Weekly COVID-19 Economic Update – April 29, 2020

Prepared by Morris Interactive

Every week during the coronavirus crisis, CCDF will be providing its clients with an economic update to help them understand the wider economic implications and better plan their own recovery.

This week, we focus on Re-Opening Saskatchewan and the Indigenous Business Support program.

I heard Saskatchewan is Re-Opening. What does that mean for businesses? Last week, Premier Scott Moe announced his government’s plan to Re-Open Saskatchewan in five phases. The plan entails re-opening the following:

Phase One: Medical services, golf courses & parks

  • May 4th – Medical services including dentistry, optometry, physical therapy, optician services, podiatry, occupational therapy and chiropractic treatments
  • May 4th – Fishing and boat launches
  • May 15th – Golf courses
  • June 1st – Parks and campgrounds
  • Gatherings are limited to 10 persons

Special provisions:

  • All businesses and customers are expected to maintain physical distancing practices (2m or 6 feet). Where physical distancing is not possible, medical providers must wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE).
  • Common areas and other high-touch surfaces and objects in medical offices should be cleaned and disinfected after each use.
  • Patient and client bookings should be scheduled in a manner that ensures no more than 10 patients/clients are required to gather in waiting areas. Alternative solutions to waiting in the office should be considered, such as asking people to wait in vehicles and text messaging or calling when appointments are ready.
  • Customers should be encouraged to use credit or debit cards for payment, and tap/slide/insert cards themselves.
  • Business should be conducted remotely (e.g. conference calls, video conferences, email), whenever possible.
  • The exchange of papers should be limited. If documents must be exchanged, they should be left on a clean surface while maintaining a 2m distance.
  • All businesses must have a workplace illness policy that aligns with COVID-19 public health recommendations.

Phase Two: Retail and personal services

  • May 19th – Retail services can re-open, including shoe stores, flower shops, sporting good/adventure stores, vaping supply shops, boats, ATV and snowmobile dealers, gift, book and stationery stores jewelry and accessory stores, toy stores, music, electronic and entertainment stores, pawn shops, and travel agencies
  • May 19th – Personal services can re-open including hairdresser/barbers, registered massage therapists, and acupuncturists
  • Gatherings are limited to 10 persons

Special provisions:

  • All businesses and customers are expected to maintain physical distancing practices (2m or 6 feet).
  • Where it is not possible to provide personal services through physical distancing, service providers will be required to take precautionary measures, such as client screening, and wearing gloves and face masks.
  • Retail and personal services workplaces will need to follow guidance with respect to hand washing, intensive cleaning (particularly high-touch areas) and structuring stores to enable physical distancing. Operators may need to limit the number of customers in the store.
  • Clothing stores must minimize customers touching merchandise, and prohibit trying on clothes. Stores should encourage online purchases (with front counter or curb pick-up) and adopt noreturn policies.

Phase 3: Re-Open remaining services and businesses – Date To Be Determined

  • TBD – Other personal service businesses can begin providing services to the public, including estheticians, tattoo artists, cosmetologists, electrologists, manicurists, pedicurists, sun tanning parlours, facilities in which body piercing, bone grafting or scarification services are provided, and other personal service facilities
  • TBD – Re-opening restaurant & food services
  • TBD – Re-opening gyms and fitness facilities
  • TBD – Re-opening licensed establishments
  • TBD – Re-opening childcare facilities
  • Gatherings limited to 15 persons

Special Provisions:

  • All businesses and customers are expected to maintain physical distancing practices (2m or 6 feet).
  • Restaurants, bars, lounges, food courts, cafeterias, cafes, bistros, and similar facilities are allowed up to 50% capacity of their regular capacity to respect limitations on the size of gatherings and physical distancing. Buffet service is not permitted.
  • Recreation areas within restaurants and licensed establishments are not allowed, including dance floors, VLTs, pool tables and other areas where it is not possible to practice physical distancing.
  • All facilities that provide childcare services are limited to a maximum of 15 children per building space to allow parents to return to work. Restricting children to a single facility is mandatory. All childcare facilities located within a long-term care or personal care home must have a private entrance and separate space so there are no shared common areas.

Phase Four: Indoor and Outdoor Recreation and Entertainment – Date To Be Determined

  • TBD – All recreational and entertainment facilities, including casinos, bingo halls, arenas, curling rinks, swimming pools, municipal parks and playgrounds, galleries, theaters, museums and similar facilities
  • TBD – All seasonal programming, camps, recreational and athletic activities
  • TBD – Gatherings limited to 30 persons

Phase Five: Other Long term Restrictions – Date To Be Determined

  • TBD – Gathering size limits to be increased or removed

Many types of businesses were allowed to remain open during the COVID-19 lockdown, including construction, mining, manufacturing, transportation, agriculture, professional services, and some retail. As such the Re-Open plan does not impact them. However the gradual re-opening of the province’s economy will likely spur some investor and consumer confidence and help these sectors resume a more normal level of activity, albeit with additional preventive measures.

How can I access the new Indigenous Business Support Programs? Last week the government announced it would be providing $306 million for Indigenous businesses. Details are slowly emerging, however it will be a few more weeks before the funds start rolling out.

The funds will be distributed through Aboriginal Financial Institutions, including CCDF. It will operate in much the same way as the Canadian Emergency Business Account (CEBA), providing up to $40,000 in interest-free loans, with 25% of that (up to $10,000) being non-repayable. The loan is meant to address immediate liquidity issues. If you have received the CEBA loan, you will not be eligible for the Indigenous business loan.

Stay in touch with your CCDF Business Development Specialist to find out how you can access the funds through CCDF once they are available.

Other government programs such as the wage subsidy and deferrals of taxes and remittances are independent of this Indigenous business support program. You should carefully assess whether your business will benefit and be eligible for these programs, and apply if you can.

How can my business adjust to the new economic reality in Saskatchewan? CCDF is offering all of its clients up to $10,000 for professional assistance, through its Business Support Program, to navigate these difficult times, and has retained a number of consultants to help you with your specific needs. Areas of support include assisting clients with addressing HR issues, acquiring economic intelligence, obtaining financial management advice, and more. Call your CCDF Business Development Specialist to access this program right away, and better understand what supports and strategies will work best for your circumstances.

What are some good resources to learn more? Morris Interactive has compiled a list of free resources that will provide up to date economic information during the coronavirus crisis. You can view those resources here.

Document Prepared by Morris Interactive
www.morrisinteractive.ca • info@morrisinteractive.ca • Ph. 1.866.955.3006

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