Here are some news and updates we believe are important for business owners and their employees to know.
Please check back daily for updates.
Government of Ontario declared all non essential businesses must close by 11:59 pm on March 24, 2020. The closure will last for a minimum of 14 days. See here for list
Here are some announcements for assistance by government as of (March 24th) that are important for small business owners and workers
Canada Child Benefit increase up to $300 per child as of May
CRA is deferring filing of income tax for individuals until June 1st, though those receiving benefits should try to file by April 30th to continue receiving their payments
Any income tax payments can be deferred until August 31 2020.
six-month interest-free moratorium on the repayment of Canada Student Loans
CMHC-insured mortgage loan payments can be deferred, large banks say up to 6 months but are taking it on a case-by-case matter
If you are sick, quarantined or forced to stay home to care for children you can apply for EI sickness benefits (only if you are not receiving paid sick leave) through service Canada. Employers must file a record of employment (ROE).
Emergency Support Benefit
If you are laid off or on reduced hours you may apply for the Emergency support benefit through your CRA account (available in April) if you are not eligible for EI
Emergency Care Benefit
Provides up to $900 bi-weekly, for up to 15 weeks. This flat-payment Benefit would be administered through the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and provide income support to:
Workers, including the self-employed, who are quarantined or sick with COVID-19 but do not qualify for EI sickness benefits.
Workers, including the self-employed, who are taking care of a family member who is sick with COVID-19, such as an elderly parent, but do not qualify for EI sickness benefits.
Parents with children who require care or supervision due to school or daycare closures, and are unable to earn employment income, irrespective of whether they qualify for EI or not.
You can apply through CRA MyAccount portal, My Service Canada account, or at a tollfree number in April 2020
Free childcare will be available for essential and critical service workers
Support for businesses
Ontario is expected to announce business supports in its upcoming spring economic update on March 25, 2020.
Ontario government has announced an end to Time-of-Use electricity pricing during the COVID-19 outbreak. Effective immediately, electricity will be priced at "low-peak" - 10.1 cents/kwh - at all hours of the day for the next 45 days.
Support for self-employed
The government of Ontario has indicated that there will be supports for the self-employed announced shortly; however, there are no details at this time.
Support for employees
If you need to lay off employees temporarily, there is no requirement to give or pay notice since the employee is not being terminated.
In Ontario, employers have the option to temporarily lay off employees for up to 13 weeks. After 13 weeks, the lay off becomes permanent and severance pay rules will apply.
Municipal – City of Toronto
Property tax and utility bills 60 day grace period as of March 16th
All retail businesses are exempt from the City of Toronto Noise Bylaw to facilitate after-hour deliveries.
“No new eviction orders will be issued until further notice” due to inability to enforce and hold hearings. Even if a landlord gives written notice, the tenant doesn’t have to move out
Customers behind on electricity or natural gas bill and face having service disconnected may qualify for emergency financial help through the Low-income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP)
Home owners can apply for property tax relief if they experience illness that results in loss of work, or if they are experiencing extreme poverty.