COVID-19: Government Relief programs for affected Small Businesses

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Ecommerce platforms are beginning to inform their users of vital information regarding those affected by COVID-19. Today Shopify have kindly supplied a list for affected small businesses of Governments roll outs of financial relief and various programs to support small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The information below was provided by Shopify.



  • Small Business Loan: Low-interest loans up to $100,000 if your business has been generating revenues for at least 24 months.
  • Purchase order financing: Cover up to 90% of the purchase order amount to ease cash flow to your suppliers.

United States

  • Federal: Low-interest loans up to $2 million through the Small Business Administration for states impacted by COVID-19.
  • City of New York: Zero-interest loans of up to $75,000 for businesses with less than 100 employees. 40% of payroll costs covered for businesses with less than 5 employees.
  • City of San Francisco: $10,000 for employee salaries and rent for businesses with less than 5 employees.
  • City of Sacramento: Zero-interest loans of up to $25,000.


United Kingdom

  • Business interruption loan: Recover 2 weeks of sick pay due to COVID-19 for businesses with less than 250 employees. £3,000 for businesses whose property’s rateable value is less than £15,000.
  • Rates relief (Scotland): 75% rates relief for retail, hospitality and leisure sectors with a rateable value of less than £69,000 from April 1, 2020.
  • SMB grants (Scotland): Grants of at least £3,000 to small businesses in sectors facing the worst economic impact of COVID-19.


  • Short-time work allowance: Short-time work allowance, if a minimum of 10% of your workforce if affected.


  • Self-employed allowance: Self-employed workers are paid a monthly allowance of 500 euros for three months for the municipalities affected by COVID-19.


  • Bridging loans for small businesses: The government is offering the ability to receive a loan or an overdraft on your bank account for SMBs that are missing income or production due to COVID-19.
  • Shorten working hours for employees: For businesses with employees, the government is offering the ability to shorten working hours and request unemployment benefits.


  • Defer tax debts: Small businesses can defer payment of tax debts, or settle them in installments, an interest-free period of six months.


  • Short term leave subsidy: Employers receive more than 90% of employees’ salaries who have to take short term leave due to COVID-19.
  • Sick pay relief: The government will temporarily take on the full cost of all sick pay costs in April and May. Self-employed persons are also compensated by receiving a standardized sickness benefit for days 1 to 14.



  • Financing support: 100% guarantee on loans if year-over-year sales decrease by more than 20%, and 80% if year-over-year sales decrease by 5%.
  • Productivity subsidies: IT tools leading to improvements such as the efficiency of back-office operations are eligible for a subsidy between 300,000 to 4,500,000 yen.


  • Jobs support: A rebate of 8% of the wages, up to a monthly wage cap of $3,600, for three months (provided by July 2020).
  • Wage credit: The government will co-fund wage increases for Singaporean employees earning a gross monthly wage of up to $5,000.
  • Corporate income tax rebate: A 25% rebate of tax payable, capped at $15,000 per company.
  • Property tax rebate: A 15% property tax rebate for qualifying commercial properties.

South Korea

  • VAT break: VAT break for businesses earning 60 million won or less a year.
  • Financial support: The Special Financial Support for Small Merchant and SMEs will increase from 1.2 trillion won to 4.6 trillion won, and SME support from 0.03 trillion won to 0.63 trillion won.
  • Rent relief: Landlords will receive a 50% income tax break.

Hong Kong

  • Cash payout: $10,000 cash payout to Hong Kong permanent residents aged 18 or above.
  • Tax relief: Reduced salaries tax and tax under personal assessment for 2019 to 2020 assessment year by 100%, subject to a ceiling of $20,000.
  • Low-interest loans: Low-interest loan (up to $2 million) with a 100% government guarantee for enterprises, which will be open for application for 6 months.



  • Cash flow assistance: Up to $25,000 tax-free subsidy for small and medium-sized businesses with annual net sales of less than $50 million.
  • Tax deduction: Instant asset write-off threshold increased from $30,000 to $150,000 for businesses with annual net sales of less than $500 million until 30 June 2020.
  • Support for apprentices and trainees: Eligible employers can apply for a wage subsidy of 50% of apprentice or trainee wages for up to 9 months from 1 January 2020 to 30 September 2020 (up to a maximum of $21,000 per eligible apprentice or trainee).

2 Responses

  1. To whom it may concern-
    I don’t know where to begin; I am writing this story with a heavy heart as we had to close our doors yesterday. We, as many of our retail friends, have been force to close with the uncertainty of the future. My daughter and I took the plunge, and our savings, to open up a large retail boutique together 3 years ago. We offer home decor, junior to curvy size clothing, shoes, jewelry, purses, makeup, formal wear that consists of prom dresses, mother’s dresses, and bridesmaid gowns. We also, rent tuxedos. We have found ourselves growing and enjoying building a team. Now, as of yesterday, we had to lay off the employees that have been with us long enough to receive unemployment benefits – and uncertain of the future of the others.
    Now a little bit about my partner, my daughter. Her name is Chelsi, she is a wonderful single mom of my two small grandchildren. I have anxiety and worry how she is going to live without the income of the store. We are both considered owners and filed k-1’s – me not being very tax savvy, thought that was a wise idea at the time, because we took very little from the business and lived very frugal (under 30,000 per year) with most money focused on growing the business and our customer base. Now finding out that if you are an owner and filed as k-1 you are currently entitled to Nothing! We enjoyed taking little money and building the business for great expectation and expansions of the future. Now, even though I am happy that there is help for all w-2 employees by the government, and the information as of now, it is not suppose to come back and affect the small business owners in the future.
    I can’t help but ask…. what about us? The small business owners, we not only have our household bills but, our business bills too – rent, lights, heat, etc all continue.
    Please share any advise or insights that you may have for those of us small business owners who hope to be able to eat and care for our families during this scary time.
    I pray for All my retail friends, for our businesses to reopen soon and economy to have a strong recovery?
    Thanks for allowing me to share.
    Blush Boutique
    Carroll, Iowa

  2. If your small Canadian Business provides service that requires hands on … Hair Salon & Spa …. and to honour clients’ health safety as well as owner/operator (no employees), business doors are now closed.
    Where can self-employed – sole-proprietors find information to assist them financially until they can re-open their doors. Mostly because the business revenue is the source of their personal income, which pays personal rent; bills and food. Have seen the “Emergency Care Benefit” for self-employed, but cannot access an area to apply. If there is a phone # to contact and apply over phone please supply via email.



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