For the latest COVID-19 Information from the Town of Edson please visit www.edson.ca/covid.
Town of Edson Supports
During the March 24th Emergency Advisory Committee meeting, Council received reports from various departments and had in depth discussions on ways the Town of Edson can move forward to responsibly deal with the crisis and potential fallout. The following measures were reviewed, but still require official Council approval.
Utility Penalty Deferral - In these extraordinary times, the Town of Edson recognizes that steps need to be taken to help residents and businesses stay on their feet. If approved, this measure would mean no penalties will occur for non-payment on utility bills for the months of March through July. While those payments will still need to be made, customers will have until the end of 2020 to catch up on those balances. Penalties will be reinstated in August, but for new balances only. This will allow customers to spread out those payments over a number of months if necessary.
Please note that automatic payments for utility and tax accounts will continue unless the account holder contacts the finance department with further instructions.
Tax Due Date Adjustment - Council is also looking at pushing back the property tax payment due date. Tax notices will still go out as normal, however, the payment deadline will now be September 30th, 2020.
The COVID-19 situation does have a profound impact on the Town’s budget. As such, Council is also taking a very close look at finances to ensure proper steps are taken to maintain an acceptable level of service while being fiscally responsible to our taxpayers in this difficult time. More details will be forthcoming as Council reviews the budget at an upcoming meeting.
Please see the link below for details on how to register and apply for MyAlberta Emergency Isolation Supports.
https://www.alberta.ca/emergency-isolation-support.aspx - Eligible working Albertans can receive a one-time emergency isolation support payment of $1,146 if they are required to self-isolate or are the sole caregiver of someone in self-isolation and they have no other source of pay or compensation.
For further supports see : https://www.alberta.ca/covid-19-supports-for-albertans.aspx
The Government of Canada has outlined their Economic Response Plan. It contains supports for individuals and businesses. Follow the link for the official release.
Highlights of Canada Economic Response Plan (from Community Futures West Yellowhead)
- If you owe taxes, you will have until August 2020 to pay those taxes. You still need to file but the deadline is now extended to June 1st. It is important that even if your business is closing that you still stay on top of your CRA and tax obligations. If you are concerned about paying this obligations, please call CRA at 1-800-959-5525 for businesses. It may be faster to get details through your CRA account. Your accountant can also answer questions but please remember, they are also small business owners and are working in tax season to also manage their small businesses, their staff and their families. Please be patient.
- Canada-US border is shut to non-essential travel. If you are an export-import business, please contact the BDC as they are working with Export Canada on this every changing issue. BDC also has a business credit program that is available for applications online. https://www.bdc.ca/en/pages/special-support.aspx?special-initiative=covid19
- Wage subsidy for small business employers at 10% and up to $2500 per employer and this is effective immediately. If you are still paying your workers and not laying them off, this will be available for 3 months. As soon we find out how you can apply for this subsidy, we will update both social media, our partners and you, if you contact us directly to get the link. The government is trying to move quickly to get this program up and running.
- Self-employed individuals can apply for employment benefits at $900 bi-weekly (every two weeks) up to 15 weeks. You are able to apply online and receive funds by direct deposit. Medical documentation is not required. This will start in early April. As soon as the link is available online we will ensure that we will send it out to businesses.
- Emergency support benefits will be for those who are not eligible for EI for up to 14 weeks. This is especially important for small business owners who are not eligible for EI. Please do not visit Service Canada offices in the region as it is not guaranteed that they will be able to serve you in person. Details on how to apply is at this link https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/corporate/notices/coronavirus.html or you can call at 1-833-381-2725.
- Banks and mortgage lenders are offering mortgage deferrals for a 6 month period. You are going to be able to skip a payment but you need to contact your bank directly. Please do not go to the banks but use email and phone to contact your local banker. They will have messaging and tools to help you do this. Please be patient as our banking partners are trying to help you as much as possible and stay on top of current information.
Other supports are being offered across the Country, including webinars and special information sessions for businesses to learn about some of the supports and practices taking place through this COVID-19 situation. The local Chamber of Commerce is a good place for information on some of the local events being offered. https://edsonchamber.com/
The Canadian Chamber of Commerce has also created a Pandemic Preparedness Guide. http://www.chamber.ca/resources/pandemic-preparedness/
*Please note that this is an evolving situation. Check original sources for the latest information.