Government of Canada COVID-19 supports

  • How to apply for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS)
If you own a business and employ workers that has been affected by COVID-19, you may be eligible for a subsidy of 75% of employee wages for up to 12 weeks, retroactive from March 15, 2020, to June 6, 2020. This wage subsidy will enable you to re-hire workers previously laid off as a result of COVID-19, help prevent further job losses, and better position you to resume normal operations following the crisis. Visit to apply: https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/subsidy/emergency-wage-subsidy.html
  • How to apply for the Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP)
 
The Feds established the Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) to provide additional support through the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) and Export Development Canada (EDC).

BDC and EDC are working with private sector lenders to coordinate on credit solutions for individual businesses, including in sectors such as oil and gas, air transportation, exports and tourism.

This program includes:

  • Loan Guarantee for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises

    EDC is working with financial institutions to issue new operating credit and cash flow term loans of up to $6.25 million to SMEs.

  • Co-Lending Program for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises

    BDC is working with financial institutions to co-lend term loans to SMEs for their operational cash flow requirements.

    Eligible businesses may obtain incremental credit amounts of up to $6.25 million through the program.

These programs are now available at various financial institutions and credit unions.

  • How to apply for Commercial Rent Assistance
 
The Feds reached an agreement in principle with all provinces and territories to implement the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) for small businesses. This program will lower rent by 75 percent for small businesses that have been affected by COVID-19.

The program will provide forgivable loans to qualifying commercial property owners to cover 50% of three monthly rent payments that are payable by eligible small business tenants who are experiencing financial hardship during April, May, and June.

The loans will be forgiven if the mortgaged property owner agrees to reduce the small business tenants’ rent by at least 75% under a rent forgiveness agreement, which will include a term not to evict the tenant while the agreement is in place. The small business tenant would cover the remainder, up to 25% of the rent.

Impacted small business tenants are businesses paying less than $50,000 per month in rent and who have temporarily ceased operations or have experienced at least a 70% drop in pre-COVID revenues. This support will also be available to non-profit and charitable organizations.

It is expected that CECRA will be operational by mid-May, and further details will be announced soon. Take advantage of these programs!

How re-opening will be determined – a flicker of light at the end of a long dark tunnel

The province of Ontario has unveiled basic principles and conditions to the public which will be used to guide the incremental re-opening of the Ontario economy and society as we have effectively reached and will soon pass over the peak of this disease.
The re-opening will be broken up into 3 stages:
  • Stage 1: For businesses that were ordered to close or restrict operations, opening select workplaces that can immediately modify operations to meet public health guidance. Opening some outdoor spaces like parks and allowing for a greater number of individuals to attend some events. Hospitals would also begin to offer some non-urgent and scheduled surgeries, and other health care services.
  • Stage 2: Opening more workplaces, based on risk assessments, which may include some service industries and additional office and retail workplaces. Some larger public gatherings would be allowed, and more outdoor spaces would open.
  • Stage 3: Opening of all workplaces responsibly and further relaxing of restrictions on public gatherings.
The key point is that the Chief Medical Officer of Health and health experts will provide advice to the government about easing public health measures using a range of set criteria, including:
  • A consistent two-to-four week decrease in the number of new daily COVID-19 cases;
  • Sufficient acute and critical care capacity, including access to ventilators and ongoing availability of personal protective equipment;
  • Approximately 90 percent of new COVID-19 contacts are being reached by local public health officials within one day, with guidance and direction to contain community spread; and
  • Ongoing testing of suspected COVID-19 cases, especially of vulnerable population
So, to summarize, as long as the number of cases continues to decline, the Chief Medical Officer of Health will send gradual and incremental signals to public officials to give the go-ahead for easing of restrictions on people, businesses, and the economy. Another important point to note is that Ontario’s economic recovery and re-opening up after COVID-19 will be guided and administered by the Jobs & Recovery Committee. See this quote:
 
Supporting the next phases of Ontario’s Action Plan, the new Ontario Jobs and Recovery Committee, chaired by Minister Phillips, will be consulting with key sectors in all regions to assess the impact of COVID-19 on the provincial economy and develop a plan to move forward. The government and Members of Provincial Parliament will lead discussions with business associations, chambers of commerce, municipal leaders, the postsecondary sector, corporate leaders, small business owners, community and social service providers, Indigenous partners, Franco-Ontarians, entrepreneurs and others.

How to help your community during COVID-19.

During the rapidly growing pandemic, it is important to see what we can do to help the community that we live in.

Support Small Businesses: Small business owners are currently suffering. Show your support by donating to their business and shopping locally during this time! Each person that decides to shop locally is helping build our community to be stronger during uncertain times!

Be a good neighbor: if someone on your street is compromised, see what you can do from a distance to help!

Call a friend: Coming together (from a distance) during such an uncertain time can bring a smile to anyone that feels alone. Isolation is extremely difficult for people to grasp, so why not pick up the phone and give an old friend a call.

Don’t Hoard Essentials: those lucky enough to have the means to spend a ton on groceries and other household needs should consider giving back to those in the community that are less fortunate. This is the time to give back and see what we can do to build each other up.

Stay home: Most importantly, stay home! Only leave for the essentials. Staying home is saving lives. Please be mindful of those that are immune-compromised, and stay home if you are not feeling well. Staying home can help us flatten the curve and ensure that our daily lives go back to normal sooner.

Tembo Financial is here for you during this time. Please reach out if there is anything that we can do to support you. We will get through this together!

Housing hold firm against COVID-19

Housing in the GTA and southern Ontario is holding steady despite all of the pressure that the outbreak of COVID-19 is unleashing on our society.
Hundreds of thousands of Canadians have taken advantage of the mortgage deferral programs being offered by the big Canadian banks. Many homeowners are also refinancing their mortgages to reduce their payments, save money, and take full advantage of the lowered interest rates. With this mortgage deferral program, Canadians will have 6 months of breathing room to manage their finances and continue preparing. Those who have lost their jobs have taken wage subsidies and enhanced EI to help them manage finances and prepare for longer term mortgage responsibilities. 
It is still far too early to get a clear picture in the immediate and medium term impacts to housing supply, prices, and demand. What is clear is that listing growth is slowing and showings are drying up as people are naturally reluctant to showcase their homes and put them on the market at a time when they are unlikely to sell or have limited interactions with realtors. Prospective buyers with cash and ongoing stability to their incomes see this window in time as a strong opportunity to buy, and are making offers or waiting for listings to increase. There has long been a well known pool of prospective buyers waiting for an opportune moment to buy housing. Stats also show that the number of wealthy buyers is increasing rapidly. With the equity markets having dropped so significantly, people are turning to real estate as a stability investment outlet.
No one expects rates to go up, instead, they will remain low until the economy recovers. The big question is what will happen if the economy remains burdened and mortgage deferral options dry up. Most banks project long term economic dislocation until 2021. For now, southern Ontario real estate is stable but long term impacts could begin to destabilize demand and prices. 

Unemployment skyrockets in Canada

COVID-19’s impact on the Canadian economy continues to grow in intensity.
On April 9th, unemployment figures for the first two weeks of March were released by Statscan. The numbers were powerful. Canada lost just over 1,000,000 jobs. National unemployment hit 7.8%, with unemployment in Ontario hitting 7.6%. The hardest hit sectors have been hospitality, tourism, airlines, and bars and restaurants. Small businesses with meagre cash flow and low capital have also been clobbered by the dramatic falls in customer turnover. The manufacturing sector has also been hit hard, not because of a lack of demand or need for its productive potential, but because of firms being cautious and employees preferring to be safe. The public sector has also been affected with municipalities across Ontario laying off tens of thousands of employees – all overwhelmingly part-time, casual, and student workers from recreation facilities, arenas, and libraries.
The Federal Government has responded to the crisis with policy changes almost by the day. An ambitious wage subsidy is the biggest piece, along with a $2,000 a month CERB (Canada Emergency Response Benefit) for four months for workers negatively impacted by the disease (laid off or lost income). A 75% wage subsidy has also been announced for workers who were laid off or to prevent new layoffs. The wage subsidy came after the federal government was criticized that its original 10% subsidy was far too low and incomparable to some of the wage subsidy announcements made by countries abroad, especially in Europe. In Denmark and the UK, for example, early responses to the outbreak of COVID-19 included wage subsidies that matched or exceeded 80%. The enhanced wage subsidy was well received, and companies that don’t qualify for it can still apply for the original 10% wage subsidy and a myriad of other programs (EI supports, business loans and credits, etc.). Airlines such as Westjet and Air Canada have announced that they will take advantage of this wage subsidy to rehire thousands of workers they were forced to terminate due to the complete collapse of air traffic.

Wondering if you can still sell or buy a home during the spring market this year?

Tembo Financial is here to support you while selling your home. We understand the uncertainty of the market right now, however, homeowners are finding creative ways to list and buy new real estate.

Many homeowners are creating new ways to have you see their home, without coming in close contact. Realtors and clients are now using virtual tours to adapt to our new way of living, and social distancing. Even though you can’t physically walk through the new home you are looking at, virtual tours seem to be taking off and heating up the real estate market. Virtual tours have been an option in the past few years, but it seems as though there is an upward trend on using them as a tool to list and sell property.

As the world is adapting to changing guidelines and regulations, so is the real estate market. Rather than being discouraged to list during the spring market, look at the new opportunities and ways that people are adapting to challenges.

Tembo Financial can assist you with the funds you need before your closing date. We understand that many people are unable to work, and are tight for cash. Speak to a representative at Tembo Financial to see how we can help you through tough times!

What the province is doing to fight COVID-19

The province has also released a large $17 billion program to fight COVID-19 and to help cope with its impacts.
Most of the cash will go to the health system and to support businesses, roughly $10 billion of the full amount will be added liquidity to support business through tax deferrals, WSIB premium changes, and the like.
 
Here’s an overview of the provincial package:
$935 million for the hospital sector, comprising of:
  • $594 million to accelerate progress on addressing hospital capacity issues; and
  • $341 million for additional acute care and critical care beds and more assessment centres,
  • The government is also providing $124 million to support the delivery of more than 90 transitional care projects, creating approximately 1,000 spaces where more than 20,000 patients can move from a hospital bed to a more appropriate transitional care setting.  

The Action Plan includes investments in the long-term care sector, such as

  • $243 million for additional capacity in the sector and more resources for screening, infection control, staffing and supplies
  • Approximately $80 million to improve and maintain the quality of care in long-term care homes; and
  • Approximately $23 million for a minor capital program that will support the ongoing repair of homes and allow operators to maintain safe and modern facilities

The government is investing $3.7 billion to support people and to project jobs during the crisis. The supports are targeted to a number of groups who need help most immediately. The government is also working with local businesses and charities as well as existing health services to coordinate subsidized deliveries of meals, medicines and other essentials to seniors in need.

 

To help students, the government is suspending OSAP loan repayments for borrowers between March 30, 2020 and September 30, 2020, leaving more money in students’ pockets in these challenging times.

For a full list of programs the province is releasing to fight COVID, please visit: https://news.ontario.ca/mof/en/2020/03/ontarios-action-plan-responding-to-covid-19.html

In addition, the province has put together Ontario Together, a website that allows businesses and organizations to input their capacities and ideas to supply the province and our health system as we continue to manage the disease. The website is ontario.ca/ontariotogether, and Tembo encourages businesses to submit their ideas and proposals!

COVID-19 and the housing market

We are all impacted by lay offs, long line ups at supermarkets, empty toilet paper shelves, working from home, or worse. If our own lives haven’t been completely shifted by the COVID-19 crisis, we know someone else who has. In this blog, Tembo will take a look at how COVID is impacting Toronto real estate and the broader southern Ontario housing market.

So far, with March coming to a close, the industry is arguably in very good shape all things considered. First and foremost, real estate is considered an essential business by the provincial government. It’s importance to employment, output, and just ensuring people have somewhere to live is crucial – and the government has obviously responded to that and acknowledged it. Guidelines on home showings and social isolation have been updated and restricted but realtors have used technology to manage some of these disease-related challenges.

International commerce and buying continues, and in many respects, the crisis may accelerate foreign purchases and investors scramble to move their money or persons around the world looking for stability in an ocean of unease. Construction is an issue, with pressure on governments to effectively shut down sites growing despite the importance of construction. The short to medium term impacts on construction sites remains to be seen. Media have already reported that construction sites related to government funded public transit will see delays in their timetables.

Prices and demand have yet to be impacted negatively. March’s numbers will be released in the next few days and will be interesting. April and May figures will be interesting, especially if quarantines, shut downs, and further economic disruption continue. Even if prices and demand does fall, it will likely be temporary, as prospective buyers waiting on the sidelines and investors with cash bide their time for opportunities.

The big and very positive news is that the big banks have announced that people will be able to apply to defer mortgage payments, and lowered interest rates means people can refinance for lower mortgage payments. While this is not an ideal measure, it offers flexibility in a time of crisis. All in all, the immediate impact of the crisis has not phased our ironclad market, but the medium to long term impacts will depend on how long this all lasts.

Tembo Financial for Business Owners and Entrepreneurs

During uncertain times, Tembo Financial understands that businesses and personal matters may be affected.

Many businesses are currently facing struggles that were unanticipated, and extremely sudden. Having to close, or operate from home for some is extremely tricky for several businesses.  

How are you going to pay rent? How can you continue to pay your employees? Will your business be able to survive the ongoing and uncertain changes happening? Many new questions arise as different life events take hold of what was your successful and growing business.  

It is in times like this where Tembo Financial may have the product and solution for you, to help you save your business with little risk. Tembo Financial is offering business loans against your personal property, to ensure that you can keep your business afloat. With flexible solutions, this product can assist you in getting your business back up to full speed. Our loans are simple, registering against your personal property, and releasing funds to keep your business the way it was moving before it slowed down.  

Interest will be deferred or prepaid so that you don’t have to come up with the payments until you are ready to pay off your short term, 4-6 month fully open loan. If 4-6 months isn’t suitable for your business, Tembo Financial can assess if your business would be right for a 1-year term.  

If you are a business owner, with equity in your personal home and are looking to tap into the equity in your home to save your business, contact Tembo Financial today to find out more information on how we can help you keep your business afloat!  

Stuck Inside?

Here is Tembo Financials list of what you can do while stuck at home!

  1. Puzzle: Puzzles are a great way to take up time while stuck inside at home.
  2. Take advantage of spring coming: With spring around the corner, make some time to get out of your house and go for a walk, or simply playing games in the yard.
  3. At home workouts: Many local gyms are offering free work out classes that require no equipment and can be done in a small space in your home.
  4. Cooking and Baking: Been thinking of a new recipe you want to try? No better time to practice your cooking and baking skills like when you are stuck at home all day!
  5. Movie marathon: Wind down at night with a movie marathon. Did you know that Disney+ and Netflix are releasing new films earlier than originally planned for?
  6. Virtual Museum Tours: Many world-famous museums such as The Louvre are posting virtual tours online! Take this time at home as a chance to experience arts and culture all over the world, from your couch.
  7. Call a friend or someone you know that is alone during this time! Social distancing doesn’t mean you can’t pick up the phone and reconnect with old friends.
  8. Relax: Take this time to relax and appreciate what you have! Time at home can be nice and relaxing!

Stay home and stay safe! Tembo Financial is here for you through the tough times. Appreciate the time you have at home with your family! Care for others that may not be with their family during this time. Relax and stay safe!