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  • Thursday, April 2, 2020

    What We Know After Today's Announcements

    Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB):

    • Applications start on April 6 through CRA’s My Account
    • If you have already applied for EI, there is no need to reapply for CERB
    • You cannot get both the wage subsidy (see below) and the CERB
    • Payment should be received within 3-5 days, if you are already registered for direct deposit
    • Recipients are to confirm once a month that they are still out of work

    Wage Subsidy:

    • The 75% subsidy will be available to non-publicly funded companies, charities, and not-for-profits
    • Entities must have a 30% decline in revenue since this time last year - this is determined by comparing revenues to the same month last year for March, April or May (employers must reapply each month)
    • Employers must attest that they are doing everything that they can to pay the remaining 25%
    • Application may be made online on a CRA portal to be launched soon
    • Funds will be available in approximately 6 weeks (see the Canadian Chamber of Commerce's response to this below)
    • There will be stiff and severe penalties for those that take advantage of the system
    • Employers are encouraged to rehire recently laid-off employees

    Canadian Chamber of Commerce: Emergency Wage Subsidy concept only as good as execution, 6 weeks too long

    (OTTAWA) – April 1, 2020 - The Canadian Chamber of Commerce today issued the following statement regarding the additional details provided by the federal government on its Emergency Wage Subsidy Program:

    “We appreciate that the federal government is working very hard to develop and deliver financial measures to help businesses and Canadians weather the impact of COVID-19.

    The Emergency Wage Subsidy is an important tool to help keep our economy afloat during this crisis, and its effectiveness depends on execution that reflects the realities and timelines of its intended audience: businesses that are struggling.

    Keeping Canadians connected to their employers will be critical to quickly getting our economy back up and running after the crisis. We cannot overstate the importance of maintaining trained employees who can get a business back up and running at a moment’s notice.

    Many businesses that are not essential services have been operating with skeleton staff or completely shut down for nearly 3 weeks. Today, they are being asked to wait an additional 6 weeks before funds are available. We know that many smaller businesses do not have enough cash reserves to wait another 6 weeks. Those affected will likely now place greater demand on the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB).

    We urgently need to get these funds into the hands of employers. Every day that we delay these funds will lead to more businesses shutting down and more Canadians facing unemployment.

    Many businesses that need support will also not be covered by the details announced today. These include businesses with small profit margins that are being hurt by a revenue decline of less than 30%, as well as service firms that are invoicing but do not know when or if these invoices will be paid.

    There will also be many businesses whose operational realities do not allow for month over month revenue comparisons. We stand ready to work closely with the government in the coming days to ensure that those companies have access to this important measure.

    The Emergency Wage Subsidy will surely protect countless Canadian jobs and, with proper execution, we can help avoid many more job losses. We look forward to continuing to work with the government on behalf of Canada's businesses to ensure the help they receive is sufficient to get them through - and out of - this crisis in the best shape possible.”

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    About the Canadian Chamber of Commerce – Because Business Matters
    The Canadian Chamber of Commerce helps build the businesses that support our families, our communities and our country. We do this by influencing government policy, by providing essential business services and by connecting businesses to information they can use, to opportunities for growth and to a network of local chambers, businesses, decision-makers and peers from across the country, in every sector of the economy and at all levels of government, as well as internationally. We are unapologetic in our support for business and the vital role it plays in building and sustaining our great nation.

    For more information, please contact:
    Phil Taylor, Managing Director of External Communications, at ptaylor@chamber.ca.

    Monday, March 30, 2020


    Background Information

    The Manitoba government is issuing a new public health order to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and protect the health and safety of all Manitobans, Premier Brian Pallister announced today.

    “These decisions are not easy ones, but they must be made during this global pandemic to protect the health and safety of all Manitobans,” said Pallister. “These new orders will ensure critical services are available while taking steps to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our communities.”

    Read entire news release here.

    Message to Assiniboia Chamber Members from Marty Morantz, MP 

    Members of the Assiniboia Chamber of Commerce,
    Thank you for being local business owners and entrepreneurs who employ thousands of Manitobans and drive our economy every day. As a business owner myself, I understand how stressful the current situation you are going through is with COVID-19 and the difficulties it is presenting. I know that you and many other local businesses right now need support to help weather the storm. Some initiatives have been announced and I have been working with my colleagues across the political spectrum and government officials to make sure we are supporting local businesses. 
    As most of you are self-employed, being unable to access EI poses a real challenge. That is why the government has made the Emergency Response Benefit available to those who are self-employed. If you have had to close your businesses due to COVID-19, you can apply for this benefit and receive $2,000/month. The government is working on getting the application process set up, and I was told they expect it to be up next week. More information about that benefit and other items, for both business and individuals, is available at the link below. This link is being updated regularly and should be your primary resource for information related to COVID-19 supports: https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/economic-response-plan.html
    In addition to these measures, tax filing, payment, and other form and remittance deadlines with CRA have been deferred for individuals and businesses, including GST remittances. More information on these items are available here: https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/news/2020/03/additional-support-for-canadian-businesses-from-the-economic-impact-of-covid-19.html
    I’m sure many of you have been hearing about the wage subsidy program, which is going to provide 75% of employee wages paid and is backdated to March 15, 2020. This program will cover 75% of wages for the first $58,700 of each employee’s salary, or $847 per week, and businesses must demonstrate a minimum of 30% loss in revenue as part of the criteria to qualify. Details are still unclear on this program related to eligibility, how the loss in revenue must be demonstrated, and how it will be administered, to name a few. I am keeping a close eye on this and will update everyone when I receive more information.
    I encourage anyone who has questions, concerns, or ideas for measures the government could enact to help during the COVID-19 pandemic to please email me at Marty.Morantz@parl.gc.ca. I am also updating my social media on a regular basis, so if you are on Facebook (@martymorantz) or Twitter (@marty_morantz) please feel free to keep an eye on my page for updates.
    I am here to support you as your federal representative. I know that these are stressful times, but I want to assure you I am here to support you however I can.
    Marty Morantz
    Member of Parliament
    Charleswood-St. James-Assiniboia-Headingley
    Shadow Minister for National Revenue

    Friday, March 27, 2020

    On March 25, 2020, Bill C-13, the COVID-19 Emergency Response Act, received Royal Assent, guaranteeing the rapid implementation and administration of measures to protect Canadians’ health and safety and stabilize the Canadian economy.

    Here are the current supports in place for businesses:

    Avoiding layoffs:

    Access to credit:

    Supporting financial stability:

    More flexibility:

    To view Canada's COVID-19 Economic Response Plan in its entirety, click here.


    Friday, March 20, 2020

    ATTENTION ALL MANITOBA BUSINESSES: Please take 5 minutes to complete this survey: https://na1se.voxco.com/SE/53/MCC/

    Today the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce launched a brief survey to collect information about the myriad challenges you're facing amid COVID-19. Your input will help our Chamber network to advocate to the provincial government what Manitoba businesses need to move forward and recover. #VoiceofBusiness


    We are a small but mighty Chamber, and during times like these we are thankful for our memberships with the Manitoba and Canadian Chambers of Commerce for their staff teams that are working so diligently hard to provide us and with the information we can share with our members. Each of these sites allow you to sign up for regular updates.

    Here is an excellent resource specific to businesses in Canada:
    COVID-19: Business Resilience

    Here is an excellent resource specific to businesses in Manitoba:
    COVID-19: Tools and Resources

    Thursday, March 19, 2020

    Looking for access to subsidies, grants, information for your business operations?
    This app from the Government of Canada is being updated every hour. Download it today: Canada Business


    We are now a virtual office! Our team is working remotely and can be reached as follows:

    Phone/Text: (204) 471-4308
    Email: info@assiniboiachamber.ca; Kristi Meek, President | Executive Director; Arlene Opala, Chamber³ Coordinator
    Facebook DM: @AssiniboiaChamberMB
    Twitter DM: @assiniboiacc

    Stay healthy and follow protocols from our government's health officials.

    Thursday, March 12, 2020

    As we continue to receive hourly updates about COVID-19 and the impact it has on the world, it is in our best interest to lead with a precautionary mindset and to encourage our members to do the same. As a result:

    • All upcoming Assiniboia Chamber events will be postponed for a minimum of 30 days, effective immediately.

    • We will be following our provincial and federal Chambers of Commerce for direction and guidance, and will be leading by their example.

    • We will continue to collect reliable resources and tools to support you in taking care of your health and your business, and will have this information available on our website shortly.

    For the most up-to-date information about COVID-19:

    Resources for your Business:

    Legal Information Specific to Manitoba Labour Law for Manitoba Employers:

    We will continue to monitor this situation very closely and will update our website with information as it becomes available.

    Wishing you and your business good health and preparedness,

    Kristi Meek, B.A.
    President | Executive Director
    (204) 774-4154