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COVID-19: WD support for western Canadian businesses

Payments to government for repayable contributions are being deferred until July 1. Details below.

If you are a COVID-19 affected business, find out if you are eligible for a 75% wage subsidy.

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The COVID-19 pandemic has created economic challenges around the world, with real consequences in the lives of Canadian families and businesses. The Government of Canada is working hard on many fronts to help employers and employees through the pandemic period. As a trusted federal government partner, Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) is taking action to support western Canadian small- and medium-sized businesses. Support and programs listed on this page will be updated as details become available.

Support from WD

If your small- or medium-sized business or organization is affected by the sudden shifts in the economy and needs pressing assistance, WD can assist you with:

If your small- or medium-sized business or organization has received WD funding and COVID-19 is affecting your operations, you may be eligible to receive additional funding and/or flexible arrangements. Please contact your local WD office if:

Support from the Government of Canada

The Government of Canada is taking action to support western Canadian small- and medium-sized businesses. Information on financial and economic support is available below and will be updated as details become available.

Temporary wage subsidy for employers

The Government of Canada announced a temporary wage subsidy for employers for a period of 3 months. The subsidy will cover up to 75% on the first $58,700 that an employee earns (or up to $847/week). The wage subsidy will be available retroactively to March 15, 2020.

You can learn more about the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy, and how to apply for it, through Finance Canada.

Canada Emergency Response Benefit

The Canada Emergency Response Benefit provides temporary income support to workers who have stopped working and are without employment or self-employment income for reasons related to COVID-19.

You can learn more about the Canada Emergency Response Benefit Subsidy, and how to apply for it, through the Canada Revenue Agency.

Federal Business Taxes

The Government has extended income tax filing and payment dates for individuals, corporations and trusts for amounts that become owing on or after March 18, 2020 and before September 2020.

Details are available from the Canada Revenue Agency.

Access to Credit

Through the Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP), Export Development Canada (EDC) and the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) will provide more than $65 billion in direct lending and other types of financial support at market rates to businesses with viable business models whose access to financing would otherwise be restricted. By working in close cooperation with financial institutions, this program will fill gaps in market access and leverage additional lending by private sector institutions.

Details are available from Export Development Canada.

If you are interested in exploring financing opportunities for your business through the BCAP, please contact your financial institution directly and it will contact BDC and EDC where appropriate. BDC and EDC can also be contacted at the email addresses below:

Farm Credit Canada (FCC)

To ensure producers, agribusinesses, and food processors can remain focused on business-critical functions rather than worrying about how to access funds to keep operating through this challenging period, effective immediately, FCC has put in place:

How Your Business Can Help

If you are a Canadian manufacturer or business that can assist Canada in meeting the need for medical supplies, your help is needed.

The Plan to Mobilize Industry to fight COVID-19 directly supports businesses to rapidly scale up production or re-tool their manufacturing lines to develop products made in Canada that will help in the fight against COVID-19.

The National Research Council has been tasked by the Government of Canada to work with Canadian industry to address a range of medium-term Public Health Agency of Canada and Health Canada needs, including personal protective equipment, sanitization, diagnostic and testing, therapeutics and disease tracking technology.

Additional Resources

Support available in Canada’s western provinces:

Contact WD:

General enquiries

Western Economic Diversification Canada
Suite 1500, 9700 Jasper Ave
Edmonton, AB  T5J 4H7


Toll Free: 1-888-338-WEST (9378)
Telephone: 780-495-4164
Fax: 780-495-4557
Teletypewriter (TTY): 1-877-303-3388

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