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
- GST remittances can be deferred until June
- Launch of a special emergency business account for small businesses that will see banks offer $40,000 government-guaranteed loans interest-free for the first year. If certain conditions are met, the first $10,000 will be forgiven.
- Friday morning, the Bank of Canada announced an unscheduled interest rate cut, slashing the key interest target by half a percentage point to 0.25 per cent
- Temporary Small Business Wage Subsidy – Will calculate 75% of payroll for the effective period (up from the 10% announced a week ago), back dated March 15th, which is subtract from the payroll remittance payment for the period: https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/campaigns/covid-19-update/frequently-asked-questions-wage-subsidy-small-businesses.html
- Work Share Program (for temporary business down turn): https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/services/work-sharing.html
- The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), which will provide $2,000 a month for up to four months for workers who lose their income as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more at https://www.canada.ca
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
- 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
- Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan: Support for Canadians and Businesses
Good luck out there, and stay safe ~