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Resources for business during COVID-19 disruption

FAQs about various government-announced programs: 

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)

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)

Government of Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan (find details about access to additional credit, wage subsidy of up to $1,375 per employee and $25k per employer for small business and non-profit groups, interest free extension of income tax filing and payment deadlines, and financial market support)

News: Fri Mar 27, 2020 - Government of Canada announces Additional Support for Canadian Businesses from the Economic Impact of COVID-19 (75 per cent wage subsidy for qualifying businesses, for up to 3 months, retroactive to March 15, 2020; deferrals of Sales Tax and Customs Duty Payments; New Loan Programs for Businesses including Canada Emergency Business Account interest-free loans of up to $40,000 for organizations that paid between $50,000 to $1 million in total payroll in 2019. Repaying the balance of the loan on or before December 31, 2022 will result in loan forgiveness of 25 percent (up to $10,000)

CRA: Helping Canadians with the economic impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic (Canada Emergency Response Benefit $2,000 a month for up to four months for workers who lose their income; extension of tax-filing and payment deadlines; Emergency Care benefit $900 bi-weekly, for up to 15 weeks; Emergency Support Benefit, Goods and Services Tax Credit payment; Canada Child Benefit payments; Registered Retirement Income Funds; Temporary wage subsidy for employers)

Frequently Asked Questions – Temporary Wage Subsidy for Employers and how it can help

Canada's Regional Development Agencies: If you are a tourism operator or small- or medium- sized business or organization impacted by the sudden shifts in the economy and need pressing assistance, contact FedDev Ontario for help with: Access to federal funding to help you stay in business; Advice and pathfinding services to other federal programs and services available.

WSIB Financial Relief: allows businesses to defer premium reporting and payments until August 31, 2020. Businesses who report and pay monthly, quarterly or annually based on their insurable earnings are eligible for this deferral.

Time-of-Use Rates Suspended for 45 Days The Government of Ontario is providing temporary 45-day emergency relief to support Ontarians impacted by the global COVID-19 outbreak. As of Tuesday, March 24, 2020, households, farms and small businesses who pay time-of-use electricity rates will be charged off-peak rates 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Business Development Bank of Canada (access additional credit/financing resources, including postponement of payments for up to 6 months)

News: Wed Mar 18, 2020 Canada’s Six Biggest Banks Take Action (support will include up to a 6 month payment deferral for mortgages, and the opportunity for relief on other credit products – links to each bank are posted in the above – contact your bank for options)

For Exporters – access additional credit/financing resources

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.

Government of Canada, National Research Council seeking innovative solutions: (1) COVID-19 Challenges Procurement Program: respond to challenge statements issued by Public Health Agency of Canada and Health Canada, being faced by health providers to deal with COVID-19; (2) Pandemic Response Challenge Program: join dedicated teams to address challenges in the areas of greatest research and development need in the fight against COVID-19, funding is available.

Ontario Closing At-Risk Workplaces to Protect Health and Safety:

Essential businesses include, but are not limited to grocery stores and pharmacies, telecommunications and IT infrastructure service providers, and businesses that support power generation, natural gas distribution and clean drinking water, food services and accommodations (full list in link above). Essential businesses are being asked to put into place any and all measures to safeguard the wellbeing of their employees on the front-lines. Teleworking and online commerce are permitted at all times for all businesses.  At-risk workplaces will be ordered to close by 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, March 24th and where possible, take the necessary measures so staff can work from home allowing operations to continue.

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.

Helpful tips:

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 Pandemic Preparedness Guide

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

Update about our services during COVID-19 disruption

The City of Markham is committed to the health and safety of the Markham community, its small businesses and our employees. We are working closely with our Public Health colleagues at the regional, provincial and national levels concerning the evolving novel coronavirus (COVID-19) situation.

Update regarding our small business advisory services:

  • The IBM Innovation Space – Markham Convergence Centre has made the decision to remain closed to the general public and guests until further notice.
  • In light of this, our physical point of presence will not be accessible to in-person visits from clients
  • To ensure continued access to our small business advisory services, MSBC will remain accessible by phone, email and web meetings for scheduled appointments.
  • We are working with guest speakers to look into the possibility of offering seminars and workshops via web conference, but we may need to postpone or cancel certain sessions if we are unable to make accommodations.
  • Seminars and consultations delivered directly by MSBC staff will proceed as scheduled via web meeting, rather than in-person.  Participants will be notified directly.

The situation continues to evolve quickly and while we anticipate these measures will remain in place until April 5, 2020, we continue to monitor and will provide updates as quickly as possible.

Thank you for your continued commitment to the health and safety of each other and the Markham community.

For up-to-date information about COVID-19, please visit

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Le services de la Centre d'encadrement des petites entrepreneurs do Markham (MSBC) est disponible en francais à la demand pour les programmes financé de l'Ontario. Cliquez ci-dessous pour en savoir plus.

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