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Support for Businesses Affected by COVID-19

Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP)

The Government of Canada has introduced the Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) to help Canadian businesses obtain financing during the current period of significant uncertainty.

BCAP will support access to financing for Canadian businesses in all sectors and regions. Through this program, Export Development Canada (EDC) and the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) will provide $65 billion in direct lending and other types of financial support.

For additional information on any of the BCAP programs or to apply, Businesses should contact their primary lender, where they have a pre-existing relationship. Businesses that are impacted can contact them by phone or email to find out about their application process.

BCAP includes the following programs:

The Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA)

CEBA provides much needed credit for small businesses to pay for immediate operating costs such as payroll, rent, utilities, insurance, property tax, or debt service.  It is 100 per cent funded by the Government of Canada.

  • It is available to Canadian employers with $50,000 to $1 million in total payroll in 2019, and operating as of March 1, 2020. This includes smaller (i.e., micro) businesses and other eligible employers such as not-for-profits.
  • Under CEBA, financial institutions will be able to provide interest-free credit facilities of up to $40,000 to eligible businesses.
  • If the loan is repaid by December 31, 2022, 25 per cent (up to $10,000) will be forgiven.
  • If the loan is not repaid by December 31, 2022, the remaining balance will be converted to a three-year term loan at 5 per cent interest.

This program is now available at various financial institutions and credit unions.

Loan Guarantee for Small and Medium Enterprises
EDC Loan Guarantee for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises

This program provides credit and cash flow term loans to small and medium-sized enterprises. Canadian businesses in all sectors that were otherwise financially viable and revenue generating prior to the COVID-19 outbreak are eligible to apply.

It allows financial institutions to issue operating credit and cash flow term loans of up to $6.25 million to existing clients, with 80 per cent guaranteed by EDC.

This money is to be used for operational expenses, not for dividend payouts, shareholder loans, bonuses, stock buyback, option issuance, increases to executive compensation or repayment/refinancing of other debt.

This program is now available at various financial institutions and credit unions.

BDC Co-Lending Program for Small and Medium Enterprises

This program provides term loans for operational and liquidity needs of businesses, which could include interest payments on existing debt. Similar to the EDC program, this program is available to businesses that were financially viable and revenue-generating prior to the COVID-19 outbreak.

The program is designed in three segments to target support to different business sizes.

  • Loans of up to $312,500 to businesses with revenues of less than $1 million.
  • Up to $3.125 million for businesses with revenues between $1 million and $50 million.
  • Up to $6.25 million for businesses with revenues in excess of $50 million.

Loans would be interest-only for the first 12 months, with a 10-year repayment period.

Applications details will be made available in the days to come by financial institutions.

Role/Description of BDC and EDC

As part of BCAP, the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) and Export Development Canada (EDC), both financial Crown corporations, are working closely with private sector lenders to improve access to financing for Canadian businesses.

BDC helps create and develop strong Canadian businesses through financingadvisory services and capital, with a focus on small and medium-sized enterprises.

More information on the BDC’s products and services.

EDC is Canada’s export credit agency, offering innovative financing, insurance and risk management solutions to help Canadian exporters and investors expand their international business.

More information on EDC’s products and services.

Participating private sector lenders have committed to:

  • Working with BDC/EDC to find solutions for creditworthy business clients who would otherwise have insufficient access to credit.
  • Ensuring that the extension of credit by BDC/EDC is incremental for Canadian businesses and does not displace or substitute for private credit in aggregate.

Reporting and Governance

BCAP is steered by an oversight group of representatives of the Department of Finance, EDC, BDC, and Canadian financial institutions.  The steering group meets regularly to share information and search for more effective ways to collaborate in order to maximize the initiative’s positive impact on businesses and the economy.

The Government will monitor the program with participating lenders to ensure it is meeting its objectives.

Contact Information

If you are interested in exploring financing opportunities for your business through the BCAP, please contact your primary lender by phone or email.  BDC and EDC can also be contacted at:

Business Development Bank of Canada, 1-877-232-2269

Export Development Canada, 1-800-229-0575

Information courtesy of The Department of Finance. 

Financial Supports for Businesses 

Support Description How to Access or Apply
Work Sharing Programs designed to help employers and employees avoid layoffs when there is a temporary reduction in the normal level of business activity that is beyond the control of the employer. Application details can be found online, here.
Supplementary Unemployment Benefit Plans a plan that allows employers to increase their employees’ weekly earnings when they are unemployed due to a temporary stoppage of work, training, illness, injury or quarantine. Application details can be found online, here.
Wage Subsidies for Businesses eligible businesses can receive up to 75% wage subsidy, for up to 3 months, retroactive to March 15, 2020. This will help businesses to keep and return workers to the payroll. More details on eligibility criteria will start with the impact of COVID-19 on sales, and will be shared before the end of March. Application details can be found online, here.
Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) BCAP will support access to financing for Canadian businesses in all sectors and regions. Through this program, Export Development Canada (EDC) and the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) will provide $65 billion in direct lending and other types of financial support. If you are interested in exploring financing opportunities for your business through the BCAP, please contact your financial institution directly and it will contact BDC and EDC where appropriate.
Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) CEBA will provide loans of up to $40,000 for small businesses and not-for-profit, interest-free for one year. Available to Canadian employers with $50,000 to $1 million in total payroll in 2019, and operating as of March 1, 2020Speak with your financial institution, or click here to learn more. This program is now available at various financial institutions and credit unions. Click here for more information.
Loan Guarantee operating credit and cash flow term loans of up to $6.25 million for small and medium-sized companies that require greater help to meet their operational cash flow requirements. This program is now available at various financial institutions and credit unions. Click here for more information.
Co-Lending Program co-lending program available to small and medium sized businesses in order to help them meet their operational cash flow requirements. Eligible businesses may obtain incremental credit amounts of up to $6.25 million through the program, which will be risk-shared at 80 per cent between the Business Development Bank of Canada and the financial institutions. To become available in mid-April. Applications details will be made available in the days to come by financial institutions. Interested businesses should contact their current financial institutions for eligibility and more information.
GST/HST Remittance Deferral The Government is deferring Goods and Services Tax/Harmonized Sales Tax (GST/HST) remittances and customs duty payments to June 30, 2020. Businesses in need of information about their particular obligations may contact the Canada Revenue Agency or refer to its website. No application needed.
Deferral of Customs Duty and Sales Tax for Importers payment deadlines for statements of accounts for March, April, and May are being deferred to June 30, 2020. No application needed. Businesses in need of information about their particular accounting and payment obligations on imported goods may contact the Canada Border Services Agency for more details.
Publishing and news sectors new Independent Advisory Board on Eligibility for Journalism Tax Measures is in place, and journalism organizations that meet the criteria for the (QCJO) designation are eligible for additional funding. Additional information can be found online, here.
Tourism businesses in national parks and historic sites to help mitigate the impacts of COVID-19 on Canada’s tourism industry, Parks Canada will work with tourism operators in national parks, historic sites, and marine conservation areas to defer payments on commercial leases and licences of occupation without interest until September 1, 2020. Additional information can be found online, here.
Farmers and Agri-Food sector increasing credit available for farmers and the agri-food sector through the $5 billion Farm Credit Canada loan program. Additional information & application details can be found online, here.
Seafood sector, seafood growers, will have access to the $5 billion Farm Credit Canada loan program. Additional information & application details can be found online, here.
Federal income tax the Canada Revenue Agency will allow all businesses to defer, until after August 31, 2020, the payment of any income tax amounts that become owing on or after today and before September 2020. Additional information can be found online, here.
Funding for Child Care Centers emergency funding is available for child care providers that stay open and for those that close. Additional information available here. Additional information can be found online, here.
Arts & Culture sector a $3-million Arts and Culture Resilience Supplement to be administered by the BC Arts Council. Operating and eligible project clients will receive a supplement of up to $15,000 in early April to help them pay their bills. Additional information available here.
BC Business Taxes effective immediately, B.C. is extending filing and payment deadlines till September 30th for Employer health tax (EHT), provincial sales tax (PST), municipal and regional district tax, tobacco tax, motor fuel tax, and carbon tax are deferred until after Sept 30. Scheduled April 1 increases to provincial carbon tax and PST are deferred. Additional information available here.
Delayed PST Budget 2020 Tax Changes eliminating the PST exemption for carbonated beverages that contain sugar, natural sweeteners or artificial sweeteners and the expanded registration requirements for Canadian sellers of goods, along with Canadian and foreign sellers of software and telecommunication services will be delayed until further notice. Additional information available here.
Delayed Carbon Tax Increase rates will remain at their current levels until further notice. Additional information available here.
School Tax rates for commercial properties (Classes 4, 5 and 6) will be reduced by 50% for the 2020 tax year. Additional information available here.
City of Vancouver’s COVID-19 Business Communications and Support Office The office is a single point of contact for Vancouver’s local business owners to get information from the City of Vancouver regarding business support programs, to learn what City-run business services are currently available, and to make suggestions to the City concerning business and the economy. Local businesses seeking help can connect with the office by emailing COVIDResponseforBusiness@vancouver.ca, visiting the webpage, or calling 3-1-1.
For a full list of financial supports available please click here.
While our office is closed to the public, we are still working remotely. If you need any assistance or have any concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out to us. We appreciate your patience and understanding during this difficult time.