As you know, the situation with novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has been rapidly evolving in Canada and across the world.
Here is the link that should help with and Payroll questions that you may have while dealing with the COVID-19 crisis
Update June 1, 2020
New Guidance from Transport Canada Marine Safety
Pleasure craft north of the 60th parallel:
As of June 1, 2020, pleasure craft will be prohibited from operating within Canada’s Arctic coastal waters (north of the 60th parallel), as well as in the coastal areas of northern Quebec and Labrador. These restrictions will not apply to pleasure craft used by local communities, or used for purposes such as essential transportation or subsistence fishing, harvesting and hunting. These measures will remain in place until at least October 31, 2020.
Pleasure craft south of the 60th parallel:
Guidance has been developed for the use of pleasure craft in Canadian waters south of the 60th parallel and are to be considered alongside provincial, territorial and local measures to ensure the safety of everyone on the water.
The Marine Retailers Association (MRAA) Guide
The MRAA and 10 other MTAs recently produced the Guide to Operating Your Boat Business Safely. It’s a 58-page manual for boat dealers, marina operators and boatyard owners to operate safely under COVID-19 guidelines and rules. Although the Guide is from the USA, the principles apply. Please make sure that you are aware of your Provincial Public Health guidelines, and the Transport Canada Marine Safety Guidelines.
Covid-19 updates: Canada
The Government of Canada has released new requirements regarding people entering Canada:
The following is a list of the major Canadian government aid programs relevant to the recreational boating sector.
- ·Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS)
- ·Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA)
- ·Deferred tax and tariff payments
- ·Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance program
- ·Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility (LEEFF)
- ·Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF)
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency launches Regional Relief and Recovery Fund to support local economies
Businesses across Atlantic Canada unable to access existing relief measures can now apply for funding under new initiative.
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused uncertainty and anxiety for businesses and their employees. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are at the heart of our economy and our communities. As a source of local jobs and pride, they play a key role in the well-being of communities across the country. That is why the Government of Canada has implemented a series of concrete and tangible measures to help them retain their employees, pay rent and access capital to pay their bills.
Find out more at https://www.canada.ca/en/atlantic-canada-opportunities.html
The Canadian Chamber of Commerce has created the Business Reliance Service
The Business Resilience Service (BRS) allows you to connect with experienced business advisers from across Canada for guidance on which government relief programs will be most appropriate to support your small- to medium-sized business, not-for-profit or charity on how to respond and reshape amid uncertainty.
The program, delivered to your organization free of charge, provides:
- Guidance on COVID-19 financial support program options and eligibility
- Direction on accessing the most appropriate support organizations
- Help to make decisions to support recovery plans
- Real time insights and feedback to policymakers
To access the BRS call 1-866-989-1080 to connect with a business advisor from the accounting profession. The service is available 7 days/week from 9am – 9pm AT
Covid-19 Updates Atlantic Canada
Has updated the list of outdoor activities at https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus/outdoor-activities/
The current State of Emergency continues until May 31, 2020 and it is expected that it will be renewed.
Under the state of emergency police are authorized to enforce orders under the Health Protection Act. If Nova Scotians, businesses and organizations do not practise social distancing and self-isolation, they will face fines of $1,000 for individuals and $7,500 for businesses and organizations. Multiple fines can be given each day an individual, business or organization fails to comply. Police can also enforce offences under the Emergency Management Act. For example, fines for charging higher than fair market prices for goods and services.
If you’re aware of someone who isn’t following provincial direction, talk to them first – they may need help. If you need to call police, please call a non-emergency number for the police that serve your community. Do not call 911.
Re-opening the Nova Scotia Economy
Nova Scotia is preparing to reopen the province safely. As more businesses, organizations, services and public spaces reopen, we need to work together to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and help keep everyone safe.
Information about the re-opening of businesses that had been closed can be viewed here https://novascotia.ca/reopening-nova-scotia/
Zones in New Brunswick with the exception of Zone 5 (Cambellton) are moving to the Yellow level. During this time, Public Health measures and guidelines must still be followed.
The following are now allowed:
- Your household bubble can be extended to close friends and family.
- Non-regulated health professionals and businesses can open, including acupuncturists and naturopaths.
- Personal services businesses can open, including: barbers, hair stylists, spas, estheticians, manicurists, pedicurists, and tattoo artists.
On Friday, June 5, 2020, New Brunswick zones, except Zone 5, will loosen additional restrictions under the Yellow level. At that time, the following will be allowed:
- Outdoor gatherings of 50 people or fewer with physical distancing. Religious services of 50 people or fewer can take place indoors with physical distancing.
- Elective surgeries and other non-emergency health-care services will increase.
- Low-contact team sports can be played.
- The following will be allowed to open:
- Swimming pools, saunas and waterparks
- Gyms, yoga and dance studios
- Rinks and indoor recreational facilities
- Pool halls and bowling alleys
On Friday, June 19, 2020, overnight camps will be able to open.
https://www2.gnb.ca/content/gnb/en/corporate/promo/covid-19/travel.html#faqAll unnecessary travel into New Brunswick is prohibited. Everyone entering New Brunswick at any point of entry, including airports, must stop when instructed to do so by a peace officer and answer any questions as required to support the intent of the requirements of the Chief Medical Officer of Health. With few exceptions, anyone who comes to New Brunswick from outside the province and remains here is required to self-isolate for 14 days. Information for international and interprovincial travellers can be found here
Prince Edward Island
Prince Edward Island will move to further relax restrictions within the province as phase 3 begins on June 1.
Phase 3 highlights include:
- Gatherings – no more than 15 people indoor and 20 people outdoor may gather while maintaining physical distancing with individuals who are not part of one’s household.
- Long Term Care visitation – Visits will be permitted in outdoor areas at Long Term Care facilities with a maximum of two designated visitors per resident.
- Restaurants – Indoor dining will be permitted with a maximum seating capacity of 50 patrons. There is no set seating capacity for outdoor dining areas. Physical distancing must be maintained between patrons at different tables as well as for patrons at the bar or in waiting areas and applies to both indoor and outdoor seating areas.
- Recreational Activities – adhering to current gathering numbers (maximum of 15 indoor and 20 outdoor) organized recreational activities and team sports may operate. Modifications may be necessary based on the level of physical contact. Full contact sports like wresting or rugby would require extensive modification/practice options at this time.
- Gyms, libraries, personal services, day camps, campgrounds and other public facilities will also be permitted to re-open. Visitation is also being permitted for compassionate and palliative care.
On June 1, seasonal residents may apply to visit Prince Edward Island this summer, which will require a self-isolation plan. Find out more about the re-opening of PEI at https://www.princeedwardisland.ca/en/topic/renew-pei-together
Newfoundland and Labrador
Currently at Alert Level 4. https://www.gov.nl.ca/covid-19/alert-system/alert-level-4/
Update May 5, 2020
Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia have a relaxation of measures concerning out door activities including boating:
1. Sport fishing/recreational angling is now open in all provinces.(Check with each province for licensing requirements.)
2. Public Health rules are different in each of the three provinces, so please check with the correct authority as regards to non essential gatherings and what is open.
- Walking, hiking, cycling and motorcycling
- Golf courses, driving ranges and shooting ranges
- Current PEI residents going to their own seasonal properties on PEI
- Recreational fishing, including inland and tidal water fisheries and all recreational shellfish
- Marinas and yacht clubs
- Two-household Bubble
- Golf Courses (no restaurant, no bar)
- Fishing and Hunting Seasons
- Outdoor Spaces (where owner allows it)
- Car Pooling
- Post-secondary Education (progressive,
- starting with practical programs)
- Outdoor (Drive-in) Religious Services
You can fish from shore or from a boat. Remember social distancing on shore and at the boat launch. You should only get on a boat with people you live with.
Fishing events, like derbies or festivals, won’t be happening until further notice. And out-of-province residents can’t tow their boats to Nova Scotia for recreational fishing.
Sailing and boating
You can work on your boat and get it ready for the season at boating and sailing clubs. Remember social distancing, and only get on a boat with people you live with.
Marinas and common areas (except for washrooms) are closed. Onsite restaurants can offer take-out.
Beaches and campground in those parks are still closed, so the slips are closed, for now. There's a list of parks here: https://parks.novascotia.ca/
If the provincial parks were going to remain closed beyond the usual dates, there will likely be an announcement about that.
Update April 27, 2020
1. How to Apply
If you represent a business, you may apply using Represent a Client
Alternatively, you may apply using a separate online application form (available April 27)
If you are unable to register for My Business Account, make sure you have an online web access code so you are prepared to use the alternative application.
Make sure your business details and direct deposit information for your payroll accounts (RP) are up to date. This will ensure that any payments to you will be processed quickly and easily.
The program will be in place for a 12-week period, from March 15 to June 6, 2020.
Generally, an arm’s-length employee includes any employee who does not own the business (or in the case of a corporation, control the corporation) and is not a member of that person’s immediate family.
Non-arm's length (not at arm's length)
A non-arm’s-length employee is someone who owns the business (or in the case of a corporation, controls the corporation) or is part of that person’s immediate family.
Read more about non-arm’s-length relationships
APRIL 23, 2020 UPDATE
Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy
Prime Minister Trudeau has announced that the application window for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy opens on Monday, April 27th. Businesses will be able to apply through CRA My Business Account or a separate online application form.https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/subsidy/emergency-wage-subsidy.html
CRA has also created a calculator that allows an employer to figure out their subsidy amount: https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/subsidy/emergency-wage-subsidy/cews-calculate-subsidy-amount.html.
Available Business programs
ISED (Industry Canada) has updated their business support finder to include COVID-19 related programs. This is an excellent tool. You answer a few questions about your business, identify the help you are looking for, and the website pulls together an easy-to-read list of everything that’s out there.
APRIL 9, 2020 UPDATE
- an operating company registered in Canada on March 1, 2020;
- annual payroll of between $50,000 and $1 million as evidenced by the organization’s 2019 T4 Summary of Remuneration Paid (T4SUM)
The Government is also proposing that employers eligible for the CEWS be entitled to receive a 100-per-cent refund for certain employer contributions to Employment Insurance, the Canada Pension Plan, the Quebec Pension Plan, and the Quebec Parental Insurance Plan paid in respect of employees who are on leave with pay.
Sail Nova Scotia has created a COVID 19 Q&A for sailors at: https://www.sailnovascotia.ca/news-releases/covid-19-sailors-q-a.html
Noa Scotia Boatbuilders Association has an information page at https://nsboats.com/covid19/
APRIL 3, 2020 UPDATE
- Eligible employers include individuals, taxable corporations (including non-resident corporations operating in Canada), and partnerships consisting of eligible employers as well as non‑profit organizations and registered charities.
- To claim the benefit, employers will need to show at least a 30% drop in gross revenues in March, April, or May compared to the same month in 2019 — see table below:
Period 1 March 15–April 11
March 2020 over March 2019
Period 2 April 12–May 9
April 2020 over April 2019
Period 3 May 10–June 6
May 2020 over May 2019
- The 75% subsidy will be based entirely on the salary or wages actually paid to employees. All employers will have to attest that they’ve done all they can to cover the remaining 25% and top employees up to their full pay.
- Note that the Wage Subsidy and Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) cannot be claimed at the same time, to avoid ‘double-dipping’. Please keep this in mind when furloughing any employees.
- Employers will be able to apply for the wage subsidy through the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) online portal in the coming weeks. The finance minister indicated that funds will start to flow in approximately 6 weeks. If you haven’t already, please set up your CRA My Business Account online today to ensure you receive the benefit payment faster. https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/e-services/e-services-businesses/business-account.html
The CERB provides $500 a week for up to 16 weeks.
The benefit will be available to workers:
- Residing in Canada, who are at least 15 years old;
- Who have stopped working because of COVID-19 and have not voluntarily quit their job;
- Who had income of at least $5,000 in 2019 or in the 12 months prior to the date of their application; and
- Who are or expect to be without employment or self-employment income for at least 14 consecutive days in the initial four-week period. For subsequent benefit periods, they expect to have no employment income.
- The Benefit is only available to individuals who stopped work as a result of reasons related to COVID-19.
The new Canada Emergency Business Account will provide interest-free loans through financial institutions of up to $40,000 guaranteed by the government to eligible small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). To qualify, businesses will need to demonstrate they paid between $50,000 to $1 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).
Corporate and personal tax balances owing and instalments for 2020: do not have to pay until September 1st
ACTIVITIES NOT ALLOWED:
• All angling, for all species; including all trout species and smallmouth bass
• Angling for all species in both tidal and non-tidal waters; including the Bras d’Or Lakes
• Angling in all waterbodies; including those accessed through private property, your own or someone else’s
All Water Bodies: This delay is in place for all water bodies, regardless of whether or not a fishing licence is required; including tidal waters (saltwater).
Penalties: Anyone caught angling during this delay of season can be charged with fishing during a closed time, whether or not a fishing licence is required.
Licences: If you have already purchased a 2020 fishing licence, it is valid until March 31, 2021. No refunds will be issued.
Dip netting for smelt or gaspereau will still be allowed as it is a federally regulated activity that is not included in the angling season and does not require a licence.
Operational Best Practices for Marine Business
As an outdoor activity boating is a great way to get away from the stress and anxiety caused by the pandemic.
Here a few best practice recommendations :
Many marinas, dealerships and trade members are closing their retail store for the next couple of weeks (in line with government directives on public facilities). Now is a great opportunity to have staff take care of a project or two that have been at ‘the bottom of the list’. Get creative – Seek & communicate new / alternate means that you can introduce to sell your products. Look at options for online sales, pick-up or delivery service and more.
Have staff prepare on site facilities but do not open public spaces to the public currently – i.e. swimming pools, restaurants.
Your washroom facilities should be well stocked with sanitizing supplies, have recommendations posted, be cleaned thoroughly and frequently. If you have multiple stalls you may want to limit access/ number of users.
Consider ‘Risk Factors’ for your team – staff that have existing illnesses such as respiratory or diabetes should be supported appropriately to minimize their exposure.
Review Social distancing in your office environment. Staff need to be 3 – 6 feet apart as a minimum – get creative and make this a priority.
Consider your fuel dock staff, yard staff and make clear guidelines on how they too must respect social distancing in that environment – communicate this to your customers as well so they know what to expect when they approach the fuel dock or anyone in your facility.
Invite your clients to come to the marina to ‘Hug their boat’ – create a positive moment during a challenging time. While doing so remind them of your expectations for responsible Social Distancing (see below).
You are encouraged to ‘become your own media company’ and actively, openly and frequently act as a conduit to information while being sincerely willing to listen to the voices and concerns of your staff and clients.
Meet with your teams daily – provide updated info, hear their concerns, remind them of your policies regarding sanitizing – their own hands as well as your facilities and your expectations of guests. If any of your staff can work from home, then please encourage them to do so.
There are everyday actions that can help prevent the spread of germs that cause respiratory illnesses. Take these everyday steps to reduce exposure to the virus and protect your health:
- • wash your hands often with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer
- • sneeze and cough into your sleeve
- • avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth
- • avoid contact with people who are sick
- • stay home if you are sick
Communicate with your clients – insist that they self-quarantine for 14 days if they have been out of the country. Respectfully suggest they stay home if they are sick. Advise them of your plans – for launch / opening / scheduled events and so on (HAPPY THOUGHTS!!). Many businesses are advising clients that they will no longer process any cash transactions but will still take credit or debit cards or e-transfers for payment.
Communicate frequently through your email database, social media platforms and any others you use regularly.
Social distancing includes, but is not limited to:
- Talking to your supervisor, manager, or employer about the possibility of working from home where possible.
- Avoiding non-essential trips in the community / If you must go into the community for an essential trip via taxi or rideshare, be sure to keep the windows down.
- If possible, limit or consider cancelling group gatherings.
- If you have meetings planned, consider doing them virtually instead of in person.
Whenever possible, spend time outside (Like maybe ON A BOAT!!) and in settings where people can maintain a 1-2 meters (3-6 feet) distance from each other.
- The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) has put together an excellent Q&A and list of resources for businesses. In addition, they have also opened their Helpline to all business owners including non-CFIB members for advice on managing COVID-19 situations in the workplace. To talk to an expert, please call 1-888-234-2232.