Coranvirus financial relief only helps short-term, not long-term bills

News Apr 03, 2020 by Kevin Werner Stoney Creek News

As the federal and provincial governments announce an alphabet soup of financial relief for a concerned country, businesses, and families are left to figure out how the billions of dollars of help will provided that safety net for them.

Most people will have heard of the Canada Emergency Response Benefit, which is part of the federal government’s $107-billion COVID-19 response plan, that is expected to provide financial support for up to 16 weeks for workers who lose their income as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Applicants will receive $2,000 a month for up to four months and the benefit covers Canadians who have lost their jobs, are sick, quarantined or taking care of someone who is sick with coronavirus.

The federal government has also created the Canada Emergency Business Account, which will offer government guaranteed loans of up to $40,000 for small and medium sized businesses and not-for-profits which will be interest-free for the first year. Some qualifying businesses will have $10,000 forgiven.

The provincial government introduced its $17-billion COVID-19 economic package last month, including $200 for parents to help offset costs of school and daycare closures; the Guaranteed Annual Income System payments for low-income seniors will be doubled for six months; eligibility for the Low-income Energy Assistance Program will be expanded; people with student loans will receive a six-month break on making Ontario Student Assistance Program loan repayments; and increasing the Employer Health Tax exemption for 57,000 employers.

Other boosts for businesses include five months of interest and penalty relief to file and make payments for provincially administered taxes; and deferring Workplace Safety and Insurance Board payments.

And the federal government will boost the wage subsidies for small and medium businesses and not-for-profits from 10 per cent to 75 per cent for three months. To qualify, business revenues must have decreased by at least 30 per cent.

Hamilton, along with the Stoney Creek, Hamilton and Flamborough chambers of commerce have partnered to establish a website (www.hamiltonchamber.ca/covid) called the COVID-19 Business Continuity and Recovery Information that details the latest government benefit announcements for businesses and individuals.

“We all want this money to flow quickly,” said Mayor Fred Eisenberger. “It takes some time to get it out through a process from the federal and provincial governments and into the hands of individuals and businesses in our community. Some patients is necessary.”

Patti Hall, executive director of the Stoney Creek Chamber of Commerce, said after the flurry of announcements by both the province and federal governments, there had been a lot of confusion over what program was applicable and who could qualify. And for the most part, she said, the financial benefits didn’t help small businesses.

But once the federal government announced it was boosting the wage subsidy to 75 per cent, Smith said that was excellent news. She said the 10 per cent wage subsidy was OK but it wouldn’t help businesses that are still operating to keep their employees working. But at 75 per cent, that could prevent businesses from laying off their staff.

“That’s what’s needed,” she said. “We need the extra government support.”

But except for a few restaurants offering take out and the pharmacy, in downtown Stoney Creek, the area looks like a ghost town with all the stores shuttered, she said.

“Normally you see the hustle and bustle.”

Mark Hodge, owner of Pub Fiction in Ancaster, dismissed both the wage subsidy and the $40,000 government loan.

“I really don’t want to take on new debt,” said Hodge, who closed his business on March 16, and had to lay off his 30 employees, including his fiancée who is also his general manager.

He said he can’t take advantage of the wage subsidy because the province closed down all bars and restaurants to prevent large gatherings so he can’t reopen. He said he laid off his employees first so they could immediately collect employment insurance.

“The government will offer bailouts to Air Canada, and everyone else before they offer to help us out, which is crazy,” he said.

And large big box stores are backed by corporate dollars, he said, so they can survive.

“We don’t need loans, we need a subsidy,” said Hodge.

Jodi Dean and her family are also desperate to recoup some of their income after her husband was laid off from one of those big box stores, Best Buy.

“A month without an income. And I have a mortgage and car payments And I still have to buy groceries. I will be using my savings and credit. Hopefully we will get the GST/HST credit,” said Dean. “I am absolutely petrified.”

The federal government is boosting the GST/HST credit that a person or family usually receives automatically if they have filed a 2018 tax return. The payments, usually made in May, will be deposited into Canadian accounts starting a month early in April 9. Even if you were previously not entitled to the credit but have filed your tax return you may also get the one-time credit based on your family net income. The maximum amounts will increase from $443 to $886 if you are single, $580 to $1,160 if your married, and $153 to $306 for each child under 19, according to the federal government website.

“I’m really hoping the benefit will help,” said Dean, who has two children living at home, including a 12-year-old special needs daughter.

In an attempt to provide some financial relief for local residents, Hamilton councillors will be voting April 8 on a proposal to allow homeowners and business and commercial property owners to defer their April 30 tax payments for 60 days. The city will waive any penalties or interest on the late payments.

But Dean and Hodge point out it means residents and business owners will still have to pay larger bills later in the year, and they may not be financially able to make their payments then.

“You will be paying higher bills,” said Dean. “What we are asking is for forgiveness. That would be the proper way to go.”

Canada, Ontario financial relief still leaves Hamiltonians with larger bills to pay for future

Canada and Ontario have announced billions of dollars in financial relief, but many say it doesn't help enough. #financialwellbeing

News Apr 03, 2020 by Kevin Werner Stoney Creek News

As the federal and provincial governments announce an alphabet soup of financial relief for a concerned country, businesses, and families are left to figure out how the billions of dollars of help will provided that safety net for them.

Most people will have heard of the Canada Emergency Response Benefit, which is part of the federal government’s $107-billion COVID-19 response plan, that is expected to provide financial support for up to 16 weeks for workers who lose their income as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Applicants will receive $2,000 a month for up to four months and the benefit covers Canadians who have lost their jobs, are sick, quarantined or taking care of someone who is sick with coronavirus.

The federal government has also created the Canada Emergency Business Account, which will offer government guaranteed loans of up to $40,000 for small and medium sized businesses and not-for-profits which will be interest-free for the first year. Some qualifying businesses will have $10,000 forgiven.

The provincial government introduced its $17-billion COVID-19 economic package last month, including $200 for parents to help offset costs of school and daycare closures; the Guaranteed Annual Income System payments for low-income seniors will be doubled for six months; eligibility for the Low-income Energy Assistance Program will be expanded; people with student loans will receive a six-month break on making Ontario Student Assistance Program loan repayments; and increasing the Employer Health Tax exemption for 57,000 employers.

Related Content

Other boosts for businesses include five months of interest and penalty relief to file and make payments for provincially administered taxes; and deferring Workplace Safety and Insurance Board payments.

And the federal government will boost the wage subsidies for small and medium businesses and not-for-profits from 10 per cent to 75 per cent for three months. To qualify, business revenues must have decreased by at least 30 per cent.

Hamilton, along with the Stoney Creek, Hamilton and Flamborough chambers of commerce have partnered to establish a website (www.hamiltonchamber.ca/covid) called the COVID-19 Business Continuity and Recovery Information that details the latest government benefit announcements for businesses and individuals.

“We all want this money to flow quickly,” said Mayor Fred Eisenberger. “It takes some time to get it out through a process from the federal and provincial governments and into the hands of individuals and businesses in our community. Some patients is necessary.”

Patti Hall, executive director of the Stoney Creek Chamber of Commerce, said after the flurry of announcements by both the province and federal governments, there had been a lot of confusion over what program was applicable and who could qualify. And for the most part, she said, the financial benefits didn’t help small businesses.

But once the federal government announced it was boosting the wage subsidy to 75 per cent, Smith said that was excellent news. She said the 10 per cent wage subsidy was OK but it wouldn’t help businesses that are still operating to keep their employees working. But at 75 per cent, that could prevent businesses from laying off their staff.

“That’s what’s needed,” she said. “We need the extra government support.”

But except for a few restaurants offering take out and the pharmacy, in downtown Stoney Creek, the area looks like a ghost town with all the stores shuttered, she said.

“Normally you see the hustle and bustle.”

Mark Hodge, owner of Pub Fiction in Ancaster, dismissed both the wage subsidy and the $40,000 government loan.

“I really don’t want to take on new debt,” said Hodge, who closed his business on March 16, and had to lay off his 30 employees, including his fiancée who is also his general manager.

He said he can’t take advantage of the wage subsidy because the province closed down all bars and restaurants to prevent large gatherings so he can’t reopen. He said he laid off his employees first so they could immediately collect employment insurance.

“The government will offer bailouts to Air Canada, and everyone else before they offer to help us out, which is crazy,” he said.

And large big box stores are backed by corporate dollars, he said, so they can survive.

“We don’t need loans, we need a subsidy,” said Hodge.

Jodi Dean and her family are also desperate to recoup some of their income after her husband was laid off from one of those big box stores, Best Buy.

“A month without an income. And I have a mortgage and car payments And I still have to buy groceries. I will be using my savings and credit. Hopefully we will get the GST/HST credit,” said Dean. “I am absolutely petrified.”

The federal government is boosting the GST/HST credit that a person or family usually receives automatically if they have filed a 2018 tax return. The payments, usually made in May, will be deposited into Canadian accounts starting a month early in April 9. Even if you were previously not entitled to the credit but have filed your tax return you may also get the one-time credit based on your family net income. The maximum amounts will increase from $443 to $886 if you are single, $580 to $1,160 if your married, and $153 to $306 for each child under 19, according to the federal government website.

“I’m really hoping the benefit will help,” said Dean, who has two children living at home, including a 12-year-old special needs daughter.

In an attempt to provide some financial relief for local residents, Hamilton councillors will be voting April 8 on a proposal to allow homeowners and business and commercial property owners to defer their April 30 tax payments for 60 days. The city will waive any penalties or interest on the late payments.

But Dean and Hodge point out it means residents and business owners will still have to pay larger bills later in the year, and they may not be financially able to make their payments then.

“You will be paying higher bills,” said Dean. “What we are asking is for forgiveness. That would be the proper way to go.”

Canada, Ontario financial relief still leaves Hamiltonians with larger bills to pay for future

Canada and Ontario have announced billions of dollars in financial relief, but many say it doesn't help enough. #financialwellbeing

News Apr 03, 2020 by Kevin Werner Stoney Creek News

As the federal and provincial governments announce an alphabet soup of financial relief for a concerned country, businesses, and families are left to figure out how the billions of dollars of help will provided that safety net for them.

Most people will have heard of the Canada Emergency Response Benefit, which is part of the federal government’s $107-billion COVID-19 response plan, that is expected to provide financial support for up to 16 weeks for workers who lose their income as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Applicants will receive $2,000 a month for up to four months and the benefit covers Canadians who have lost their jobs, are sick, quarantined or taking care of someone who is sick with coronavirus.

The federal government has also created the Canada Emergency Business Account, which will offer government guaranteed loans of up to $40,000 for small and medium sized businesses and not-for-profits which will be interest-free for the first year. Some qualifying businesses will have $10,000 forgiven.

The provincial government introduced its $17-billion COVID-19 economic package last month, including $200 for parents to help offset costs of school and daycare closures; the Guaranteed Annual Income System payments for low-income seniors will be doubled for six months; eligibility for the Low-income Energy Assistance Program will be expanded; people with student loans will receive a six-month break on making Ontario Student Assistance Program loan repayments; and increasing the Employer Health Tax exemption for 57,000 employers.

Related Content

Other boosts for businesses include five months of interest and penalty relief to file and make payments for provincially administered taxes; and deferring Workplace Safety and Insurance Board payments.

And the federal government will boost the wage subsidies for small and medium businesses and not-for-profits from 10 per cent to 75 per cent for three months. To qualify, business revenues must have decreased by at least 30 per cent.

Hamilton, along with the Stoney Creek, Hamilton and Flamborough chambers of commerce have partnered to establish a website (www.hamiltonchamber.ca/covid) called the COVID-19 Business Continuity and Recovery Information that details the latest government benefit announcements for businesses and individuals.

“We all want this money to flow quickly,” said Mayor Fred Eisenberger. “It takes some time to get it out through a process from the federal and provincial governments and into the hands of individuals and businesses in our community. Some patients is necessary.”

Patti Hall, executive director of the Stoney Creek Chamber of Commerce, said after the flurry of announcements by both the province and federal governments, there had been a lot of confusion over what program was applicable and who could qualify. And for the most part, she said, the financial benefits didn’t help small businesses.

But once the federal government announced it was boosting the wage subsidy to 75 per cent, Smith said that was excellent news. She said the 10 per cent wage subsidy was OK but it wouldn’t help businesses that are still operating to keep their employees working. But at 75 per cent, that could prevent businesses from laying off their staff.

“That’s what’s needed,” she said. “We need the extra government support.”

But except for a few restaurants offering take out and the pharmacy, in downtown Stoney Creek, the area looks like a ghost town with all the stores shuttered, she said.

“Normally you see the hustle and bustle.”

Mark Hodge, owner of Pub Fiction in Ancaster, dismissed both the wage subsidy and the $40,000 government loan.

“I really don’t want to take on new debt,” said Hodge, who closed his business on March 16, and had to lay off his 30 employees, including his fiancée who is also his general manager.

He said he can’t take advantage of the wage subsidy because the province closed down all bars and restaurants to prevent large gatherings so he can’t reopen. He said he laid off his employees first so they could immediately collect employment insurance.

“The government will offer bailouts to Air Canada, and everyone else before they offer to help us out, which is crazy,” he said.

And large big box stores are backed by corporate dollars, he said, so they can survive.

“We don’t need loans, we need a subsidy,” said Hodge.

Jodi Dean and her family are also desperate to recoup some of their income after her husband was laid off from one of those big box stores, Best Buy.

“A month without an income. And I have a mortgage and car payments And I still have to buy groceries. I will be using my savings and credit. Hopefully we will get the GST/HST credit,” said Dean. “I am absolutely petrified.”

The federal government is boosting the GST/HST credit that a person or family usually receives automatically if they have filed a 2018 tax return. The payments, usually made in May, will be deposited into Canadian accounts starting a month early in April 9. Even if you were previously not entitled to the credit but have filed your tax return you may also get the one-time credit based on your family net income. The maximum amounts will increase from $443 to $886 if you are single, $580 to $1,160 if your married, and $153 to $306 for each child under 19, according to the federal government website.

“I’m really hoping the benefit will help,” said Dean, who has two children living at home, including a 12-year-old special needs daughter.

In an attempt to provide some financial relief for local residents, Hamilton councillors will be voting April 8 on a proposal to allow homeowners and business and commercial property owners to defer their April 30 tax payments for 60 days. The city will waive any penalties or interest on the late payments.

But Dean and Hodge point out it means residents and business owners will still have to pay larger bills later in the year, and they may not be financially able to make their payments then.

“You will be paying higher bills,” said Dean. “What we are asking is for forgiveness. That would be the proper way to go.”