Software engineers create online tool to help companies find available government COVID-19 relief

corona support

A group of Canadian software engineers has created Corona Support, an online resource intended to help people and businesses identify which of the 15 federal and provincial government COVID-19 relief programs they might be eligible for.

“As Canadians, we see it as our duty to stick together through these tough times.”

As part of its emergency response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government has created a number of new assistance programs for people and businesses, including the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy and the Canada Emergency Response Benefit.

Although many entrepreneurs have highlighted the urgent need for these types of programs, many have found their startups to be ineligible due to specific requirements such as revenue decline or payroll spend.

Despite government efforts to expand the criteria for these programs, a survey conducted by Corona Support found that 87 percent of those surveyed were still confused about the government programs.

Corna Support is intended to help these companies navigate government relief and get financial aid during the pandemic. The online tool prompts users to fill out a short survey about their status in Canada, employment situation, financial details, and family circumstances. Once the survey is complete, the website then lists support programs the respondent qualifies for as well as next steps.

RELATED: Federal government expands eligibility for small business loans, announces rent assistance

“We all have friends and family that have been affected by this pandemic in one way or another, and as Canadians, we see it as our duty to stick together through these tough times,” the team wrote on the Corona Support website.

The tech community has produced a number of resources to help employees and businesses during the crisis. One resource that is similar to Corona Support is a COVID-19 Business Support Centre, an initiative created by the Schulich School of Business and Pycap Venture Partners. Part of that initiative is a grant eligibility assessment, which evaluates the company’s position to determine eligibility for government relief programs.

Other initiatives include the Talent Help List, a community hiring tool designed to help out-of-work talent in Canada’s startup sector, and an online event held April 2 that encouraged Quebec residents to purchase from local startups. Other startups from across the country have pitched in with free offerings to support Canadians during this time.

Image source Unsplash. Photo by Haley Carman.

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle Kirkwood

Writer, globetrotter, drone pilot & David Attenborough enthusiast