Archive for the Prairie Sky Chamber Category

IMPORTANT COVID-19 Information for Business

Effective March 17, 2020, the Prairie Sky Chamber will be working remotely and our physical office space will be closed to the public.  We felt very strongly that it was the right step to take for the well-being of our region.  In addition, all Prairie Sky Chamber events scheduled for March & April have been postponed.  Events scheduled for May or later will be determined in the coming weeks.

The work of the Prairie Sky Chamber will continue. We will continue to make sure the voice of Warman, Martensville & region business community is heard by leaders and influencers.  This is an unprecedented global crisis and our hearts are breaking for all impacted – our members and our region – we will do everything we can to help our business community and the region as a whole weather this storm.

To keep you all informed and updated on developments, below are important links.

COVID-19 Guidance and Resources 

(Updated May 25, 2020)

Stay up to date on the rapidly evolving situation, and on the nature of the virus itself, by frequently checking local, provincial and national websites.

RESOURCES: 

RE-OPEN SASKATCHEWAN PLAN

BACK TO BUSINESS TOOLKIT

BUSINESS RESPONSE PLAN – developed in partnership with the Prairie Sky Chamber of Commerce, City of Warman and City of Martensville.

Warman Martensville Business Region COVID-19 Task Force Conference Calls -Held every Tuesday/Thursday at 3pm.

Please follow the link for helpful information http://www.chamber.ca/resources/pandemic-preparedness/

  • Review or create a Business Continuity Plan for your organization, ensuring it contains:
    • Process to follow if an employee becomes ill;
    • Policies around travel;
    • Policies around sick leave;
    • How to mitigate risk so essential business functions can continue; and
    • Internal and external communications plans.
  • Trade Commissioner Service: Key considerations for Canadian businesses
  • Better Business Bureau Tips on COVID-19

BUSINESS SUPPORT:

 

  • EMERGENCY SUPPORT PROGRAMS FOR SASKATCHEWAN SMALL BUSINESSES (SSBEP)
    • Provides a one time grant for small and medium sized enterprises directly affected by government public health orders related to COVID-19.  Grants will be paid based on 15% of a business’ monthly sales revenue, to a maximum of $5,000.
    • To qualify, businesses must:
      • have been fully operational on February 29, 2020
      • have ceased or curtailed operations as a result of the COVID-19 public health order
      • have less than 500 employees;
      • commit to reopen business operations following the cancellation of the COVID-19 following the cancellation of the COVID-19 public health order
    • Application are NOW open until July 31, 2020.

 

  • INCOME TAX FILINGS – Federal Government
    • All businesses are able to defer, until after August 31, 2020, any income tax amounts that are owed on or after March 20th and before September 2020.
    • Applies 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.

 

  • CANADA EMERGENCY BUSINESS ASSISTANCE (CEBA) – Federal Government
    • provide interest-free loans of up to $40,000 to small businesses and not-for-profits, to help cover their operating costs during a period where their revenues have been temporarily reduced, due to the economic impacts of the COVID-19 virus. To qualify, these organizations will need to demonstrate they paid between $20,000 to $1.5 million in total payroll in 2019. Repaying the balance of the loan on or before December 31, 2022 will result in loan forgiveness of 25 percent (up to $10,000).
    • Applications are now open.  Please contact your financial institution directly for application.

 

 

  • GST/HST REMITTANCE – Federal Government
    • GST/HST payments can be deferred to June 2020 interest free.

 

 

  • CANADA EMERGENCY RESPONSE BENEFIT (CERB)– Federal Government
    This taxable benefit would provide $500/week for up to 16 weeks.  APPLICATIONS ARE NOW OPEN!  April 15, 2020 – Federal Government Expands CERB Eligibility

    • The CERB is available to workers who meet all of the following conditions:
      • live in Canada and are at least 15 years old
      • stopped working because of COVID-19 or are eligible for EI regular or sickness benefits
      • have not voluntarily quit their job
      • had income of at least $5,000 in 2019 or in the 12 months prior to the date of their application.
    • To help more Canadians benefit from the CERB, on April 15, 2020, the government announced changes to the eligibility rules to:
      • Allow people to earn up to $1,000 per month while collecting the CERB.
      • Extend the CERB to seasonal workers who have exhausted their EI regular benefits and are unable to undertake their regular seasonal work as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.
      • Extend the CERB to workers who have recently exhausted their EI regular benefits and are unable to find a job or return to work because of COVID-19.
    • These changes will be retroactive to March 15, 2020 . More details will be posted on the portal shortly.
    • CERB Questions & Answers

 

  • CANADA EMERGENCY  WAGE SUBSIDY FOR EMPLOYEES (CEWS)Federal Government (Updated March 27, 2020)
        • A subsidy of 75% of employee wages for up to 12 weeks, retroactive from March 15, 2020, to June 6, 2020.
        • Applications are NOW OPEN!  Applications reviews will begin May 4, 2020.

 

  • REGIONAL RELIEF & RECOVERY FUND (RRRF) – Federal Government
    • Applications are NOW OPEN!
    • This new fund will help businesses, organizations and communities relieve the economic impact of COVID-19 and help businesses prepare for recovery.
    • Specifically, the Fund will help your firm to:
      • mitigate financial pressures so that you can continue your operations and keep paying employees
      • support business projects to prepare now for a successful recovery
    • Through the existing Community Futures Program, the RRRF will provide struggling SME’s that were not eligible for other federal programs such as CEBA, with financial support, offer technical aid and resources and support local economic diversification initiatives.

 

  • SELF-ISOLATION PROGRAMGovernment of Saskatchewan
    The program will provide $450 per week, for a maximum of two weeks or $900.  The program is targeted at Saskatchewan residents forced to self-isolate that are not covered by recent federally announced employment insurance programs and other supports. The program is designed to ensure that all Saskatchewan residents are covered by either a federal or provincial program to ensure no one is faced with choosing to work instead of protecting their family and community from COVID-19 by self-isolating. This will mostly benefit self-employed residents of Saskatchewan.

 

  • BUSINESS CREDIT AVAILABILITY PROGRAMExport Development Canada and Business Development Bank of Canada
    • Provides $10 billion of additional funding to Canadian businesses facing economic challenges brought on by COVID-19.
    • Helps Canadian businesses in all sectors and regions gain access to credit through EDC, BDC and private sector lenders.
    • The short-term credit available to farmers and the agri-food sector will also be increased through Farm Credit Canada.
    • Note: Businesses must go to their current bank first, then that bank will refer the business to the BCAP only if the bank is not able to help them. Businesses that are already a BDC client, can contact their Account Manager for information on BCAP.

 

  • CO-LENDING PROGRAM – Federal Government – Business Development Bank of Canada
    • Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) together with financial institutions will offer co-lend term loans to SMEs for their operational cash flow requirements.
    • Eligible businesses may obtain incremental credit amounts up to $6.25 million BDC’s portion of this program is up to $5 million maximum per loan.
    • Eligible financial institutions will conduct the underwriting and manage the interface with their customers.
    • Businesses should contact their financial institution to determine whether this program is a good fit for their needs.

 

  • WORK SHARE PROGRAMFederal Government
    • For workers who agree to reduce their normal working hour as a result of developments beyond the control of their employers. Changes to the program are:
      • Program has extended from 38 weeks to 76 weeks.
      • Businesses must be in operation for 1 year
      • Retroactive to March 15, 2020.  For the month of March businesses must demonstrate a 15% loss in revenue.  For the months of April & May businesses must demonstrate a 30% loss in revenue.
      • For more information on the federal updates to this program provided on April 8, 2020, please click HERE.

 

  •  SUPPLEMENTAL UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFIT PROGRAM (SUB)Federal Government
    • Provide supplemental payments to Employment Insurance (EI) benefits during a period of unemployment due to: temporary stoppage of work, training or illness, injury or quarantine.
    • Employers use SUB plans to increase the employee’s weekly earnings during periods of unemployment.
    • Payments from registered plans are not deducted from the employee’s EI benefits.
    • Payments under a registered SUB plan are not considered as insurable earnings; therefore, EI premiums are not deducted.

 

  • CROWN UTILITY INTEREST DEFERRAL PROGRAMGovernment of Saskatchewan
    • The Government of Saskatchewan is waiving interest on late bill payments for up to six months. Interest on late bill payments will be waived for up to six months.
    • This program is available to all crown utility customers.

 

  • PST REMITTANCEGovernment of Saskatchewan
    • Businesses that are unable to file their provincial tax return(s) by the due date may submit a request for relief from penalty and interest charges on the return(s) affected.
  • SASKATCHEWAN WORKERS’ COMPENSATION BOARD (WCB)

    • Effective April 1 until June 30, 2020, the WCB will waive penalties and interest charges for late premium payments.
    • Forgiving interest and penalties for late payments on 2020 premiums applied in the month of March.
    • Prioritizing employer payroll revisions to help employers reduce their premiums.
    • Suspending payroll audits until further notice except in situations where an employer may be eligible for a refund.
  • SMALL BUSINESS EMERGENCY CONTINUITY GRANT PROGRAM – SREDA
    •  This program provides grans of up to $5,000 to small businesses located in the Saskatoon region.
    • Applications are now open with deadline of April 6th at 12pm.
    • ***THIS PROGRAM IS NOW CLOSED***

 

 

 

  • CHANGES TO EMPLOYMENT STANDARD REGULATIONSGovernment of Saskatchewan
    In addition to changes made to the Saskatchewan Employment Act that introduced a new unpaid public health emergency leave and removed the 13-week employment requirement to access sick leave and the requirement for a doctor’s note to access sick leave, The Employment Standard Regulations have been amended to:

    • Ensure that during a public emergency, businesses will not have to provide notice or pay in lieu of notice when they lay-off staff if it is for a period of 12 weeks or less in a 16-week period.
    • If an employer lays off employees periodically for a total of more than 12 weeks in a 16-week period, the employees are considered to be terminated and are entitled to pay instead of notice as outlined in the Act. This will be calculated from the date on which the employee was laid off.

PROFESSIONAL ADVICE

Legal Advice:

  • The W Law Group (offices in Warman & Martensville)
    • Stephen Nicholson (306) 665-9508

Business Disaster Preparedness & Continuity Consulting

  • Q5 Consulting Inc. – offering complimentary business consulting until March 31, 2020
    • Nick Quigley (306) 291-4576
    • www.q5consulting.ca

 

Where Does Your Money Go?

As part of the Love What’s Local initiative, the Prairie Sky Chamber of Commerce is currently conducting a survey to help us learn and understand the needs of the region.  What products and services are people buying locally, what are they looking outside of the region for and most importantly why are they making those decisions.  The information gathered from the survey will be used to work with businesses to help make adjustments to fill those gaps.
We are asking our members to not only ensure they complete the survey but also share it with their friends, family, customers and clients.

Please take a few moments and complete this short survey.

We’ve Moved……

Your local Chamber is now more visible and even more easier to access!   On April 1st, the Prairie Sky Chamber officially moved into a new space at 101 Klassen Street W.  “We look forward to sharing our new home with our membership and public.  Our new space opens up many more opportunities for us and, of course, our members.” stated Jaimie Malmgren, Prairie Sky Chamber Executive Director.

A special thanks to Chamber members, Adrienne Fedorowich with Studio 2.0 Interior Design, Photography & Construction for helping select paint colors and the CWI Manufacturing team for the supply and install of our new desk.  The chamber also wishes to send a BIG thank you to all those that volunteered their time and energy to help with the move.   It certainly made this a seamless transition and is so greatly appreciate.
The Prairie Sky Chamber will be hosting an Open House once we get fully settled so stay tuned for details!  In the meantime, feel free to pop by and say “Hello”!