What relief programs are available? Several. But which is right for you? This depends on the type of company you have:

Looking for something specific?

We had compiled a list of our bulletins issued during the height of the pandemic (March – May 2020). Note: information was compiled as at the date indicated on each bulletin. Some information may have been updated since. It’s best to consult a Richter professional for accurate information.

Small and Medium-sized Enterprise (SME) Loan and Guarantee Programs – two lending streams which could provide eligible companies with up to $12.5M in loans.

  • Eligible businesses are those that were financially viable prior to COVID-19 but have since been adversely impacted by the pandemic.
  • Access to the programs will be available until or before September 30, 2020.
  • To access these loans, business owners must contact their primary financial institution.
    1. Loan Guarantee – Export Development Canada (EDC) will provide funding to financial institutions for issuance of new operating credit and cash flow term loans to SMEs.
      • Eligible companies may obtain loans of up to $6.25M, which will be 80% guaranteed by EDC and to be repaid within one year.
    2. Co-Lending Program – BDC and financial institutions to co-lend term loans, of up to 10 years, to SMEs for their operational cash flow requirements (which could include principal and interest payments on existing debt).
      • Eligible businesses may obtain incremental credit amounts up to $6.25M, 80% of which would be provided by BDC, with the remaining 20% by their financial institution.

Mid-Market Financing and Guarantee Programs – focused on providing capital to medium-sized businesses. More details will be made available soon.

  • Eligible businesses are those that were financially viable prior to the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • To access these loans, business owners must contact their primary financial institution.
    1. EDC Mid-Market Guarantee & Financing Program – EDC will provide funding to financial institutions for issuance of new operating credit and cash flow term loans to medium-sized businesses.
      • Eligible companies may obtain loans ranging from $16.75M up to $80M, which will be 75% guaranteed by EDC.
      • The program will bring liquidity to companies that tend to have revenues between $50M to $300M.
    2. BDC Mid-Market Financing Program – BDC will provide operational loans ranging between $12.5M and $60M to businesses whose credit needs exceed what is already available through other programs.
      • It is anticipated that qualifying companies will have annual revenues in excess of $100M.

Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility (LEEFF) – Bridge financing program which caters to Canada’s largest employers (except those in the financial sector) to avoid bankruptcies of otherwise viable firms. Eligible businesses are those seeking financing of at least $60M and have:

  • Annual revenues exceeding $300M.
  • Significant operations or a large workforce in Canada.

The program is administered by Canada Development Investment Corporation. Borrowers should familiarize themselves with the program’s stringent terms and conditions.

Other BDC Programs – Administered by BDC to coordinate financing for SMEs.

  • Working Capital Loan: Up to $2M with a 24-month term following a 12-month principal postponement period.
  • Small Business Loan: Up to $100K of financing with the ability to postpone capital payments for the first six months and repay the loan over five years.

Canada Emergency Business Account – Implemented by eligible financial institutions in part with EDC.

  • Interest-free loans up to $40K to cover operating expenses.
  • Available to small business and not-for-profits who paid $20K to $1.5M of payroll in 2019. If a business has less than $20K in payroll, the program is also available to businesses with eligible “non-deferrable expenses” (i.e. rent, property taxes, utilities) of $40K to $1.5M, if such businesses have a business operating bank account at a participating financial institution, a CRA business number and had filed a 2018 or 2019 tax return.
  • Loans repaid on or before December 31, 2022 will result in loan forgiveness of 25% (up to $10K).
  • Clients should contact their financial institution to apply for these loans.

PACTE – Investissement Québec (IQ) has introduced an emergency funding measure:

  • A loan guarantee is the preferred form of financing, although IQ may also offer direct loans.
  • Eligible businesses must show that their operations offer realistic prospects for profitability.
  • Businesses should contact IQ for more information regarding loan type and amount.



  • Ivanhoe Cambridge (IC) Tenant Relief – IC has granted its Quebec retail tenants a deferral of rent payable, until a later date, according to their respective situation. The deferral period has yet to be established.
  • Municipalities: The City of Montreal has postponed second due date for annual municipal property taxes to September 1, 2020. The City of Toronto has postponed the due date for annual property tax by one month, has given property owners a 60-day grace period on paying their property tax otherwise due between March 16 to May 15, 2020 and is waiving all late payment penalties during this period. Hydro-Quebec has announced the suspension of fees for unpaid invoices until further notice starting March 23, 2020. This measure will automatically apply to all customers, although those who anticipate payment issues are encouraged to contact Hydro-Quebec to enter into a deferred payment arrangement.



The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act for US Businesses

As at March 31, 2020, the US President signed into law the CARES Act, which provides corporations and individuals special tax relief to help during the pandemic. Richter has gone through the new Act and we believe these provisions would be of most interest to you.



The following measures do not automatically take effect. Clients must contact relevant institutions to discuss.

Major Canadian Banks – Will work with business banking customers on a case-by-case basis.

BDC – Offering postponement of payments for up to 6 months, for existing qualifying BDC clients with loan commitments of $1M or less.

Fonds de Solidarité FTQ – Offering postponement of payments for up to 6 months for all of its clients.

Fondaction – Offering postponement of payments for up to 3 months for all of its clients.



Le panier bleu

  • Quebec has launched an online database to support and highlight Quebec businesses that offer online services.

Programme actions concertées pour le maintien en emploi (PACME)

  • Quebec announced a new program, retroactive to March 15, 2020, aimed at businesses whose operations have been affected by COVID-19 and who undertake new training initiatives favoring the development of their employees as well as human resource management activities.
  • The PACME will reimburse 100% of the first $100,000 of eligible expenses and 50% of the next $400,000 of eligible expenses. Such eligible expenses will include salaries for those employees in training as well as training and human resource management expenses (such as consultants, materials and other specific directs and indirect costs).
  • To be eligible, a training project must be approved in advance.
  • PACME can be combined and is complementary to other programs such as the CEWS.
  • The program was expected to last until September 30, 2020; however, it is our understanding that the program funds have been exhausted and applicants submitted after May 27, 2020 will be referred to a PACME training program that has already been accepted.



Canada Emergency Student Benefit

  • The federal government is providing a grant of $1,250 per month, throughout the months of May to August 2020, in favor of post-secondary students who will experience financial hardship over the Summer due to COVID-19 and who are not eligible to receive the Canada Emergency Response Benefit or Employment Insurance. The amount of the grant will be equal to $1,750 for students with dependents and those with permanent disabilities.


See also:


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