Our response to COVID-19
Over the past few weeks we have seen our world change in almost every way. It is important during this time of uncertainty that we all do our part to try and reduce the impact of the Covid-19 virus. Hopefully, if we take all the necessary actions as suggested by the various public health authorities, this chapter will be behind us sooner than not.
Like most businesses, the goal is to balance the needs of our clients, ensuring we continue to provide best in class service while at the same time, taking measures to ensure the health and safety of our people in the workplace.
To that end, we have instituted various measures at our office to reduce the risk of illness while maintaining daily operations. Given the time of year, we believe that the best approach is to keep our office open as long as possible. Like your businesses, people are our greatest asset and as such, all measures are on the table to ensure their health and safety.
- We have advised our staff that anyone who feels unwell remain at home for as long as needed and have also instituted a “work from home policy” for certain staff.
- In-house meetings are limited to 4 people and for larger meetings we are we are facilitating the use of video conferencing.
- We have advised our staff and associates to be vigilant with regard to frequent hand washing, use of sanitizers and other recommended protocols.
- Furthermore, we have taken steps to ensure our staff are able to work remotely if that becomes necessary.
- We are curtailing all in-person client meetings until further notice, replacing them with either telephone or video conferencing. These steps are consistent with the suggested approaches to “social distancing” that will help slow the possible spread of the virus.
- We are asking clients to scan their personal and corporate tax information and deliver it electronically. This can be done via password protected PDFs attached to emails or by using our secure portal. Please make every effort to use PDFs vs JPEGs.
- Please reach out to your Fruitman Kates team member if you’d like to register and use our secure portal. It is easy to use and can be used in the future for information transmissions to and from us.
- If paper copies via mail or hand delivery is your only option, we anticipate that the packages will remain isolated for a period of time. So, if you do anticipate sending in “paper” please ensure you leave extra time.
As for the financial impact on the various markets that the virus is already impacting, we will continue to monitor our governments’ responses. The Minister of Finance, Mr. Morneau, yesterday announced a $10 billion injection into the system for small and medium sized enterprises to be administered by Business Development Bank of Canada and Export Development Canada. A further relief package has been announced for next week. The details are still unclear and additional information is expected to be available March 23. Once details are clear, we will advise on those stimulus packages.
We will continue to monitor the situation and immediately react to any new information as it arises. We have created a “Covid-19 Committee”, including two of our partners, so that we remain focused on managing the firm through these trying times.
We hope you, your families, staff and communities remain healthy during this time.