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Running a business

What the COVID-19 Credits Mean for Your Small Business

On March 18, 2020 the Government of Canada announced they will be providing a total of $82 billion in support of Canadians and small businesses during COVID-19.

Here are some COVID-19 Credits that are available to you as a Canadian small business owner.

  • Tax filing deadlines are extended, as well as deadlines for tax payments until August 31, 2020
  • Reduce the amount of payroll deductions you have to send to the CRA with the 10% Temporary Wage Subsidy program. Learn more.
  • Eligible businesses will receive a 75% wage subsidy (which will be backdated from March 15, 2020), for the next 90 days, up to a maximum of $1375 per employee and $25,000 per employer. Learn how to receive your subsidy here.
  • The Canadian Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance for small to medium sized businesses will provide forgivable loans to qualifying commercial property owners that will provide over 50% of three monthly rent payments. The loans will only be forgiven if the property owners agree to reduce small business tenants rents by at least 75% for three months.
  • Guarantee bank loans up to $40,000 for small businesses, which will be interest free for 1 year
  • CRA will temporarily suspend audit interactions
  • The Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) is available through BDC and EDC, and will provide more than $10 billion in additional support to help small businesses remain resilient
  • The OSFI is lowering the Domestic Stability Buffer by 1.25%
  • The Bank of Canada will adjust its market liquidity operations and will broaden eligible collateral to include the full range of collateral eligible under the Standing Liquidity Facility
  • GST and HST payments, and duties and taxes owed on imports, will be deferred until June
  • Work-Share program is being extended from 38 weeks to 76 weeks
  • Farm Credit Canada will be providing an addition $5 million in lending capacity to producers, agribusinesses, and food processors

CRA will provide income support to:

  • Self-employed workers who are quarantined or sick with COVID-19 but do not qualify for EI or sickness benefits
  • Self-employed workers who are taking care of any family members sick with COVID-19, but do not qualify for EI
  • Parents with children who require care or supervision due to school closures and cannot earn employment income
  • The Canadian Emergency Response Benefit is a taxable benefit of $2000 for up to four months for workers who have their lost income due to COVID-19

How to Apply for the COVID-19 Credits

Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP): Speak to your financial institution for more details and what your small business qualifies for.

Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB): Self-employed workers can apply for CERB on Please note – if you are receiving the wage subsidy, you cannot apply for CERB. Learn more.

Small Business Wage Subsidy: Small business owners can apply for the 75% wage subsidy on April 27. Learn more.


The province of Alberta has announced financial aid to small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 virus. Alberta will provide the following:

  • Small business owners can defer bill payments for 90 days without having services cut-off
  • Working adult citizens who must self-isolate can apply for a one-time payment of $573
  • Corporate income tax payments and instalment payments will be deferred from March 19 until August 31 to increase employers’ access to cash so they can pay employees, address debts, and continue operations.
  • Small businesses owners can apply for payment deferral on loans and lines of credit for up to six months

British Columbia

B.C. announced financial aid in the form of tax breaks to small businesses and enterprises that have been affected by COVID-19. They will provide the following:

  • Small businesses provincial tax filing and payment deadlines are deferred to September 30, 2020. This includes provincial sales tax, municipal and regional district tax, tobacco tax, motor fuel tax and carbon tax.
  • Plans for $1.5 billion funding to support an economic stimulus once COVID-19 has passed
  • BC Hydro is deferring bill payments for commercial properties


As part of the Manitoba Protection Plan, the government implemented aid for businesses that are struggling through COVID-19.

  • No interest or penalties for Manitoba Hydro, Centra Gas, Workers Compensation Board and Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI)
  • Manitoba Hydro and Centra Gas will not be disconnecting customers
  • No interest fees on Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries receivables from restaurants, bars, and speciality wine stores
  • No interest on education property tax
  • Provincial tax deadlines have been extended to August 31, 2020

New Brunswick

The government of New Brunswick has announced measures to protect small businesses impacted by the spread of COVID-19, including:

  • Small business owners can apply for working capital loans up to $100,000 through the NB Small Business Emergency Working Capital Program
  • Businesses that employ 1 -49 employees, including sole- proprietors and self-employed, with sales of less than $10 million, can also apply for capital loans
  • Loan and interest repayments will be deferred for up to six months, determined on a case-by-case basis
  • WorkSafeNB will deferred assessment premiums related to employer payrolls for three months without interest charges

Nova Scotia

Many program and service fees are being deferred until June 30, 2020 for small business owners in Nova Scotia. Click here for more information.


The government of Ontario has announced the following financial relief for small to medium sized businesses that have been impacted by COVID-19:

  • Interest and penalty relief for five months for provincial taxes
  • Deferred Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) payments for up to six months
  • Increasing the Employer Health Tax exemption for up to $9945 per business


The province of Prince Edward Island is offering the following for any small businesses impacted by COVID-19

  • Those who are self-employed and have lost all revenues on or after March 13, 2020 can apply for the Emergency Income Relief for a maximum of $500 per week.
  • Small businesses can apply for the support through the Special Situation Fund for a one-time payment of $1000.
  • A financing program has been developed to provide emergency working capital for PEI’s small businesses. Eligible businesses can apply for a loan up to $100,000, with deferred interest payments for a minimum of 12 months.


The province of Quebec is offering emergency aid, in the form of a loan of up to $50,000, for small and medium-sized enterprises that are struggling with delivering products or goods or those that are experiencing issues with the supply of raw materials or products


Saskatchewan has announced the following measures for small businesses during COVID-19:

  • The Saskatchewan Small Business Emergency Payment (SSBEP), provides a one-time payment for small to medium-sized businesses which will be based on 15% of businesses’ monthly sales revenue
  • Deferring provincial sales tax payments and interest charges for three months
  • Provincial utilities will be deferred, with 0 interest, for up to six months
  • Workers Compensation Board are waiving premium penalties of employers


Please visit Health Canada’s website for tips on how to keep you and your employees safe during COVID-19.

For more information on how to run your small business during COVID-19:

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