Business Information Line & Website

March 30 - The federal government announced further details on the supports being provided to businesses. Below is information our government is taking to support businesses, in addition to action being taken by the federal government.

Federal Measures for Businesses

Further details can be found herefederal support for businesses

Wage Subsidy – The federal government will provide a wage subsidy of up to 75% for all businesses, backdated to Sunday March 15th. Businesses that have experienced at least a 30% drop in revenues, regardless of their size or number of employees, will be eligible for this subsidy. The federal government will cover up to 75% of employees’ salary on the first $58,700 earned, up to $847/week. We anticipate further details on how employers can access this program in the coming days.

Income tax deferrals – Allow taxpayers to defer, until after August 31, 2020, the payment of any income tax amounts that become owing on or after today and before September 2020. This relief would apply to tax balances due, as well as instalments. No interest or penalties will accumulate on these amounts during this period.

HST deferrals – The federal government will defer HST payments for small and medium sized businesses until June – freeing up an additional $30 billion for businesses.

Canada Emergency Business Account Canadian banks will provide $40,000 loans, backed by the federal government, to small and medium sized businesses. The loans will be interest free for the first year and, in some cases, the first $10,000 will be forgivable.

Business Credit Availability Program – providing an additional $12.5 billion through Export Development Canada and Business Development Bank of Canada to small and medium sized enterprises for cashflow purposes. This is above the $10 billion for SMEs and $5 billion via Farm Credit Canada committed on March 13.

Bank of Canada Interest Rate Reduction – on March 27th the Bank of Canada lowered interest rates to 0.25%, down from 0.75% announced on March 13.


Ontario’s Support for Businesses

Further details can be found hereOntario’s Action Plan: Responding to COVID-19

Employer Health Tax

  • To help businesses during the crisis, the government is proposing to double the Employer Health Tax (EHT) exemption in 2020.
  • Through this change, about 57,000 private-sector employers would pay less EHT in 2020, including about 30,000 more who would not pay EHT this year.
  • This amounts to a tax cut of $355 million.

Regional Opportunities Investment Tax Credit

  • The government is taking aim at regional economic disparities through the launch of a proposed new Regional Opportunities Investment Tax Credit, which would be available to eligible businesses that build, renovate or acquire qualifying commercial and industrial buildings in designated regions of the province, saving them up to $45,000.

$6 Billion in Tax Deferrals

  • The government is also providing flexibility to businesses in Ontario that find it challenging to meet their tax obligations during this crisis.
  • The period between April 1, 2020 and August 31, 2020 will be interest and penalty-free for businesses who are unable to file and make payments on time for select provincially administered taxes.
  • This is expected to free up as much as $6 billion in cash flow for about 100,000
  • This measure would complement the federal government’s March 18, 2020 announcement that it would provide relief from interest and penalties from not remitting Corporate Income Tax owing.

$1.9 Billion in Workplace Safety Expenses

  • To provide additional support, the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) is allowing employers to defer premium payments for up to six months, providing immediate relief of up to $1.9 billion.
  • All employers covered by the WSIB’s workplace insurance are automatically eligible for the financial relief package.
  • No interest will be accrued on outstanding premium payments and no penalties will be charged during this six-month deferral period.

$1.8 Billion in Education Property Tax Deferrals

  • We are also providing the option to defer the education property tax payment municipalities make to school boards for 90 days.
  • This would defer the June 30th quarterly municipal remittance to school boards which provides municipalities with the flexibility, in turn, to provide over $1.8 billion in property tax deferral to residents and businesses.

March  28 - The Premier, Minister Phillips and Associate Minister Sarkaria echoed the support the government is providing for businesses.

The Ontario government is delivering $3.7 billion to protect people and jobs and $10 billion to improve cash flows for people and businesses during this time of economic uncertainty stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Learn more:

March 26 - The Ontario Government will enable $1.9 billion in relief for employers to reduce the financial strain on businesses. 

The Hon. Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour Training and Skills Development has announced; a relief package, which will run through the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB), will see premium payments deferred for six months (until August 31st, 2020) for all businesses in the province.  All employers covered by WSIB are automatically eligible for the provisions of the relief package; there is no need to opt in to receive this benefit. The deferred premiums will amount to an average $1,760 for approximately 275,000 Ontario businesses. Businesses are not required to inform the WSIB that they will take advantage of this financial relief package.

In addition, WSIB will cease interest accrual on all outstanding premium payments. They will not charge penalties during this six-month period. Be assured that WSIB will continue to fully cover workers at eligible workplaces.

New releases




March 25 - The province has launched a toll-free line to provide support to Ontario businesses who have questions about the province’s recent emergency order to close at-risk workplaces following recommendations by Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health. 

On Monday, the government issued an emergency order to close at-risk workplaces and encourage non-essential businesses to find ways to help their employees work from home. The government also reminded businesses to put in place protocols for physical distancing and regular hand-washing in order to protect the health and safety of employees and the general public.

Businesses who have questions about closures of at-risk workplaces or how emergency measures impact their business or employment can call the Stop the Spread Business Information Line at 1-888-444-3659.  

Help is available from Monday to Sunday, from 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

A complete list of essential services is available on the Government of Ontario’s website.

News Release: