HOW COVID-19 CAN AFFECT YOUR BUSINESS AND WHERE TO FIND HELP

The impact of the Covid-19 virus, and the needed measures taken to control the outbreak are having and will continue to have an impact on many businesses in Canada. Not only do businesses have to contend with challenges in their supply chain and business travel, they now also have to contend with the impact that social distancing will have on their business.

This impact will be felt in two main ways. The first is being a responsible employer who needs to keep the welfare of all their staff top of mind and support the option of working from home if at all possible.

Businesses particularly in manufacturing and in those providing technical services cannot produce or deliver their products and services without their employees, which makes these businesses particularly susceptible to changes in the availability of labour. Traditional service-based businesses may also be impacted due to the lack of planning and the infrastructure required for employees to work remotely.

The second main impact felt by all businesses will be the inevitable slowdown in demand for their goods and services, as consumers, both individual and businesses refrain from nonessential purchases due to climate of uncertainty.

The minister of Finance Bill Morneau, Governor of the Bank of Canada Stephen Poloz, and Superintendent of Financial Institutions Jeremy Rudin have however outlined a few initiatives that are aimed at coordinated package of measures being taken by financial sector partners to support the functioning of markets and continued access to financing for Canadian businesses.

Some of the measures are aimed at ensuring that our financial institutions have ample liquidity to support lending activities to consumers and businesses. These liquidity measures will also provide financial institutions flexibility in how they deal with mortgage and loan repayments.

The most important measure for business is the Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP). The program aims to further support financing to the private sector to the tune of $10 billion, through the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC), and Export Development Canada (EDC). Under the program, BDC and EDC will enhance their cooperation with private sector lenders to coordinate financing and credit insurance solutions for Canadian businesses.

The Business BDC will aim to support businesses through three main programs:

The small business loan, which can be applied to online, and is up to $100,000, will assist businesses in assisting businesses with more traditional business growth funding.

Working capital loan, which as the name implies, is aimed at providing businesses with access to additional funds to support the need for working capital. This facility is often paired with, or in support to a traditional line of credit.

Purchase order financing, which assists in managing cash flow on the back of any client Purchase Order (PO). This means that you can use any spare cashflow for other functions in this time of business stress.

The EDC will provide further support to our exporters by facilitating access to capital. They will work in collaboration with federal and traditional financial institutions to find the best solution for the needs of Canadian exporters.

It is important to keep up to date with developments, and new policy responses. Here are some links that we recommend for further information.

City of Toronto COVID-19 Economic Support and Recovery : https://www.toronto.ca/home/covid-19/economic-support-recovery/

BDC Support for entrepreneurs impacted by the COVID-19 coronavirus : https://www.bdc.ca/en/pages/special-support.aspx?special-initiative=covid19

EDC COVID-19 : https://www.edc.ca/en/campaign/coronavirus-covid-19.html