Navigating through COVID-19
Last update: November 23, 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 a tough time for many and we are working to support our members. Any member who feels they need assistance can call our Member Hub at 604-419-8888.
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 $1,000 tax-free, one-time benefit for B.C. residents whose ability to work has been affected due to COVID-19.
- BC Hydro - Note that BC Hydro's COVID-19 Relief Fund was closed on June 30.
- 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. The program has ended but CRA is continuing to accept and process retroactive applications until December 2, 2020. Following that date, 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 - note: you may apply for CERB or EI, not both
- 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
- 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 was reduced by 25% for 2020
Government support for businesses
Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA)
The application deadline for CEBA was extended to December 31, 2020.
To ensure small businesses have the capital they need to see them through the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government of Canada launched the Canada Emergency Business Account. The program has been implemented by eligible financial institutions in cooperation with Export Development Canada (EDC). CEBA provides interest-free loans of up to $40,000 to small businesses and not-for-profits, intended to cover operating expenses during a period where revenues have been temporarily impacted by 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% (up to $10,000). Any balance remaining after this time will be charged at 5% per annum.
Contact one of G&F Financial Group's Business Relationship Managers for assistance in applying 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:
- 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 Rent Subsidy - This program replaced the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance program and will provide up to 90% rent support for qualifying businesses. Note: the new program runs until June 2021, but the federal government is only guaranteeing the subsidy rate until December 19, 2020.
- Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy - Apply through G&F online banking or through CRA's My Business Account portal. This subsidy has been extended to June 2021. Deadline to apply is January 31, 2021 or 180 days after the end of the claim period, whichever comes later. 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.