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COVID-19 Government relief for business

Summary of key government relief options. While we update this information regularly, we recommend you refer to their websites for the most up-to-date information. Updated June 15, 2020.

Federal Government of Canada

Highlights and Eligibility

The new Canada Emergency Business Account will provide interest-free loans of up to $40,000 to businesses and not-for-profits, to help cover their operating costs during a period where their revenues have been temporarily reduced.

To qualify, your business must:

  • Have been registered and operational as of March 1, 2020
  • Be able to demonstrate you have paid between $20,000 to $1.5 million in total payroll in 2019.
  • For applicants with $20,000 or less in total employment income paid in the 2019 calendar year your business: a) must have a Canada Revenue Agency business number and have filed a 2018 or 2019 tax return, and b) have eligible non-deferrable expenses between $40,000 and $1,500,000. Eligible non-deferrable expenses could include costs such as rent, property taxes, utilities, and insurance. Expenses will be subject to verification and audit by the Government of Canada.

Learn more about CEBA

Highlights and Eligibility

The federal government has announced plans to introduce the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) program for small businesses in order to provide loans and/or forgivable loans to commercial property owners who in turn will lower or forgo the rent of small businesses for the months of April (retroactive), May, and June. This is designed to provide meaningful relief for businesses that can’t afford to pay their landlords at a time when their operations are shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic

CECRA will provide forgivable loans to qualifying commercial property owners to cover 50 per cent of three monthly rent payments payable by eligible small business tenants experiencing financial hardship during April, May and June. The loans will be forgiven if the mortgaged property owner agrees to reduce the eligible small business tenants’ rent by at least 75 per cent for the three corresponding months under a rent forgiveness agreement, which will include a pledge not to evict the tenant while the agreement is in place. The small business tenant would cover the remainder, up to 25 per cent of the rent.

Affected small business tenants are those paying less than $50,000 per month in rent and who have temporarily ceased operations, or have experienced at least a 70-per-cent drop in pre-COVID-19 revenues.

The federal Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. will administer and deliver the program.


How to apply (if applicable)

It is expected the new program will be operational by mid-May, with commercial property owners lowering the rents of their small business tenant’s payable for the months of April and May, retroactively, and for June.

Highlights and Eligibility

The BDC is working with financial institutions to co-lend term loans to SMEs for their operational cash flow requirements. This program will provide term loans for operational and liquidity needs of businesses, which could include interest payments on existing debt and will be available to businesses that were financially viable and revenue-generating prior to the COVID-19 outbreak.

The program is designed in three segments to target support to different business sizes and will provide loans up to:

  • $312,500 to businesses with revenues of less than $1 million;
  • $3.125 million for businesses with revenues between $1 million and $50 ; and
  • $6.25 million for businesses with revenues in excess of $50 million

Loans will be interest-only for the first 12 months, with a 10-year repayment period.

How to apply (if applicable)

More information on this program will be available soon.


The EDC Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) Guarantee is a new partnership between EDC and financial institutions across Canada to support businesses financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. It allows financial institutions to issue cash flow term loans of up to $6.25 million to existing clients, with 80 per cent guaranteed by EDC.

This money is to be used for operational expenses, not for dividend payouts, shareholder loans, bonuses, stock buyback, option issuance, increases to executive compensation or repayment/refinancing of other debt.

Learn more about the EDC BCAP term loan available to ATB medium to large-sized business customers.

How to apply (if applicable)

If you’re an ATB business customer and are interested in applying for the EDC BCAP, please contact the team member you typically deal with, email us or call 1-800-332-8383.

Highlights and Eligibility

The federal government is establishing the Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility (LEEFF) to provide 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.

LEEFF is open to large Canadian employers who (a) have a significant impact on Canada’s economy, as demonstrated by (i) having significant operations in Canada or (ii) supporting a significant workforce in Canada; (b) can generally demonstrate approximately $300 million or more in annual revenues; and (c) require a minimum loan size of about $60 million.

More information is available from the Canada Development Investment Corporation.


How to apply (if applicable)

To apply, send an email to with either a completed online enquiry form OR with the following information:

  1. Name of business
  2. Headquarters address
  3. Description of business
  4. Business annual revenues (FY19 results)
  5. Number of employees
  6. Stock exchange symbol (if publicly listed)
  7. Name of contact
  8. Title of contact
  9. Email of the contact (must be from the enterprise's corporate domain)
  10. Phone number of contact

Please note: only emails from the enterprise's corporate domain will be accepted.

Highlights and Eligibility

Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) will provide eligible small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with an interest-free repayable contribution of up to $1,000,000 to help alleviate financial hardship resulting from COVID-19. The objective of this program is to assist western Canadian SMEs that do not qualify for other government relief programs.

Eligibility criteria for those seeking funding up to $40,000 is here.
Eligibility criteria for those seeking funding of more than $40,000 is here.


How to apply (if applicable)

Apply online now

Highlights and Eligibility

This program provides a wage subsidy of up to 75 per cent for qualifying businesses to help businesses keep and return workers to payroll. The program will be in place from Mar 15 to Jun 6, 2020.

The subsidy generally covers 75% of an employee's wages – up to $847 per week - for employers of all sizes and across all sectors who have suffered a drop in gross revenues of at least 15% in March, and 30% in April and May.

Employers who are eligible for the CEWS are entitled to receive a 100% refund for certain employer contributions to Employment Insurance, the Canada Pension Plan, the Quebec Pension Plan, and the Quebec Parental Insurance Plan paid in respect of employees who are on leave with pay.

For employers that are eligible for both the CEWS and the 10% Temporary Wage Subsidy for a period, any benefit from the Temporary 10% Wage Subsidy for remuneration paid in a specific period will generally reduce the amount available to be claimed under the CEWS in that same period.

For more information visit

How to Apply (if applicable)

Eligible employers will be able to apply through the Canada Revenue Agency’s My Business Account portal as well as a web-based application.

Applications will be open Apr 27.

Highlights and Eligibility

This is a three-month measure to allow eligible employers to reduce the amount of payroll deductions required to be remitted to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). The subsidy is equal to 10% of the remuneration you pay from Mar 18, 2020 to Jun 19, 2020, up to $1,375 for each eligible employee and to a maximum of $25,000 total per employer.

You are an eligible employer if you are a(n):

  • individual (excluding trusts),
  • partnership (see note below),
  • non-profit organization,
  • registered charity, or
  • Canadian-controlled private corporation (including a cooperative corporation) eligible for the small business deduction; have an existing business number and payroll program account with the CRA on Mar 18, 2020; and pay salary, wages, bonuses, or other remuneration to an eligible employee. An eligible employee is an individual who is employed in Canada.

NOTE: Partnerships are only eligible for the subsidy if their members consist exclusively of individuals (excluding trusts), registered charities, or Canadian-controlled private corporations (CCPCs) eligible for the small business deduction.

How to apply (if applicable)

You do not need to apply for the subsidy.

You will continue deducting income tax, Canada Pension Plan (CPP) contributions, and Employment Insurance (EI) premiums from salary, wages, bonuses, or other remuneration paid to your employees, as you currently do.

The subsidy is calculated when you remit these amounts to the CRA.

Once you have calculated your subsidy, you can reduce your current payroll remittance of federal, provincial, or territorial income tax that you send to the CRA by the amount of the subsidy.

For more information on the program and how to calculate the subsidy, visit

Highlights and Eligibility

The maximum duration of the Work-Sharing program has been extended from 38 weeks to 76 weeks. The Work-Sharing program is offered to workers who agree to reduce their normal working hours because of developments beyond the control of their employers.

How to Apply (if applicable)

For more information and to apply online, employers can visit

Highlights and Eligibility

The federal government is allowing all businesses to defer, until after August 31, 2020, the payment of any income tax amounts that become owing on or after March 18, 2020 and before September 2020. This relief would apply to tax balances due, as well as instalments, under Part I of the Income Tax Act.

No interest or penalties will accumulate on these amounts during this period.

Highlights and Eligibility

The federal government will allow businesses, including self-employed individuals, to defer until June 30, 2020 payments of the Goods and Services Tax / Harmonized Sales Tax (GST/HST), as well as customs duties owing on their imports.

The deferral will apply to GST/HST remittances for the Feb, Mar and Apr 2020 reporting periods for monthly filers; the Jan 1, 2020 through Mar 31, 2020 reporting period for quarterly filers; and for annual filers, the amounts collected and owing for their previous fiscal year and instalments of GST/HST in respect of the filer's current fiscal year.

For GST and customs duty payments for imported goods, deferral will include amounts owing for Mar, Apr and May.

These amounts were normally due to be submitted to the Canada Revenue Agency and the Canada Border Services Agency as early as the end of March 2020.

Highlights and Eligibility

The federal government is supporting Farm Credit Canada (FCC) by allowing an additional $5 billion in lending capacity to producers, agribusinesses, and food processors.

How to apply (if applicable)

Customers facing financial pressure should contact their FCC manager or the FCC Customer Service Centre at 1-888-332-3301

Highlights and Eligibility

The federal government has made temorary changes to the Canada Summer Jobs program which provides opportunities for youth to develop and improve their skills within the not-for-profit, small business, and public sectors, and supports the delivery of key community services. Changes include:

  • an increased wage subsidy, so that private and public sector employers can also receive up to 100 per cent of the provincial minimum hourly wage for each employee;
  • employment end date extension to February 28, 2021;
  • adapted their projects and job activities;
  • ability to hire staff on a part-time basis.

How to apply (if applicable)

The call for applications is now closed.

Highlights and Eligibility

The federal governmentis is waiving ground lease rents from Mar 2020 through to Dec 2020 for the 21 airport authorities that pay rent to the federal government.


Our latest update on COVID-19, including customer relief programs and branch closures.

Provincial Government of Alberta

Highlights & Eligibity

Corporate income tax balances and instalment payments coming due between Mar 18, 2020 and Aug 31, 2020 are deferred until Aug 31, 2020 to increase employers’ access to cash so they can pay employees, address debts and continue operations.

Highlights & Eligibity

Small, medium and large private sector employers can defer WCB premium payments until 2021.

For small and medium businesses, the government will cover 50% of the 2020 premium when it is due in 2021 - saving businesses $350 million.

Large employers will have their 2020 WCB premium payments deferred until 2021, at which time their premiums will be due.

Employers who have already paid WCB premiums in 2020 are eligible for a rebate or credit.

Highlights & eligibity

Residential, farm and small commercial customers can defer electricity and natural gas bill payments for the next 90 days to ensure no one will be cut off, regardless of the service provider.

This program is available to Albertans who are experiencing financial hardship as a direct result of COVID-19. For example, those who have lost employment or had to leave work to take care of an ill family member.

This program came into effect on Mar 18, 2020 and will run through Jun 18, 2020.

How to apply (if applicable)

Call your utility provider directly to arrange for a 90-day deferral on all payments.

Highlights & eligibity

Hotels and other lodging providers can delay paying the tourism levy until Aug 31, 2020 for amounts that become due to government on or after March 27, 2020. Payments deferred until Aug. 31 will not be subject to penalties or interest.

Hotels and other lodging providers are still expected to file returns, as required by legislation, and must collect the tourism levy from guests staying at their properties during this period.

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