On November 30, Canada’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Chrystia Freeland, released the Government of Canada’s Fall Economic Statement: Supporting Canadians and Fighting COVID-19.
Broken up into four key areas, the statement offers detailed information on the government’s:
- Ongoing fight against COVID-19.
- Support of Canadians through the pandemic.
- Plan to conquer the COVID-19 recession.
- Prudent fiscal plan.
Proposed programs and supports for hardest hit sectors, including tourism and hospitality, live events and arts, and air travel, included:
- Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy:
- Increasing the maximum subsidy rate to 75% for the next three periods (until March 13, 2021).
- Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy:
- Extension of the current rates for an additional three periods (until March 13, 2021).
- Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program:
- 100% government-guaranteed financing and low-interest loans of up to $1 million over extended terms.
- Regional Relief and Recovery Fund:
- A top up of $500 million to Regional Development Agencies and Community Futures Network of Canada.
- Creation of regional development agencies for British Columbia and the Prairies has also been proposed, to better tailor support to the needs of Western Canadian businesses.
- Reserve a minimum of 25 per cent of the fund to support local tourism businesses.
- Live Events and Arts Sectors:
- In 2021-22, $181.5 million in funding to the Department of Canadian Heritage and the Canada Council for the Arts for their programs.
- A one-year renewal of the Building Communities through Arts and Heritage program, the Canada Arts Presentation Fund, and the Canada Music fund.
- Air Sector:
- $206 million in funding (over two years, starting in 2020-21) for a Regional Air Transportation Initiative.
- $186 million in funding (over two years, starting in 2021-22) for an Airports Capital Assistance Program (ACAP), in support of small and regional airports.
- $500 million in funding (over six years, starting in 2020-21) for large airports to improve safety, security, and transit infrastructure.
- $229 million in additional rent relief to the 21 airports that pay rent to the federal government.
- $65 million in additional financial support to airport authorities in 2021-22.
- Short-term Accommodations
- Improve compliance for GST/HST remittal, which in turn increases fairness within the accommodation sector, by applying GSH/HST to all digital platforms that offer short-term rental accommodations in Canada.
All these proposed programs and supports are set to be effective July 1, 2021.
Click here to access the full Fall Economic Statement.
Have questions about the support available to businesses as it relates to COVID-19?
The Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association (TOTA) is part of the BC Tourism Resiliency Network and will be providing one-on-one support for tourism businesses in the Thompson Okanagan corridor who have questions about available government support related to COVID-19. Click here to learn more and to register for TOTA's resiliency program.
Small Business BC is also operating the B.C. Business COVID-19 Support Service, with advisors available Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (PT) by phone at 1 (833) 254-4357. You can also email your questions to email@example.com or use the live chat function at https://covid.smallbusinessbc.ca/hc/en-us.