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COVID-19 Business Updates

COVID-19 Business FAQ

Leaders from PKED, DBIA, Chamber of Commerce, Community Futures Peterborough and Innovation Cluster (#TeamPTBO) are working together to identify how the impact of COVID-19 will be hardest felt by our local business community.

These questions and answers are being compiled in response to recent survey results and ongoing business inquiries.  These responses and inquiries are informing our collective communications with all levels of government to help create meaningful recovery programming to assist our local business community during these challenging times.

Top Q & A for Businesses

Information seems to be changing daily. I am not sure what to do to protect my business and protect my employees. How do I find out the most accurate information?

Programs are being developed and implemented at rapid speed, to adapt to business input and address business concerns.

The following chart has details on the following:

Deferred Items:

  • Federal individual tax filing due date
  • Federal tax payments
  • Federal tax installment payments
  • GST/HST Instalment payments
  • Employer Health Tax (also an expense reduction)
  • WSIB premiums
  • Municipal property taxes (City of Peterborough & Selwyn Township
  • Canada Student Loan Repayments

Expense Reduction Items:

Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy

  • Employer Health Tax (also a deferred item)
  • EI Work-Sharing Program

Loans:

  • Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) (also a partial grant)

Replacement Income Items:

  • Employment Insurance (EI)
  • Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)

Tax-Free Benefit Items:

  • GST Credit
  • Canada Child Benefit (CCB)

Download the PDF version of the Government Programs Chart

I have great employees and I am trying to provide them with the right information. Is there a resource that I should refer to?

For further information connect with your human resources partner.

I want to make sure that my voice is heard and government understands how much my business is impacted and formally request their assistance. How should I do this?

We recognize how overwhelming this is for all businesses.  We want you to know that you are not alone.  TeamPTBO has been working across all organizations locally and across the province to help amplify the message and advocate and support business.

A letter from TeamPTBO has  been submitted to the City of Peterborough.

The Chamber of Commerce has created a compilation of lobbying and advocacy recommendations to all levels of government. 

We are not sure how long this situation will last – What do employers need to know?

Remain positive and calm.  This situation is unprecedented for all businesses as we adapt to these continuous changes

The province has launched a toll-free line 1-888-444-3659 to provide support to Ontario businesses who have questions about the province’s recent emergency order to close at-risk workplaces following recommendations by Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health. Visit the Stop the Spread  website for more information. 

A complete list of essential services is available on the Government of Ontario’s website.

It is recommended that employers facilitate virtual work arrangements to enable employees to work from home wherever possible.

For more information on operating a workplace during this pandemic, please visit Peterborough Public Health.

What are all levels of government doing to support business during this pandemic?

All levels of government are working hard to ensure that business continuity is protected as much as possible, while protecting residents.  Many announcements have been made this week at all levels of government. 

Information updates from all levels of government are being shared continuously through their respective COVID-19 webpages.  This is a rapidly evolving situation and updates are shared on dedicated webpages for each of the sites.

City of Peterborough

County of Peterborough

Province of Ontario

Government of Canada

Will there be relief for payments, loans and taxes?

Each level of government is looking for ways to support residents and businesses during this time. The federal government has announced an $82 -billion aid package to help Canadians and businesses cope with the global COVID-19 pandemic, including income supports, wage subsidies and tax deferrals. The package includes direct supports as well as business liquidity through tax deferrals.

Government of Canada

Province of Ontario

Further, agencies such as Community Futures Peterborough and Business Development Bank of Canada are all introducing relief supports to assist companies during this transitional phase.

Community Futures Peterborough

BDC

How can I access these relief packages?

Procedural approvals across all levels of government are required before details on how the relief packages will be distributed.  Stay tuned to the following websites for the latest up to date information.

Government of Canada

Province of Ontario

Community Future Peterborough

BDC

How can I protect my businesses and property while it is closed?  What municipal measures are being undertaken? I am worried about my property being vandalized.

We understand that this is an ongoing concern for many local businesses, especially those in the downtown area. The Peterborough Police have responded and deployed additional foot patrols in the downtown area. In addition, Kewley Security Inc. is currently offering a free security check to businesses in downtown. Contact Kewly directly for additional details:  https://kewleysi.ca/  705-874-3131.

Best practice and guidelines for securing your business:
  • Keep the lights on
  • Remove all cash and receipts
  • Do NOT leave any valuables visible or accessible
  • All safe and registers/tills should be emptied and moved offsite for safe storage
  • Keep all cash tills and drawers empty and open to show that there is nothing in them.
  • All ATMs should be emptied and moved off-site.
  • All alcohol products should be removed from the restaurant/bar and moved to a secure storage area (no alcohol should be left visible from the outside)
  • Consider posting “no cash or valuables on-premises” signage
  • Deactivate all scheduled FOB door openings for cleaners and delivery services
  • Disconnect all kitchen gas lines from their gas source
  • Make regular site visits to monitor your shop/business and to manage inventory and storage conditions (consider scattering the time that this is done to discourage establishing a pattern)
  • Be a good business neighbour and check on your neighbour’s business and alert them if necessary.

Will my insurance cover business interruption?

It is highly recommended that every business take the time to review your insurance policies and contact your insurance broker to obtain up to date information. In many cases, business interruption insurance is exempt from a pandemic.

How can I be using this time wisely for maximum effect?

Although this is a difficult time to be operating a business, it is important to stay engaged in your business.  Peterborough & the Kawarthas is a resilient community and when we move from crisis to recovery, we want businesses to be as prepared as possible. Some suggestions to keep working on your business that you haven’t had time for:

  • Small, minor repairs that you have been meaning to get to.
  • Continue telling your story on your social media channels to keep your customers engaged and to create value for them. Suggestions include: if you have inventory, film and share an unboxing, or a tutorial on how to use one of your popular products/services- share the story of how your company started and why you wanted to become an entrepreneur- consider offering a digital or online service, or the development of an online platform or course- consider staging content photos if you can safely access your office, or create your own branded stock photos from home to use later.
  • Cleaning and organizing the space and files
  • Re-design your window display
  • Get that PAPERWORK done!!!!
  • Take some free online courses on marketing and business planning – Check out online learning opportunities through Trent University and Fleming College
  • Tidy up your website
  • Strategize and plan your next marketing and advertising campaign to welcome back customers and visitors.
  • Plan your re-opening party or customer celebration events. 
  • Help others in the community to stay connected. Check on your neighbour
  • Stay #PTBOStrong

When the all-clear is announced – What are the resources and plans for recovery to get our customers and visitors back?

We are still in the early stages of learning about all the programs and resources.  More details will be developed over the coming days and weeks.

How do we manage the negativity in social media?

Support each other’s business.  Every business has different needs and customers to serve.  Each business owner is doing the best they can to charter this unprecedented territory.  Let’s keep it positive and support where we can safely.

  • Share/like/comment and engage with others on their social media in a positive manner. This costs nothing to do.
  • Leave a review or testimonial on the social channel or Google page of a small business or supplier that you use in which you had an excellent experience or enjoy. This can help with their SEO and reviews

What can I do as a business owner to help?

We recognize that this is a very challenging time for business owners. Information is changing at a rapid pace. It is very important that agencies advocate on your behalf and inform the government and associations of your changing concerns.

  • Please be supportive of each other
  • Answer surveys – they provide real-time data for us to provide to our elected officials
  • Work with and support your employees during this time
  • Support businesses online by sharing, liking and commenting on their posts

Know that we are resilient, and your agencies are doing their best to support you during this time.