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.”