FAQs about various government-announced programs:

PDF one-page overview from York Region about the primary Federal and Provincial COVID-19 Business Funding Supports for Businesses

Canadian Federation of Independent Business Help Centre (up-to-date FAQs about new and existing programs announced by government, including timelines, amounts, factors to consider and other details)

Markham Property Tax and Stormwater Fee Payment Deferral Program

For 2021, Markham Council has approved a new Property Tax and Stormwater Fee Payment Deferral Program to assist property owners who have been financially affected by COVID-19. This assistance is by application only and is meant to aid residential and business property owners who may require payment flexibility throughout the 2021 taxation year.

Financial supports:

(Note: please carefully consider taking advantage of business loan/credit solutions to ensure it makes sense for your business; for some, the cash flow is critical, for others, taking on additional debt may be challenging – let us know if you’d like to discuss msbc@markham.ca)

Government of Canada’s web portal for business financial support, loans and access to credit including CEBA, CERS, CEWS, BCAP, RRRF and more.

Government of Ontario's portal for businesses to get help with COVID-19 costs Find out if your business is eligible for grants to help with the cost of personal protective equipment, property taxes, energy bills and extra support if you have to close or significantly restrict services because of provincial public health measures.  Including information about Ontario's Small Business Support Grant providing up to $20,000 (up to $40,000 as of March 25, 2021) for Eligible Businesses Impacted by Provincewide Shutdown.

Businesses heavily impacted by COVID-19 can access guaranteed, low-interest loans of $25,000 to $1 million to cover operational cash flow needs.  Contact your primary financial institution to apply.  The program will be available at some participating financial institutions as of February 1, 2021. Other participating financial institutions will deploy the program progressively over the days that follow.

Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) This $55 billion program provides interest-free loans of up to $60,000 to small businesses and not-for-profits. Repaying the balance of the loan on or before December 31, 2022 will result in loan forgiveness of 33 percent (up to $20,000).

Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS) — Canadian businesses, non-profit organizations, or charities who have seen a drop in revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic may be eligible for a subsidy to cover part of their commercial rent or property expenses, starting on September 27, 2020, until June 2021.

This subsidy will provide payments directly to qualifying renters and property owners, without requiring the participation of landlords.

If you are eligible for the base subsidy, you may also be eligible for lockdown support if your business location is significantly affected by a public health order for a week or more.


    • Who can apply: Find out if you are eligible to apply for the subsidy
    • Periods you can apply for: Claim period dates and which periods you can apply for today
    • Expenses you can claim: The portion of eligible expenses that your business can claim
    • Calculate your subsidy amount: Use our calculator to find out how much your rent subsidy may be
    • How to apply: How to submit an application for the rent subsidy
    • After you apply: Getting your payment, reapplying for other periods, changing a claim, and our review of claims
    • Contact us about CERS: How to contact the CRA about the rent subsidy

The application process for CECRA for small businesses is closed

Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) for small businesses provided relief for small businesses who experienced financial hardship due to COVID‑19..

The Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) provides liquidity support to businesses and organizations affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19, that are unable to access other federal relief measures, or require additional support.

Updates on changes to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) services, due dates and programs affected by the pandemic including CRB, CRCB, CRSB, CERS, CEWS, CERB (now ended) and more.

Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) as a Canadian employer who has seen a drop in revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic, you may be eligible for a subsidy to cover part of your employee wages, retroactive to March 15. This subsidy will enable you to re-hire workers, help prevent further job losses, and ease your business back into normal operations.

The 10% Temporary Wage Subsidy for Employers (TWS) is a 3-month measure that allows eligible employers to reduce the amount of payroll deductions they need to remit to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). This only applies to the federal, provincial, or territorial income tax portion of the remittance.

The subsidy is equal to 10% of the remuneration you pay from March 18 to June 19, 2020, up to $1,375 for each eligible employee. The maximum total is $25,000 for each eligible employer.

CEWS is another subsidy available to employers. The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) is a separate program that provides a 75% wage subsidy to eligible employers. If eligible, you may be able to take advantage of both the TWS and the CEWS. For more information see How the TWS and CEWS work together.

Central Counties Tourism has set aside $400,000 to help offset the costs incurred by businesses to keep customers safe, stay top of mind with consumers and/or modify their business model to stay relevant and accessible.

Central Counties will reimburse up to 50% of eligible paid expenses (to a maximum of $15,000) incurred beginning April 1, 2020.


Reasonable and necessary expenses that have allowed you to remain engaged with your customers and potential customers throughout the pandemic. These include, but are not limited to:

    • implementation of health and safety protocols;
    • alterations to accommodate social distancing including the expansion of patio space for restaurants (including tables, chairs, umbrellas) and/or acquisition of equipment like outdoor heaters/tents to extend seasons;
    • purchases of PPE and cleaning supplies for workers;
    • marketing and communications costs; and,
    • acquisition and implementation of digital tools and operating transformations like a virtual

Canadian small or medium sized enterprises pursuing technology driven innovation who are not eligible for funding under the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) are eligible and can apply for financial assistance under IRAP IAP which provides a wage subsidy for up to 12 weeks to employers. Salaries are the only eligible cost. No other costs will be covered under the IAP.

The Canada United Small Business Relief Fund will be managed by the Ontario Chamber of Commerce on behalf of the national Chamber network in support of other chambers and partners to help small Canadian businesses with their recovery efforts as a result of COVID-19.

Successful applicants will receive a relief grant of up to $5,000. We intend to support local businesses of all kinds from across the country (from retailers to barbershops to farmers).

WSIB Financial Relief: To help reduce the financial burden of the COVID-19 pandemic on Ontario businesses, we provided the opportunity to defer premiums due between March to August 2020. All businesses that chose to participate in the financial relief package will have until June 30, 2021 to repay deferred amounts, interest-free. Deferred amount payments can be made in one or multiple installments between January and June 30, 2021..

New February 15, 2021 - The Ontario Energy Board (OEB) has changed the eligibility criteria to make CEAP-SB for small businesses and registered charities more easily accessible. CEAP-SB provides on-bill credit of up to $1,500 to eligible small business customers to help them catch up on their energy bills and resume regular payments. You are eligible for this program if, as of the date you are applying, you have overdue amounts owing from one or more electricity bill(s) incurred since March 17, 2020, the date of the initial Provincial Declaration of Emergency.

From January 1, 2021 through January 28, 2021, the government of Ontario is implementing a discounted RPP rate for residential and small business customers of 8.5 cents / kWh. This rate will be in place all day, every day, regardless of whether your rate plan is Tiered or Time-of-Use.

This rate will be applied automatically, and it will not affect your rate option (Tiered or TOU) once the discounted rate expires; you are not required to do anything.

Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC)  Information for businesses directly or indirectly impacted by COVID-19 about working capital financing, small business loans, BCAP and more.

For Exporters – access additional credit/financing resources

Business Supports: Reopening during COVID-19

Ontario Information about Essential Workplaces:

To help businesses understand how to use health and safety guidance to develop a safety plan for their unique situation, the government has developed a toolkit that includes a guide, template and checklist.

Ontario Government resources to prevent COVID-19 in the workplace Find sector-specific guidelines and posters to help protect workers, customers and the general public from coronavirus (COVID-19) in Ontario.

Free webinars on how to operate a business safely, and comply with health and safety requirements, during COVID-19.

A free 30-minute online course on infection prevention and control provided by the Public Services Health and Safety Association.

Businesses who have questions about closures of at-risk workplaces or how emergency measures impact their business or employment can call the Stop the Spread Business Information Line at 1-888-444-3659. Help is available from Monday to Sunday from 8:30 a.m.―5:00 p.m.

Government Procurement Opportunities for COVID-19 related supplies and services:

If you are a business that can supply products and services in support of Canada’s response to COVID-19, Canada wants to hear from you (visit the website for a detailed list of products and services being procured).

The Government of Ontario is looking for help from businesses and organizations who can supply emergency products and innovative solutions to support the response to COVID-19.

Impact survey of COVID-19 on businesses in Canada:

The purpose of this survey is to measure the impact of COVID-19 on businesses in Canada. As the pandemic continues to disrupt our economy, it is essential to have data to fully understand the extent of this impact. By participating in this survey, you offer an invaluable perspective to governments, chambers of commerce and business associations by providing current information to help them devise strategies for the survival and continuity of businesses across Canada. Your information may also be used by Statistics Canada for other statistical and research purposes.

Helpful resources/tips:

In partnership with the Government of Canada, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce established the Canadian Business Resilience Network to help Canadian businesses navigate the COVID-19 reality and prepare for recovery. This site and a supporting campaign will continue to grow in the weeks and months ahead as we work together to support and protect our businesses, our communities and our economy.

MaRS Discovery District collection of tools and tactics startups can use to prepare, plan and respond to COVID-19 (business implications to consider, general resources, global supply chain management, managing cash flow, people practices, remote work planning

Canadian Chamber of Commerce tools for small businesses including Business Continuity Planning.

Mental health resources from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (talking to your children and supporting loved ones; strategies for coping with stress and anxiety, questionnaires to assess your stress levels; dealing with self-isolation; reducing stigma and prejudice for those affected)

Events calendar with links to select program ‘how to’ expert webinars.

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