Navigating through COVID-19
Last update: July 5, 2021
At G&F Financial Group, as a local community-based credit union, our role and responsibility during the COVID-19 pandemic is to support the well-being of our employees, members and our communities. This is instilled in our values and rooted in our credit union principles.
Now that the Province of British Columbia has entered Step 3 of the BC Restart Plan, G&F has updated our safety protocols to align with the provincial plan. We will continue to follow the guidance set out by the provincial health officer as we work together to protect one another through to the end of this pandemic.
How we're helping prevent the spread of COVID-19:
- Ongoing and regular monitoring
- Promoting healthy habits
- Providing enhanced safety protocols at branches
- Providing online and telephone banking services
Safety protocols when visiting a branch
In order to comply with the provincial health orders, our branches are operating with enhanced safety protocols. This means that you will be asked to sanitize your hands and maintain physical distance of 2 metres when in a branch. Effective July 5, 2021, in line with guidance set out by the health authority, we are recommending that you wear a face mask when visiting a G&F branch. A limited supply of masks are available at each location.
- Monday to Friday: 9:30am to 5pm
- Saturdays: 9:30am to 4pm
There is no need to book an appointment to come to a branch. However, if you have something you need that you think will take longer than a standard transaction, you have the option to call our Member Hub to book an appointment: 604-419-8888.
Member Hub hours
- Monday to Friday: 7am to 7pm
- Saturdays: 8am to 4pm
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:
- Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) - the CERB program has ended. Please see this page to determine whether you qualify for Employment Insurance or other recovery benefits.
- Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB) - income support for employed and self-employed people who are unable to work because they must care for their child under 12 years old or a family member who needs supervised care. Receive $450 for each 1-week period that you apply for.
- Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) - income support for employed and self-employed individuals who are unable to work because they are sick or need to self-isolate due to COVID-19, or have an underlying health condition that puts them at greater risk of getting COVID-19. Receive $450 for each 1-week period that you apply for.
- Employment Insurance Benefits
- Employment Insurance Sickness Benefits - Employment Insurance sickness benefits can provide you with up to 15 weeks of financial assistance if you cannot work for medical reasons. You need 120 insured hours to qualify for the benefits.
- ICBC - option to defer payment for up to 90 days with no penalty
- Kids Help Phone 1-800-668-6868
- New Horizons for Seniors Program - apply for grants and funding for projects that make a difference in the lives of seniors
Government support for businesses
Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA)
The deadline for new and expansion CEBA program loans was June 30, 2021. Please visit ceba-cuec.ca for further details.
In April 2020, the Government of Canada launched the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA), intended to assist small business and not-for-profits experiencing economic impact resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. Qualifying business could access up to $60,000 in interest free loans to cover Non-Deferrable Expenses.
CEBA loans are interest free until December 31, 2022 and charge 5% per annum interest starting on January 1, 2023. If the outstanding principal, other than the amount of potential debt forgiveness, is repaid by December 31, 2022, the remaining principal amount will be forgiven, provided no default under the loan has occurred.
Repaying the outstanding balance of the loan (other than the amount available to be forgiven) on or before December 31, 2022 will result in a single tranche of loan forgiveness up to $20,000:
- 25% on the first $40,000; plus
- 50% on amounts above $40,000 and up to $60,000.
If $60,000 is borrowed, no forgiveness is available unless $40,000 is repaid. If $40,000 or less is borrowed and 75% of the borrowed amount is paid the remaining 25% (up to $10,000) is available for forgiveness. For additional information on the CEBA program or CEBA loan forgiveness, please visit ceba-cuec.ca.
Other support initiatives for businesses
- Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy - This program replaced the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance program and will provide up to 90% rent support for qualifying businesses, non-profit organizations or charities. The program runs until September 25, 2021.
- Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy - Apply through G&F online banking or through CRA's My Business Account portal. This subsidy has been extended to September 25, 2021. See more updates on this program here.
- Co-lending program for small and medium-sized businesses
- Work-Sharing Program - COVID-19 - helps employers and employees avoid layoffs when there is a temporary decrease in business activity beyond the control of the employer. Provides Employment Insurance benefits to eligible employees.
- 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.
How to do your banking from home
As a member, you have many alternative ways to do your banking from the comfort of your home:
- Call our Member Hub at 604-419-8888
- Use Online banking
- Download our mobile app
- Try alternative payment options such as Interac e-Transfer, credit card including Apple Pay, and MemberCard (ATM/debit card)
- Use Deposit Anywhere® to deposit your cheques
Please see this page for more information on doing your banking from home.
Be cautious of fraud
We would like to remind you to protect yourself from fraud, and in particular, be wary of phishing emails. Avoid clicking on links in emails from unknown senders. Take time to review your bank statements on a regular basis.
Never give out personal information to someone who calls you on the phone. G&F Financial Group will never call you to ask you for your personal information. It is only when you call us that we will ask you to verify your identity.
G&F Financial Group follows the guidelines set by our local health officials, experts and government leaders as they work to contain the virus. You can learn more about COVID-19 guidelines and protocols at the following websites:
Thank you for your trust.
We want to thank our members for your trust in G&F Financial Group. Our goal is to remain transparent and provide you with regular updates through social media and here on our website.