Hello! This is Kristen Needham Jordan from Sea Cider in British Columbia, Canada. American Cider Association has asked me to compile COVID Crisis information for the benefit of the ACA’s Canadian members, so here goes…

I’m sure I have met many of you over the years at CiderCon, Cider Summits or cider events in Canada. For those who don’t know me, I am the owner/operator of a small orchard-based cidery on Vancouver Island called Sea Cider.  The COVID Crisis has hit Sea Cider hard, in several different ways, and while we are seeing an increase in sales through our online store, the overall impact has been a huge hit to our revenue and ability to cover our operating expenses.

Here are some parts of our COVID Crisis Plan:

  • The goal of our crisis management plan is to improve Sea Cider’s “cash on hand” position as quickly as possible. Financial support from lenders will work in tandem with other crisis management measures Sea Cider is taking to “weather this storm” and position ourselves to bring business back up to normal levels once the health crisis has passed.
  • Since sales through our Tasting Room, event sales, farmers markets, keg sales and all US sales have all stopped, we are focusing our sales & marketing efforts on our two remaining revenue streams:  direct-to-consumer online sales, and bottle wholesales within BC. We have laid off some staff, significantly reduced hours for production staff, switched to work at home for sales and administrative staff and are pursuing the following supports that have been announced in Canada:

Federal Government Support

Provincial Government of BC Support (*Note from Michelle: Do you have information about your province? Let us know–we’re happy to share here).

  • Health tax payments will be deferred until Sep 2020 with no penalties or interest:
  • PST payments will be deferred until Sep 30 2020
  • WCB Premium payments are being deferred
  • Rental support of $500/month that individuals may access if they are tenants

Banks and Lenders

  • Farm Credit Canada is setting in place both emergency lending and Interest payment deferral for farms with existing loans
  • Commercial banks, such as RBC and TD, are supposed to be offering interest payment deferrals, but credit limits have not been loosened so this may be difficult for companies to access who are already max’d out

Other Suppliers

  • BC Hydro is allowing businesses to defer payments. Contact them when your next bill arrives so your payment isn’t automatically processed from your bank account.
  • Finally, we have been talking to some of our key suppliers to stretch out payments

Other Useful Links

Good luck out there, and stay safe ~

In cider,

–Kristen.

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