Government Programs

Over the last number of months, the Government of Canada has released several programs to help Canadians navigate the pandemic’s financial impacts. Below we have summarized the programs that are the most likely to help you and your small business. While some of the programs are now starting to expire or evolve into other programs, pay attention to the details – you may still be eligible to claim based on what took place earlier in the year.

Click here for the federal government’s complete economic response plan to COVID-19.

Here are brief descriptions and links for several assistance programs relevant to you and your small business.


Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy

This program supports Canadian employers who have seen a drop in revenue due to COVID-19. If your business is eligible, the program will cover a portion of your employee wages. The October 14th Speech From The Throne has committed to extending this program through June 2021.

Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS)

Extending The Work Sharing Program

This program provides income support to employees eligible for employment insurance who agree to reduce their normal working hours because of developments beyond the control of their employers.

10% Temporary Wage Subsidy

This is a three-month measure that allows eligible employers to reduce the number of payroll deductions they need to remit to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). The subsidy is equal to 10% of the remuneration you pay between March 18 to June 19, 2020, up to $1,375 for each eligible employee. The maximum total is $25,000 for each eligible employer. 

10% Temporary Wage Subsidy for Employers


Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) Interest Free Loans

This program provides interest-free loans, up to $40,000, to small businesses to help cover their operating costs during a period where their revenues have been temporarily reduced. Please note that this support is only available until October 31st

Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA)

Property owners will reduce rent by at least 75% for the months of April, May, June, July, August and September for their small business tenants. CECRA will cover 50% of the rent, with the tenant paying up to 25% and the property owner forgiving at least 25%. 

Please note that the deadline for the final three months of this program is October 30, 2020. 

CECRA | Coronavirus Funding

Regional Relief and Recovery (RRRF)

This program, accessed through your local Regional Development Agency, intends to help businesses and organizations in manufacturing, technology, tourism and others that are key to the regional and local economies. This fund is specifically targeted to those that have been unable to access other support measures.

Regional Relief and Recovery Fund: Overview

Additional Support By Sector

There are also targeted programs listed under ‘support for sectors.’ These sectors include: Agriculture and agri-food; Aquaculture and fisheries; Culture, heritage and sport; Air Transportation; Tourism; Energy; and Academic and Research.


Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)

This program provided a taxable benefit of $2,000 every 4-weeks for a maximum of 28 weeks to eligible workers who stopped working or whose work hours were reduced due to COVID-19. Please note – while this program ended September 26th, retroactive applications can still be made. For those that continue to require financial support, find out if you are eligible for Employment Insurance.

Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB)

The CRB provides $500 per week for up to 26 weeks for workers who have stopped working or had their income reduced by at least 50% due to COVID-19, and who are not eligible for Employment Insurance. 

How to apply: Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB)

Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB)

The CRSB provides $500 per week for up to a maximum of two weeks for employers who:

  1. Are unable to work for at least 50% of the week because they contracted COVID-19
  2. Are self-isolated for reasons related to COVID-19
  3. Have underlying conditions, are undergoing treatments or have contracted other sicknesses that, in the opinion of a medical practitioner, nurse practitioner, person in authority, government or public health authority, would make them more susceptible to COVID-19

Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB)

Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB)

The CRCB provides $500 per week for up to 26 weeks per household for workers: 

  1. Unable to work for at least 50% of the week because they must care for a child under the age of 12 or family member because schools, day-cares or care facilities are closed due to COVID-19 
  2. Because the child or family member is sick and/or required to quarantine or is at high risk of serious health implications because of COVID-19

Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB)

Woman Entrepreneurs

Through the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy (WES), the government is providing funding to 3rd party organizations to provide timely support and advice to women entrepreneurs facing hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic (see under the heading ‘targeted support’ in the following link).

Chambers Plan

Chambers Plan

Chambers of Commerce Group Insurance Plan is Canada’s #1 employee benefits plan for small business. Chambers Plan has been protecting Canadian firms for over 40 years. As a not-for-profit, any surpluses are reinvested to the Plan to support industry-leading stability. That's why more than 30,000 small to midsize businesses trust Chambers Plan to protect their employees.