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The Helcim Blog / Merchant Guides

COVID-19 Resources for Businesses

Nic Beique | March 18, 2020

“The impact that COVID-19 has had on businesses in North America is unprecedented. We understand the unique challenges that all businesses are currently facing a”

5 min read

The impact that COVID-19 has had on businesses in North America is unprecedented. We understand the unique challenges that all businesses are currently facing and want to help wherever we can.

Below you can find resources and updates from government organizations as they are announced. As this situation is continually evolving, we recommend visiting your government and local commerce websites for the most up to date information for your situation. We will be updating this resource as new information is available, so be sure to check back often for the latest updates. If you would like to share resources, tips for other business owners, or anything else you think should be included, you can let us know at [email protected]. As a payment processor for thousands of businesses across North America, Helcim is committed to doing its part in bringing together people and businesses to share knowledge and resources to help us all get through this.

Helcim Update for Merchants

Our primary focus is on keeping your business up and running by ensuring the continual and uninterrupted delivery of our payment services. In our update for merchants, we shared how we are keeping our own team healthy without disrupting the operation of our services, and some alternative Helcim payment tools that are already included with your Helcim account that you can use to accept payments online or over the phone. You can read the full update here.

Please reach out to the Helcim Customer Service team at 1-877-643-5246 or [email protected] if you have any questions.

Resources for Businesses in the US

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Businesses in the US can find resources on combating COVID-19 on the Chamber’s website. The site also details three policies the Chamber is asking Congress to pass in addition to a response package to support individuals. Updates will be posted on their website as they become available, you can view them here.

They have also compiled a response toolkit that you can view here. You may also find additional assistance and programs related to your local Chamber of Commerce, you can search based by city or state here.

The U.S. Small Business Administration Disaster Assistance Loans

According to the SBA website, the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans can provide up to $2 million in assistance to small businesses. You can learn more about how you can access these loans on their website here. If you would like to find your local SBA office you can use their finder tool here.

Paycheck Protection Program

The Paycheck Protection Program is designed to help small businesses keep employees on their payroll by providing loans for payroll and other expenses. Learn more on the SBA website here.

State and City Level Assistance

Several states and cities have announced additional support and resources for businesses including:

IRS Tax Relief

The IRS has added a page to its website specifically for taxpayers and businesses who are affected by COVID-19. You can view the page and associated resources here.

Kiva

Kiva is offering 0% loans for the first six-months to US businesses, you can learn more about what they are doing here.

Resources for Businesses in Canada

Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan: Support for Canadians and Businesses

On March 18, 2020, the Government of Canada announced new measures as part of the COVID-19 Economic Response Plan to provide support to Canadian workers and businesses. You can view the details for the different initiatives on the Government of Canada website here.

The Government of Canada has also shared similar details on the support available for individuals and businesses here.

Canada Emergency Business Account

The Government of Canada has announced the launch of the new Canada Emergency Business Account. Learn more here.

Canada Emergency Response Benefit

On March 25, 2020, the government proposed legislation to establish the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), the benefit would apply to wage earners in addition to contract workers and self-employed individuals who are not otherwise eligible for Employment Insurance. Read more about it here.

Canada’s Work Sharing Program

Employers can apply for work-sharing as an adjustment program to help avoid layoffs when there is a temporary reduction in normal business activity. You can learn more about the program here.

Innovation Canada

As new information on programs and support available for businesses become available, Innovation Canada is updating their website here.

BDC Support for Entrepreneurs

The BDC has relief measures available for qualified businesses including loans, the option to postpone payments for existing clients, and reduced interest rates on loans. Currently, their website notes that additional details regarding the Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) will be coming soon. You can view more details on their website here.

Canadian Chamber of Commerce

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce has compiled a variety of resources on its website including preparation and planning guides, upcoming webinars, guides, and provincial updates. You can find all of their resources here. We also recommend checking with your local Chamber of Commerce to see resources specific to your city.

The Calgary Chamber of Commerce has also updated their website with resources for businesses, you can view their website here.

Provincial and City Level Assistance

Several provinces and cities have announced additional support and resources for businesses including:

CFIB COVID-19 Small Business Help Centre

The CFIB has compiled resources, templates, and policies to help businesses navigate COVID-19 and keep their employees and business safe. You can find their resources here.

Additional Resources

Facebook Small Business Grants Program

Facebook has set up a page for eligible small businesses to apply for a cash grant or ad credit. You can view the available program details on their website here.

Yelp’s COVID-19 Response and Support for Local Businesses

Yelp has announced tools and resources designed to support local restaurants and nightlife businesses. You can read about what they are doing on their blog here.

For Help Understanding Small Business Loans

The team at Money.com has put together a helpful resource for businesses that can’t qualify for SBA relief loans and want to see what other options more be available. You can view their resource here.

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