COVID-19: Support for Yukoners

Insights
| 3/31/2020

The Government of Yukon is working with federal counterparts, First Nations, local businesses, organizations, and communities to introduce support for Yukoners impacted by COVID-19. 

The full COVID-19 support for Yukoners can be found here.

Support for Individuals

Home Security

The Government of Yukon passed new regulations under the Residential Landlord and Tenant Act preventing evictions over the next 90 days for residential tenants who are self-isolating or unable to pay their rent on time due to COVID-19. The regulations will also allow tenants to pay their rent late if they are unable to pay it when it is due.

Landlords will be unable to evict if the tenant or a member of their household is subject to a health protection measure.

Highlights of these measures are summarized below:

  • A tenant who has lost their job or had their income reduced as a result of COVID-19, will be able to end the tenancy early without penalty. This would free up the rental unit to tenants who are able to cover rent.
  • The tenant will have to pay the unpaid rent as soon as they are able to pay or after the 90 days, whichever comes first.
  • Landlords will be able to apply to the Residential Tenancies Office for exemption if their property or the safety of others is threatened by the tenant.
  • A landlord will not be able to enter a rental unit if the residents are under a health protection measure, except for reasons of safety.
Immigration

As a result of impacts of COVID-19, foreign nationals working in Yukon through the Yukon Nominee Program will not be required to meet the standard requirement of full-time work hours.

Yukon nominees who experience layoffs or reduced work hours will not be issued the standard 90-day notice to find new employment. This change will remain in effect for the duration of the public health emergency.

All questions and concerns can be addressed by email at yukon.nominee@gov.yk.ca or by phone (toll free) at 1 (800) 661 0408.

Support for Businesses

The Government of Yukon is supporting Yukon’s business community through its regular funding programs and services while taking steps to minimize the risk of COVID-19.

Yukon Business Relief Program

Yukon businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic can receive non-repayable grants from the Government of Yukon to cover certain fixed business costs, including rent, utilities, and business insurance.

Yukon businesses that have experienced at least 30% decline in revenue and require immediate relief can apply for a the grant of up to $30,000 per month to cover eligible costs incurred from March 23 to May 22, 2020.

Who Can Apply

This program is open to Yukon businesses, including home-based businesses, which have faced a minimum of 30% loss in gross revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

A Yukon business means a business that meets three of the following criteria:

  • has an office with a physical address in Yukon;
  • is subject to the Yukon Income Tax Act;
  • is registered as per the Business Corporations Act or the Partnership and Business Name Act, where applicable; and
  • has a valid municipal business license, where applicable.

Who Cannot Apply

This program is not available to:

  • governments at all levels and their corporations;
  • not-for-profits;
  • religious organizations;
  • finance and insurance businesses;
  • real estate businesses;
  • utilities businesses;
  • telecommunications businesses; and
  • mines.

How Much Can Businesses Receive?

  • Eligible Yukon businesses will receive between 75% and 100% of their fixed costs up to a maximum of $30,000 per month.

What is the Timeline for Costs?

The program will cover eligible costs incurred from March 23 to May 22, 2020.

Application Deadline

Applications will be accepted until June 30, 2020.

Eligible Fixed Costs

The business costs eligible for support are:

  • commercial rent or lease;
  • water, sewage, and waste disposal;
  • electricity and heating fuel;
  • telephone, cable, internet, and satellite;
  • software, data services, and subscriptions;
  • business insurance; and
  • pest control.

For home-based businesses:

If you have a home-based business, your business-use-of-home expenses are eligible. This includes, for example, the portion of mortgage interest or rent costs accepted by the Canada Revenue Agency as attributable to the operation of the home-based businesses.

Home-based businesses must provide proof of “business-use-of-home expenses deductions,” as defined by the Canada Revenue Agency, on their 2018 federal income tax return. For example:

  • portion of rent;
  • capital cost allowance;
  • property insurance;
  • property taxes; and
  • interest on mortgages and operating costs (heat, light).

Ineligible Costs

The following business costs are not covered by the program:

  • any expense not listed under “eligible fixed costs” (see above);
  • mortgage principal payments for home-based businesses; and
  • any costs that have already been covered by insurance.

What you need to apply

Required documents

Businesses

  • Complete and sign the application form with the original signature page.
  • Documentation showing that you are an eligible Yukon business dated before March 1, 2020. For example, a utility bill, showing the organization’s name and address, registration from Corporate Affairs dated before March 1, 2020, and a valid business license.
  • Copies of invoices or bills showing fixed costs incurred during the program period that meet the eligibility requirements for this program, (i.e. electrical bills, rent receipts).
  • Documents to demonstrate a revenue loss of 30% in gross revenue – calculation method will vary by sector.
  • Any other supporting documents.

Home-based businesses

  • Eligible expenses for home-based business will be based on previous tax years.
  • New home-based businesses without 2018 tax filings may provide 2019 tax filing documentation as proof of eligibility.

How to Apply

1. Contact the Department of Economic Development for an application.

Email: ecdev@gov.yk.ca

Phone: (867) 456 3803

Toll Free: 1 (800) 661 0408 ext. 3803

2. Complete an application form.

3. Submit the application and required supporting documents:

Email: ecdev@gov.yk.ca

Fax: 867-393-6228

Mail:

Government of Yukon

Box 2703,

Whitehorse, Yukon Y1A 2C6

Paid Sick Leave Rebate

The Paid Sick Leave Rebate supports employers with Yukon workers and self-employed people affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

This rebate program reimburses employers who pay their employees or self-employed people to take sick days or self-isolate. A maximum of 10 days of wages per employee (not including benefits, payroll taxes, or deductions) will be covered for sick leave and/or for a 14-day self-isolation period. The rebate program will be in effect for six months, running from March 11 to September 11, 2020.

This rebate is not available to:

  • Government of Yukon and its corporations;
  • Government of Canada and its corporations;
  • Yukon First Nation governments; and
  • municipalities.

Apply for a Paid Sick Leave Rebate for Employers

The rebate allows Yukon workers without paid sick leave to stay at home if they:

  • become sick; or
  • are required to self-isolate while still meeting their basic financial needs.

The maximum daily rebate will be $378.13 per day per employee.

These paid sick leave days will apply only after all existing regular paid sick leave for the employee is used. The rebate program cannot be split into multiple uses, and can only be used once per employee. A doctor’s note is not required.

To be eligible for the Paid Sick Leave Rebate, the employer and its employees must be Yukon-based, the employer must pay employees to take time off for sick leave and who need to be in self-isolation due to COVID-19, and meet three of the following requirements:

  • has an office with a physical address in Yukon;
  • is subject to the Yukon Income Tax Act;
  • is registered as per the Business Corporations Act or the Partnership and Business Name Act, where applicable;
  • has a valid municipal business license where applicable.

The following are required documents needed to access the rebate program:

  • Copy of your business license, proof of your office location (such as a utility bill, or lease), notice of assessment for the year, or municipal business license.
  • Copies of the most recent pay stubs (for all employees in your application), covering the dates and proof of wages paid for sick leave/self-isolation.

Apply for a Paid Sick Leave Rebate for the Self-Employed

The maximum daily rebate will be $378.13 per day per employee. If no Notice of Assessment from Revenue Canada is submitted, the maximum daily rate will set to the 2020 maximum Employment Insurance rate of $114.60 per day.

The rebate program cannot be split into multiple uses, and can only be used once. A doctor’s note is not required.

The following are required documents needed to access the rebate program:

  • Copy of your Business license or proof of registration from Corporate Affairs dated before March 1, 2020 (business name, partnership, corporation, society).
  • Copy of your most recent Notice of Assessment from Revenue Canada to calculate average daily earnings and provide evidence of self-employment earnings.

How to Apply

1. Contact the Government of the Yukon for an application and to get the process started.

  • Phone (867) 456 3803
  • Toll-free 1(800) 661 0408 ext 3803

2. Applicants submit the application and required supporting documents by:

  • Fax: (867) 393 6228
  • Mail: Government of Yukon, Paid Sick Leave Rebate (F-1)

    Box 2703, Whitehorse, Yukon  Y1A 2C6

Where Applicants Can Get Help

  • Phone: (867) 456 3808
  • Toll-free: 1 (800) 667 0408 ext. 3803
Business Advisory Council

The Government of Yukon has established a COVID-19 Business Advisory Council consisting of approximately 20 Yukon business representatives to ensure the needs of the business community are heard during the COVID-19 pandemic. This council includes stakeholders from a wide variety of sectors who will contribute their knowledge and experience representing diverse aspects of Yukon’s economy. Together they will inform the Department of Economic Development with local business intelligence, identify best practices, and recommend mitigation strategies to address the economic impacts of COVID-19. The Council is expected to operate for six months, but may extend beyond this dependent on circumstances.

Crowe MacKay Partner, Norman McIntyre, is a member on the Business Advisory Council as a business financial representative.

Support for Arts and Culture

The following are ways in which the Yukon Government is supporting the arts community during the COVID-19 crisis:

  • If you have an active Transfer Payment Agreement for project funding, and you have started the project but then find you must cancel or delay it due to COVID-19, you can claim the eligible expenses you have incurred up to the amount of your agreement.
  • Core funded organizations will not be required to have replacement programming for events or activities that are delayed, changed, or cancelled due to the pandemic.
  • Core funded organizations should include an explanation of how the pandemic impacted their programming and activities when reporting.
Arts funding programs

Advanced Artist Award

For the April 1, 2020 intake of the Advanced Artist Award, there will be $150,000 available in funding. Normally, $75,000 is allocated for this intake.'

Learn more or apply for the Advanced Artist Award.

Arts Fund

The Arts Fund will increase by $125,000.

The special intake criteria will suspend the current threshold and allow applicants to apply for 100% of eligible project expenses. The regular June, September and December intakes for Arts Fund have not changed.

Learn how to apply to the Arts Fund.

On Yukon Time – special funding

Tourism and Culture is providing special funding for arts-related initiatives in light of COVID-19 impacts.

The On Yukon Time program will be adapted to support artists and organizations in this time of lost revenue and uncertainty. This is a one-time change for the 2020–21 fiscal year.

$75,000 is available in total. These funds will help the creative community during our new social distancing realities.

Applicants may apply to receive up to:

  • $2500 for individuals; or
  • $5000 for businesses, not-for-profit organizations, and collectives.

Applicants may apply for up to 100% of eligible project costs.

Learn how to apply.

Temporary Support for Events Funding Program

The funding program provides support for irretrievable losses related to the cancellation of major events, such as costs related to spoiled perishable goods and the cancellation of accommodations and services. The funding program covers irretrievable variable costs, (costs specifically related to the event and that represent an increase to the costs associated with the normal operation of the business), that were incurred as the applicant(s) planned ahead for the cancelled events. Applicants must first exhaust all other avenues for loss mitigation, including cancelling services and seeking refunds on goods, and may be asked to submit evidence of such efforts.
Eligibility

Organizations which are Yukon businesses and non-government organizations that face a unique, irretrievable financial loss due to the COVID-19 related cancellation of an eligible event.

An eligible business must meet three of the following criteria:

  • has an office with a physical address in Yukon;
  • is subject to the Yukon Income Tax Act;
  • is registered as per the Business Corporations Act or the Partnership and Business Name Act, where applicable;
  • has a valid municipal business license, where applicable.

An eligible non-government organization is based in Yukon and includes:

  • registered non-profit societies;
  • not-for-profit corporations incorporated under the Canada Not-for-Profit Corporations Act based in Yukon;
  • charitable organizations.

Eligible events (for which businesses can seek funding) include:

  • Arctic Winter Games 2020;
  • Yukon Native Hockey Tournament 2020;
  • any event in Yukon with more than 50 expected participants that was cancelled due to COVID-19 between March 7 and July 31, 2020.

Eligible goods and services costs that can be covered by the funding program include:

  • perishable food and drinks that were ordered prior to the event cancellation including any costs associated with the disposal of these perishable goods;
  • printing and advertising services contracted for the cancelled events /delivered ahead of the event;
  • accommodation bookings ahead of the event that were cancelled as a result of an eligible event not happening;
  • service bookings and cancellations/contracts with vendors; and
  • specific, one-time costs of hiring additional staff for an eligible event. 

Ineligible goods/services costs that are not covered by funding program include:

  • goods/services costs associated with non-eligible events;
  • goods/services that could have been returned/cancelled after the Chief Medical Officer of Health’s recommendations on March 16, 2020 regarding broad new measures for Yukon including a ban on mass gatherings of more than 50 people; 
  • goods/services that were purchased after March 16, 2020;
  • any portions of goods/services costs that are recoverable (for example, a partial refund from a vendor); and
  • any portion of goods/services costs that were not solely and only incurred due to the applicant(s)’s participation in the cancelled event.

How to Apply

Applications must be received by 4:30 p.m. on August 31, 2020.

Apply here

Support for Tourism

The Department of Tourism and Culture has announced a one-time, $1 million increase to the Tourism Cooperative Marketing Fund (TCMF). This brings the total available funding to $1.7 million for the 20/21 fiscal year.

One-Time Changes to the Program
  • Applicants will be eligible for 100% of the costs of their marketing initiatives. Previously, the fund covered up to 50% of their costs.
  • Under the new criteria, initiatives targeting people who are already in Yukon will also be eligible. Previously, the TCMF was for marketing initiatives targeted outside of Yukon, with the intent of attracting visitors to the territory. These changes will help support more Yukon businesses this summer and when the pandemic subsides.

Revised guidelines and application forms will be available beginning May 1 on the Tourism Cooperative Marketing Fund page.

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