Like all businesses across Ontario, Launch Lab is doing our best to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. All workshops and events have been postponed, and our team is currently working from home but our EIRs and admin team are available by phone, email, or video conferencing. Here are some resources that might be helpful during the next few months:
- As Ontario begins to reopen the economy, the KFL&A has prepared a Business Reopening document. Subject to the direction from the Province of Ontario, the document is intended to provide guidance to businesses to prepare for safe reopening. (May 20)
- The Province of Ontario has launched the online portal Ontario Together, which welcomes the help from businesses and organizations who can supply emergency products and innovative solutions to support the Province’s response to COVID-19. (Mar 31)
- Ontario Centres of Excellence have launched the OCE COVID-19 Collaboration Platform here.
- If you have equipment or facilities that can be rapidly re-tooled to meet medical needs, including for personal protective equipment (PPE) such as gloves, masks and surgical gowns; sanitizers; wipes; ventilators; and other medical equipment and supplies, register your product with the Government of Canada.
- The Federal Government is seeking any businesses and organizations that can supply innovative solutions to support responses to COVID-19 including supply chain resiliency monitoring, financial planning & advising, IT support and other services. (Mar 31)
- Help the Government of Canada combat Coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
- Drugs, medical devices or natural health products that may be effective in the treatment or diagnosis of COVID-19? Contact Health Canada Government of Canada to facilitate faster clinical trials.
- COVID-19 Response Program – Next Generation Manufacturing Canada.
- Expression of Interest for Challenge Program Collaboration (National Research Council Canada).
- How the Canadian Tech Community Can Respond to COVID-19 (Upside Foundation).
- Help Canadian manufacturers meet critical shortages in the fight against COVID-19 (NGen Supercluster funding).
Grants, funding and loans for your business
- New Feddev Regional Relief Recover Program (May 14)
- The federal government has announced an updated NRC-IRAP program that will provide another $250M to companies in need. The program will officially launch on April 22. Companies are invited to register immediately. (April 20)
- Although details are forthcoming, here is what we know today: (April 20)
- This program is highly differentiated from all previous NRC-IRAP programs. It aims to support companies that do not qualify for existing COVID-19 subsidies and related measures (such as the wage subsidy), and help them to retain highly qualified personnel.
- If a company is eligible for the wage subsidy, the firm will not receive funding through this NRC-IRAP program. Companies are not permitted to leverage the wage subsidy and funding through NRC-IRAP.
- The number of highly qualified personnel on the payroll will be the key metric in determining how much support a company receives.
- Funding will help a wide range of companies including existing IRAP clients, and companies that have not benefited from IRAP funding previously
- Federal Government Commits Additional $250 Million in IRAP Funding to Support High Growth Startups (April 17)
- BDC has developed a compilation document of federal and provincial government support measures for businesses (April 15)
- NSERC Alliance COVID-19 grants provide up to $50,000 for one-year projects. The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada funds are available immediately; no matching required. Apply before June 1. (NSERC, Mar 31)
- EDC’s supports and develops export trade by helping businesses respond to international opportunities and this new COVID-19 mandate as Canada’s export credit agency. (Mar 27)
- If your business is experiencing disruptions resulting from the global outbreak of COVID-19, Facebook is offering $100 million in cash grants and ad credits through their Small Business Grants Program. (Mar 19)
- The Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) and Export Development Canada (EDC) are providing more than $10 billion of additional support, largely targeted to small and medium-sized businesses including the Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP). See BDC’s new relief measure for qualified businesses. (Mar 13)
- The Federal Government is providing additional liquidity to banks including an additional $300 billion in lending capacity and Canadian big banks have committed to provide small and medium enterprise customers with flexible solutions to help them get through COVID-19. (Mar 13)
- Southern Ontario Fund for Investment in Innovation (SOFII) loan program supports high-growth, innovative small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in rural and urban communities by offering loans of $150,000 to $500,000.
- The NRC Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP)provides advice, connections, and funding to help Canadian small and medium-sized businesses increase their innovation capacity and take ideas to market.
- Eastern Ontario Development Fund (EODF) support to expand your business or bring business to your community in eastern Ontario.
- FedDev Ontario is a Regional Development Agency (RDA) that provides programs, services and funding to support innovation and economic growth in southern Ontario. FedDev Ontario can assist small or medium-sized businesses that need assistance or advice accessing federal funding programs.
- The Government of Canada has announced the Canada Emergency Business Account, which provides interest-free loans of up to $40,000 to small businesses through their financial institutions. Up to 25% of the loan will be forgiven if repaid by December 31, 2022.
Programs to help companies make payroll
- The Government of Canada has announced an up to 75% Small Business Wage Subsidy for qualifying businesses, for up to 3 months, retroactive to March 15, 2020. This will help businesses to keep and return workers to the payroll. (April 1)
- Key considerations:
- To qualify, companies will need to demonstrate revenue drop by at least 30% due to Covid-19,
- There is no limit to size of company that can use this subsidy in terms of employee number or revenue size,
- The 75% subsidy will be on the first $58,000 earned of each employee. This works out to be up to $847 / week per employee and is retroactive to March 15th.
- The temporary (original) wage subsidy for a period of three months equal to 10% of remuneration pay during the period (with maximums) may still be possible for other businesses.
Cost savings for your business
- Google is offering Google ad credits for small and medium-sized businesses. (Mar 27)
- The Government of Ontario has provided immediate electricity rate relief for small businesses paying time-of-use (TOU) rates. (Mar 24)
Added flexibility for taxes
- Businesses, including self-employed individuals, can defer federal sales tax remittance and customs duty payments until June 30, 2020 payments of GST and HST, as well as customs duties owing on their imports. (Mar 27)
- Canada Revenue Agency will defer tax payment obligation until August 31, 2020, to help businesses with cash flow.
- The Government of Canada has extended the deadline for businesses to pay income tax to September 1, 2020 and cancelled the penalties.
- The City of Ottawa has implemented an Interim Property Tax Grace Period for All Property Owners which represent 50 per cent of the 2019 tax bill, now extended to April 15, 2020.
- The City of Ottawa has announced the Property Tax Hardship Deferral Program, extending the interim property tax and final property tax deadlines of March 19, 2020 and June 18, 2020 to Friday, October 30, 2020. Property owners must apply for the deferral before July 31, 2020 to be considered.
Direct support for employees
- The Government of Canada’s Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) provides support for up to 16 weeks for workers who lose their income as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Applicants will receive $2,000 a month, for up to 4 months. This benefit replaces the Emergency Care Benefit and the Emergency Support Benefit.
- The CERB covers Canadians who have lost their job, are sick, quarantined, or taking care of someone who is sick with COVID-19, as well as working parents who must stay home without pay to care for children who are sick or at home because of school closures.
- The Government of Canada is waving of the one-week waiting periodfor EI sickness benefits.
- The Federal Government has boosted Canada Child Benefit payments.
- Canada has made new enhancements to the Work Sharing Program.
- The Federal tax filing deadline has been extended to June 1, 2020.
Full Response Plans and Links
- Find out more on the Government of Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan.
- For more information, visit the Government of Canada’s Employment and Social Development Canada webpage.
- The Government of Ontario’s 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Plan.
- An update on Ontario’s $17B response to COVID-19. (Mar 24)
- See Ontario’s list of essential workplaces permitted to remain operational at this time.(March 23)
- The City of Ottawa has outlined the creation of an Economic Partners Task Force and ways it is supporting Ottawa’s small businesses during this difficult time.
- The Canadian Federation of Independent Business has a helpline: 1-888-234-2232 (TOLL-FREE).
- Learn more about how Canada’s RDAsare closely monitoring the COVID-19 global challenge.
- The MNP covid-19 response centre (courtesy of MNP)
- Summary of March 8, 2020’s announcement by the Prime Minister for government support (courtesy of RBC)
- Support for businesses impacted by the coronavirus (courtesy of BDC)
- Covid-19 resource hub (courtesy of MaRS)
- Communication templates for employers (courtesy of MaRS)
- Checklist: Senior management steps to handle COVID-19 (courtesy of MaRS)
- Disinfectants That Meet EPA’s Criteria Against Coronavirus (courtesy of Rillea Technologies)
- Pandemic preparedness guide (courtesy of Canadian Chamber of Commerce)
Here are some tips specific to working at home:
- 5 Ways to Help You Communicate Effectively This Week
- What It Takes to Run a Great Virtual Meeting
- Help! I’ve got kids, what do I do? Tips for parents working from home
- 10 G Suite tips to work with remote teams
- The Virus Survival Strategy For Your Startup
- Resources to help your small business manage through uncertainty