COVID-19 Support Resources

To assist the sector, Protein Industries Canada has compiled a list of both federal and provincial programs that are available to assist organizations. Information regarding these programs is rapidly evolving, and we will do our best to help companies understand and navigate the programs that may benefit them.

Government of Canada Programs

Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS)

Up to 75 per cent wage subsidy for qualifying businesses, for up to three (3) months, retroactive to March 15, 2020 to June 6, 2020. This will help businesses to keep and return workers to the payroll.

  • The CEWS would apply at a rate of 75 per cent of the first $58,700 normally earned by employees – representing a benefit of up to $847 per week.
  • Eligible employers who suffer a drop in gross revenues of at least 15 per cent in March and 30 per cent in April or May, may be able to access the subsidy. The Federal Government has expanded the options which can be used for comparative purposes to show a drop in gross revenue. Please access the “More Information” link below for details.
  • Eligible employers include employers of all sizes and across all sectors of the economy, with the exception of public sector entities.
  • An eligible employer’s entitlement to this wage subsidy will be based entirely on the salary or wages actually paid to employees. All employers would be expected to at least make best efforts to top up salaries to 100% of the maximum wages covered.
  • Employers eligible for the CEWS may be entitled to receive a 100-per-cent refund for certain employer contributions to Employment Insurance, the Canada Pension Plan, the Quebec Pension Plan, and the Quebec Parental Insurance Plan paid in respect of employees who are on leave with pay.

Eligible employers will access the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy by applying through their Canada Revenue Agency online business portal account. More details on the CEWS program can be found in the “More Information” link below.

Temporary Changes to the Canada Summer Jobs Program

The Federal Government is making temporary changes to the Canada Summer Jobs Program which will allow for employers to:

  • Receive an increased wage subsidy, so that private and public sector employers can also receive up to 100 per cent of the provincial or territorial minimum hourly wage for each employee;
  • Extend the end date for employment to February 28, 2021;
  • Adapt their projects and job activities;
  • Hire staff on a part-time basis.

More information on the temporary changes to the Canada Summer Jobs Program can be found in the “More Information” link below.

Extending the Work-Sharing Program

Temporary measures for employers affected by downturn in business and trying to avoid layoffs - extending the maximum duration of the Work-Sharing program from 38 weeks to 76 weeks. The Work-Sharing program is offered to workers who agree to reduce their normal working hours because of developments beyond the control of their employers.

More Information

Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA)

Applications will open for the Canada Emergency Business Account starting April 9th. This program is being administered by retail banks and credit unions. It is designed to help SME’s with their most pressing needs and position the economy to recover.

The CEBA will provide businesses with access to a $40k line of credit with the following terms:

  • Government-guaranteed loan
    0% interest until December 31, 2022
  • Requires no minimum monthly principal payments until December 31, 2022
  • Principal payments can be made at any time
  • $10k forgivable loan is available provided balance is paid before December 31, 2022
  • Borrowers must agree to use the funds for operating costs that cannot be deferred, such as payroll, rent, insurance, property tax and vendor payments.

To be eligible, your organization must fit the following criteria:

  • You must be an operating company and not a holding company
  • Your payroll expense in 2019 calendar year was between $50k and $1M
  • You must provide your employer account number from your T4 Summary and your employment income reported in Box 14 of your 2019 T4.

Applications will only be available online starting April 9th and should be made through the same financial institution as your business account or the primary financial institution for your business. Below is a link from Protein Industries Canada’s financial institution. Other final institution’s options may differ slightly in loan conversion options after December 31, 2022.

More Information on CEBA

Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP)

The Government of Canada is investing $250 million to assist innovative, early-stage companies that are unable to access other COVID-19 business supports through the Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP).

IRAP provides advice, connections, and funding to help Canadian small and medium-sized businesses increase their innovation capacity and take ideas to market.

The key elements of the program are:

  1. Determine if you're an eligible firm: Must be research, technology, innovation oriented with potential to offer a significant benefit to Canada's innovative technologies and importance for supply chains. This will be determined by meeting with an IRAP Industrial Technology Consultant Advisory. Focus is on salary support only: The aim is to ensure companies retain highly skilled innovators. It will not support capital investments, only salaries.
  2. Application process. Register on the NRC website at this link and the applicant will receive instructions as to how to proceed. Then you work with an IRAP ITC to complete the submission. Applications will start next Wed.
  3. No Stacking: If you receive the 75% CEWS you can't use this program
  4. Target is to have funds to companies within 4 weeks of application approval. You simply show your T4 payrolls and an amount of funds are determined and if approved they send you a cheque.
NRC COVID-19 programs

Business Development Canada/Export Business Development Canada

Canada Emergency Business Account

Purpose: To ensure that small businesses have access to the capital they need to see them through the current challenges.

Description: Interest-free loans of up to $40,000 to small businesses and not-for-profits to help cover their operating costs

How to Apply: Directly through financial institution

Eligibility: Revenues have been reduced due to economic impacts of the COVID-19 virus

Ability to demonstrate that the company has paid between $50,000 - $1m in total payroll in 2019

Repayment: Zero interest for first year.

Repaying the balance of the loan on or before December 31, 2022 will result in loan forgiveness of 25 percent (up to $10,000)

Business Credit Availability Program ($12.5 million available per organization)

  • 1. EDC Loan Guarantee for SME’s
    • Purpose: To support operations of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that may be particularly vulnerable to the impacts of COVID-19.
    • Description: EDC will guarantee new operating credit and cash flow term loans that financial institutions extend to SMEs. The loan amount will be a maximum of $6.25 million and will be 80% (up to $5m) guaranteed by EDC.
    • How to Apply: Directly through a financial institution
    • Eligibility:
      • Domestic and export sector companies eligible due to EDC’s expanded mandate
      • “Credit-worthy” organization (insufficient access to credit but acceptable credit rating from a financial institution)
  • Repayment: 1-year repayment term
  • 2. Co-Lending Program for Small and Medium Enterprises
    • Purpose: To provide additional liquidity support for Canadian businesses through a Co-Lending Program with BDC and financial institutions to co-lend term loans to SMEs for their operational cash flow requirements.
    • Description: Incremental credit and co-lend term loans up to $6.25 million with a commercial interest rate. BDC will lend up to a maximum of $5 million per loan. The co-lend loans will be with eligible financial institutions who will conduct the underwriting and manage the customer interface.
    • How to Apply: Directly through a financial institution
    • Eligibility:
      • Impacted by COVID
      • “Credit-worthy” organization (insufficient access to credit but acceptable credit rating from a financial institution)
      • Must have been viable business prior to COVID-19
    • Repayment: 10-year repayment terms

These programs will roll out in the three weeks after March 27, 2020. Interested businesses should work with their current financial institutions.

Working Capital Loans

  • BDC
    • Working capital loans up to $2m with flexible terms and payment postponements (up to 6 months) for qualifying businesses.
    • Reduced rates on new eligible loans
  • FCC
    • LOC up to $500,000, secured by GSA

Existing Loans

  • BDC
    • rate reduction on eligible loans
    • flexible repayment terms
    • principal payment postponement for up to 6 months for loans less than $1m
  • FCC
    • deferral of principal and interest payments up to 6 months
    • deferral of principal payments up to 12 months

Farm Credit Canada - COVID-19 Support Programs.

  • Adeferral of principal and interest payments for six months OR a deferral of principal payments for up to 12 months;
  • Access to an additional credit line:24-month credit line up to $500,000 at a rate of Prime +1% and no fees. The loan is secured by general security agreements or universal movable hypothec (Québec only).
More Information


The Alberta government will provide immediate funding and supportive measures to support local businesses, employers and employees.

More Information


Health and Post-Secondary Education Levy Tax Deferral

Returns for small and medium businesses with monthly HE Levy remittances of no more than $10,000/month normally due on April 15 and May 15, will now be due June 15, 2020.

More Information

RST Tax Deferral

RST returns for small and medium businesses with monthly RST remittances of no more than $10,000/month normally due on April 20 and May 20, will now be due June 22, 2020. Quarterly filers have a deferral to June 22, 2020.

More Information

Temporary Exception to Employment Standards Regulations (Layoffs)

The province is making temporary amendments that would ensure any period of layoff occurring after March 1, 2020, will not be counted toward the period after which a temporary layoff would become a permanent termination.

More Information

You can find updated information on MB government programs at the below link.


The Government of Saskatchewan is working with businesses to help them through the COVID-19 crisis. Please go to for up-to-date, accurate information on COVID-19 and links to provincial and federal programs and services to help businesses and workers cope during the crisis. Businesses can contact the Business Response Team by phoning the toll-free number 1-844-800-8688 or by emailing Response team staff are there for you to answer questions and refer you to programs and services Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Provincial Sales Tax - Saskatchewan businesses who are unable to remit their PST due to cashflow concerns will have three-month relief from penalty and interest charges.

Saskatchewan Small Business Emergency Payment - provides financial assistance to small businesses that have been ordered to temporarily close or significantly curtail operations during this pandemic. More information on this program is available here -

For more information call the Saskatchewan tax inquiry line at 1-800-667-6102 or email

For other support for Saskatchewan businesses – please call the Saskatchewan Business Response Team - 1-844-800-8688

More Information

Other Resources:

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce

McCarthy Tetrault