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Member Update from Steven Ibbotson: This Year is Different

Last updated: Oct. 8, 2021 

It would be an understatement to say this has been an unusually challenging and difficult year. Those challenges will most likely continue for a while to come. What should you, as a small business owner be doing to weather the storm?

Don’t wait for things to return to normal. No matter how frustrated, overwhelmed or anxious you may feel, now it the time to embrace the new reality. You have options and opportunities. It is possible to survive and even thrive through these conditions.

To get you moving, here’s five things you should focus on now.

  1. Take back control. You may be feeling stuck, like you’ve lost control. Get back in the race by taking one step at a time. Make a list of everything that is contributing to your anxiety. Tackle one item at a time. Literally cross it off your list. You’ll be amazed at how this simple act can boost your confidence, give you a sense of momentum and get you moving again.
  2. Think differently. Until now you’ve operated your business much the same way as when you started. That may no longer possible. You can either adapt by offering the same service in a different way. Or pivot to a new offer by using the assets you have to provide a different service. Ask yourself, “if I were starting this business today, under these conditions, how would I solve my customers’ problems?”
  3. Use the resources available to you. Federal and Provincial Governments have created a variety of financial support programs that provide cash to cover operating expenses, subsidize wages or defer payments. Know what’s available. If you don’t have time. Hire someone to do it for you. It’s that important.
  4. Lean on your team of experts. Now more than ever, you need to make smart decisions. Work with your banker, lawyer and other trusted advisors. Draw on their expertise to help. They may be able to see solutions that you haven’t thought of.
  5. Pay attention to your taxes. With all the disruptions and distractions it might be tempting to put your tax compliance on the back burner. Extended deadlines for filing your tax returns have passed and the new tax year is rapidly approaching. The CRA is expected to take a more aggressive approach to audits and outstanding returns – especially if you have received financial support through one of the Covid-19 programs. With all the Government spending they will be working hard to get some of this money back.

Tax Time is Going to Be Different

Now, more than ever, it is critical to partner with tax experts who have a deep understanding of how the Covid-19 support programs could impact your business. You need to work with someone who has extensive experience working with the CRA and understands their approach when things are changing, and compliance is even more complicated than usual. That’s where we can help.

  1. Schedule a pre-year end Tax Planning Appointment If you received financial support from a Federal or Provincial COVID-19 program or are thinking about applying, schedule an FBC Early Tax Call before the end of the year. We’ll use our proprietary software to run multiple potential tax scenarios that reflect your current situation and provide you with recommendations you can act on before the end of December. An Early Tax Call will optimize your return and help minimize the taxes you pay. Simply call your branch to set up your appointment or fill out our online form to request an appointment (FBC Members only)
  2. REBOOT Your Business To help you get back on track and start moving again, we’ve introduced several new initiatives you should know about. Specifically, our REBOOT program which helps you access the financial support available through various government programs. So far, we’ve helped Members access more than $4 million in subsidies and benefits.

Covid Safe

Over the last 8 months we did what was needed to get the job done, sometimes face-to-face, sometimes virtual, sometimes pick up and drop offs. We heard you loud and clear, you see the most value when we are face to face at your place. You have our 100% attention, the safest and best way to get all your questions answered. All your information stays at your place and the best part is we have proved by following COVID protocols it can be done safely.

As a reminder here is how you stay safe:

  • If you have scheduled an-in person appointment with us, please be aware that prior to our arrival, you’ll need to confirm if you or anyone in your family is ill or experiencing symptoms associated with Covid-19, or if you are in self-quarantine for any reason.
  • If you need to reschedule because of health reasons or concerns, we understand and will do whatever we can to accommodate your request.
  • When we arrive for the appointment, we will follow the established Canadian Health Services guidelines for limiting the spread of the virus, including wearing masks, maintaining social distance, and confirming that you and your family are healthy and symptom free.

However, if you prefer a virtual appointment, we can do that too. To schedule a virtual meeting, please call us at 1-800-265-1002 and ask to speak with an LTC Team Leader.

We’ve been working with Canadian farmers and small business owners like you for a long time. We understand the work you do and know the challenges you face. No matter how long this lasts, FBC will be there – providing you with more than seven decades of tax expertise and supporting you as you adapt in this new environment.

Once again, I want to thank you for placing your trust in us and allowing FBC to be part of your business success.


Steven J. Ibbotson
President and CEO, FBC