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Covid-19 Resources & Information

YK Chamber Exposure Control Plan Template

With support from the GNWT Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment, the Yellowknife Chamber of Commerce has launched an Exposure Control Plan Template to help our members safely re-open.

Download our Exposure Control Plan template here.

The WSCC does not endorse or approve these types of forms, but they've provided us with detailed feedback during the development of this document. Exposure Control Plans do not need to be submitted to WSCC for approval.

To request assistance from an OHS Inspector, contact: Covid-19@wscc.nt.ca

In addition, the Yellowknife Chamber of Commerce and the NWT & NU Construction Association have finished our shared office Exposure Control Plan and supporting documentation, which we're making available for use by our memberships.

Here's How We Created Our Plan:

Step 1: The Executive Directors (EDs) conducted a Workplace Risk Assessment

View / Download our Workplace Risk Assessment here.

You may find the Emerging Wisely Sortable Risk Assessment spreadsheet helpful. You can access that resource here.

Step 2: Host a workplace meeting to review the Workplace Risk Assessment and ensure employees have an opportunity to identify risks and provide input into the plan. Revise plan as needed.

Step 3: Each employee must conduct a Worker Hazard Assessment (we did ours together immediately following a discussion on the Workplace Risk Assessment)

You can obtain a Worker Hazard Assessment form from WSCC here.

Step 4: Fill out the Exposure Control Plan template.

View / Download our Exposure Control Plan here.

Step 5: Develop a Reporting Process Policy

View / Download our COVID-19 Reporting Process Policy here.

Step 6: Implementation. Install sanitizer stations, create logbook, print signage, purchase cleaning supplies / soap

Workplace Safety Planning - Resources From WSCC

WSCC has published a 5-step process that employers should follow to identify what safety measures and procedures need to be in place to reopen and run your workplace safely:

For more information and useful tools & checklists resources to help you with the steps below, please visit the WSCC's website here.

To prepare your plan, follow these five steps:

1. Complete a Workplace Risk Assessment for your business. 

2. Have each of your workers complete a Worker Hazard Assessment. This asks for information specific to each job or task at a work site.

3. Use your risk and hazard assessments to create an Exposure Control Plan. This plan outlines how employers, supervisors, and workers will eliminate or control the risk of COVID-19 exposure at work. 

4. Use the Workplace Safety Planning Checklist to help put necessary controls into practice:

  • Create or install any barriers, and online service tools; 
  • Create new policies and procedures to address exposure risks; 
  • Train your employees on the new controls, policies, procedures, and on identifying the risks and hazards in your workplace;
  • Purchase a supply of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) that you require workers to use while on shift.

5. Stay informed, be prepared and follow public health advice. Remember everyone must follow Public Health orders and employers should review their Exposure Control Plan and risk assessments regularly to keep their plans up-to-date. 

You do not need to submit the completed assessments to WSCC.

Watch WSCC’s webinar COVID-19 Workplace Health & Safety for employers in the Northwest Territories.

To have an OHS Inspector assist with your risk assessment, please email Covid-19@wscc.nt.ca.

Emerging Wisely for Businesses

Emerging Wisely outlines the GNWT’s path forward to emerging safely and wisely from the current COVID-19 public health restrictions.

We are currently in phase 2.

View the Emerging Wisely plan here.

For detailed information about phase 2 restrictions, click here.

Phase 2 Highlights For Businesses Include:

  •  Indoor gatherings of 25 people or less are permitted. Communal food/drink not permitted.
  • Outdoor gatherings of 50 or less are permitted.
  • Outdoor tourism operators can accommodate 50 or less people, and 25 or less inside of a vehicle.
  • Movie theatres may accommodate 25 customers per theatre
  • Dine in restaurants may seat 25 customers plus staff
  • Dance floors and live music is prohibited
  • Offices may open to the public, restricted to 25 people per floor
  • Fitness classes are permitted. A WSCC risk assessment will determine class size.

Exceptions:

Businesses can apply to have their requirements reconsidered based on their unique situation. This could include restrictions like maximum capacity.

To apply, fill out the Application To Vary From Public Health Order Requirements Form and submit it to: protectnwt@gov.nt.ca

Access the Application To Vary From Public Health Order Requirements Form here.

Workers Traveling Within The NWT

Some workers have an exemption under the Public Health Order to enter the Northwest Territories and have different restrictions for self-isolation. 

There are three main groups:

  • Supply chain workers, flight crew, and airline employees
  • Essential service workers, non-remote infrastructure workers and support workers
  • Mining and oil and gas industry employees

For more information on the requirements/restrictions of these workers, click here.

Essential employees require a WSCC risk assessment completed by their employer. For more information, click here.

You may be required to submit a worker's self-isolation plan. To view/submit the form, click here.

You may be required to submit the Employer Permission To Work Application. To view/submit the form, click here.

Resources From The Canadian Business Resilience Network

Supported by the Government of Canada, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce established the Canadian Business Resilience Network (CBRN) to help Canadian businesses navigate the COVID-19 reality and prepare for recovery.

Check out the Canadian Business Resilience Network website here.

CBRN's Reopening Toolkit

As businesses prepare to reopen or revamp their operations amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, there are numerous issues and challenges to consider. The CBRN prepared a toolkit designed to help businesses re-establish their operations.

With this document in hand, you will have the resources you need to:

  1. Update your Operations Plan
  2. Update your Health & Safety Plan
  3. Communication those plans and procedures to your staff, customers and suppliers
  4. Know how to access any required PPE
  5. Continue to access government financial supports
  6. Understand the social services, such as childcase, that are available to you and to your staff
  7. Be aware of the wide array of additional supports, resources and guides that are available

Access the toolkit here.

Financial Support For Businesses - Government of Canada

For more information on Canada's COVID-19 Economic Response Plan and the supports available to individuals and businesses, please visit the Government of Canada's website here.

Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS)

A proposal has been made to continue the CEWS until June 2021, including possible changes to the rates and top-up calculation. Read the October 14 announcement and check back soon for details.

To be eligible to receive the wage subsidy, you must meet 3 criteria:

  1. Have had a CRA payroll account on March 15, 2020
  2. Be an employer who is not exempt from income tax
  3. Have a experienced a drop in revenue

Claim Periods & Benefits:

For periods 1 to 4, you must show that your eligible revenue dropped by a minimum amount to qualify for the subsidy. If you meet the minimum revenue drop, the subsidy calculation uses a fixed rate of 75% wage subsidy.

  • Period 1: March 15 to April 11, 2020
  • Period 2: April 12 to May 9, 2020
  • Period 3: May 10 to June 6, 2020
  • Period 4: June 7 to July 4, 2020

For periods 5 and later, there is no minimum revenue drop required to qualify for the subsidy. The rate your revenue has dropped is only used to calculate how much subsidy you will receive.

  • Period 5: July 5 to August 1, 2020
  • Period 6: August 2 to August 29, 2020
  • Period 7: August 30 to September 26, 2020
  • Period 8: September 27 to October 24, 2020
  • Period 9: October 25 to November 21, 2020

For more information on the CEWS program, click here.

To apply for the CEWS program, click here.

10% Temporary Wage Subsidy For Employers

A 3-month measure that allows employers to reduce the amount of payroll deductions they need to remind to the CRA. This only applies to the federal, provincial, or territorial income tax portion of the remittance.

The subsidy is equal to 10% of the remuneration you pay from March 18 to June 19, 2020, up to $1,375 for each eligible employee. The maximum total is $25,000 for each eligible employer.

For more information on the 10% Temporary Wage Subsidy, click here.

Employers that claimed the 10% Temporary Wage Subsidy (TWS) or the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) and did not claim the TWS must fill out CRA's for PD27. You can find the form here.

Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA)
This program will provide interest-free loans of up to $40,000 to small businesses and not-for-profits to help cover their operating costs.

Repaying the balance of the loan on or before December 31, 2022 will result in loan forgiveness of 25% (up to $10,000). If the loan is not repaid by December 31, 2022, the remaining balance will be covered to a three-year term loan at 5% interest.

Businesses interested in seeking support through these programs should contact their current financial institution.

All applicants now have until December 31, 2020 to apply.

The CEBA program has been expanded to provide businesses and not-for-profits access to an interest-free loan of up to $20,000, in addition to the original CEBA loan of $40,000. Half of this additional financing would be forgivable if repaid by December 31, 2022.

For more information on CEBA expansion, check out the October 9, 2020 news release here.

For more information on CEBA, click here.

Loan Guarantee for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises & Co-Lending Program for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises

Export Development Canada is working with financial institutions to guarantee 80% of new operating credit and cash flow term loans of up to $6.25 million to SMEs.

The size of your loan or line of credit is determined by your financial institution.

Business Development Canada is working with financial institutions to co-lend term loans of up to $6.25 million to SMEs for their operational cash flow needs, including regularly scheduled principal and interest payments on existing debt.

Postpone principal payments for up to 12 months if you need additional breathing room.

These programs are available through financial institutions and support will be available until June 2021.

For more information on the Business Credit Availability (BCAP) Guarantee with Export Development Canada, click here.

For more information on the Co-Lending program with the Business Development Bank of Canada, click here.

Mid-Market Financing Program & Mid-Market Guarantee and Financing Program

The mid-market financing program will provide commercial loans ranging between $12.5 million and $60 million to businesses whose credit needs exceed what is already available through the BCAP program.

This program is for businesses with annual revenues in excess of about $100 million to $500 million, from any sector or industry.

This program is available until June 2021.

The Mid-Market Guarantee and Financing Program will bring liquidity to companies who tend to have revenues between $50 million and $300 million, to sustain operations during this uncertain period. Export Development Canada (EDC) will work with Canadian financial institutions to guarantee 75% of new operating credit and cash-flow loans ranging from $16.75 million to a maximum of $80 million.

These expanded guarantees are available to exporters, international investors and businesses that sell their products or services within Canada.

For more information on the Mid-Market Financing Program, click here.

For more information on the Mid-Market Guarantee and Financing Program, click here.

CanNor's Northern Business Relief Fund (NBRF)

The NBRF provides short term support, in the form of a non-repayable grant, for ongoing operational costs. Grants range from $2,500 to a maximum of $100,000, covering a maximum period of 4 months from April 1, 2020 to July 31, 2020.

No new applications are currently being accepted. 

Update: CanNor will extend financial support beyond July 31, 2020 to current eligible recipients of the NBRF program. The funding extension is based on demonstrated need and would provide funding up to a maximum of $100,000 or up to March 31, 2021, whichever comes first.

This extended support is intended primarily for businesses in tourism, accommodations and food service, arts, entertainment/recreation, transportation and retail. Businesses in other sectors may be considered on a case-by-case basis.

For more information on the NBRF program, click here.

Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS)

**pending the passage of legislation**

Qualifying businesses, charities and non-profits would receive a subsidy of up to 65% of eligible expenses until December 19, 2020. 

Lockdown Support

Qualifying organizations that have been affected by a mandatory public health order would receive an additional 25% of rent support.

This financial support would be available until June 2021.

For more information on the CERS program, please click here.

For more information on the expired Canada Emergency Rent Assistance (CECRA) program, click here.

Black Entrepreneurship Program

The Black Entrepreneurship Loan Fund will provide loans of between $25,000 and $250,000. This program will include:

  • $53 million to develop and implement a new National Ecosystem Fund to support Black-led business organizations across the country.
  • $33.3 million through the new Black Entrepreneurship Loan Fund that will provide loans of between $25,000 and $250,000 for Black business owners and entrepreneurs. This will be administered through financial institutions
  • $6.5 million to create and sustain a new Black Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub that will collect data on the state of Black entrepreneurship in Canada and help identify Black entrepreneurs' barriers to success as well as opportunities for growth

For more information on the Black Entrepreneurship Program, see the September 9, 2020 announcement here.

To learn about opportunities to apply for this program, click here.

More details on eligibility requirements and how to apply will be available soon.

Work-Sharing Program

Work-Sharing (WS) is a program that helps employers and employees avoid layoffs when there is a temporary decrease in business activity beyond the control of the employer. The program provides Employment Insurance (EI) benefits to eligible employees who agree to reduce their normal working hours and share the available work while their employer recovers. Work-Sharing is an agreement between employers, employees and the Government of Canada.

The Program allows employers to:

  • retain qualified and experienced workers, and
  • avoid recruiting and training new employees

The Program allows employees to:

  • keep their jobs, and
  • maintain their work skills

Further information on the Work-Share Program, including eligibility and application forms, can be found here.

Financial Support for your Employees - Canada Revenue Agency

Updates on changes to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) services, due dates and programs affected by the pandemic can be found here.

Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB)

The CRB is administered by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).

The new Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) would be effective from September 27, 2020, for one year and would provide a benefit amount of $400 per week for up to 26 weeks to workers who are not eligible for Employment Insurance (EI), mainly the self-employed and including those working in the gig economy. These individuals may still require income support if they continue to be unable to return to work due to COVID-19 or had their income reduced relative to pre-COVID-19 pandemic (attestation-based).

Information about this benefit, including information on how to apply, is here.

Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB)

The CRSB is administered by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).

The new Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) would provide $500 per week, for up to two weeks, effective September 27, 2020, for one year, for workers who are unable to work because they are sick or must self-isolate due to COVID-19.

If you are eligible for the CRSB, you can receive $500 ($450 after taxes withheld) for a 1-week period. If your situation continues past 1 week, you will need to apply again. You may apply up to a total of 2 weeks between September 27, 2020 and September 25, 2021.

Information about this benefit, including information on how to apply, is here.

Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB)

The CRCB is administered by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).

The new Canada Recovery Caregiver Benefit (CRCB), would be effective from September 27, 2020, for one year, and provide $500 per week, for up to 26 weeks per household to eligible Canadians unable to work because they need to provide care to children under 12 or support to other dependents who have to stay home because of COVID-19.

This benefit applies if their school, regular program or facility is closed or unavailable to them due to COVID-19, or because they are sick, self-isolating, or at risk of serious health complications due to COVID-19. 

If you are eligible for the CRCB, your household can receive $500 ($450 after taxes withheld) for each 1-week period.

Information about this benefit, including instructions on how to apply, is here.

Financial Support For Businesses - GNWT

For the GNWT's comprehensive website for COVID-19 information and resources, click here.

Growth And Recovery By Investing In Tourism Fund (GRIT)

The objective of the GRIT Fund is to address business and industry recovery from the impacts of COVID-19 by encouraging product development and marketing as well as contributing to select operational costs.

This program is now accepting applications. There is no set deadline and applications will be accepted until the funds are exhausted.

All applicants must contribute a minimum cash equity of 10%. This may not include sweat equity or in-kind contributions.

Eligible Expenses:

Schedule 1: New Product Development and Innovation (max $75,000)

Schedule 2: Marketing & Promotion (max $10,000)

Schedule 3: Operations (max $5,000)

For more information on the GRIT program, including application instructions, click here.

BDIC: Deferred Loan Payments

Clients (borrowers) of the Business Development and Investment Corporation (BDIC) can apply to have their loan repayments reduced or deferred until March 31, 2021 without penalty or additional interest charges. Regular interest will still be charged.

Clients will need to make their request by the 24th of the month prior to which they want to start their deferral period. The last date for such requests will be Feb. 24, 2021. Businesses are automatically approved and not required to demonstrate financial hardship or impacts resulting from the Covid-19 crisis.

For more information and application instructions, please visit: https://www.bdic.ca/

BDIC: Working Capital Loans

The Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) is offering low interest loans to NWT businesses through the NWT BDIC. Applications to this initiative can now be made at any time, and loans will be processed as they are received. 

Loans of up to $25,000 (or more if need is clearly addressed) are being made available to qualified businesses at a rate of 1.75%. Loans will be amortized for up to five years with options for payment deferment for 3 months upon request.

For more information and application instructions, please visit: https://www.bdic.ca/

SEED Program To Focus On Business Recovery

To promote and support the NWT private business sector through these difficult economic times, the Department of Industry, Tourism, and Investment has reallocated internal resources and supplemented its 2020-2021 program guidelines to prioritize funding proposals supporting local employment and community investment that will support and promote economic recovery.

Further information on this funding program, including links to updated priorities and criteria, are here.

NWT Wage Top-up Program

This program has been extended through February 28, 2021.

To support low-income workers during the Covid-19 pandemic, the GNWT has implemented the Wage Top-up program that provides temporary financial assistance to NWT workers aged 15 or over and earning less than $18 per hour. This financial relief is a taxable benefit for the recipient.

The program is delivered to eligible employees through a partnership with businesses. 

Further information on this program including eligibility and application forms are here.

NWT Chamber of Commerce Reopening Safely Grant

Sponsored by Rio Tinto and GNWT-ITI

During this unprecedented pandemic, changes to operations required businesses to spend unavailable funds for PPE equipment to reopen, which became an unanticipated expense after months of little to no revenue.

For that reason, the NWT Chamber of Commerce and its sponsors Rio Tinto and GNWT - ITI, created the Reopening Safely Grant.

The grants:

  • Limited to a minimum of $500 and a maximum of $1,000 per application
  • One application per business
  • Based on receipts backdated to April 1st, 2020
  • Reimbursement of 100% for members and 85% for non-members, less GST *membership with a community chamber is not membership with the NWT Chamber
  • First come first serve, for a total of $58,000 in grants to be awarded

For more information and to apply on the Reopening Safetly Grant, please visit the Reopening Safely webpage here.

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