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COVID-19: Financial support for businesses

2020 Property tax relief

The City of Calgary

In 2020 Council approved additional relief measures to support taxpayers facing financial hardship.

2020 Property Tax Bylaw Passed

Excluding the impact of assessment changes and Phased Tax Program (PTP) rebates, non-residential taxpayers saw a combined decrease of 12.07% or $2,640 per $1 million of assessed value annually ($220 per month) after the Council rebate.

There was a significant decline in the combined municipal business tax and non-residential property tax responsibility from 2001 to 2020 compared to the property tax responsibility borne by residential property owners over the same time frame. More information can be found on the distribution of municipal tax page.

$30 million in tax relief for Calgary businesses in 2020

City Council approved $30 million in tax relief for Calgary businesses who experienced the most significant municipal property tax increases over the past four years.

Financial aid

The City of Calgary

The City of Calgary is working closely with the province and the federal government to gain further information on the impacts to Calgary business of this relief. We’ll be posting up-to-date information on as the situation progresses. Below are details on other supports available.

Business Improvement Area tax levy relief

The City has allocated over $4.2 million in provincial and federal COVID-19 recovery funding towards the 2021 Business Improvement Areas’ (BIA) budgets. There are 15 BIAs located in Calgary and all 6,044 businesses located within the BIAs will have a one-time credit equal to their 2021 BIA tax bill applied to their account. Business owners will be mailed an updated account statement showing the credit applied and their current account balance. Business owners who are looking for more information should visit

Water, waste and recycling charges

The City’s bill deferral for water, waste and recycling charges ended on June 18, 2020.

Small business customers (less than 2,500 m3 water consumption in 2019) who deferred payment and have not set up an installment plan will be automatically set up on a 10-payment installment plan after July 18, 2020.

Customers who used more than 2,500 m3 in 2019 and are finding it challenging to pay their bill, can contact ENMAX, The City’s contracted customer care and billing provider, at 310-2010 to ask for their request to be sent to The City of Calgary.

The Government of Alberta

The Province has announced similar provisions for gas and electrical bills deferrals without interest or penalty; please contact your service provider for details. Find more at the Government of Alberta’s supports for businesses site.

Small and Medium Enterprise Relaunch Grant

The Government of Alberta has enhanced the Small and Medium Enterprise Relaunch Grant, which eases COVID-19 relaunch costs faced by businesses, non-profits and cooperatives. Those affected by recent targeted public health measures can apply for a second round of funding. This second payment will now be 15% of pre-pandemic monthly revenues up to a maximum of $15,000, for a total of $20,000 in potential funding available for each business, up from the original $5,000.

New businesses that began operations between March 1 and October 31, 2020 and meet the updated 30% threshold can apply for the grant starting February 4, 2021.

Enhanced COVID-19 Business Benefit

Starting in mid-April 2021, the Enhanced COVID-19 Business Benefit will provide payments of up to $10,000 to eligible small and medium businesses most affected by the pandemic and ongoing public health restrictions. Businesses can use these funds as they see fit to help offset the costs of re-opening and implementing public health measures. 

The Government of Canada

Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS)

Companies can apply for the wage subsidy online if they are eligible. The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) ha an online calculator to calculate your subsidy amount.

Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy

The federal government’s Emergency Rent Subsidy is now open for applications. If you are a business, non-profit organization or a charity, and you have seen a drop in revenue due to COVID-19, you may be eligible to have up to 65 per cent of your rent covered. If you are eligible for the base subsidy, you may also be eligible for lockdown support if your business location is significantly affected by a public health order for a week or more.

Canada Summer Jobs Program

The Government of Canada will subsidize 100% of wages (up to the local minimum wage) for businesses and non-governmental organizations to hire students for full time or part-time jobs. The end date for employment has been extended to February 28, 2021. For more information visit Changes to Canada Summer Jobs program to help businesses and young Canadians affected by COVID-19.

Work-Sharing Program

Work-Sharing is a program that helps employers and employees avoid layoffs when there is a temporary decrease in business activity beyond the control of the employer. The program provides Employment Insurance benefits to eligible employees who agree to reduce their normal working hours and share the available work while their employer recovers. Work-Sharing is an agreement between employers, employees and the Government of Canada.

Wage Earner Protection Program

The Government of Canada has temporarily extended the eligible wages period for the Wage Earner Protection Program. This program provides financial support to workers who are owed eligible wages when their employer files for bankruptcy or becomes subject to receivership. Eligible wages include wages, vacation pay, disbursements, severance and termination.

Learn more about Government of Canada programs for businesses at Support to Businesses -

Federal Support for Self-Employed Individuals

Canada Recovery Benefit

The Canada Recovery Benefit provides $500 per week for up to 26 weeks for workers who have stopped working or had their income reduced by at least 50% due to COVID-19, and who are not eligible for Employment Insurance.

Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit

The Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit provides $500 per week for up to a maximum of two weeks, for workers who:

  • Are unable to work for at least 50% of the week because they contracted COVID-19
  • Are self-isolated for reasons related to COVID-19
  • Have underlying conditions, are undergoing treatments or have contracted other sicknesses that, in the opinion of a medical practitioner, nurse practitioner, person in authority, government or public health authority, would make them more susceptible to COVID-19.

Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit

The Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit provides $500 per week for up to 26 weeks per household for workers:

  • Unable to work for at least 50% of the week because they must care for a child under the age of 12 or family member because schools, day-cares or care facilities are closed due to COVID-19.
  • Because the child or family member is sick and/or required to quarantine or is at high risk of serious health implications because of COVID-19.

Federal Business/Not-for-Profit Loans and Grant Programs

The Canada Emergency Business Account

The Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) provides interest-free, partially forgivable, loans of up to $60,000, to small businesses and not-for-profits, that have experienced diminished revenues due to COVID-19 but face ongoing non-deferrable costs, such as rent, utilities, insurance, taxes and wages.

Business owners can apply for support until March 31, 2021 through their banks and credit unions.

Loan Guarantee for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises

Through the Business Credit Availability Program, Export Development Canada is working with financial institutions to guarantee 80% of new operating credit and cash flow term loans of up to $6.25 million to small and medium-sized enterprises. This financing support is to be used for operational expenses and is available to both exporting and non-exporting companies. The program is now available at various banks and credit unions.

Co-Lending Program for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SME)

Through the Business Credit Availability Program, Business Development Canada is working with financial institutions to co-lend term loans of up to $6.25 million to SMEs for their operational cash flow requirements. The program offers differing maximum finance amounts based on business revenues. The program is now available at various banks and credit unions.

Mid-Market Financing Program

Through the Business Credit Availability Program, the Business Development Canada's Mid-Market Financing Program will provide commercial loans ranging between $12.5 million and $60 million to medium-sized businesses whose credit needs exceed what is already available through the Business Credit Availability Program and other measures.

Mid-Market Guarantee and Financing Program

Through the Business Credit Availability Program, Business Development Canada’s Mid-Market Guarantee and Financing Program will bring liquidity to companies who tend to have revenues of between $50 million to $300 million to sustain operations. Export Development Canada will continue to work with Canadian financial institutions to guarantee 75% of new operating credit and cash-flow loans – ranging in size from $16.75 million to a maximum of $80 million. These expanded guarantees are available to exporters, international investors and businesses that sell their products or services within Canada.

Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility

The Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility provides bridge financing to Canada’s largest employers whose needs during the pandemic are not being met through conventional financing, in order to keep their operations going.

Additional support available to businesses by sector:

Commercial insurance

The Insurance Bureau of Canada has created a COVID-19 Q&A outlining how coverage is triggered and how business interruption policies work. Find out more at IBC - COVID-19.