We Are Sunshine

Masks OFF

Thursday, March 24th, 2022

We are finally here. Masks mandates province by province are now being removed. Some provinces have removed mask mandates completely and others have kept restriction in public transit, hospital, care homes and in some businesses. But the restriction for personal services is off in most provinces. Maritime provinces, at the time of writing the article, still have mask protocols.

The Maritimes seem to have been the hardest hit for Omicron. Numbers are slowly coming down. Good news was hospitalization leveled out. New Brunswick had to close down for a few weeks, but they are now back up and running.

Governments, as I said in past articles, are now using the data from hospitalization and ICU to make decisions on protocols and further restriction, if required. In some provinces there are restrictions still in place other than masks. For example, BC still has the WorkSafeBC protocols for personal services. This will end April 8th. JCTA Members are continually updated weekly with changes. If you’re not sure what you need to be following, please contact me.

As for Government subsidies, there was a lot of confusion on who could claim and how.  There are 2 programs – Hardest Hit Business Recovery Program (HHBRP) and Tourism and Hospitality Recovery Program (THRP). The HHBRP was for any business that was more than 50% down and was 50% down for the first 13 period for the wage and rent subsidies program. The program restarted Oct 23rd. The table below shows who could claim.

The HHBRP is what normally a personal service would claim under. Then in December the government saw how Omicron would affect businesses and changed up how you could claim if the provinces put on lockdowns or capacity limits (50% or more). These capacity limits came in in Ontario and some of the Maritime provinces like New Brunswick. For Claim Period 24 and 25, you now could claim under the THRP if you were restricted to 50% capacity or more, your sales were down by at least 25% and you didn’t have to qualify based on being 50% down on your first 13 periods. It took me 3 calls to find someone at the CRA to explain this to me. Even they were confused. So, if you fit these criteria, you should investigate claiming for the subsidies under the THRP program. The table below shows what you can claim for in Period 24 and 25.

Wage and Rent Subsidy Rate Structure under the Local Lockdown Program

The new program continues all the way to Period 28 – May 7th, 2022. Remember you have 180 days after each period to file a claim.

Sales across Canada are now on an upward swing. Canadian are booking sunny vacations and restrictions are easing to get back into Canada. As of Feb 28th, you no longer need a PCR Test; you just need a rapid test. You can do either to get back into Canada: PCR Test up to 72hours before arrival or rapid test within 24hours of arrival. The media is no longer talking about non-essential travel. Alberta has even asked the federal government to drop the restriction for travelers needing to have two vaccine shots. I don’t see this coming off anytime soon. Back to sales, I’ve heard from a number of salons that they’re returning back to pre-covid sales and client counts. I can tell you my wife’s salon was just down by 6% from her best year in 2019.  Lotion sales are up as well, as clients get back to some normalcy and get their jobs back. This should continue throughout what is left the pretan season.

The JCTA continues its marketing to drive Canadian to salon. From getting ready to go on vacation to just getting a tan to feel good. In February we had over 17,000 Canadian visit and the ads had over 2.4 million impressions. Most of the visitors to the website were female and 18 to 34. Thanks to member salons and their membership, the JCTA will continue to market the industry in a better light. Membership has grown over the last couple of years, so the JCTA is stronger than it has even been. The support from Industry Advocate Members (suppliers/manufacturers) has never been stronger. Whether you’re a member or not, please support businesses that support you.

One of those members is BrokerLink, which is the JCTA’s insurance broker for the exclusive member’s insurance program. We have a lady phoning salons to see if they’d like a quote, which takes about 5 minutes to do. Whether you need insurance right away or not, I suggest you get a quote. The price is good till March 1st, 2023.

Hoping you’re on your way to a successful post-covid year. Fingers crossed we don’t see any major outbreak and masks remain off. Please respect those that decide to continue to wear a mask. It’s no reflection on you or your business. Respect areas where masks are still required. We need to safeguard the elderly, whether you believe in the requirements or not.

Steve Gilroy, JCTA Executive Director, Smart Tan Canada Vice President