1. Loan programs to help companies
Quebec plans to set up a loan program to help companies suffering because of the pandemic. It is accelerating public investments in health, transport and education infrastructure.
To help businesses whose cash flow is affected by the impact of COVID-19, the government has implemented the Emergency Support Plan for Small and Medium-Sized Businesses and the Concerted Temporary Action Program for Businesses (PACTE).
The Emergency Support Plan for Small and Medium-Sized Businesses provides emergency funding of less than $50,000, while the emergency funding available under PACTE starts at $50,000.
Both give funding in the form of a loan or a loan guarantee
Who is eligible for the Emergency Support Plan for SMEs?
- businesses in all industry sectors;
- non-profit organizations;
- social economy enterprises engaged in business activities.
To be eligible, a business must:
- have been operating in Quebec for at least one year;
- be temporarily closed, likely to close or show warning signs of closure;
- be in the process of maintaining, consolidating or restarting its activities;
- have demonstrated a cause-and-effect relationship between its financial or operational difficulties and the COVID-19 pandemic.
More information can be found here.
To avail yourself of the PACTE, you must contact your account or project manager directly if you are a client of Investissement Québec. If you are not already a client, you need to get in touch with your financial institution, which will then contact Investissement Québec.
This new emergency funding measure provides ad hoc and exceptional support for businesses affected by the repercussions of COVID-19. This financial assistance is available to businesses operating in Québec, including cooperatives and other social economy enterprises with commercial activities. Eligible businesses are those that find themselves in a precarious situation and temporary difficulty as a result of COVID-19. They must show that their financial structure offers realistic prospects for profitability. Businesses cannot be under the protection of the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act or the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act. More information on the PACTE can be found here.
2. Flexibility for businesses filing taxes
Quebec is extending the payment deadline for a corporation that would otherwise have to pay instalments or whose tax due date is between March 17, 2020 and July 31, 2020. Quebec says that these corporate taxpayers may the amount due at a later date, which will be announced later. Methods for calculating the instalments will not change.
On March 27, 2020, Revenu Quebec announced that the GST/QST remittance deadline has been extended from March 31 to June 30, 2020.
3. CNESST measures
In light of the consequences of COVID-19 pandemic, the CNESST is implementing measures to help employers and workers regarding deadlines and other things.
Effective March 20, 2020, the measures of interest to employers include:
- Employers have until August 31, 2020, to make the payment of their Statement of Account to the CNESST, which is related to the amount of his or her contribution relating to health and safety at work. Also, no penalty or interest will be charged during this period;
- The deadline for submitting the CNESST 2019 Wage Statement is extended. Employers have until June 1, 2020, to report;
- There will be no penalty for workers who cannot attend their treatments (medical follow-up, physiotherapy, etc.). The CNESST takes into account the recommendations of professional orders and associations;
- Reimbursement is authorized for medical and rehabilitation treatments carried out remotely, for example by telephone or online;
- The treatment procedure for the Safe Motherhood program is streamlined to facilitate access and protect the health of the pregnant worker and that of her unborn or breastfed child. A pregnant or breastfeeding worker can stop working before even consulting her doctor if the danger of COVID-19 is present, and under certain conditions.
There are also other delays regarding complaints and procedures which entail suspending limitation period and collections of judgments, and more can be read here. (In French only)
They have also provided some FAQ on health and safety and employment standards for employers to help them know their rights and obligations during this period. These FAQ can be found here (however, they are only available in French).
4. Delay in filing of annual corporate declarations in certain sectors
The law requires certain companies operating in the Mining, Oil and Gas Industry to provide no later than 150 days after the end of their fiscal year, with a declaration indicating certain payments made to certain beneficiaries, to the extent that the total value of these payments is at least $ 100,000. Due to the significant impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the activities of these businesses, the annual returns will be accepted up to 120 days after the deadline prescribed by law.
5. QST delay
Quebec is following the federal government’s lead and allowing businesses to postpone filing until June 30, 2020, their returns and payments in respect of the March 31, April 30 and May 31 QST remittances, without interest or penalties.
Moreover, Québec will accelerate the processing of requests for tax credits intended for businesses and tax refunds.
6. Funding for job maintenance and training
The government has launched the Programme actions concertées pour le maintien en emploi (PACME) (collaborative action employment maintenance program). The objective of this program is to help businesses and collective promoters implement measures as teleworking or to develop the skills of employees who have to stay at home.
Collective promoters are groups of employers or workers who are able to create employment-related projects and who can supervise or carry out these projects.
Under this program, companies can be reimbursed for 100% of eligible expenses (up to a $100,000 maximum); these include trainers’ fees, equipment purchases and human resources management activities.
Reimbursement calculations will be based on the amount of federal government emergency assistance for which a business is eligible. The program runs until September 30 or until its $100 millions budget runs out.
Businesses and self-employed workers must contact a Business Counsellor in their region.
Collective promoters must email their subsidy application forms to: [email protected].