Helping companies survive COVID-19, then thrive
Startup and scale-up support
- Member companies can always reach their startup advisor, CSM, growth coach or favourite Communitecher over the phone, via text, email, video conference, the Communitech Startup slack channel or Google Chat. Not sure who to contact? Start by reaching out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Companies that don’t (yet) have a dedicated startup advisor can sign up here for “The Advisor Is In”: one-on-one time to discuss a specific topic, challenge or issue you are facing with one of our expert growth coaches. This service is now available weekly on Thursdays from 1:30-3:30 p.m.
- You can still access expert advice from members of the Communitech Pro Squad—our in-house trusted business pros.
Video assets and webinars
Ask Me Anything
Industry experts answering questions submitted by Communitech startups and scale-ups.
People you want to hear from on topics that matter
CDMN virtual events & webinars
Online events and special-focus webinars hosted by industry experts across the country.
Government support for your business and employees
A full rundown of federal government supports for businesses can be found here, but here’s a quick(ish) overview.
- To help businesses hold on to their employees, the federal government is providing, for up to 3 months, a temporary wage subsidy equal to 75% for the first $58,700 of salary, up to a maximum $847 per week. All businesses – the number of employees on the payroll doesn’t matter – that have seen revenue drop by 15% or more in March, and by 30% or more in subsequent months, relative to (1) the corresponding month in 2019 (e.g. March 2020 vs March 2019) OR (2) the average of their revenue earned in January and February 2020, are eligible for the wage subsidy. The benchmark you go with is up to you. This measure is retroactive to March 15th. Businesses can re-hire recently let-go workers and place them on subsidized wages. Businesses can apply for the wage subsidy through a Canada Revenue Agency web portal that will be launched within 3 weeks, and they can expect to receive their first payment within 6 weeks (early May-ish). Businesses will be required to re-apply for the wage subsidy each month. More information will be released in the coming days but you can find a backgrounder on the wage subsidy here.
- To help businesses avoid lay-offs, the federal government has enhanced the Work-Sharing Program. The program works this way: instead of being laid-off, multiple workers’ hours and pay are reduced, with the federal government making up the shortfall in the workers’ income.
- NEW: Businesses in southern Ontario that are unable to access all other federal emergency economic measures (e.g. BCAP, CEBA), can apply for Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) support via FedDev Ontario. Through this program, businesses can receive an interest-free fully repayable loan of up to $500,000.
- More credit is available to Canadian businesses through the new Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP). You can access the BCAP via BDC or EDC.
- Starting on April 22nd, startups and scaling firms unable to secure funding under the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy and the Business Credit Availability Program can apply for financial assistance through NRC-IRAP. Funding is open to new clients, not just existing NRC-IRAP clients. More information on applying here. New funding has also been made available to FedDev to support local startups. Details to come.
- Through the Canada Emergency Business Account, banks can offer $40,000 loans, guaranteed by the government and interest-free for the first year, to small businesses. If recipients meet certain conditions, $10,000 will be forgivable. The government will release more details in the coming days.
- Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance program will help small businesses cover their rents for April, May, and June. The assistance is being rolled out in collaboration with the provinces and territories as rent policy is largely provinces and municipalities’ responsibility. The program will provide loans, including some forgivable loans, to commercial property owners who are then to either lower or forgo the rent for small businesses during these months, with a promise of more details to come.
- Businesses can defer, until after August 31st, the payment of any income tax amounts that become owing on or after March 19th and before September. In addition, GST/HST payments, as well as duties & taxes owed on imports, are deferred until June.
- In Ontario, the provincial government is helping businesses with cash flow through a number of measures: payment of most provincial taxes is deferred for 5 months without penalty or interest; Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) payments are deferred for 6 months; municipalities will be providing property tax relief; and most businesses are not required to pay the Employer Health Tax.
- BDC launched the “BDC Capital Bridge Financing Program” where they may match, with a convertible note, a current financing round being raised through qualified existing and/or new investors made in an eligible company. The program is ideal for high potential companies with investor syndicates that are willing to support them. BDC will invest alongside these groups. In addition, BDC Capital will accelerate more capital into General Partners across the country and increase its co-investment activity.
Business support info and tech community resources
- NEW: Capital Bridge Financing Program for startups (BDC)
- Active Funders in Canada (HockeyStick)
- Advanced Manufacturing Supercluster Launches Funding Program to help scale response to COVID-19 (nGen)
- Follow the money – How local firms can access help (Communitech News)
- Support for entrepreneurs impacted by the coronavirus COVID-19 (BDC)
- Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan (GOV)
- Navigating Volatility in the General Economy in Growth Stage Technology Businesses
- Frequently Asked Questions – Temporary Wage Subsidy for Employers (GOV)
- A letter from TitanFile’s CEO to our community (TitanFile)
- Working Remote Access Program from Bonfire Interactive (Bonfire Interactive)
- Stay Connected During COVID-19 with Free Video Tools (Vidyard)
- Our part in beating Coronavirus (Ground News)
- Free access to all-in-one customer support dashboard for remote and on-site teams (Summatti)
- Free Cloud-Based Phone System for Canadian Businesses Available Today (Fongo Inc.)
- Discounted Delivery Services for Local Businesses (TyltGO)
- Looking for Energy Savings? (EnPowered)
- COVID-19 Resource Centre for Retailers (Faire)
- The Talent Help List
- Free Virtual Fitness Classes c/o Habitly (April 15 – May 15)
- Stronger Minds by BEACON Modern Mind Health
- Build Resilient Remote Cultures & Teams (Fortay.ai)