Patrick Gill, senior director of Tax and Financial Policy with the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, is offering a five-step plan for businesses to find their way through the COVID-19 pandemic.

His comments come on behalf of the Canadian Business Resilience Network, an initiative of the Canadian Chamber.

“It feels as though the world has stopped and in many ways it has,” said Gill. “So what should non-essentials do when a winter like this has come. Before cash balances dry up, Canadian businesses should use the emergency measures that governments coast to coast have announced to put their workers and operations into a state of hibernation.”

Gill says if your company is not able to function right now, “think—hibernation.”

He lists five ways to make this happen.

—1. Take care of the health, safety and liquidity of your workers. Use the emergency benefit of the new wage subsidy to keep your workers attached to you ,but safe at home. “And please don’t let go of your workers if you can,” said Gill. “You’ll recover faster if you do.”

—2. Talk to your bank or credit union about your debt obligations or accessing emergency credit. Interest rates have been slashed and interest-free loans are available and the business credit availability program can help as well.

—3. Don’t worry about the taxman right now. Tax deadlines, audits and payments have been extended at every level. Call your accountant for details.

—4. Speak to your landlord and discuss the situation with them. And know that many provincial governments have stayed evictions. It’s in both parties’ best interest to sort things out.

—5. start planning now for your emergence from hibernation.

“This winter will end how quickly and successfully you emerge can be boosted by doing a little planning now,” said Gill.  “And remember, we’re all in this together. So speak to your banking partners—your lawyer, insurer, banker and accountant. They want to help and they can help. You can survive this economic winter by hibernating like a Canadian.”

 

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Corporate Knights, a sustainable business magazine, is celebrating Wednesday’s 50th anniversary of Earth Day with a list of 50 green initiatives by companies who working to create a sustainable planet.

The magazine recognizes that when Earth Day was born, concerns were mounting about the lead fumes puffing out of tailpipes, the Cleveland river soaked in industrial waste that had caught on fire the year prior, and the thousands of dead, oil-soaked birds that had washed up on the beaches of Santa Barbara in the largest oil spill in American history.

By the end of 1970, the United States Environmental Protection Agency had been founded, ushering in an era of groundbreaking clean-air, water, and endangered-species regulations that would reshape corporate America’s relationship with nature, providing a cornerstone for modern environmental policy.

The full story on the positive impacts the organizers of Earth Day have been able to see in that half-century can be seen HERE,

 

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The Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce is creating a series of webinars entitled “Shaping the Current & Post-Pandemic Business Community”. 

Thought leaders of various disciplines from our community will offer their insights and guide a free-flowing discussion with participants.

Siskinds LLP, with offices in Sarnia and London, is presenting the first of the series: “How to Deal with Leaves & Lay-Offs”.

It will take place on Thursday, April 23, 2020 at 2 p.m.

Register at www.slchamber.ca by clicking HERE.

 

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As results continue to come in on a survey sponsored by the Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce and the Sarnia-Lambton Economic Partnership, a picture of continued pressure on local business due to the COVID-19 lockdown is emerging.

Still, we are looking for additional participation, results of which will be shared with local, provincial and federal authorities.

The link to the latest version of the survey can be found HERE.

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As we adjust to the realities of Covid-19, we’re sharing what four local businesses are doing to make a difference in our community.

Included in the list of “pay it forward” contributors is Sitara Indian Cuisine, who has provided more than 800 complimentary meals to front-line staff at Bluewater Health, an initiative that was coordinated with Adelle Stewardson of the Bluewater Health Foundation.

Refined Fool Brewing Co., is partnering with Lambton College to manufacture hand sanitizer for donation to Bluewater Health. Pictured is Matt Barnes of Refined Fool.

Little Caesars, which operates five restaurants locally, is donating meals to front-line healthcare workers at several long-term care facilities.

Another business, the Toy Corner is using its social media channels to offer curbside pickup or delivery to keep toys circulating in Sarnia-Lambton.

All of these organizations are demonstrating that a spirit of generosity and commitment to customer service is something that shows how we move forward, despite the challenges we face.

Do you have a story about how your business (or one you know) is making a difference in these challenging times? We’d love to hear from you, so we can share with our members.

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FanSaveHelps is a great new initiative that gives local businesses a boost by generating gift certificates in the absence of traditional business.

It’s up to Chamber members to step forward as recipients for the initiative or by purchasing gift certificates from registered businesses.

Simply click HERE to register your business (it’s free) and then click HERE to purchase a gift certificate from other businesses.

You’ll be making a genuine difference in a genuine time of need.

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Local industry, including members of the Industrial Educational Cooperative, CAER and the Sarnia Lambton Environmental Association, has provided partial funding for a standby facility located in the gymnasiums of Lambton College.

Mike Lapaine, CEO of Bluewater Health, said creating the capacity to care for the residents of Sarnia-Lambton is a key objective.

“Our hope is we do not need to move any patients to the Lambton College site, but we have to be ready for the worst case. On behalf of Bluewater Health, I would like to extend our heartfelt appreciation to both Lambton College and the City of Sarnia as we weather this storm of storms together.”

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The Canadian Government has announced expanded access to the Canada Emergency Response Benefit, changes that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says are designed to “better support those who need help but don’t qualify for the CERB.”

Trudeau, who announced the changes on April 15, also said Canadians who work in essential jobs who make less money than they would if they received the benefit. Other groups that would benefit from the changes include allowing people to earn up to $1,000 a month while collecting the CERB and those who recently exhausted their EI regular benefits and cannot find work due to COVID-19.

The full Government release can be found HERE.

A story from CBC News which provides more details can be found HERE.

 

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