Corporate Assistance Programs

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Updated: December 17, 2020



CRA Individuals Assistance Programs 


Corporate Assistance Programs



Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy  (CEWS)

Click here for CRA CEWS FAQ’s



November 2, 2020, CEWS Bill-C9 amendments

On November 2, the Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister, the Honourable Chrystia Freeland, introduced Bill C-9An Act to Amend the Income Tax Act (Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy and Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy)

The intended changes include: 

  • Application deadlines: The deadline for application is January 31, 2021, and 180 days after the end of the specific period.
  • Asset purchase: The asset purchase rule has been extended to cover unlimited acquisitions. Instead of having to acquire all or substantially all of the business property, the condition may be met by acquiring all or substantially all of the property of the seller, which can reasonably be considered necessary for the eligible undertaking to be able to operate a business of the seller or part of a business of the seller as a business.
  • Elections: The technical problem preventing elections under these paragraphs after the fourth period has been fixed.
  • Amending or revoking elections: A qualified entity may now amend or revoke an election made on or before the date that the application is due for the first qualifying period in respect of which the election is made.
  • Eligibility of employees: workers who are mainly employed in Canada, and this requirement is limited to the period in which the person is employed by the eligible institution.


More details to come.



October 14, 2020 CEWS program update

CEWS Update:

  • The base subsidy rate for the period for September 27 – October 24, 2020, applies until December 19, 2020. The maximum base subsidy rate is 40% and the minimum top-subsidy is 25% for this period.
  • The examination of the decreases in revenue for the basic subsidy and the top-up subsidy would be harmonized starting the 27th of September. Instead of using the current three-month test of income decline for top-up subsidies, both the basic and top-up would be determined by changing an eligible employer's monthly income year-over-year for the current or previous calendar month. For employers using the alternative test of income decline, both the basic subsidy and the top-up subsidy would be determined by the change in an eligible employer's monthly income relative to the average of its income in January 2020 and February 2020.
  • “Safe harbour” rule is applied to the program to ensure that the wage subsidy is fairly assessed with the revenue-decline test. This rule applies to an eligible employer to a top-up subsidy rate that is no less than what it would have been given under the three-month revenue decline test. This rule applies from September 27 to December 19, 2020.
  • Furloughed employees will be aligned with the EI program. This means that the weekly subsidy for an employee with arm's length (or an employee without arm length who received compensation for the corresponding period before the crisis) would be as follows:
    • the amount of the eligible compensation paid for the week or if the employee receives compensation of $500/ week and
    • 55% of the pre-crisis compensation for the employee, up to a maximum subsidy amount of $573.
  • The government will issue a technical background to the expanded wage subsidy, including details of eligibility, and introduce legislation to implement the changes.



October 9, 2020 extension of CEWS program to June 2021

On October 9, 2020, the federal government announced the extension of the CEWS program to June 2021. The proposed changes are:

  • The current structure will remain the same for a rate of up to 65% of eligible wages until December 19, 2020. 


More details to follow in the coming weeks.

Rate structure of the base subsidy: 


Period 5*: July 5 – August 1

Period 6*: August 2 – 29

Period 7: August 30 – September 26

Period 8: September 27 – October 24

Period 9: October 25 – November 21

Max weekly benefit per employee Up to $677 Up to $677 Up to $565 Up to $452 Up to $226
Revenue drop 50% and over 60% 60% 50% 40% 20%
0% to 49% 


1.2 x revenue drop

(e.g., 1.2 x 20% revenue drop = 24% base CEWS rate)



1.2 x revenue drop

(e.g., 1.2 x 20% revenue drop = 24% base CEWS rate)



1.0 x revenue drop

(e.g., 1.0 x 20% revenue drop = 20% base CEWS rate)



0.8 x revenue drop

(e.g., 0.8 x 20% revenue drop  = 16% base CEWS rate)



0.4 x revenue drop

(e.g., 0.4 x 20% revenue drop = 8% base CEWS rate)




Rate structure of the combined base subsidy and the top-up subsidy for Periods 5 and 6*Average revenue drop in the preceding 3 months: 

Revenue drop in the current 1-month reference period 70% or more 50% to 69% 0% to 49%
50% or more 85% (60% base CEWS + 25% top-up)


60% + 1.25 x (3 month revenue drop-50%)

(e.g., 60% base CEWS + 1.25 x (60% 3 month revenue drop - 50%) = 72.5% CEWS rate)


60% (60% base CEWS + 0% top-up)

0% to 49%

1.2 x revenue drop + 25%

(e.g., 1.2 x 20% revenue drop + 25% = 49% CEWS rate)


1.2 x revenue drop + 1.25 x (3 month revenue drop-50%)

(e.g., 1.2 x 20% revenue drop + 1.25 x (60% 3-month revenue drop-50%) = 36.5% CEWS rate)


1.2 x revenue drop

(e.g., 1.2 x 20% revenue drop = 24% CEWS rate)

No revenue drop 25% (0% base CEWS + 25% top-up)


1.25 x (3 month revenue drop-50%)

(e.g., 1.25 x (60% 3-month revenue drop-50%) = 12.5% CEWS rate)





June 17, 2020 extension of CEWS program to August 29, 2020.

The government of Canada is providing wage subsidies for a period of three months equal to 75% of the remuneration paid during that period, subject to a number of limits and restrictions. The subsidy is retroactive to March 15, 2020.

Businesses, charities and non-profit organizations whose revenues have decreased by at least 30% because of the COVID-19 pandemic are eligible to apply for the CEWS.

Employers may be eligible for a subsidy of up to 100% of the first 75% of pre-crisis wages of existing employees. 

On May 15, 2020, the Canadian government announced that the CEWS program is extended for an additional 12 weeks to August 29, 2020.

The government confirmed that eligibility criteria for month 4 [June 7 to July 4] will remain the same as the first three months.

Further details will be announced for potential changes for months/periods 5 and 6 [July 5, 2020 - August 29, 2020].


10% Wage Subsidy

On March 18, 2020, the Canadian government introduced a 10% federal wage subsidy for small businesses (the “10% Wage Subsidy”). 

The 10% measure is restricted to individuals, registered charities, non-profit organizations and Canadian-controlled private corporations that are eligible for the small business deduction, and partnerships that meet certain criteria.

The program covers 10% of wages paid from March 18, 2020, to June 19, 2020, and up to $1,375 for each eligible employee to a maximum of $25,000 total per employer.

Employers are responsible for manually calculating the 10% subsidy and can claim it by reducing their current payroll remittance of federal, provincial or territorial income tax by the subsidy amount.


Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS)  [75% wage subsidy]

On April 1, 2020, the Canadian government introduced CEWS to businesses, charities and non-profit organizations that experienced a 30% decrease in revenue due to COVID-19.


Qualifying Criteria

  • It will apply at a rate of 75% of the first $58,700 normally earned by employees, representing a benefit of up to $847 per week.
  • Employers eligible for the subsidy are required to make their best effort to top-up employees’ salaries to bring them to pre-crisis levels.
  • Employers will also obtain a 100% refund of certain employer-paid contributions to EI, the CPP, the QPP, and the QPIP. This refund covers 100%  of employer-paid contributions for eligible employees for each week throughout which those employees are on leave with pay and for which the employer is eligible to claim for the CEWS for those employees. This refund is not subject to the weekly maximum benefit per employee of $847 that an eligible employer may claim. 
  • The subsidy program will be in place for a 12-week period, from March 15 to June 6, 2020. (extended to Dec 19, 2020).
  • There will be no overall limit on the subsidy amount that an eligible employer may claim.
  • Eligible employers include individuals, taxable corporations, partnerships consisting of eligible employers, non-profit organizations and registered charities.
  • Public bodies are not eligible, including municipalities and local governments, crown corporations, public universities, colleges, schools and hospitals.
  • For non-profit organizations and registered charities similarly affected by a loss of revenue, the government announced that it will continue to work with the sector to ensure the definition of revenue is appropriate to their circumstances and determine whether additional support is needed.
  • The entitlement to the wage subsidy will be based entirely on the salary, wages or other remuneration actually paid to employees. 
  • Employers will also be eligible for a subsidy of up to 75% of salaries and wages paid to new employees.
  • Eligible employers apply for the subsidy through the CRA’s My Business Account portal or a web-based application.


Calculating Revenues

Employers are allowed to calculate their revenues under either the accrual method or the cash method, but not a combination of both.

Eligible employers that experienced a decline in gross revenues of at least: 

  • 15% in March 2020 (compared to March 2019)
  • 30% in April 2020 (compared to April 2019)
  • 30% in May 2020 (compared to May 2019)

Eligibility would generally be determined by the change in an eligible employer’s monthly revenues, year-over-year, for the calendar month in which the period began.


Employers are allowed to calculate their change in revenue using an alternative benchmark to determine their eligibility. Under this alternative approach, employers are allowed to compare their revenue using an average of their revenue earned in January and February 2020.

  • Employers would select the general year-over-year approach or this alternative approach when first applying for the CEWS and would be required to use the same approach for the entire duration of the program
  • Once an eligible employer is found eligible for a specific period, it will automatically qualify for the next period of the CEWS program.
  • An employer’s revenue for this purpose will be revenue from the business carried on in Canada earned from arm’s-length sources.
  • Revenue will be calculated using the employer’s normal accounting method and will exclude revenues from extraordinary items and amounts on account of capital.
  • Special rules for the computation of revenue will be provided to take into account certain non-arm’s length transactions.
  • Affiliated groups are allowed to compute revenue on a consolidated basis.


Integration with the 10% Wage Subsidy

Organizations that do not qualify for the CEWS may still qualify for the 10% Wage Subsidy.

In addition, some employers can qualify for both the 10% Wage Subsidy and the CEWS. If that is the case, any amount under the CEWS will be reduced by any 10% subsidies claimed for the same period.


Anti-abuse Warning

The Canadian government warned of “severe” consequences for any party that tries to take advantage of the CEWS and indicated potential penalties for fraudulent claims and the introduction of new offences if an employer provides false or misleading information concerning the program.

In addition, employers will be required to repay amounts paid under the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy if they are discovered not to meet the eligibility requirements or pay their employees accordingly.


Tax Treatment of CEWS

The usual treatment of tax credits and other benefits provided by the government to employers will apply to the CEWS. Accordingly, the wage subsidy received by an employer will be considered government assistance and will be included in the employer’s taxable income (if the employer is taxable).


How to Apply:

  • Most businesses may apply using My Business Account
  • If you represent a business, you may apply using Represent a Client
  • Alternatively, you may apply using a separate online application form


Assitance line for CEWS questions: 1-833-966-2099

Click here for access to the CEWS Application Guide




Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS)

[Oct. 9, 2020: Status -  implemented] 


Program length: September 27, 2020 – June 2021

The guidelines below are effective Sept 27 – Dec 19 – will be reviewed after


Eligible Entities & criteria  

  • Individuals
  • Taxable corporations
  • Trusts
  • Non-profit organizations 
  • Charities
  • Partnerships up to 50% owned by non-eligible members
  • Have a payroll account on March 15, 2020
  • Have a business number Sept 27, 2020




Revenue Decline  Subsidy 
70% or more  65% 
50% - 69% 40% + (revenue drop - 50% x 1.25) 
1%- 49%  Revenue drop x 0.80 



Revenue calculation  

  • A company's income for rent subsidies is the income from its ordinary activities in Canada, which are derived from various sources and are determined by its normal accounting practices. Revenues from extraordinary items and amounts on account of capital are excluded. There is no minimum revenue drop.

  • For registered charities and non-profit organizations, the calculation includes most forms of revenue, excluding revenues from non-arm's length persons. These organizations are allowed to choose whether to include revenue from government sources in the calculation. Once chosen, the same approach should apply throughout the programming period.

  • Specific rules for calculating revenues are foreseen to take account of certain arm-length transactions, for example when a company sells all its production to an affiliate that in turn generates arm-length revenues.

  • Affiliated groups that do not normally compute revenue on a consolidated basis may elect to do so.



Reference Periods for revenue drop 

Period  Date  Reference  Alternative 
Period 8  Sept 27 - Oct 24, 2020 


Oct 2020 over Oct 2019 


Sept 2020 vs. Sept 2019 



Oct 2020 or Sept 2020


average of Jan & Feb 2020


Period 9 Oct 25 - Nov 21, 2020 


Oct 2020 over Oct 2019 


Nov 2020 over Nov 2019 


Nov 2020 or Oct 2020


average of Jan & Feb 2020

Period 10  Nov 22 - Dec 19, 2020 


Dec 2020 over Dec 2019 


Nov 2020 over Nov 2019 


Dec 2020 or Nov 2020


average of Jan & Feb 2020



Eligible Expenses

  • Per qualifying period limited to $75,000 per location and an overall cap of $300,000 shared among affiliated entities
  • Limited to those paid under agreements in writing entered into before October 9, 2020:
    • Rent
    • Property taxes (school and municipal as well)
    • Property insurance
    • Interest in commercial mortgages
    • Interest on a property used to earn rental income from arm’s length entities is not eligible
    • Less: sublease revenues
    • Excludes sales taxes
    • The properties must be located in Canada
    • Does not apply to residential properties (taxpayer’s house or cottage)
    • Excludes payments made between non-arm’s length entities

The application can be submitted 180 days after the end period. 



Lockdown Support

This measure is available to organizations that are subject to a suspension and must suspend or substantially restrict their activities due to a public health order (federal, provincial or municipal level). This includes shutdowns of a location due to a COVID outbreak (as declared by provincial or regional authority).

25 % top-up available to CERS if 

  • Organization qualified for CERS
  • Public health order requires the organization to:
    • Completely shut down
    • Cease some or all activities at the location and, it is reasonable to conclude that the ceased activities were responsible for 25% of the revenues of the organization pre-pandemic
  • If a lockdown is for a party of a qualifying period, the lockdown support should be pro-rated for the number of days in the period affected.
  • Common examples: restaurants (impacted by indoor dining closures), bars, fitness centers, retail stores (if in-store sales > 25% of online sales), personal services (that cannot be performed while wearing a mask), indoor activities (theaters), COVID 19 outbreaks forced closure in any business.



Entities that are not eligible: 

  • Reduction in business hours
  • Lost revenues from physical distancing requirements (i.e.: can serve people at 25% indoors)
  • Loss of revenues due to travel restrictions (e.g.: hotel) where there is no order to cease activities
  • Reduction in clients at one time
  • Shutdown due to violation of a public health order


For more information about the program click here. 



Oct. 9, 2020 - Announcement of the Program CERS 

(October 9, 2020) The government of Canada announced a new program with the intent of supporting Canadian tenants and property owners by providing rent and mortgage support until June 2021. This new program is for businesses that incurred a drop in revenues due to COVID-19.

The following framework is proposed for the organizations affected:

  • The new rent subsidy would support businesses, charities, and non-profits that have suffered a revenue drop, by subsidizing a percentage of their expenses, on a sliding scale, up to a maximum of 65 percent of eligible expenses until December 19, 2020. 
  • Organizations would be able to make claims retroactively for the period that began September 27 and ends October 24, 2020.
  • A top-up Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy of 25% for organizations temporarily shut down by a mandatory public health order issued by a qualifying public health authority, in addition to the 65% rent subsidy. A total of up to 90% of financial support can be given under this program.


More details to follow in the coming weeks.



The Federal CERCA program was available from May to September 2020. 

November 2, 2020 - The Government of Québec approves the 12.5% contribution (announced on June 8, 2020) 

The government of Québec has approved the contribution of 12.5% as of November 2, 2020. The CMHC will reach out to the landlords that have participated in this program to reimburse them. 

On June 8, 2020, to encourage the participation of Québec commercial landlords to participate in the CECRA program, Québec will fund half of the landlord’s 25% contribution under the federal program. Consequently, Québec landlords will receive an amount equal to 12.5% of the total rent from Quebec, reducing their rent reduction from 25% to 12.5%.


  Rent     100 % 
  Less: Federal  loan/subsidy  (CERCA)   - 50 % 
  Less: Tenant portion of rent paid  -  25 %
  Landlords rent reduction       25 % 
  Less: Québec subsidy  - 12.5 %
  Net rent reduction for a landlord    12.5 % 




BDC - Business Development Corporation

December 4, 2020, CEBA applications under the extended CEBA loan program are open



Two financing programs are available through the BCAP:

    1.  Canada Emergency Business Account

    2.  SME Loan and Guarantee Program

Both programs are administered by private-sector financial (banking) institutions.

In order to be eligible, your business must have been impacted directly or indirectly by recent events and have been financially viable prior to the impact of COVID-19.


Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA)

  • Loan up to $60 0000
  • A business operating account at a participating financial institution.
  • Applicants have until March 31, 2021, to apply for $60 000 loan or the $20 000 expansion.
  • A Canada Revenue Agency business number, and to have filed a 2018 or 2019 tax return.
  • To qualify, organizations are required to demonstrate that they paid between $20,000 and $1.5 million in total payroll in 2019, based on their 2019 T4SUM Summary of Remuneration Paid.
  • Incurred eligible non-deferrable expenses between $40,000 and $1.5 million. Eligible non-deferrable.
  • The applicant must have the intention to continue operations.
  • To qualify, the applicant must agree to participate in post-funding surveys conducted by the Canadian Government.
  • The deadline for an application to the CEBA program is extended to December 31, 2020.
  • Available through your primary financial institution (bank).



Application procedure

Both the Canada Emergency Business Account and SME Loan and Guarantee program will be administered by private-sector financial institutions (banks).

The application process contains 2 streams:

  1. The Payroll Stream (applicants who paid between $20,000 and $1.5 million in total payroll in 2019)
  2. The Non-Deferrable Expense Stream (applicants with total income of $20,000 or less in calendar year 2019)


Conditions for the Non-Deferrable Expense Stream:

  • The applicant will have to demonstrate having Non-Deferrable Expenses between $40,000 and $1.5 million in 2020.
  • For "Non-Deferrable Expenses" to be considered eligible, these should already exist and have been created in January and/or February 2020 or have been created by a legal or contractual obligation as of March 1, 2020, and cannot be avoided or postponed beyond 2020 even during shutdown due to COVID-19 and revenues have decreased.
  • Eligible non-deferrable expenses could include costs such as rent, property taxes, utilities, insurance, business utilities, schedule payments for debt service, payments for agreements with independent contractors, fees to maintain licenses, payments for materials used to produce a product, wages and other employment expenses to independent (arms’ length).
  • Variable operating costs are not financed or supported under these criteria.


CEBA Specification of the Forgivable portion.

The CRA confirmed details concerning that income is included in the portion of the interest-free loan. It should be included:

  • The part of the loan that is forgivable is included in the income of the year in which the loan is received by virtue of paragraph 12(1)(x).
  • However, as CEBA funds are to be used to pay for non-deferrable operating expenses of the business including payroll, rent, utilities, insurance, property tax and regularly scheduled debt service, the recipient can elect to reduce the amount of outlay or expense under subsection 12(2.2) as opposed to reporting the amount as an income inclusion.
  • If the amount is repaid, a deduction can be claimed at the time of repayment.
  • If the loan is repaid by or before December 31, 2022, the applicant can receive a 33 percent loan forgiveness (up to $20,000).


For more details click-here. 






Business Development Corporation – BDC 

Two financing programs are available through the BCAP:

    1.  Canada Emergency Business Account

    2.  SME Loan and Guarantee Program

Both programs are administered by private-sector financial (banking) institutions.

In order to be eligible, your business must have been impacted directly or indirectly by recent events and have been financially viable prior to the impact of COVID-19.


SME Loan and Guarantee Program

  • BDC co-lending (with financial institutions)
  • Up to $6.25 million
  • Commercial interest rate 
  • 10-year repayment period 
  • Available through your primary financial institution 


Application procedure

Both the Canada Emergency Business Account and SME Loan and Guarantee program will be administered by private-sector financial institutions.



Export Development Canada – EDC

EDC BCAP Guarantee

Effective March 24, 2020, EDC is supporting all exporting companies by offering their bank a guarantee on loans of up to $6.25 M so that companies can access more cash immediately. 


Application procedure

Available through your primary financial institution.


Other EDC Measures

For credit insurance customers, effective immediately EDC will:

Cover losses for goods shipped even if the buyer has not accepted the goods, subject to terms*.

Waive the 60-day waiting period for claims*.

*This does not apply to Domestic coverage. 


EDC access instructions:

  • New to EDC and seeking more informational call 1-800-229-0575 or click here
  • Current EDC Customers needing working capital and financial solutions should contact their account manager. 
  • Existing customers needing any assistance with insurance products and online portals should contact 1-866-716-7201 and 




Work Share Program

Work-Sharing is a program to avoid lay-offs when there is an uncontrollable temporary decrease in business activity. The program provides EI benefits to eligible employees who agree to reduce their normal working hours.


To be eligible your business must:

  • Be a year-round business in Canada for at least 1 year
  • Be a private business, a publicly held company or a not-for-profit organization, and
  • Have at least two employees in the work-sharing unit


To be eligible for work-sharing benefits, your employees must:

  • Be year-round, permanent, full-time or part-time employees needed to carry out the day-to-day functions of the business ( “core staff”)
  • Be eligible to receive EI benefits, and
  • Agree to reduce their normal working hours by the same percentage and to share the available work




Québec – Emergency Assistance for Small and Medium-Sized Businesses

This program is offered to help small and medium-sized businesses; this is temporary support to help during financial hardship to those who need $50 000 cash or less. 



  • Business in all industry sectors
  • Social economy enterprises (Including cooperatives and non-profit organization that are involved in commercial activities)
  • Your business is temporarily closed
  • Be at a stage of maintaining, consolidating, or relaunching their operations
  • Demonstrate the need for financial assistance due to COVID-19


To Apply:

For more information, contact your regional county municipality RCM, your municipal office or the authority that manages the Local Investment fund of your account.



Québec – Aid for businesses in regions of red zone alert (ABRUMA) 


On October 1, 2020, the provincial government of Québec announce the implementation of the Assistance for Business in Regions Under Maximum Alert (ABRUMA) Program. This program is a new component of the previous government programs: PAUPME and the PACTE.


This new program is for businesses that had to follow orders to remain close due to the second wave of COVID-19 in Quebec. ABRUMA will provide non-repayable assistance to companies subject to closure orders that will suffer revenue losses to pay their fixed costs. The maximum amounts covered up to 80% of eligible core operating costs, equivalent to a maximum amount of $15,000/ month of closure.



  • You must be under the Emergency Assistance to Small and Medium-Sized Program
  • You must be located in a red zone region
  • Be the subject of a Ministerial Order to close for at least 10 days out of the month.
  • Loans forgiveness will be granted for the following fixed cost:
    • Municipal and school taxes
    • Rent
    • Interest on a mortgage
    • Utility costs
    • Insurance
    • Telecommunication costs
    • Association fee and licenses


To Apply:

For more information, contact your regional county municipality RCM, your municipal office or the authority that manages the Local Investment fund of your account.




Investissement Québec (IQ) Supporting Financial Market Liquidity


For more information about Investissement Québec’s support, click here [English]. 

For more information about Investissement Québec’s support, click here [French]. 


IQ has introduced the “Programme d’action concertée temporaire pour les entreprises” (PACTE).

This new emergency funding measure provides support for businesses affected by the repercussions of COVID-19.


Eligible Businesses

This financial assistance is available to businesses operating in Québec, including cooperatives and other social economy enterprises with commercial activities.

Eligible businesses are those that find themselves in a precarious situation and temporary difficulty as a result of COVID-19. They must show that their financial structure offers realistic prospects for profitability.


Eligible Projects

  • Businesses must show that their cash flow issues are temporary and that the liquidity shortage stems from:
  • A problem involving the supply of raw materials or products (goods or services)
  • An inability, or a substantially decreased ability, to deliver goods, products or services
  • Applications will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis, according to the business’s circumstances and Investissement Québec’s management practices.


Eligible Industries

All industries are eligible, except for the following:

  • Weapons manufacturing or distribution
  • Games of chance and gambling, combat sports, bars, racing, and other similar activities
  • Production and sale of tobacco and drugs along with services related to their use, except for projects involving pharmaceutical-grade products approved by Health Canada and has a DIN, or their ingredients, as well as R&D projects licensed by Health Canada
  • Any activity whose main purpose is protected by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (religion, politics, human rights advocacy, etc.)
  • Any other activity that may offend public morals


Details of Financial Assistance

  • A loan guarantee is the preferred form of financing. Financing can also take the form of a loan from Investissement Québec.
  • Investissement Québec aims to work in close cooperation with financial institutions and federal authorities to share risks
  • The minimum funding amount is $50,000.
  • Refinancing is prohibited.
  • This measure is designed to shore up the business’s working capital.





Québec Incentive Program to Retain Essential Workers (IPREW)

The Québec government introduced a financial assistance program for individuals working essential jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The assistance amount will make up the difference between the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) and an eligible individual’s wages.

Eligible workers can apply for the program online beginning on May 19. The program provides $100 for each week of qualifying work beginning March 15, 2020 and extending for a maximum of 16 weeks.

This means that, in addition to their wages, a worker could receive a taxable benefit of $400 per month, for a total of $1,600 for the full 16-month period. Payments will be made every two weeks starting on May 27, 2020.



To be eligible under the program, you must:

  • Work part-time or full-time in one of the essential service sectors during the program period;
  • Receive gross wages of $550 or less per week;
  • Have an annual employment income of at least $5,000;
  • Have a total annual income of no more than $28,600;
  • Be at least 15 years old when you apply for assistance under the IPREW; and
  • Have been resident in Québec on December 31, 2019, and plan to reside in Québec throughout 2020.
To receive this assistance for a given week covered by the program, you must not have received amounts under the CERB or the temporary aid for workers program for that same week. Note that you are eligible for the program even if your employer receives assistance through the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy.


How to apply for assistance as an eligible worker

You can apply for the IPREW online in the period from May 19 to November 15, 2020.


To apply:




Montréal – Small Business Support Program

This initiative is supported by Québec’s Ministère de l’Économie et de l’Innovation du gouvernement du Québec, which has allocated $40 million to the Montréal agglomeration in the form of a loan to assist small businesses in all sectors of activity.

This assistance is available to all Montréal businesses that are temporarily closed or likely to close as well as those that are trying to maintain or resume their operations during this crisis.

All Montréal companies, including social economy businesses such as co-ops and nonprofits that carry out market activities, can take part in this program.

The money will be distributed through the PME MTL network, Montréal’s business assistance network.

It will take the form of a loan of $50,000 maximum at a 3% interest rate after the six-month moratorium. The city will assume interest fees incurred during the first six months of the loan.

Due to the crisis situation, companies will have a 36-month payback period, excluding the moratorium, to reimburse their loan. Under exceptional circumstances, this payback period can be extended to up to 60 months.



Montréal companies can find out about terms and conditions on the Emergency Fund page (in French) of the PME MTL Web site. 




Montréal – Small Businesses Assistance (June 8, 2020) 

On June 8, 2020, the Québec government and the Mayor of Montréal announced an additional $50 million of assistance to support Montréal businesses.

Through the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF), the federal government plans to grant up to $30 million aid for Montréal businesses that are not eligible for the other federal measures related to COVID-19 that are already in place.

The Québec government is contributing $20 million to the fund for the City of Montréal under the Aide d’urgence aux petites et moyennes entreprises program to come to the assistance of the Montreal SME's facing financial hardship due to COVID-19.

The City of Montréal’s business support network, PME MTL, will administer these funds.




Canadian Bankers Association (CBA) – Mortgage Deferral Plan

The Canadian Bankers Association announced that the six Canadian major banks have introduced programs to offer deferral of mortgage payments.

Customers impacted economically by the COVID-19 can apply for mortgage relief to their respective banks.

A mortgage deferral implies an interruption of payments in this period of time, during which interest which would otherwise be part of the deferred payments is added to the outstanding balance of the mortgage. The added interest is incorporated into the monthly payment, either when payments resume at the end of the deferral period or upon renewal at the end of the mortgage’s term.


For more information directly from the banks, please visit:



Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRFF) 

The government of Canada has invested $1.5 billion to assist financially, organizations in the following sectors: 

  • Manufacturing 
  • Technology 
  • Tourism and others.

This supplemental financial aid is given to organizations that have not been able to access other support measures to recover from this pandemic.

Click here to your Application Procedure.



Program to support Black-led business organizations through the National Ecosystem Fund

The Government of Canada has provided an investment of $53 million to help black-led business organizations across the country. This program provides funding and capital, along with mentoring and financial planning assistance to train entrepreneurs in business management. This is part of the Black Community Entrepreneurship Program.


For more information click here. 





Program supporting Black business owners and entrepreneurs through the Black Entrepreneurship Loan Fund

The Government of Canada has provided an investment of $93 million through the Black Community Entrepreneurship Program. This provides loans to business owners from $25,000 to $250,000.



More details to follow in the coming weeks.





October 20, 2020, Program Canada United Small Business Relief Fund

On October 20, the government of Canada announced this program with the contribution of RBC and Canada United. To help small businesses offset the cost of expenses to reopen safely or adopt technologies to move to an online platform.

The program grants: $5000

Applications are open for the following provinces:

  • Newfoundland and Labrador
  • Northwest Territories
  • Nova Scotia
  • Nunavut
  • Prince Edward Island
  • Quebec
  • Saskatchewan
  • Yukon


For more information about the program and eligibility, click here.




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