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  • Scott Ferris

Now is the time to take advantage of Government support programs!

The other day I had a conversation with a very good friend who has a small business that, like many of you, is facing some challenging decisions during the COVID-19 pandemic. After reflecting what I shared with this person, I realized it is great information that many more people might find useful. So here goes:


So we spoke first of all about making sure you understand the extensions on timings that are being allowed for many things - paying your personal taxes, your business taxes, filings for HST if you have those, mortgage and loan payments etc. Your accountant should be versed on many of these but this is the first area where speaking with your personal banker is most important. 

While talking with your banker ask about the Business Credit Availability Program https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/programs/financial-sector-policy/business-credit-availability-program.html. This is the larger low-interest loan program the Federal Government has put in place through EDC and BDC but that can only be applied for through your bank. The alternative to this is the $40K Canada Emergency Business Account (same link as the last one takes you to info on it). It does have the stipulation you need to have paid $50K in payroll or more in 2019. Talk with your banker about which is the better option. 

Next we spoke about you applying for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/benefits/apply-for-cerb-with-cra.html and I fully believe you should.


Those are all the Federal programs available at this time, but I will keep an eye on this situation and advise if anything changes.


In Prince Edward Island, you should look at one of two programs: the Income Support Fund https://www.princeedwardisland.ca/en/service/covid-19-income-support-fund which offers a one-time $750 payment for self-employed persons or the Emergency Income Relief Support Program https://www.princeedwardisland.ca/en/service/emergency-income-relief-self-employed that provides $500 every two weeks. I'm guessing that is the better option.


If both of those are not permitted in your case, and there is no reason they should be, there is a special situation fund for business that has been established https://www.princeedwardisland.ca/en/service/covid-19-special-situation-fund-businesses-and-organizations Take a look at that as a last resort option.


Finally on the provincial side there is the Emergency Working Captial Financing program https://www.princeedwardisland.ca/en/service/emergency-working-capital-financing that can provide up to $100,000 in a loan with a 4% interest rate and not repayable for up to six years. 


That's what we know is available for now so hoping that helps but please let me know what more I can do.


Scott

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