COVID-19 Support for People & Businesses

Information for NFN Businesses and financial supports available for individuals and families

NFN Businesses

To receive approval to reopen and remain open, all NFN businesses must follow a rigorous process to ensure that all public health requirements are in place to protect the safety of the community . Click here to read more about this process and to view the list of approved businesses.

The information below is intended to provide guidance to NFN businesses during the constantly evolving COVID-19 situation.  Please note that this information may be subject to change.

Resources for Businesses

Read the list of essential workplaces provided by the province of Ontario in response to COVID-19.   If you have questions about what will be open or impacts to your business or employment, read the frequently asked questions or call the Stop the Spread Business Information Line at 1-888-444-3659. If you are unclear as to whether your business is reflected on (or has been omitted from) the updated list, contact the Government of Ontario’s “Stop the Spread Business Information Line” at 1-888-444-3659. Please note that the updated list may be subject to change, and as such, please refer directly to the official Government list when determining whether your business qualifies as an “essential business”. Learn more about Supports for Businesses through Canada's Economic Response Plan, including emergency wage subsidies, access to credit, and deferalls of income tax and WSIB premiums.


Mike Harney, Economic Development Manager 705-840-8296  |
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced a series of measures in order to support small and medium-sized businesses. The payroll support has been raised to 75 per cent to help employers cover salaries. It is retroactive to March 15th. “This means people will continue to be paid even though their employers have to slow down or stop their businesses.” In order to help companies that are facing a cash crunch, the federal government is launching the Canada Emergency Business Account which will allow companies to apply for loans up to $40,000, interest-free for a year.  If needed up to $10,000 may be forgiven.  The government is also waiving GST and HST payments and import and export duties until June.

More Information:

The Canada Summer Jobs call for applications for the 2020 season closed on February 28, 2020. For those who applied via the Call for Proposals, Service Canada will inform you of the status of your application starting in May 2020. On April 21, 2020, the Government announcement that the site will be updated and they will open the lines for applications starting Monday April 27, 2020 for those employers that did not submit an application by the February 28, 2020 deadline. In the context of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Department is implementing temporary flexibilities for Canada Summer Jobs (CSJ) 2020 in order to be more responsive to the challenges facing employers and youth. In addition, they will work with Members of Parliament to identify organizations that provide essential services in the community and could provide youth jobs but did not apply for the Canada Summer Jobs program in 2020. These employers will be contacted to submit an application. For more information, please visit: Temporary flexibilities have been implemented for Canada Summer Jobs 2020. These include: o Up to 100% (from 50%) wage subsidy for employers (provincial minimum wage match); o Allowance of part-time placements (less than 30 hours per week); o Placements between May 11, 2020 and February 28, 2022. Employers can offer employment to youth who want to work during the academic year; and o Changes to jobs and placements, to support the delivery of essential programs and services.
WSIB has announced a financial relief package worth up to $1.9 billion to help support you through this difficult time while protecting coverage for people with work related injuries or illness. How the financial relief package works: The financial relief package allows businesses to defer premium reporting and payments until August 31, 2020. Businesses who report and pay monthly, quarterly or annually based on their insurable earnings are eligible for this deferral. No interest will accrue on outstanding premium payments and no penalties will be charged during this six-month deferral period. Receiving financial relief: All Ontario businesses covered by our workplace insurance are automatically eligible to receive relief. You do not need to apply for deferment of your premium payments or take any further action to receive relief. You can choose to continue to report and pay on a monthly, quarterly or annual basis. You can also report now and defer payment until later. Processes related to the financial relief package are ongoing; please visit for more details.
What can I do to protect myself, my employees and the public?
The best protection remains regular handwashing with soap for 20 seconds or using alcohol based hand sanitizers, not touching your face, covering your cough or sneeze with a tissue, upper sleeve or elbow, staying home if sick and keeping a social distance of at least 2 metres between yourself and other persons.

Supports for Individuals & Families

  • Accessing Financial Benefits and Support during COVID-19
  • Plain Language Guide to Government Aid during COVID-19
  • Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)
  • CERB Questions & Answers
  • Changes to Taxes and Benefits:
    • Note: every person who applied for the first stream of CERB was automatically approved, whether they qualified or not. If it is later determined the applicant was not eligible, they will have to repay the funds (and possibly penalties) when taxes are due next spring. If applicants are eligible, they can keep the payment but it will be considered taxable income*.
      * The CERB that an individual receives will be treated in the same way as the income that entitled the individual to the CERB. In other words, if the income earned prior to claiming the CERB is exempt from income tax under section 87 of the Indian Act, your CERB will also be exempt. If part of the income is exempt, the CERB will also be exempt from income tax in the same proportion.
    • If you are eligible for the CERB, you can expect $2,000 ($500 per week) for a 4-week period. If your situation continues, you can re-apply for a payment for multiple 4-week periods, to a maximum of 16 weeks (4 periods).
    • Beware of CERB scams! If you get a text message saying you received a deposit for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit. It is a scam! Do not reply or click on the link, delete the text and warn others.
  • Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan
  • COVID-19: Support for People – Learn what financial, mental health and other supports are available in Ontario during COVID-19.
  • Support for Families – The Ministry of Education is providing financial support to parents to assist with the costs of educational resources during school and child care closures as a result of Ontario’s declared emergency to stop the spread of COVID-19. Parents are eligible for a one-time per child payment of:
    • $200 for children aged 0-12, or
    • $250 for children with special needs aged 0-21
    • The link to apply is:
    • Please note:  All parents who are residents of Ontario are eligible for funding, including parents of First Nation children attending schools on reserve.  However, the selection options on the application form do not currently support an option for First Nation schools or child care.  This is being addressed by the ministry.   If your child’s school does not appear in the drop down menu, parents / guardians should select “My child is not enrolled in either public or private school” and then select the most relevant option from the drop down list.
  • COVID-19 Support for Post-Secondary Students – The Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB) provides financial support to post-secondary students, and recent post-secondary and high school graduates who are unable to find work due to COVID-19. This benefit is for students who do not qualify for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) or Employment Insurance (EI). From May to August 2020, the CESB provides a payment to eligible students of $1,250 for each 4-week period OR $2,000 for each 4-week period, if you have dependants or a disability.  Learn more about the benefit and how to apply here:
    The new Canada Student Service Grant, will help students gain valuable work experience and skills while they help their communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. For students who choose to do national service and serve their communities, the new Canada Student Service Grant will provide up to $5,000 for their education in the fall.

Support for people facing unemployment

If you need assistance applying for EI, please contact Tom Lambert, Employment & Training Manager, at 705-753-6985, 705-477-4776 or 705-472-3334 and leave a message. He will get back to you asap.  

Tom is available to assist with applications and will require the following information to assist with your EI application:

  • Social Insurance Number
  • Employers info, address, phone #
  • First Day & Last Day worked
  • Hours worked last week of work
  • Hourly rate
  • Reason for separation

If you stopped working because of COVID-19 and are not eligible for Employment Insurance (EI), the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) may provide you with temporary income support of up to $500 a week for up to 16 weeks.

Applications will be accepted online and by phone starting on Monday, April 6. Apply for the CERB through Service Canada or the CRA – not both:…/s…/benefits/ei/cerb-application.html

Service Canada Information

COVID-19 Information