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COVID-19 Updates | Weekly Workplace Recap from September 4 to September 11, 2020

COVID-19 Resources for Small Business

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Below are the key announcements from the FederalOntario, Saskatchewan and BC governments that touch on workplace issues from September 4 to September 11, 2020.


Rent Relief for Small Business Extended (CECRA)

The Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) for small businesses will be extended by one month to help eligible small businesses pay rent this September.

This September extension will be the final extension of this program as the government explores other options to support small businesses.

Current CECRA application deadlines will also be extended to accommodate this extension.

For details on the September extension, visit CECRA for small businesses.


$7.9 Million Invested to Improve Competitiveness of Ontario's Farms

The Federal and Ontario governments are investing in the Canadian Agricultural Partnership to help farmers improve their business operations and bring more safe, high-quality foods to markets.

More than $7.9 million in funding will support more than 670 projects across Ontario for eligible farmers and agri-food businesses.

A few examples of projects supported through this programming include:

  • Improving food safety systems on farms to meet or exceed international certification standards.
  • Developing a product that will open new sales markets for a farm business.
  • Planting over-wintering cover crops to improve soil health and reduce soil erosion losses.

For more information, check out this news release


Extension of State of Emergency

The Saskatchewan government announced the extension of the provincial State of Emergency, effective September 2, 2020, to address the COVID-19 public health emergency.

For more information, check out this publication

British Columbia

Amended Orders for BC's Nightclubs, Bars & Banquet Halls

Effective September 8, 2020, all nightclubs and stand-alone banquet halls in BC are ordered to close until further notice.  Additionally, venues allowed to remain open must reduce the volume from music or other sources to conversational levels.

Liquor sales in all bars, pubs and restaurants must cease at 10 p.m. and they must close at 11 p.m., unless providing a full meal service, in which case they may stay open, but may not serve liquor until 11 a.m. the following day.

For more information, check out this news release. 

BC Confirms Tax Measure Implementation Dates & Deferral Deadlines for Businesses

To support BC businesses through the COVID-19 pandemic, the government is delaying implementation dates to April 2021 for previously scheduled changes to provincial sales tax (PST) and BC's carbon tax.

In addition, the employer health tax (EHT) 2020 quarterly installment dates are being extended as follows:

  • Dec. 31, 2020 (original installment date was June 15, 2020)
  • Jan. 31, 2021 (original installment date was Sept. 15, 2020)
  • Feb. 28, 2021 (original installment date was Dec. 15, 2020)

These extensions will give businesses more access to cashflow during recovery and more time to determine their annual payroll and estimate the amount of EHT they will owe. The 2020 EHT filing and balance due date will remain March 31, 2021.

For more information, check out this news release. 

State of Emergency Extended until September 15

The state of emergency has been extended through the end of the day on September 15, 2020. The extension will allow the BC government to continue to take the necessary actions to keep British Columbians safe and manage immediate concerns, such as recent outbreaks in some areas of the province.

Actions taken in the previous two weeks to support British Columbians include:

  • Introducing new measures to enforce COVID-19 public safety by giving police the ability to issue violation tickets for those breaking the PHO order on gatherings and events.
  • Helping organizations in BC’s community social services sector to support recruitment and retention and improve occupational health and safety training programs for staff, thanks to $10 million in one-time funding from the province. 
  • Supporting arts and culture venues strongly impacted by COVID-19 by creating a new, $2 million Arts Infrastructure Program to help improve spaces for artists and cultural activities.

Click here for more information on the extension and recent action in BC. 

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Sarah Visca
Sarah Visca is the Operations Manager at ConnectsUs HR, a company that provides tools & resources to quickly set up a Human Resources department.  
You can contact her here