media release from the Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Health Unit that requires customers, patrons, employees or visitors to wear a face covering while inside a commercial establishment. 

 June 10, 2020-Media Release

 June 12, 2020-County of Wellington Emergency Order 1 - Amended

WDG Public Health has provided answers to frequently asked questions: https://wdgpublichealth.ca/your-health/covid-19-information-public/face-coverings-class-order-and-faqs  

For additional questions, not answered on the WDG Public Health website, please call 519-822-2715 x4020

The Township has compiled a list of Government resources to support your business as we work through this challenging period together. 

Township of Puslinch 

Shop Local Puslinch

The initial intent is to assist with Covid-19 impacts, but the program may continue after the pandemic if it is well utilized. Click here for program information

Building Department

June 26, 2020 - Outdoor Patio Extension or Modification

Property Tax Deferral

The Township is offering the deferral of property taxes due April 30, 2020 by 60 days.  On March 24, 2020 the County of Wellington circulated a media release regarding financial relief from COVID-19. 

Taxes can be paid through financial institutions via internet or telephone banking.  The Township offers pre-authorized payment plans, you can fill out the application and submit by email with a void cheque.  Additionally, there is a secure 24/7 mail drop box at the Township Municipal Office.

 County of Wellington

June 10, 2020 - Media Release

June 10, 2020 - County of Wellington Emergency Order 1

Seeding Our Food Future Program Guide 2020

Grant Opportunity.  Seeding Our Food Future is a grant program offering seed funding, training and support for 40 new and existing Guelph-Wellington food system businesses, not-for-profits and social enterprises to support sustainable transition and recovery from current economic shocks. The deadline is June 30, 2020.

The Keep Well - Emergency Business Sustainability Fund

The Keep Well – Emergency Business Sustainability Fund will provide low-interest loans to Wellington County businesses to help support them during the economically challenging period brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Details of the Keep Well – Emergency Business Sustainability Fund include:

  • Low-interest loans of up to $25,000 with a 3% interest rate
  • No payment required for six months
  • Loans to be used for cash flow and working capital for Wellington County businesses struggling during the pandemic
  • Applications will require a recent financial statement
  • Applications and funds are administered by the Community Futures Development Corporations (CFDCs)
  • CFDCs will provide businesses with support training opportunities
  • Loan repayment over five years with flexible repayment terms and no prepayment penalties

 

 Business Development Bank of Canada

BDC Co-Lending Program

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. The potential for lending for this program will be $20 billion.

BDC Continuity Plan

This plan contains themed templates that can be used by businesses to develop contingency plans for dealing with emergency situations. Templates include but are not limited to, identifying essential services, key customers, critical suppliers and action plans for maintaining essential services.

Business Credit Availability Program

New 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
  • No restriction on business size

 

Canada Post
Small Business Stimulus Offer - Canada Post is partnering with Advantedge Mailing Solutions on a THINK SMALL small business stimulus offer.  You could receive FREE POSTAGE on a one time Neighbourhood Mailing of up to 6,000 pieces.   
Canadian Chamber of Commerce

Pandemic Preparedness for Business

Guidelines to assist businesses during the pandemic. This includes, a Pandemic Preparedness Guide which provides actions and key considerations a business should make regarding risk and crisis management, as well as a Crisis Communications Plan and Business Continuity & Recovery Plan (a template to assist businesses in recovery after an emergency situation). The Canadian Business Resilience Network has been created to help the business community prepare, persevere and prosper.

 

 

Export Development Canada

Business Credit Availability Program

EDC has introduced initiatives to help Canadian exporters respond to COVID-19 including:

  • Guarantee on loans of up to $5M so that companies can access more cash immediately
  • Cover insurance losses for goods shipped even if the buyer has not accepted the goods, subject to terms
  • Waiving the 60-day waiting period for insurance claims

Export Guarantee Program

EDC will guarantee 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.

 

FedDev Ontario and other Regional Development Agencies 

June 11, 2020 - Helping businesses in the wake of COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a severe impact on businesses of all sizes across the country.  The Government of Canada invests $50 million towards helping businesses across the region adopt digital technologies to recover from the pandemic and emerge stronger.

Regional Relief and Recovery Fund

May 13, 2020 - FedDev Ontario has launched the above program to support local economies.  

FedDev Ontario Repayment Deferral

A three month deferral for companies in repayment. This deferral takes effect on April 1, 2020, and will relieve some of the pressure your business is facing. FedDev Ontario will work with you to formalize these deferrals into an amended repayment schedule and outline other measures that may help your business. Tourism operators, small- or medium- sized business and organizations that have received FedDev Ontario funding in the past, may be eligible to receive additional funding and/or flexible arrangements. FedDev Ontario is also offering access to federal funding to help businesses impacted by the sudden shift in the economy and who require pressing assistance.  

Government of Canada

Canada Revenue Agency

Canada Emergency Response Benefit 

This taxable benefit would provide $2,000 a month for up to four months for workers who lose their income as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) would be a simpler and more accessible combination of the previously announced Emergency Care Benefit and Emergency Support Benefit. The CERB would cover Canadians who have lost their job, are sick, quarantined, or taking care of someone who is sick with COVID-19, as well as working parents who must stay home without pay to care for children who are sick or at home because of school and daycare closures. The CERB would apply to wage earners, as well as contract workers and self-employed individuals who would not otherwise be eligible for Employment Insurance (EI).

 

Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy

Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) provides a 75% wage subsidy to eligible employers for up to 12 weeks, retroactive to March 15, 2020 to June 6, 2020.

The calculator is a tool to help you estimate the amount of your wage subsidy.

Calculate your Canada Employment Wage Subsidy Amount

 

Income Tax Deferral

The tax filing deadline for individuals has been moved to June 1 2020. For individuals who are self-employed, the deadline is still June 15. Payments on 2019 owed taxes by individuals is deferred to Sept 1, 2020. For self employed, any balance due for individual income tax is deferred to August 31. For businesses, the deadline to pay any income tax amounts that became owing or due after March 18, 2020 has been extended to August 31, 2020 (no penalties for payments on Sept 1, 2020).

Small Business Wage Subsidy

The Government of Canada has announced a small business wage subsidy of 75 percent for three months. The new wage subsidy will be backdated to March 15. Details forthcoming.

Employment and Social Development Canada

Work Sharing Program

Work-Sharing (WS) is an adjustment program designed to help employers and employees avoid layoffs when there is a temporary reduction in the normal level of business activity that is beyond the control of the employer. The measure provides income support to employees eligible for Employment Insurance benefits who work a temporarily reduced work week while their employer recovers. The Government of Canada has introduced temporary special measures that extend the maximum duration of Work-Sharing agreements from 38 weeks to 76 weeks across Canada for those businesses affected by the downturn in business due to COVID-19. Other measures are still in place for the forestry and steel and aluminum sectors.
You are eligible to apply if you are experiencing a downturn in business activity related to the global outbreak of COVID-19, and have:

  • WS agreements signed between March 15, 2020 and March 13, 2021
  • WS agreements that began, or ended between March 15, 2020 and March 14, 2021, and
  • WS agreements that ended between June 23, 2019, and March 14, 2020 and are in their mandatory cooling-off period

Service Canada

Employment Insurance

Employment Insurance (EI) sickness benefits provide up to 15 weeks of income replacement and is available to eligible claimants who are unable to work because of illness, injury or quarantine, to allow them time to restore their health and return to work. Canadians quarantined can apply for Employment Insurance (EI) sickness benefits. Service Canada has made a number of enhancements to the EI program to better support Canadians affected by COVID-19 including:

  • Waiving the one-week waiting period for benefits
  • Prioritizing claims for those under quarantine
  • People claiming EI sickness benefits due to quarantine will not have to provide a medical certificate
  • People who cannot complete their claim for EI sickness benefits due to quarantine may apply later and have their EI claim backdated to cover the period of delay

Other Services

Canada Emergency Business Account

This $25 billion 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).

CanExport

Funding for international market development activities. Due to travel restrictions during COVID-19 crisis CanExport advises applicants to develop a project plan that can be executed remotely from your target market.

GST, HST & Import Duty Tax Deferral

Government of Canada will allow businesses, including self-employed individuals, to defer all Goods and Services Tax/Harmonized Sales Tax (GST/HST) payments as well as customs duties owed for imports until June.

Private Banks

Private Bank Debt & Payment Relief 

Effective immediately, Bank of Montreal, CIBC, National Bank of Canada, RBC Royal Bank, Scotiabank and TD Bank have made a commitment to work with personal and small business banking customers on a case-by-case basis to provide flexible solutions to help them manage through challenges such as pay disruption due to COVID-19; childcare disruption due to school closures; or those facing illness from COVID-19.

 Province of Ontario

Reopening Ontario After COVID-19

"Ontario is planning for the next phase of responding to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak - reopening our province."  Find out more about the framework of this plan for reopening businesses, services and public spaces.

Agri-Food Open for E-Business Initiative

The Provincial and Federal Governments are investing up to $2.5 million to help the agri-food sector expand online, providing more opportunities for producers to grow their business and offer more food choices for families who are shopping online during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Construction Site Health & Safety During COVID-19

Resources, best practices and information for construction employers to help you understand your rights and responsibilities if you are operating during COVID-19.

List of Essential Workplaces

See the list of essential workplaces and get answers to your questions about what will be open or impacts to your business or employment.

Off-peak Time-Of-Use (TOU) Electricity Rate

For a 45-day period, the government is working to suspend time-of-use electricity rates, holding electricity prices to the off-peak rate of 10.1 cents-per-kilowatt-hour. This reduced price will be available 24 hours per day, seven days a week to all time-of-use customers. This discount will be applied automatically to electricity bills without the need for customers to fill out an application form.

Ontario Together: help fight coronavirus

Offer emergency products and innovative solutions or volunteer to support our response to COVID-19.

Postponing Planned Property Tax Reassessment

The government is postponing the planned property tax reassessment for 2021.  Postponing the reassessment will also provide stability for Ontario's property taxpayers and municipalities.  This means that 2021 tax levies will be based on 2020 assessment values.

Provincial Tax Deferral and Penalty Relief

Beginning April 1, 2020, penalties and interest will not apply to Ontario’s businesses that miss any filing or remittance deadlines under select provincially administered taxes. This will continue for a period of five months, up until August 31, 2020. The list of tax programs can be found at the above website.

Stop the Spread Business Information Line

The Province has launched a toll-free line 1-888-444-3659 to provide support to Ontario businesses who have questions about the province's recent emergency order to close at-risk workplaces following recommendations by Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health.

Temporary Doubling of the Employer Health Tax Exemption

In order to provide immediate financial relief to employers impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak, the government proposes to retroactively raise the EHT exemption from $490,000 to $1 million for 2020. The exemption would return to its current level of $490,000 on January 1, 2021.

WSIB Financial Relief Package

The financial relief package allows businesses to defer premium reporting and payments until August 31, 2020. All businesses covered by the WSIB's workplace insurance are automatically eligible for the financial package.

 

 

For more information please visit our COVID-19 Information and Updates page.

The Township is doing it’s best to share this information but cannot guarantee it is the latest information available as many of the programs are being offered by third parties.  

**Last updated June 26, 2020 at 10:10 am