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)

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
  • 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

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.

Full Response Plans and Links

Here are some tips specific to working at home: