COVID-19 Business Resources

SUNDRE'S PANDEMIC BUSINESS RESILIENCE SUPPORT STRATEGY 

FOR UP-TO-DATE COVID-19 INFO BY SUNDRE EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT, CLICK HERE.
 
We understand that the current public health emergency is weighing heavily on your business. Sundre Economic Development has developed a 10-point strategy, covering three key areas, to try and help relieve some of your anxiety and prepare you for the eventual return to normal operations. To see a copy of the strategy guiding our efforts, click here.
 
These are unprecedented times. Try and keep positive. You WILL be able to rebuild and recover.
 
In the meantime, explore the information below to try and help you navigate the system of supports that are currently being provided.
 
Information from the Chief Medical Officer of Health (CMOH) for Businesses Planning on Relaunch 
  • The CMOH revised expectations for businesses with regards to the template for relaunch considerations.
    • For workplaces newly opening, completion of the template is voluntary and recommended.
    • For facilities that did not close, completion of the template is voluntary, not mandatory.
    • Information and the plan template is available at  alberta.ca/BizConnect, along with more sector specific guidelines.
 
Provincial Business Support Links
 
Useful Third-party Links 

(we take no responsibility for any of the content or information presented in any of the third-party, external links shown on this page)



There is Hope.

Take advantage of the following programs to get you through the crisis. As we become aware of new programs, we will update this list.
 
FEDERAL GOVERNMENT PROGRAMS
Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance Program
Applications OPEN as of May 25. 
 
  • It is one application that covers April, May and June. It looks to see whether the average revenues for all those three months are 70% or more below the baseline.
    • Forecasts will be accepted for June.
  • Requires landlord application, a rent reduction agreement(s) and landlord and tenant attestations. Portal will be available 24/7 and template documents are available
  • Landlords must agree that the rent that is forgiven, reduced and will never be recoverable or collected through significant or disproportionate rent increases.
  • Tenant attestation covers rent cap of $50,000, enterprise size of $20 million or less and 70% or greater revenue loss when compared to the same months last year or the average of January and February 2020.
  • Non arms-length parties need to show a valid lease and attest that the rent is not above market value.
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Work-sharing Program
The Federal Government is extending the maximum duration of the Work-Sharing Program from 38 weeks to 76 weeks. The Work-Sharing program is offered to workers who agree to reduce their normal working hours because of developments beyond the control of their employers.
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Emergency Wage-subsidies for small businesses

On March 27, 2020, the Federal government announced that the wage subsidy would be increased to cover up to 75% of an employee's wages. All businesses seeing a drop of 30% in revenue due to the pandemic will be eligible, according to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. 

On April 8, 2020, Prime Minister Trudeau announced that the threshold to qualify would be eased to only a 15% drop in revenue, instead of 30%. Please visit the website for additional information. A good explanation of the changes in the program can be found on CBC's website.

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(income support)

 The Federal government will provide a taxable benefit of $500 per week for up to 16 weeks to:

  • wage earners and self-employed individuals, including contract workers, who would not otherwise be eligible for Employment Insurance.
  • workers who must stop working due to COVID-19 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.
  • UPDATED April 15:
    • The CERB will now be extended to people to allow them to earn up to $1000 in income while still collecting the CERB. 
    • The CERB will now be extended to workers who have exhausted their regular EI and are unable to find a job due to COVID-19; this includes Seasonal workers.
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Small Business Financing Program
The Canada Small Business Financing Program makes it easier for small businesses to get loans from financial institutions by sharing the risk with lenders.
 
Small businesses or start-ups operating for profit in Canada, with gross annual revenues of $10 million or less are eligible.
 
Up to a maximum of $1,000,000 is available for any one borrower, of which no more than $350,000 can be used for purchasing leasehold improvements or improving leased property and purchasing or improving new or used equipment. 
 
Note that financial institutions deliver the program and are solely responsible for approving the loan.
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Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility
New program announced May 11, 2020. Details to come. Read the CBC article here.
 
From the CBC article: 

The federal government is offering bridge financing for big Canadian businesses across all sectors to help them keep employees on the payroll through the pandemic, but there are conditions attached — including a requirement that companies receiving the loans disclose their environmental plans.

The large employer emergency financing facility (LEEFF) will provide support to employers with annual revenues of more than $300 million whose credit needs aren't being met through conventional financing.

While he said today the details are still being worked out, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stressed that the program is a bridge loan program, not a "bailout," and that the government is "a lender of last resort."

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Deferred GST & HST payments, duties, and taxes on imports
The Federal government will allow businesses, including self-employed individuals, to defer until June 30, 2020 payments of the Goods and Services Tax / Harmonized Sales Tax (GST/HST), as well as customs duties owing on their imports.

The deferral will apply to GST/HST remittances for the February, March and April 2020 reporting periods for monthly filers; the January 1, 2020 through March 31, 2020 reporting period for quarterly filers; and for annual filers, the amounts collected and owing for their previous fiscal year and instalments of GST/HST in respect of the filer’s current fiscal year.

For GST and customs duty payments for imported goods, deferral will include amounts owing for March, April and May.

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Sell Directly to the Federal Government 

Income generating opportunity: Are you a business that can supply products and services in support of Canada’s response to COVID-19? The Federal government wants to hear from you right away.

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Complete List of Support under Canada's Economic Response Plan
Includes all info on programs for employees, businesses, and people who cannot work.
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ALBERTA GOVERNMENT PROGRAMS
Small and Medium Enterprise Relaunch Grant 

The Small and Medium Enterprise Relaunch Grant offers financial assistance to Alberta businesses, cooperatives, and non-profit organizations that faced restrictions or closures from public health orders, and experienced a revenue loss of at least 50 per cent due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Eligible job creators can apply for up to $5,000 through this program.

This relief for businesses and non-profits can be used to offset the costs they are facing as they reopen their doors. This includes the costs of implementing measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, such as physical barriers, PPE and cleaning supplies, as well as rent, employee wages, replacing inventory and more.

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Emergency Isolation Support 
Eligible working Albertans can receive a one-time emergency isolation support payment of $1,146 if they are required to self-isolate or are the sole caregiver of someone in self-isolation and they have no other source of pay or compensation.
 
This is a temporary program to fill the gap until the Federal government rolls out the Canada Emergency Response Benefit in April.
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(Emergency financial assistance)
For employees
You can get help when:
- a situation is caused by unforeseeable circumstances beyond your control, and
- it presents a severe health risk, and
- you cannot access other resources or wait until your next pay-cheque or Income Support benefit cheque.
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Includes all info on tax changes, payment deferrals on various levies and taxes, and job leave protection. 
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NO MATCHING FUNDING required: Featuring two streams, the Cooperative Investment Program has been launched to assist tourism operators and regions across Alberta restart consumer marketing activities and aid in the development of traveller products, experiences, and packaging in a COVID-19 travel environment. Grant application intakes are in June and September. 
 
FINANCIAL & ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AGENCY PROGRAMS
ATB Financial Customer Relief Program
ATB Financial will be offering payment deferrals for small businesses up to 6 months. Other programs may be available.
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Canadian Bankers Association 
 
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.
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Business Credit Availability Program (Business Development Bank of Canada and Export Development Canada) 
  
EDC and BDC will provide more than $65 billion in direct lending and other types of financial support at market rates to businesses with viable business models whose access to financing would otherwise be restricted.
 
Specific Elements of the Business Credit Availability Program include (these will be rolled out in the three weeks after March 27, 2020):
  • Emergency Business Account: The new Canada Emergency Business Account 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. To qualify, these organizations will need to demonstrate they paid between $20,000 to $1.5 million in total payroll in 2019.
  • UPDATE April 15:
    • The Canadian Emergency Business Account will now provide up to $40,000 in government-guaranteed loans to businesses that had payrolls last year between $20,000 and $1.5 million. It previously offered loans to business with a narrower range of payrolls, between $50,000 and $1 million.  
    • The loans are interest-free until Dec. 31, 2022 and if they’re paid off by then, up to 25 per cent of the total will be forgiven. 
    • The federal government is also working on a program to help businesses and commercial landlords cover their rents for at least three months, though the details still need to be worked out with the provinces and territories. Details to come. The Feds are still working with the provinces to get this one going.   

  • Loan Guarantee for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises: EDC is working with financial institutions to issue new operating credit and cash flow term loans of up to $6.25 million to SMEs.
  • Co-Lending Program for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises: BDC is working with financial institutions to co-lend term loans to SMEs for their operational cash flow requirements. Eligible businesses may obtain incremental credit amounts of up to $6.25 million through the program.
 
Business Development Bank of Canada will also provide flexible payments, low interest unsecured loans and support high-risk business. You must merely have been viable prior to the crisis. Contact the BDC directly for more information.
 
Immediate cash loans: BDC also has an on-line loan application option for Non-BDC clients; small businesses that have been in operation a minimum 2 years and where the shareholder has a strong personal credit score can apply for up to $100,000. This is an option for immediate cash needs.
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CF Central Alberta is deferring all payments for existing clients for up to 3 months, and will consider all applications from new clients on a case-by-case basis.  
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FCC has received an enhancement to its capital base that will allow for an additional $5 billion in lending capacity. 
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We will do what we can to help you  

1. Business Impact Surveys 
Help us understand the extent of the impact on your business that the COVID pandemic response has caused. Though it may be tedious, completing all three of these surveys will help authorities understand what your needs are from local, provincial and national perspectives.
 
 
2. New Regional Business Support Hotline
Call 1-403-556-3130 (ext. 1 for Sundre businesses) for information and support navigating the plethora of provincial and federal support programs available to businesses. Need help? Let the economic development official in your community try and help you. If we don't have an answer, we'll try to get one. Give us a call between 10am and 3pm. 

3. Advice and Technical Assistance
If you are a small business located in Sundre's trade area and need help getting your head around this whole situation, contact us and we will do what we can to offer limited advice for the road ahead. Alternatively, if you'd like support with marketing and becoming an online business, we can also try and provide limited technical assistance. 
 
Contact us at the Hotline number above, or write: economic.development@sundre.com
 
4. Case Management Assistance for Certain Businesses
We can help act as a concierge to certain businesses. Due to the sheer volume of help required, this dedicated case support will be limited, but we'll do what we can. If your business is in danger of imminently shutting down, or if your business is an economic anchor to the Sundre trade area, write or call us so we can discuss how we might help. 

Workshops on Re-growing your Business

Once social distancing and isolation efforts are removed and the economy begins to recover, Sundre Economic Development will be hosting workshops to guide you through the post-pandemic reality. We will try and host experts in accounting, finance, tax, government programs, development permitting and legal areas. 
  
Stay tuned for further information in the near future. 
 
In the meantime, we will continue to promote Sundre as a place to visit and invest. This crisis will come to an eventual end, and we want you to keep Sundre top-of-mind. 
 
For information on visiting Sundre, visit ExploreSundre.com
 
For information on investing into Sundre, visit GrowSundre.com