COVID-19: Canada Emergency Business Account
[This article was last updated on May 20, 2020]
The economic slowdown caused by COVID-19 is severely affecting many businesses in Quebec. In the last few days, several measures have been announced by the governments of Canada and Quebec to help them get through this difficult period. One of the main issues for companies is the lack of cash to get through the next few weeks.
The most advantageous measure and most likely the easiest to access in the short term is the Canada Emergency Business Account. Here’s a brief overview of what there is to know about this measure and how to prepare for an application.
Support businesses that have difficulty paying their expenses due to COVID-19.
- Loans up to $40,000;
- Interest-free for 1 year;
- 25% loan write-off if repaid before December 31, 2022.
- Be an incorporated Canadian business or non-profit organization as of March 1, 2020;
- Have paid between $20,000 and $1,500,000 in payroll in 2019;
- Be economically impacted as a result of COVID-19;
- Be registered for federal tax purposes.
On May 19, 2020, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that businesses with a payroll of less than $20,000 could still benefit from this measure if they meet the following criteria:
- Hold a business operating account at a participating financial institution;
- Hold a Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) Business Number and have filed an income tax return in 2018 or 2019;
- Have eligible non-deferrable expenses totalling between $40,000 and $1,500,000. These expenses could include rent, property taxes, service charges and insurance.
The purpose of this expansion is to support businesses whose sole proprietors derive income directly from their businesses, businesses that rely on contract workers, or family businesses that pay their employees through dividends instead of pay.
More details are coming soon, including the date when it will be possible to submit an application based on the new criteria. It was also announced that the government is considering several options for business owners and entrepreneurs who use their personal bank account instead of a business account or who have not filed income tax returns.
How do I access it?
Loans are made directly by financial institutions through their websites since April 6, 2020, so you must contact the bank your business has its current account with.
You will need the Summary of Remuneration Paid in 2019 (T4SUM) for your business.
These loans will be guaranteed by the Government of Canada, so on-reserve Indigenous businesses should have no problem accessing them.
It should be noted that Aboriginal Financial Institutions (AFIs) will offer a similar program. Considering that it will be more advantageous in certain aspects and that Aboriginal businesses will only be able to benefit from one of the two measures, it is recommended to wait for the implementation of the AFI program rather than submit an application to the CUEC, if the financial situation of your business allows it.
If you need support in preparing the requested documentation, please do not hesitate to contact our Entrepreneurship Technical Advisor:
Frédérick Martel, CPA
Tel: 418-843-1488, ext. 1223
The FNQLEDC team remains available to support you in your efforts and answer your questions. To identify other government and institutional assistance programs for which you may be eligible, we invite you to consult our application at covid19.cdepnql.com.
For more news on COVID-19, please see our toolbox on this subject.