The recent COVID-19 outbreak is a human tragedy that has affected millions of lives across the globe. To make matters worse, it also has a devastating impact on the global socio-economic structure. As of today, over 185 countries and regions are reporting positive cases of COVID-19 so far and the rapid spread of the pandemic, several countries have declared a lockdown to contain the situation. Incidentally, lockdowns and the imposed isolation have hampered businesses across the globe, especially small- and medium-sized ones.
According to a report by Goldman Sachs, around 96% of small and medium businesses are already reeling under the impact of coronavirus. Even more, half of these businesses will be unable to continue operating for more than 3 months due to the intense financial crunch. However, amid this crisis, certain governmental organizations and a few corporate giants have graciously stepped forth to help. They have created the provision for coronavirus small business funds to support companies that are staggering to cope.
This article will discuss some of the largest coronavirus grant donors that have accessible funds for small-to-medium-sized businesses in Canada. It will also help you understand the eligibility and application process for access to this small-business financial aid.
- Organizations Supporting Small Businesses in Need of Funding
- Initiatives of Corporate Giants
- Other Opportunities
- Government of Canada Initiatives
Organizations Supporting Small Business in Need of Funding
In this current global crisis, where businesses are suffering for an undetermined amount of time, startups and other small businesses are becoming lower and lower on funds. Corporate giants and the Government of Canada have taken proactive action to help these vulnerable companies overcome this challenge. They have done so by offering various grants through the form of advertisement credits, payment deferrals, cash grants and more.
Initiatives of Corporate Giants
Technology giants like Facebook and Google have responded to this crisis empathetically. They have created a Business Hub with some smart tips and resources for small- and medium-sized businesses as well as arranged coronavirus small business funding. Such initiatives were taken to help small businesses ease operational costs during the current crisis.
Facebook has recently announced that it will supply aid through grants and credits for businesses. They’ve also generously donated $20 million dollars to WHO and the CDC.
Grant: Facebook has granted $100 million of business financial aid through cash grants and advertising credits. The recipients can use this grant to assist their employees, pay rent, invest in marketing initiatives and pay operational expenses.
Eligibility: Up to 30,000 small businesses in over 30 countries, including Canada, can apply for this grant. The fund will be available to companies with the following eligibility.
- Have between 2 and 50 employees
- Have been in business for at least a year
- Have experienced COVID-19 economic challenges
Application Process: To apply for this grant, you can visit https://www.facebook.com/business/boost/grants. Once on the page, select your business location and enter your business email address to get notifications of future updates.
Another technology conglomerate that has taken a great initiative to help small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) is Google. It has also announced that it will support health organizations and governments to fight this global pandemic by increasing production of PPE with one of their partners, Magid Glove & Safety.
Grant: The company has created a fund of $200 million to support NGOs (Non-Governmental Organizations) and financial bodies providing capital to small businesses. Apart from direct monetary support, Google has granted $340 million Google Ad credits to all SMBs with active Google accounts. With each application, the credit notifications will appear in the Google Ad account and can be used across different Google ad platforms until the end of 2020.
Eligibility: The eligibility criteria for which businesses are eligible for business credits have not been disclosed yet. Credits will be provided to SMB advertisers that have been active advertisers since Jan 1, 2019, and comply with all Google Ads T&Cs.
Application Process: Though the application process hasn’t been yet disclosed by Google, small- and medium-sized businesses worldwide with active advertiser accounts since 2019 will be informed about the procedure through notifications in their account.
To provide financial support to all citizens as well as businesspersons, the major banks of Canada have announced financial relief.
Grant: Some of the major Canadian banks including The National Bank of Canada, CIBC, Bank of Montreal, RBC Royal Bank, TD Banks and Scotiabank have come up with flexible solutions to ease the crisis effectively. To support the cause, these banks will defer mortgages for 6 months and provide relief for other credit services, this for individuals and businesses alike.
Eligibility and Application Process: Businesses that are suffering financially due to the COVID-19 crisis can contact these banks directly to discuss and avail options that suit them best.
In the section above, we have mentioned only some of the many organizations that are offering support to businesses. Here are some of the other bodies that are offering free services or extended trial periods.
- Hootsuite: Get your social media marketing in order with a free professional plan until July 1st 2020 and free training videos to go with it
- Moz Academy: Looking for that little boost in your rankings? Moz Academy is offering their SEO courses for free right now
- Zoho Remotely: Want to collaborate with your team while practicing social distancing? Zoho remotely is now free until July 1st 2020.
- MailChimp: Giving away free 5-year custom domains to get you online
- Calendly: Offering free integration with Zoom and GoToMeeting
Government of Canada Initiatives
To support small and medium businesses as well as their employees and families during these times, the Government has arranged for small business financial aid.
Both the Federal and provincial governments of Canada have taken different initiatives to support small businesses.
Canada Emergency Business Account
The Canadian government has come up with a Canada Emergency Business Account that will provide interest-free loans of a maximum of $40,000 to small businesses. As ready support, the Canada Revenue Agency has assured businesses about putting off the tax obligation until August 3, 2020.
Eligibility: Among other criteria, the borrower’s total employment income in 2019 must be between $50,000 and $1,000,000.
How to apply: Companies can discuss with their financial institutions in order to get access to this loan
Business Credit Availability Program
The Canadian government pledged to support small- and medium-sized businesses with the help of The Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) and Export Development Canada (EDC) through the Business Credit Availability Program. Among many benefits, this program offers loans up to $40,000 with 0% interest until December 2022 for eligible businesses. If you pay the full loan by December 2022, a quarter of it will be forgiven.
Eligibility: Businesses that fall within the mandate of BDC or EDC and have proper business models can apply for such credit.
How to apply: To access such help, companies can directly contact their financial institutions, who will help them get in touch with the BDC or EDC.
The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy
Employers whose gross revenue drops of at least 30% in this lockdown period (March, April or May) may qualify for employees’ 75% of the wage subsidy. If your business is not qualifying for this wage subsidy, you still may receive the previously announced subsidy of 10%.
Eligibility: Individuals, taxable corporations and partnership businesses, along with non-profit organizations that have faced at least a 30% drop in their overall revenue are eligible for the subsidy.
How to apply: Employers who are eligible for this subsidy can apply through the Canada Revenue Agency’s My Business Account portal or application. However, for the application employers should keep records of the revenues and remuneration paid to employees.
To support the operations of small- and medium-sized businesses, the Government of Canada has also announced a new loan guarantee program. In addition, to support small and medium enterprises, the government has announced a co-lending program.
How to apply: Here too, businesses need to contact their concerned financial institutions and the institutes will conduct the underwriting to provide loans to eligible candidates.
Farm Credit Corporation
For agribusinesses, the government has come up with certain industry-specific measures to get loans in the hands of Canadian farmers that need support.
How to apply: Agribusinesses may contact their Farm Credit Corporation (FCC) customer service at 1-888-332-3301.
These troubling times are causing many to suffer. Thanks to the considerate approach of government organizations and big businesses, many small- and medium-sized businesses will be able to overcome this crisis. At the end of the day, we are all in this together.
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