Navigating through COVID-19
Last update: August 31, 2020
Across the world, nations, communities and individuals are grappling with the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19). Our hearts and thoughts go out to those who have been affected by the outbreak.
At G&F Financial Group, as a local community-based credit union, we believe our role and responsibility during these uncertain and ever-changing times is the well-being of our employees, members and our communities. This is instilled in our values and rooted in our credit union principles. As we are guided by this, we will also be guided by, and support local health officials, experts and government leaders as they work to prevent the spread of the virus.
We are here for you.
We understand this is, and will be, a tough time for many. We do have financial relief measures in place to support our members who require it with respect to loans and mortgages. Any member who feels they need this support can call our Member Hub at 604-419-8888.
Below is a list of waived fees, relief programs, and additional support we have available:
Mortgages & Loans*
G&F Collabria Credit Cards
*Member assistance solutions will be granted on a case-by-case basis, for a three-month period. Following the first three months, we will work with you to re-assess and determine the best next steps for you. Click here to apply for a loan payment deferral. If you would like to learn more about your options with our Member Assistance Program, please see this information sheet.
Should I make any changes to my investment portfolio?
If there are no changes to your financial goals, we do not recommend making any changes to your investment portfolio. Corrections are a natural part of the investment cycle and, over the long term, investors who stay invested and do not try to “time the market” are usually better off. Markets typically recover quickly, and if you miss the big positive days, it can negatively affect your long-term returns. If your financial goals have changed, it is important to let your G&F advisor know so we can review your portfolio to make sure it is right for you.
Read our latest article: Tips for Staying Invested during Volatile Markets
Watch our Q&A videos: Financial planning advice in turbulent markets
Government support for individuals
See the following websites for information on accessing government support:
- BC Emergency Benefit for Workers - a one-time $1,000 payment
- BC Hydro - choose to defer bill payments or arrange flexible payment plans with no penalty
- Canada Child Tax Benefit - one-time increase by up to $300 per child as part of the May payment
- Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) - provides $2,000/month for up to four months
- Employment Insurance Benefits - note: you may apply for CERB or EI, not both
- Employment Insurance Sickness Benefits - requirement for medical certificate waived
- GST Credit - a one-time automatic payment was made on April 9 to those who were eligible
- ICBC - option to defer payment for up to 90 days with no penalty
- Kids Help Phone 1-800-668-6868
- National Student Loan Service Centre - payments are paused from March 30 to September 30, 2020 with no accrual of interest
- New Horizons for Seniors Program - apply for grants and funding for projects that make a difference in the lives of seniors
- RRIFs - the minimum withdrawal rate has dropped by 25% for 2020
- Support for seniors - a one-time supplement of $300 to OAS recipients and $200 to GIS recipients
- Support for students - $1,250 per month from May through August, and monetary incentives for students who volunteer in their community. Students can apply for aid through their province. BC students, apply here.
- Tax filing deadline changed to June 1, 2020 - you can also defer tax payments to September 30, 2020. As well, the CRA will not charge late-filing penalties as long as you file your return by September 30, 2020.
- Youth Community Partnership Program - provides youth with opportunities to contribute to their community while gaining work-related skills and experience for future job opportunities.
Government support for businesses
Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA)
The application deadline for CEBA has been extended to October 31, 2020.
To ensure that small businesses have access to the capital they need to see them through the current challenges, the Government of Canada launched the Canada Emergency Business Account, which has been implemented by eligible financial institutions in cooperation with Export Development Canada (EDC). This program provides interest-free loans of up to $40,000 to small businesses and not-for-profits, to help cover their operating costs during a period where their revenues have been temporarily reduced, due to the economic impacts of the COVID-19 virus.
Repaying the balance of the loan on or before December 31, 2022 will result in loan forgiveness of 25 percent (up to $10,000). Any balance remaining after this time will be charged at 5% per annum.
If your main operating account is with G&F Financial Group, contact your Business Relationship Manager to apply for CEBA. For more information, please see www.CEBA-CUEC.ca.
To be eligible for CEBA, per the Government of Canada’s requirements, your organization must meet certain criteria, including (but not limited to) the following:
- G&F Financial Group is your primary bank for business banking.
- Your G&F business deposit account was open before March 1, 2020, is active and in good standing.
- Your organization was registered and operational on or before March 1, 2020.
- Your organization’s 2019 salary payroll expenses (Box 14) was between $20,000 and $1,500,000, or
- Your organization can demonstrate having eligible non-deferrable expenses between $40,000 and $1,500,000 in 2020.
Other support initiatives for businesses
- Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance - loans to cover 50% of three monthly rent payments if you experience financial hardship during April, May and June.
- Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy - Apply through G&F online banking or through CRA's My Business Account portal.
- Co-lending program for small and medium-sized businesses
- Federal Work Share Program
- Loan guarantee for small and medium-sized businesses
- Temporary wage subsidy for employers - No need to apply. Employers are to reduce their payroll remittances of income tax by the amount of the subsidy.
BC Government support for small businesses, non-profits, contract workers and self-employed individuals
The Provincial government has outlined a number of services to assist small businesses, non-profits, contract workers and self-employed individuals. Please see their website for more information: covid.smallbusinessbc.ca.