This page is a collection of links to information about the current resources available from the COVID-19 virus. Updating April 3rd
- Update April 3rd: Organizations that do not qualify for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy may qualify for the previously announced wage subsidy of 10 per cent of remuneration paid from March 18 to before June 20, 2020.
New updates in red copy:
SECTIONS WHICH HAVE BEEN UPDATED AFTER PUBLICATION ON APRIL 1ST:ARE IN RED COPY IN THESE SECTIONS: BUSINESS AND GENERAL SUPPORT (DEFERRALS, WSIB, HST, UPDATE TO WAGE SUBSIDY (IF YOU DON’T MEET REQUIREMENTS FOR 75% SUBSIDY); LINK TO VIRTUAL WEBINAR – HELD APRIL1 BELOW (“WHAT DO WE DO NOW…”)
4 areas to look at: (Sections and sub-sections are blue)
Levels of Government – financial and other assistance
FIRST – STAYING HEALTHY
REQUEST FOR EQUIPMENT FROM RVH
- N95 masks – our greatest need – for direct patient care
- Disposable masks – with or without visor – for our assessment and screening processes and to provide care
- Nitrile gloves – latex-free gloves
Mayor Jeff Lehman declares a State of Emergency in the City of #Barrie. Visit barrie.ca/StayHome for updates.
What you should do if you’ve arrived home in Canada (Courtesy of Simcoe.ca):
Anyone who has travelled outside of Canada should:
- Self-isolate for 14 days when they return. People who are self-isolating should not go to work
- Monitor themselves for symptoms of the 2019 novel coronavirus for 14 days after returning to Canada
- If they develop symptoms (fever, cough, difficulty breathing) they should remain isolated for 14 days or until 24 hours after symptoms resolve. If their symptoms worsen, they should seek assessment with their health care provider, assessment centre or emergency department.
SECOND – Grow Vantage Resources: Help for your business
This may be the time to pivot or at least adapt your message so people know how you can help. I’m opening up my office hours to entrepreneurs so we can help each other with ideas:
Free Brainstorming/Help sessions for any business owner
Join us Wednesday evenings from 8:00 pm – 9:00 pm on ZOOM: Join URL: https://zoom.us/j/458799060. (Message me at 705-229-4969 if you aren’t sure how to use Zoom)
Join us Friday afternoons from 1:00 – 2:00 pm from March 20th on Zoom: https://zoom.us/j/121826251
Financial help for those who need business training and advice:
Group 51 has just begun but is open for the next month to allow start-ups and entrepreneurs in growth mode to get the help they need during this difficult time.
We’re deferring payment of Grow Vantage fees for those in need (up to 6 months).
We do this through 30 classes (that are currently online only… until the end of the COVID-19 virus), as well as twice-weekly office hours (through Zoom) for advice, ideas and strategies. We include our members in a directory and give you the ability to advertise your services or seek resources every week on our announcements email. Courses are delivered by experts in their field and managed by Patricia Dent, who is a business coach and trainer.
Our Grow Vantage group members are heart-centered entrepreneurs who have integrity and a desire to do good in the world. They want to learn how to design, launch and grow their business by lowering risk and increasing their knowledge. Is this you? Let’s talk about your needs. At the end of the survey there is a link to my calendar to book a free 30 minute consultation.
ZOOM EVENT: “What Do We Do Now? Advice on Doing Busines in COVID-19” April 1, 2020: 11 am – 1:00 pm – RECORDING #1 IS AVAILABLE HERE.
Donations of $400 to the Barrie Food Bank have been received. Thank you.
Panelists have expertise in business strategy, HR, accounting, financial planning, experience surviving the recession of 2008, pivoting and protecting your brand:
- Chris Adams, Adams Hamilton – recording # 3 – tbc
- Jeff Nixon, NVS Professional Accounting – recording # 2 – tbc
- Darryl Simpson, ESS Direct – Recording # 1 available now
- Patricia Dent, Grow Vantage – Recording # 1 available now
- Kristen Rayner, Acorn to Oak Financial – Recording # 1 available now
THIRD: CANADIAN, PROVINCE OF ONTARIO AND LOCAL LEVELS OF GOVERNMENT/The Barrie Chamber
GOVERNMENT OF CANADA
CERB (Canada Emergency Response Benefit) APPLICATION STARTING APRIL 6TH – BUT STAGGERED NEXT WEEK
|If you were born in the month of||Apply for CERB on||Your best day to apply|
|January, February or March||Mondays||April 6|
|April, May, or June||Tuesdays||April 7|
|July, August, or September||Wednesdays||April 8|
|October, November, or December||Thursdays||April 9|
|Any month||Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays|
REIMBURSEMENT: up to 10 days if mailed, 3-4 days if direct deposit
CERB – Canada Emergency Response Benefit
- You must have an income of at least $5,000 in 2019 or in the 12-month period preceding your application in order to qualify.
- This program will be available on April 6th, 2020 (note from Patricia: They are staggering through a secure online web portal through the CRA My Account. To set this up now, https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/e-services/e-services-individuals/account-individuals.html
- Monies should be available within 10 business days after applying and will be paid every 4 weeks for the period of March 15th-October 3rd, 2020.
COMBINED PROGRAM FOR BENEFITS FOR WORKERS, SELF-EMPLOYED AND CONTRACT WORKERS (REPLACES THE EI AND EMERGENCY SUPPORT BENEFIT ANNOUNCED EARLIER)
- For employed, self-employed and contract workers (including owners) who have been affected by COVID-19 and are unable to work. See below***
- It replaces 2 programs announced first
- An application portal will be ready in early April (with cheques out 10 days after application).
- It is a benefit of approximately $2,000/month for 4 months.
- To be confirmed: Waive, for a minimum of six months, the mandatory one-week waiting period for EI sickness benefits for workers in imposed quarantine or who have been directed to self-isolate, as announced on March 11.
- To be confirmed: Waive the requirement for a medical certificate to access EI sickness benefits. (You will have to attest to your situation
- *** The CERB would cover Canadians who have:
- Lost their job, are sick, quarantined, or taking care of someone who is sick with COVID-19
- As well as working parents who must stay home without pay to care for children who are sick or at home because of school and daycare closures.
- The CERB would apply to wage earners, as well as contract workers and self-employed individuals who would not otherwise be eligible for Employment Insurance (EI).
- Additionally, workers who are still employed, but are not receiving income because of disruptions to their work situation due to COVID-19, would also qualify for the CERB. This would help businesses keep their employees as they navigate these difficult times, while ensuring they preserve the ability to quickly resume operations as soon as it becomes possible.
If you have applied, or are receiving EI/regular and sickness benefits
- Canadians who are already receiving EI regular and sickness benefits as of today would continue to receive their benefits and should not apply to the CERB.
- If their EI benefits end before October 3, 2020, they could apply for the CERB once their EI benefits cease, if they are unable to return to work due to COVID-19.
- Canadians who have already applied for EI and whose application has not yet been processed would not need to reapply.
- Canadians who are eligible for EI regular and sickness benefits would still be able
EI eligible Canadians who have lost their job can continue to apply for EI here
- to access their normal EI benefits, if still unemployed, after the 16-week period covered by the CERB.
“Employees at Service Canada sites will turn their attention to serving Canadians over the phones.
Release March 27: https://pm.gc.ca/en/news/news-releases/2020/03/27/prime-minister-announces-support-small-businesses-facing-impacts?uid=2696921742&cid=em_ZZ20004&rmid=&rrid=2696921742
Press release March 25th: https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/news/2020/03/introduces-canada-emergency-response-benefit-to-help-workers-and-businesses.html
SUPPORT FOR BUSINESS
UPDATE GOVERNMENT OF CANADA
CANADA EMERGENCY WAGE SUBSIDY – If business revenues have decreased by 30%. For Not-for-profits, charities and large and small businesses:
- UPDATED: 75% temporary wage subsidy for businesses up to $58,700 earned or up TO $847/WEEK WILL BE RETROACTIVE TO MARCH 15TH for a 3-month period
- Companies will be required to show 30% drop in revenue, show what they have paid employees: Comparing: March 2020 to March 2019. Minister Morneau stated they were still working on solutions for companies that will find it
- Then money will be returned (on direct deposit preferred)
- 3-6 weeks for portal to be established
- Prove that they have done everything they can to cover the 25%
Employee Wage Subsidy: Sarah Collins note:
Update April 3rd: Organizations that do not qualify for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy may qualify for the previously announced wage subsidy of 10 per cent of remuneration paid from March 18 to before June 20, 2020.
- Employers can expect to see funding in 6 weeks via direct deposit. The goal of this program is to keep employees employed and support their families financially while having a job to return to once this crisis is over. This will alleviate the financial pressure on the CERB program. It will be the employer’s responsibility to use these funds to pay their employees and do their best to ensure they are paying the remaining 25% of their wages. As information is made available, this site will be updated, please visit: https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/campaigns/covid-19-update/frequently-asked-questions-wage-subsidy-small-businesses.html
NEW GOVERNMENT LOAN FOR SMALL BUSINESS
NEW: The new Canada Emergency Business Account will provide funding to eligible financial institutions so that they can provide interest-free loans in the form of lines of credit of up to $40,000 to businesses with payrolls of less than $1 million. A quarter of this loan (up to $10,000) is eligible for complete forgiveness.
Update Sarah Collins :Canada Emergency Business Account:
To qualify, these organizations will need to demonstrate they paid between $50,000 to $1 million in total payroll in 2019.
These programs will roll out in the three weeks after March 27 and interested businesses should work with their current financial institutions
UPDATE – CIBC Courtesy of Nicolas Karagiannis (CIBC):
A follow up regarding the Govt 40K Small Business Loan. This update will focus on the new small business loan program that Prime Minister Trudeau announced on Friday. CIBC will have more information coming shortly on our other relief programs, remote procedures related with CIBC and CIBC Small Business.
|CANADA EMERGENCY BUSINESS ACCOUNT – GENERAL GUIDELINES (CIBC)
We are anticipating launching the program this week; in the meantime we can prepare our clients. In order to launch efficiently, our clients will apply for this program using Online Banking for Business. We recognize that that this will be a new channel for some business clients, but this will allow them to access the funds they need as quickly as possible and allow you to focus on value-add advice conversations.
Below we’ve provided an overview of the program, tactics to communicate with businesses directly and the role you can play in preparing your clients to apply. Thank you for your support and look out for more information in the days to come.
What is it?
Upon successful application, $40,000 will be deposited into an existing CIBC business operating account.
Eligibility: Businesses or not-for-profits, will be eligible to apply for this loan if they have:
Preparing our clients: CIBC ONLY
In order to apply, clients must have a Business Convenience Card and be registered for Online Banking for Business. Our goal is to ensure clients are registered for both by the end of the week. For clients who are not registered, we will be reaching out directly using the following tactics
LOANS THROUGH BANKS
- The six largest financial institutions in Canada have made a commitment to work with personal and small business banking customers on a case-by-case basis to provide flexible solutions to help them manage through challenges, such as pay disruption due to COVID-19, childcare disruption due to school or daycare closures, or those suffering from COVID-19.
- As a first step, this support will include up to a six-month payment deferral for mortgages, and the opportunity for relief on other credit products. The Government of Canada will continue to monitor evolving economic conditions and seek greater relief measures should it be necessary.
- This will allow previously uninsured mortgage loans that were funded before March 20, 2020, to be eligible for mortgage insurance and to be included in future NHA MBS issuance.
- Effective March 24, 2020, the following low loan-to-value mortgages funded prior to the date of this announcement, March 20, 2020, are eligible for government-guaranteed insurance:
- Low loan-to-value mortgages with a maximum amortization term up to 30 years commencing from when the loan was funded.
- Low loan-to-value mortgages whose purpose includes the purchase of a property, subsequent renewal of such a loan, or refinancing
- Banks deferring mortgage payments for up to 6 months- RBC, TD, BMO, CIBC, Scotiabank & National Bank.
GST/HST and TAXES
Update from Sarah Collins, Office Simpified: As of April 1, 2020
Realistically: Let’s prepare for the next few months – not weeks. I urge that you do your best to file income taxes, HST, and corporate taxes on time. If it is not financially feasible to pay your amount owing, then take advantage of the deferral options listed below.
Set up your CRA My account for personal and business if you have not already done so, to access some of the programs listed below.
To do this visit: https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/e-services/e-services-individuals/account-individuals.html for individuals, and https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/e-services/e-services-businesses/business-account.html for businesses. This process will take a few weeks to complete.
What has changed, and what your options are to financially persist through this pandemic?
- The CRA has extended filing dates and payment dates to help alleviate some financial burdens.
- Below, you will see the deferral dates for your personal taxes, business HST/GST payments, Payroll remittances, and Corporate Taxes.
- In addition to extended deadlines, the government has announced a few programs that you may be able to benefit from. All this information is from the Canada.ca website at https://www.canada.ca/en.html
Personal Income Taxes:
- Personal Income tax filing dates have been extended to be filed by June 1st and paid by Sept 1, 2020, without penalties and interest.
- Self-employed returns remain unchanged with a due date of June 15th but have an extended payment date to Sept 1, 2020.
***We advise that you File your income tax on time to make sure your benefits and credits are not interrupted (CCB, GSTC, and Trillium) commencing July 2020 for the 2020/21 year ***
Corporate Taxes: Courtesy of Sarah Collins, Office Simplified
- If your filing due date is between March 18th, and May 31st,2020 the extended deadline to file your return is June 1, 2020. If needed, you can defer payment until August 31, 2020. This relief would apply to tax balances due, as well as installments, under Part I of the Income Tax Act.
- No interest or penalties will accumulate on these amounts during this period.
- Update from Sarah Collins, Office Simplified
- If you are experiencing financial difficulties, the CRA has extended its HST payments deadlines:
- HST payments that are due March, April & May, can be deferred to June 30th, 2020.
- This means that no interest will apply if your payments or remittances are made by the end of June 2020.
- “The deadline for businesses to file their returns are unchanged. Those who are able to should continue to file their GST/HST returns on time reporting their net tax for the reporting period to help facilitate tax compliance and administration. However, recognizing the difficult circumstances faced by businesses, the CRA won’t impose penalties where a return is filed late provided that it is filed by June 30th.”
- HST/GST Payments, Duties and Taxes on Imports are deferred until June: The deferral to June of GST/HST payments, as well as customs duties owing on imports, will generally apply to remittances that become due in March, April, and May. These amounts would normally have been due to the Canada Revenue Agency and the Canada Border Services Agency as early as the end of this month. This measure will take effect immediately, through existing authorities.
- Provide additional assistance to individuals and families with low and modest incomes with a special top-up payment under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) credit.
Business Remittance Deferrals: Courtesy of Sarah Collins, Office Simplified
Payroll remittances (PD7A):
- This has remained unchanged as of April 1, 2020. Payments continue to be due by the 15th of the following payroll month.
- WSIB has announced a relief package to defer premiums due March31-July 31, 2020 to August 31st, 2020: https://www.wsib.ca/en/financialrelief
Work Sharing Program – in connection with EI
3 parties must apply together and can do that now
Extending the maximum duration of the Work-Sharing program, from 38 weeks to 76 weeks, for workers who agree to reduce their normal working hours because of developments beyond the control of their employers.
Work-Sharing (WS) is an adjustment program designed to help employers and employees avoid layoffs when there is a temporary reduction in the normal level of business activity that is beyond the control of the employer. The measure provides income support to employees eligible for Employment Insurance benefits who work a temporarily reduced work week while their employer recovers. Work-Sharing is a three-party agreement involving employers, employees and Service Canada. Employees on a Work-Sharing agreement must agree to a reduced schedule of work and to share the available work over a specified period of time.
SUB Program to supplement EI for employees (from Chamber broadcast on March 19th)
March 13th announcement From the Federal Government – Lending and Credit
https://www.canada.ca/…/canada-outlines-measures-to-support…from March 13th:
1) The Bank announced a new Bankers’ Acceptance Purchase Facility: This will support a key funding market for small- and medium-size businesses at a time when they may have increased funding needs and credit conditions are tightening.
2) Increasing lending capacity:
The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) is increasing the lending capacity of Canada’s largest bank lowering the Domestic Stability Buffer requirement for domestic banks by 1.25% of risk weighted assets, effective immediately. The release of the buffer will support in excess of $300 billion of additional lending capacity.
Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP). The program will further support financing in the private sector through the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) and Export Development Canada (EDC). Note BDC restrictions.
Additional support for entrepreneurs: Please note there appear to be some limits on eligibility.
- You must have been in business for at least two years
- You must have more than $100,000 in annual gross revenues and should be profitable under normal operating conditions
- Owners and/or business should have good credit history; The program enables business owners to apply for a Loan or Line of Credit with BDC for up to $100,000 to be repaid within five years. The interest rate is set today at 3.3%, which is very low for a business loan.
4) EDC (Exports) https://www.edc.ca/en/campaign/coronavirus-covid-19.html
- Further expand Export Development Canada’s ability to provide support to domestic businesses.
FOR THOSE WITH CHILDREN Increased Child Benefit Payment and Emergency
Child Benefits: Provide additional assistance to families with children by temporarily boosting Canada Child Benefit payments.
- EI-eligible and non EI-eligible working parents who must stay home without pay because of children who are sick or who need additional care because of school closures
MORTGAGE AND LOAN RELIEF (Business and Personal Customers)
BANKING AND LOAN RELIEF: SEE DETAILS FOR SOME SPECIFIC BANKS IN THE FOURTH SECTION (BOTTOM OF PAGE)
PRIME LENDING RATE BEING LOWERED TO 2.45% AS OF MARCH 30TH AT CIBC TD AND SCOTIA BANK (AS OF NOON ON MARCH 28TH…Note: typically other banks will follow)
TAX RELIEF – DEFERRAL OF FILING AND PAYMENT
EXCEPT IF YOU WANT THE GST/HST CREDIT GIS OR CHILD BENEFIT SUPPLEMENT – THEN FILE ON TIME
HST HAS BEEN DEFERRED
Checking on Payroll: ALSO PAYROLL ON TIME (Courtesy of NVS Professional Organization)
- Allowing taxpayers to defer tax payments until after August 31 (for amounts that are due after today and before September) including: Tax balances and installments
- UPDATE LATE MARCH 20TH: FROM NVS ACCOUNTANT:
- Tax Return Due Date Deferral: The personal tax filing due date will be deferred until June 1, 2020. However,
- Those expecting refunds or benefits (such as the GST/HST credit, Guaranteed Income Supplement and Canada Child Benefit) should file as early as possible. The government release encourages Canadians not to delay their filings in order to ensure their income-tested benefits are accurately computed.
- Payment of income tax will be deferred “until after August 31, 2020”, which seems to imply payment will be due on September 1. No interest or penalties will accumulate on these amounts during this period.
INTEREST RATE – Bank of Canada/Prime Lending Rate
- Interest Rates: The Bank of Canada cut the prime interest rate to 0.75%. Other banks have also reduced rates.
Prime Lending Rates reduced to 2.45% at 3 Commercial Lending Institutions so far (CIBC, TD and Scotia)
In order to reduce the necessity for taxpayers and tax preparers to meet in person, effective immediately the CRA will recognize electronic signatures as having met the signature requirements of the Income Tax Act, as a temporary administrative measure. This provision applies to authorization forms T183 or T183CORP.
LOAN PAYMENT RELIEF – RRIFS AND STUDENT LOANS
- RRIF withdrawal: Reduce minimum withdrawals from Registered Retirement Income Funds (RRIFs) by 25 per cent for 2020 in recognition of volatile market conditions and their impact on many seniors’ retirement savings.
- Moratorium on Student Loans Implement a six-month, interest-free, moratorium on Canada Student Loan payments for all individuals who are in the process of repaying these loans.
KIDS’ HELP PHONE RECEIVES ADDITIONAL FUNDING FOR MORE COUNSELLORS ($7.5 MILLION INVESTMENT)
Kids can TEXT 686868 Phone: 1800-668-6868 or http://kidshelpphone.ca (bilingual)
$9 million investment through The New Horizons for Seniors program through the United Way for everything from health check-ins to grocery deliver
TARGETTED SUPPORT FOR VULNERABLE GROUPS:
- Indigenous Community: Provide $305 million for a new distinctions-based Indigenous Community Support Fund, to address immediate needs in First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Nation communities.
- Women and children fleeing violence by providing up to $50 million to women’s shelters and sexual assault centres to help with their capacity to manage or prevent an outbreak in their facilities. This includes funding for facilities in Indigenous communities.
- Homelessness: Provide an additional $157.5 million to address the needs of Canadians experiencing homelessness through the Reaching Home program.
CANADIANS ABROAD: THE EMERGENCY LOAN PROGRAM – TRAVEL (Courtesy of NVS Professional Corporation)
March 28th: Ontario continues to take important steps to protect the province’s supply chain and make sure the heroes on the front lines have the essential goods and services they need in the fight against COVID-19 like ventilators, masks and swabs.
GOUGING PENALTIES: INDIVIDUALS: $100,000 AND A YEAR IN JAIL – DIRECTORS OF COMPANIES FINES UP TO $500,000 AND A YEAR IN JAIL- AS OF MARCH 30TH: REPORT THESE PEOPLE AT: 1800-889-9768
The government launched Ontario Together to invite businesses and their employees to supply emergency products and innovative solutions in the battle against this disease.
It will allow the collection of key data on inventories, orders and supply constraints and the development of a virtual inventory tool so that demand for crucial supplies are visible and trackable. With these measures in place, the government can prioritize buying what is needed most, deploying them, and allocating them on a priority basis to support the delivery of essential services to Ontarians.
Support will also be available to other public entities, such as publicly funded social service agencies and municipalities if they choose to participate.
MARCH 25TH ANNOUNCEMENT – FISCAL PROJECTION
The Province is projecting a deficit of $9.2 billion in 2019–20 which represents an improvement of $1.1 billion relative to the 2019 Budget. As a result of the response to the COVID‑19 outbreak, the government is planning for a deficit of $20.5 billion in 2020–21.
Health sector expense is projected to increase by a further $0.9 billion in 2019–20 and $3.3 billion in 2020–21 primarily due to funding to respond to the COVID‑19 outbreak and investments in the hospital sector, utilization changes for physician and other services under the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP), community-based health care services to address hallway health care and build a connected and sustainable health care system. Key initiatives include: New acute and critical care beds , and 25 assessment centres at hospitals; protective and critical medical supplies; increasing emergency long-term care homes, retirements homes, and assisted living facilities, increased capacity for public health units for home and lab testing; $1.0 billion for any emerging needs.
Children’s and Social Services sector expense is projected to increase by $0.8 billion in 2019–20 and $1.2 billion in 2020–21 primarily due to additional supports for people facing economic hardship during the COVID‑19 outbreak, investments in the Ontario Autism Program, social assistance, developmental services and child welfare, and additional investments to support children with physical and/or developmental disabilities. Key initiatives include: Expanding access to temporary emergency assistance for people in financial need with no access to financial support and simplifying the application process to help people quickly; outbreak-related costs for social assistance recipients; residential facility support; support survivors of domestic violence and protective care for children and youth; Annual funding of $600 million for the Ontario Autism Program; strategy to combat human trafficking; Special Services at Home program to support approximately 4,700 more children with developmental and/or physical disabilities and their families in 2020–21; and developmental services, child welfare and other programs to help vulnerable populations.
Education sector expense is projected to increase by $0.1 billion in 2019–20 and $0.5 billion in 2020–21 primarily due to increased funding for school boards to support higher student enrolment and investments in child care programs. Key initiatives include: elementary and secondary education programs; student transportation, student mental health, focus on STEM subjects and expansion, focus on career paths, 1% annual compensation increase to teachers and education sector workers.
Postsecondary Education sector expense is projected to remain largely unchanged in 2019–20 and increase by $0.1 billion in 2020–21;temporarily deferring loan payments and interest accrual for six months for Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) borrowers to ease the financial burden on students during the COVID‑19 outbreak
Justice sector expense is projected to increase by $0.2 billion in 2019–20 and $0.3 billion in 2020–21 primarily due to compensation costs for the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP), correctional services staff, provincial government lawyers and judicial officers. Other key initiatives include: support for front-line staff with PTSD; additional OPP officers and correctional services staff; combat human trafficking
Other Programs sector expense is projected to increase by $1.1 billion in 2019–20 and $3.7 billion in 2020–21, to support: to double the Guaranteed Annual Income System (GAINS) payment for six months for low-income seniors; proposing an increased financial support for vulnerable seniors who support essential expenses during COVID-19 outbreak; co-ordinating meal and other essentials delivery for seniors; support municipalities and other providers to support COVID-19; help for people at risk of homelessness; support for indigenous communities; additional funding for skills training programs support; rebate for eligible residential, farm and small business consumers; additional funding for maintenance work to keep Ontario’s highways safe and reliable.
Contingency funds are maintained to help mitigate expense risks that may otherwise adversely affect Ontario’s fiscal performance.
ONTARIO GOVERNMENT Declaration of emergency
ANNOUNCES EVICTION NOTICES WILL NOT GO INTO EFFECT – AND NO NEW EVICTION NOTICES WILL BE INITIATED
The province has enacted a declaration of emergency to help contain the spread of COVID-19 and protect the public and shut down non-essential businesses. As a result, the following establishments are required to close immediately:
- all bars and restaurants, except to the extent that such facilities provide takeout and food delivery
- all facilities providing indoor recreational programs
- all public libraries
- all private schools
- all licensed child care centres
- all movie cinemas
- all theatres, including those offering live performances of music, dance and other art forms
- all concert venues
Additionally, all organized public events of over 50 people are prohibited, including parades, events and communal services within places of worship.
These orders will remain in place until March 31, 2020, when the province will reassess for an extension or end the closures.
WHAT IS CONSIDERED ESSENTIAL (Courtesy of CTV)
“This was a very tough decision but it is the right decision. This is not the time for half-measures. This decision was not made lightly. The gravity of this order does not escape me. But as I said from day one, we will and must take all the steps to slow the spread of COVID-19.”
- Were meeting March 19th in the Ontario legislature. Webinar to be held with Andrea Khanjin (and John Brassard) on March 23rd. – Waiting for recording link
- According to the CFIB: The Government of Ontario declared a State of Emergency on March 17. As a result of the declaration, the following businesses are required to close as of March 17:
- All facilities providing indoor recreational programs (includes gyms, fitness centers and yoga studios)
- All licensed child care centres
- All bars and restaurants except to the extent that such facilities provide takeout food and delivery
- All theatres, including those offering live performances of music, dance and other art
- Self employment assistance will be available – and announced on March 25th in their Spring update. No details are available.
Property Tax Payment Notice:
SEE MORE DETAILS: https://www.barrie.ca/Living/Housing-and-Property/Property-Taxes/Pages/default.aspx
There will be no new late fees or City-imposed non-sufficient funds (NSF) charges for tax bills until June 30, 2020. From March 1st to June 30 there is no interest accrued for any outstanding tax or water wastewater bills related to 2020.
Residents and property owners can opt out or suspend pre-authorized payment plans (PAP) for property tax bills by completing the Property Tax Pre-Authorized Payment Cancellation Form.
Visit barrie.ca/services for up-to-date information re all City services.
Barrie has closed basketball courts and other park amenities and is holding their first virtual Council meeting on Monday, March 30th
Mayor Lehman urges us to be more vigilant with social distancing to beat the COVID-19 virus. He is seeing too many instances where people are not social distancing.
Check for replays:
- Tuesday March 24th – Employment Law Considerations & COVID-19
- Friday March 27th:”Coronavirus (COVID-19): Understanding Government Supports for Canadian Businesses”.
BARRIE CHAMBER/ONTARIO CHAMBER/CANADIAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
Have held various webinars with MP’s, MPP’s, an HR specialist, an employment lawyer, moderated by Michael Badham (Georgian Angels). Waiting for the replay link.
FOURTH: OTHER RESOURCES – BANKS, HYDRO, FACEBOOK, GOOGLE
1) NOTE FROM NOBLE INSURANCE ON COVERAGE FOR COVID-19 – ISSUES WITH BUSINESS INTERRUPTION COVERAGE
- For business interruption coverage to trigger, policies require that the insured premises must sustain direct physical damage that is covered under the property policy, which caused the interruption that resulted in a loss of business income. In the absence of such occurrence, business interruption coverage will not respond to claims resulting from slowdowns or shutdowns due to the spread of a pandemic. As a result, even where a business is shut down due to a government mandate, the loss is not covered. Under other extensions of coverage, certain policies do provide coverage for interruption by Civil Authority. However, this coverage is generally limited to two weeks, and applies if civil authority prohibits access to the insured premises due to direct physical damage to neighbouring premises, by an insured peril.
- Given the uncertainty and nature of potential losses due to COVID-19, it is impossible to provide more specific information on coverage.
- If you would like us to report a claim to your insurer to further investigate your current coverage and circumstances, please contact our office by email:
2) CIBC RESOURCES – COVID-19: Updated repayment guidelines for clients experiencing financial hardship – Tuesday, March 17, 2020
Nicolas Karagiannis| Business Development Manager | Lakeside District |Ontario Region |
46 Dunlop Street E, Barrie, Ontario, L4M-1A3| Cell:(705)220-8868 | Fax:(705)728-4618 | email@example.com
Recognizing the financial challenges that COVID-19 and our necessary response to it are creating for some individuals and families, including those who are business owners, we are introducing expanded assistance guidelines for clients impacted by job loss and other circumstances.
Clients experiencing financial hardship can contact their CIBC advisor or call client account management (CAM) at 1-877-454-9030 to review their payment obligations and discuss options to improve their cash flow over the short term. We have doubled our staffing levels in CAM to handle the increased volume of client inquiries we expect to receive as the situation evolves.
CAM agents have the flexibility to offer solutions to clients that are understanding of their individual needs. Although we will offer considerable leeway on payment requirements, any interest will continue to accrue during any relief arrangements, and must still be paid by the client when payments resume.
The general guidelines for borrowing products are as follows:
For Unsecured Borrowing, including personal and business loans, lines of credit and credit cards:
- Up to two months of skip payments during which no payments are required
- Allow the client to consolidate all unsecured debt into a single loan with more manageable, monthly payments
For Real Estate and Cash-equivalent Secured Borrowing, including personal mortgages, personal and business loans and lines of credit:
- Up to six months of skip payments during which no payments are required
- Interest-only payments for up to six months, with no principal due during that period
- Re-amortization, allowing for an extension in amortization and term, reducing the payment amounts due
The general guidelines for deposit products are as follows:
For Overdraft Arrangements:
- Defer the closing of overdraft and associated deposit account by 60 days, allowing the client more time for payment
- Term-out any overdraft through a loan, allowing for more flexible, monthly payments
These are only guidelines, and CAM has the flexibility to make arrangements which may differ from the guidelines in response to client needs. Agents will work directly with clients to assess their situation and, based on individual needs, come to an agreement on the best solution for each client.
3) RESOURCES FROM RBC
Patricia Richardson | Business Account Manager l RBC Royal Bank | Royal Bank of Canada l 5 Collier Street, Barrie, ON L4M 1G4 l T. 705-734-4428 F. 705-7
Access To Credit:
- Canadian banks have confirmed that they will provide Canadian individuals and businesses with up to a 6-month deferral of mortgage payments and other credit relief. Please contact your advisor at your financial institution for more details.
- The CRA is working with the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) to provide additional loans to small and medium sized businesses affected by COVID-19. No information has been publicly released yet so please stay tuned.
As things are constantly changing, I encourage you to check in with Grant Thornton’s Covid-19 content hub. This website includes general information, like where to go for updates on the Covid-19 spread (WHO, Canada Public Health), as well as other relevant sites that directly concern businesses (Business Development Bank of Canada, Employment Insurance, etc.). It also includes content produced by our GT team specifically addressing the effects on business during this Covid-19 crisis.
Here are some of the current articles on the website:
- Responding to COVID-19: 7 Steps to manage cash flow and financial headwinds
- Strategies to help businesses respond to COVID-19
- COVID-19 and your business: Government and economic resources
- How an estate freeze can help you maintain control of your investments
For any IMMEDIATE ASSISTANCE, please contact one of the following support centers:
Business Client Support Centre
• Funds Transfer between same company
• Cheque or deposit slips re-orders
• Investigations: Missing Deposits (night deposits/Cash orders)
• Details of incoming wires
• National Direct Deposit Service inquiries
• Debit and Credit details
• Chargeback details
• Questions relating to Pre-authorized debits
• Order copies of statements/cheques
• Stop Payment request & inquiries
RBC Express Support enquiries
Visa Card Inquiries:
Online Banking Technical Support
Moneris Client Inquiries
4) NATIONAL BANK ASSISTANCE
Effective immediately, Bank of Montreal, CIBC, National Bank of Canada, RBC Royal Bank, Scotiabank and TD Bank have made a commitment to work with personal and small business banking customers on a case-by-case basis to provide flexible solutions to help them manage through challenges such as pay disruption due to COVID-19; childcare disruption due to school closures; or those facing illness from COVID-19.
This support will include up to a six-month payment deferral for mortgages, and the opportunity for relief on other credit products.
Individual Canadians or business owners facing hardship are encouraged to contact their bank directly to discuss options that could be available to them.
These measures are an important first step and underscore the resilience of Canada’s financial system and the strength of our major banks. Banks will monitor evolving economic conditions and consider other measures if necessary.
Canada’s banks have a long history of standing by Canadians through challenging times and this commitment will continue throughout this crisis and beyond.
For more information, please visit: www.nbc.ca/personal/notice.html
5) SCOTIA BANK ASSISTANCE
At Scotiabank, further updates to share about how we’re supporting our customers and our team through the coming days. To give you a bit more certainty during these uncertain times.
- Help for small business owners
Small business owners are among those hardest hit by COVID-19. Scotiabank, together with other leaders in the banking community, has been consulting with the government on measures to support small businesses through this time. The Canada Emergency Business Account is an interest-free loan of $40,000, guaranteed by the government, for qualifying businesses—and up to $10,000 of that amount will be forgivable for businesses meeting certain conditions. Once finalized with the government and other banks, full details and qualification criteria will be published to our FAQs. We plan to handle applications via an online portal only (to be launched shortly)—to ensure equal and efficient access for all.
- Small business customers looking for other assistance, including payment deferrals on small business credit cards, credit lines, and loans—or tailored advice for managing liquidity concerns—should reach out to their Small Business Advisor or Relationship Manager.
- Enhanced support and safety for our customers: We are introducing specialized support for those most susceptible to COVID-19, so we can meet their needs safely. At all Scotiabank branches across the country, we are prioritizing service for those over the age of 65 and other vulnerable customers. In our busiest locations, we are also installing plexiglass dividers and floor decals to enable physical distancing. We also have a senior-level executive serving as our Seniors Champion, ensuring we continue to prioritize the needs of seniors through this period of uncertainty and beyond.Recognition of our team.
- We communicated earlier about the additional relief measures we’ve introduced to those who need assistance most. I’d like to highlight that we continue to make more support available—including online tools to apply for mortgage payment deferrals and auto loan payment deferrals (coming soon). For a detailed list of the current relief options and how they might apply to you, please visit us at scotiabank.com/covid-19 and have a look at our regularly updated FAQs.We know that Contact Centre wait times are longer than normal across the industry and ask for your patience. Unless you have a payment due in the next few days, we ask you to allow us some time to take care of those with the most immediate needs first. If you’re worried about reaching us before you become ineligible for financial relief, don’t be. We’re taking the time to work with customers through all possible solutions, and we’ll do the same for you as well.We’re here to help you navigate this time of uncertainty—in our branches, online 24/7, and over the phone.
6) HYDRO RATE REDUCTION
Ontario Premier Doug Ford says the province is eliminating mid-peak and on-peak electricity rates giving residents who have been forced to stay home due to the COVID-19 outbreak the lowest rate available (off-peak) all day – for 45 days. “To help families and households across the province, we are switching to off-peak time-of-use electricity rates, saving customers over 50 per cent compared to peak rates for the next 45 days,” Ford announced Tuesday.
7) WORKING ON YOUR BUSINESS? LIBRARY RESOURCES
SimplyAnalytics has negotiated 24/7 access for library users for the duration of the Barrie Public Library closure. Visit the Library website’s Digital Library page for ‘Business‘ and access SimplyAnalytics with your library card number and PIN.The 5 concurrent user cap is still in place but we will update our website if this changes. In the meantime, if you can’t access SimplyAnalytics, it means we are at our cap for users at that time and to please check back later.
Need a Library card?
If you don’t have a Barrie Public Library card, but qualify for one (Barrie-live/work/study, Oro Medonte, Midland & Orillia), register for a card using our Online form (https://www.barrielibrary.ca/
Check the Library website for the latest updates at barrelibrary.ca . Follow the Library’s Facebook and Instagram page of ideas on more ways to access free digital materials for your business and family!Chantale Boileau BA, MLIS
8) BUSINESS SUPPORT RESOURCES – LEGAL SHIELD
Here is a great video on our small business service and how we can help during Covid 19.
(23:30) Small Business Overview: COVID-19 Concerns
9) Q&A FROM GOOGLE
Q: How is customer support being handled in regions where employees aren’t working from the office?
A: We’ve run several tests of our support capacity for offices in regions affected by the virus, and we maintain business continuity arrangements, including to provide ongoing service and support for our customers. In addition, our engineering teams are well-placed to perform their tasks when working remotely. We’re confident that our systems and procedures can continue to support our customers and partners during this time.
Q: Will there be delays in certain cloud services or support resolutions?
A: At this stage, we do not expect delays. We’re confident that our systems and procedures can continue to support our customers and partners during this time.
Q: Should we expect any disruptions, downtime, or latency in regions affected by the virus?
A: No, at this stage, we do not expect any direct user-facing impact as a result of our response to the situation. We will keep customers informed through the usual channels should the situation change.
Q: What is Google doing to ensure that Meet has sufficient capacity as customers move meetings to Hangouts Meet?
A: As more customers begin working remotely in response to COVID-19, Google is doing its part to help them stay connected and productive. We are committed to helping distributed employees connect virtually using Hangouts Meet. In order to accommodate increased usage, we have substantially increased Meet capacity globally and our engineering teams are monitoring usage 24×7 to ensure capacity needs are met. Additionally, we have increased our customer service capacity with additional engineers to support our customers during this period.
From Facebook: We know that your business may be experiencing disruptions resulting from the global outbreak of COVID-19. We’ve heard that a little financial support can go a long way, so we are offering $100M in cash grants and ad credits to help during this challenging time. Facebook is offering $100M in cash grants and ad credits for up to 30,000 eligible small businesses in over 30 countries where we operate. We’ll share more details as they become available.