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Business Support Programs

• Temporary wage subsidies - for up to three months for eligible small employers which include corporations eligible for the small business deduction, and for non-profits and charities. Relief includes a temporary wage subsidy, and changes to Employment Insurance and the Work-Sharing Program. The subsidy will be equal to 10% of remuneration paid during that period, up to a maximum subsidy of $1,375 per employee and $25,000 per employer. Businesses will be able to benefit immediately from this support by reducing their remittances of income tax withheld on their employees’ remuneration. Employers benefiting from this measure will include corporations eligible for the small business deduction, as well as non-profit organizations and charities.

• Ensuring businesses have access to credit - $10B of additional support for small and medium sized businesses provided through BDC and EDC. Interest rates have been cut to 3.3% and actions taken enabling banks to inject $300B of additional lending.

• Flexibility for individuals and businesses filing taxes - Tax filings have been delayed for individuals to June 1, 2020 and for Trusts to May 1, 2020. Taxpayers who owe income tax balances or income tax instalments on or after March 18, 2020 and before September 2020 have until September 1, 2020 to remit these amounts. The Canada Revenue Agency will not contact any small or medium (SME) businesses to initiate any post assessment GST/HST or Income Tax audits for the next four weeks. For the vast majority of businesses, the Canada Revenue Agency will temporarily suspend audit interaction with taxpayers and representatives.

• Liaison Officer Service - The Liaison Officer service offers help to owners of small businesses to understand their tax obligations. Traditionally available in-person, this service is now available over the phone and will be customizing information during these challenging times by ensuring small businesses are aware of any changes such as filing and payment deadlines, proactive relief measures, etc.

Work-Sharing (WS) is a program that helps employers and employees avoid layoffs when there is a temporary decrease in business activity beyond the control of the employer. The program provides EI benefits to eligible employees who agree to reduce their normal working hours and share the available work while their employer recovers. Work-Sharing is an agreement between employers, employees and the Government of Canada.

• WS unit: A WS unit is a group of employees with similar job duties who agree to reduce their hours of work over a specific period of time.

• Equal sharing of work: All members of a WS unit agree to reduce their hours of work by the same percentage and to share the available work.

• Expected work reduction: A WS unit must reduce its hours of work by at least 10% to 60%. The reduction of hours can vary from week to week, as long as the average reduction over the course of the agreement is from 10% to 60%.

• Effective March 15, 2020 to March 14, 2021, and not limited to one specific sector or industry, the Government of Canada is introducing temporary special measures.

• Extension of the maximum possible duration of an agreement from 38 weeks to 76 weeks.

• Mandatory cooling off period has been waived for employers who have already used the Work-Sharing program so that eligible employers may immediately enter into a new agreement.

• Reduce the requirement and expand eligibility to employers affected by accepting business who have been in business for only 1 year rather than 2, and eliminate the burden of having to provide sales/production figures at the same time

• To be eligible for a WS agreement, 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

• have at least 2 employees in the WS unit

• To apply for work-share fill out the application and email it to: ESDC.ON.WS-TP.ON.EDSC@servicecanada.gc.ca.

The BDC has put in place additional measures to provide relief for Canadian entrepreneurs:

• Small Business Loan - Up to $100,000 can be obtained online. 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 very flexible terms.

• Advisory Services experts for tools and support to review financial management and operations.

Current BDC Clients

Postponement of payments for up to 6 months, free of charge, for existing BDC clients with total BDC loan commitment of $1 million or less;

Contact your current account Manager:

Lori Naccarato, 705-255-6310, Lori.NACCARATO@bdc.ca or Nadia Amaral, 705-255-0863, Nadia.AMARAL@bdc.ca

New and Existing Clients

Working capital loans of up to $2 million with flexible terms

Small Business Loan up to $100,000. Apply online.

Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) with industry specific support (TBD)

If not a current client, contact BDC at: 1-877-232-2269

EDC is prepared to act swiftly to help Canadian exporters access capital if needed and we’re working in collaboration with our federal partners and Canadian financial institutions to help minimize the impacts on Canadian businesses. To help you navigate these challenging times EDC has a suite of financial and insurance solutions. You can also register for a MyEDC account for unlimited access to expert insights and trade information.

Local contact: Yannik Gauthier - ygauthier@edc.ca

Effective immediately, Bank of Montreal, CIBC, National Bank of Canada, RBC Royal Bank, Scotiabank and TD Bank have made a commitment to work with personal and small business banking customers on a case-by-case basis to provide flexible solutions to help them manage through challenges such as pay disruption due to COVID-19; childcare disruption due to school closures; or those facing illness from COVID-19. This support will include up to a six-month payment deferral for mortgages, and the opportunity for relief on other credit products. Individual Canadians or business owners facing hardship are encouraged to contact their bank directly to discuss options that could be available to them.

The Community Development Corporation of Sault Ste. Marie and Area offer financial assistance to area businesses who contribute to the creation and/or maintenance of long term employment. The CDC provides micro loans for small business from $5,000 up to $650,000 for purposes of equipment, renovations, general working capital, changes of ownership, start-ups and expansions.

Local contact: Dan Friyia - DFriyia@ssmcdc.com

The Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre has existing programs in place to assist local businesses looking to upgrade their technical infrastructure. This may assist local companies to obtain new equipment that enable them to work and provide services remotely.

Local contact: John Prgomet - jprgomet@ssmic.com


As we continue to navigate through our current situation, we recognize the importance of continuing to support small businesses with the resources they need to help them stabilize and grow.

Please keep up with available free webinars to keep you learning, growing, and adapting through this time of change: https://themillworks.ca/covid-19-small-business-support.


Apply directly online. 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, or teletypewriter at 1-800-529-3742.

The federal aid package also includes the Emergency Care Benefit and the Emergency Support Benefit.

The Emergency Care Benefit provides up to $900 every two weeks for up to 15 weeks, to those affected by COVID-19. It is intended for those who don't qualify for EI, can't go to work and don't have paid sick leave. (Available April 2020 - more details to come)

Canada Revenue Agency

Temporary Wage Subsidy Program for Employers

Collections, audits, and appeals

• Tax or payroll related questions – Temporary Wage Subsidy Program for Employers sign into CRA online account or contact CRA directly at 1-800-959-5525.

TBusiness operations are continuing, and funding applications will be processed. For questions regarding files, please contact your existing project officer. For assistance with new applications contact John Febbraro at: j.febbraro@cityssm.on.ca.

Toll Free: 1-800-461-8329

E-mail: AskNOHFC@ontario.ca (General Inquiry)

NOHFC website: https://nohfc.ca/

Regional Economic Development Branch: 1-800-461-2287 (support toll free line)

Regional Development Agencies, including FedNor, are applying a three-month deferral for companies in repayment. This deferral takes effect on April 1, 2020. Contact your project officer for more details.

Additionally, 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, FedNor may be able to assist with:

• Access to federal funding to help you stay in business.

• Advice and pathfinding services to other federal programs and services available.

The Government of Canada, through Farm Credit Canada is making available $5 billion in lending capacity to producers, agribusinesses, and food processors. This will offer increased flexibility to farmers who face cashflow issues and to processors who are impacted by lost sales, helping them remain financially strong during this difficult time.

Contact directly at: 1-888-332-3301

Customer Care Department – 705-759-6522, Monday-Friday 9 AM-4:30 PM or customer.care@ssmpuc.com for questions or concerns about their power/water utilities.

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Sault Ste. Marie, ON
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