As the novel COVID-19 spreads at an alarming rate all across the globe, the Canadian government has announced a billion-dollar response fund as support packages to fight the disease. Taking cognizance of the fact that almost 99.8% of the Canadian economy is comprised of small-scale to medium-scale enterprises with number of employees less than 500, the government has announced strategic resources to help support small and medium scale businesses.
With social distancing amongst personals in Calgary becoming one of the primary ways to fight the spread of the disease, for the Canadian businessmen it means:
- ensuring safety of their employees;
- ensuring that the workplace is made safe for their employees to work
- encouraging employees to work from home unless absolutely necessary to go to office.
The resources announced by the government stresses on the following two aspects of business:
- Supporting employees and personals in Calgary
- it is guaranteed that Canadian employees will not lose their job or face issues with paying the rent or being able to meet the basic necessities of life because of COVID – 19.
- Employees no longer need to wait for the mandatory one-week to avail and apply for employment insurance (EI), especially employees who are in quarantine. The medical certificate for sickness too has been waived off.
- The Canada Child Benefit payment scheme has been given a boost so that Canadian workers and personals in Calgary can support their kids during the current exigency.
- Emergency Support Benefit for employees have been launched, especially those who have the risk of getting unemployed and/or are not entitled for EI.
- The tax filing deadline for personals in Calgary has been extended to 1st June 2020.
- Support for businesses
- Premier financial institution, the Bank of Canada has cut the rate of interest for businessmen to 0.75%.
- The Superintendent of Financial Institution has announced a lending of additional $300 billion by leading banks of the country.
- The Work-Sharing or WS temporary measures for businessmen has been announced for those who are facing a downturn of their commercial activities.
- A Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) to help Canadian businesses with finances has been formed. The Export Development Canada (EDC) and the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) will be offering direct lending of value $10 billion or more to businesses at market rates.
- Tax payments date has been extended to 31st August 2020 by the Canada Revenue Agency.
- As an immediate relief to the small business owner, a 10% wage subsidy has been announced for the next 90 days. The maximum subsidy per employee is $1.375 and per employer is $25,000.
- Farm Credit Canada Scheme has been launched for the agriculture and food sector and farmer community.
- Emergency Care Benefit Scheme for self-employed personals in Calgary has been announced – those who are not part of EI benefits.
- Small businessmen and tour operators have been promised with federal funding in the wake of COVID-19 spread.
- Beyond this, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce has also developed an all-encompassing Pandemic Preparedness Guide for Business.