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COVID-19 SMALL BUSINESS HELP

March 15, 2020 7:24 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Everything you need to know to keep your business safe.

With the emergence of COVID-19, our primary concern at CFIB is keeping you, your employees and your business safe. We will provide you with expert advice to guide you through this difficult time, as well as templates and policies that prevent viral transmission in the workplace. We will also continue putting pressure on governments to give your business greater relief—including direct income support.

How to contact public health authorities

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Free templates for your business

Download customizable templates to easily put policies in place that keep your employees, clients and business safe. Our templates include:

  • Notice to visitors: If you welcome visitors in your business, you might want to remind them to follow the safety measures you’ve put in place. This sign can help you communicate your expectations clearly and stop unsafe behaviour at the door.
  • Emergency preparedness: Emergencies can happen at any time. Our five-step checklist will help you identify risks to your business and make an emergency plan to deal with them—including the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Sick policy: Having an attendance or sick policy is a best practice at any time. It lets your employees know their rights regarding time off for sickness, reducing confusion and frustration. 

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IS YOUR BUSINESS REVENUE SUFFERING DUE TO THE OUTBREAK?

The government has pledged $10 billion in a credit facility administered by the Business Development Bank of Canada and Export Development Canada. There are also steps you can take to determine you business’ future:

  • Review your finances: Look at your revenue vs your expenses – are you able to meet your basic expenses? Speak to your accountant/bookkeeper about your options and whether it makes sense to stay open, pause your business, shut down until an opportunity in the market arises, or close your business. 
  • Make a Business Continuity Plan: Weathering the storm will be difficult, make sure you have a plan as to how to do it. Restarting a business that has been suspended will take thought and time to bring back to its former level. Are there other options for your business to stay open? Can you find new suppliers? Can you change your business model to continue to serve your clients (i.e. provide delivery of food instead of having sit-in customers) 
  • Speak to your commercial insurance provider: You may be entitled to business interruption insurance payments. Call your provider to double check your entitlement. 
  • Communicate with your employees twice a week: 
    • Let employees know what safety measures/policies you are putting in place to keep them safe.
    • Post educational posters and share safety tips. 
    • Ensure that there is a way for employees to notify you if they are sick whether that be through health and safety representative/committee or though their manager.
    • Talk to employees about their job security/health status/income options. Are they entitled to employment insurance.

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IMPORTANT RESOURCES:

1. Support for employees

No Canadian should have to worry about losing their job, paying their rent or putting food on the table because of COVID-19. That’s why the Government is:

2. Support for businesses

Canada’s strong fiscal position means we are well positioned to respond to challenges such as COVID-19.

Canada’s coordinated approach to supporting the economy and the financial sector includes the Governor of the Bank of Canada cutting the interest rate to 0.75% and the Superintendent of Financial Institutions announcing an additional $300 billion in lending capacity by the major banks.

No employer should feel like they have to lay off a worker in the face of COVID-19. To further support businesses and their employees, the Government has announced:

3. Business travel and events

The Government is advising Canadians to:

To help bring Canadians home, the Government has created the COVID-19 Emergency Loan Program for Canadians Abroad.

When it comes to business conferences and events, the Government is advising against gatherings of over 50 people.

4. Business in international markets

Canada and the United States are temporarily restricting all non-essential travel across our border. Essential travel will continue unimpeded to preserve supply chains between both countries and ensure that food, fuel and life-saving medicines reach people on both sides of the border.

The Trade Commissioner Service has experts in 160 cities worldwide who can provide small businesses with market-specific insights and guidance to help you mitigate the impacts of COVID-19, as well as access to funding to help you in global markets.

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