The Innovation Cluster and COVID-19
WHAT WE ARE DOING: The Innovation Cluster has decided that as a coworking space, we are going to close both incubator locations in Peterborough and Lindsay until further notice. We know that as a business owner you are concerned about the future of your business and we want to be sure to support you in this uncertain time. The Innovation Cluster continues to monitor and assess new developments pertaining to COVID-19.
FOR OUR STARTUPS: We are committed to providing startups with support in this difficult time. Innovation Cluster startups have been sent emails with detailed information regarding their access to space and services. We will be available by phone, email and other virtual meeting options to support our clients at this time. We encourage all innovation and technology startups to connect with us for support and resources for their businesses. Calling all innovators! We’ve partnered with Ontario Centres of Excellence to launch the #COVID19 Collaboration Platform. The platform is an online portal that allows experts, agencies and companies to engage with collaborators and accelerate their solution to market. Are you looking for collaborators to innovate? Do you have a solution? Let us know!
FOR OUR STARTUPS: We are committed to providing startups with support in this difficult time. Innovation Cluster startups have been sent emails with detailed information regarding their access to space and services. We will be available by phone, email and other virtual meeting options to support our clients at this time. We encourage all innovation and technology startups to connect with us for support and resources for their businesses.
Calling all innovators!
We’ve partnered with Ontario Centres of Excellence to launch the #COVID19 Collaboration Platform.
The platform is an online portal that allows experts, agencies and companies to engage with collaborators and accelerate their solution to market.
Are you looking for collaborators to innovate? Do you have a solution? Let us know!
The Innovation Cluster helps start-ups find their best path to market by linking together talented people, ideas, resources and know how.
Our services are designed to be responsive to the changing needs of today’s fast-growing, knowledge intensive, technology-led companies. We have an excellent track record of helping startups become successful. The Cube contributes to the growth of a competitive economy and to the wealth and prosperity of our community.
- Incubation, so much more than just open-concept office space
- High-speed internet/WIFI
- Critical resources + support services provided by our advisors and Innovation Partner network
- Meeting and conference rooms
- Workshops to increase your skills and take your business to the next level
- We have the most up-to-date knowledge about funding opportunities for our clients
- A strong relationship with the Peterborough Region Angel Network gives our clients direct access to investment
- Credibility of an incubation program
The Innovation Cluster is working closely with it’s Innovation Partners to both deliver and source workshops that can support your business. The workshops are based on the needs of our clients and the business community. Demand is high, please be sure to register for workshops to ensure your spot. (Workshops will be continually updated)
May June More to come! Additional and Ongoing Workshops Weekday Workshops Other Workshop and Event Sources
More to come!
Additional and Ongoing Workshops
Other Workshop and Event Sources
The Innovation Cluster has recorded many of our Hands-ON virtual workshops for your viewing pleasure!
Hands-ON: How To Survive And Thrive During COVID-19 with Gauvreau and Associates
Hands-ON: Intellectual Property with Prima IP
Hands-ON: Marketing Strategies for Startups During COVID-19 with Rose Terry
Hands-ON: Cybersecurity While Working From Home with Netmechanics
Hands-ON: Business Continuity in Crisis with Charlina Westbye
Power Breakfast: Economic Impact & Shifts from COVID-19
Hands-ON: Investment During COVID-19 – A Q&A with Angel Investors
Hands-ON: Business Planning with the Royal Bank of Canada
Bring Your Business Online: Business and Marketing Planning: Part of the Bring Your Business Online Program by Community Futures Peterborough
Power Breakfast: Global Impacts and COVID-19 Recovery with the IMF
– Invest Durham
– Covid Help Marketplace
– Trillium Network
– Ontario PPE Suppliers
GOVERNMENT SUPPORT AND FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE
Looking for volunteers? SPARK and the Government of Ontario are connecting volunteers with community response efforts to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Ontario Public Health officials have issued strict guidelines to stay safe. We ask all organizations and volunteers to follow those guidelines and maintain social distance. LEARN MORE. Business Support Contacts
Looking for volunteers?
SPARK and the Government of Ontario are connecting volunteers with community response efforts to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Ontario Public Health officials have issued strict guidelines to stay safe. We ask all organizations and volunteers to follow those guidelines and maintain social distance. LEARN MORE.
Business Support Contacts
Additional Resources from the City of Kawartha Lakes
The City of Kawartha Lakes is committed to supporting businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Kawartha Lakes Economic Development including the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Centre (KLSBEC) is available to support our business community. Even though City of Kawartha Lakes facilities are closed, Economic Development and KLSBEC services are still available by phone and electronically.
We are working closely with our community business support organization and agencies to understand how local businesses are being impacted and how we can all support them.
Contact CKL Economic Development
Phone: 705-324-9411 extension 1232
Agriculture and Rural Economic Development Advisor
Covering Durham, York, Halton & Peel Regions, City of Kawartha Lakes and County of Peterborough
Business Development Branch
Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs
The Innovation Cluster is part of Team Kawartha Lakes which includes Kawartha Lakes Economic Development, Kawartha Lakes SBEC, Lindsay and District Chamber of Commerce, Lindsay Downtown BIA, Coboconk, Norland & Area Chamber of Commerce, Fenelon Falls & District Chamber of Commerce, Bobcaygeon and Area Chamber of Commerce, Impact 32, the Innovation Cluster, Kawartha Lakes CFDC, VCCS Employment Services and OMAFRA Regional Staff.
A full contact list is available on the City’s COVID-19 Business Resource page
Additional Resources from the Canadian Chamber of Commerce
June 12 Update
- Page 13 Bullet 2–Provincial Government Support for Businesses– NEW – June 11th – Ontario and Canada Helping Small Businesses Go Digital
- Page 46 Bullet 42–Provincial Government Support for Individuals– NEW – June 11th – Ontario to Resume Family Visits in Long-Term Care Homes, Retirement Homes, and Other Residential Care Settings: Effective June 18th
- Page 47 Bullet 43–Provincial Government Support for Individuals– NEW – June 11th – Ontario Appoints New Patient Ombudsman
- Page 48 Bullet 44–Provincial Government Support for Individuals– NEW – June 11th – Ontario Introduces Public Transit Safety Guidance
Program will provide main street businesses with $2,500 Digital Transformation Grants, and municipalities / local communities with grants to implement a Digital Service Squad.
Through the $57-million contribution to the Digital Main Street platform, businesses will be able to take advantage of three new programs to support their digital transformation:
- shopHERE powered by Google will leverage Ontario’s strengths by hiring highly skilled and trained students to build and support the launch of online stores for businesses that previously did not have the capacity to do so themselves. The core goal will be to help small businesses compete and grow, in a world that is increasingly online, and help them recover as quickly as possible following COVID-19.
- Digital Main Street Grant will help main street small businesses be digitally more effective. Through a $2,500 grant administered by the Ontario BIA Association, small businesses will be able to adopt new technologies and embrace digital marketing. Municipalities, Chambers of Commerce, and Business Improvement Areas (BIAs) can apply for a Digital Service Squad grant, which will allow them to establish teams to provide personalized, one-on-one support.
- Future-Proofing Main Street will provide specialized and in-depth digital transformation services and support that helps existing main-street firms adapt to changes in their sector and thrive in the new economy. By leveraging teams of digital marketing professionals and talented students, these firms will be able to create new online business models, develop and implement digital and e-commerce marketing strategies, and maximize digital tools, platforms and content.
A grant opportunity for small business with the Small Business Relief Fund. Applications open June 1st.
Ontario landlords are being asked to start applying tomorrow.
Has COVID-19 negatively impacted your business? Borrow up to $40,000 – interest-free – to help cover your fixed operating costs until you can get back on your feet.
$1 billion in funding being provided to the Regional Development Agencies ($675 million) and the national network of Community Futures Development Corporations ($287 million).
SMEs may now apply for support through their local Regional Development Agency.
Innovation Canada’s digital platform brings together all of the latest COVID-19 supports for businesses as well as hundreds of other programs and services offered by federal, provincial and territorial governments. Businesses answer a few quick questions and get access to varying information.
Ontario Further Eases Restrictions on Retail Stores and Essential Construction During COVID-19
in-store payment and purchases at garden centres and nurseries starting Friday, May 8th
in-store payment and purchases at hardware stores and safety supply stores starting Saturday, May 9th
all retail stores with a street entrance to provide curbside pickup and delivery starting Monday, May 11th
Ontario launches website to help businesses overcome unique challenges.
COVID-19: Tackling Barriers Website
Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) Update:
– Calculator will be available on CRA website employers to determine their return through the CEWS program
– Applications for CEWS open on Monday, April 27, 2020
Canada Emergency Community Support Fund
– $350 million to help support agencies in communities helping the vulnerable
– Distributed through organizations such as the United Way and Community Foundations
Agriculture and Agri-food Sector
- NEW. $50M in Sectorial Support. The federal government will provide support of $1.5k for each temporary foreign worker employed by farmers, fish harvesters, and all food production and processing employers to ensure isolation period requirements are fully met. The funding is conditional on employers not being found in violation of the mandatory 14-day isolation protocols or any other public health order. This program will be available as long as the Quarantine Act is in force and the isolation protocol is followed.
- $331.4M in Waived Fees for Airports. Rents paid on ground leases for the 21 airport authorities that form part of the National Airport System and that pay rent to the government are waived for March through to December. PortsToronto, which operates Billy Bishop City Airport, will receive comparable treatment.
- $30M in Canceled CRTC Fees. The CRTC will not issue letters requesting payment for Part I licence fees by broadcasters for the 2020–21 fiscal year.
- Simplified Applications. Canadian Heritage will simplify the application process for its Canada Book Fund and Canada Periodical Fund.
- Tax Measures. The Independent Advisory Board on Eligibility for Journalism Tax Measures is now in place.
- Cleantech Funding. SDTC, Canada’s largest cleantech funder, is providing an immediate increase in funding to all previously-supported projects. They also tweeted that they are available to support cleantech startups.
- Refocusing Key Programs. Flagship programs, including the Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF), NRC-IRAP, and Innovation Superclusters, are now mandated with prioritizing projects that fight against COVID-19. $192M in funding has already been committed under SIF to biotech companies AbCellera and Medicago, which are working on drugs and vaccines against the virus.
- $50M in Manufacturing Supercluster Funding. NGen is investing this money to support manufacturers in rapidly responding to the COVID-19 pandemic through procurement activities.
- $2B toSupport for Manufacturers. The Government’s new “Plan to Mobilize Industry to Fight COVID-19” will help manufacturers to rapidly scale up production or re-tool their manufacturing lines to develop products that help fight the virus.
- Innovation Challenge. The National Research Council (NRC) will organize a COVID-19 Challenge Program to address a range of medium-term public health needs. The program will bring together government, academics, and private sector partners.
- Procurement. Public Works and Government Services Canada has put out an urgent call to procure Canadian-made products and solutions required to fight the pandemic.
- Broadband Fund Deadline Extended. The CRTC’s Broadband Fund deadline has been extended from March 27 to April 30.
- Support for SMEs and the Tourism Sector. Affected tourism operations and SMEs that have previously secured funding from FedDev Ontario, Western Economic Diversification, Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions, ACOA, FedNor, or CanNor can contact their local office to receive additional funding and more flexible arrangements. Companies that have not previously secured funding from these agencies may still be able to access funding to stay in business.
- NEW. Canada Summer Jobs Program Update. Private and public sector employers can now receive up to 100% of the provincial or territorial minimum hourly wage for each employee. The end date for employment is extended to Feb. 28, 2021. Employers can now adapt their projects and job activities to support essential services and can hire staff on a part-time basis.
- UPDATED. Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy. A 75% wage subsidy will be made available to qualifying individuals businesses, nonprofits, and charities for March 15-June 6. To qualify, employers must show their monthly revenues have fallen by at least 30% year-over-year (15% for March). Wages covered will be capped at $847/ week/ employee. The Government is also proposing that eligible employers be entitled to receive a 100% refund for certain employer-paid contributions to EI, the Canada Pension Plan, the Quebec Pension Plan, and the Quebec Parental Insurance Plan. Applications will be accepted through the CRA’s website.
- Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB). This taxable benefit will provide $2000 a month for up to four months to workers who lose their income due to the pandemic. It is available to workers and those who are self-employed and stopped working due to COVID-19.
- Temporary Wage Subsidy. This program provides employers with a 10% temporary wage subsidy for a three-month period. Employers can receive up to $25,000. Applications are not required; employers can reduce their current payroll remittance of federal, provincial, or territorial income tax to send the CRA by the amount of the subsidy immediately. Applicants can also apply to the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy.
- Special Work-Sharing Measures. Under the Work-Sharing program, EI-eligible employees receive income support while temporarily working reduced workweeks. The maximum duration of work-share agreements has been extended to 76 weeks. Employers and employees must apply together.
- UPDATED. $25B for the Canada Emergency Business Account. This new program, available through Export Development Canada (EDC) and private lenders, provides small businesses and nonprofits with interest-free loans of up to $40k to help cover their operating costs. To qualify, applicants need to demonstrate they paid $50k-$1M in total payroll in 2019. Repaying the balance of the loan on or before Dec. 31, 2022 will result in loan forgiveness of 25% (up to $10k). As of April 9, organizations can apply directly through their banks or credit unions.
- $20B Loan Guarantee for SMEs. EDC will guarantee new operating credit and cash flow term loans that financial institutions extend to SMEs, up to $6.25M.
- $20B Co-Lending Program for SMEs. The Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC), together with financial institutions, will co-lend term loans to SMEs to support their operational cash flow requirements. Eligible businesses can obtain incremental credit amounts up to $6.25M per loan. Eligible financial institutions will conduct the underwriting and manage the interface with their customers.
- $10B for Financing and Credit Solutions. The new Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP), administered by BDC and EDC, provides $10B in additional financing and credit insurance solutions for businesses. Credit-worthy businesses seeking financing to support their operations and maintain jobs can contact their existing BDC, EDC or private bank account manager to obtain a loan at current market rates.
- Additional Measures to Increase Liquidity.
- Export Development Canada (EDC) has more flexibility to provide exporters with support through loans, guarantees or insurance policies.
- The Bank of Canada has cut the interest rate to 0.75%.
- Canada’s large banks have an additional $300B in lending capacity.
- A new Bankers’ Acceptance Purchase Facility supports financing for SMEs.
- The government’s bond buyback program is broadened.
- Shorter Term Repo operation terms are temporarily in place for interbank funding.
- A Standing Liquidity Facility will be launched in the coming weeks.
- The Government will purchase up to $50B of insured mortgage pools through the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) under the Insured Mortgage Purchase Program.
- More Credit for Farmers.
- Farm Credit Canada will have access to an additional $5B in lending capacity for producers, agribusinesses, and food processors.
- All farmers who have an outstanding Advance Payments Program (APP) loan due on or before April 30 will get an additional six months to repay the loan. This represents $173M in deferred loans.
- Applicable farmers with outstanding interest-free loans can apply for an additional $100k interest-free portion for 2020-21, as long as their total advances remain under $1M.
- Relief for the Tourism Sector. Tourism operators in national parks, historic sites, and marine conservation areas can defer payments on commercial leases and licences of occupation without interest until Sept. 1.
- Sales Tax Deferments. GST and HST remittances and customs duty payments are deferred to June 30.
- Deferred Tax Payments. Businesses can defer the payment of any income tax amount owing to August 31.
- $327.8M for Research. This funding will support 96 designated research teams developing medical countermeasures to the virus, including antivirals and vaccine development.
- New Horizons for Seniors Program. Those who have already secured funding from this program can redirect the money to support COVID-19 efforts.
- $305M for Indigenous Communities. A new distinctions-based Indigenous Community Support Fund will address immediate needs in First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Nation communities.
- $50M for Shelters and Sexual Assault Centres. This funding will support the capacity of organizations to manage outbreaks in their facilities.
- $157.5M for Homeless Shelters. This money will flow through the Reaching Home Program.
- $15M Tax Deferral for Northern Ontario. Businesses and people in parts of Northern Ontario that are outside of municipal boundaries can defer their property taxes 90 days.
- $12M for Mental Health. This money will expand online and virtual mental health supports and provide support to Ontario Provincial Police personnel.
- $50M Ontario Together Procurement Portal. The Government is seeking suppliers of in-demand medical products, as well as innovators (virtual mental health services, supply chain resiliency monitoring, and financial planning and advising for small businesses) that can help Ontarians.
- $304M Residential Relief Fund. Money will flow to hospitals, frontline workers, long-term care homes, retirement homes, residential facilities,emergency shelters, people with developmental disabilities, and Indigenous communities.
- $17B Action Plan. A new plan providing tax and other deferrals was released.
- $200M for Social Services. This money will go to municipalities and social services organizations. The funds will be distributed by municipal service managers.
- Removing Barriers for Manufacturers. The Government is working with manufacturers to redeploy capacity towards the production of essential equipment.
- Employment. Employees in isolation or quarantine or that need to miss work to care for children can secure job-protected leave.
Federal Government – April 15 2020 UPDATE
Canada Emergency Response Benefit Expanded
A part-time employee (earning up to $1,000 per month)
Your EI has recently run out
You may now qualify for the CERB.
We have compiled some frequently asked questions and answers
We are not sure how long this situation will last – What do employers need to know?
Remain positive and calm. This situation is unprecedented for all businesses as we adapt to these continuous changes.
It is recommended that employers facilitate virtual work arrangements to enable employees to work from home wherever possible.
If a virtual workplace is not possible, employers should use their judgment to sustain operations in a manner that maintains social distancing.
For more information on operating a workplace during this pandemic, please visit Peterborough Public Health
What are all levels of government doing to support business during this pandemic?
All levels of government are working hard to ensure that business continuity is protected as much as possible, while protecting residents. Many announcements have been made this week at all levels of government.
Information updates from all levels of government are being shared continuously through their respective COVID-19 web-pages. This is a rapidly evolving situation and updates are shared on dedicated web-pages for each of the sites.
Will there be relief for payments, loans and taxes?
Each level of government is looking for ways to support residents and businesses during this time. The federal government has announced an $82 -billion aid package to help Canadians and businesses cope with the global COVID-19 pandemic, including income supports, wage subsidies and tax deferrals. The package includes direct supports as well as business liquidity through tax deferrals.
Further, agencies such as Community Futures Peterborough and Business Development Bank of Canada are all introducing relief supports to assist companies during this transitional phase.
How can I access these relief packages?
Procedural approvals across all levels of government are required before details on how the relief packages will be distributed. Stay tuned to the following websites for the latest up to date information.
How can I protect my businesses and property while it is closed? What municipal measures are being undertaken? I am worried about my property being vandalized.
|We understand that this is an ongoing concern for many local businesses, especially those in the downtown area. The Peterborough Police have responded and deployed additional foot patrols in the downtown area. In addition, Kewley Security Inc. is currently offering a free security check to businesses in downtown. Contact Kewly directly for additional details: https://kewleysi.ca/ 705-874-3131.
Best practice and guidelines for securing your business:
- Keep the lights on
- Remove all cash and receipts
- Do NOT leave any valuables visible or accessible
- All safe and registers/tills should be emptied and moved offsite for safe storage
- Keep all cash tills and drawers empty and open to show that there is nothing in them.
- All ATMs should be emptied and moved off-site.
- All alcohol products should be removed from the restaurant/bar and moved to a secure storage area (no alcohol should be left visible from the outside)
- Consider posting “no cash or valuables on-premises” signage
- Deactivate all scheduled FOB door openings for cleaners and delivery services
- Disconnect all kitchen gas lines from their gas source
- Make regular site visits to monitor your shop/business and to manage inventory and storage conditions (consider scattering the time that this is done to discourage establishing a pattern)
- Be a good business neighbour and check on your neighbour’s business and alert them if necessary.
Will my insurance cover business interruption?
It is highly recommended that every business take the time to review your insurance policies and contact your insurance broker to obtain up to date information. In many cases, business interruption insurance is exempt from a pandemic.
How can I be using this time wisely for maximum effect?
Although this is a difficult time to be operating a business, it is important to stay engaged in your business. Peterborough & the Kawarthas is a resilient community and when we move from crisis to recovery, we want businesses to be as prepared as possible. Some suggestions to keep working on your business that you haven’t had time for:
- Small, minor repairs that you have been meaning to get to.
- Continue telling your story on your social media channels to keep your customers engaged and to create value for them. Suggestions include: if you have inventory, film and share an unboxing, or a tutorial on how to use one of your popular products/services- share the story of how your company started and why you wanted to become an entrepreneur- consider offering a digital or online service, or the development of an online platform or course- consider staging content photos if you can safely access your office, or create your own branded stock photos from home to use later.
- Cleaning and organizing the space and files
- Re-design your window display
- Get that PAPERWORK done!!!!
- Take some free online courses on marketing and business planning
- Tidy up your website
- Strategize and plan your next marketing and advertising campaign to welcome back customers and visitors.
- Plan your re-opening party or customer celebration events.
- Help others in the community to stay connected. Check on your neighbour
- Stay #PTBOStrong
When the all-clear is announced – What are the resources and plans for recovery to get our customers and visitors back?
We are still in the early stages of learning about all the programs and resources. More details will be developed over the coming days and weeks.
How do we manage the negativity in social media?
Support each other’s business. Every business has different needs and customers to serve. Each business owner is doing the best they can to charter this unprecedented territory. Let’s keep it positive and support where we can safely.
- Share/like/comment and engage with others on their social media in a positive manner. This costs nothing to do.
- Leave a review or testimonial on the social channel or Google page of a small business or supplier that you use in which you had an excellent experience or enjoy. This can help with their SEO and reviews
What can I do as a business owner to help?
We recognize that this is a very challenging time for business owners. Information is changing at a rapid pace. It is very important that agencies advocate on your behalf and inform the government and associations of your changing concerns.
- Please be supportive of each other
- Answer surveys – they provide real-time data for us to provide to our elected officials
- Work with and support your employees during this time
Know that we are resilient, and your agencies are doing their best to support you during this time.
How is the Government helping Canadian Suppliers?
ACTION: The Government of Canada is seeking information from suppliers on their ability to provide products and services in support of Canada’s response to COVID-19.
Products: Disposable N95 masks, Disposable Surgical masks, Nitrile gloves, Vinyl gloves, Gowns, Bottles of hand sanitizer, Other prevention products
Services: Guard/security services, Nursing services, Food services, Laundry services, Accommodation maintenance services, Personal services, IT support services, Other services
NEXT STEPS: Fill out this form if you can provide items from the list above, or any other product or services not listed.
TIMELINE: As soon as possible
PLEASE DIRECT INQUIRIES TO: Your local Provincial Senior Business Advisor or Strategic Account Manager. For inquiries regarding the Government of Canada Call for Suppliers Martin Montreuil: firstname.lastname@example.org / Tel: 613-793-3594 Alain Dorion: email@example.com / Tel: 613-790-0974
I may have to consider laying off my employees – What do I need to know?
Employment Standards Act (ESA)
The existing leave provisions under the ESA remain in effect. Namely, any employee who has worked for at least two consecutive weeks is eligible for three days of leave (unpaid) due to personal illness. In addition, employees may also be allowed an additional three days of leave (unpaid) to care for children, a spouse or another close relative who is experiencing illness or a medical emergency. The Ontario government has announced they will pass legislation next week to provide job protection for employees unable to work because due to:
- being under medical investigation, supervision or treatment for COVID-19, or providing care to a person related to COVID-19, including a school or day-care closure.
- being in isolation or quarantine.
The proposed amendments will apply retroactively to January 25, 2020.
Temporary COVID-19 Income Support for Workers
Special allowances are being made for employees on payroll who do not have paid sick leave and who are sick due to COVID-19, quarantined or who must remain at home to care for children. In these cases the government’s Employment Insurance (EI) will:
- Waive the one-week waiting period for those individuals in quarantine that claim Employment Insurance (EI) sickness benefits. This temporary measure became effective on March 15, 2020.
- Waive the requirement to provide a doctor’s note or medical certificate.
Based on the Prime Minister’s public statements, many have (understandably) been led to believe that staff lay-offs brought about by economic causes due to COVID-19 related pressures will also be able to take advantage of these accelerated EI allowances. This is not the case. At this time, the one-week waiver does not apply to employees who are out of work due to temporary lay-offs or business closures.
We recommend that businesses include “COVID-19 Related” in the “Comments or Other” box when completing Records of Employment (ROE’s) in these circumstances but again, there is no guarantee at this point that Service Canada will waive usual waiting period. Staff who have already completed their application for EI sickness benefits can call to request their one-week waiting period waived, 1-833-381-2725 (only for sick or quarantined employees affected by COVID-19).
Stay tuned, this is a changing issue. The latest EI program information is available online at, https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/corporate/notices/coronavirus.html
Temporary COVID-19 Income Support for the Self-Employed
The Emergency Care Benefit has been created by the Federal government and will provide up to $900 bi-weekly, for as many as 15 weeks. This income supplement will be administered through the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and provide income support to:
- Workers, including the self-employed, who are quarantined or sick with COVID-19 but do not qualify for the EI sickness benefits discussed above.
- Workers, including the self-employed, who are taking care of a family member who is sick with COVID-19, but who would not otherwise qualify for EI sick benefits.
- Parents with children who require care or supervision due to school closures, and are unable to earn employment income, regardless of whether they qualify for EI or not.
The government is only setting this system up now, and the benefit will have to be claimed retroactively in April 2020. Workers will need to certify that they meet eligibility requirements, and will need to re-certify eligibility every two weeks while claiming the benefit. The easiest way to apply for this benefit will be through your “CRA MyAccount secure portal” at, https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/e-services/e-services-individuals/account-individuals.html. Provided you do online banking, you will be able to access the portal through that log-in process which will appear at the link above. A toll-free number will also be provided shortly for those without internet access.
Longer-Term Supports for Workers & Businesses
The EI Work Sharing Program (https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/services/work-sharing.html) has been in place for sometime and provides EI benefits in workplaces experiencing a general slow-down but do not wish to close or lay-off staff completely. Workers who agree to reduce their normal working hours can take advantage of this program during which the company would pay wages for the reduced hours worked each week while the EI program ‘tops-up’ the balance.
The government has indicated it will ease the otherwise fairly stringent eligibility requirements and will simplify the application process. This was announced on March 11, 2020 and we recommend you consult the weblink provided above if this is a program that may assist your workplace.
Brought to you by #TeamPTBO: Greater Peterborough Chamber of Commerce, Peterborough & the Kawarthas Economic Development, Peterborough Downtown Business Improvement Area, Community Futures Peterborough and Innovation Cluster – Peterborough & the Kawarthas
Local economic development organizations Peterborough & the Kawarthas Economic Development, the Peterborough Downtown Business Improvement Area, the Peterborough Chamber of Commerce, Community Futures Peterborough, and the Innovation Cluster Peterborough and the Kawarthas, collectively known as “TeamPTBO”, are working together proactively to identify the impact of COVID-19 on the local business sector and possible solutions so that recovery funding from all three levels of government is targeted most effectively. FOR THE PUBLIC: We kindly ask businesses to help identify how the impact of COVID-19 will be hardest felt by our local business community, by filling out this Peterborough survey.
Local economic development organizations Peterborough & the Kawarthas Economic Development, the Peterborough Downtown Business Improvement Area, the Peterborough Chamber of Commerce, Community Futures Peterborough, and the Innovation Cluster Peterborough and the Kawarthas, collectively known as “TeamPTBO”, are working together proactively to identify the impact of COVID-19 on the local business sector and possible solutions so that recovery funding from all three levels of government is targeted most effectively.
FOR THE PUBLIC: We kindly ask businesses to help identify how the impact of COVID-19 will be hardest felt by our local business community, by filling out this Peterborough survey.