COVID-19 is undoubtedly driving the policies and plans of world countries striving to stand tall and move steadily into the future. Concerning immigration, Canada has taken big and bold steps to take on the pandemic crisis and yet keep the influx of immigrants at par for its future.
In Canada, a COVID-19 Economic Response Plan has been set up. Under this, significant, swift, and decisive action has been taken to support Canadians and businesses in Canada. They are given the essential support in the event of hardships caused by the pandemic.
As businesses are vital means of development of a country and cross-border prosperity, taking bold steps to promote business immigration is an important aspect of economic development. Canada realizes this and has hence implemented quite a few plans to assist businesses in the country to stay afloat and prosper. This is necessary for a critical situation as the COVID-19 pandemic.
A look at many ways in which Canada is trying to help businesses reveals the following plans:
Plans to avoid layoffs, rehire employers and create new jobs
- The CEWS (Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy) is the government’s plan to help businesses in Canada by covering a portion of wages paid to employees. CEWS also helps employers re-hire employees and avoid layoffs. This will help the economy reopen safely once the pandemic crisis ends.
- A temporary wage subsidy of 10% has been granted by the Canadian government. It’s a 3-month measure that permits eligible employers to bring down the number of payroll deductions needed to be remitted to the Canada Revenue Agency.
- The maximum duration of the work-sharing program has been extended in Canada from 38 weeks to 76 weeks. This applies to employers affected by COVID-19. With this move, employees eligible for Employment Insurance will get income support. They will have agreed to reduce their working hours in the normal case due to the developments beyond the employers’ control.
- New jobs, placements, and training opportunities have been created for 116,000 people so that students could find employment along with developing valuable skills. This program will be implemented this summer and in the coming months.
- The period for temporary layoffs has been extended by up to 6 months. This is following the Canada Labor Standards Regulations. This will allow employers to take more time to recall laid-off employees.
Measures in taxes and tariffs
- Until after 31st August 2020, Canada is allowing all Canadian businesses to defer the payment of any amount of income tax that turns owing on or after 18 March and before September 2020. There will be no penalties or interest that will accumulate on these payments during this period.
- Businesses, including the self-employed individuals, can defer the payment of customs duty and GST/HST owing on their imports, until 30th June 2020. The deferral amount will include amounts owing for March, April, and May 2020.
- Tariffs have been removed from certain medical goods. This includes PPE like gloves and masks.
Measures for financial support, loans, and credit facilities
The following programs have been implemented to ensure financial support for businesses:
- Loan guarantee for SMEs (Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises)
- Co-lending program for SMEs
- CECRA (Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance)
- Regional Relief & Recovery Fund (RRRF)
- Mid-market Guarantee & Financing Program
- Mid-Market Financing Program
- LEEFF (Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility)
- Nonrepayable support for businesses in the territories
- Help for early-stage businesses with IRAP (Industrial Research Assistance Program)
- Interest-free loans under CEBA (Canada Emergency Business Account)
- Additional industry-specific support
Targeted support for groups of beneficiaries
A $20.1 million is provided to support Futurpreneur Canada to keep up the support for young entrepreneurs across Canada who are facing challenges because of COVID-19. With this funding, Futurpreneur Canada can provide payment relief for up to 12 months for its clients.
A $15 million in funding via the WES (Women Entrepreneurship Strategy). The funding will go to help the existing organizations receiving the WES Ecosystem Fund. It will enable third-party organizations to give timely advice and support to women entrepreneurs having a hard time owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Supporting self-employed individuals
- Providing eligible workers who have stopped working or whose work hours have been cut down a taxable benefit of $2,000 every 4 weeks for up to 24 weeks
- Permission to defer the payments of customs duty or GST/HST until June 30, 2020
- Allowing all businesses to defer, until after 31 August 2020 the payment of any amount of income tax that has become owing on or after March 18 and before September 2020.
Assistance to indigenous businesses
A $306.8 million funding has been rolled out to help indigenous SMEs. The funding will facilitate short-term, interest-free loans, and non-repayable contributions via Aboriginal Financial Institutions. This will offer financing and business support services to Métis businesses, Inuit, and First Nations.
Non-repayable financial contributions are provided to help support operating costs for Métis community, Inuit, and First Nation or microbusinesses and collectively-owned businesses with revenues affected by the pandemic.
A new stimulus development fund has been announced. A $16 million will be churned out to render support to the indigenous tourism industry.
Ensuring financial stability for individuals and businesses
The programs in this regard include:
- Providing relief funds for pension plan sponsors who are federally regulated
- An Insured Mortgage Purchase Program has been launched that will purchase up to $150 billion of insured mortgage pools via the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. This will provide long-term stable funding to mortgage lenders and banks. It will also help facilitate ongoing lending to Canadian businesses and consumers besides adding liquidity to Canada’s mortgage market.
- The Bank of Canada has lowered interest rates, with intervention made to support important financial markets besides providing financial institutions liquidity support.
Such a range of measures implemented for businesses in Canada will surely help employers find the potential to invite more international workers willing to work in Canada.
If you are looking to Study, Work, Visit, Invest or Migrate to Canada, talk to Y-Axis, the World’s No.1 Immigration & Visa Company.
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