Resources for the Business Community

Saanich – Gulf Islands: Resources for the Business Community

I am writing to share the most recent information on the various government programmes available to self-employed people and owners of small- or medium-sized enterprises during this COVID-19 crisis.

Many of our critical local businesses are experiencing substantial losses due the COVID-19 pandemic. As your Member of Parliament, I am doing all that I can to ensure effective and adequate support for business owners and self-employed individuals. We must get through this pandemic with all our employers and companies, large and small, still standing. Clearly, the existing programmes are not providing comprehensive support. There are holes. Hearing from you about your specific challenges is so helpful so that I can press for your concerns to be addressed. Your value to our communities is so important.

My team and I have put together the following list of available resources. I hope you will find this information useful.

I know the federal government can do more. Please rest assured I am in daily contact with key ministers, working hard to get money back into our local economy as soon as possible.

If you have any questions or require any assistance, my constituency office is here to help. Although our doors are closed for walk-in appointments, please contact us via telephone at 250-657-2000 or by email at [email protected]. Visit my website for more information and updates.

Most importantly, stay healthy and safe. We will get through this together.


Elizabeth May, O.C.

Member of Parliament

Saanich-Gulf Islands

Parliamentary Leader of the Green Party of Canada



Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy

  • Provides eligible employers with a 75% wage subsidy to a maximum benefit of $847 per week per employee, for up to 12 weeks, retroactive to March 15
  • The subsidy will be available in three to six weeks, as per estimates from the Ministry of Finance
  • ​To qualify, your business must have experienced a 30% drop in revenue
  • You must pay the 75% of wages and then will receive compensation

Work Sharing Programme

  • An adjustment programme designed to help employers avoid layoffs when there is a temporary reduction in normal level of business activity
  • The government has introduced temporary measures that extend the duration of Work-Sharing agreements from 38 weeks to 76 weeks

Business Credit Availability Programme

  • Aimed at helping Canadian businesses obtain interest-free or low-interest financing
  • Businesses seeking support through this program should contact the financial institutions with whom they have a pre-existing relationship
  • There are three facets of this programme: The Canada Emergency Business Account, the Loan Guarantee for Small and Medium-Size Enterprises, and the Co-Lending Programme for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises​

Tax information

  • Businesses may defer payment of income tax until August 31, 2020
  • The CRA will not contact any small- or medium-sized businesses to initiate any post assessment GST/HST or income tax audits for the next month
  • GST/HST and customs duty payment deferrals until June 30, 2020

Canada Emergency Response Benefit

  • For those who have stopped working because of COVID-19 and have not voluntarily quit their job, and who expect to be without employment or self-employment income for at least 14 consecutive days in the initial four-week period, you may be eligible for this benefit
  • Eligibility requires having made $5000 in the previous year and have received no income for 14 days
  • Workers cannot receive BOTH the 75% of wage subsidy and the CERB at the same time
  • Applications open April 6, 2020



Tax information

  • BC is extending filing and payment deadlines for the Employer Health Tax, the Provincial Sales Tax, the Carbon Tax, the Motor Fuel Tax, and the Tobacco Tax to September 30, 2020
  • The following tax changes announced in Budget 2020 will be postponed until further notice: Eliminating the PST exemption for carbonated beverages, and the expanded registration requirements for Canadian sellers of goods, and Canadian and foreign sellers of software and telecommunication services
  • The carbon tax increase will be delayed until further notice
  • School tax rates for commercial properties in classes 4, 5, and 6 will be reduced by 50% in the 2020 tax year
  • For more information, visit:

BC Arts Council

  • BC Arts Council is providing support for the arts and culture sector
  • The programme includes a 50% advance of operating grants for Spring and Fall Operating Clients, an Arts and Culture Resilience Supplement, and various deadline extensions and deferrals


YYJ Locals for Locals

  • A group of community-minded tech and marketing professionals offering pro-bono assistance to local small businesses, restaurants, and bars

Douglas Magazine

  • A Victoria-based magazine with resources, advice, and information for small- and medium-sized businesses

Tiny Victoria Small Business Relief Fund

  • Tech company Tiny is offering small, 0% non-recourse loans to Victoria-based small businesses