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Summary of Government Financial Supports & Information

Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS)

The proposed CERS that would run from November to December will include the following:

  • A subsidy of up to 65% of rental expenses for businesses who have seen a decline in revenue during the pandemic.

  • A subsidy of up to 90% for businesses who have been forced to close due the pandemic.

For more information click here.

Ontario-Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance Program

  • Ran from April to October 2020.

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

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

  • The program covers gross rent, which incudes property tax, utilities, and other fees.

For more information click here.

Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS)

The government has proposed the following changes to CEWS:

  • To extend the program until June, 2021.

  • To freeze the current maximum of 65% for businesses with a 70% or greater revenue loss to December 19, 2020. Subsidies will continue to be based on a revenue decline sliding scale.

For more information click here.

Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA)

The Canada Emergency Business Account provides interest-free loans of up to $40,000 to small businesses and not-for-profits.  Recent proposed changes include:

  • In October an increase of $20,000 was announced, of which $10,000 will be forgiven if repaid by December 2022. Details still to be released.

  • The application deadline for CEBA has now been extended to December 31st, 2020, and the government may look to extend it until June 2021.

To qualify under the eligibility criteria, applicants with payroll lower than $20,000 would need:

  • a business operating account or a personal account that your business is operating out of 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.

For more information click here.

Ontario Control or Lockdown Rebates

Starting November 16th, businesses that were required to shut down or significantly restrict services due to provincial public health measures can apply for rebates, provided in the form of grants to help with their fixed costs.  Eligible businesses could get rebates for:

  • municipal and education property taxes

  • energy costs, including electricity and natural gas (or where natural gas is not available, propane and heating oil)

  • Funding will cover the entire length of time that regionally targeted public health restrictions are in place.

Property tax rebates will be combined with federal support provided through the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS). This means you will get back 100% of your reported property tax and energy costs. Details on applying for the CERS are expected to be forthcoming from the Government of Canada.
Provincial rebates will also cover costs not covered by CERS.

For more information click here.

Ontario Main Street Relief Grant: PPE Support.  For more information click here.

Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)

The CERB has now ended, but the Government continues to process retroactive applications until December 2, 2020.

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

Employer Health Tax relief

The Employer Health Tax (EHT) exemption is increasing 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 for the new exemption.

Canada United

Administered by the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC), the Canada United Small Business Relief Fund will provide grants of up to $5,000 to help thousands of small business owners cover the costs of personal protective equipment, make physical modifications to their businesses to meet local health and safety requirements, and enhance their digital or e-commerce capabilities.

For more information or to apply click here.

Digital Main Street

Up to $2,500 grant for brick and mortar businesses in support of developing their digital presence.

For more information or to apply click here.

Access to Credit

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 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.


York Region Open Status

OntarIo moved to a PROVINCE-WIDE SHUTDOWN as of 12:01 a.m. Saturday,December 26, 2020 for 28 days ending January 25, 2021. For more information click here.

Read the Keeping Ontario Safe and Open Framework here.

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 is available here.


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



Contact the Aurora Chamber of Commerce


Check out the website with 200+ local businesses offering products and services.

Contact ACOC Staff Via Email / Phone

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

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

  • Town of Aurora
  • Magna International Inc.
  • Addison Marketing
  • The Auroran Newspaper
  • Bell
  • TD

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