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Stay up to date with the latest information on how provinces across Canada are responding to COVID-19 and how these measures affect the automotive aftermarket. You’ll find out which provinces have declared states of emergency, which have shut down non-essential businesses, and where the aftermarket fits into these designations.
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What is AIA Canada doing to help the industry?
AIA Canada Urges Government to Designate Businesses throughout the Aftermarket Supply Chain as Essential (Media Advisory, Thursday, March 19).
On March 19, 2020, AIA Canada released an advisory calling for the designation of businesses in the aftermarket supply chain as Essential Businesses during the COVID-19 public health crisis. The aftermarket industry provides the public and organizations, including those that deliver emergency services and transport goods and people, with essential vehicle servicing. This ensures the continued provision and delivery of already designated essential services, including fire and paramedic services, and the mobility of essential services workers. The capacity of auto shops to deliver essential vehicle servicing is dependent on their ability to procure vehicle replacement parts and supplies from the aftermarket supply chain.
AIA Canada Asks Stakeholders to Identify Industry-Specific Supports To Be Communicated to Government
There was tremendous industry response to AIA Canada’s request for industry feedback on current needs/realities.
AIA Canada is asking the industry to continue to provide us with this critical information to be communicated to the government.
This includes information on any type of support that will benefit businesses and the workers they employ, from tax incentives, wage subsidies, tax relief, etc.
- AIA Canada is working with Summa Strategies, a government relations consultancy firm, to make sure that businesses in the aftermarket supply chain are designated as essential. The challenge is that decision-making is fragmented (see Region of Peel and Province of P.E.I. below). AIA Canada’s President, Jean-François Champagne, has been in contact with regional decision-makers in areas like Peel that have designated auto repair facilities as non-essential.
To avoid communication overload and to ensure AIA Canada is delivering valid information, the Association will distribute a weekly update every Monday. The update will include key updates and key resources. Please check this page on a regular basis.
Past AIA Canada Email Communications
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau today announced more help for small and medium-sized businesses to keep employees on the payroll during the COVID-19 crisis, including a 75 per cent wage subsidy and guaranteed interest-free loans.
During a news conference outside his residence at Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, Trudeau called small and medium-sized businesses the "backbone" of the economy and said the new measures will help them avoid ordering layoffs or closing down because of the climate of uncertainty caused by the pandemic.
"We're thinking about that family-owned restaurant that's been around for years, [has] had many of the same employees for years. Employees who've been there through slowdowns, good times and bad times, and now in this moment of crisis they're having to lay these people off at their time of need," he said.
"We know that allowing people to continue that relationship, allow[ing] people to continue to feel and to know they have a job ... is a really important thing, not just for people's confidence, but for the ability of all us to bounce back strongly from this once we're through it."
The prime minister said the wage subsidies will be backdated to March 15, 2020.
The federal government announced an $82 billion aid package in response to the current public health crisis. The aid is largely being distributed through established social security channels.
The aid package consists of $27 billion worth of “direct support” to workers and businesses and another $55 billion to meet liquidity needs through tax deferrals.
The financial supports are divided into groups of benefits, including:
Employers of Small Businesses
Prime Minister Trudeau said the government would provide a “temporary wage subsidy” equal to 10% of the salary paid to employees for three months to “encourage employers to keep staff on the payroll during these uncertain times.” “The payout would be up to $25,000 per employer, effective immediately” (Finance Minister).
Income Tax Deferral
Allows all businesses to defer, until after August 31, 2020, the payment of any income tax amounts that become owing on or after March 18 and before September 2020. This relief would apply to tax balances due, as well as instalments, under Part I of the Income Tax Act. No interest or penalties will accumulate on these amounts during this period.
The Canada Revenue Agency will not contact any small or medium-sized businesses to initiate any post-assessment GST/HST or Income Tax audits for the next four weeks. For the vast majority of businesses, the Canada Revenue Agency will temporarily suspend audit interaction with taxpayers and representatives.
Emergency Support Benefit
This $5 billion benefit is meant for workers who lose their job and do not qualify for EI, as well as those who are self-employed and have to stop working because of the measures taken to counter COVID-19. The Minister of Finance said this will allow for 14 weeks of support at a "comparable level" to EI.
People filing their taxes
Canadians who owe money on their taxes will have until August 2020 to pay. The government has already extended the tax filing deadline to June 1, from the usual April 30.
The government is temporarily “boosting” the Canada Child Benefit in the coming months to help families that are affected by school and child care closures. This will be a "top-up" of $300 per child.
Additional avenues of business support are being assessed, including through the Canada Account, which is a federal fund that the Crown corporation administers for transactions the government deems to be in the national interest.
The federal government is providing $10 billion in credit support through Export Development Canada (EDC) and the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) to help businesses through what's known as the Business Credit Availability Program. The program will further support financing in the private sector through the BDC and EDC. Under this program, the BDC and EDC will enhance their cooperation with private sector lenders to coordinate financing and credit insurance solutions for Canadian businesses. Canada’s banking regulator is providing $300 billion in lending capacity and the Bank of Canada has cut the overnight rate by 50 basis points.
The Government of PEI, in an announcement on Wednesday, March 18, asked that gas stations and auto repair shops, among other essential businesses, remain open.
In a statement released on Friday, March 20, the Region of Peel urged non-essential businesses in the region to close. Included in a list of non-essential businesses were car dealerships and repair facilities.
In a guidance list issued by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on March 19, 2020, thirteen sectors considered critical to the smooth running of the U.S. government and economy were listed. The list included Transportation and Logistics. Falling under Transportation and Logistics were automotive repair and maintenance facilities.
This means that vehicle service and repair personnel are considered "essential" and may continue to operate during the COVID-19 crisis.
COVID-19 Poster | AIA Canada
Help prevent the spreading of the coronavirus and protect your staff, customers and yourself. Display these posters at entry points, doorways and customer reception areas in your business.
Payroll and COVID-19 | The Canadian Payroll Association
Questions and answers on issues related to record of employment and layoffs and benefits for Canadian employers.
COVID-19 One-Stop Shop for Employers and Workers | Ministry of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion
The website, Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) includes information on EI and Work Sharing Programs.
Work sharing is a federally delivered adjustment program designed to help employers and employees avoid layoffs when there is a temporary reduction in the normal level of business activity that is beyond the control of the employer.
Survival Tips: VeriFacts offers bodyshop guidance amid COVID-19 | Collision Repair Magazine
Collision Repair magazine article on guidance for how to maintain a safe work environment, compiled by VeriFacts.
The article includes tips on:
- Thoroughly cleaning your shop
- Carefully sanitizing each vehicle as it arrives and is returned
- Providing convenient drop-off and pickup services for customers
- Managing your team's health and safety
- Limiting interactions with business partners, vendors, and delivery drivers
Resources for Canadian Businesses: Coronavirus (COVID-19). | Government of Canada
The website, Resources for Canadian Businesses: Coronavirus (COVID-19), offers information and resources for employers and employees.
Four key considerations for employers are included:
- Support for Employees
- Support for Employers
- Business Travel and Events
- Business in International Markets
AIA Canada Contacts
If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us at our dedicated COVID-19 email address, firstname.lastname@example.org.