Funding Supports for Business & Individuals

Prime Minister announces support for small businesses facing impacts of COVID‑19

The Government of Canada is focused on helping Canadians and businesses through this tough economic time. We will continue to protect the health and safety of Canadians, while supporting families and businesses and keeping our economy strong in the face of uncertainty.

The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today announced additional new measures to support small businesses dealing with the economic impacts of the pandemic. These measures will help Canadian businesses protect the jobs that Canadians depend on, and pay their workers and bills during these difficult times.

Today’s announcement is a part of the government’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan, which already commits $107 billion in support to Canadians so they can buy groceries, pay rent, and care for their loved ones, and also supports businesses through this difficult time.

To further support small businesses, the Government of Canada will:

Announce a 75 per cent 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. More details on eligibility criteria will start with the impact of COVID-19 on sales, and will be shared before the end of the month.

Allow businesses, including self-employed individuals, to defer all Goods and Services Tax/Harmonized Sales Tax (GST/HST) payments until June, as well as customs duties owed for imports. This measure is the equivalent of providing up to $30 billion in interest-free loans to Canadian businesses. It will help businesses so they can continue to pay their employees and their bills, and help ease cash-flow challenges across the country.

Launch the new Canada Emergency Business Account. This program will provide up to $25 billion to eligible financial institutions so they can provide interest-free loans to small businesses. These loans – guaranteed and funded by the Government of Canada – will ensure that small businesses have access to the capital they need, at a zero per cent interest rate, so they can pay for rent and other important costs over the next number of months.

Launch the new Small and Medium-sized Enterprise Loan and Guarantee program that will enable up to $40 billion in lending, supported through Export Development Canada and Business Development Bank, for guaranteed loans when small businesses go to their financial institutions to help weather the impacts of COVID-19. This is intended for small and medium-sized companies that require greater help to meet their operational cash flow requirements.

These new investments will help Canada’s financial institutions provide the credit and liquidity options that a range of Canadian businesses need immediately.

The Government of Canada understands that some sectors have been disproportionally impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. We will continue to carefully monitor all developments, and take further action in the near term. We’re all in this together, and the Government of Canada will continue to work around the clock to ensure all Canadians and small businesses get the support they need to weather this crisis.

Quick Facts

The deferral to June of GST/HST payments, as well as customs duties owing on imports, will generally apply to remittances that become due in March, April, and May. These amounts would normally have been due to the Canada Revenue Agency and the Canada Border Services Agency as early as the end of this month. This measure will take effect immediately, through existing authorities.

The Canada Revenue Agency is introducing a series of administrative measures to remove some of the burden on businesses experiencing financial hardship.

The new Canada Emergency Business Account will provide funding to eligible financial institutions so that they can provide interest-free loans in the form of lines of credit of up to $40,000 to businesses with payrolls of less than $1 million. A quarter of this loan (up to $10,000) is eligible for complete forgiveness.

The new Small and Medium-sized Enterprise Loan and Guarantee program will operate as follows:

Export Development Canada will provide guarantees to financial institutions so that they can issue new operating credit and cash flow term loans of up to $6.25 million to small and medium-sized businesses. These loans will be 80 per cent guaranteed by Export Development Canada, to be repaid within one year.

Small and medium-sized businesses can also get support through a new Co-Lending Program that will bring the Business Development Bank of Canada together with financial institutions to co-lend term loans to these businesses for their operational cash flow requirements. Eligible businesses may obtain incremental credit amounts of up to $6.25 million through the program, which will be risk-shared at 80 per cent between the Business Development Bank of Canada and the financial institutions. Eligible financial institutions will conduct the underwriting and funding directly for customers.

The government has already introduced several measures to support businesses affected by COVID-19:

Providing eligible small employers a temporary wage subsidy for a period of three months. The subsidy will be equal to 10 per cent of remuneration paid during that period, up to a maximum subsidy of $1,375 per employee and $25,000 per employer. Businesses will be able to benefit immediately from this support by reducing their remittances of income tax withheld on their employees’ remuneration.

Extending the maximum duration of the Work-Sharing program, from 38 weeks to 76 weeks, for workers who agree to reduce their normal working hours because of developments beyond the control of their employers.

Establishing a Business Credit Availability Program, largely targeted to small and medium-sized businesses, through the Business Development Bank of Canada and Export Development Canada. These organizations are working closely with private sector lenders to coordinate on credit solutions for individual businesses, including in sectors such as oil and gas, air transportation, and tourism.

Increasing credit available for farmer and the agri-food sector through Farm Credit Canada.

Deferring the payment of income taxes. The government is allowing all taxpayers to defer, until after August 31, 2020, the payment of income tax amounts owed on or after March 18 and before September 2020. This relief would apply to tax balances due, as well as instalments, under Part I of the Income Tax Act. No interest or penalties will accumulate on these amounts during this period.

Government introduces Canada Emergency Response Benefit to help workers and businesses

Department of Finance Canada

News release - March 25, 2020
From: Department of Finance Canada

The Government of Canada is taking strong, immediate and effective action to protect Canadians and the economy from the impacts of the global COVID-19 pandemic. No Canadian should have to choose between protecting their health, putting food on the table, paying for their medication or caring for a family member.

To support workers and help businesses keep their employees, the government has proposed legislation to establish the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB). This taxable benefit would provide $2,000 a month for up to four months for workers who lose their income as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The CERB would be a simpler and more accessible combination of the previously announced Emergency Care Benefit and Emergency Support Benefit.

The CERB would cover 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 and daycare closures. The CERB would apply to wage earners, as well as contract workers and self-employed individuals who would not otherwise be eligible for Employment Insurance (EI).

Additionally, workers who are still employed, but are not receiving income because of disruptions to their work situation due to COVID-19, would also qualify for the CERB. This would help businesses keep their employees as they navigate these difficult times, while ensuring they preserve the ability to quickly resume operations as soon as it becomes possible.

The EI system was not designed to process the unprecedented high volume of applications received in the past week. Given this situation, all Canadians who have ceased working due to COVID-19, whether they are EI-eligible or not, would be able to receive the CERB to ensure they have timely access to the income support they need.

Canadians who are already receiving EI regular and sickness benefits as of today would continue to receive their benefits and should not apply to the CERB. If their EI benefits end before October 3, 2020, they could apply for the CERB once their EI benefits cease, if they are unable to return to work due to COVID-19. Canadians who have already applied for EI and whose application has not yet been processed would not need to reapply. Canadians who are eligible for EI regular and sickness benefits would still be able to access their normal EI benefits, if still unemployed, after the 16-week period covered by the CERB.

The government is working to get money into the pockets of Canadians as quickly as possible. The portal for accessing the CERB would be available in early April. EI eligible Canadians who have lost their job can continue to apply for EI here, as can Canadians applying for other EI benefits.

Canadians would begin to receive their CERB payments within 10 days of application. The CERB would be paid every four weeks and be available from March 15, 2020 until October 3, 2020.

This benefit would be one part of the government’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan, to support Canadian workers and businesses and help stabilize the economy by helping Canadians pay for essentials like housing and groceries, and helping businesses pay their employees and bills during this unprecedented time of global uncertainty.

General Enquiries
Phone: 613-369-3710
TTY: 613-369-3230

Emera and Nova Scotia Power contribute a combined $1M to the Atlantic Compassion Fund and Home Energy Assistance Top-up (HEAT) Fund

Emira, Nova Scotia Power

Media Release - March 23, 2020

Halifax – To help meet immediate and emerging needs of communities in Atlantic Canada due to COVID-19, Emera Inc. is contributing $500,000 to the United Way’s Atlantic Compassion Fund and its operating company Nova Scotia Power will donate $500,000 to the Home Energy Assistance Top-up (HEAT) Fund.

“The global COVID-19 pandemic is resulting in extraordinary challenges for Atlantic Canada. Our current focus is on ensuring our ability to continue to deliver the critical energy needs of our customers, as well as the health and safety of our people and our communities. But we also understand the pressures this pandemic is creating for many, and we want to do our part right now to help those who need it most,” said Emera President and CEO Scott Balfour. “These donations to the Atlantic Compassion Fund and the HEAT Fund will provide immediate critical aid to our region.”

The Atlantic Compassion Fund will support people who are being most impacted by the widespread public health measures being implemented across the region, including those who are precariously employed, or are experiencing homelessness, mental illness or food insecurity, or living on a low income. This Atlantic-wide fund is being managed by United Way Halifax in collaboration with 10 other United Ways across the region.

The Home Energy Assistance Top-up (HEAT) Fund helps individuals and families who live on low incomes to pay their energy bills. The program is extending the April 15 application deadline indefinitely and waiving the application restriction on applying only every 24 months, meaning customers who received funding in 2019 may also apply in 2020.

“We understand our customers are concerned about the future, their jobs and their ability to pay their bills. The last thing we want them to worry about is going without power during this tough time,” says Wayne O’Connor, Nova Scotia Power President and CEO. “That’s why we are suspending disconnections for nonpayment for at least 90 days, relaxing payment timelines and waiving penalties and fees. We’re working with residential and small business customers to provide flexible options and making this additional donation to the HEAT Fund.”

The HEAT Fund program is a partnership between Nova Scotia Power, the provincial government and The Salvation Army. Every year it provides emergency assistance for all forms of home heating.

“Many people in our community are in crisis right now. The Atlantic Compassion Fund is a way to come together to support those who need it most,” said United Way of Halifax President & CEO Sara Napier. “Emera’s genuine and generous leadership to help will literally be put to use in days. We are so grateful, and we hope this transformational investment inspires others to join in by making donations of their own, and most importantly encourages all of us to believe we will get through this together.”

“We are so grateful for the ongoing generosity of Nova Scotia Power. The HEAT Fund helps thousands of Nova Scotians each year, and now, with this additional contribution, we’ll be able to help even more. Especially those who have been impacted financially due to COVID-19,” said Major Wade Budgell, Divisional Commander, The Salvation Army.

As with all community investments made by Emera and its operating companies, this $1 million contribution comes from shareholder investments and not customer rates. For more information about the HEAT Fund, visit To learn more about the Atlantic Compassion Fund.


Media contacts:

Emera Inc.
Marley MacDonald

Nova Scotia Power
Andrea Anderson

United Way Sarah White

Captain Jamie Locke Divisional Secretary of Public Relations and Development The Salvation Army Maritime Division


NS COVID-19 Response A Message to Our Customers 

Government of Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan

This morning, our Prime Minister announced a new set of economic measures to help stabilize the economy during these challenging times.

These measures, delivered as part of the Government of Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan, will provide up to $27 billion in direct support to Canadian workers and businesses.