5) Funding & Relief

Federal Government 

The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) has been extended to August 29th: Finance Minister Bill Morneau today announced that the Government of Canada will extend the CEWS by an additional 12 weeks to August 29, 2020. Extending the program will give workers greater confidence that they will continue to get the support they need during these difficult times. For more information follow the link here.

The Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA): This $25 billion program provides interest-free loans of up to $40,000 to small businesses and not-for-profits, to help cover their operating costs during a period where their revenues have been temporarily reduced, due to the economic impacts of the COVID-19 virus.  Click here to learn more

Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP): Through the Business Credit Availability Program, Export Development Canada (EDC) is working with financial institutions to guarantee 80% of new operating credit and cash flow term loans of up to $6.25 million to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). This financing support is to be used for operational expenses and is available to both exporting and non-exporting companies. Click here to learn more.

For all available Federal supports for business please see the Government of Canada’s website here


BC Provincial Government

The COVID-19 pandemic has created immediate impacts for businesses and individuals across British Columbia. The Government of British Columbia’s COVID-19 Action Plan is the province’s first step in providing relief to individuals and businesses throughout our communities. 

CERCA (commercial rental relief) Benefit: Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) for small businesses provides much needed relief for small businesses experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19. It offers forgivable loans to eligible commercial property owners so that they can reduce the rent owed by their impacted small business tenants by at least 75% for the months of April, May and June, 2020. For more information click here.

Further Provincial Resources for Businesses

Click here for all program details on the Government of British Columbia website


Local Resources

Community Futures East Kootenay:

Community Futures East Kootenay is providing a 3-month Payment Relief Program for all of our current clients. Community Futures East Kootenay is also offering a special repayable term loan product. This emergency credit facility is aimed at helping entrepreneurs and small businesses remain operational and/or cope with lost business during this exceptional time. Existing businesses in our service area are eligible to apply for an emergency loan of up to $20,000 with limited security requirements, pragmatic terms and conditions, and a rapid response time. We are also continuing to offer all of our regular term loan options. To learn more please visit  Community Futures East Kootenay’s web-site here.

 Columbia Basin Trust

To help small business in the Basin, the Trust will:

  • provide low interest loans for working capital and equipment to help food producers expand operations
  • provide low interest working capital loans to help businesses meet immediate needs or plan for future recovery
  • provide flexibility and customized support through our Wage Subsidies, including a new Basin Food Producer Wage Subsidy for primary food producers that are increasing production due to the pandemic, to help them hire workers throughout the growing and harvesting season.
  • increase the resources available through the Basin Business Advisors program and the Basin RevUp program
  • increase supports for businesses currently participating in the Basin RevUp program
  • increase support to unemployed and underemployed individuals through the Training Fee Support program
  • providing a loan payment holiday to investment and economic development clients and being open to discussing other changes to existing arrangements
  • increase the support available through the Impact Investment Fund

For the full listing of supports available through the Columbia basin Trust please visit the Columbia Basin Trust’s web-site here.


Additional Support for Western Canadian Businesses

As a trusted federal government partner, Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) is taking action to support small and medium-sized businesses.

Support from WD

As a trusted federal government partner, Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) is taking action to support small and medium-sized businesses.

WD can assist your business with:

  • Access to federal funding to help you stay in business.
  • Advice and pathfinding services to other federal programs and services available.

Open for applications: Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF)

This Fund helps businesses, organizations and communities relieve the economic impact of COVID-19 and prepare for recovery by:

  • mitigating financial pressures so that you can continue your operations and keep paying employees
  • supporting business projects to prepare now for a successful recovery

Find out if you’re eligible.

If your small- or medium-sized business or organization has received WD funding and COVID-19 is affecting your operations, you may be eligible to receive additional funding and/or flexible arrangements. Please contact your local WD office if:

  • Your business is in the repayment phase of your project.
  • You submitted a project application that has not been evaluated.
  • You received a contribution from WD, but are concerned about not being able to meet your obligations.
  • You received a contribution related to a now-cancelled trade mission, and have already incurred costs.
  • You received a contribution for an event that has had to be postponed or cancelled.

Please note that if your business is in the repayment phase of your project:

  • Your project repayments will be deferred effective April 1, 2020.
  • They will remain in effect until July 1, 2020.
  • Related interest charges will also be deferred.
  • This is a deferral, not a forgiveness.
  • WD will work with you to formalize these deferrals into an amended repayment schedule.