Bill Blair
Hon. Bill Blair
Member of Parliament for Scarborough Southwest
Support for Businesses, Non-Profits and Charities

Here are the federal initiatives currently in place to assist and support small businesses, non-profits and charities. If you have any questions please email [email protected]

Find COVID-19 support and other programs and services best suited for your business by taking a quick survey.


Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy 

The government has announced a proposed extension of the current CERS and Lockdown Support rate until June 5, 2021.

Businesses can now apply for the new Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS), which would help cover up to 65 per cent of the rent for businesses who’ve been hard hit by the pandemic. The new Lockdown Support will also provide an additional 25 per cent for those who have been subject to a lockdown under a mandatory public health order. The application process is straightforward, easy-to-access, and most importantly, funding will go directly to businesses – not to landlords.
This will protect millions of jobs across the country and help our neighbourhood corner stores, local restaurants, and clothing boutiques keep their employees on the payroll and their doors open.
As businesses in many regions face new regulations and shutdowns to keep Canadians safe, our government is going to be there for whatever it takes to support businesses and keep Canadians working. 
The CRA has launched a CERS online calculator and application form that are designed almost identically to those of the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS). The calculator guides applicants through a step-by-step process that allows them to determine the subsidy amount they can claim, based on the information they enter.  The CERS web pages include detailed information about eligibility requirements, how payment periods are structured, and how the subsidy is calculated. 

Canada United Small Business Relief Fund

Canada United is a national fundraising campaign created by the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) in collaboration with private sector partners and provincial and territorial chambers of commerce, including the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC). The campaign has been rallying support from Canadians for local small businesses in every corner of the country.

The Canada United Small Business Relief Fund, which is managed by the OCC, is supporting Canadian businesses across different sectors and industries with grants of up to $5,000. These grants will help thousands of small business owners cover the costs of personal protective equipment, make physical modifications to their businesses to meet local health and safety requirements, and enhance their digital or e-commerce capabilities. This is especially important as we enter the second wave of the pandemic.

This $12 million dollar investment builds on the Government of Canada’s continued support for small and local businesses through a wide range of COVID-19 emergency programs.

Small businesses can apply online through the Ontario Chamber of Commerce for the next wave of Canada United Small Business Relief Fund grants.

Business Credit Availability Program

Minister Freeland announced that the Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) will be extended until June 2021.

Through BCAP, the government is supporting the flow of additional credit that businesses need to maintain operations and keep employees on the payroll. This will improve access to the capital needed by businesses to pay workers’ salaries and cover expenses until Canada returns to normal borrowing circumstances. In the throne speech, we vowed to restore employment to pre-pandemic levels and create over one million jobs for Canadians. The extension will help keep Canadians employed and encourage business owners to rehire their workers.

Loan Guarantee for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises

Through the Business Credit Availability Program, Export Development Canada (EDC) is working with financial institutions to guarantee 80% of new operating credit and cash flow term loans of up to $6.25 million to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

This financing support is to be used for operational expenses and is available to both exporting and non-exporting companies.

This program is now available at various banks and credit unions.

This support is available until June 2021.

Learn more click here. 

Co-Lending Program for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises

Through the Business Credit Availability Program, Business Development Canada (BDC) is working with financial institutions to co-lend term loans of up to $6.25 million to SMEs for their operational cash flow requirements.

The program offers differing maximum finance amounts based on business revenues.

This program is now available at various banks and credit unions.

This support is available until June 2021.

Learn more click here. 

Mid-Market Financing Program

Through the Business Credit Availability Program, the Business Development Canada’s (BDC) Mid-Market Financing Program will provide commercial loans ranging between $12.5 million and $60 million to medium-sized businesses whose credit needs exceed what is already available through the Business Credit Availability Program and other measures.

BDC anticipates that qualifying companies will have annual revenues in excess of approximately $100 million.

This support is available until June 2021.

Learn more click here. 

Mid-Market Guarantee and Financing Program

Through the Business Credit Availability Program, EDC’s Mid-Market Guarantee and Financing Program will bring liquidity to companies who tend to have revenues of between $50 million to $300 million, to sustain operations during this uncertain period. EDC will continue to work with Canadian financial institutions to guarantee 75 % of new operating credit and cash-flow loans – ranging in size from $16.75 million to a maximum of $80 million.

These expanded guarantees are available to exporters, international investors and businesses that sell their products or services within Canada.

More details will be made available soon.

Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS)

A proposal has been made to continue the CEWS until June 2021, including possible changes to the rates and top-up calculation. Read the October 14 announcement and check back soon for details. 

This subsidy will cover 75% of an employee’s wages for employers of all sizes and across all sectors that have suffered a 30% decrease in gross revenues (this includes non-profits and charities are also included).  Companies will have the option of using the months of January and February as reference periods to showcase their 30% loss. In addition, businesses will only need to show a 15% decline in revenue for March instead of 30% because most of us only felt the impact of COVID-19 halfway through the month. For this reason, businesses will have the choice to include or exclude government funding when calculating a loss in revenue.

For more information click here.

Visit the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy Calculator.

Proposed changes to the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) that would broaden the reach of the program and provide better targeted support so that more workers can return to their jobs quickly as the economy restarts.

For more information click here

Updates related to the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy can be found here. 

Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA)

The Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) provides interest-free loans of up to $40,000 to small businesses and not-for-profits, to help cover their operating costs during a period where their revenues have been temporarily reduced. This program has been implemented by banks and credit unions in collaboration with Export Development Canada.

Business owners can apply for support from CEBA through their banks and credit unions.

This support is available until December 31.

For more information on CEBA click here.

Supporting Black Business Owners & Entrepreneurs 

Minister Ng joined the Prime Minister to announce Canada’s first-ever Black Entrepreneurship Program to support Black business owners and entrepreneurs and address longstanding systemic barriers to success. This investment of up to nearly $221 million, including up to $93 million from our government and up to $128 million committed in lending capital from financial institutions, will help thousands of Black business owners and entrepreneurs across the country recover from this crisis and grow their businesses by providing:

For more information click here

Work Sharing Programs

Currently, there are temporary special measures in place to support employers and employees affected by the downturn in businesses due to COVID-19. 

We have extended the maximum duration of the Work-Sharing program from 38 weeks to 76 weeks for employers affected by COVID-19. This measure will provide income support to employees eligible for Employment Insurance who agree to reduce their normal working hours because of developments beyond the control of their employers.

For more information on Work Sharing Programs click here.

Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF)

The RRRF will be delivered through our six Regional Development Agencies and is open for applications from businesses and communities, specifically targeted towards businesses that need help but haven’t qualified for existing programs. 

We are providing over $1.5 billion through the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) to help more businesses and organizations in sectors such as manufacturing, technology, tourism and others that are key to the regions and to local economies. This fund is specifically targeted to those that may require additional help to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, but have been unable to access other support measures.

Businesses are encouraged to consult the Application Guide and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) before applying and can contact FedDev Ontario by phone at 1-866-593-5505.

National Research Council’s Industrial Research Assistance Program

Starting on April 22nd at 7:00 am, small and medium-sized Canadian businesses unable to secure funding under the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy and the Business Credit Availability Program can apply for financial assistance.

Insured Mortgage Purchase Program

We launched an Insured Mortgage Purchase Program, in which we will purchase up to $150 billion of insured mortgage pools through the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

This action will provide long-term stable funding to banks and mortgage lenders, help facilitate continued lending to Canadian consumers and businesses, and add liquidity to Canada's mortgage market.

Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA)

Applications are now open. This program will provide forgivable loans to qualifying commercial property owners to cover 50% of three monthly rent payments that are payable by eligible small business tenants who are experiencing financial hardships during the months of April, May and June. The loans will be forgiven if the mortgaged property owner agrees to reduce the eligible small business tenants’ rent by at least 75% for the three corresponding months under a rent forgiveness agreement. This agreement will include a term not to evict the tenant while the agreement is in place. The small business tenant would cover the remained up to 25% of the rent. This support is also available to non-profits and charities.

For more information on CECRA click here.

CECRA Extension

Our government is extending the program by another month to cover April, May, June, July, and August.

This program is helping thousands of small businesses across the country save on rent. We know that many business owners are struggling with cash flow right now. Through programs like the CECRA, CEBA, and CEWS, we will continue to ensure they have the support they need.

Emergency Community Response Fund

There is a $350 million support fund to assist charities and non-profits in their important work and get vulnerable Canadians the resources they need. The money will flow through 3 national organizations: the United Way, Community Foundations Canada, and the Red Cross to ensure funds get to local organizations quickly. This support will assist in training volunteers, increasing home deliveries for seniors, and driving individuals with disabilities to appointments.

For more information click here.

Business Resilience Hotline

The Business Reliance Service (BRS) concluded on Friday, July 3rd, 2020.  

This service will help entrepreneurs and small business owners in need of financial planning advice. This service will also be open to not-for-profit organizations and charities. This hotline is a national, bilingual service open from 8 am to 8 pm. You can call toll free 1-866-989-1080. 

Indigenous Businesses

Relief Measures for Indigenous Businesses 

We are providing $306.8 million in funding to help small and medium-sized Indigenous businesses and to support Aboriginal Financial Institutions that offer to finance to these businesses.

The funding will allow for short-term, interest-free loans and non-repayable contributions through Aboriginal Financial Institutions, which offer financing and business support services to First Nations, Inuit, and Métis businesses.

Financial support for Indigenous businesses will be provided through Aboriginal Financial Institutions and administered by the National Aboriginal Capital Corporations Association and the Métis capital corporations in partnership with Indigenous Services Canada.

For more information click here.

Indigenous Community Business Fund  

We are providing non-repayable financial contributions to help support operating costs for First Nation, Inuit, and Métis community-or collectively-owned businesses and micro businesses whose revenues have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The fund seeks to provide support for businesses that do not qualify for other Government of Canada COVID-19 relief measures.

Apply to the Indigenous Community Business Fund 

Supporting the Indigenous Tourism Industry 

We announced a new stimulus development fund that will provide $16 million to support the Indigenous tourism industry. The Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada will administer the fund to businesses across the country that have lost revenue due to COVID-19.

Main Office - Scarborough
2263 Kingston Road
Scarborough, Ontario
M1N 1T8


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Office Hours
Mon: 9:00am - 4:00pm
Tue: 9:00am - 4:00pm
Wed: 9:00am - 4:00pm
Thu: 9:00am - 4:00pm
Fri: 9:00am - 1:00pm
Sat: Closed.
Sun: Closed.

Hill Office
House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0A6


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