State and Provincial COVID-19 Resources for Small Business

State and Provincial COVID-19 Resources for Small Business

The COVID-19 pandemic brings with it economic anxieties in addition to health concerns. To help small business owners out, governments and organizations in America and Canada have started relief plans designed to get you through the coming months. 

We’ve compiled a list here so you can quickly reference relief plans available to you depending on where your business is located. These resources are generally available for both retail and hospitality businesses, though some plans may be focused on solely retail or hospitality.

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COVID-19 resources for American businesses

Note: all financial figures in this section are in American dollars.

Federal relief plans

1. U.S. Small Business Administration

The SBA offers funding and assistance to small businesses across the United States. 

To help business owners navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, the SBA is offering debt relief for new and current 7(a), 504 and microloans for six months. The principal, interest and fees on these loans will be automatically paid.

Additionally, current SBA Serviced Disaster loans will be automatically deferred until December 31, 2020. Interest will still accrue on these loans, but no payment will be due.  

The SBA was previously offering paycheck protection and economic injury loans. However, as of time of publishing, they are no longer accepting new applicants. 

Contact the SBA here.

 

Relief plans by state

Need to find the plans available to you in a hurry? Hit ctrl+f and search for your state by name.

Alabama

Sales Tax Relief from the Department of Revenue 

Small retail businesses with average monthly sales of $62,500 or less will not suffer penalties for filing February, March or April 2020 tax returns without paying the state sales tax. As of time of publishing, these payment penalties will be waived until June 1, 2020.

This relief is automatic. After June 1, the Department of Revenue will work with businesses to establish payment plans.

You can learn more here.

Alaska

Microloan program

Small business owners in Alaska can take out loans of up to $35,000 (for one person) or $70,000 (for two or more people). However, it should be noted that loans of more than $35,000 require extra documentation, such as a letter of denial from a financial institution. Interest rates are fixed at time of approval and a 1% fee is due at closing.

These loans can help business owners cover costs during COVID-19 shutdowns.

You can learn more and get the application package here.

Arizona

Disaster relief microloans

Community Investment Corporation (CIC) is a non-profit organization dedicated to the economic development of southern Arizona. 

To help small businesses navigate COVID-19, CIC is offering emergency microloans of up to $10,000, made available to the applicant within 10 days. Monthly repayments are required, but business owners have the option of interest-only payments for the first 6 months.

In addition, CIC has partnered with community-backed loan platforms to further help businesses get funding. Business owners can apply for community-backed loans through WeFunder (between $20,000 to $1,000,000) or Kiva (between $1,000 to $15,000).

Fill out CIC’s Pre-Qualification Form here for more information.

Shared Work Program

Instead of laying off employees, your business may qualify for Arizona’s Shared Work Program. This will allow your employees to pay their bills while remaining available to restart their regular hours immediately once social distancing ends.

Available work hours will be divided between your employees. Reduced wages from cut hours will then be supplemented by unemployment benefits. You can reduce an employee’s hours up to 60% and still qualify as long as you’re continuing to provide health and retirement benefits.

You can learn more here.

Arkansas 

Quick Action Loan program

Businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic can apply for assistance through Arkansas’s Quick Action Loan program. Businesses that sell essential goods and services will be prioritized for approval. Loans are available for up to $250,000, either through direct lending or loan guarantees.

You can learn more, including contact information, here.

Shared Work Unemployment Compensation Program 

Employers who do not want to lay off staff can take advantage of Arkansas’s Shared Work Program. This will allow your employees to pay their bills while remaining available to restart their regular hours immediately once social distancing ends.

Instead of laying off employees, business owners can divide available work hours between a group of employees while said employees receive a portion of their unemployment benefits. Hours must have been reduced at least 10% of a normal working week for an employee for eligibility. Employees will receive benefits for up to 25 weeks.

You can learn more here.

California

Work Sharing Program

Employers can avoid laying off staff with California’s Work Sharing Program. This will allow your employees to pay their bills while remaining available to restart their regular hours immediately once social distancing ends.

At least 10% of your workforce–and a minimum of two employees–must have their hours and wages reduced between 10% and 60% to qualify. The plan runs for a year after application and approval.

You can learn more here.

Colorado

Work-Share Program

In lieu of laying off staff, employers can take advantage of Colorado’s Work-Share Program. This will allow your employees to pay their bills while remaining available to restart their regular hours immediately once social distancing ends.

Businesses calculate how many hours they can continue to pay, then share those hours among employees. The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment then pays unemployment benefits for the hours not worked. Benefits are available for a year after approval.

You can learn more here.

Connecticut

Shared Work Program

If you’ve had to reduce hours thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, you can avoid layoffs completely through Connecticut’s Shared Work Program. This will allow your employees to pay their bills while remaining available to restart their regular hours immediately once social distancing ends.

Working hours must have been reduced between 10% and 60% for businesses to qualify for the program, and you must have at least 2 permanent employees impacted by reduced work hours. Both full time and part-time employees are eligible. Employees will receive unemployment benefits for hours not worked.

You can learn more here.

Delaware

Hospitality Emergency Loan Program

Hospitality businesses impacted by COVID-19 can apply for no-interest loans for up to $10,000 per month through the Delaware Division of Small Business.

In order to apply, your business must have been open for at least a year, have an annual income of under $1,500,000 and belong to one of the following sectors:

  • Restaurants, special food services and other eating places
  • Drinking places, such as bars
  • Traveler accommodations, such as hotels
  • Amusement parks, arcades and other amusement/recreation places
  • Museums, historical sights and performing arts
  • Spectator sports
  • Scenic and sightseeing transportation
  • Beverage manufacturing
  • Bakeries

You can find the application form here.

Florida

Short-Time Compensation Program

Businesses impacted by COVID-19 in Florida can apply for relief programs such as the Short-Time Compensation program. Like work-sharing programs in other states, this allows your employees to pay their bills while on reduced hours in lieu of being laid off.

The compensation plan lasts for one year and can be renewed. At least 10% of your employees—at a minimum of 2—must have had their hours reduced.

You can learn more here.

Illinois

Small Business Emergency Loans

Illinois businesses outside of Chicago can apply for low-interest loans of up to $50,000 through the Illinois Small Business Emergency Loan Fund. 

Repayments will start after 6 months. You must have made less than $3,000,000 in annual revenue in 2019 to qualify. In addition, you must have experience at least a 25% decrease in business as a direct result of COVID-19.

You can learn more here.

Iowa

Tax deferral

Iowan businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic are eligible to defer taxes with no penalty or interest, provided you apply by April 30th.

You can learn more here.

Voluntary Shared Work program

As an alternative to layoffs, businesses may enroll in Iowa’s Voluntary Shared Work program. This will allow your employees to pay their bills while remaining available to restart their regular hours immediately once social distancing ends.

Employees will receive unemployment benefits to supplement reduced wages from cut hours. Hours must be cut between 20% and 50% for your business to qualify.

You can learn more here.

Kansas

Shared Work Program

Business owners looking to avoid layoffs can use Kansas’s Shared Work Program to supplement reduced wages. This will allow your employees to pay their bills while remaining available to restart their regular hours immediately once social distancing ends.

At least 10% of your employees—2 or more—must have had their hours reduced between 20% and 40% to qualify.

You can learn more here.

Maine

Interim SBA Finance Loan Program

Small businesses in Maine who have secured, but not received, funding from the SBA can apply for interim loans of up to $100,000.

These loans help business owners bridge the gap between applying for and receiving SBA financing. It is expected you will pay off your interim loan with your SBA loan.

You can learn more here.

WorkShare

To avoid having to lay off employees, business owners in Maine can enroll in the WorkShare program. This will allow your employees to pay their bills while remaining available to restart their regular hours immediately once social distancing ends.

Employees must have had their hours reduced between 10% and 50% for your business to qualify for this program. At least 10% of employees in the affected area of your business must be impacted.

You can learn more here.

Maryland

Income tax deadline extension

There will be no interest or penalties applied for late income tax payments as long as 2019 tax payments are made by July 15, 2020.

The extension will be automatically granted for Maryland tax filings to businesses that take advantage of the corresponding federal tax filing extension. 

You can read the official press release here.

Work Sharing

To avoid layoffs, employers can apple for Maryland’s Work Sharing program. This will allow your employees to pay their bills while remaining available to restart their regular hours immediately once social distancing ends.

At least 2 of your employees must be impacted to qualify. Reduced hours will be supplemented by unemployment benefits.

You can read more about the program here.

Massachusetts

WorkShare Program

Employers who don’t want to lay off employees can take advantage of Massachusetts’s WorkShare Program. This will allow your employees to pay their bills while remaining available to restart their regular hours immediately once social distancing ends.

At least 2 employees must have had their hours reduced between 10% and 60%. The reduced hours will be supplemented by unemployment benefits. 

You can learn more and apply here.

Michigan

Capital Access Program

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) can help connect businesses with capital providers for funds they may not have had access to otherwise.

You must be a for-profit institution with less than 500 employees to qualify.

You can learn more and find contact information here.

Work Share Program

To avoid layoffs, employers can participate in Michigan’s Work Share Program. This will allow your employees to pay their bills while remaining available to restart their regular hours immediately once social distancing ends.

Under the program, employees who have had their hours reduced between 15% and 45% will have their wages supplemented by unemployment benefits. Plans are eligible for a year and must include at least 2 employees.

You can learn more here.

Minnesota

Shared Work

You can avoid layoffs by enrolling in Minnesota’s Shared Work program. This will allow your employees to pay their bills while remaining available to restart their regular hours immediately once social distancing ends.

Your plan must run between 2 months and a year. Employees must have had their hours reduced by 20% to 50% to qualify. Reduced wages will be supplemented by unemployment benefits.

You can learn more here.

Missouri

Shared Work

You can avoid having to lay off employees by taking advantage of Missouri’s Shared Work Unemployment Compensation Program. This will allow your employees to pay their bills while remaining available to restart their regular hours immediately once social distancing ends.

Three or more employees must have their hours reduced between 20% and 40% for your business to qualify. Reduced wages will be supplemented by unemployment benefits.

You can learn more here.

Nebraska

Short-Time Compensation

Employers can avoid laying off employees by participating in Nebraska’s Short-Time Compensation program. This will allow your employees to pay their bills while remaining available to restart their regular hours immediately once social distancing ends.

Affected employees must have had their hours reduced between 10% and 60% for your business to qualify. Impacted employees will have their reduced wages supplemented by unemployment benefits.

You can learn more here.

New Hampshire

WorkShare

Employers who don’t want to lay off employees can take advantage of New Hampshire’s WorkShare program. This will allow your employees to pay their bills while remaining available to restart their regular hours immediately once social distancing ends.

WorkShare plans last a maximum of 26 weeks. Impacted employees must have had their hours reduced between 10% and 50% for your business to qualify. Any reduced wages will then be supplemented by unemployment benefits.

You can learn more here.

New Mexico

Recovery Fund

Businesses that employ 40 or more people may apply for loans through the New Mexico Recovery Fund. In addition to employing at least 40 New Mexicans, businesses must:

  • Demonstrate an intent to minimize layoffs and preserve their workforce as possible
  • Demonstrate how COVID-19 has had a negative economic impact on their business
  • Commit to spending at least 80% of the loan in New Mexico

You can find the eligibility questionnaire here.

New York

Shared Work Program

Employers can avoid layoffs by participating in New York’s Shared Work Program. This will allow your employees to pay their bills while remaining available to restart their regular hours immediately once social distancing ends.

Plans can last up to 53 weeks and apply to employees who have had their hours reduced between 20% to 60%. You cannot eliminate impacted employees’ fringe benefits during the plan. Reduced wages will be supplemented by unemployment benefits.

You can learn more here.

North Carolina

COVID-19 Rapid Recovery Loans

Thread Capital is offering rapid recovery loans of up to $250,000 to North Carolinan small businesses impacted by COVID-19. Loan sizes will be determined by approximately two months of current revenue, so each business is eligible for different loan sizes.

While SBA financing is not specifically required, these rapid recovery loans are intended to bridge the gap while businesses wait for more permanent funding. Interest will begin to accrue after 6 months.

You can learn more here.

North Dakota

Rural Growth Incentive Program Emergency Loans

Some restaurants in communities with populations of less than 2,500 may qualify for an emergency loan from the North Dakota Development Fund.

Loans between $25,000 and $75,000, to be matched by the community, are available. Terms will be determined based on individual circumstances.

You can learn more here. 

Ohio

SharedWork

Business owners looking to avoid layoffs can apply for Ohio’s SharedWork program. This will allow your employees to pay their bills while remaining available to restart their regular hours immediately once social distancing ends.

All employees in the impacted unit–who would have otherwise been laid off–must have had their hours reduced by 10% to 50%. At least two employees must be impacted. Reduced wages are then supplemented by unemployment benefits.

You can learn more here.

Oregon

Work Share

Businesses looking for an alternative to layoffs can apply for Oregon’s Work Share program. This will allow your employees to pay their bills while remaining available to restart their regular hours immediately once social distancing ends.

Three or more employees must have their hours reduced between 20% and 40% for your business to qualify. Each employee in the plan must have worked 6 months full-time or 12 months part-time before the start of the plan.

You can learn more here. 

Pennsylvania

Shared-Work

Pennsylvania’s Shared-Work program allows businesses to avoid layoffs by splitting available work hours between employees. This will allow your employees to pay their bills while remaining available to restart their regular hours immediately once social distancing ends.

At least 2 employees must be enrolled in the plan and have their hours reduced between 20% and 40%. The reduced wages will then be supplemented by unemployment benefits.

You can learn more here.

Rhode Island

WorkShare

Businesses can avoid layoffs by participating in Rhode Island’s WorkShare program. This will allow your employees to pay their bills while remaining available to restart their regular hours immediately once social distancing ends.

10% of your employees in impacted units must have their hours reduced between 10% and 50% for your business to qualify. The reduced wages will be supplemented by unemployment benefits.

You can learn more about WorkShare during COVID-19 here.

Texas

Shared Work

Shared Work gives you an alternative to layoffs. This will allow your employees to pay their bills while remaining available to restart their regular hours immediately once social distancing ends.

10% of employees in a given unit must have their hours reduced between 10% and 40% for your business to qualify. Employees will have their reduced wages supplemented by unemployment benefits.

You can find out more here.

Washington 

SharedWork

To avoid laying off employees, business owners can take advantage of Washington’s SharedWork Program. This will allow your employees to pay their bills while remaining available to restart their regular hours immediately once social distancing ends.

Employees who have had their hours reduced by up to 50% can have their wages supplemented by unemployment benefits for one year, with potential for renewal. For your business to be eligible, you must have at least two affected employees.

You can learn more here.

Wisconsin

Work-Share

Business owners who want to avoid layoffs and keep their staff can use Wisconsin’s Work-Share program. This will allow your employees to pay their bills while remaining available to restart their regular hours immediately once social distancing ends.

At least 2 employees must have their hours reduced between 10% and 60%. The hours not worked will be supplemented by unemployment benefits. Employees must have worked with you for at least 3 months before the start of the plan.

You can learn more here.

 

COVID-19 resources for Canadian businesses

Note: all financial figures in this section are in Canadian dollars.

Federal relief plans

Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy

Businesses in any sector that saw a drop in revenue of 15% in March and 30% in April and May are eligible for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS). 

CEWS will cover up to 75% of an employee’s wages and refund employers 100% for certain contributions to Employment Insurance, the Canada Pension Plan, the Quebec Pension Plan and the Quebec Parental Insurance plan paid for employees who are on leave with pay.

Applications open April 27.

You can learn more here.

Canada Emergency Business Account

Small businesses in Canada can apply for the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) to qualify for interest-free loans of up to $40,000. There is the possibility of loan forgiveness of 25% if the loan is repaid by December 31, 2022.

To qualify for the CEBA, businesses must have paid between $20,000 and $1,500,000 in employment income in 2019. Applications for the CEBA are made at your business’s financial institution. 

You can learn more here.

Work-Sharing Program

Businesses across Canada can avoid laying off employees by implementing a Work-Sharing Program. This will allow your employees to pay their bills while remaining available to restart their regular hours immediately once social distancing ends.

Under the program, a group of employees agree to have their work hours reduced between 10% and 60%. They are then paid Employment Insurance benefits to supplement reduced wages. Programs last between 6 and 26 weeks with the possibility of extension. 

To be eligible, you must have been in business for at least 1 year and have at least 2 employees participating.

You can learn more and find the application forms here.

 

Provincial relief plans

Need to find the plans available to you in a hurry? Hit ctrl+f and search for your province by name.

Alberta

Tax changes

All corporate income tax payments due between March 18 and August 31, 2020, are available to be deferred until August 31, 2020.

In addition, the corporate income tax filing deadline has been extended until June 1, 2020.

These measures will help businesses prioritize payroll and other obligations while they navigate the pandemic.

You can learn more here.

Payment deferrals

To further help businesses prioritize critical financial obligations, the Alberta government has put payment deferral programs in place for WCB premiums, utility payments and tourism levies.

Alberta businesses of any size can defer their WCB premium payments until 2021. Small and medium businesses will only be required to pay 50% of their 2020 WCB premium when it’s due in 2021.

Small businesses can defer electricity and natural gas payments until June 19, 2020, if they’ve been directly impacted by COVID-19.

Hotels and other lodging businesses, such as bed and breakfasts, can defer tourism levy payments until August 31, 2020. You must still collect a tourism levy from guests during this time.

You can learn more about payment deferrals here.

British Columbia

Deferred tax payments

To help businesses in British Columbia prioritize critical financial obligations, select tax payments have had their deadlines extended.

The employer health tax, provincial sales tax, carbon tax, motor fuel tax and tobacco tax are now due September 30, 2020. Planned increased to the carbon tax have been delayed.

You can learn more here.

Manitoba

Extended tax deadlines

The Manitoban provincial government is deferring provincial tax deadlines to help businesses prioritize critical financial obligations.

Small and medium businesses with monthly retail sales tax remittances of less than $10,000 will be able to submit their April and May returns on June 22, 2020. Businesses that file on a quarterly basis will have their April deadline extended to June 22, 2020, as well.

If you were unable to file your February sales tax return, no late penalties or interest will be applied until June 22, 2020.

In addition, the Health and Post Secondary Education Tax Levy filing deadlines for April and May have been extended to June 15, 2020, for small and medium businesses with monthly levy remittances of under $10,000. Late filing for February will not result in penalties or interest until June 15, 2020. 

Finally, the International Fuel Tax Agreement deadline has been extended from April 30, 2020 to July 31, 2020.

You can learn more here.

New Brunswick

Small Business Emergency Working Capital Program

Small businesses in New Brunswick can access working capital loans of up to $100,000 to help make ends meet during the COVID-19 pandemic.

To qualify, your business must employ 49 people or less, have collected less than $10,000,000 in sales revenue in the most recent fiscal year and must have explored other options through the federal government and your financial institution first.

Interest will begin to accrue at 4% per annum after 6 months, and principal payments will begin after 13 months. 

You can learn more here.

Northwest Territories

BDIC Deferred Loan Payments

Businesses who have borrowed from the BDIC can apply to reduce or defer up to 3 months of loan payments without a penalty until September 24, 2020.

Requests for payment reductions or deferrals must be received by the 24th of the month prior to your payment date.

You can learn more here.

Nova Scotia 

Fee deferrals for businesses

The Nova Scotian government has elected to defer fees for a number of government programs until June 30, 2020

The list of deferred fees is extensive; it includes workers compensation premiums, permit renewal fees and more. Businesses should carefully review the list of affected programs to find all those that apply to your sector.

You can see the full list of deferred program and service fees here.

Ontario

Tax relief for businesses

Businesses in Ontario have been granted a 5-month extension on penalties and interest for missing the April 1, 2020 filing and remittance deadline for the following taxes:

  • Employer Health Tax
  • Tobacco Tax
  • Fuel Tax
  • Gas Tax
  • Beer, Wine & Spirits Tax
  • Mining Tax
  • Insurance Premium Tax
  • International Fuel Tax Agreement
  • Retail Sales Tax on Insurance Contracts and Benefit Plans
  • Race Tracks Tax

You do not need to apply for this extension—it will be applied to all businesses automatically. 

In addition, the Employer Health Tax exemption has been increased to $1,000,000. Businesses are eligible for relief of up to $9,945.

You can learn more here.

WSIB payment deferrals

Businesses in Ontario can defer Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) payments for up to 6 months to better focus on other critical financial obligations, such as payroll.

No interest or penalties will be applied during the 6 month deferral period.

You can learn more here.

Prince Edward Island

Commercial Lease Rent Deferral Program

Small and medium businesses in PEI may be eligible for 3 months of rent deferral. Eligibility requires your commercial landlord to have registered with Finance PEI by April 20, 2020.

Applications must be sent by April 30, 2020.

You can learn more here.

Quebec

COVID-19 financial deferrals

Filing and payment deadlines have been extended for a number of taxes for businesses in Quebec, allowing businesses to focus on more critical financial obligations.

Income tax payment deadlines for have been extended to September 1, 2020, for the following tax obligations:

  • Corporate income tax returns (filing deadline extended to June 1, 2020)
  • Corporation installment payments
  • 2019 trust income tax returns (filing deadline extended to May 1, 2020)
  • Trust installment payments

In addition, GST/HST and QST returns have had their payment deadlines extended to June 30, 2020.

You can learn more here.

Saskatchewan

Three Months PST Remittance

As of March 20, 2020, businesses unable to remit their PST due to COVID-19 impacting their cashflow were granted a 3-month relief from penalties and interest on late payments.

If your business is unable to file your provincial tax returns, you can submit a request for relief on the returns impacted.

You can learn more here.

Yukon

Business Relief Program

Yukon-based businesses that have faced a 30% or higher loss in revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic are eligible for grants of up to $30,000 a month to cover operating costs incurred between March 23 and May 22, 2020.

The following costs are eligible to be covered under this program:

  • Commercial rent
  • Water, sewage and waste disposal
  • Electricity and heating
  • Telecoms utilities, such as telephone and internet
  • Software, data services and subscriptions
  • Business insurance
  • Pest control

You can learn more and find the application form here.

Note: All legal, financial or tax content is provided for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for obtaining advice from a qualified legal or accounting expert. While we strive to provide accurate content, we cannot be held responsible for any acts or omissions based on the information provided.