Latest Federal Update [April 16th, 2020]

The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today announced new measures to support Canadian businesses so they can keep their doors open and their employees on the job.

The Government of Canada is:

· Expanding the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) to businesses that paid between $20,000 and $1.5 million in total payroll in 2019. This new range will replace the previous one of between $50,000 and $1 million, and will help address the challenges faced by small businesses to cover non-deferrable operating costs.

· Announcing its intent to introduce the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) for small businesses. The program will seek to provide loans, including forgivable loans, to commercial property owners who in turn will lower or forgo the rent of small businesses for the months of April (retroactive), May, and June. Implementation of the program will require a partnership between the federal government and provincial and territorial governments, which are responsible for property owner-tenant relationships. We are working with the provinces and territories to increase rent support for businesses that are most impacted by the pandemic and we will have more details to share soon.

The government will continue to monitor and respond to the wide-ranging impacts of COVID-19, and take additional actions as needed to protect the health and safety of Canadians and stabilize the economy.



Whether you are self-employed, a small business owner, or an entrepreneur – you shouldn’t have to worry about having to lose your business or your job. 

To get the help you need: 

1.       Visit our government’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan website for information about supporting your employees and your business. It is constantly updated as the COVID-19 crisis evolves. 

2.       Contact your local financial institution. Since we know most small businesses have a relationship with their local financial institution already, we’ve worked with the financial sector to increase their lending capability to support you in in this challenging time. They are a good first place to start for help.

3.       Consult the Canadian Business Resilience Network and Canadian Chamber of Commerce’s pandemic preparedness guide to help prepare you business in the days and weeks to come.


For assistance at any time, please reach out to the team member below who represents your regionBased on the current volume of email, if you reply to this email directly without copying the appropriate regional team member, my response may be significantly delayed.

•         Simon Beauchemin, Director of Policy – simon.beauchemin@international.gc.ca  

•         Ivana Spasovska, Senior Special Assistant, Regional Affairs and Stakeholder Relations (Ontario) – ivana.spasovska@international.gc.ca

•         Ryan Nearing, Press Secretary and Regional Advisor (Atlantic) – ryan.nearing@international.gc.ca

•         Zach Nixon, Special Assistant, Regional Affairs (Ontario) – Zachary.nixon@international.gc.ca

•         Youmy Han, Special Assistant, Regional Affairs (West and North) – youmy.han@international.gc.ca

•         Arevig Afarian, Special Assistant, Regional Affairs (Quebec) – arevig.afarian@international.gc.ca

Federal: New CERB Details Announced

In yesterday’s COVID-19 update the Prime Minister announced that the federal government will provide funds to provinces to top-up salaries of low-income workers essential to the provision of frontline support services in the fight against COVID-19.
He also announced that eligibility for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit will be expanded to include:
  • Earnings of up to $1,000 per month while collecting CERB;
  • Seasonal Workers
  • Workers whose EI benefits have recently expired.

More detail on these initiatives can be found on a Department of Finance Press Release.

Updates on BDC’s support to entrepreneurs

BDC publicly acknowledges some people are experiencing difficulty with the embedded links in the BDC COVID-19 Relief Measures Guide. They apologize for the inconvenience and circulated a new link. Accessing the Guide through this link will allow access to updates to the relief measures. 

How has COVID-19 affected your business? Help shape solutions to foster Candian Business survival and continuity by completing the new Canadian Survey on Business Conditions: statcan.gc.ca/CSBC

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