This information is intended to provide guidance to businesses during the constantly evolving COVID-19 situation. Please note that this information may be subject to change.
What can I do to protect myself, my employees and the public?
The best protection remains regular handwashing with soap for 20 seconds or using alcohol based hand sanitizers, not touching your face, covering your cough or sneeze with a tissue, upper sleeve or elbow, staying home if sick and keeping a social distance of at least 2 metres between yourself and other persons.
Items to Read
Items to Post at Entry Doors
Items to Post in Restrooms
Closure of non-essential businesses
The Province of Ontario has ordered the mandatory closure of non-essential businesses, starting at 11:59 p.m. March 24, 2020 based on the advice of the Chief Medical Officer of Health. Read the list of essential workplaces in response to COVID-19 (2019 novel coronavirus). If you have questions about what will be open or impacts to your business or employment, call the Stop the Spread Business Information Line at 1-888-444-3659. Help is available from Monday to Sunday, from 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. NFN commends the local businesses that have demonstrated leadership by closing their businesses for the time being. Your sacrifice to protect the community does not go unnoticed. We are working to determine how business closures will be supported and hope to provide an update soon.
Support for Small & Medium Businesses
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced a series of measures in order to support small and medium-sized businesses. The payroll support has been raised to 75 per cent to help employers cover salaries. It is retroactive to March 15th. More details will be announced on Monday, March 30th. “This means people will continue to be paid even though their employers have to slow down or stop their businesses.” In order to help companies that are facing a cash crunch, the federal government is launching the Canada Emergency Business Account which will allow companies to apply for loans up to $40,000, interest-free for a year. If needed up to $10,000 may be forgiven. The government is also waiving GST and HST payments and import and export duties until June.
WSIB Financial Relief
WSIB has announced a financial relief package worth up to $1.9 billion to help support you through this difficult time while protecting coverage for people with work related injuries or illness. How the financial relief package works: The financial relief package allows businesses to defer premium reporting and payments until August 31, 2020. Businesses who report and pay monthly, quarterly or annually based on their insurable earnings are eligible for this deferral. No interest will accrue on outstanding premium payments and no penalties will be charged during this six-month deferral period. Receiving financial relief: All Ontario businesses covered by our workplace insurance are automatically eligible to receive relief. You do not need to apply for deferment of your premium payments or take any further action to receive relief. You can choose to continue to report and pay on a monthly, quarterly or annual basis. You can also report now and defer payment until later. Processes related to the financial relief package are ongoing; please visit wsib.ca for more details.
Supports for Individuals & Families
- Canada Revenue Agency’s Emergency Care Benefit
- Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan
- Income Support for Individuals
- Increased Child Care Benefit (no application required for those who already receive the CCB)
- Increased GST Benefit (no application required – if you are eligible, you will get it automatically)
- Extra time to file income tax returns (deadline: June 1, 2020)
- Mortgage Support
- Plain Language Guide to Government Aid during COVID-19
- Hydro Relief – off-peak rates in effect 24/7 for 45-days for time-of-use customers (no application required, discount will be applied automatically)
Support for people facing unemployment
The new Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) replaces the previously announced Emergency Care Benefit and the Emergency Support Benefit. The CERB will provide a taxable benefit of $2,000 a month for up to 4 months to:
- workers who must stop working due to COVID-19 and do not have access to paid leave or other income support.
- workers who are sick, quarantined, or taking care of someone who is sick with COVID-19.
- working parents who must stay home without pay to care for children that are sick or need additional care because of school and daycare closures.
- workers who still have their employment but are not being paid because there is currently not sufficient work and their employer has asked them not to come to work.
- wage earners and self-employed individuals, including contract workers, who would not otherwise be eligible for Employment Insurance.
The Canada Emergency Response Benefit will be accessible through a secure web portal starting in early April. Applicants will also be able to apply via an automated telephone line or via a toll-free number.
Service Canada Information
- COVID-19: Employee Guide to Employment Insurance
- Information Sheet: Applying for Employment Insurance (EI)
- Information Sheet: Applying for Canada Pension Plan (CPP)
- Information Sheet: Applying for Old Age Security (OAS) Pension
- Information Sheet: Applying for a Social Insurance Number (SIN)