COVID 19 Client Resources

Client resources

We’ve created an article to help buyers and sellers understand what to expect during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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REBGV strongly recommends no open houses

We've issued a news release that strongly recommends REALTORS® and their clients refrain from holding open houses at this time.

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Government support

The federal government has announced a series of measures to help support small businesses through the COVID-19 crisis.

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Income relief

1. Federal temporary wage subsidy – updated March 30 

The federal government provided more details today on its new wage subsidy plan. The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy program will provide an up to 75 per cent wage subsidy on the first $58,700 of an employees salary, which would amount to up to $847 per week.

To qualify for this subsidy, a business's revenue must have declined by at least 30 per cent during the pandemic.

This subsidy will be backdated to March 15 and is intended to help employers continue to pay employees during the pandemic.  

The government will provide more details on the subsidy, including how theyll measure declining revenue, tomorrow.

Click here: for information on all of the relevant economic relief measures that the provincial and federal governments have announced during this crisis.


2. Canada Emergency Response Benefit – updated March 27

The federal government announced the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), a $500 weekly payment intended to support workers unable to make a living due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Eligible applicants can receive it for up to 16 weeks in lieu of Employment Insurance (EI).

The CERB covers workers not normally covered by EI, including self-employed or contract workers like REALTORS®.

To be eligible for the benefit, you must have:

ceased working for reasons related to COVID-19 for at least 14 consecutive days within a four-week period; and

made more than $5,000 of total income in 2019.

To keep receiving the benefit, you can’t receive income from employment or self-employment between March 15 and Oct. 3, 2020.

CERB applies to anyone who has self-quarantined or closed their businesses voluntarily or by order of the government or a regulatory body. Being declared an essential service won’t impact your eligibility.

How to apply:

Application details will be available through My CRA ( and My Service Canada (, beginning April 6.

3. Provincial emergency benefit

The BC government also announced a one-time, tax-free $1,000 supplemental benefit for British Columbians who qualify for the federal CERB benefit.

How to apply:

More information on the application process and eligibility will become available in the coming weeks.



1. Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP)

The Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) and Export Development Canada (EDC) are offering relief measures, including:

working capital loans of up to $2 million with flexible terms and payment postponements for up to six months for qualifying businesses;

postponement of payments for up to six months, free of charge, for existing BDC clients with total BDC loan commitment of $1 million or less; and

reduced rates on new eligible loans.

Additional details about BCAP measures, including industry-specific support, will be announced in the coming days.


How to apply: if you’re already a BDC client, contact your account manager. Otherwise, you can call 1-877-232-2269.


2. Interest-free loans – updated March 27

Alongside the wage subsidy, the federal government announced a Canada Emergency Business Account, which will allow banks to offer $40,000 loans to small businesses.

These loans will be interest free for the first year.

More details on the program will be coming soon.


1. Individual tax filing and payment deferment

CRA is deferring the 2019 tax filing date for both individuals and certain trusts.

For individuals, the return filing due date has been deferred until June 1, 2020.

For trusts having a taxation year ending on December 31, 2019, the return filing due date has been deferred until May 1, 2020.

The CRA will allow all taxpayers to defer, until after August 31, 2020, the payment of any income tax amounts that become owing on or after March 18, 2020, and before September 2020.

2. Business tax payment deferment

The CRA is deferring the 2019 tax filing date for businesses.

The CRA will allow all businesses to defer, until after August 31, 2020, the payment of any income tax amounts that become owing on or after March 18, 2020 and before September 2020. No interest or penalties will accumulate on these amounts during this period.

3. Provincial tax deferment

Businesses with a payroll over $500,000 can defer their employer health tax payments until September 30, 2020.

As well, payment deadlines for the provincial sales tax, motor fuel tax, carbon tax, and others are extended to September 30, 2020.

4. Business school tax cut

Businesses and light- and major-industry property classes will see their school tax cut in half. The government expects that landlords will immediately pass these savings on to their tenants in triple-net leases.

5. GST, HST, and duty deferment – updated March 27

The federal government will allow taxpayers to defer GST and HST payments, as well as duty taxes on imports until June.



1. Lower interest rates – updated March 27

The Bank of Canada dropped its interest rate 50 basis points to 0.25 per cent on March 27. This is the lowest the Bank can make the rate without potentially disrupting short-term funding markets. 

This unscheduled rate cut is meant to provide support to the Canadian financial system and economy during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Click here for the full release:

The federal government is asking banks and credit-card companies to lower interest rates on Canadians struggling financially because of the COVID-19 pandemic.  

The government is also looking at extending lower-interest credit directly to Canadians. 

We’ll provide more information as it becomes available


2. Bill payment deferment

The provincial government is working with BC Hydro and ICBC to allow bill payment deferment. ICBC is extending deferrals to up to 90 days. People dealing with job loss, illness, or loss of wages due to COVID-19 may also qualify for BC Hydro’s Customer Crisis Fund grant program for up to $600.



The federal government, through CMHC, is providing increased flexibility for homeowners facing financial difficulties to defer mortgage payments on homeowner CMHC-insured mortgage loans. CMHC is permitting lenders to allow payment deferral.

Learn more:


Other COVID-19 sources

■ BC Centre for Disease Control – Latest updates

■ BC Centre for Disease Control – FAQ

■ BC Government

■ HealthLinkBC

■ Government of Canada

■ World Health Organization (WHO) – Latest updates