We are here for you and your business during COVID-19.
Running and Marketing Your Business During Coronavirus
To our loyal small and medium-sized business clients,
We recognize that, as members of the communities and consumers you serve, businesses like yours may be experiencing unexpected challenges due to COVID-19. DRMG is committed to providing you as much support as possible and continues to help Canadians Save, Businesses Grow, and Neighbourhoods Thrive.
At DRMG, we are closely monitoring the evolving situation from all perspectives by focusing on our people, our families, our clients, and our communities. DRMG is working to ensure that we continue to provide the level of service you have come to expect.
Read and bookmark this page to stay up to date and keep your business informed on Canadian developments.
Government Updates, Tools & Resources
Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) has been extended to cover 24 weeks from 16 weeks. The CERB provides financial support to employed and self-employed Canadians who are directly affected by COVID-19. Canadians may apply for the CERB through either Service Canada or the Canada Revenue Agency. For details, visit canada.ca.
As the province continues its fight against COVID-19, more businesses and activities are being given the green light to reopen, while adhering to specific public health measures. Here is the list of the businesses that can reopen as per the government’s website.
Today, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, Canada’s leading and most representative business association, announced a new program, the Canadian Business Resilience Network Small Business Relief Fund, to provide small Canadian businesses from coast to coast to coast with $10,000 grants to help their recovery efforts during these unprecedented times.
Ontario has announced a Framework for Reopening our Province, including businesses that are allowed to reopen, keeping workplaces safe and more.
British Columbia has announced a Restart Plan for reopening including an updated list of essential services, workplace safety measures and more.
The Government of Canada released details on additional measures to support small and medium-sizes enterprises (SMEs) who were unable to access existing Federal COVID-19 relief programs. The new Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) is being delivered by Regional Development Agencies (RDAs) to help more businesses and organizations in sectors across the economy such as manufacturing, technology, tourism and others that are key to the regions and local economies.
The Ontario government is allowing all retail stores with a street entrance to provide curbside pickup and delivery, as well as in-store payment and purchases at garden centres, nurseries, hardware stores and safety supply stores. The business owners should review the health and safety guidelines developed by the province and its health and safety association partners. For details, visit ontario.ca.
Ontario has released A Framework for Reopening our Province, outlining the criteria Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health and leading experts will use to advise the government on the loosening of emergency measures, the reopening of businesses, services and public spaces. For details, visit ontario.ca.
The Canada Revenue Agency is now accepting applications for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy. CEWS claims will be subject to verification by the CRA, therefore the CRA will begin to release funds for approved applications on May 5. To get ready to apply, follow this Step-By-Step CEWS Application Guide.
The Government of Canada announced it has reached an agreement in principle with all provinces and territories to provide rent relief for small businesses. The program will see tenants receive a 75% reduction in their rent payments for April, May and June. For details, visit pm.gc.ca.
The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy Calculator is now available. Ahead of the Wage Subsidy application process, which will be available in the coming days, additional details and a calculator are now available for businesses.
The Ontario government today released updated COVID-19 modelling, which shows that the enhanced public health measures, including staying home and physically distancing from each other, are working to contain the spread of the virus and flatten the curve. However, the Chief Medical Officer of Health says emergency measures must remain in place to continue reducing the number of cases and deaths. To view the full story, visit ontario.ca.
Ontario Extends Declaration of Emergency to Continue the Fight Against COVID-19 until May 12. The extension of the provincial declaration of emergency allows Ontario to continue to enforce current emergency orders, such as the closure of all non-essential workplaces, outdoor amenities such as parks and recreational areas, public places and bars and restaurants, as well as restrictions on social gatherings of more than five people, and prohibitions against price-gouging. For details, see ontario.ca.
Over the weekend, Finance Minister Bill Morneau introduced in Parliament Bill C-14, the COVID-19 Emergency Response Act, No. 2, which, upon receiving Royal Assent, would bring this measure into law. This legislation includes additional flexibilities that would provide effective support to those eligible employers that are hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and would help protect the jobs Canadians depend on during these difficult times.
To help stop the spread of COVID-19 and protect the health and safety of people across the province, the Ontario government has extended all emergency orders that have been put in place to-date under s.7.0.2 (4) of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act until April 23, 2020
Following advice from Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, on April 3, 2020, Ontario updated the list of essential businesses that can remain open. The restrictions are aimed at further reducing contact between people and stopping the spread of COVID-19. By 11:59 p.m. Saturday, April 4, 2020, businesses that are not identified on this list must close their physical locations.
In this short video, Doug Ettinger, President and CEO of Canada Post, speaks to Canadians about the postal service during COVID-19. As the situation caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19) quickly evolves, we want to assure you that Canada Post is doing everything they can to keep our communities safe.
There has never been a documented incident whereby the COVID-19 virus has been transmitted from a print newspaper, print magazine, print letter, or print package, according to the world’s top doctors and scientists. To read the full article, click here.
Canada has just announced wage subsidies for small businesses will go up to 75% from 10%. This is great news for small businesses and their workers, increasing their ability to keep staff on the payroll.
The Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB), in conjunction with the Government of Ontario, has developed a financial relief package worth $1.9 billion to help employers reduce the financial burden of the rapidly evolving COVID-19 situation.
Canada’s Minister of Health, announced an Emergency Order under the Quarantine Act that requires any person entering Canada by air, sea or land to self-isolate for 14 days whether or not they have symptoms of COVID-19.
The Temporary Wage Subsidy for Employers is a three-month measure that will allow eligible employers to reduce the amount of payroll deductions required to be remitted to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).
The government has proposed legislation to establish the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB). This taxable benefit would provide $2,000 a month for up to four months for workers who lose their income as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. For details, visit canada.ca.
The Ontario Government has announced it would temporarily reduce Time-of-Use (TOU) pricing to an off-peak flat rate to lighten the burden on people while staying at home to slow the spread of COVID-19. This will be in effect for a period of 45 days. For information, visit Hydro One.
Ontario orders the mandatory closure of all non-essential workplaces for 14 days with the possibility of extending this order as the situation evolves. The list of essential workplaces has been released.
The Government of Canada is asking suppliers about their ability to provide products and services. For the list of products and services, click here. The Ontario Government is also asking for help from businesses and organizations who can supply emergency products and innovative solutions. For the list of products and innovations, click here.
The Canadian Revenue Agency has updated messaging on payment deadlines for individuals, businesses and has extended the deadline for charities.
Canada Post is doing everything possible to maintain the services you rely on while keeping people safe. Read the full update from Doug Ettinger on Canada Post’s response to COVID-19.
Justin Trudeau announces a new set of economic measures to stabilize the economy and support Canadian workers and businesses. This plan supports:
- Additional support through loans, guarantees and insurance policies through the Canada Account
- Temporary wage subsidies to help prevent lay-offs
- Flexibility for filing taxes with the Canadian Revenue Agency
- Ensuring access to credit through the Business Credit Availability Program
- Additional financial market liquidity through an Insured Mortgage Purchase Program
For details on this and how to support your workers, please see: Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan: Support for Canadians and Businesses
Canada’s six largest banks yesterday announced plans to provide financial relief to Canadians impacted by the economic consequences of COVID‑19.
For details please see: Canadian Bankers Association
Resources, Toolkits & Guides
The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) has launched a new website for the SOS (Save Our SMEs) campaign. The website features key advocacy materials and is designed to help entrepreneurs find the insights and information they need to navigate through COVID-19. For details, see sos.iccwbo.org.
The Canadian Survey on Business Conditions (CSBC), a joint effort between Statistics Canada and the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, released survey data from 13,000 Canadian businesses, providing detailed insight into the impact of COVID-19 on Canadian businesses. View the results here.
Google has announced that they want help small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) stay in touch with their customers during this challenging time. That’s why we’re giving our SMB customers worldwide $340 million in ad credits, which can be used towards future ad spend, until the end of 2020 across our Google Ads platforms. For details, visit support.google.com.
How can we gain access to government funding related to COVID-19? In the midst of the losses being suffered from this uncontrollable crisis, the Government of Canada has made a number of options available to businesses struggling to stay afloat. Our partner, BDO, has a great guide to Canada’s COVID Government Programs and how to apply.
Get details on weather and postal events that may impact mail delivery in your neighbourhood on Canada Post’s Delivery Service Interruptions page.
Download the Canada Business App, from the Government of Canada, to see how easy it is to navigate government services, get recommendations tailored to your business, set up personalized notifications and find the answers you need to start up, scale up and access new markets.
DRMG’s network brings you valuable information from BDO. Click here to view a presentation on Cash Flow Strategies and Government Incentives in the Time of COVID-19.
Google is suspending review and Q&A functionality during the unprecedented COVID-19 situation. New reviews, review replies, and new Q&A will be unavailable during this time. New reviews will not be posted publicly. For Google’s complete Help article on the issue, click here. To stay updated, visit Google’s COVID-19 Business Page.
The Canadian Franchise Association (CFA) is providing regular Coronavirus (COVID-19) updates and resources for the CFA member community to stay informed and be prepared.
Facebook offers $100M in Small Business Grants to up to 30,000 eligible small businesses in over 30 countries. To sign up for updates, visit the Facebook Small Business Grants webpage.
In a crisis or economic downturn, how can boards, senior management and risk managers act so that they can safeguard the business and discover opportunities? In this publication, KPMG has compiled a series of business continuity insights to help businesses across all sectors stay on course.
Industry Specific Trends
|Restaurants||With the recent closures of on-site dining, many restaurants are offering Takeout, Delivery or Curb-side pickup during this time. Now is the time to change your ads to highlight these options and continue reaching the families counting on you.|
|Landscaping||With many customers working from home, it’s a great time for people to get that landscaping project completed under their full control. Highlight the enhanced sanitation practices that you are offering.|
|Home Improvement||With customers even closer to their mailboxes and looking to get household projects finalized, both indoor and outdoor, get creative with your messaging. Share the preventative measures your team is taking and encourage phone consultations, virtual walkthroughs and free estimates. There are so many ways to keep in ‘touch’ with customers looking to renovate.|
|Entertainment||Get social! Interact with customers on their favourite movies, live stream a show or sell a discounted membership for when business returns to normal.|
|Personal Service||Many establishments are offering live streams of their professional service to interact with your customers and help them through a trying time. Offer prepayment for future appointments.|
|Professional Service||Communication is key! Let your customers know you are here for them by keeping them updated on your office status. Offer emergency services per request and call clients to pre book future appointments.|
Credible Information Sources
Our Promise During This Time:
We have taken proactive measures for business continuity, and remain fully operational and are actively distributing our clients’ marketing campaigns across our suite of products. Working closely with our strategic partner, Canada Post, your message and our products continue to be delivered directly to the mailbox and to homes, through their vast network of carriers.
During the coming days and weeks, we will be sharing relevant information, resources and reference links from reputable sources, plus industry-specific ideas, including leveraging our shared experiences and best practices for small and medium businesses.