COVID-19 RESPONSE: Resources for Small Business

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We recognize the tremendous strain the current situation is putting on Canadian entrepreneurs.

In an attempt to keep you informed of programs and supports available for Canadian businesses, we’re happy to share this list of federal and regional resources.

If you are aware of other programs in your region, please let us know. 

BDC WEBINAR: How to cope with the impacts of COVID-19 on your business.  Watch the Video>>

Many of the items can be found in the newly updated Innovation Canada portal, which includes a special tab for COVID-19 relevant items.

  1. Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan – (Dept. of Finance)

Money & benefits for employees and the self-employed. READ MORE>>

  1. Get your drug or medical device to clinical trial faster – (Health Canada)

COVID-19: Get your drug or medical device to clinical trial faster

Companies and researchers who have a drug or medical device that could be effective in the treatment of COVID-19 are encouraged to undertake a clinical trial to find out if it is safe and effective. Health Canada can authorize a clinical trial quickly in urgent situations.

For clinical trial sponsors

Companies and researchers with drugs, medical devices, or natural health products that may be effective in treating or diagnosing COVID-19 are encouraged to contact us to facilitate clinical trials.
Clinical trials are studies to find out whether a drug or medical device is safe and effective for people. We can authorize a clinical trial quickly in urgent situations.

Please contact us at:
•Trials using pharmaceutical drugs:
•Trials using biologics or radiopharmaceuticals:
•Trials using natural health products:
•Investigational testing of medical devices:

Drug and medical device supply monitoring

The Government of Canada is actively monitoring the novel COVID-19 and its impact on the supply of prescription and over-the-counter drugs, natural health products and medical devices in Canada. We do this through regular contact with:
• drug, medical device and natural health products manufacturers and importers
• provincial, territorial and international partners

To date, no manufacturer of prescription drugs or medical devices has reported any shortage related to COVID-19. We are aware that there may be supply disruptions related to COVID-19 and are monitoring the situation closely.

Companies that market prescription drugs for human use in Canada must report anticipated or actual drug shortages on Drug Shortages Canada ( ). We have contacted companies to remind them of this requirement. Industry stakeholder associations have also been asked to notify us of any early signals of shortages related to COVID-19. Drug and medical device shortage signals can also be reported by the provinces and territories, healthcare professionals or the public.

We will continue to use all available tools to help manage critical national shortages when they happen, and work with partners so that Canadians have access to the medications they need. Learn more about drug shortages in Canada.

  1. Work-Sharing Program – COVID-19: Income support to avoid layoffs – (ESDC)

If your employees are eligible for Employment Insurance (EI) benefits, and your business is suffering a downturn due to COVID-19, you can apply for a work-sharing agreement. The agreement would allow them to work a temporarily reduced work week while receiving EI benefits. READ MORE>>

  1. Help Canada combat Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) – submission form – (Request from PWGSC)

Are you a business that can supply products and services in support of Canada’s response to COVID-19?

We need items such as masks, gloves, gowns, hand sanitizer, and services such as security, nursing, food, laundry, accommodation maintenance and IT support. READ MORE>>
  1. Support for tourism operators and SMEs (Regional Development Agencies e.g. WD)

If the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting your operations, contact your local Regional Development Agency office to get a review of your situation and guidance on getting funding, support and/or flexible arrangements, on a case-by-case basis. READ MORE>>

  1. BDC – Support for entrepreneurs impacted by the coronavirus COVID-19

As announced by the Minister of Finance, BDC puts in place additional measures to provide relief for Canadian entrepreneurs.

Effective March 18, 2020, new relief measures for qualified businesses include:


Amount: Minimum commitment with BDC of $100K including the BCAP up to $2M. Clients seeking smaller amounts, see #7.

  1. BDC: Small Business Loan – $10 – $100K

Up to $100,000. No application fees. Online application process. Repayable over 5 years.
Use to: buy equipment, purchase extra software or hardware, apply for a patent, trademark or, other intellectual property protection.
Eligibility: Canadian company in operation for at least 24 months.
Apply online. Provide all required information and get approved within 5 days. Receive results or funds in 2 to 5 business days. READ MORE>>

  1. BDC: Working Capital Loan

Get a loan to complement your line of credit in order to boost inventory and take advantage of supplier discounts. READ MORE>>

  1. EDB-BDC: Purchase Order Financing

Loans to fulfill large international orders.
Get financing to cover up to 90% of the purchase order amount of contracts with international buyers. The loan is dispersed directly to you, allowing you to pay your suppliers on time and fulfil contracts as promised. You can pay the loan back as you get paid by the buyer. READ MORE>>

  1. Information and support to make decisions during COVID-19 pandemic

Get the latest information on supporting your employees, managing financial risk, contingency planning, business travel and events, and international trade during the pandemic. READ MORE>>

11.    NRC COVID-19 Challenge Program

The NRC’s new COVID-19 Challenge Program will bring together a national network of researchers and scientific facilities to address pressing needs and challenges. The COVID-19 Challenge Program, composed of teams of government, academic, and private-sector partners will address a range of medium-term Public Health Agency of Canada and Health Canada needs, including:


12.   NRC Industrial Research Assistance Program:

NRC IRAP has been tasked by the Government of Canada to work with Canadian industry to address a range of medium‑term Public Health Agency of Canada and Health Canada needs, including:

Visit the NRC website for more information.

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