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Covid-19 Resources & Information

Emerging Wisely Assessment Forms and Plans From WSCC

Employers must have an Exposure Control Plan in place that looks at the risk of COVID-19 transmission in their workplace.
 
Here are the six steps that employers should follow to identify what safety measures and procedures need to be in place to reopen and run your workplace safely. These forms do not need to be submitted to WSCC, but should be easily accessible, updated regulary and available at the place of business.

To prepare your plan, follow these six 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 safety plan outlines how employers, supervisors, and workers will eliminate or control the risk of COVID-19 exposure at work. This information sheet will help with your planning.
  4. Use the Workplace Safety Planning Checklist to put the 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. Use these screening tools for customers, clients, and workers.
  6. Print a line of printer-friendly COVID-19 posters to display.

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

If employers have already completed past versions of mandatory forms, they DO NOT need to complete new ones. However, it is important that every employer continues to regularly review and update workplace safety information. We are available if any employer has any questions, or if they would like more support working through their Exposure Control Plan: Email Covid-19@wscc.nt.ca or call 1 (800) 661-0792.

All WSCC forms, information sheets, guidelines and procedures, relating to Covid-19 in the workplace, can be found here.

For more information about keeping your employee's safe, please visit WSCC's website here.

To access the WSCC's Risk Assessment tools, please click here.

If you would like an OHS Inspector to assist with your risk assessment, please email: Covid-19@wscc.nt.ca

Exposure Control Plan Template

The Yellowknife Chamber of Commerce is excited to launch an Exposure Control Plan template to help our members safely re-open.

An Exposure Control Plan is a written safety plan for your business and is a requirement for operating during COVID-19 as mandated under Section 88 of the Occupational Health and Safety Regulations in the NWT.

The WSCC does not endorse or approve these type of forms, however, 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. Businesses who wish to confirm that their use of the template is correct can contact Covid-19@wscc.nt.ca and an OHS Inspector will review it and provide feedback.

For more information and COVID-19 resources, please visit WSCC's website here.

Download our Exposure Control Plan template here.

GNWT Public Health Orders

Emerging Wisely - Path To Eased Public Health Restrictions:

The NWT has completed the final essential step by having no community spread for over 28 days since the last negative test was collected for the final recovered case. With no community spread, the territory is now implementing an order to ease up on the public health restrictions across the NWT and enter into Phase Two of the Emerging Wisely Plan. The order is effective immediately.

Businesses and organizations can apply for exceptions under the public health order - whether to alter activities or bring them back in an earlier phase or to increase capacity based on individual situations. The application form to apply for exceptional circumstance exemptions is here. Plan to submit your application for consideration as far ahead of time as possible and send it to ProtectNWT@gov.nt.ca.

To view the GNWT's July 30th News Release on approved Exceptional Circumstances Exemptions in Phase Two, please click here.
To view the GNWT's June 12, 2020 News Release on implementing phase two, please click here.
To view the GNWT's May 15, 2020 News Release on implementing phase one, please click here.

Phase 2: (began June 12, 2020)

Interpersonal Interaction Grows:

  • Outdoor gatherings of 50 people or less are permitted
  • Indoor sports and day programming are allowed, with the exception of gymnastics clubs
  • Each household can have up to 5 people they don't live with come over and be inside their house to a maximum of 10.
  • Playgrounds can be used if disinfection protocols are in place

Additional Businesses Can Open:

  • Outdoor tourism operators may now accommodate 50 or less people and 25 or less inside of a vehicle
  • Movie theatres and theatres may open with reduced seating
  • Dine-in restaurants can operate at limited capacity, with the exception of nightclubs
  • Fitness centres may offer fitness classes
  • Increased capacity for personal service businesses
  • Personal service establishments, including hair salons, spas, massage therapy, chiropractors and more as defined in the April 11, 2020 public health order here.
  • Tourism operators serving local clients
  • Museums and art galleries, bottle depots

Organized Outdoor Activities:

  • Organized outdoor gatherings are permitted with a maximum capacity of 50
  • Golf courses, beaches, baseball/softball, outdoor summer camps or day programming

Public Events with 50 or less people are permitted:

  • This includes outdoor bingo, small concerts, community feasts and barbecues

Restrictions eased on community gathering spaces and additional spaces open up:

  • Government offices may open to the public
  • Indoor faith-based and spiritual gatherings may resume
  • Campground limitations will be reduced
  • Pools open to prepare facilities for re-opening in the future
  • Territorial day-use areas, indoor fields and community gyms, libraries

Phase 3: (TBD based on the second wave in Canada and the US. The second wave is forecast to happen between August and October 2020)

Interpersonal Interactions Eased Further:

  • Outdoor gatherings have limits removed
  • Choirs and band classes may begin running

Additional businesses and organizations may open:

  • Outdoor tourism operators - all capacity limits removed but physical distancing must be in-place
  • Performance theatres may open with limited capacity
  • Music and community festivals which take place primarily outdoors may run
  • Colleges, adult classes and trade schools will be permitted

Restrictions eased further on community gatherings:

  • Pools and gymnastics clubs may open
  • Common use gyms may open

Final Measures Lifted: (TBD based on how the pandemic unfolds)

All remaining public health measures may be lifted if all requirements are met, and all mass gatherings and indoor visiting returns to normal.
*This will not happen until a vaccine has been approved and produced and/or there is an effective treatment that is approved and production capacity reaches the point where it is easily accessible.

Check out the Emerging Wisely document as a PDF here.

Update June 12, 2020: Amendments to Travel Restrictions can be found here.
Update July 16, 2020:
PHO - Amended Travel Restrictions and self-isolation protocols are here.
Update June 12, 2020: PHO - Covid-19 Relaxing Phase 2 is here.

View the GNWT's June 12, 2020 News Release here.
View the GNWT's May 15, 2020 News Release here.
View the GNWT's May 12, 2020 News Release here.

Questions on complying with these new requirements should be directed to: protectnwt@gov.nt.ca

Information, Resources And Advocacy Updates From The Canadian Chamber of Commerce:

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.

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce’s Canadian Business Resilience Network has developed a Reopening toolkit designed to provide guidance, or access to guidance, for business owners and senior managers responsible for re-establishing their operations while ensuring the health and safety of operators, staff, customers and the general public is at the forefront.

The CBRN's Reopening Toolkit can be found here.

CBRN Business Relief Fund 

Congratulations to The Yellowknife Racquet Club on receiving one of these grants from the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and Salesforce!

First announced on May 25, the Canadian Business Resilience Network Small Business Relief Fund has awarded 62 grants, each worth $10,000, to Canadian businesses to help their recovery efforts and eventually thrive during these unprecedented times.

The application window closed on June 12, 2020 at 8:00 p.m. ET. Successful applicants, including The Yellowknife Racquet Club, can be found on the website here.

Government of Canada Support For Businesses:

 

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):

The Government of Canada will be providing a 75% wage subsidy, up to a maximum of $847 per week, to eligible employers. CEWS will be in place until August 29, 2020 and retroactive from March 15, 2020. 

Eligible employers include individuals, taxable corporations, partnerships consisting of eligible employers, non-profit organizations and registered charities.

For the May 15, 2020 News Release, please click here.

The subsidy would be available to eligible employers that see a drop in revenue:

  • at least 15% in March 2020
  • at least 30% for April, May and up to June 6
  • More information about the announced CEWS extension to August 29 will be coming soon.
Claim periods for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy
Claim period Start and end dates Baseline revenue Claim period revenue Required reduction
1 March 15 to April 11, 2020
  • March 2019, or
  • average of January and February 2020
March 2020 15%
2 April 12 to May 9, 2020
  • April 2019, or
  • average of January and February 2020
April 2020 30%
3 May 10 to June 6, 2020
  • May 2019, or
  • average of January and February 2020
May 2020 30%
4 June 7 to July 4, 2020
  • June 2019, or
  • average of January and February 2020
June 2020 30%

Revenue would be calculated using the employer's normal accounting method. Both the accrual method or the cash method are permitted, but not a combination. The method chosen must be used for the duration of the program.

For registered charities and non-profit organizations, organizations can choose whether or not to include revenue from government sources. Once chosen, the same approach must be used for the duration of the program.

Subsidy Calculator:

To help you prepare for your CEWS application, the federal government has launched a subsidy calculator. You will be able to preview your subsidy claim, based on the information you enter.

For the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy webpage which includes the subsidy calculator, please click here.

Do You Have Any Staff On Paid Leave?

Employers who are eligible for this program and have on leave with pay are eligible to receive a 100% refund on employer-paid contributions to EI and CPP.

You are required to collect and remit employer and employee contributions as usual. However, you can apply for a refund at the same time that you apply for the wage subsidy program.

How To Apply:

Applications are open! You can expect to receive your payment within 10 business days if you are registered for direct deposit on your payroll account. You must submit a separate application for each CEWS claim period you are eligible for. 

There are 3 ways to apply:

  1. Through the CRA's My Business Account portal. Sign in to your account here.
  2.  Representatives for your business can apply using the CRA's Represent A Client portal.
  3. Via Web Forms using a web access code. Sign into your Web Forms application here. Get a web access code here.

Keep your records! Learn more about the records you should keep here.

Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) Measures:
This program includes:

  • Loan Guarantee For Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises
  • Co-Lending Program For Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises
  • BDC's Mid-Market Financing Program
  • EDC's Mid-Market Guarantee and Financing Program

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

For more information about the Business Credit Availability Programs, please click here.
For details and eligibility criteria, visit BDC's webpage here.

Canada Emergency Business Account:
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.

To qualify, applicants need eligible non-deferrable expenses (rent, property taxes, utilities, and insurance) between $40,000 and $1.5 million. Businesses interested in seeking support through these programs should contact their current financial institution.

As of June 19, 2020 applications will be accepted so owner-operated small businesses that had been ineligible for the program due to their lack of payroll, sole proprietors receiving business income directly, as well as family-owned corporations remunerating in the form of dividends rather than payroll will become eligible this week.  

To qualify under the expanded eligibility rules, CEBA applicants with payroll lower than $20,000 will need: 

  • A business operating account at a participating financial institution;
  • A Canada Revenue Agency business number;
  • A 2018 or 2019 tax return; and 
  • Eligible non-deferrable expenses of between $40,000 and $1.5 million.

For more information on the Canada Emergency Business Account, please click here.

For the June 15, 2020 News Release on the expanded eligibility criteria, click here.
For the May 19, 2020 News Release on the expanded eligibility criteria, click here.

Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance:

The Government of Canada has reached an agreement in principle with all provinces and territories to implement the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance Program. Applications will be open until August 31, 2020.

This program will lower rent by 75% for small businesses that have been impacted by COVID-19.

The program will provide commercial property owners with unsecured, forgivable loans to cover 50% of 3 monthly rent payments for April, May and June.

The loans will be forgiven if the commercial property owner agrees to reduce rent by at least 75% under a rent forgiveness agreement, which will include a term not to evict the tenant while the agreement is in place.

The small business tenant would cover the remainder, up to 25% of the rent.

This program is available for small businesses, non-profit and charitable organizations who are paying less than $50,000 per month in rent and who have temporarily ceased operations or have experienced at least a 70% drop in revenues.

Application documents are now available through the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. The program is now open for applications, until August 31, 2020. You can find the forms here.

For the May 25, 2020 News Release, please click here.
For the May 20, 2020 News Release, please click here.

Income Tax Deferrals:
For The Self Employed:

  • The filing date for the 2019 tax year is June 15, 2020.
  • The payment date for the 2019 tax year is September 1, 2020.

For Corporations:

  • The filing date for the 2019 tax year is June 1, 2020.
  • The payment date for the 2019 tax year is September 1, 2020.

For Individuals:

  • The filing date for the 2019 tax year is June 1, 2020.
  • The payment date for the 2019 tax year is September 1, 2020.

This means that you will not be assessed any penalties or interest if your balance due is paid by September 1, 2020.

For more information on this program, please click here.

Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB):
The Government of Canada has extended this program from 16 to 24 weeks, providing $500/week for workers, small business owners and entrepreneurs who are not receiving a paycheque as a result of COVID-19.

To be eligible:

  • You must reside in Canada and be at least 15 years old;
  • You must have stopped working because of COVID-19;
  • You must have employment or self-employment income of at least $5,000 in 2019 or in the 12 months prior to applying;
  • have not earned more than $1,000 in employment and/or self-employment income per benefit period while collecting the CERB and,
  • You did not quit your job voluntarily.

There are two ways to apply:

  • Online with CRA My Account
  • Over the phone: 1-800-959-2019 or 1-800-959-2041

There is no waiting period and direct deposit payments will be delivered into accounts within 3 business days and cheques sent out within 10 days.

For the June 16, 2020 News Release on the extension of the Canada Emergency Response Benefit, please click here.

For more information on the application process, please click here.

Government of Canada - Support For The NWT

Temporary Salary Top-Up For Low-Income Essential Workers:

The federal government will work with the territorial government to cost-share a temporary top-up to the salaries of low-income workers, who earn less than $2,500 per month on a full-time basis.

In the NWT, businesses are asked to apply for temporary funding to increase the wages of their employees who make less than $18 per hour, for a maximum of 16 weeks between April 1 and July 31, 2020.

The program is available to all workers in the NWT that are currently earning less than $18 per hour and are over 15 years old.

For more information on this program, including application information, please click here.

Support From CanNor:

CanNor

Northern Business Relief Fund (NBRF):

The program will provide qualifying SMEs with support for up to 100% of eligible fixed costs, in the form of a non-repayable grant, up to a maximum of $100,000 over a 4 month period, retroactive to April 1, 2020.

The program's eligibility requirements has been expanded to include all Northern businesses with 100 employees or less. Note: Businesses with fewer than 20 employees will be prioritized.

Eligible fixed costs could include:

  • rent / mortgage
  • utilities (heat, electric, water and sewer, phone and internet)
  • subscriptions (software)
  • insurance
  • other fixed costs as deemed reasonable at the sole discretion of CanNor

For information on the application guidelines, please click here.

To access the online form to print and apply, please click here.

Your application must be submitted to the Northwest Territories Regional Office:

Tel: 867.444.0659 or
E-Mail: cannor.ecdevnwt-devecnwt.cannor@canada.ca

Regional Relief and Recovery Fund:

To maximize the benefit of this funding, CanNor will distribute the RRRF funding in 3 ways:

1. Increase the level of funding available through the Northern Business Relief Fund

2. Targeted relief and stabilization measures for key sectors such as tourism, the mining supply chain, fisheries and others. This new stream will also allow CanNor to provide support to not-for-profit organizations that play a key role in the Northern business ecosystem

For more information on this funding, please contact the NWT Regional Office at: 867.444.0659 or cannor.ecdevnwt-devecnwt.cannor@canada.ca

3. Offer a range of financing options through the Community Futures Network. More information on this funding stream will be announced soon (as of May 13, 2020).

For more information about these programs, please click here.

Support For Tourism Operators and SMEs:

If you have received CanNor funding and COVID-19 is impacting your operations, you may be eligible for:

  • Additional funding and/or flexible arrangements
  • Further support that will be determined on a case-by-case basis

If you have not received CanNor funding and are impacted by the sudden shifts in the economy and need pressing assistance, you may be eligible for:

  • Access to federal funding to help you stay in business
  • Advice and pathfinding services to other federal programs and services available

Looking to speak with someone? Call CanNor at: 1-855-897-2667.

For more information on this support, please visit CanNor's website here.

Government Of The Northwest Territories Support For Businesses:

For more information on the Northwest Territories COVID-19 Economic Relief package #1, click here.

For more information on the Northwest Territories COVID-19 Economic Relief package #2, you can access the backgrounder here.

For the GNWT's new unified COVID-19 page, click here.

BDIC: Working Capital Loans:
Loans of up to $25,000 (or more if need is clearly addressed) are being made available to qualified NWT 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.

To be eligible, you must demonstrate financial need as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Priority will be given to businesses with fewer than 20 employees but the GNWT will consider applications from businesses with up to 50 employees.

Applications can be made at any time and loans will be processed as they are received.

To Apply:

Fill out the application and submit it to your regional ITI office.

Download the application form here.

If you're in the North Slave Region, submit your application to: ITInorthslaveloans@gov.nt.ca

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

View the April 28, 2020 News Release announcing the program's second intake here.

BDIC: Deferred Loan Payments:
Clients of the BDIC can apply to reduce or defer up to 3 months of loan payments without penalty or additional interest charges, between April 1, 2020 and September 24, 2020. Regular interest will still be charged.

Businesses are automatically approved and not required to demonstrate financial hardship or impacts resulting from the COVID-19 crises.

Requests for payment reductions or deferments must be received by the appropriate Department of Industry Tourism and Investment regional office no later than the 24th day of the month prior to the payment date.

To apply, send an email to ITI stating that you want to reduce or suspend your payments. If you're in the North Slave Region, the contact email is: ITInorthslaveloans@gov.nt.ca

Following the payment deferment or reduction period, existing loan payment schedules will resume along with existing terms and conditions.

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

Questions related to this program can be directed to: ITIbusinessinquiries@gov.nt.ca

Community Futures Development Corporations Deferred Loan Payments:
The GNWT is contributing $86,000 to NWT Community Futures Development Corporations to allow them to defer loan payments for their clients in the same way as the BDIC.

The one-time contribution will cover the interest costs that would otherwise be incurred by these organizations.

View the GNWT's May 6, 2020 News Release here.

For more information on the Community Futures program, click here.

SEED Program To Focus On Business Recovery:
The Department of ITI has developed a program guideline for 2020/2021 focused on keeping investment within our communities and supporting local employment. It will work to prioritize applications from NWT businesses who proposals focus on economic recovery

View the GNWT's May 11, 2020 News Release here.

For more information on this funding program, including application information, click here.

Payment Terms for Vendors:
Allow small businesses and individuals to access cash flow more quickly by shortening the payment terms on GNWT invoices so that they are paid out as soon as possible.

GNWT Collections Policy:
Provide small businesses and individuals with access to greater cash flow during this crisis, by pausing most collections efforts, including:

  • Outside collection agency activity
  • GNWT set-offs on GNWT payments
  • GNWT set-offs on Canada Revenue Agency tax refunds

Fee Reduction:
Provide support to Health and Social Services workers through waiving professional fees for the year valued at $250,000. Also provide support to businesses by waiving fees for food establishment permits for the year valued at $35,000.

WSCC Relief Measures:
Effective April 1, 2020, the WSCC has suspended late payment interest charges and further extended the assessment payment deadline to August 1, 2020.

This means that employers currently registered with WSCC can make two equal payments in August and October 2020.

To view WSCC's April 8, 2020 press release announcing these measures, please click here.

Rent Relief For Leaseholders:
Rent relief is available to all holders of existing recreational, residential, and commercial and mining surface dispositions on public land. Surface dispositions are usually leases, but may also include easements or licenses of occupation.

Rent relief applies retroactively from April 1, 2020 until March 31, 2021. The rent relief does not apply to new applications received after April 1, 2020.

If you have already paid rent that was due during this period and your account is in good standing, your payment will automatically be refunded.

View the GNWT's May 11, 2020 News Release here.

GNWT Developing Inventory of Northwest Territories Mask Producers and Sellers

The Department of Industry Tourism and Investment wants to know where NWT residents can purchase cotton facemasks in their communities.

Individuals and businesses in the NWT creating non-medical cotton face masks for sale are encouraged to contact masks@gov.nt.ca to be added to an NWT wide list of available sellers.

The GNWT Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment is now accepting funding applications from NWT businesses and artists interested in manufacturing personal protective equipment (PPE) as well as other non-medical products.

Products include:

  • certified medical face masks
  • certified face shields
  • certified hand sanitizer
  • non-medical cloth face masks that can be used by the public

ITI will provide:

  • Up to $1,000 for the purchase of raw materials for manufacturing, and
  • Up to $25,000 for the purchase of raw materials and equipment for manufacturing of medically certified products

Potential applicants are encouraged to submit proposals as soon as possible to the regional ITI office. If you're in the North Slave Region, the contact email is: ITInorthslaveloans@gov.nt.ca

NWT Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Kami Kandola has authorized two Northwest Territories manufacturers, Poison Graphics of Hay River and Artech Engrave of Yellowknife to create reusable face shields meeting Health Canada specifications for use in public settings in the NWT.

Read the June 1, 2020 news release here.
To view the GNWT's April 27, 2020 press release, please click here.
View the GNWT's May 15, 2020 News Release here.

A list of non-medical masks and PPE sellers in the NWT can be found here.

Business Services To Help You Survive COVID-19

62 Degrees North Inc. - As you re-open your business, we want you to emerge wisely and stay safe during the pandemic. Our line of products will help to ease you back into some form of normalcy as you open your doors, while keeping staff and customers safe.

On our website you will find:

Locally Made Sanitizer • Masks, Gloves & Gowns • Infrared Non-Contact Thermometers • Disinfectant Products • Adjustable Mask Ear Loop Tighteners

 

Dillon Consulting - Since the COVID-19 crisis in Canada started, we have been busy helping our clients assess and adapt to new ways of working and managing public and employee health risks through planning, science and engineering. We also provide critical services to many government and private organizations to keep them safely operating, like the food industry, essential public infrastructure services, and health service facilities.

For more information on the services offered at Dillon Consulting, please click here.

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