A Message for Pelham’s Business Owners and Employers

I was recently asked what resources are available to self-employed individuals at this time who are not eligible for Employment Insurance Benefits (EI)? Pelham has a large self-employment base, most of whom work out of the home, who will find this question relevant.

Federally, the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) will provide $2,000 a month for up to 4 months to workers who lose their income as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.  It is intended for businesses owners and individuals who have not paid into and are therefor not eligible.  Applications will open up on Monday, April 6, however the intake is staggered by birth month in order to handle volume of applications expected. You can find more information on the Canada Revenue website.

If you have on-going business costs such as rent, utilities, etc. the only option currently available is the Business Credit Availability Program through the BDC. However, it is also recommended that you connect with your landlord to see if what arrangement can be made. Hopefully commercial landlords will be willing to work with their tenants to determine if a payment schedule, reduced rent, or some other arrangement can be arranged.

Business owners can also contact an Economic Development Officer at ERRT@niagararegion.ca for assistance. The Region has recognized the importance of supporting our local businesses at this time and as a result recently formed a Niagara Economic Rapid Response team to respond to the changing needs of local business and employers. Additional help can be found on the following website https://niagaracanada.com/services/business-support/