The Coronavirus Pandemic & Your Business

Prepare Your Business During The COVID-19 Crisis & Mitigate the Effects of An Emergency.

Be Informed. Get Prepared. Know Where to Get Help.

Government of Canada - Support for Businesses

Vaccination for COVID-19

COVID-19 vaccines approved for use in Canada are free. They’re available to priority populations first. They’ll then be available to everyone who is recommended to get the vaccine by federal, provincial and territorial public health authorities.

For more information on how to get vaccinated for COVID 19 visit the Government of Canada Vaccines for COVID-19 website here.


Update to Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS)

April 21, 2020 – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy will be open to applications on Monday, April 27 through the Canada Revenue Agency website.

The CEWS provides for an amount to employers equal to 75% of employees’ remuneration paid, up to a maximum of $847 per week per employee, from March 15, 2020 to June 6, 2020.

Calculate Your Subsidy Amount

The CRA calculator is a tool to help you estimate the amount of your wage subsidy when applying for the CEWS.

You will be asked to enter amounts such as the number of eligible employees and gross payroll.

Determine these amounts and preview your subsidy claim now, based on information you enter.

After you apply for the wage subsidy, your claim will be subject to verification.

Before you calculate your subsidy, make sure you are eligible to apply. Employers that qualify for the CEWS in one period will now automatically qualify for the NEXT claiming period.

For employers who do not qualify for the CEWS, the 10% Temporary Subsidy may be available to them.

Government Subsidies for Small & Medium Sized Businesses

Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS)

  • A 12-week wage subsidy up to 75% of the annual employee salary up to $58,700 (i.e., up to $847 per week, per eligible employee
  • Available to large and small employers, any number of employees, demonstrating at least 30% loss in revenue due to COVID-19
  • 30% loss in revenue determined by comparing the employer’s gross revenue in March, April and May, 2020 to the same month in 2019
  • Each month must be claimed separately & employers may not qualify for all three periods
Eligible Period Claim Period Reference Period
Period 1 March 15 – April 11 March 2020/March 2019
Period 2 April 12 – May 9 April 2020/April 2019
Period 3 May 10 – June 6 May 2020/May 2019

10% Temporary Wage Subsidy

  • For businesses that do not qualify for the CEWS the 10% Temporary Wage Subsidy may still be available
  • Up to 10% of eligible employee salaries March 18 – June 20, 2020, capped at $1,375 per employee & $25,000 per employer

Credit for Small & Medium Sized Businesses

Canada Emergency Business Account Loan

  • The government will provide interest-free loans of up to $40,000 to small businesses and not-for-profits, to cover operating costs during a period where revenues have been temporarily reduced
  • Qualifying organizations must have paid between $50,000 to $1 million in total payroll in 2019

Loan Guarantee

  • Export Development Canada (EDC) is working with financial institutions to issue new operating credit and cash flow term loans of up to $6.25 million to SMEs

 Co-Lending Program

  • Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) is working with financial institutions to co-lend term loans to SMEs for their operational cash flow requirements
  • Eligible businesses may obtain incremental credit amounts of up to $6.25 million through the program
  • These programs will roll out in the three weeks after March 27, 2020

Tax Filing and Payment Flexibility

Income Tax Extension

  • Access details on extensions for tax deadlines for corporations, partnerships, trusts, self-employed and individual personal tax deadlines
  • Payments of the Goods and Services Tax / Harmonized Sales Tax (GST/HST), as well as customs duties owing on their imports deferred until June 30, 2020
  • All HST returns must continue to be filed on time

Government of Ontario Relief Measures

  • Effective March 20, 2020 the Ontario government increased the Employer Health Tax Exemption from $490,000 to $1 million
  • 5 month relief period for Ontario businesses unable to file or remit their provincial taxes on time due to the coronavirus (COVID‑19)


On March 27, 2020 the Government of Canada announced:

  • An increase to the wage subsidy from 10% up to 75% for small and medium size businesses backdated to Sunday, March 15 , 2020
  • The government will guarantee loans of up to $40,000 for small businesses which will be interest-free for the first year and, under certain conditions, up to $10,000 of the loans could be non-repayable
  • deferral of GST/HST payments, as well as duties & taxes on imports until June 2020
  • An  additional investment of $12 billion in BDC and Export Development Canada to support SMEs with cash flows

For a detailed report on the new changes visit News Release From The Office of The Prime Minister.

Business Continuity Plan Checklist

Creating and maintaining a business continuity plan will help ensure that your business can deal with an emergency with adequate resources and vital information. We’re here to help you navigate during this uncertain time. Thank you for trusting us with your business, and please reach out to your Sterling team with any questions.

Plan for the impact of an emergency on your business

  • Establish an emergency coordinator, essential employees and critical suppliers required to maintain business operations during an emergency
  • Establish an emergency communications plan for your business that includes key contacts and their information
  • Establish a chain of communication for tracking and communicating key processes of your business

Establish policies to be implemented during an emergency that include

  • Sufficient emergency supplies e.g. hand hygiene products, tissues and receptacles for their disposal
  • Enhance communications and IT infrastructures to support employees telecommuting
  • Provide accurate information of medical consultation resources and advice for emergency response compensation and sick-leave absences e.g. non-punitive liberal leave
  • Flexible worksite and work hours e.g. telecommuting, staggered shifts
  • During the coronavirus pandemic, policies to:
    • prevent spread of the virus at the worksite e.g. cough etiquette, hand hygiene
    • Manage employees who have been exposed to the virus, suspected ill or become ill at the worksite
    • when a previously ill person is no longer infectious and can return to work after illness
    • planning for shutting down operation

Allocate Resources to Protect your Employees and Customers during an Emergency

  • Provide sufficient emergency supplies e.g. hand hygiene products, tissues and receptacles for their disposal
  • Enhance communications and IT infrastructures to support employees telecommuting
  • Provide accurate information of medical consultation resources and advice for emergency response

Communicate With and Educate your Employees

  • Ensure your employees are provided with the best and most reliable news sources in order to mitigate fear and anxiety
  • Have a website, phone-line, email etc for communicating emergency status and actions to employees, vendors, supplies and customers
  • Share reliable sources – for timely and accurate emergency information, please visit our links in the sidebar

Coordinate with External Organizations and Help your Community

  • Collaborate with insurers, health plans, and major local healthcare facilities to share your emergency plans and understand their capabilities and plans
  • Share best practices with other businesses in your communities to improve community response efforts.