COVID-19 - Important information for your business

Edmonton Made is proud to support local business and share important updates on the COVID-19 outbreak. Please check back here for the latest information on government relief measures and other resources to support you and your employees through this difficult time. 

Important Updates

Federal Wage Subsidy Programs

The Government of Canada has made two subsidies available to employers: 

In a previous iteration of this document we were unclear on if the 75% subsidy eliminated the previously announced 10% subsidy. It does not. We apologize for any confusion. 

#1 Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy *NEW

Applications for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) will open on April 27.

CEWS provides up to $847/week per employee for a 12-week period and is retroactive to March 15. There are no caps on the number of employees that can be supported through the subsidy.

A calculator has been released to support businesses as they prepare to apply for CEWS. Qualifying businesses will begin to receive payments as early as May 7

#2 Temporary Wage Subsidy for Employers 

The federal government will cover 10% of remuneration paid from March 18 to before June 20, up to a maximum subsidy of $1,375 per employee and $25,000 per employer.

This subsidy is not tied to any measured decline in gross revenue and there is no application process for this subsidy.

You must calculate the subsidy manually and reduce your current payroll remittance of federal, provincial, or territorial income tax that you send to the CRA by the amount of the subsidy. More information here.

Rent relief for small businesses

On April 24, the Government of Canada released additional details on its rent relief program. The Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) program will lower rent by 75% for small businesses and not-for-profits that have been affected by COVID-19.

Information for property owners

The program will provide forgivable loans to qualifying commercial property owners to cover 50% of monthly rent payments payable by eligible small business tenants during the months of April and May, retroactively, and for June.

Loans will be forgiven if the property owner agrees to reduce the eligible small business tenants’ rent by at least 75% for April, May and June. The tenant would be responsible for covering 25% of the rent, the property owner 25%, while the federal government and provinces would share the remaining 50%.

CECRA is expected to be operational by mid-May.

Eligible businesses

Eligible small business tenants must:

  • be paying less than $50,000 per month in rent
  • have temporarily ceased operations or have experienced at least a 70% drop in pre-COVID revenues

Non-profit and charitable organizations also qualify. Supports for larger corporations will be announced later. 

Support for Indigenous Businesses

On April 18, the Government of Canada announced $306.8 million in funding to help small and medium-sized Indigenous businesses. Businesses that are unable to access existing COVID-19 support measures can apply for interest-free loans, as well as non-repayable contributions, through Aboriginal Financial Institutions. Read the announcement here

Additional support for small businesses

On April 17, the Government of Canada announced support for small- and medium-sized businesses that are unable to secure funding under the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS), the Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) and the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA).

These measures are meant to address gaps in Canada's economic response plan. 

  • Providing $675 million to Canada's Regional Development Agencies (including Western Economic Diversification Canada) to give financing support to SMEs
  • Providing $287 million to Community Futures Network to support rural businesses and communities (available through Western Economic Diversification)
  • Providing $500 million to Heritage Canada to establish a COVID-19 Emergency Fund for cultural, heritage and sport organizations affected by COVID-19
  • Providing $250 million to the National Research Council of Canada's Industrial Research Assistance Program to assist innovative, early-stage companies. This program opens April 22.
  • Providing $20.1 million to Futurpreneur Canada to continue to support young entrepreneurs across Canada. This will allow Futurpreneur to provide payment relief for its clients for up to 12 months. 

For the full announcement please visit this website.

Canada Emergency Business Account

On April 16, the Government of Canada announced that it would be expanding the Canada Emergency Business Account, which provides interest-free loans of up to $40,000 to qualifying small businesses and not-for profits. 

Businesses that paid between $20,000 and $1.5 million in total payroll in 2019 now qualify for the program. 

Canada Emergency Response Benefit

On April 15, the Government of Canada announced expanded access to the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) to include people not currently eligible. These changes: 

  • Allow people to earn up to $1,000 per month while collecting the CERB
  • Extend CERB to seasonal workers who have exhausted their EI regular benefits and are unable to undertake their usual seasonal work as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak 
  • Extend the CERB to workers who recently exhausted their EI regular benefits and are unable to find a job or return to work because of COVID-19

You can find more information on this announcement here.

CERB offers a weekly payment of $500 for a period of up to 16 weeks, for workers who lose their income as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Applications for CERB are now open. 

Advice for small businesses

Business Link is providing one-on-one guidance to Albertans who operate small business or are pursuing entrepreneurial ventures. It is also offering free programming through June on a variety of topics, as well as free expert sessions with lawyers, accountants, marketing specialists, e-commerce specialists and more. 

Additional restrictions on businesses

On March 27, the Government of Alberta announced new mandatory business, workplace and facility closures

  • Dine-in restaurants will no longer be able to offer dine-in service. Take-out, delivery and drive-through services are still allowed.
  • Non-essential retail businesses must close to the public. They may continue to offer online shopping and curb-side pick-up.
  • Close contact personal services, including personal services facilities, cosmetic enhancement services, wellness studios and clinics, non-emergency and non-critical health services, must close to the public. 

More details on essential services and facilities can be found here


Upcoming workshops & webinars


Local initiatives supporting your business

  • If you're a food or beverage business offering pickup or delivery, sign up to Vinson Luong’s Pickup & Deliveries List by filling out this form.
  • The Print Machine has started an initiative called "Here For Good". Businesses can sign up to have a t-shirt designed with their company logo. All proceeds go to that local business!
  • There are many media organizations and blogs that want to help by featuring your business: Kari Skelton, Linda HoangShopYEG, Global News Edmonton (form at bottom of page), Avenue Edmonton.
  • Let people know you're still open for business by registering with our friends Things That Are Open.
  • Sign up for #TheEtsyCollective for advice on how to set up your Etsy shop from sellers in your area.


Government of Canada - COVID-19 Response

The Government of Canada is taking action to support business impacted by COVID-19. In response to the outbreak, entrepreneurs are eligible to benefit from new investments and initiatives:

Please refer to the Government of Canada website for a detailed look at Canada's COVID-19 Economic Response Plan.


Government of Alberta - COVID-19 Response

The provincial government has announced several relief measures to support employers and employees during the COVID-19 outbreak. Please refer to the Government of Alberta website for a detailed look at Alberta's COVID-19 response


City of Edmonton - COVID-19 Response

On March 30, the City of Emdonton announced the deferral of Business Improvement Area (BIA) Tax Levy payment penalties. BIA members who are in financial hardship due to the pandemic may delay their levy payments until September 30, 2020, and no late penalties will be applied.

On March 21, the City of Edmonton deferred property tax payments for Edmontonians experiencing financial difficulties due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Tax notices will be mailed in May and no late fees will be charged to property tax payments made by August 31, 2020. The city is asking Edmontonians that are able to pay on schedule to do so, to help keep the City of Edmonton running through this challenging time. 

The municipal government has also temporarily suspended fare collection on all Edmonton Transit Service buses, LRT, and DATS service. LRT and buses are using an enhanced Saturday service schedule until further notice. 

Parking fees for all curbside parking and municipally-owned parking lots (including covered, indoor and underground facilities) have also been waived. For more information on the City of Edmonton's COVID-19 business support measures please visit their website. 

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