We are trying to support local businesses during this difficult time, and have been collecting information/links to trusted resources. You can access them below:
Support Information Links
- Media Release LPS - How to secure my business while it is closed?
- Government of Alberta supports for Albertans
- Government of Alberta supports for employers & employees
- Government of Canada Employment Insurance (EI) and Sickness Benefits
- Government of Canada supports for businesses
- Government of Canada temporary wage subsidy
- BDC support information
- Webinars (Lacombe & District Chamber)
- CFIB - Small Business Help Desk
1. Utility Payment Deferral (3 months) Effective April 2020, the City is suspending late payment penalties on utility accounts. This will give residents and businesses a ‘grace period’ of three months where utility payments can be deferred, after which they have six months to repay the deferred amount. You only need to contact the City if you are on a Pre-authorized Payment Plan; however all ratepayers are encouraged to pay any amount they can in order to minimize utility carry-over payments. To sign up for the program if you are on a Preauthorized Payment Plan, or for more information, call (403)782-1265 or email email@example.com.
2. Tax Installment Payment Plan System (TIPPS) Property Tax Payment Deferral (3 months) This program will give property owners the opportunity to defer their TIPP payments for a maximum of three months (April, May, June), beginning April 2020. If owners miss the April deadline to defer, they can still sign up and defer their May and June payments. When payments resume in July, they will be adjusted to the appropriate amount needed to have the balance paid off in full by December 31, 2020.
To sign up for the TIPPS deferral, or if you have questions about the program, please call 403-782-1257, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or access the form “Tax Installment Payment Plan Deferral Form” online at http://lacombe.ca/living/taxes-assessment.
3. Property Tax Deadline Deferral (6 months) The City is moving the property tax deadline from June 30 to December 31, 2020, to provide cash flow relief to residents and businesses financially impacted by the pandemic. Please note that property tax notices will be mailed out in May for those wishing to pay by June 30.
Please Note: Item number 3 applies only to residents and businesses who pay directly the City of Lacombe after receiving their tax notice. It does not apply to financial institutions that remit property tax payments to the City of Lacombe on behalf of property owners. Those who wish to defer tax payments made with their mortgages need to contact their financial institutions.
For more information, please call 403-782-1257 or email email@example.com.
Staff are available to answer any questions you may have:
Consider these tips offered by Economic Developers Alberta
Don’t panic. Be intentional in your decision-making, to ensure your business continues post pandemic;
Keep employees healthy. Review your employee HR policies and assistance plans, and plan for contingencies. Issues to consider include absenteeism, presenteeism, communications, sick leave, employee travel, social distancing, and workplace hygiene;
Increase level and frequency of office cleaning;
Encourage social distancing. For example, employees should avoid gathering in the lunchroom;
Create flexible working arrangements, if you can - consider schedules, locations, and roles;
Utilize online programs that allow teams to collaborate and communicate in virtual office environments. Meetings can be done over Skype, Google Hangouts, or Zoom, while real-time collaborations can be done using free platforms like Collabedit;
Monitor and preserve cash flow. Look at all the costs of your business, and reduce discretionary and non-essential expenses. Fixed costs such as wages, rent, utilities, financing costs, and tax liabilities are not affected by a decline in sales and need to be properly managed;
Mortgage holders, landlords, and vendors may have show tolerance and/or offer deferred payment programs. In some cases, you may be able to explore loan modification programs. Investigate low-interest refinance options for higher priced debt;
If you rent space, seek extensions from your landlord if unable to pay the rent on time;
Defer capital expenditures, or work with vendors on longer-term financing options;
Shore up your line of credit and other assets;
Review your business disruption insurance coverage benefits and leverage them. Consult with your property and casualty providers and brokers;
Prioritize communications. Provide facts. Communicate plans to employees, vendors, suppliers, customers, local officials, and media. This should include safety precautions you are taking to ensure stakeholder welfare;
Be somber and serious, but do not be overly pessimistic or dramatic. Do not gossip or pass on unsourced rumors or possible fake news without significant caveats;
Review and adapt your meetings and convening programs;
Review your supply chain options. Many business owners may not realize that their product or service relies on parts or components from China, so understanding your supply chain is a critical first step. Have a Plan B in case of disruptions in service from your primary vendor(s);
If you are a vendor, develop contingency plans for production, inventory management, and logistics, not just now, but in terms of lead times and impact over time
Work with customers and vendors to defer business instead of cancelling it.
Consider these tips offered by Insurance Bureau of Canada
Commercial insurance is complex and specialized, which makes it important that you speak to your insurance representative if you have any questions or need clarification about your coverage.
Will my standard business policy or business interruption policy cover me for interruptions due to COVID-19?
- Generally, commercial insurance policies and traditional business interruption policies do not offer coverage for business interruption or supply chain disruption due to a pandemic such as COVID-19.
- Some organizations may have purchased specialized contingent business interruption coverage, stand-alone business interruption coverage and supply chain disruption coverage which may be triggered as a result of the World Health Organization's declaration of a pandemic.
- Commercial insurance is complex and specialized and specific to your business which makes it important that you speak to your insurance representative if you have any questions or need clarification about your coverage.
How does business insurance work?
Property insurance for businesses is designed to protect the physical assets of a business against loss and/or damage from a broad range of causes. There are two basic policy types:
- Named perils – covers only loss and/or damage caused by perils specifically listed in the policy, subject to exclusions. Loss and/or damage caused by any other peril is not covered.
- Comprehensive – covers loss and/or damage caused by any peril, unless specifically excluded.
What is business interruption (BI) coverage?
BI coverage is an add-on to an existing business insurance policy. In the event of a business temporarily needing to shut down, BI covers continuing expenses or replaces lost profits. There are three types of BI policies:
- Gross earnings policy, which pays only until property or damage is replaced or repaired, or stock is replaced
- Profits form policy, which continues to pay until a business resumes its normal, pre-interruption level (subject to policy limits)
- Extra expense policy, which is designed for businesses that can remain operational during periods affected by loss and/or damage.
How does BI insurance work?
BI policies are not standardized and include many variants, but most contain language indicating that the insurer will pay for the actual loss of “business income” due to the “necessary suspension” of operations during “the period of restoration.” A number of concepts and nuances come into play, including:
- Physical damage requirement: Most policies require proof that the insured premises sustained physical damage (for example, from fire, heat, flooding or firefighting efforts) that was covered under their property policy, which caused an interruption that resulted in a loss of business income. A business that is interrupted due to the loss of data or a loss of utilities may not have sustained a physical loss. (There is separate utility loss coverage.)
- Period of restoration: If BI coverage is triggered, a significant issue is defining the period of indemnity or, as some policies refer to it, the period of restoration. Most policies will pay business income loss through to the point that the business is restored or when the coverage expires (usually 12 months from the beginning of the interruption).