Vowing to always be there to support Canadian businesses — and to make sure the government’s emergency measures are effective and inclusive — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the government’s expansion of the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA).
“Expanding the Canada Emergency Business Account and making sure businesses can afford their rent is the smart thing to do,” Trudeau says. “Small businesses are the backbone of our communities, and will keep our economy strong in this uncertain time.”
The Government of Canada is:
- Expanding CEBA to businesses that paid between $20,000 and $1.5 million in total payroll in 2019. This new range will replace the previous one of between $50,000 and $1 million, and will help address the challenges faced by small businesses to cover non-deferrable operating costs. Since the launch of the CEBA on April 9, 2020, more than 195,000 loans have been approved by financial institutions, extending more than $7.5 billion in credit to small businesses.
- Announcing its intent to introduce the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) for small businesses. The program will seek to provide loans, including forgivable loans, to commercial property owners who in turn will lower or forgo the rent of small businesses for the months of April (retroactive), May, and June. Implementation of the program will require a partnership between the federal government and provincial and territorial governments, which are responsible for property owner-tenant relationships. We are working with the provinces and territories to increase rent support for businesses that are most impacted by the pandemic and we will have more details to share soon.
These measures are part of the Government of Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan, which has committed more than $107 billion in support to Canadians and businesses facing hardship as a result of the pandemic. The government will continue to monitor and respond to the wide-ranging impacts of COVID-19, and take additional actions as needed to protect the health and safety of Canadians and stabilize the economy.
Increased Provincial Support for Businesses
The Government of British Columbia is also providing enhanced relief for businesses by reducing most commercial property tax bills by an average of 25 per cent, along with new measures to support local governments facing temporary revenue shortfalls as a result of COVID-19.
“We know that B.C. communities and businesses are suffering from the economic impacts of COVID-19,” says Carole James, Minister of Finance. “That is why our B.C. COVID-19 Action Plan is focused on the health and safety of British Columbians, direct support for people and businesses and economic recovery for our province. We are providing further support by making additional temporary property tax changes to provide provincewide relief for business and local governments to help weather the pandemic, continue to deliver the services people count on and be part of our province’s economic recovery.”
The Province is:
- Further reducing the school property tax rate for commercial properties to achieve an average 25 per cent reduction in the total property tax bill for most businesses, providing up to $700 million in relief. This enhances the 50 per cent reduction to the provincial school property tax rate that was originally announced for classes 4, 5, and 6 as part of B.C.’s COVID-19 Action Plan.
- Postponing the date that late payment penalties apply for commercial properties in classes 4,5,6,7 and 8 to Oct. 1, 2020, to give businesses and landlords more time to pay their reduced property tax, without penalty.