We’re here to support the 1.8 million people working in Canada’s tourism sector, from the frontline to the C-suite, new entrepreneur to longstanding business, and single property to national chain.

Tourism has been hit hard and fast by the necessary global efforts to keep everyone safe and healthy in this unprecedented situation.

Governments of all levels have implemented and adjusted programs to help businesses stay afloat and individuals cope with lost income. But which program is right for you? And how do you access it? Below, we explore the top questions we’re hearing from across the country.

Have a question you don’t see answered here? Let us know! Submit it via our Contact Us page or send it directly to info@tourismhr.ca.

For information on health and safety, please view our COVID-19 Resource Hub and click on the link for the appropriate health authority.

FAQs for Businesses and Employers

The federal government has established a Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) to provide $65 billion of additional support through the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) and Export Development Canada (EDC). BCAP includes four initiatives:

  1. The Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) to provide interest-free loans of up to $40,000 to small businesses and not-for-profits, to help cover their operating costs (through eligible financial institutions in cooperation with EDC). The deadline to apply is December 31, 2020. The program will be expanded to offer an additional interest-free loan of up to $20,000 to businesses and not-for-profits that continue to be seriousl impacted by the pandemic; full details are forthcoming.
  2. The EDC BCAP Guarantee for new operating credit and cash flow term loans (through eligible financial institutions in cooperation with EDC). Qualified applicants can improve their cash flow to help manage day-to-day expenses like buying inventory and paying suppliers or take on new costs associated with managing the impact of COVID-19.
  3. A co-lending program for Canadian businesses that provides term loans of between $1 million and $12.5 million for operational cash flow requirements (through eligible financial institutions in cooperation with BDC).
  4. A mid-market financing program for junior loans ranging between $12.5 million and $60 million for medium-sized businesses (through eligible financial institutions in cooperation with BDC). These loans are to cover operational liquidity needs and business continuity activities.

Interested businesses should work with their current financial institutions

Businesses that aren’t eligible for the above programs may be able to access funding through the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF). This $1.5 billion initiative offers businesses help mitigating the financial pressures brought on by COVID and is implemented by the six regional development agencies – more details on how to apply through your local RDA can be found here.

In addition, organizations with annual revenues above $300 million may qualify for credit through the Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility (LEEFF). To qualify for LEEFF, businesses must be seeking financing of about $60 million or more, have significant operations or workforce in Canada, and not be involved in active insolvency proceedings.

The Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS) provides simple and easy-to-access rent and mortgage support until June 2021 for qualifying organizations affected by COVID-19. The rent subsidy would be provided directly to tenants, while also providing support to property owners. The new rent subsidy would support businesses, charities, and non-profits that have suffered a revenue drop, by subsidizing a percentage of their expenses, on a sliding scale, up to a maximum of 65% of eligible expenses. Organizations would be able to make claims retroactively to September 27.

Also offered: Lockdown Support, a top-up of 25% for organizations temporarily shut down by a mandatory public health order issued by a qualifying public health authority, in addition to the 65% provided by CERS.

CERS replaces the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) program, which is now closed to new applications. 

Businesses, non-profits, and charities that suffer revenue loss due to the pandemic likely qualify for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS).

Qualifying employers will be able to receive a subsidy on eligible wages. Employers can apply through the CRA’s My Business Account. Details on how to apply are available here, and the government has published a CEWS application guide, subsidy calculator, and a list of FAQs. Employers will need to re-apply for each claim period that they experience lower revenues.

The program has been extended to June 2021. Details are available here.

The federal government is extending the maximum duration of the Work-Sharing program from 38 weeks to 76 weeks. The Work-Sharing program is offered to workers who agree to reduce their normal working hours because of developments beyond the control of their employers. Learn more here.

To find out about the legal framework within which you can prepare for, manage, and address developments caused by the spread of this virus, click here.

We offer training and certification programs through our Emerit Tourism Training platform. View the list of courses available here.

Restaurants Canada has an excellent list of answers and resources. Access it here.

The Hotel Association of Canada (HAC) has an excellent list of answers and resources. Access it here.

The Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC) has excellent resources available. Learn more here.

The Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC) has an excellent list COVID-19 resources. The association also produces regular updates on the State of Tourism and has launched a tourism recovery campaign.

You may also benefit from assistance from your Regional Development Agency. Find out more here.

All aspects of the government’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan can be found can be found here.

You can also receive a tailored list of resources by accessing this tool.

FAQs for Individuals and Employees

The federal government has developed a tool to help you find the benefits that best apply to your situation. Please click here to access it.

The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) was a taxable benefit that provided up to $2,000 every four weeks for up to 28 weeks to eligible workers who stopped working or whose work hours were reduced due to COVID-19. A full list of questions and answers on CERB can be found here.

CERB has now ended, but CRA is continuing to accept and process retroactive applications for August 7 to September 26, 2020. Please apply through the CRA My Account platform or call 1-800-959-2019.

With the close of the CERB, the government has implemented temporary changes to the Employment Insurance (EI) program.

As of September 27, you may be eligible for EI if you:

  • were employed for at least 120 insurable hours in the past 52 weeks (if you received the CERB, the 52 week period to accumulate insured hours will be extended)
  • stopped working through no fault of your own
  • have not quit your job voluntarily
  • are ready, willing and capable of working each day (EI regular benefits)
  • are temporarily unable to work while you care for someone else or yourself (EI maternity, parental, sickness, compassionate care, and family caregiver benefits)

Please click here to learn more and see if you are eligible for EI.

You may be eligible for the Work-Sharing program. If you answer yes to the following three questions, find out how to apply here.

  1. Are you a year-round, permanent, full-time or part-time employee needed to carry out the day-to-day functions of the business (“core staff”)?
  2. Are you eligible to receive EI benefits?
  3. Do you agree to reduce your normal working hours in order to share the available work?

You may also be eligible for the Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB). This program gives income support to employed and self-employed individuals who are directly affected by COVID-19 and are not entitled to Employment Insurance (EI) benefits. For full details, please click here.

You could be eligible for Employment Insurance (EI). Learn more and apply here.

You may also be eligible for the Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB). This program gives income support to employed and self-employed individuals who are directly affected by COVID-19 and are not entitled to Employment Insurance (EI) benefits. For full details, please click here.

You could be eligible for Employment Insurance (EI). Learn more and apply here.

You may also be eligible for the Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB). This program gives income support to employed and self-employed individuals who are directly affected by COVID-19 and are not entitled to Employment Insurance (EI) benefits. For full details, please click here.

Check with your employer on whether you are covered by a sick leave policy. If not, you may be eligible for the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB). Learn more and apply here.

Check with your employer on whether you are covered by a sick leave policy. If not, you may be eligible for the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB). Learn more and apply here.

Check with your employer on whether you are covered by a family leave policy. If not, you may be eligible for the Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB). Learn more and apply here.

Check with your employer on whether you are covered by a family leave policy. If not, you may be eligible for the Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB). Learn more and apply here.

You may be eligible for the Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB). This program gives income support to self-employed individuals who are directly affected by COVID-19 and are not entitled to Employment Insurance (EI) benefits. For full details, please click here.

The federal government has made changes to Canada Student Grants and Loans so students facing financial challenges from COVID-19 can access and afford postsecondary education. To provide additional support to students, the government will double student grants for eligible students — up to $6,000 for full-time students and up to $3,600 for part-time students. Additionally, for the 2020-2021 school year, the weekly maximum loan limit for Canada Student Loans will increase from $210 to $350.

It is also worthwhile to check if your school is among those who are offering additional financial assistance to students.

View the federal announcement on supports for students here.

Other benefits programs, such as maternity and parental, are still in place. Find out more and apply here.

Workers who voluntarily quit their job are not eligible for Employment Insurance (EI).

You may be eligible for the Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) if there were reasonable grounds to quit. Please click here to learn more.

We offer online training modules through Emerit Tourism Training. View the list of courses available here.

We also offer a range of resources and templates through our free Tourism Workforce Recovery Toolkit.

Under the Code, employees have 3 basic rights:

  • the right to know
  • the right to participate, and
  • the right to refuse dangerous work

Learn the full details here.

Mental Health FAQs

The sudden, unprecedented disruptions of this pandemic have many of us feeling anxious, worried, and even scared. We encourage everyone to seek help as needed. Below is a list of national resources that can be of assistance in helping to manage the stress or seek further help: