By popular demand, April 29th saw the Bluewater Wood Alliance bring back a recap and status update on the Emergency Response Act (ERA) as well a document to help companies assert that they are an essential business* with common language wood companies can use creating consistency across our wood sector.
The BWA, also through strong feedback from our previous event, brought forth a discussion on various funding programs available at the Provincial level and the Federal level.
Edward Snetsinger of Sherrard Kuzz LLP returned to discuss, and disseminate the Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS), Canadian Emergency Relief Benefit (CERB), an understanding of ESA job-protected leaves, and concluded with time for Q&A.
Snetsinger shared with the group information on how CERB has been amended to replace EI benefits for a revised period, how businesses are eligible for CEWS, pre-crisis remuneration, and the qualifying conditions. As well as an understanding of how to calculate revenue reduction to qualify and what employees are eligible for subsidies and CERB.
In the true spirit of a cluster organization, Snetsinger, in partnership with the BWA, created an industry-first standard language certificate of essential business* – brought forth by the request of a BWA manufacturing member.
Following Snetsinger’s discussion, the online event continued with guest speaker Stephen Smith of the Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation, and Trade (MEDJCT).
The programs and funding discussed by Smith enabled everyone attending the event to go into the details of how businesses can qualify and what criteria they should be focusing on strategically for optimal success with their applications for funding programs.
Programs ranged from incentivized innovation to assist in generating more sales in export markets.
Additionally, funding for training has been extended through the Canada Ontario Jobs Grant (COJG), and with that, it brings many opportunities to build up and educate a company’s workforce.
The online event concluded with BWA’s Executive Director, Mike Baker, presenting on how our wood industry is in a phase of continuing transformation with Industry 4.0. Industry 4.0 is described as a market shift of how manufacturers are progressing towards the interconnectivity of technology and data links. This shift is rapidly advancing the speed, efficiency, effectiveness, and impact of manufacturers’ products and services.
Following Industry 4.0, Baker provided an update and insight into the next phase of development for the BWA’s Buying Group. The group is in the early stages of developing its committee and analysis of the data already collected from the various wood industry purchasing categories from wood manufacturers all across Southwestern Ontario.
For those interested in participating and tapping into the buying power of the group, contact the Bluewater Wood Alliance to find out more.
Executive Director, Bluewater Wood Alliance
It remains unclear if we are approaching the zenith of this health crisis or in this for a long battle. Working together to survive this challenge is something we can all benefit from. Let’s keep our wood industry strong together, facing each challenge as one.
There is strength in numbers.
*Essential Business downloadable pdf letters are being provided for our members who have deemed themselves to be exempt from the mandatory closure of non-essential businesses and therefore permitted to continue to operate. The BWA makes no representations regarding any member’s ability to do so and encourages each member to seek independent legal advice.