Support for Clean Technology Businesses during COVID-19

The Clean Growth Hub has prepared the following information to support clean technology stakeholders with information on federal COVID-19 response measures.

Please note that efforts are made to keep the following websites up to date, however, the situation evolves quickly and some measures may not yet be described, may lack details, or details may shift.

What's new?

Find out more below…

1. Where can clean tech companies find information about the Government of Canada's COVID-19 response measures?

Canada's COVID-19 Economic Response Plan is the central repository of federal COVID-19 response measures from across departments and agencies and outlines measures for individuals, businesses and industry.

2. What support is available to help businesses avoid layoffs?

The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) provides up to 75% wage subsidy for qualifying businesses, for up to 24 weeks, retroactive to March 15, 2020, and available until August 29, 2020. This will help businesses to keep and return workers to the payroll.

The 10% Temporary Wage Subsidy for Employers is a three-month measure for eligible employers to reduce the amount of payroll deductions required to be remitted to the Canada Revenue Agency.

NRC IRAP Innovation Assistance Program (IAP)

Work-Sharing temporary special measures

Canada Summer Jobs 2020 temporary flexibilities for employers

$450 million in funding to help Canada's academic research community

3. What should businesses do if they are concerned that they will not have the financial resources to get through the COVID-19 crisis and subsequent recovery period?

Businesses that are concerned about not having financial resources to continue through the crisis and recovery period should start by talking to their local financial institutions (commercial banks and credit unions) to assess their positions.

The Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) will provide $65 billion of additional liquidity to Canadian businesses facing challenges brought on by COVID-19.

Under BCAP, the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) and Export Development Canada (EDC) will work with private sector lenders to coordinate on credit solutions for individual businesses.

BCAP includes:

4. What other emergency relief is available for businesses?

The Government is providing emergency financial relief to qualified businesses through the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) and Export Development Canada (EDC).

Companies can be referred to BDC/EDC by financial institutions (commercial banks or credit unions) and can access them directly via their respective websites where they will be directed according to whether they are new or existing clients.

BDC's COVID-19 resource for businesses

EDC's COVID-19 resource for businesses

Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF)

The RRRF will help more businesses and organizations in sectors such as manufacturing, technology, tourism and others that are key to the regions and to local economies. It is specifically targeted towards those that may require additional help to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic but have been unable to access existing support measures.

This fund includes two components:

SMEs and communities interested in receiving support through this initiative are now invited to apply for the RRRF through their local Regional Development Agency (RDA). Applications for funding are accepted on an ongoing basis until the Fund is fully committed.

The funding will be allocated as follows:

Regional Development Agencies have also adjusted certain criteria for their regular programs in response to the exceptional circumstances that businesses are facing. For example, since April 1, businesses have been able to defer their payments for current contribution agreements with their regional development agency for three months.

Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA)

Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility (LEEFF)

Sector-specific measures include:

The Northern Business Relief Fund (NBRF) provides short-term support in the form of a non-repayable grant, for ongoing operational costs to small- and medium-sized territorial businesses impacted by economic disruptions due to COVID-19.

Support for Indigenous businesses

Support for young entrepreneurs

Support for youth – Green Jobs in the Natural Resource Sectors

Foresight's COVID-19 Restart and Resilience

5. What is the Government of Canada doing to address companies' concerns regarding delays in Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) Program audits and payments?

The Government of Canada has heard from companies that delays in SR&ED Program audits (and payments) are having adverse affects on their already strained operations.

As described in Canada Revenue Agency's (CRA) March 31 announcement: (CRA):

The CRA's COVID-19 approach outlined in the announcement above reflects a balance between the CRA's efforts to mitigate health risks while continuing to deliver benefits to Canadians.

As of May 4th, and since the beginning of the pandemic on March 16th, the SR&ED Program has processed approximately $360 million in refundable credits, providing much needed financial support to claimants. The Program has also processed approximately $185 million in non-refundable investment tax credits.

6. My company has the ability to produce medical equipment and would like to work with the Government of Canada on the COVID-19 response efforts. What can we do?

The Department of National Defence is looking for novel ideas and innovative solutions, under the Innovation for Defence Excellence and Security (IDEaS) Program, to resolve challenges under the following areas:

This call for proposals is open until June 23, 2020.

Innovative Solutions Canada has dedicated funding to develop new solutions or test existing innovations that can help fight COVID-19.

7. My company has a contribution agreement and/or work agreement with a federal department and may be unable to fulfill this agreement. What should we do?

If your company has a contribution agreement or work commitment with a federal department or agency and is concerned about fulfilling that agreement, you should talk to your advisor/officer in the program or service as soon as possible.

The Government of Canada recognizes that the COVID-19 crisis has created significant strain on Canadian businesses and is enabling flexibility wherever possible.

You should be aware of any changes to the requirements/schedules of your existing financial agreements when developing your continuity plan and/or asks for any emergency capital.

8. Where can I go for additional information on support for businesses impacted by COVID-19?

Managing your business during COVID-19 is a compilation of federal supports for businesses.

Innovation Canada has a web platform that provides links to measures targeted at businesses affected by COVID-19. This platform links to the federal measures described in the main site, and includes some of those offered by provinces and territories.

ExploreIP, an online resource for businesses to explore possible licensing and collaboration opportunities with public sector patent holders, now has a "COVID-19 related" category to help users find patents and licences for technologies that could help combat COVID-19.

Canada's Trade Commissioner Service (TCS) has experts in 160 cities worldwide who help Canadian businesses navigate international markets. Given the evolving impacts of the COVID-19 on international trade, Canadian firms may face disruptions to their international business and supply chains, or experience unforeseen border, regulatory and transportation issues. For guidance related to specific countries and markets, businesses should send a message through TCS general enquiries.

Canada Revenue Agency

Bank of Canada

Canadian Business Resilience Network

Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses

Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM)

Public Health Agency of Canada

Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety

The Government of Canada announced a partnership with private sector organizations to help businesses reopen safely amid COVID-19: People Outside Safely Together (POST).

9. Can I get more information through webinars?

Clean tech accelerators and associations are holding free informational webinars to support innovators and businesses:

Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC)


Export Development Canada (EDC)


GLOBE Series


Foresight Companies Webinar Series



MaRS Cleantech Webinar Series



Écotech Québec



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