PwC Canada experts offer advice on federal and provincial business assistance in a webinar. (Greater Vancouver Board of Trade)

Businesses advised to prepare for federal, B.C. COVID-19 assistance

Canada Revenue Agency portal expected to open this week

Navigating Canadian and B.C. government programs offering business assistance for the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic has been a daunting task, with the programs themselves evolving and taking time to establish as millions of people are forced out of work.

A web program presented April 1 by the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade offers a checklist of steps for businesses to take as they prepare for Ottawa’s expanded wage subsidy program and other assistance to businesses.

The 75 per cent wage subsidy requires a vote in the House of Commons to approve the expenditure. Finance Minister Bill Morneau has indicated that delivery of funds will take about six weeks to establish an application and approval process.

An important step that can be taken now, said PwC Canada experts leading the web program, is to make sure a Canada Revenue Agency business account is set up with accurate direct deposit information to allow transfer of funds. The “my CRA business account” page is here.

CRA is establishing a new portal to house various application forms, expected to be up and running the week of April 6. The CRA is allowing deferred GST and federal tax payments owing from March 27 to the end of June, but requires businesses to continue to file tax returns. More information from CRA is here.

The federal finance department has established the Canada Emergency Business Account, with loans of up to $40,000, interest free for one year. They will be delivered through financial institutions with a federal loan guarantee. That program is also expected to be available the week of April 6, and information is available here.

The federal wage subsidy program will extend to businesses, non-profits and charities, aimed at keeping people in their jobs. It requires employers to show a 30 per cent drop in gross revenues of at least 30 per cent in March, April or May, compared with the same month or months in 2019. It would apply at a rate of 75 per cent of the first $58,700 normally earned by an employee, for a benefit of up to $847 per week. Employers should check their eligibility here.

RELATED: Canada’s 75% wage subsidy is coming – in six weeks

RELATED: Trudeau says Parliament needs to pass COVID-19 aid

Businesses should share information with employees on the Canada Emergency Response Benefit, which offers up to $2,000 per month for four months for workers who have lost their income for reasons related to COVID-19 including sickness, quarantine, and needing to stay home with children. Applications for that are expected to be open the week of April 6, with payments expected to begin by April 16. Details are here.

From the B.C. government, provincial sales tax and employer health tax payments may be deferred to Sept. 30. A list of provincial tax deferments is available here.

The B.C. emergency benefit for workers, a tax-free one-time payment of $1,000 for individuals who qualify for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit, is expected to be available in May. Details are here.

B.C. Hydro is offering residential and small business customers who lose employment due to COVID-19 a three-month “holiday” equal to their average monthly bill over the past year. Bills will be waived for April, May and June for qualifying businesses, and details are available here.

• ICBC is allowing affected customers to defer payments for 90 days, including for fleet insurance. Details are here.

The PwC Canada presentation is part of a series of web programs hosted by the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade. The series can be found here.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislatureCoronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Port Hardy arena waiting for almost three million in grant funds needed for maintenance

The funds will be going towards upgrades to the arena and the lobby entrance.

Seniors housing in Port Hardy moves ahead with rezoning application

North Island seniors able to “age in place” in new facility, currently getting funding and permits

Port McNeill curling club will be getting a brand new paint job, thanks to residents

‘The generosity of this community never ceases to amaze me!’

Vancouver Island grizzlies: moving in, or just passing through?

Lack of data makes seeming increase in grizzly sightings on the North Island an open question

VIDEO: A young Vancouver Island black bear takes weekend nap in eagle tree

Videos captured by Terry Eissfeldt shows the bear arriving Saturday night and sleeping in on Sunday

If Trudeau won’t stand up to Trump, how will regular people: Singh

Trudeau did not directly answer a question about Trump’s actions amid protests

Murder charge upgraded in George Floyd case, 3 other cops charged

Floyd’s family and protesters have repeatedly called for criminal charges against all four officers

As two B.C. offices see outbreaks, Dr. Henry warns tests don’t replace other measures

Physical distancing, PPE and sanitizing remain key to reduce COVID-19 spread

Friendly Cove and Kyuquot will remain closed until further notice

Transition of other B.C. communities will be monitored before a decision to ease restrictions

Racist incident shocks Vancouver Island First Nation

Port Alberni RCMP investigating after video shows truck wheeling through Tseshaht territory

Gold River organizes a shop local initiative to creatively boost economy

Local purchases can earn shoppers $200 gift certificates to be spent on businesses within Gold River

Young killer whale untangles itself from trap line off Nanaimo shore

DFO marine mammal rescue unit was en route as whale broke free from prawn trap line

RCMP, coroner investigate murder-suicide on Salt Spring Island

Two dead, police say there is no risk to the public

B.C. schools see 30% of expected enrolment as in-class teaching restarts amid pandemic

Education minister noted that in-class instruction remains optional

Most Read