COVID-19: Economic relief Measures announced to date
Welcome to my continuing examination of COVID-19: Canadian Economic relief measures-Part 2. As I have asked-“Is your business impacted by COVID-19?” If so, look here!
B.1 GOVERNMENT OF CANADA (FEDERAL)
When it comes to the federal government, there is a change to the CEBA to report and also a new program
B.1.2.2 Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA)-Cont’d:Dateline Ottawa April 16, 2020: reduction of $40,000 CEBA threshold to $20,000 – “CEBA provides much needed credit for small businesses to pay for immediate operating costs such as payroll, rent, utilities, insurance, property tax, or debt service. It is 100 per cent funded by the Government of Canada. It is available to Canadian employers with $20,000 to $1.5 million in total payroll in 2019, and operating as of March 1, 2020. This includes smaller (i.e., micro) businesses and other eligible employers such as not-for-profits.” (Source: https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/programs/financial-sector-policy/business-credit-availability-program.html) (N.B. Micro businesses are companies with annual sales and assets valued at less than $250,000 per year and with fewer than five employees, including the owner.)
B.1.2.8 Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance for small businesses: Dateline Ottawa April 24, 2020 – the headline is “Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced significant rent relief for businesses that can’t afford to pay their landlords at a time when their operations are shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic.” It will be called The Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance For Small Businesses.
Broad strokes of the program
- The purpose is to lower the rents by 75% for affected small businesses.
- It will provide loans to qualifying commercial property owners, this in order to cover 50% of three monthly rent payments (i.e., April and May, retroactively, and for June 2020).
- The loans will be forgiven provided the mortgaged property owner agrees to reduce the eligible small business tenants’ rent by at least 75% for the three corresponding months under a rent forgiveness agreement, which will include a pledge not to evict the tenant while the agreement is in place.
- The small business tenant would cover the remainder (up to 25%) of the rent for these months; etc.
- This program will be operational by mid-May, 2020
- An affected small business is one which is a small business tenant,
- Experiencing financial hardship;
- Paying less than $50,000 per month in rent
- Which has temporarily ceased operations or has experienced at least a 70% drop in pre-COVID-19 revenues.
Mechanics – How the program will work
- It will be provided in partnership with the provinces and territories, which have jurisdiction over rents.
- The federal Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. will administer and deliver the program.
- Provinces and territories have agreed to cost share total costs and ensure implementation of the program. They will cover up to 25% of costs, subject to terms of the agreements with Ottawa.
B.2 GOVERNMENT OF QUEBEC (Provincial)
When it comes to our provincial government, I will start with the taxation relief area.
B.2.1 Relief from fulfilling taxpayer obligations: Administrative tax measures
B.2.2 The Quebec Government is helping businesses through financial uncertainty- But I must ask, “Is your business impacted by COVID-19?” If so, look here!
Measures for corporations
- The deadline to pay tax installments and the balance for the period from March 18, 2020 to Sept. 1, 2020, will be extended until Sept. 1, 2020. (N.B. The deadline for filing an income tax return for individuals who carried on a business in 2019, or whose spouse carried on business, remains June 15, 2020.)
Measures for individuals
- Deadlines shall be prolonged through to June 1, 2020, this for
- Filing an income tax return for those whose tax return filing-due date, for the 2019 taxation year, would otherwise be April 30, 2020. (N.B. Regardless of the extension of the tax filing deadline, individuals should remember that the quicker that they file their income tax return, the quicker they will receive their income tax refund.)
- Filing an income tax return for the 2019 taxation year of an individual who died in that year, but before December 1, 2019;
- Deadlines shall be prolonged through to Sept. 1, 2020, this to (a) Make installment payments for the 2020 taxation year and (b) pay: (i). Balance of tax due, and/or (ii). Payments-contributions for the 2019 taxation year, such on account of Québec Pension Plan, Québec Parental Insurance Plan, Health Service Fund, and Québec drug insurance plan.
Please be informed of the following.
- “The minimum withdrawal by annuitants from their RRIFs is reduced by 25% for 2020.
- The Quebec Temporary Aid for Workers Program (“PATT COVID-19”) grants a lump sum of $573 per week to eligible workers for a period of 14 days of isolation. If justified, the coverage period could be extended to a maximum of 28 days. Since March 19, 2020, workers can apply to the PATT COVID-19 if they were (or are) in isolation because they had contracted the virus or are showing symptoms, had been in contact with an infected person or had returned from abroad. Workers are not eligible if:
- they are being compensated by their employer;
- they have private insurance; or
- they are covered by another government program, including the federal employment insurance.
- Requests or renewals of advanced payments from the tax credit for home-support services for seniors that would otherwise be filed between March 17, 2020, and June 1, 2020, are granted an extra four months from the renewal date to make the request. Current payments are maintained in the meantime.
- Deadlines to submit renewal requests to the Housing Allowance Program (“PAL”) are extended by 2 months to a deadline no later than December 1, 2020.”
Measures for QST registrants and other measures (March 27, 2020)
Deadlines shall be prolonged through to June 30, 2020, for the filing by registrants of QST returns (period: March 27, 2020- June 1st, 2020) and corresponding QST payments, this without interest or penalties. “This measure is in line with the GST/HST measure announced by the Government of Canada. In addition, the Government of Quebec will accelerate the processing of requests for tax credits intended for businesses and tax refunds. Through the new measures, the government is adding $7.3 billion to companies’ liquid assets in the coming months for the postponement of the QST payment and more than $600 million in accelerated payments of tax credits.
Revenu Québec has also has issued the following relief measures regarding audit and collection activities, objection, and appeals.
- Audits and collections: Audits and collection activities are being limited. Concerning collection measures, Revenu Québec has indicated that it will be amenable, on a case-by-case basis, to extending payment agreements.
- Objection: Deadlines for objections to reassessments are extended, such that the expiration of any 90-day period that falls between March 13, 2020, and June 29, 2020, is postponed to June 30, 2020.
- Appeals: deadlines are suspended from March 15, 2020, until the end of the COVID state of emergency. This applies to the following procedural matters:
- Appeals of assessments brought to the Court of Quebec;
- Summary appeals to the Small Claims Division of the Court of Quebec;
- Requests for review of a decision of the Minister of Revenue refusing to extend the time for filing an objection;
- Requests to extend the time to file an appeal or a summary appeal.
- Deadlines (falling from March 17, 2020 to May 31, 2020) of the administrative tax filing nature other than returns with specific postponement dates) shall be prolonged through to June 1, 2020, this in such cases that include the following:
- Corporate income statement;
- Quebec tax laws or regulations election such as a rollover (except QST choices that are harmonized with GST);
- Tax credit application (12 month deadline);
- Request for reimbursement of fuel taxes;
- Response to requests for information from Revenu Québec;
- Mandatory or preventive aggressive tax planning (“ATP”) disclosure;
- Quebec education savings incentive (“QESI”) request (90-day deadline)”.
B.2.2 Incentive Program to Retain Essential Workers (IPREW): Quebec to Pay $100 Per Week Benefit to Low-Income Workers in Essential Sectors
Dateline Quebec – April 3, 2020 “The Québec government has announced a new financial assistance program for individuals working essential jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic. The assistance amount will make up the difference between the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) and an eligible individual’s wages. Eligible workers can apply for the program online beginning on May19. The program provides $100 for each week of qualifying work beginning March 15, 2020, and extending for a maximum of 16 weeks. This means that, in addition to their wages, a worker could receive a taxable benefit of $400 per month, for a total of $1,600 for the full 16-week period. Payments will be made every two weeks starting on May 27, 2020.
Eligibility- To be eligible under the program, you must:
- work part-time or full-time in one of the essential service sectors during the program period;
- receive gross wages of $550 or less per week;
- have an annual employment income of at least $5,000 for 2020;
- have a total annual income of no more than $28,600 for 2020;
- be at least 15 years old when you apply for assistance under the IPREW; and
- have been resident in Québec on December 31, 2019, and plan to reside in Québec throughout 2020.
- To receive this assistance for a given week covered by the program, you must not have received amounts under the CERB or the temporary aid for workers program for that same week. Note that you are eligible for the program even if your employer receives assistance through the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy.
- How to apply for assistance as an eligible worker You can apply for the IPREW online in the period from May 19 to November 15, 2020.To apply: Register online now for: My Account for individuals, direct deposit (if you are already registered, make sure the banking information on file is up to date).
- Starting May 19, 2020, use our Apply for the Incentive Program to Retain Essential Workers online service. Note that the first payment will be made on May 27, 2020.
- For more information about the IPREW, check our COVID-19: FAQ page regularly.”(Source: https://www.revenuquebec.ca/en/press-room/news/details/167331/2020-04-03/, etc.)
B.2.2 Quebec Investissement Quebec À propos COVID-19 « Programme d’action concertée temporaire pour les entreprises (PACTE)
Dateline Quebec March 2020 There is a program for enterprises having liquidity issues due to the COVID-19 pandemic crisis. It is called « Programme d’action concertée temporaire pour les entreprises (PACTE), » The precise purpose of this financing is described thusly: «Ce nouveau financement d’urgence vise à soutenir de manière exceptionnelle et circonstancielle les entreprises dont les liquidités sont affectées par les répercussions de la COVID-19.»
To be eligible under the program, the applicant must:
- Be an enterprise operating in Québec, (including cooperatives, etc.), finding itself in a precarious situation in temporary difficulty as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and whose financial situation still has prospects of being profitable. (N.B. The enterprise must not already be under The Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA), Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act ( RSC , 1985, c. B-3)
- Not fall under any of the following exceptions: (a) Weapon production or distribution; (b) Games of chance, combat sports, races or other similar activities; (c) Bars or other establishment of which revenue arises from consumption of alcohol or coin operated devices; (d) Production/sale services relative to consumption of tobacco or drugs except for drugs of pharmaceutical grade as per Health Canada; (e) Activities where the principal object is to protect the rights of people «la Charte canadienne des droits et libertés » (f) Activity which is of the nature « à porter atteinte à la moralité; » etc.
The enterprise must have temporary liquidity issues, such caused by problems of supply of raw materials or products (goods or services); the impossibility or substantial reduction in the capacity to deliver goods or services or merchandise, etc. (N.B. There is a proviso – «Les dossiers seront étudiés au cas par cas, selon la situation que connaît l’entreprise et selon les pratiques de gestion à Investissement Québec.)
Characteristics of the financing
As regards the financing, please be informed,
- That it would be in the form of either a loan guaranty, which is preferred or in the form of a direct loan from d’Investissement Québec.
- That Investissement Québec will collaborate with financial institutions and federal authorities, this with a view of sharing the risk.
- That in the case of a guaranty for a credit line, such would only be under specific conditions, notably that it must apply to new lines or increased lines over those already existing, such as per rate of the this new line
- That the minimum amount is $50 000.
- That refinancing is excluded.
- That this measure is to support the operational funds of the enterprise.
- That other particular conditions may apply.
Please note that your financial institution is the best place to start. For more information, the coordinates of Investissement Québec – Montréal/Bureau principal – Financement d’entreprises are: 600 Rue De La Gauchetière O bureau 1500, Montréal, Québec H3B 4L8 Tel.: (514) 873-4664; Toll: 1-844 474-6367.
B.2.3 “Panier Bleue – COVID-19” : The province has a buy- in- Québec program called “Le Panier Bleu”
Dateline Quebec City April 5 2020
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic crisis, there have been a number of ad hoc efforts to stimulate local purchasing in Quebec. To better organize these initiatives, the Government of Quebec has established a non-profit umbrella organization called “Le Panier Bleu.” It will be responsible for the creation of LePanierBleu.ca, a non-transactional digital platform aimed at listing under a common banner, Quebec retailers and their products. If you are Quebec seller, looking for local purchasing, get into the action. Check it out! The web address is https://lepanierbleu.ca/
B.3 MUNICIPAL (MONTREAL, ETC.) GOVERNMENT
Dateline Montreal April 20 2020
B.3.1 Ville de Montreal -Relaxation of rules and regulations
Hereinafter are a number of measures from the municipal level of government, such relevant to the population of greater Montreal as follows.
- The annual increase in parking fees has been suspended.
- Street parking: Seasonal no street parking is postponed to May 1, 2020.
- The deadline to take down temporary garages is postponed to May 3, 2020.
- The deadline to pay the 2nd installment of 2020 of the annual property tax account and SDC contribution payments is prolonged through to July 2, 2020. This does not apply to mutation tax and other bills. (Source: https://montreal.ca/articles/le-coronavirus-covid-19)
B.3.2 Ville de Montreal COVID-19 : « Mesures en soutien aux entreprises montréalaises »
Dateline Montreal March 31 2020 The COVID-19 pandemic crisis is having a huge impact upon businesses in the city of Montreal. As a result, the municipality is offering emergency financial support through various measures. If a private enterprise or self-employed look here!
Support measures offered by the City
Beyond the postponement of the deadline for the 2nd installment of the 2020 municipal taxes, the City of Montreal has put in place,
- $5 million Emergency financial fund for business assistance. Such is intended to support the most vulnerable sectors in the short term, be they to be in retail, social economy, creative and cultural industries and tourism.
- Covid-19 initiative via PME MTL, announcing, “To our entrepreneurs: We are here for you. For your information, this “network offers coaching, training and financing for entrepreneurs, to support them in launching and growing their businesses.” (Source: https://pmemtl.com/en/about/mission)
- Payment holiday assistance of PME MTL through a six-month moratorium on capital and interest to private businesses and social economy organizations with loans from the Fonds PME MTL, Fonds locaux de Solidarité and the Fonds de commercialisation des innovations
- Emergency Assistance for Small and Medium-Sized Businesses. “This emergency assistance for small and medium-sized businesses comes in the form of loans, up to a maximum of $50,000, at an interest rate of 3%. A 6-month moratorium on principal and interest will automatically apply to all loans. An additional moratorium of up to 12 months on principal may be granted. Borrowers should expect an amortization period of 36 months, excluding the payment moratorium. Exceptionally, amortization could be up to 60 months, excluding the payment moratorium. The financing is intended to cover liquidity shortfalls caused by:
- An impossibility or substantial reduction in the ability to deliver products (goods or services) or merchandise
- Problems with the supply of raw materials or products (goods or services).
This financial assistance may not be combined with assistance obtained under the Québec government’s temporary concerted action program for businesses (PACTE program).” (Source: https://pmemtl.com/en/services/financing/loans-and-subsidies/emergency-assistance-sme-covid-19) For more information Ville de Montréal/hotline for COVID-19 Tel.: 1 877 644-4545 (Source: https://montreal.ca/en/articles/coronavirus-covid-19)
Yes, it’s true. If in Canada and you’re a business person now suffering as a result of Covid-19, there’s a lot of money coming your way down the pike! Some might say, “Ooh la la …Deal me in. I’m going to cash in.” I would say, “Sorry Mister…Pardon me Lady, please take a moment and listen up. The big point that I want to drive home is that whilst there is much financial aid being offered to you, there’s a big red flag that I must raise.
Before going forward, you need to pay attention and inform yourself completely. It’s going to take work on your part to digest the massive amount of information being provided and review all of the written materials being issued. So take as long as you need. In this regard, I remind you of the quote of Moliere, who said, “Unreasonable haste is the direct road to error.” You see, you’ll kick yourself later if you don’t take the time and study everything carefully. Of course, you don’t want to miss out on something that could benefit you. But, just as much, you don’t want to apply for programs, willy nilly especially in instances, for which, you don’t have the qualifications. This could result in your needlessly putting down on paper that you have been rendered financially weak at this time or if approved where inappropriate, you might later face a claim for reimbursement. Furthermore, once you’re registered for one program, this fact might then disqualify you for another program, perhaps even more desirable. Last, on the other hand, I also suggest that you not take too long. Remember as John Ray said, “The early bird catches the worm!”
Bottom line, it’s up to you to evaluate the options applicable to you and your enterprise and also to determine which are the most advantageous and select the one having the best terms and conditions.
P.S. Good news – the governmental authorities are now starting to speak of the reopening plan and framework. See you next week. I have prepared a written lecture on preparing for the reopening of your business.
Today’s Little Pep Talk.
In your business career, I’m sure that there were times when you were in a tough spot and things looked very bleak. But you just kept on going and as one door closed, another seemed to miraculously open. And somehow you made it through it all. And then on looking aback seeing how far you had come, you really couldn’t believe the whole thing. But here’s the thing. This time it’s different. It’s now not only you. And governments and financial institutions are not just pushing papers ‘until the cows come home.” Instead, they’re really trying to help. So decide that you’re going to make it. Remember “Rome was not built in a day.” Also please note that when it gets tough, the tough get going. So get going. The cows soon will be home and you still have to make it to Rome in this lifetime. Yes, it’s hard. Do it for yourself. Do it for your family. Just do it. Start with one step and then another and soon you’ll be running at full speed. Finally, remember that if success was easy everybody would be successful.
Quotes of the week (business-wise).
If in business in Quebec in year 2020, here are a few wise statements to consider today:
Stacey Walsh: “Facing Trouble in your daily life due to shortage of money? If yes, then go for guaranteed loans because these loans are beneficial for those who looking for urgent fund. (sic)”
Oscar Wilde: “Always borrow money from a pessimist. He won’t expect it back.”
Zig Ziglar: “You don’t build a business, you build people, then people build the business.”
It will get better. You know it because you’ll make it so. Now hold onto that thought!”
― Best wishes to each of you and to your entire family.*
Allan J. Gold
Avocat/Barrister & Solicitor
NO 1 Wood Avenue Condominium
4055 ouest rue Ste. Catherine, suite 128(-A),
Westmount, Québec, Canada H3Z 3J8
Adresse électronique: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tel: (514) 849-1621; Fax: (514) 849-4664; Mobile: (514) 918-145
www.allanjgold.com ; Blog: https://allanjgold.com/blog-glm/
D. PREVIEW OF NEXT IN THE BUSINESS LAW BLOG SERIES.
I believe that with this blog series, I may have started you along the way to being more aware of the law for business. I will continue on with the subject of COVID-19: Economic relief measures announced to date / Allan Gold – For Independent business; Small And Medium Enterprises; SME; Petites et Moyennes Entreprises; PME; Family business – this still on the topic of the Corona Virus pandemic crisis and the corresponding COVID-19 relief and funding programs, but now as regards the need for a mindset reboot to enable a better re-launch of your business. Interested? Want to get more information about the current topic, or other areas of law written by an “avocat,” one of the family business law lawyers, family business lawyers Montreal, practicing also in the elder law field? See you next time. It won’t take too much time. Remember my byline – it’s “Gold’s Legal Minute*GLM*!” And please don’t forget to join my professional community by entering your e-mail at the prompt.*
E. NOTICE – CAUTION –DISCLAIMER.
The material provided herein is of a general nature, strictly for informational purposes. The interpretation and analysis is not to be misapplied to a personal situation with a particular set of facts. Under no circumstances, are the herein suggestions and tips, intended to bring a reader to the point of acting or not acting, but instead, the hope is that they are to be a cause for pause and reflection. It is specifically declared that this content is not to be a replacement of, or a substitution for, legal or any other appropriate advice. To the contrary, for more information on these presents, related subjects or any other questions, it is the express recommendation of the author that everyone seek out and consult a qualified professional or competent adviser.
*©/TM 2020, 2019, 2015-2018, Allan Gold, Practitioners’ Press Inc. – ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
** ©/TM 2006, 2008, 2018 Allan Gold, Practitioners’ Pres