Updated: Dec 4, 2021
*Updated on May 1, 2020 4:00pm - Essential Businesses list was updated for May 4, 2020 *Updated on April 4, 2020 11:28am - updated Ontario's essential businesses list *Updated on March 26, 2020 11:25am - added Canada Emergency Response Benefit announced *Updated on March 23, 2020 11:25pm - added essential businesses list
The City of Toronto just announced state of emergency and we, as essential businesses can stay open. So what are considered as essential? Here is the list of essential businesses defined by the province (actually much more than what I thought... not surprising, beer, wine and liquor stores are essential.... - I can see why lol) on April 4 and that is revised as of May 4, an official list from the provincial government, businesses including the following:
Golf courses and Marinas can prepare for the season, not allowed to open yet.
Essential construction being expanded too.
Note that financial relief programs for business owners or self employed people are directly from the CRA but we don't have a whole lot of details as yet and we do not know if we will be even able to get the $2000 as mentioned multiple times by the Federal government. We are very sorry for those who are going through layoffs... we don't know how long this will last but we know this is just the beginning. You can always contact us to help you strategize how you want to utilize your package and how you want to readjust your lives. We are still working and we can be reached online.
For workers who are eligible to apply to EI, I strongly suggest you do your application as soon as you finish your last say of work (cannot apply earlier than that although you might know ahead of time when will be your last day). Here is the direct link to the application. For self employed, business owners and people who normally do not eligible to apply for EI, the Federal government is setting up an Canada Emergency Response Benefit, which details will be released on April 6, 2020. Will see how that is going to play out....
Do what you can online, I suggest you don't even try to call. Most governmental departments' number have really long wait times. Telehealth is one of the numbers that I have heard from multiple sources that wait time is VERY long. Same goes with the Service Canada (especially for EI questions). For those who had already applied for EI online because they fell sick or in quarantine, call 1-833-381-2725 instead of the Service Canada number 1-800-206-7218 on the web site.
In case you need it... Online self-assessment for coronavirus.