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

A second wave of COVID-19 is probable, if history tells us anything

B.C.’s top doctor says that what health officials have learned this round will guide response in future

Flooding highly unlikely this year throughout Skeena watershed

Region’s snowpack among lowest in the province

BC Transit focused on making buses safer and more comfortable in Phase Two of BC’s Restart Plan

All Terrace buses will have vinyl barriers to protect drivers by June 1

Student food pack demand soars because of school closure

Starfish program now delivers food to students’ homes

Regional district puts COVID-19 safeguards in place

Meeting today will be by tele-conference

Trudeau to seek 10 days of paid sick leave for Canadian workers, says talks are ongoing

Paid sick leave is key to keeping COVID-19 spread under control, prime minister says

Facing changes together: your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

Commercial rent relief applications open as feds encourage landlords to apply

Program would see government cover 50 per cent of the rent

COVID-19: B.C. park reservations surge as campgrounds reopen

Keep trying, many sites not reservable, George Heyman says

B.C. residents can now reserve a provincial campsite for a stay starting June 1

Campsite reservations will only be available to British Columbians

Introducing the West Coast Traveller: A voyage of the mind

Top armchair travel content for Alaska, Yukon, BC, Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California!

Cullen commission into money laundering in British Columbia resumes today

Inquiry was called amid growing concern that illegal cash was helping fuel real estate, luxury car and gambling

Bike shops busier than ever, but owners worry about stock supply issues

Uptick in cyclists brings new challenges for shops

RCMP facing ‘systemic sustainability challenges’ due to provincial policing role

Provinces, territories and municipalities pay anywhere from 70 to 90 per cent of the cost of the RCMP’s services

Most Read