In an interconnected global economy, the new coronavirus (also known as COVID-19) is affecting Canadian businesses and their operations. It has resulted in restrictions on travel and public gatherings, as well as supply chain disruptions and market uncertainty.
The Government of Canada is committed to providing you with the information and support you need to make informed decisions as your business navigates through these challenges.
The information on this web page summarizes key considerations and timelines only. It is not intended as legal or other professional advice.
Four key considerations
1. Supporting your employees
People are the cornerstone of any successful business. It is important for you to protect your employees – open, two-way communication is essential to achieving this goal.
No employer should feel like they have to lay off a worker because of the virus, and no one should have to worry about their job if they have to be quarantined. That’s why the Government of Canada’s $1 billion COVID-19 Response Fund goes towards support for employers and workers through the Work-Sharing program, and by waiving the one-week waiting period for Employment Insurance sickness benefits.
2. Financial implications and business preparedness
Canada’s strong fiscal position means we are well-positioned to respond to challenges – and our approach includes measures to prepare for the possible broader impacts on our people, the economy, and small businesses across the country.
It is also vital for Canadian businesses to have contingency plans in place to manage potential financial risk. The Canadian Chamber of Commerce, as well as Business Development Canada, has developed helpful and comprehensive guides to help you with planning and preparedness.
3. Business travel and events
Companies should consider the impacts of international travel on their operations. Canada has several active travel health notices for COVID-19 for countries around the world. These are updated regularly based on ongoing risk assessments.
When it comes to conferences and business events, you can consult the Government of Canada’s advice on deciding whether to postpone or cancel a mass gathering of people.
On March 13, 2020, the Government of Canada advised Canadians to avoid non-essential travel outside of Canada until further notice.
4. Exporting and doing business in international markets
Today’s business climate means many companies are globally connected – what is happening around the world has a direct impact on operations in Canada.
The Trade Commissioner Service has an unmatched network of over 1,000 business-savvy experts in 160 cities worldwide who help Canadian businesses trade, grow, and succeed. Trade commissioners can provide you with market-specific insights and guidance to help you mitigate the impacts of COVID-19.