COVID-19 information from IVSA included in today's notice:
April 2nd, 2020 Issue #9
Federal Gov't - Canada Emergency Response Benefit CERB
Federal Gov't- Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy
City of Vancouver - Business Survey
BC: BCLS, LDB Wholesale, BC Gov links & Newsfeeds
Mental Health Resources and Counselling during COVID-19
Applications for Canada Emergency Response Benefit open next week
Applications for the new Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) will open next week, according to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
The CERB collapses two previously announced benefits - the Emergency Care Benefit and the Emergency Support Benefit - into one. It offers income support for up to 16 weeks to those who lose pay because of the pandemic.
During a press conference this morning, Trudeau said that starting April 6, if you haven't requested Employment Insurance (EI), you will be able to apply for the CERB. The CERB applications will be open through the CRA.
CERB payments will be issued every four weeks and will be available from March 15, 2020, to October 3, 2020.
Applicants who have requested EI won't need to register for the CERB. As well, Trudeau said that the CERB can't be combined with the wage subsidy from businesses.
Read more about the CERB here.
Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy Available Starting Next Week
Last week, the federal government announced it would offer a 75% wage subsidy for qualifying businesses, for up to three months, retroactive to March 15.
As of next week, the wage subsidy will be available to small or big businesses that aren't publicly funded and can include Agencies, restaurants, and charities and non-profits.
The wage support program, called the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS), is designed to discourage companies from laying off workers and encourage employers who already have laid-off workers to put them back on the payroll.
Further Details on CEWS:
The federal government will offer a 75% subsidy to all businesses that have lost 30% of their revenue as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
To qualify, companies will have to show that their revenue in March 2020 was 30% less than it was in March 2019. See below if you can't show a 30% loss in revenue.
There may be some exceptions for start-ups and new firms.
The program will be in effect for three months, and companies will have to reapply each month - demonstrating, for example, that revenues in April 2020 are also 30 percent less than they were in the same month the year prior.
The 75 percent wage subsidy will cover annual earnings up to $58,700 - or $1,129 a week in pre-crisis earnings. So the maximum allowance for each employee would be $847 a week.
The program is retroactive to March 15.
The wage subsidy will be administered by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) through the My Business Account portal on the agency's website.
Federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau said the money would start to flow to businesses within the next three to six weeks, depending on how quickly the government can make the necessary technical and bureaucratic adjustments to get the money out the door.
All businesses should register for direct deposit on the CRA My Business Account portal to ensure money can be sent electronically to avoid further delay.
Stores continue to operate across the province, except for a couple of stores in some of the smaller communities that have hit critical staffing levels. You can view store closures at www.bcliquorstores.com.
Both KDC and Delta DCs are seeing flattening volumes, though volume remains high. Both continue to function with lower than optimal staffing levels. Delta remains in good shape and is a day ahead; however, Kamloops remains a day behind. We remain confident that they will catch-up by the weekend. Both DCs are working extra shifts over the weekend, and CW has accepted 8 of 15 inbound appointments they have been offered.
City of Vancouver Business Survey
The City of Vancouver has invited businesses in the city to complete the COVID-19 Business Survey. This survey will help city officials better understand your local business needs and challenges, and will guide planning and action for the future.
The survey will take approximately 15 minutes. If you require technical assistance completing the survey, please contact Alex Brunke at firstname.lastname@example.org. The results of this survey will be made available on www.michaelwiebe.ca. Fill out the COV business survey here.
Mental Health Resources and Counselling during COVID-19
If you or your employees need support during this time, here are some helpful mental health resources and counselling options:
Mind the Bar: a non-profit based in Vancouver and a mental health resource, support system, and community hub designed for the hospitality industry.
Mind the Bar is helping hospitality workers get fast-tracked for access to any mental health professional within the LifeWorks app. Counselling sessions on the app generally cost $125 - but this is currently completely free for hospitality workers. The app also offers several mental health resources.
Hospitality workers have to apply for a free Mind the Bar membership here. They should be approved within 24 hours and will then be granted access to the LifeWorks app.
WIRTH Hats: a Vancouver-based hat company is supporting mental health initiatives. WIRTH Hats is offering free counselling to anyone in need this month. Their website also has a comprehensive list of mental health resources, including low-cost counselling options in BC.
Restaurants Canada: visit their website for mental health resources, including a webinar on 'Managing Stress and Mental Health During COVID-19 Pandemic,' and self-care and resilience guides.
BC Government: visit the provincial government website for practical tips on managing your mental health and anxiety during COVID-19 and related resources, including where to get counselling.