COVID-19: Important Business Resources

Greetings!

The Airdrie Chamber is focused on continuing to build the resiliency of our business community through the challenges posed by COVID-19.

These are challenging times for us locally, provincially, federally and globally. Governments at every level are working to protect Canadians from the COVID–19 virus and the Airdrie Chamber of Commerce will take necessary steps to assist our business community.

As we know, information is changing daily and we will do our best to provide you with weekly updates on business resources, webinars and community initiatives.

Sincerely,
Marilyne Aalhus
Executive Director
Airdrie Chamber of Commerce
Latest emergency supports for businesses

The Canada Emergency Business Account , provides interest-free loans of up to $40,000 to small businesses and not-for-profits through their financial institutions. Up to 25% of the loan will be forgiven if repaid by December 31, 2022. HERE

The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) applied at a rate of 75% on the first $58,700 earned by employees, representing a benefit of $847 per week. The program will be in place for a 12-week period, retroactive to March 15 and ending June 6, 2020. Eligible businesses of all sizes and from all sectors of the economy, regardless of the number of workers they employ, that suffer a drop of at least 30% in gross revenues due to COVID-19 in March, April or May, when compared to the same month in 2019, would be able to access the subsidy. HERE

Essential services list

Some members have asked for clarification on if their business is considered an essential service and if they can remain open during this time.

Businesses + services on the Government of Alberta’s essential services list HERE can continue to provide services at locations accessible to the public. They must have proper risk mitigation measures in place, such as sanitation stations and appropriate distancing between customers.View the list of essential services + businesses HERE

Businesses not on the list

If a business is not listed as an essential service, it can still continue to operate if:
  • it is not specifically prohibited from offering services in a location accessible to the public
  •  the business doesn’t fall under previous business, workplace and facility closures

A business must still follow all other public health orders and guidelines, including maintaining physical distancing, and prohibiting people from coming to work sick.
For more info, email bizconnect@gov.ab.ca

Follow guidelines

Workplaces that are not otherwise restricted or ordered to close can have more than 15 workers on a work site as long as they follow all public health guidelines, including physical distancing measures. Employers should:
• self-assess and find alternate ways to organize large group meetings
• cancel workplace gatherings of 15 + people in a single space (such as training events)
• employ mitigation strategies to limit risk
• continue business continuity planning to prepare critical operations for any potential interruption.
What do I need to know before I go to my bank?

Have an understanding of your financial situation. Start by determining your monthly expenses including payroll, overhead costs, contracts. Then calculate your monthly “burn rate”, which is the amount of cash spent each month on rent, salaries, and other overhead, and your net “burn rate”, which is calculated by subtracting operating expenses (gross burn rate) from revenue. 

Businesses should have a general plan for repayment of any borrowed capital to show that the request has been given thought to show that businesses will not be in a worse position by increasing their debt load. If any calculations of cash flow have been done and it can be shown that the access to capital will help keep their cash flow going through the pandemic this would be helpful information for a financial institution. Banks have committed to working with businesses and businesses are encouraged to contact their account manager. 
Information for Individuals

Canada Emergency Response Benefit

This taxable benefit would provide $2,000 a month for up to four months for workers who lose their income as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The CERB combines the previously announced Emergency Care Benefit and Emergency Support Benefit.

Who is eligible?
·      Canadians who have lost their job,
·      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 who are sick or at home because of school and daycare closures.
·      Wage earners, as well as contract workers and self-employed individuals who would not otherwise be eligible for Employment Insurance.
·      Workers who are still employed, but are not receiving income because of disruptions to their work situation due to COVID-19

How to Access CERB
·      The portal to access CERB will be available in early April
·      Do not apply if you are already or in the process of receiving EI.
Canadians would begin to receive their CERB payments within 10 days of application. The CERB would be paid every four weeks and be available from March 15, 2020 until October 3, 2020.
 
Emergency Isolation Supports
Emergency isolation supports are now available for eligible working Albertans. Individuals can receive a one-time emergency isolation support payment of $1,146 if they are required to self-isolate or are the sole caregiver of someone in self-isolation and they have no other source of pay or compensation. Applicants can view eligibility criteria and apply at  alberta.ca .
 
Increased Security For Alberta Renters
Effective immediately, tenants cannot be evicted for non-payment of rent and/or utilities before May 1. Rents will not increase while Alberta’s state of public health emergency remains in effect, late fees cannot be applied to late rent payments for the next three months and landlords and tenants need to work together to develop payment plans while the state of public health emergency is in effect.  Read more 
If your benefits are through Chamber Plan Employee Benefits, Chambers Plan has created a “ Business Resource Centre ” to help clients as they navigate through the COVID-19 pandemic. The page consolidates resources for financial help, HR, Mental Health and more! You can also subscribe to stay up to date, as new information is continually added.
Airdrie Chamber of Commerce
102, 150 Edwards Way NW
Airdrie, AB T4B 4B9
403. 948.4412