As the pandemic started to unfold information was changing almost hourly and for months getting accurate information was difficult at times to find and at others, it felt like you were drinking from a fire hydrant. Together with our sponsors, Rio Tinto and GNWT - ITI, the NWT Chamber has complied a one-stop-shop for information for businesses that provided information on how to reopen safely; prepare for the rollback of Phases as the second wave progresses; listing of upcoming and recording of past webinars; etc.
As we move forward and roll back phases the amount of information that businesses need to take in can be very overwhelming. The NWT Chamber has put together a checklist of what you need to do to open and what will need to happen when we start to roll back phases. Please download the checklist at any time to make sure you are in compliance as well as prepared for the next phase.
Who can be Open based on Phases
We are currently in Phase 2
Phase 1 Phase 2 Phase 3 Some Businesses and organizations ordered closed may open with strict physical distancing, protective equipment, client limits, and strong disinfection and control measurers Additional businesses may open with altered business patterns, strict physical distancing measures, and infection control procedures in-place; restrictions relaxed further on certain businesses Additional businesses may open with altered business patterns, strict physical distancing measures, and infection control procedures in-place; restrictions relaxed further on certain businesses
The following can open if requirements are met:
- personal services establishments defined in the territoryès order on gatherings and businesses
- Tourism operators using their experiences for "staycations" (local, territorial residents only) strict client traffic limits; personal protective equipment; and social distancing measures in-place as necessary
- museums and art galleries
- bottle depots
- gyms and fitness centers (only for personal training and outdoors classes)
- shuttle buses
- Outdoor tourism operators: may now accommodate 50 or less people, and 25 or less inside of a vehicle as long as protective equipment is available
- Movie theaters may open with reduced seating: a WSCC risk assessment will determine what measures must be in place to safely operate
- Dine-in restaurants and bars can now operate at limited capacity: a WSCC risk assessment will determine what measures must be in place to safely operate. Dance floors can not open
- Gyms may open with restrictions: a WSCC risk assessment will determine class size limits and mitigation measures based on the space and equipment
- Client restrictions on personal service establishments are relaxed: additional clients will be allowed based on capacity and availability of personal protective equipment for staff and clients
- Outdoor tourism operators: all capacity limits removed, but physical distancing and infection control measures must be in place
- Performance theaters may open with limited capacity: a WSCC risk assessment will determine what measures must be in place to safely operate. No self-serve or communal food can be served
- Music and community festivals that take place primarily outdoors may run: a WSSC risk assessment will determine what measures must be in place to safely operate. Capacity limits based on location will be required
- Colleges; adult classes and trade schools: a WSSC risk assessment will determine what measures must be in place to safely operate
Some type of establishments cannot open:
- bars and night clubs
- Theaters and movie theaters
- Dine-in portions of restaurants
For more detailed information based on industry/sector please see GNWT spreadsheet - link
Emerging Wisely Business Checklist - link
Do you need an exemption? The CPHO office will consider exemptions for businesses and organizations based on their unique situations. Click here to find out how to apply
COVID Secretariat Information One Pagers
To assist with streamlining communications and information the COVID Secretariat has started issuing one-pager factsheets:
Emerging Wisely - link for the specifics of Phase 2
link for the infographics of all Phases
link for the Emerging Wisely Sortable Business Sector Risk Assessment
link - Guide/Steps for Reopening
WSCC - Here is a listing of WSCC webpages to assist in your questions regarding reopening; worker safety, etc.
- COVID-19 WSCC Services Updates - https://www.wscc.nt.ca/health-safety/covid-19
- COVID-19 Resources - https://www.wscc.nt.ca/health-safety/covid-19/forms
- SafetyNet - https://www.wscc.nt.ca/about-wscc/newsletters
- SafetyNet sign up - link
- COVID-19 Prevention email - Covidfirstname.lastname@example.org
Audio from WSCC Webinar - link
The WSCC has been developing resources to support employers in re-opening and maintaining safe operations during COVID-19. We would like to highlight several new and updated resources that have been requested by employers:
- Updated versions of the workplace assessment forms – The Workplace Risk Assessment for employers and the Worker Hazard Assessment for workers.
- The COVID-19 Workplace Safety Planning Checklist – A to-do list for employers.
- A guide and info sheet that helps with your safety planning – The Exposure Control Planning Guide and Working Safely During COVID-19
- Screening tools for customers, clients, and workers.
- A line of printer-friendly COVID-19 posters.
It is important to note that if employers have already completed past versions of mandatory forms, they DO NOT need to complete new ones. However, it is important that every employer continues to regularly review and update workplace safety information. We are available if any employer has any questions, or if they would like more support working through their Exposure Control Plan: Email Covidemail@example.com in the Northwest Territories, Covidfirstname.lastname@example.org in Nunavut, or call 1 (800) 661-0792.
The Northwest Territories Business Advisory Council (BAC) was established by the Minister of ITI to provide Executive Council advice on how to mitigate the impacts of restrictions put in place as a result of COVID-19 and the development of an economic recovery plan.
We are pleased to release the results of our Face-to-Face Strategic Planning Meeting on November 17th, 2020. The attached document summarizes what we feel are top priorities for both the Federal and Territorial Governments to help ensure that the economy “emerges stronger” from the effects of COVID19.
Canadian Business Resilience Network - Reopening Toolkit
The Canadian Chamber of Commerce has compiled a Reopening Toolkit that has templates for everything from an Operations Plan; Communication Plan; Health & Safety Plan to Reopening best practices based on sectors to child care and social services by province and territory and everything in between - link
Pan-Canadian Strategy to Manage COVID-19
A coherent national strategy must include all there levels of government working together as partners, collaboratively addressing these six key components:
- Data-driven, science-based, policies to limit the spread of the virus
- Significant, wide-spread rapid testing and contact tracing
- Open transparent communications and consistent messaging
- Tailored support for the hardest hit economically
- A well-designed; well-organized, and well-communicated plan for vaccine administration
- A holistic approach to evaluating costs and benefits of actions to control the disease
GNWT Vaccine Updates
For up to date information on the COVID-19 Vaccine roll out please see the GNWT dedicated webpage - link
Vaccine Clinic Schedule - link
Feeling Safe in your Work Place
Whether you are an employee or an employer, keeping your workplace safe is everyone's job.
The 5 essentials to a safe workplace:
- Social Distancing
Rule of thumb to remember when using public areas is: for each action = sanitation
When washing hands and/or sanitizing be sure to rub in between your fingers and don't forget about your thumb
Cleaning vs sanitizing vs disinfecting know the difference:
Cleaning removes dust, debris and dirt from a surface by scrubbing, washing and rinsing.
Sanitizing reduces the bacteria identified on the product’s label on surfaces and in laundry.
- Disinfecting destroys or inactivates both the bacteria and viruses identified on the product’s label (like influenza and rhinovirus) on hard, nonporous surfaces.
Open for Business
Are you open for business? Here are a few tips to increase customership:
- Make sure hours are current and updated on your website; social media; Google search; etc.
- If non-medical masks are required, be sure that it is clearly indicated on your doors prior to entry as well as on your website and/or social media
- Have appropriate signage throughout the business as required
- Have sanitizer as required
Signage is helpful in providing your customers information in regards to social distancing; makes usage; hand sanitizer; etc.
There are several local businesses in the NWT that do printing as well as design and templates:
Through the Federal Government of Canada; GNWT and the Canadian Chamber of Commerce you can download templates to have printed at any one of the above businesses as well:
Health and Safety Signage from the Government of Canada (PDF):
- Poster: About Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) - link
- Poster: Help reduce the spread of COVID-19 - link
- Poster: Cleaning and disinfecting public spaces during COVID-19 - link
- Infographic: Wash your hands - link
- Infographic: Preventing COIVD-19 in the workplace - link
- additional health and safety awareness graphics and information from the Government of Canada available here
GNWT Infographics and Posters:
- Handwashing - link
- How to use Bleach as a Disinfectant - link
- Disinfection for homes and camps with no running water - link
- Correct sequence of putting on/taking off PPE equipment - link
- WSCC Health and Safety COVID-19 posters (maximum occupancy; businesses; direction; open for business; reception area; coffee/water station) All posters are in English; French and Inuit - link
Operations Signage from CBRN: link
Yellowknife Chamber of Commerce Exposure Control Plan
The Yellowknife Chamber of Commerce has put together an exposure control plan. Having an Exposure Control Plan in place is a requirement for businesses in the Northwest Territories prior to re-opening to the public at the appropriate stage of the Emerging Wisely plan. The purpose of an Exposure Control Plan is to:
- Determine the risk to workers of exposure to the virus;
- Inform workers of their risk to exposure to the virus at the worksite; and
- Outline how the employer and employees will manage to eliminate or mitigate those risks.
Employers do not need approval from the WSCC to reopen once the Office of the Chief Public Health Officer has lifted business restrictions. However, Employers must have Exposure Control Plans in place before there open to make sure that they are able to operate their business safely. The ECP will need to be available during inspections or if a complaint is made and an investigation is pursued by one of the regulatory bodies. A Workplace Risk Assessment must be completed by employers as part of the Exposure Control Plan. The Workplace Risk Assessment Form is appended to this document. Each employee must complete a Worker Hazard Assessment (also appended). - link
NWT Economic Recovery Discussion with Hon. Dan Vandal
Innovation Canada Presentation Deck
Tax Season Prep with CRA/Service Canada: Presentation Deck
Q&A with WSCC: Audio
Here is a listing of webpages and contact emails:
- COVID-19 WSCC Services Updates - https://www.wscc.nt.ca/health-safety/covid-19
- COVID-19 WSCC Resources - https://www.wscc.nt.ca/health-safety/covid-19/forms
- COVID-19 Posters for workplaces - https://www.wscc.nt.ca/health-safety/covid-19/posters
- For COVID-19 questions regarding workplace safety - Covidemail@example.com
COVID-19 Secretariat Presentation: linkFillable pdf for 10% Temporary Wage Subsidy Self-Identification Form for Employers - link
CFIB Youtube session held by CRA on CEWS 2.0 - link
Box 32 and your Staycation: Presented by Andy Wong from Crowe Mackay
WSCC Webinar - getting ready to reopen - audio
Q&A with Hon Dan Vandal, Minister of Northern Affairs - audio
On April 15th we hosted a call with Service Canada and CRA here is Service Canada's Presentation - link
BDIC - Several webinars monthly - link
NACCA Webinars - link
CRA NWT Contact Information
Did you know that the NWT has its own number for CRA when calling from an (867) number? Or that we have local reps for both personal and business questions?
Here is the contact info for CRA direct NWT Line:
Call from your (867) phone number ONLY
Contact: Lionel Holm (867)444-0564 Lionel.Holm@cra-arc.gc.ca
Contact: Natasha MacLeod (867)444-0841 Natasha.MacLeod@cra-arc.gc.ca
All other information in regards to CRA; COVID-19 relief measures and your taxes can be found on our COVID-19 webpage
All Federal COVID economic assistance
Introducing a simplified process for claiming the home office expenses for Canadians working from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic - Updated Jan/2021
The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) recently released information regarding a new temporary flat rate method, in place for 2020 only, to claim a deduction for home office expenses as long as you meet the eligibility criteria. For example, if you worked from home more than 50% of the time for a period of at least four consecutive weeks, you can claim $2 for each day you worked at home during that period, plus any other days worked at home in 2020 due to COVID-19, up to a maximum of $400.
If you want to claim the actual amounts you paid for your home office expenses, you will need to complete Form T777S and get a completed and signed Form T2200S (simplified for COVID-19). Please refer to the information provided by CRA to determine which option is best for you.
- The CRA has made the home office expenses deduction available to more Canadians and simplified the way employees can claim these expenses on their personal income tax return for the 2020 tax year.
- Employees who worked from home more than 50% of the time over a period of a least four consecutive weeks in 2020 due to COVID-19 will now be eligible to claim the home office expenses deduction for 2020. The use of a shorter qualifying period will ensure that more employees can claim the deduction than would otherwise have been possible under longstanding practice.
- A new temporary flat rate method will allow eligible employees to claim a deduction of $2 for each day they worked at home in that period, plus any other days they worked from home in 2020 due to COVID-19 up to a maximum of $400. Under this new method, employees will not have to get Form T2200 or Form T2200S completed and signed by their employer.
- To simplify the process for employees choosing the detailed method, the CRA has launched simplified forms (Form T2200S and Form T777S) and a calculator designed specifically to assist with the calculation of eligible home office expenses.
- The CRA has also published a number of resources to assist both employees and employers, including the Home office expenses for employees web pages, Simplifying the process for claiming a deduction for home office expenses for employees working from home due to COVID-19, Employer-provided benefits and allowances: CRA and COVID-19 backgrounders, as well as Frequently asked questions – Home office expenses for employees, and an Infographic: Working from home?.
- The Department of Finance Canada's Fall Economic Statement 2020: Supporting Canadians and Fighting COVID-19.
The CRA website has many resources that can help you understand this deduction and its benefits, including a new calculator (see link below), frequently asked questions and a backgrounder. Additional links to assist you have also been included below:
- Learn more about the changes
- Compare all three claim methods
- Learn how about who can claim
- Determine your work space use
- Review expenses that can be claimed including a comprehensive list of eligible home office expenses
- Calculate home office or work space expenses
- Backgrounder – Simplifying the process for claiming a deduction for home office expenses
- Backgrounder – Employer-provided Benefits and Allowances: CRA and COVID-19
- Backgrounder – Consultation on the simplification of Form T2200
- Home office expenses for employees
- Frequently asked questions – Home office expenses for employees
- Form T2200S Declaration of Conditions of Employment for Working at Home During COVID-19
- Form T777S - Statement of Employment Expenses for Working at Home Due to COVID-19
- Infographic: Working from home?
Tax Information for Northern Residents
If you live or operate a business in the north, you may be able to receive benefits and credits by filing your income tax and benefit return.
Most Canadian income tax and benefit returns for 2020 are due on April 30, 2021, and the deadline to pay any balance due for individual income tax returns is also April 30th. Self-employed individuals and their spouse or common-law partner have until June 15, 2021 to file their return, but must pay any amounts owing by April 30, 2021. Filing your return on time every year allows the CRA to determine if you’re eligible to receive certain benefit and credit payments.
Sign up for direct deposit and file online to reduce impacts and delays
The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) encourages you to sign up for direct deposit and file your income tax and benefit return online to get any refund faster and avoid delays. Don’t forget to sign up for My Account, the fastest and easiest way to view and manage your tax and benefit information. The CRA’s Get Ready page has information about online filing, deadlines, and helpful links.
File online this year on your own using NETFILE-certified software, through the services of an electronic filer who is registered to use our EFILE service, or through the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program (CVITP). If you choose to file online on your own, there are a variety of NETFILE-certified software products to meet your needs, some of which are free. Some of the software products can also provide you with information about benefits, credits, and deductions.
Free tax help for individuals
If you cannot file online, community organizations are hosting free virtual tax clinics for Canadians with a modest income and a simple tax situation. Volunteers may be able to complete and file your return for free, by videoconference, by phone, or through a document drop-off arrangement.
You may also be able to get help from the CRA’s Northern Service Centres in Whitehorse, Yellowknife, and Iqaluit. Due to COVID-19, these centres have suspended in-person service, but over the phone, a CRA officer can:
- answer your questions about benefits and credits
- help you respond to letters from the CRA
If you have tax questions related to living in the north, and your phone number starts with an 867 area code, you can call 1-866-426-1527 and talk with a CRA officer who understands northern tax matters.
Northern residents deductions
If you lived in a prescribed zone for a continuous period of at least six consecutive months, you and all the members in your household may be able to claim the northern residents deductions, which encompass:
- a residency deduction for having lived in a prescribed zone, and,
- a deduction for travel benefits you received from employment in a prescribed zone that was included in your income.
This period can begin or end in the tax year for which you are filing your return. If you are eligible, the deductions reduce the amount of income you pay tax on, so they will reduce your overall income tax liability.
If you received travel assistance from your employer and travel to and from a prescribed northern zone for personal reasons, you may be eligible to claim the deduction for travel benefits. You can claim travel expenses such as air/train/bus fares, vehicle expenses, meals, and hotel or motel accommodations. For meal expenses, you can claim them using a simplified method. If you choose this method, you are allowed to claim a flat rate of $23/meal, to a maximum of $69/day (sales tax included) per person, without needing to keep detailed receipts. However, you should still keep some documentation in case we ask you to support your claims.
COVID-19 benefits and your return
If you received COVID-19 benefits such as the Canada emergency response benefit (CERB), Canada emergency student benefit (CESB), Canada recovery benefit (CRB), Canada recovery sickness benefit (CRSB), or Canada recovery caregiving benefit (CRCB), enter on your return the total of the amounts you received. You will receive by mail a T4A slip (for benefits issued by the CRA) and/or a T4E slip (for benefits issued by Service Canada) with the information you need for your return. You can view tax slips online in My Account.
The benefits are taxable, and you may owe tax when filing your return depending on how much income you earned in 2020, and the credits and benefits you may receive:
- If you received the CERB or CESB, no tax was withheld when payments were issued.
- If you received the CRB, CRSB, or CRCB, 10% tax was withheld at source. However, this may not be all the tax you need to pay.
Some provinces or territories may have sent out pandemic-related payments that are considered taxable income. These amounts should be included on your tax return.
It is important to file on time by April 30, 2021, if you receive COVID-19 recovery benefits such as the CRB, CRCB, or CRSB. The CRA uses information from both your 2019 and 2020 returns to confirm your eligibility to receive these benefits. Filing on time avoids having your recovery benefit payments stopped while we validate your eligibility.
Announced on February 9, 2021, targeted interest relief is being provided to Canadians who received COVID-related income support benefits. Once individuals have filed their 2020 income tax and benefit return, they will not be required to pay interest on any outstanding income tax debt for the 2020 tax year until April 30, 2022. To qualify, individuals must have had a total taxable income of $75,000 or less in 2020 and have received income support in 2020 through one or more of the COVID-19 measures.
Self-employed individuals whose net self-employment income was less than $5,000 and who applied for the CERB will not be required to repay the benefit, as long as their gross self-employment income was at least $5,000 and they met all other eligibility criteria. The same approach will apply whether the individual applied through the CRA or Service Canada.
Some qualifying self-employed individuals whose net self-employment income was less than $5,000 may have already voluntarily repaid the CERB. The CRA and Service Canada will return any repaid amounts to impacted individuals who are eligible for this relief.
We recognize that for some individuals, repaying these benefits could present significant financial hardship. For this reason, payment arrangement parameters have been expanded to give you more time and flexibility to repay based on your individual financial situations. Also, taxpayer relief is available if you can’t meet your tax obligations because of circumstances beyond your control. The CRA may cancel or waive penalties or interest under certain conditions.
Help for you and your family:
Several benefits and credits are available to help you and your family. These include the Canada child benefit, the child disability benefit, the goods and services tax / harmonized sales tax credit, the Disability tax credit, and the Canada workers benefit.
It is important that you complete and file your return on time every year, even if you had no income. After you file your taxes, the CRA uses the information from your return to calculate benefits and credit payments, as well as any related provincial and territorial payments.
New Canada Recovery Benefits
Updated February 19, 2021:
- extending the Canada Recovery Benefit and the Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit by 12 weeks. That makes the new maximum that you can claim is 38 weeks
- the government is also increasing the EI availability to 50 weeks in total, meaning an additional 24 weeks can be claimed
- Canada Recovery Sickness is expanding from covering two weeks of missed work to a new total of four weeks
The extended CRB is available to anyone who isn't eligible for EI but has stopped working or had their income reduced by at least 50% due to COVID-19
As Canadians transitions to a simplified EI program in this new phase of economic recovery, the Government of Canada is also introducing these new benefits:
- A Canada Recovery Benefit will provide $500 per week for up to 26 weeks to workers who stopped working due to COVID-19 or who have a reduced income, but are not eligible for Employment Insurance. They must be looking and available for work
- A Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit will provide workers with $500 per week, for up to two weeks, if they are ill or must self-isolate for reasons related to COVID-19 or have health conditions that would make them more susceptible to COVID-19.
- A Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit will provide $500 for up to 26 weeks per household, for Canadians unable to work because they must care for a child or family member who is unable to attend their school, daycare or other facility due to COVID-19.
For details, please visit https://bit.ly/36sqxA3
We are also working with CRA to have a presentation on the changes; how they will effect you and/or your employees as well as how to pay back your CERB if required. Stay tuned
Federal Economic Response Plan
Find the support you need for your business webpage - link.
- March 22, 2021, government announces extension of Canada Emergency Business Account from March 31, 2021, to June 30, 2021, for more information - link
New Recovery Benefits:
- The Government of Canada continues to help and support Canadian families and workers struggling to make ends meet because of the COVID‑19 pandemic. Over the past year, this support has included the Canada Emergency Response Benefit, the Canada Emergency Student Benefit, three recovery benefits, and a more flexible and accessible Employment Insurance (EI) program. To give workers the certainty they need should their job be affected by COVID-19, the government put forward legislation to increase the maximum number of weeks available to workers through EI regular benefits. On March 07, 2021, this legislation, Bill C-24, received Royal Assent. Workers claiming EI regular benefits can now access up to a maximum of 50 weeks for claims established between September 27, 2020, to September 25, 2021.
- In addition, self-employed workers who have opted into the EI program to access special benefits are now able to use a 2020 earnings threshold of $5,000, compared to the previous threshold of $7,555. This change is retroactive for claims established as of January 3, 2021, and applies until September 25, 2021.
- As part of this legislation, all international travelers who need to quarantine or isolate upon their return to Canada, including people returning from vacation, are ineligible to receive support from any of the recovery benefits for the period of their mandatory quarantine or isolation. These changes are retroactive to October 2, 2020. For more information - link
Federal Government announces new, targeted support to help small businesses: link.
The federal government has announced new recovery benefits that will replace CERB, and the application is now open:
- Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB): The Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) gives income support to employed and self-employed individuals who are unable to work because they're sick or need to self-isolate due to If you're eligible for the CRSB, you can receive $500 ($450 after taxes withheld) for a period. If your situation continues past 1 week, you will need to apply again. You may apply up to a total of 2 weeks between September 27, 2020, and September 25, 2021. - link
- Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB): The Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB) gives income support to employed and self-employed individuals who are unable to work because they must care for their child under 12 years old or a family member who needs supervised care. This applies if their school, regular program, or facility is closed or unavailable to them due to COVID-19 or because they're sick, self-isolating, or at risk of serious health complications due to COVID-19. The CRCB is administered by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). If you're eligible for the CRCB, your household can receive $500 ($450 after taxes withheld) for each 1-week period. If your situation continues past 1 week, you will need to apply again. You may apply up to a total of 26 weeks between September 27, 2020, and September 25, 2021. - link
- Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB): opening Oct/12/20 - The Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) gives income support to employed and self-employed individuals who are directly affected by COVID-19 and are not entitled to Employment Insurance (EI) benefits. The CRB is administered by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). If you are eligible for the CRB, you can receive ( after taxes withheld) for a period. If your situation continues the past 2 weeks, you will need to apply again. You may apply up to a total of 13 eligibility periods (26 weeks) between September 27, 2020, and September 25, 2021 - link.
Avoiding layoffs, rehiring employees, and creating new jobs:
- Helping Canadians develop the skills they need to find good jobs: the federal government announced new funding for the Workforce Development Agreements, which will provide the Northwest Territories with an additional $3 million. This investment will help Northerners re-enter the workforce through opportunities such as skills training and employment counseling. More details to come - link
- Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS): the federal government will cover a portion of an employee's wages for eligible employers. The CEWS will allow you to re-hire your employee(s) and avoid layoffs as the economy continues to safely reopen; this has been extended to June 2021 - link.
- Temporary 10% wage subsidy - the temporary 10% wage subsidy is a three-month measure that allows eligible employers to reduce the amount of payroll deductions required to be remitted to the Canada Revenue Agency - link.
- Extending the work-sharing program - the federal government has extended the work-sharing program's max duration from 38 weeks to 76 weeks for employers affected by COVID-19. This measure will provide income support to employees eligible for EI who agree to reduce their normal working hours because of developments beyond their control of their employees - link.
- Creating new jobs and opportunities for youth - the federal gov't is creating up to 116,000 jobs, placements, and other training opportunities to help students find employment and develop valuable skills this summer and over the coming months. Student Work Placement Program - link; Mitacs - link; Business + High Education Roundtable - link.
- Extension of lay-off periods - the federal gov't has extended time periods for temporary layoffs by up to six months in the Canada Labour Standards Regulations to allow employers more time to recall laid-off employees. The temporary changes will help protect the jobs of federally regulated private-sector employees and support employers facing economic hardship as a result of the pandemic - link.
Taxes and Tariffs:
- Waiving tariffs on certain medical goods - the federal gov't is waving tariffs on certain medical goods, including PPE, such as masks and gloves. This will reduce the cost of important PPE for Canadians, help protect workers, and ensure our supply chain can keep functioning well - link.
Financial support, loans, and access to credit:
- Northern Business Relief Fund (NBRF) - the federal gov't is making available $15 million in non-repayable support for businesses in the territories to help address the impacts of COVID-19 through the NBRF. this support will assist businesses with operating costs not already covered by other Government of Canada measures. This has been extended to March 31, 2021 - link.
- Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS): - link
- Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) interest-free loans extended an additional month - Changes: CEBA requirements and deadlines have changed:
- CEBA provides interest-free loans up to $40,000 to small businesses and not-for-profits to help cover their operating costs during a period where their revenues have been temporarily reduced. Banks and credit unions have implemented this program in collaboration with Export Development Canada. Business owners can apply for support from CEBA through their banks and credit unions - link The federal government has offered greater flexibility and extended the deadline from August 31 to October 31 - link.
- Loan Guarantee for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises - through the Business Credit Availability Program, Export Development Canada (EDC) is working with financial institutions to guarantee 80% of new operating credit and cash flow term loans of up to $6.25 million to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) This financing support is to be used for operational expenses and is available to both exporting and non-exporting companies. Program is now available at various banks and credit unions - link.
- Co-Lending Program for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises - through the Business Credit Availability Program, Business Development Canda (BDC) is working with financial institutions to co-lend term loans of up to $6.25 million to SMEs for their operational cash flow requirements. This program offers differing max finance amounts based on business revenues. This support is available until or before Sep/30/20 through various banks and credit unions - link.
- Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) - the federal gov't is proving nearly $962 million through RRRF to help more businesses and organizations in sectors such as manufacturing, technology, tourism, and others that are key to the regions and to local economies. this fund is specifically targeted to those that may require additional help to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic but have been unable to access other support measures. See below
- Mid-Market Financing Program - through the Business Credit Availability Program, the BDC Mid-Market Financing Program will provide commercial loans ranging between $12.5 million and $60 million to medium-sized businesses whose credit needs exceed what is already available through the Business Credit Availability Program and other measures. BDC anticipates that qualifying companies will have annual revenues in excess of approx $100 million - link
- Mid-Market Guarantee and Financing Program - through Business Credit Availability Program, EDC's Mid-Market Guarantee and Financing Program will bring liquidity to companies who tend to have revenues of between $50 million to $300 million, to sustain operations during this uncertain period. EDC will continue to work with Canadian financial institutions to guarantee 75% of new operating credit and cash-flow loans - ranging in size from $16.75 million to a max of $80 million. These expanded guarantees are available to exporters, international investors, and businesses that sell their products or services within Canada. More details to come
- Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility (LEEFF) - the LEEFF provides bridge financing to Canada's largest employers, whose needs during the pandemic are not being met through conventional financing, in order to keep their operations going. The additional liquidity provided through LEEFF allows Canada's largest businesses, their workers, and their suppliers to remain active during this difficult time and position them for a rapid economic recovery. This program is delivered by the Canada Development Investment Corporation in cooperation with Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, and the Department of Finance. - link
- Supporting Black-led Businesses through the National Ecosystem Fund - the federal government is investing up to $53 million to develop and implement the National Ecosystem Fund to support Black-led business organizations across the country. This will help Black business owners and entrepreneurs access funding and capital, mentorship, financial planning services, and business training. This initiative is part of the Black Entrepreneurship Program, in which we are investing up to nearly $93 million. More details on eligibility requirements and how to apply will be available soon.
- Supporting Black Business Owners and Entrepreneurs through the Black Entrepreneurship Loan Fund - the federal government is supporting Black business owners and entrepreneurs through the Black Entrepreneurship Loan Fund that will provide loans of between $25,000 and $250,000. This initiative is part of the Black Entrepreneurship Program, in which we are investing up to nearly $93 million. More details on eligibility requirements and how to apply will be available soon.
- Federal Funding for Skilled Trades: the federal government announced $40m over 3 years for the skilled trades - link
- Additional support by sector: Agriculture and agri-food; Aquaculture and fisheries; Culture, heritage, and sport; Air transportation, Tourism; Energy; Academic and Research; Infrastructure and Mining
- Young Entrepreneurs - the federal gov`t is providing $20.1 million in support to Futurpreneur Canada to continue supporting young entrepreneurs across Canada who are facing challenges due to COVID-19. The funding will allow Futurpreneur Canada to provide payment relief for its clients for up to 12 months - link.
- Women Entrepreneurs - the federal government is providing $15m in new funding through WomenEntrepreneurship Strategy (WES). This funding will be available to existing WES Exosystem Fund recipient organizations, enabling these thrid-party organizations to provide timely support and advice to women entrepreneurs facing hardship due to to the COVID-19 pandemic - link
- Relief measures for Indigenous businesses: the federal gov`t is providing $306.8 million in funding to help small and medium-sized Indigenous businesses and to support Aboriginal Financial Institutions that offers financing to these businesses. The funding will allow for short-term, interest-free loans and non-repayable contributions through Aboriginal Financial Institutions, which offer financing and business support services to First Nations, Inuit, and Métis businesses. Financial support for Indigenous businesses will be provided through Aboriginal Financial Institutions and administered by the National Aboriginal Capital Corporations Associations and the Métis capital corporations in partnership with Indigenous Canada - link NWT Aboriginal Financial Institutions - link
- NWT Aboriginal Financial Institutions are: Akaitcho Business Development Corporation; Thebacha Business Development Services; NWT Métis Dene Development Fund; Deh Cho Business Development Centre; Dogrib Area Community Futures; and Sahtu Business Development Centre
- Akaitcho Business Development Corporation Application
- Thebacha Business Development Service Application
- Supporting business through the pandemic and into recovery: the federal gov't is providing non-repayable financial contributions to help support operating costs for First Nations, Inuit, and Métis community-or -collectively-owned businesses and micro businesses whose revenues have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The fund seeks to provide support for businesses that do not qualify for other Government of Canada COVID-19 relief measures - link.
- Supporting the Indigenous Tourism Industry - the federal gov`t announced a new stimulus development fund that will provide $16 million to support the Indigenous tourism industry. The Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada will administer the fund to businesses across the country that have lost revenue due to the COVID-19 - link.
GNWT Response to COVID-19
Updated March 30, 2021
GNWT to Fill Funding Gap for Tour Operators - The Government of the Northwest Territories is providing funding to tourism operators that have exhausted the support available to them under the federal government’s Northern Business Relief Fund (NBRF) and Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF). Tourism operators will be able to apply to the Department of Industry, Tourism, and Investment to cover the same fixed operating costs set out under the NBRF. Eligible operators will be able to claim up to $50,000 for expenses which can include: rent/mortgage; utilities (heat; electric; water and sewer; phone and internet); subscriptions (for example: financial or booking systems); and insurance. This is a one-time funding initiative designed to help companies through to April 1, 2021, when new government supports are anticipated to become available. Expenses already covered by federal payments under the NBRF and the RRRF will not be eligible. Eligible tourism operators should contact their regional ITI Tourism Development Officer. For more information - link
SEED Funding available for NWT Businesses to get their Financials in Order - (NWT) businesses can now apply to the Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment (ITI)’s Support for Entrepreneurs and Economic Development (SEED) Program for funding to get their financial books in order. Up to $7,500.00 is available to individual businesses that need completed bookkeeping and/or financial statements to advance economic recovery or to apply for government funding. The total amount of funding available for this initiative is $400,000. The need for government supports to help small businesses assemble their costs and revenue reporting was identified by the NWT Business Advisory Council. Applications will be considered retroactive to April 1, 2020. - link
- NWT Wage Top-Up Program: The GNWT is asking NWT businesses to administer the program for their eligible workers on their behalf. An eligible worker is any of their employees who earn less than $18/hr and are at least 15 yrs old at the time of application. This has been extended to August 31, 2021 - link
- Support for Entrepreneurs and Economic Development (SEED) Program: the Department of Industry, Tourism, and Investment (ITI)'s SEED program has been adjusted to encourage and support new, innovative proposals that reflect the realities of the new post COVID-19 economy - link
Tourism Recovery Fund Set to Launch: The Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment (ITI), in partnership with the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (CanNor), has launched a funding program that will help the Northwest Territories tourism industry recover from the impacts of COVID-19. ITI regional offices will start accepting applications for the Growth and Recovery by Investing in Tourism (GRIT) Fund, a $1.5 million, one-time program cost-shared equally by ITI and CanNor. ITI will deliver the program on behalf of both governments. The objective of the GRIT Fund is to address COVID-19 impacts on tourism businesses by encouraging product development and marketing as well as contributing to select operational costs. This will enable tourism businesses to be ready to provide even greater services when travel restrictions ease and visitors return. Tourism businesses will be required to contribute 10 percent cash equity and use NWT suppliers to stimulate the local economy. Projects must be complete by March 31, 2021. - link
- Land Lease Rent Relief - rent relief is available to all holders of existing commercial and mining surface disposition on public land. The rent relief applies to all dispositions in effect between April 01/20 - March 31/21 - link
- Recycling Depot Funding - funding is available to support recycling depots and processing centers to help offset costs directly associated with lost income to operators due to the closure of recycling deposits on March 19/20 - link
- BDIC Loans/Deferments - The GNWT is offering low-interest loans to NWT businesses through the BDIC during the COVID-19 pandemic. Working Capital Loans - Loans up to $25,000 (or more if the need is clearly addressed) are being made available to qualified businesses at a rate of 1.75% BDIC Deferred Loan Payments - from April 1/20 to Sept. 30/20 clients of the BDIC are able to reduce or defer up to three months of loan payments without penalty or additional charges - link
- GNWT announced that it will be extending certain economic relief measures for COVID-19, previously set to expire on June 30, 2020. Extending these measures will result in $5.751 million in support for NWT residents and businesses. Two funding initiatives to support licensed child care programs have been extended until September 30, 2020:
- funding to pay up to 75% of eligible fixed costs for child care operators; and
- funding supports for enhanced cleaning of child care spaces.
- The GNWT will also continue to waive certain fees for residents and businesses, including:
- Deh Cho Bridge tolls (extended to Sept 30, 2020);
- truck permits (Sept 30, 2020);
- NWT airport landing fees (Dec 31, 2020); and
- Leases, licenses, and concession fees at all NWT airports (Dec 31, 2020).
The GNWT has allocated $557,000 to extend the two funding initiatives for licensed child care programs and expects that extending fee waivers will save NWT residents and businesses approximately $5.2 million.
- New Funding for Early Learning and Child Care Infrastructure - the GNWT has established a new funding program to provide non-profit organizations and Indigenous governments with funding for infrastructure repairs and retrofits to support the creation of new center-based child care spaces in communities. Interested organizations can submit proposals for funding through Early Childhood Consultants by August 31, 2020, to be eligible for up to $500,000 in funding for the 2020-2021 fiscal year - link
- Commercial Fisheries Industry Safety Support Program - up to $10,000 (based on 2019 production) will be made available to individual fishers under the Commercial FIsheries Industry Safety SUpport Program to equip their fishing vessels with safety equipment needed to meet both COVID-19 protection measures and Transport Canada's Fishing Vessel Safety Regulations - link
- Tourism Product Diversification and Marketing Program - The Tourism Product Diversification and Marketing Program can help you re-invent, improve or expand your tourism product and operation to meet future market demands by providing funding for business planning, product development, and packaging as well as marketing.
Locally Sourced PPE Equipment
Looking to purchase PPE Equipment locally? Below is a list (that will be updated regularly) of local businesses that are either manufacturing and/or selling PPE Equipment
Tlicho Online Store - link
CanArctic Graphics - link
Signed - link
PPE Equipment Supplier:
Arctic Trading Canada - link
Are you a business that is manufacturing/selling PPE Equipment but not on the list? Pls email us