Today’s Government Announcement: No new Federal support announcements today from our PM. The focus today will be passing emergency measures that give the federal government broader powers to spend money, redirect economic activity and implement further restrictions.
Ontario and Quebec are locking down their provinces at the end of today, except for essential services. ATTACHED IS A LIST OF ESSENTIAL BUSINESSES IN ONTARIO. On this list is every one of my clients’ business types are included. Most businesses engaged or supplyingConstruction, Manufacturing, Real Estate, Food, Healthcare and Transportation, among others, are all on the list. The good news here is that if this becomes the template for other provinces, most of you will be able to continue operations – but please do it SAFELY.https://open.alberta.ca/publications/covid-19-information-help-prevent-the-spread-poster
Right now, it is being left to provinces to decide on lock-down measures. Alberta has the 4th largest population of covid-19 cases, but there seems to be no interest so far to lock down the province. The Federal Government, however, is passing the Emergency Powers Act andcould intervene. Most likely, for now, the Provinces are likely to be left to make local decisions and the Federal government will focus on economic stabilization spending and inter-provincial, international travel restrictions. However, this can change quickly if cases start spiking quickly.
Financial support for your business, employees and clients:
Many of your businesses are now adapting daily business, and making additional preparations. Below I’ve summarized programs to help ease the difficulty of reducing your workforce and other measures to conserve cash, which is critical over the coming months:
- Federal wage subsidy. This is relatively free money offered through the CRA. You manually calculate 10% of your payroll between March 18 and June 10 to a maximum of $1,375 per employee and $25,000 per employer and simply reduce you tax remittances by that amount. The CRA is working on a form to true this up at your annual tax filing. https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/campaigns/covid-19-update/frequently-asked-questions-wage-subsidy-small-businesses.html
- Access to business borrowing is available through a new program administered by the BDC/EDC where regular banks will not provide additional commercial and business loans. For many of my clients, you have improved your LOC’s already, but if these run low, you can contact the BDC or EDC: https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/programs/financial-sector-policy/business-credit-availability-program.html
- Payments you can defer. Although you will need to eventually pay them, for now you can keep the money in your pocket.
- Corporate Income Tax can be deferred to August 31.
- Provincial Property Tax can be deferred till end of September
- WCD Premiums can be deferred up to one year. If you’ve already paid, you may be able to get a refund. When the payment is due, the government will pay 50% https://www.alberta.ca/release.cfm?xID=699045A66118C-FA03-F4F5-959455E3316B8564&utm_source=hs_email&utm_medium=email&utm_content=85146239&_hsenc=p2ANqtz--OC0YxugCRdyi9GTwWS4t1VRdMNNiJCmWCgBFFBTAi3uNJ62kizcY2nYwGvcdSE6KKuw-x6du9cIEo5oHL2NuIdKFCxg&_hsmi=85146239
- Help for your employees to conserve cash:
- Income Tax owing can be deferred to Aug 31
- Residential Utility Payments can be deferred for up to 90 days without being disconnected
- Personal Mortgages and Loan Payments with Alberta credit unions and ATB can be requested to be deferred up to 6 months based on need. Some national banks are doing the same thing, but also only based on need.
- Emergency Isolation Payment for Albertans to have covid-19, returning from abroad or have been in contact with someone tested positive with covid-19 can get up to $1,146 until the Federal program is in place. This is time limited till April 1.
- Emergency Support for non-EI eligible Workers applies to any of your employees or their spouses are unable to work but cannot get EI. If they have been asked to self-isolate because they have covid-19, suspected to have covid-19 or need to care for someone with covid-19, they can apply for $900 every two weeks for up to 15 weeks. They can apply through the CRA MyAccount portal.
- Reduce the pain of laying off employees by considering job-sharing program. This allows employees to work part-time for you and get a partial top-up of EI. If your business can stay open, this is a great way to drastically reduce your payroll and look after you valued staff. However, this program takes 30 days to be approved, so you must get your application in immediately! https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/services/work-sharing/apply.html
SUPPLY CHAIN CONSIDERATIONS
The US is expected to be the next epicentre of Covid-19 spread. The US is in very bad shape to control this and the President is implying that he is willing to consider accepting high loss of life to keep the economy open. If this happens, ANY SUPPLY COMING FROM THE US may be at risk. Please review your US-based supply and monitor your individual situations on a daily basis.
However, China is starting to do phased re-opening of their economy and re-opening hospitals to the public. It took less than 2 months of lock-down and isolating people. Strict hygiene measures, quarantining the sick and social isolation/distancing have been the keys. Please LEARN from this and take implementation of these measures in your work locations SERIOUSLY. It is the best way to keep you working!
Pete Baran | 403-973-3531
Chief Business Mechanic | Blueneck Consulting Inc.