Financial Support & Resources
We would like to thank Central Saanich’s business community for all the measures they have taken to minimize the spread of COVID-19. While supports for businesses are being put in place, not all program details are available yet. In addition to the information below, we recommend paying attention to the news regularly. These outlets will be the first to announce the plans and resources that will be available to support businesses. We will update this page as new information becomes available.
Are you looking for work? Are you an employer needing assistance? Please feel free to post on a public notice on the District's community site with your contact information.
- The Government of Canada announced on March 27, 2020, the Temporary Wage Subsidy for Employers that will allow eligible employers facing a decline in revenues of 30% or more to reduce the amount of payroll deductions required to be remitted to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). The subsidy is equal to 75% of staff wages retroactive to March 15, 2020. If you are eligible as an employer, you can reduce your current remittance of federal, provincial, or territorial income tax that you send to the CRA by the amount of the subsidy.
- A new B.C. Emergency Benefit for Workers will provide a tax-free $1,000 payment to British Columbians whose ability to work has been affected by the outbreak. The benefit will be a one-time payment for British Columbians who receive federal Employment Insurance (EI), or the new federal Emergency Care Benefit or Emergency Support Benefit as a result of COVID-19 impacts. This includes workers who have been laid-off, who are sick or quarantined, parents with sick children, parents who stay at home from work while child care centres and schools are closed, and those caring for sick family members, such as an elderly parent. The workers can be EI-eligible and non-EI eligible, such as the self-employed. The benefit will be paid to B.C. residents, in addition to their federal income supports.
- The federal government has promised to guarantee loans of up to $40,000 for small businesses which will be interest-free for the first year.
- The federal government is delaying the repayment of student loans by three months.
Canada Child Benefit
- The federal government is increasing the child benefit to $300/month per child.
- To receive regular EI, you must have lost your job through no fault of your own, including lay-offs. EI sickness benefits include being unable to work because of illness or quarantine. The one-week waiting period for sickness benefits will be removed for those who have been told to self-isolate or quarantine, meaning applicants can be paid for the first week of their claim. If approved, the maximum amount paid out for EI is $573 a week. To apply for EI benefits, you can visit the website. Afterwards, you can apply to have the one-week waiting period waived by calling the government's toll-free number at 1-833-381-2725.
Canada Emergency Response Benefit
- The federal government is working on a benefit that would provide $2,000 per month for four months to those who have lost employment due to COVID-19. https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/economic-response-plan.html
Rent and Mortgage Payments
- The Province of BC has announced a rebate of up to $500/month for tenants who can’t work because of the outbreak, with the money going directly to their landlords; a freeze on the vast majority of evictions; and a rent freeze retroactive to the beginning of March. Read the full statement here: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2020MAH0048-000561
- Many financial institutions are offering deferral options on mortgage payments. Please check with yours for details and to see if you qualify.
Funding for Business
On March 18, 2020, the Government of Canada announced they will provide up to $27 billion to support Canadian workers and businesses. While the government has announced various support resources, they are still working on the criteria and process of applying. When details are available, they will be posted here: https://www.bdc.ca/en/pages/special-support.aspx?special-initiative=covid19
Funding programs currently available:
- Check www.gov.bc.ca for the latest updates regarding support to businesses.
- up to $100,000 can be obtained online in as little at 48 hours from time to approval.
- Working capital loan – Get extra funds to bridge cash flow gaps and support everyday operations.
- Purchase Order Financing – Increase your cash flow to fulfill domestic or international orders with flexible terms.
Credit for Farmers
- Farm Credit Canada - As of March 23, FCC has $5 billion in additional lending capacity. Apply on their website.
Tax Cuts and Payment Extensions
- The Province of BC has announced businesses with a payroll over $500,000 can defer their employer health tax payments until Sept. 30, 2020. Businesses with a payroll under this threshold are already exempt from the tax.
Effective immediately, B.C. is extending filing and payment deadlines for the following taxes until September 30, 2020:
- Employer health tax
- Provincial sales tax (including municipal and regional district tax*)
- Carbon tax
- Motor fuel tax
- Tobacco tax
- The scheduled April 1 increase to the provincial carbon tax, as well as the new PST registration requirements on e-commerce and the implementation of PST on sweetened carbonated drinks, will be delayed and their timing will be reviewed by Sept. 30, 2020.
- The province is cutting the school tax in half for property classes: business, light industry and major industry.
- Federal GST and HST payments, as well as duties and taxes owed on imports, will be deferred until June. https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/economic-response-plan.html
Help with utilities
BC Hydro – Customer have the option to defer bill payments or arrange for flexible payments with no penalty. Customers are encouraged to call BC Hydro’s customer team at 1-800-BCHYDRO. Customers facing temporary financial hardship and possible disconnection of their service due to job loss, illness, or less of a family member may also be eligible for BC Hydro’s Customer Crisis Fund, which provides grants of up to $600 to pay their bills.
Shaw – Shaw has opened up access to Shaw Go WiFi whether or not you’re a customer.
Telus – Until the end of April, waiving home internet coverage charges for customers who are not on unlimited data plans and waiving all Easy Roam and pay-per-use roaming charges for postpaid customers that are stranded outside North America and are unable to return to Canada.
Fortis BC – Encourages customers to contact them if they’re having issue with affording their bill.
- Government of Canada Economic Response Plan
- BC Chamber of Commerce
- South Island Prosperity Project - COVID Resources
- Small Business BC: Resources for Small Businesses Affected by COVID-19
- British Columbia Economic Development Association
- Work Safe BC COVID-19 Resources
- YYJ Locals for Locals - A team of volunteers to support local businesses during the COVID-19 crisis made up of tech and marketing professionals. Some of their pro-bono services: