business owner seeking advice on portfolio strategies

Checklist for business owners

Key areas to focus on during the coronavirus pandemic and beyond

The devastating economic impact of the COVID-19 public-health crisis has left many business owners overwhelmed. This checklist is intended to help you focus your attention on some key areas and strategies.

Investment portfolio strategies

  • Rely on our prudent investment advice for guidance on your portfolio during these turbulent times. We can help to:
    • Rebalance your portfolio according to existing market conditions.
    • Find opportunities to buy shares at lower prices.
  • Take advantage of the drop in the minimum Registered Retirement Income Fund (RRIF) withdrawal rate for 2020.
  • Take advantage of a lower personal taxable income if this is the case.

Contact your accountant

  • Take advantage of tax and installment payment extensions and sales tax remittance extensions.
  • File tax returns quickly if a refund is expected.
  • Benefit from accounting advice in times of crisis:
    • To manage complexity
    • To manage cash flow and liquidity
    • To manage the numerous and fast-paced change in rules.

Remember, good bookkeeping is essential!

Contact your banker to take advantage of the financial breaks announced by the government

These measures include:

  • Options to ease mortgage payments.
  • Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA).
  • Quebec: Emergency Assistance to Small and Medium-Size Businesses.
  • Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA).

Contact your insurance advisor

  • Understand the extent of your insurance coverage in the event of any business interruption.

Leverage government aid measures

  • Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB).
  • Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS).
  • Temporary Wage Subsidy (TWS).

Please refer to a summary of publicly funded economic support measures for business owners.

Preserving your workforce

  • If your business has been able to operate remotely, can certain employees continue to do so even as your business resumes “normal” operations? Can the return to work be staggered for employees?
  • Review working hours.

As stay-at-home orders are lifted, think about measures to ensure the work environment is safe

  • Remain informed about public health directives and government announcements.
  • Reconsider the layout of workspaces.
  • Reconsider cleaning procedures and protocols:
    • Modify service delivery approach to prevent and limit contact between employees and customers and among customers;
    • Increase the frequency of cleaning and disinfecting of high-touch surfaces such as cash registers, surface counters, customer service counters;
    • Choose products that clean and disinfect all at once (e.g. pre-mixed commercially available disinfectant cleaning solutions and/or wipes when available); and
    • Use only approved hard-surface disinfectants that have a Drug Identification Number (DIN). A DIN is an 8-digit number given by Health Canada that confirms the disinfectant product is approved for use in Canada.

There is no clarity yet on how COVID-19 will evolve and whether it will re-emerge or when.

Here are some issues to consider:

  • Review your response to the pandemic and how to strengthen your emergency plans for this situation and any other future crisis. These plans can include any of the following:
    • Infectious disease/pandemic plan
    • Emergency response plan
    • Incident response plan
    • Business continuity plan
    • Crisis management plan
    • Crisis communications plan
  • Are there ways to reinvent your business in the context of a pandemic and for the future?
  • Evaluate new business opportunities.

This checklist is by no means exhaustive

Whether you need a sounding board, the opportunity to re-evaluate your existing plan or create a new one; or you wish to discuss any type of advice that leverages our multi-disciplinary team of Tax & Estate Planning, and Insurance professionals, please reach out to your Advisor.

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