COVID-19 Health Crisis

The COVID-19 health crisis has left many small and independent Canadian businesses facing economic hardship. At GWLRA we recognize the stress this is causing your business and we’re committed to helping you during this challenging time.

Rental Deferral Program

The topic of rent assistance for Canadian businesses is top-of-mind at all levels of government. Below are links to various level of provincial and federal assistance and steps businesses can take to access financial aid. In the meantime, there are a number of steps we’re taking to help those small and independent business that need support immediately and/or may require it in the future.

Immediate Access

For those tenants whose small or independent business has suffered economic hardship and are concerned about their ability to cover future rent, we encourage you to contact your Property Manager directly. Your property manager will quickly assess your situation and provide the right level of support and advice.

Online Resource Centre

Please continue to visit this site for frequent information on COVID-19 including our rental deferral program.

Staying Connected to our Community

Our commitment continues to be your health and safety. We have dedicated financial and human resources to ensure our buildings are properly equipped and maintained during this current situation. Our online resource centre will be regularly updated with timely and relevant information. We also encourage our tenants to stay connected and share their questions/concerns with your property manager.

Doing Your Part

We’re all in this together. In addition to following the direction of government and public health officials, we’re asking those business tenants who can, to continue to pay their rent. Your rent payments allow us to keep our buildings operating and our staff working to serve your needs during these challenging times.
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Federal Assistance Programs:

Wage Subsidy

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.

H.S.T Deferral

The Federal Government will 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.

Emergency Business Loans

The Federal Government will implement the Canada Emergency Business Account. This $25 billion program provides interest-free loans of up to $40,000 to small businesses and not-for-profits, to help cover their operating costs during a period where their revenues have been temporarily reduced, due to the economic impacts of the COVID-19 virus.

Small Business Loan Program

Government is providing $675 million to give financing support to small and medium-sized businesses that are unable to access other COVID-19 business supports, through Canada’s Regional Development Agencies.

Canada Emergency Response Benefit

Government will provide a taxable benefit of $500 week for up to 16 weeks to eligible workers who have lost their income due to COVID-19.

Work-Sharing Program

Government is introducing enhancements to the ‘Work-Sharing Program’ (a program designed to help employers and employees avoid layoffs) to help employers experiencing a downturn in business as well as their employees.

Business Credit Availability Program

Ottawa has established a Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) with approximately $40B in new funding through the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) to provide additional credit support for businesses.

Child Care Benefit

The maximum annual Child Care Benefit (CCB) will be increased by $300 per child.

Canada Student Loans

Students will receive a 6-month moratorium on the repayment of Canada Student Loans.

Income Tax Deferrals

Business and individuals can now defer paying income tax amounts due until after August 31.

Provincial Assistance Programs:

Click on your province for specific assistance programs.

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Canada Map (May Update)
Ontario Specific Assistance
Ontario Students Assistance Program (OSAP) From March 30, 2020 to September 30, 2020, students will not be required to make any loan payments, and interest will not accrue on the loans.

Various Financial Reliefs Ontario government has announced various reliefs through deferring interest and penalty reliefs on late tax payments, education property tax, WSIB payments and through affordable electricity bills

BC Specific Assistance
BC Hydro Bill deferral, payment plans and crisis funding is available.

BC Emergency Benefit One-time additional tax-free payment of $1000 to those on EI or CERB. Application Information still to come.

ICBC Monthly payment deferral for up to 90 days with no penalty.

BC Business Taxes Payments for Employer health tax (EHT), provincial sales tax (PST), municipal and regional district tax, tobacco tax, motor fuel tax, and carbon tax are deferred until after Sept 30. Scheduled April 1 increases to provincial carbon tax and PST are deferred.

BC Student Loans Students will receive a 6-month interest-free moratorium on repayment, starting April.

Property Tax Reliefs Province is providing enhanced relief for businesses by reducing most commercial property tax bills by an average of 25%.

Quebec Specific Assistance
Suspension of student debt repayment The Quebec government is postponing student loan debt repayment for the next six months.

Flexibility for producing income tax returns The Quebec government is extending the deadline for filing of provincial 2019 income tax return to June 1, 2020 and to September 1, 2020 for paying 2019 income tax balances.

Government Assistance Programs for Workers There are a number of government assistance programs available for workers, residents of Québec, who have lost their income because of COVID-19. An online tool is available to determine which one applies to an individual’s situation.

Temporary Aid for Workers Program This program offers financial assistance to workers in isolation who cannot earn their work income and are not eligible for another financial assistance program.

Concerted Temporary action program for businesses Financial assistance is available in the form of a loan or loan guarantee for businesses that find themselves in a precarious situation and temporary difficulty as a result of COVID-19.

The city of Montreal has created a $5 million assistance fund to support sectors that have been hit hardest in the short term: retail businesses, social economy, creative and cultural industries and tourism.

Emergency support for small and medium-sized businesses: For businesses with liquidity needs of up to $50,000.

Concerted Actions for Job Retention Program (PACME – COVID -19): $100 million for employers through direct financial support to promote training and the implementation of good practices in human resource management and optimize the functioning of businesses and the labor market.

Alberta Specific Assistance
Emergency Isolation Support Eligible working Albertans can receive a one-time emergency isolation support payment of $1,146

Utility Payment Deferral Individuals, families and small businesses can defer utility payments until June 19, 2020 to lessen financial burden associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Student Loans Repayment Deferral A six-month, interest free moratorium on Alberta student loan payments for all Albertans in the process of repaying these loans. This mirrors the approach of the Canada Student Loans Program.

Banks and Credit Unions Personal banking customers can apply for a deferral on their ATB loans, lines of credit and mortgages for up to 6 months

Education Property Tax Freeze Residential & Business education property tax rates will be frozen at last year’s level – reversing the 3.4% population and inflation increase added in Budget 2020.

Corporate Income Tax Changes Corporate income tax balances and instalment payments coming due between March 18, 2020 and August 31, 2020 are deferred until August 31, 2020 to increase employers’ access to cash so they can pay employees, address debts and continue operations.

WCB Premium Payment Deferral Small, medium and large private sector employers can defer WCB premium payments until 2021.

Tourism Levy Deferral Hotels and other lodging providers can delay paying the tourism levy until Aug. 31 for amounts that become due to government on or after March 27, 2020. Payments deferred until Aug. 31 will not be subject to penalties or the tourism levy until Aug. 31 for amounts that become due to government on or after March 27, 2020. Payments deferred until Aug. 31 will not be subject to penalties or interest.

Nova Scotia Specific Assistance
NS Government Loan Deferrals Government will defer payments until June 30 for all government loans, including those under the Farm Loan Board, Fisheries and Aquaculture Loan Board, Jobs Fund, Nova Scotia Business Fund, Municipal Finance Corp. and Housing Nova Scotia.

NS Government Business Registration Fee Deferrals Government will defer payments until June 30 for small business renewal fees, including business registration renewal fees and workers compensation premiums.

NS Government Small Business Loan Guarantee Program Changes to the Small Business Loan Guarantee Program will occur, administered through credit unions, include deferring principal and interest payments until June 30, enhancing the program to make it easier for businesses to access credit up to $500,000, and for those who might not qualify for a loan, government will guarantee the first $100,000.

NS Government Vendor Payments Small businesses which do business with the government will be paid within five days instead of the standard 30 days.

Employer Assessment Tool Some businesses must close under the Health Protection Act order. Others can remain open if they meet certain requirements. Use the COVID-19 employer assessment tool to see what your business needs to do.

NS Student Loan Payments Nova Scotia student loan payments have been paused until September 30, 2020.

Manitoba Specific Assistance
Hydro Payment Plan Manitoba hydro have stopped all disconnections related to overdue accounts until further notices. Also, offering flexible payment plan (on case by case basis) and will suspend late payments charges for up to six months.

Manitoba Student Loan Suspending student loan payment for 6 months

Manitoba Protection Plan The Manitoba government is providing the following measures for businesses until October 1, 2020:
  • not charging interest or penalties for Manitoba Hydro, Centra Gas, Workers Compensation Board and Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI);
  • not disconnecting customers of Manitoba Hydro and Centra Gas;
  • relax ordinary practices on policy renewals and collections at MPI;
  • not charge interesting through Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries receivables from restaurants, bars and specialty wine stores; and
  • not charging interest on education property taxes
Income Tax Filing Deadline Deferral Government is deferring provincial income tax and corporate income tax filing deadlines and payments to coincide with the current revised federal deferral of income tax to Aug. 31.

Manitoba Gap Protection Program Small and Medium sized businesses will be eligible to access an interest free, potentially forgivable loan of up to $6,000, and will be funded up to $120 million. Program is meant for the businesses that don’t qualify for federal funding.

Saskatchewan Specific Assistance
PST Remittance Deferrals Businesses may defer up to 3 months remitting their PST by submitting a request for relief and interest and individuals can now defer paying income tax amounts due until after August 31.

Small Business Emergency Payment (SSEP) The program provides a one-time grant for small and medium sized enterprises directly affected by government public health orders related to COVID-19. Grants will be paid based on 15% of a business monthly sales revenue, to a maximum of $5,000.