Canada United Small Business Relief Fund
The Canada United Small Business Relief Fund is now open for applications! This Fund aims to help small Canadian businesses with their recovery efforts as a result of COVID-19.
The Canada United Small Business Relief Fund is managed by the Ontario Chamber of Commerce on behalf of the national Chamber network in support of other chambers and partners to help small Canadian businesses with their recovery efforts as a result of COVID-19.
If awarded, a relief grant can be used for any of the following activities:
- Purchasing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as masks, face shields, and latex gloves.
- Renovating physical space to adhere to local, Provincial or Federal reopening guidelines.
- Developing or improving e-commerce capabilities for your business.
Successful applicants will receive a relief grant of up to $5,000. See the program guidelines in English and in French.
Learn more about the program and eligibility criteria at https://occ.ca/canada-united-small-business-relief-fund/.
Rural Relief and Recovery Fund
On May 13th, the Federal Government announced the Rural Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF), offering access to partially forgivable loans of up to $40,000 to local small businesses in rural communities, that may have not previously qualified for the Canadian Emergency Bank Account (CEBA).
This zero-interest loan was designed to help businesses and social enterprises through COVID-19 recovery by covering non-deferrable operating expenses that were critical to your day-to-day business.
Funding for this program is now currently oversubscribed, and a wait list has been created. Businesses are now advised to apply for the Canada Emergency Business Account under the revised guidelines through your financial institution: https://ceba-cuec.ca/
Community Futures Sunshine Coast COVID-19 relief loans
Community Futures Sunshine Coast is able to assist Sunshine Coast entrepreneurs with COVID-19 relief loans of up to $25,000. Loan payments and interest for current clients are suspended until June 15th, and clients may also reach out to top up their loans to help get them through to reopening.
For more information, visit https://www.communityfutures.org/covid19/.
Island Coastal Economic Trust (ICET) Funding Programs
Island Coastal Economic Trust is a funding body that invests in economic development and community building initiatives for the Vancouver Island and Sunshine Coast regions. Funding is served up through two core grant programs: the Economic Infrastructure and Innovation Program which offers up to $300,000 to successful applicants, and the Economic Development Readiness program which offers up to $30,000. In addition, they offer a series of regional bursaries, sponsorships and internships that local businesses may qualify for.
For more information, visit http://www.islandcoastaltrust.ca/programs.
IceT has also announced a COVID-19 relief program, DER3, to help businesses on the Coast move their businesses online. You can read more about this program under our technology section, or visit the website here: https://innovationisland.ca/der3/
Many financial institutions and traditional lenders are providing customized business recovery financing right now. If you have not already done so, contact your financial institution to find out what they can offer you.
Locally, Sunshine Coast Credit Union is offering business loan options to their members. For more information, visit https://www.sunshineccu.com/business/resources-covid-19.
Canada Emergency Business Accounts
A program administered by the Government of Canada, the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) provides interest-free loans of up to $40,000 to small businesses and not-for-profits.
Business owners must apply for support from the Canada Emergency Business Account through their banks and credit unions. Contact your local financial institution to set-up an account and apply. Sunshine Coast Credit Union is offering support with the process to its members if you do not yet have a local institution.
Please note that the eligibility criteria for the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) now includes many owner-operated small businesses.
The program will now be available to a greater number of businesses that are sole proprietors receiving income directly from their businesses, businesses that rely on contractors, and family-owned corporations that pay employees through dividends rather than payroll.
To qualify under the expanded eligibility criteria, applicants with payroll lower than $20,000 would need:
- a business operating account at a participating financial institution
- a Canada Revenue Agency business number, and to have filed a 2018 or 2019 tax return
- eligible non-deferrable expenses between $40,000 and $1.5 million. Eligible non-deferrable expenses could include costs such as rent, property taxes, utilities, and insurance
Expenses will be subject to verification and audit by the Government of Canada. Funding will be delivered in partnership with financial institutions. More details, including the launch date for applications under the new criteria, will follow in the days to come. The government will continue to work on solutions to help business owners and entrepreneurs who operate through their personal bank account, as opposed to a business account, or have yet to file a tax return, such as newly created businesses.
Visit the federal economic response plan page for more information on this and other federal support programs for more information. https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/economic-response-plan.html
If you own your own commercial property, mortgage deferral programs may be available to support you right now. If you have not already done so, speak to your financial institution directly about your specific needs. If you are a Sunshine Coast Credit Union client, they are offering mortgage deferrals and interest only payment plans now.
Please visit https://www.sunshineccu.com/covid-19-updates for information on their programs.
Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA)
CECRA is a forgivable loan program offered to commercial property owners to reduce impacted, small business rents by at least 75% for the months of April, May and June 2020. The program is administered by the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation on behalf of the Government of Canada and will cover 50% of the gross commercial rent owed by those that qualify.
At the time of writing, program details are still be finalized. For more information please visit https://www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca/en/finance-and-investing/covid19-cecra-small-business.
If you think you may qualify as a commercial property owner or small business owner, and your business is located within the Sechelt downtown area, contact the Sechelt Downtown Business Association for support with the process at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Building your Business Recovery plan
Businesses will eventually reopen, but while we are waiting on instructions for when and how, you may want to think about the best way your business to move forward in our “new” normal. Several organizations and partnerships have been formed to help you design a business recovery plan focused on adaptation, innovation and stepping more fully into digital and online sales channels.
If you are working on your business recovery plan (getting ready to re-open, pivoting your business model, moving into the digital era or selling your business) Community Futures Sunshine Coast can offer free advisory services and confidential one-on-one support.
For more information, visit https://www.communityfutures.org/covid19/.
If you are a member of either the Sechelt & District Chamber of Commerce, or the Gibsons & District Chamber of Commerce, contact your local board members directly to set up a one-on-one business counselling session and get help with your recovery business plan.
Visit www.secheltchamber.bc.ca or https://www.gibsonschamber.com/info-links/covid-19/
for more information.