As always, I would like to start by saying that we recognize how difficult this must be for all of you. We are working around the clock to gather information, lobby on your behalf, and continue planning and implementing our downtown strategic plan. Now more than ever, we need to push forward to ensure we’re ready for when this storm has passed. Your fellow business members on the committees, the BIA staff, and board members understand that when we resume some sense of normalcy, having actionable items and full-scale implementation will be vital to our bounce-back.
The federal government made an announcement today, here are the full details (https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/economic-response-plan.html). Also, here is a quick overview of the proposed programs:
1. Federal Financial Support Program for business (summary of PM Trudeau announcement 10:30 am 2020-03-18):
• $27B of direct support for Canadian businesses
• $55B to meet liquidity need through tax deferrals
• $82B combined support ( =3% of Canada’s GDP)
• For people without access to paid sick leave:
• ‘Emergency Care Benefit,’ paid for 14 weeks, comparable to EI, applicable to most illness-related or quarantine stay-at-home needs
• For people without access to EI:
• Emergency Support Benefit for everyone that loses their job but don’t qualify for EI. Will also apply to self-employed workers.
• Will provide employers and small businesses a temporary wage subsidy of 10% of all wages for 3 month period (to help keep employees)
• For taxes: New deadline of August 2020 to pay any taxes owed. Also working on more targeted assistance in the coming months for specific groups of individuals.
• Families with young children: Will temporarily boost the Child Care Benefit in the coming months.
• Lower-Income Individuals: Supplement the GST credit, to offset the consumer tax they pay. Qualifying adults will receive $300 + $150 per child
• 6-month interest-free moratorium for student loans
• For those in situations of domestic or gender-based violence, provide funds for sanctuary where isolating at home is not an option
2. Additional measures for businesses:
• EDC will provide support to Canadian companies
• For Farmers and food producers: Boosting Farm Credit Canada
• Exploring opportunities to help all businesses through ‘The Canada Account’
To read about and hear the full address, please visit: https://www.ctvnews.ca/health/coronavirus/canada-u-s-border-closing-82b-in-direct-aid-and-stimulus-coming-trudeau-1.4857881
Service Canada has set up a dedicated phone line for inquiries regarding COVID-19-related E-I claims. It’s for anyone who needs to apply for E-I sickness benefits because they can’t work due to self-isolation. The one-week waiting period has been waived for those individuals. Anyone who’s been laid off because of the pandemic and is looking to start a claim for regular E-I benefits can also call the dedicated line. The number is 1-833-381-2725.