Coronavirus Resource Centre

This page will serve as a central repository for information coming out of Ottawa about the federal government’s response to the coronavirus COVID-19, as it applies to the Canadian craft brewing industry.

We will also attempt to compile other important information that might be helpful to our members as they attempt to navigate this unprecedented situation.

Finally, there’s an area for you to ask questions, make suggestions, and share ideas with the rest of our membership.


This section contains a compilation of the most common questions we receive from our members, and others we think are important. We’ve answered them based on the latest available information. We will update the answers as new information becomes available.

What are the latest government announcements that apply to my business?

Updated March 25, 2020

  • Wage subsidies – 10% of remuneration paid for a period of three months, up to a maximum subsidy of $1,375 per employee and $25,000 per employer. Paid through reduction of income tax remittances.
  • Work sharing program maximum duration extended from 38 to 76 weeks.
  • Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) – EDC and BDC will provide direct lending and other types of financial support. Contact the financial institution with which you do business to start the process.
  • Businesses can defer, without penalty, the payment of any income tax amounts that become due on or after March 18th and before September 2020.
What are the latest government announcements that apply to my employees?

Updated March 25, 2020

  • Canada Emergency Response Benefit – a taxable benefit of $2,000 per month for four months for:
    • workers who must stop working due to COVID19 and do not have access to paid leave or other income support.
    • workers who are sick, quarantined, or taking care of someone who is sick with COVID-19.
    • working parents who must stay home without pay to care for children that are sick or need additional care because of school and daycare closures.
    • workers who still have their employment but are not being paid because there is currently not sufficient work and their employer has asked them not to come to work.
    • wage earners and self-employed individuals, including contract workers, who would not otherwise be eligible for Employment Insurance.
  • Deferral of the income tax filing due date for individuals to June 1, 2020
  • Canada Child Benefit – increase by $300 per child for the 2019-2020 benefit year.
  • GST credit – a one-time special payment for low- and modest-income individuals ($400) and families ($600).
What other things can I be doing?

Updated March 25, 2020

  • Remember that the information contained on this website pertains only to federal government initiatives and programs. Your provincial craft brewers association may be a good source of information regarding your provincial government’s actions.
  • Talk to your lenders about restructuring your loans. For example, ask for interest-only payments for a period of time.
  • If you’re concerned about your ability to make payments to your creditors, consider seeking the advice of a restructuring professional from a reputable advisory firm. 
How can I find out more about these announcements?

Go to the “Information Sources” section of this page, above.

What is the CCBA doing to influence government support for breweries?

The majority of the CCBA’s 15 board members and Executive Director are craft brewery owners, so we know that this situation is difficult at best and life-threatening at worst to our members. Immediately after commencing operations in October 2019 we retained the Ottawa-based government relations firm Impact Public Affairs and have been meeting with politicians and senior government staff regularly. We hammer home the importance of craft breweries to local economic development, and we emphasize the fact that our members pour hundreds of millions of dollars into the economy annually and therefore need to be supported financially.

For specifics of our advocacy activities, see the “CCBA Advocacy” section of this web page.

Should I close my taproom? Should I close my bottle shop?

Updated March 25, 2020

Many provincial governments have designated beer producers as providing “essential services”, thus allowing the production area of a brewery to continue to operate. There are different, more restrictive rules for taprooms and bottle shops. Your provincial craft brewers association may be a good source of information concerning your provinces specific mandates.

To comply with social distancing directives, many breweries are are getting creative with offerings like online beer sales, beer delivery and drive-by beer pick-up. Think about how your company operates, think about the risks to your employees and your customers and your ability to mitigate those risks, and make the best decision for you.

Can the COVID-19 virus live in beer?

We’ve seen no specific research in this area, but given that most beer does not contain sufficient alcohol to compromise the virus cells, you should assume a glass of beer that has been contaminated with the coronavirus is not safe.

Got Questions, Suggestions or Ideas to Share?

Registered CCBA-AMBC members, please send us any questions or suggestions you have, and share with us any creative things you’re doing. We’ll try to answer your questions, and we’ll post your ideas so others can benefit from them.

If you’re a full brewery member of your provincial craft brewers association, and you haven’t yet registered on the CCBA website, you can do it for free here. If you’re a supplier to the craft beer industry, and you’d like to join the CCBA as an Associate Member, click here.

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