The impact of the coronavirus is being felt by all businesses throughout Canada and around the world. Businesses are navigating a broad range of issues that span from keeping their employees and customers safe, shoring-up cash and liquidity, adjusting operations and traversing complicated government support programs.
At SAWDAC, we have been working with Business Development Canada and some of our financial partners to help our members get answers to questions they have had on these programs and tough circumstances. We hosted several webinar sessions where our members could ask BDC for guidance to navigate these trying times. Many members sent personal notes of thanks for helping them with this process and we are glad to be able to help.
The economic impact of the COVID pandemic is expected to be worse than the 2008 financial crisis. This will require our members to take decisive actions immediately to protect themselves and staff, ensure business stability and improve financial security. Previous economic crises, however, have shown us that these effects will be felt for years to come and could lead to major changes in the construction business. How can our members prepare for and change to a post- COVID world, and remain focused on the here and now at the same time?
Next to the immediate actions to safeguard day-to-day business operations, SAWDAC recommends members take into consideration various steps to prepare for and adjust to a post-COVID reality and strengthen their long-term competitiveness. Put emphasis on the long-term competitiveness of the company.
At SAWDAC, we have been thinking of the long-term success of our members and have been working to see an electoral promise come to fruition. In September 2019, the Justin Trudeau federal government pledged to make available interest-free loans of up to $40,000 (over a 10-year term) to help homeowners and landlords pay for retrofits that would make their homes more energy-efficient, with the three main areas of focus being windows and doors, insulation and HVAC. The loans would be paid back over 10 years through Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation-insured mortgage, a bank loan or in partnership with a utility company through savings on monthly bills. We want to see this happen as it would be a real boost for our industry.
We conducted a small survey at the start of June, two weeks after construction was allowed to start again. Ninety four percent of respondents said they are open for business. We also asked whether their lead levels were the same as 2019 and what was holding their business back? The responses are displayed in the charts here.
Some great takeaways from these answers and we always hear from members asking about installers, we are working on something to help with this through a couple of local colleges. More to come about this in the next issue or give us a call at the office to discuss. As always thanks for reading this and check out our social media for updates on the industry
Petitioning The PM
Earlier this year, SAWDAC petitioned the federal government to follow through with its promise to launch a $40,000 interest-free home improvement loan program to make homes more energy-efficient.
Addressed to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, the petition letter discussed how the program could be budget positive. Nearly 1.5 million Canadians work in the construction industry. This program can create jobs and help avoid another recession.
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