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Summary of Government Financial Supports & Information

Federal Government

Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)

August 20, 2020 - The Canadian Government has announced that CERB will be extended by an additional four weeks before transitioning into a new series of programs. These proposed changes include:

· Moving eligible CERB recipients to EI to receive a minimum benefit of $400 a week for up to 26 weeks.

· Setting up the Canada Recovery Benefit, which will provide $400 for self-employed workers and those ineligible for EI.

· The Canada Sickness Recovery Benefit, which will provide those who are either ill or must self isolate with $500 for up to 2 weeks.  

· The Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit will provide $500 for 26 weeks for caregivers of children, relatives or dependents.

Click here for more information.

Visit the government website to learn more about CERB.The benefit, which includes 24 weeks of payments, will be available to workers:
• Residing in Canada, who are at least 15 years old;
• Who have stopped working because of COVID-19 and have not voluntarily quit their job or are eligible for EI regular or sickness benefits;
• Who had income of at least $5,000 in 2019 or in the 12 months prior to the date of their application; and,
• Who are or expect to be without employment or self-employment income for at least 14 consecutive days in the initial four-week period.  For subsequent benefit periods, they expect to have no employment or self-employment income, or they will earn $1,000 or less per month.

• For subsequent benefit periods, they expect to have no employment or self-employment income, or they will earn $1,000 or less per month.

• Seasonal workers who will not be hired because of COVID-19 and those whose EI benefits expired since January will also be eligible for CERB.

Find more information and instructions on how to apply click here.

Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS)

September 2020 - Prime Minister is proposing an extension of CEWS to Summer 2021.

July 13, 2020 - Prime Minister announced that the CEWS would be extended to the end of December 2020.

May 8, 2020 - Prime Minister announced that the CEWS would be extended beyond June 6, 2020 to the end of August.

Application process open Monday, April 27

Eligible employers include:
• individuals
• taxable corporations
• partnerships consisting of eligible employers, non profit organizations and registered charities. Those that see a drop of at least 15% of their revenue in March 2020 and 30% for the following months (see Eligible Periods).

Wondering how much you qualify for? Click here for the CEWS calculator.

Amount of Subsidy:
The subsidy amount for a given employee on eligible remuneration paid for the period between March 15 and June 6, 2020 is the greater of:
• 75% of the amount of remuneration paid, up to a maximum benefit of $847 per week; and
• the amount of remuneration paid, up to a maximum benefit of $847 per week or 75% of the employee's pre-crisis weekly remuneration, whichever is less.

The application portal will be open on Monday, April 27th through your CRA Business Account.  For more information and instructions on how to apply click here.

10% Wage Subsidy for Employers

For more information and instructions on how to apply click here.

Work Sharing Program

For more information and instructions on how to apply click here.

Temporary Changes to Canada Summer Jobs Program

If you have already applied to the Canada Summer Jobs Program, the government is making temporary changes to the program to allow 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.

Deferred Tax Payments

Income Tax – The Federal Government is allowing all businesses to defer, until after August 31, 2020, the payment of any income tax amounts that become owing on or after March 18 and before September 1, 2020. This relief would apply to tax balances due, as well as instalments, under Part I of the Income Tax Act.  No interest or penalties will accumulate on these amounts during this period.
Sales Tax – The Federal Government is allowing businesses, including self-employed individuals, to defer until June 30, 2020 payments of the GST/HST, as well as customs duty owing on their imports.  Any GST/HST payment that becomes owing from March 27 until the end of May can be deferred until the end of June. For GST and customs duty payments for imported goods, deferral will include amounts owing for March, April and May.  These amounts were normally due to be submitted to the Canada Revenue Agency and the Canada Border Services Agency as early as the end of March 2020.
For more information, click here.  For frequently asked questions, click here.

Access to Credit

Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA)

May 19, 2020 - The Federal Government today announced an expansion to the eligibility criteria for CEBA to include many owner-operated small businesses.

To qualify under the expanded eligibility criteria, applicants with payroll lower than $20,000 would need:
- a business operating account at a participating financial institution
- a Canada Revenue Agency business number, and to have filed a 2018 or 2019 tax return.
- eligible non-deferrable expenses between $40,000 and $1.5 million. Eligible non-deferrable expenses could include costs such as rent, property taxes, utilities, and insurance.

Expenses will be subject to verification and audit by the Government of Canada. Funding will be delivered in partnership with financial institutions.


The CEBA provides much needed credit for small businesses to pay for immediate operating costs such as payroll, rent, utilities, insurance, property tax, or debt service.  It is 100 per cent funded by the Government of Canada.

• It is available to Canadian employers with $20,000 to $1.5 million in total payroll in 2019 and operating as of March 1, 2020. This includes smaller (i.e., micro) businesses and other eligible employers such as not-for-profits.
• Under CEBA, financial institutions will be able to provide interest-free credit facilities of up to $40,000 to eligible businesses.
• If the loan is repaid by December 31, 2022, 25 per cent (up to $10,000) will be forgiven.
• If the loan is not repaid by December 31, 2022, the remaining balance will be converted to a three-year term loan at 5 per cent interest.  

Here are links to the top 5 Financial Institutions – If your financial institution is not listed here, check your bank’s website for the CEBA application portal:
• Bank of Montreal – click here
• CIBC – click here
• Royal Bank – click here
• Scotiabank – click here
• TD Bank – click here

Please Note:  Although not always clear on the application websites you must enter the total employment income paid in 2019 from your Company T4 SUM tax return listed in box 14.

Loan Guarantee for Small and Medium Enterprises

EDC Loan Guarantee for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises – This program provides credit and cash flow term loans to small and medium-sized enterprises. Canadian businesses in all sectors that were otherwise financially viable and revenue generating prior to the COVID-19 outbreak are eligible to apply.
It allows financial institutions to issue operating credit and cash flow term loans of up to $6.25 million to existing clients, with 80 per cent guaranteed by EDC.
This money is to be used for operational expenses, not for dividend payouts, shareholder loans, bonuses, stock buyback, option issuance, increases to executive compensation or repayment/refinancing of other debt.
This program is now available at various financial institutions and credit unions.

BDC Co-Lending Program for Small and Medium Enterprises – This program provides term loans for operational and liquidity needs of businesses, which could include interest payments on existing debt. Similar to the EDC program, this program is available to businesses that were financially viable and revenue-generating prior to the COVID-19 outbreak.
The program is designed in three segments to target support to different business sizes.
• Loans of up to $312,500 to businesses with revenues of less than $1 million.
• Up to $3.125 million for businesses with revenues between $1 million and $50 million.
• Up to $6.25 million for businesses with revenues in excess of $50 million.
Loans would be interest-only for the first 12 months, with a 10-year repayment period.
This program is now available at various financial institutions and credit unions.

For more information on both of these programs click here.

Support for Self-Employed Individuals

The Federal Government will provide a taxable benefit of $2,000 a month for up to 4 months to eligible workers who have lost their income due to COVID-19.  A portal with simple questions will help the government direct you to the service option that best fits your situation (i.e. eligibility for Employment Insurance benefits or not).

For more information and instructions on how to apply click here.

Support for Cultural, Heritage and Sport Organizations

The COVID-19 Emergency Support Fund for Cultural, Heritage and Sport Organizations will provide $500M to help address the financial needs of affected organizations within these sectors.The fund will be administered by Canadian Heritage via contribution agreements. More details can be found here.

Support for Charities and Non-Profit Organizations

The Federal Government announced a $350M Emergency Community Support Fund in support of Charities and Non-Profit Organizations. The investment will flow through national organizations that have the ability to get funds quickly to local organizations that serve populations.  It will support a variety of activities, such as:  

Increasing volunteer-based home deliveries of groceries and medications; Providing transportation services, like accompanying or driving seniors or persons with disabilities to appointments; Scaling up help lines that provide information and support; Helping vulnerable Canadians access government benefits; Providing training, supplies, and other required supports to volunteers so they can continue to make their invaluable contributions to the COVID-19 response; and Replacing in-person, one-on-one contact and social gatherings with virtual contact through phone calls, texts, teleconferences, or the Internet.

More details can be found here.

Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility (LEEFF)

May 11, 2020 - The Federal Government will offer support to large and medium-sized businesses so they can keep their workers on the payroll, based on a number of conditions that include:

Establishing a Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility (LEEFF) to provide bridge financing to Canada’s largest employers, whose needs during the pandemic are not being met through conventional financing, in order to keep their operations going. The objective of this support is to help protect Canadian jobs, help Canadian businesses weather the current economic downturn, and avoid bankruptcies of otherwise viable firms where possible. This support will not be used to resolve insolvencies or restructure firms, nor will it provide financing to companies that otherwise have the capacity to manage through the crisis. The additional liquidity provided through LEEFF will allow Canada’s largest businesses and their suppliers to remain active during this difficult time, and, position them for a rapid economic recovery.
For more information click here.

Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF)

May 13, 2020 - The federal government announced new details for the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF). This fund provides financial contributions (interest-free loans) to help support fixed operating costs of SMEs, where business revenues have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Eligible applicants must:
Be a Canadian or provincially incorporated business, co-operative or an Indigenous-owned business located in southern Ontario with 1 to 499 full-time equivalent employees;
Be facing funding pressures with fixed operating costs as a result of COVID-19;
Have been a viable business before the COVID-19 pandemic and plan to continue to operate their business or resume operations;
Have already applied to other Government of Canada emergency credit relief measures for which they are eligible, as outlined in the program guidelines.

Learn more here.

Provincial Government

List of Essential Workplaces

Click here for a list of Essential Workplaces.

Reopening Ontario

The Ontario Government announced the following regions will remain in Phase 2 as of Friday, July 24, 2020


The Ontario Government announced the following regions will be allowed to move into Phase 3, effective Friday, July 24, 2020 at 12:01 a.m.

Durham Region
Halton Region
Niagara Region 
York Region - including Aurora 

The Ontario Government announced the following regions will be allowed to move into Phase 3, effective Friday, July 17, 2020 at 12:01 a.m.

Algoma Public Health
Brant County Health Unit
Chatham-Kent Public Health
Eastern Ontario Health Unit
Grey Bruce Health Unit
Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit
Hastings Prince Edward Public Health
Huron Perth Public Health
Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox & Addington Public Health
Leeds Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit
Middlesex-London Health Unit
North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit
Northwestern Health Unit
Ottawa Public Health
Peterborough Public Health
Porcupine Health Unit
Public Health Sudbury & Districts
Region of Waterloo Public Health and Emergency Services
Renfrew County and District Health Unit
Simcoe-Muskoka District Health Unit
Southwestern Public Health
Thunder Bay District Health Unit
Timiskaming Health Unit
Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health

May 14, 2020 - The Ontario Government announced the following businesses will be allowed to open adhering to the proper health and safety guidelines: 

As of May 16 at 12:01 am:
- Golf Courses
- Marinas, boat clubs and public boat launches
- Private parks and campgrounds for preparation for the season
- Businesses that board animals

As of May 19 at 12:01 am:
- Retail services that are not in shopping malls and have separate street-front entrances
- Seasonal businesses and recreational activities for individual or single competitors
- Animal services - pet care, grooming, training and vets
- Indoor and outdoor household services
- All construction
- Health care services - in-person counselling and scheduled surgeries

More information can be found here.

May 6, 2020 - The following businesses will be allowed to open as follows by adhering to the proper health and safety guidelines:

Friday, May 8th - Garden Centres and Nurseries allowed to open for in-store payment and purchases, operating under the same guidelines as grocery stores and pharmacies.

Saturday, May 9th - Hardware and Safety Supply Stores allowed to open for in-store payment and purchases.

Monday, May 11 - Retail stores with a Street Entrance can Offer CURB SIDE PICK-UP and DELIVERY, in accordance with the Ministry of Health's Guidance Document for Essential Workplaces and Occupational Health and Safety Requirements.

The Government is also expanding essential construction to allow below-grade multi-unit residential construction projects like apartments and condominiums to begin and existing above-grade projects to continue.

Read more here

May 4, 2020 - The following businesses were allowed to open by following the proper health and safety guidelines: 

Garden centres and nurseries with curbside pick-up and delivery only; Lawn care and landscaping; Additional essential construction projects; Automatic and self-serve car washes; Auto dealerships, open by appointment only; Golf courses may prepare their courses for the upcoming season, but not open to the public; and Marinas may begin preparations for the recreational boating season by servicing boats and other watercraft and placing boats in the water, but not open to the public. Boats and watercraft must be secured to a dock in the marina until public access is allowed. Read the compete newsrelease here.

Ontario is preparing for the reopening of business. A Framework for Reopening our Province lays out the government’s approach to the next chapter in the ongoing fight to defeat COVID-19. It outlines the principles the government will use to reopen businesses, services and public spaces in gradual stages. It also explains the criteria Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health will use to help advise the government on when it is safe to begin loosening public health restrictions. Read A Framework for Reopening our Province here.

Sector-specific guidelines are available here from Ontario’s health and safety associations.

Ontario's Action Plan: Responding to COVID-19

Find Ontario's Action Plan here.

Financial relief

Ontario-Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance Program

May 6, 2020 - We have heard from concerned business owners and commercial landlords who would not qualify for assistance under the program.  As a result we have advocated for Ontario's business community with the federal government and have been able to secure a number of changes:

- Landlords who do not have a mortgage on commercial property are now eligible to apply for the OCECRA.

- Businesses with multiple locations and pay no more than $50,000 in monthly gross rent per location are now eligible to apply.

- The program will now cover gross rent, which incudes property tax, utilities, and other fees.

For more information click here.


The Ontario Government is committing $241 million to partner with the federal government and deliver more than $900 million in urgent relief to small businesses and their landlords through a new program, the Ontario-Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance Program (OCECRA).

The OCECRA will provide forgivable loans to eligible commercial property owners experiencing potential rent shortfalls because their small business tenants have been heavily impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.

How does the program work?

The program has been developed to share the cost between small business tenants and landlords. Small business tenants and landlords would each be asked to pay 25 per cent of the before profit costs and the provincial and federal government would cost share the remaining 50 per cent.

For example, a monthly rent for a small business is $10,000. In this example, assume the landlord doesn't make a profit. The landlord forgoes $2,500 (25 per cent of rent). The small business would be responsible for paying $2,500 (25 per cent of rent). The government would cover the remaining $5,000, with $3,750 from the federal government (37.5 per cent of rent) and $1,250 (12.5 per cent of rent) from the provincial government.

To receive the loan, property owners will be required to reduce the rental costs of small business tenants for April to June 2020 by at least 75 per cent. The loan would also be contingent on the signing of a rent forgiveness agreement between impacted tenants and landlords. This would also include a moratorium on evictions for three months.

How long would a commercial property owner have to apply for OCECRA?

The OCECRA would be administered by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) and would be available until September 30, 2020. Support would be retroactive to April 1, covering April, May and June 2020.

Are there any eligibility requirements for commercial property owners?

The OCECRA would apply to commercial properties with small business tenants.

Commercial properties with a residential component, and residential mixed-use properties with a 30 per cent commercial component, would be equally eligible for support with respect to their commercial tenants.

The property owner must be the registered owner and landlord of the residential or commercial real estate property.

If a property owner does not have a mortgage secured by a commercial rental property, the property owner should  contact CMHC to discuss program options, which may include applying funds against other forms of debt facilities or fixed cost payment obligations (e.g. utilities).

What are the eligibility requirements for small businesses?

An eligible small business tenant is one that:

Pays monthly rent not exceeding $50,000 in gross rent payments; and is,
A non-essential small business that has temporarily closed, or who is experiencing a 70 per cent drop in pre-COVID-19 revenues (determined by comparing revenues in April, May or June to the same month in 2019 or alternatively compared to average revenues for January and February 2020).
Not-for-profit organizations and charitable entities would also be considered for the program.

The program will be available by mid-May. More details can be found here.

Interest and Penalty Relief

Businesses will get five months of interest and penalty relief to file and make payments for the majority of provincially administered taxes.  Between April 1, 2020 and August 31, 2020, the province will not apply any penalty or interest on any late-filed returns or incomplete or late tax payments under select provincially administered taxes, such as Employer Health Tax, Tobacco Tax and Gas Tax.

Education property tax deferrals

The Ontario Government has deferred the June 30 property tax payments municipalities make to school boards by 90 days.

WSIB payment deferrals

Employers can defer Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) payments for up to six months.  All employers covered by the WSIB’s workplace insurance are automatically eligible for the financial relief package.
Schedule 1 employers who owe premiums to the WSIB will be allowed to defer reporting and payments until August 1, 2020.
Schedule 2 businesses that pay WSIB for the cost related to their workplace injury and illness claims can defer reporting and payments until August 31, 2020.
No interest will be accrued on outstanding premium payments and no penalties will be charged during this six-month deferral period.

Affordable Electricity Bills

From March 24 to May 8, 2020, residential, farm and small business time-of-use customers will get the lowest rate — also known as the off-peak price — 24 hours a day. That means you will pay 10.1 ¢/kWh no matter what time of day you use electricity.

This rate will be automatically applied to your bill.

Tax relief

Employer Health Tax relief

We’re increasing the Employer Health Tax (EHT) exemption for 2020 from $490,000 to $1 million. As an employer, this means relief of up to $9,945.
What this means for you?
The annual tax return form is not changing. Only the amount for the exemption claimed will change. Eligibility for the tax exemption, tax rates and everything else remains the same.
You will begin making your instalment payments after your payroll has exceeded the new $1 million exemption level.  If your business no longer needs to make instalment payments as a result of the increased exemption amount, you do not need to notify the Ministry of Finance.
If you have already filed a final or special return for 2020 – The ministry will be reviewing all 2020 EHT returns and correcting the returns for the new exemption level.
Find out how you can apply the new exemption.

Ontario Together Fund

The Ontario government is launching a new $50 million Ontario Together Fund to help businesses provide innovative solutions or retool their operations in order to manufacture essential medical supplies and equipment.

For further information, visit the Ontario Together portal here.


Municipal Government - Town of Aurora

Town of Aurora - COVID-19 Support Page

Click here to be redirected to the Town of Aurora COVID-19 Support Page.

Tax and Water Relief

Commercial tax bills may be deferred by approval from the Treasurer. Commercial clients can email their request to and must demonstrate in writing that they have passed on this leniency to their tenants. These requests will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

Water bills will continue to be issued and due on their normal due dates. If the water bill is not paid, then it will be moved to the property tax account. However, since penalties on tax accounts are suspended until June 30, 2020 the tax account will not incur any interest.


Links to Government Websites

Government of Canada

Government of Canada COVID-19 Updates
Government of Canada Business Supports

Ontario Government

Ontario Government COVID-19 Updates
Ontario Government Business Supports

York Region

York Region COVID-19 Updates
York Region Business Supports

Town of Aurora

Aurora COVID-19 Updates
Aurora Business Continuity Task Force



Aurora Chamber Event Updates

CANCELLED: 2020 Aurora Chamber Home & Living Show. All registered booths have been contacted for refunds. Visit for updates once available.

CANCELLED: Aurora Chamber Street Festival and All regularly scheduled ACOC events until further notice. Tickets and booth space purchased for cancelled events will be automatically refunded. Visit for upcoming event details.



Contact the Aurora Chamber of Commerce


Check out the website with 150+ local businesses still offering products and services during COVID-19.

Contact ACOC Staff Via Email / Phone

Sandra Ferri, President & CEO: / 905-727-7262 x33 / 416-848-9105 (cell)

Crystal Walsh, Communications & Marketing Specialist: / 905-727-7262 x21

Sandra Watson, Events Manager: / 905-727-7262 x23

Seanna Murray, Member Relations Ambassador: / 905-727-7262 x22

Nancy Lehmkuhl, Bookkeeper: / 905-727-7262 x29



Corporate Sponsors

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  • Healthy Planet
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  • TD
  • Bell
  • BMO
  • IG Wealth Management
  • Jewel 88.5
  • New Roads Toyota Aurora
  • Treefrog
  • 105.9 The Region

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