Resources to Help You Navigate COVID-19

A Message from NAWLA Chair, Tom Le Vere

For those who are still working each day in a mill, truck, warehouse or office (outside of your home) to keep an essential business running, you may not be feeling full impact of shelter-in-place orders. Instead, your constant strain is more than likely tied to the risk of interacting with others while performing that crucial work.

Those starting a second month of working remotely and caring for your family in isolation are probably facing a different kind of stress; the one that comes with being confined to your house with new challenges and responsibilities, yet fewer resources for addressing them. Growing up in snow country, we called this confinement "cabin fever."

For all of us, the fatigue from carrying these burdens may be starting to settle in, and is worsened by the uncertainty of how much longer we'll be dealing with the current circumstances. We know we're fortunate to have greater security than many other industries, but not immune from worry, frustration or just plain boredom.

Read the full letter.

Read Against the Grain - April 7

Read Against the Grain - March 24

Workplace re-entry 

As state, local, and municipal governments take steps to re-open businesses, employers must take a fresh look at their physical workspace, their workplace practices, and their communication and training of employees in order to prohibit the spread of the coronavirus and to protect their employees and clients to keep them safe.

Click here for a checklist for employers to consider when planning to reopen, or for those businesses who have remained open under an “essential business” classification. This checklist serves to provide some ideas, resources, and reminders on how to improve the level of safety and protection in your workplace. 

Government Resources

United States

Government Updates:

Click here to the read the latest government updates, provided by the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors (NAW).

U.S. Department of Labor Issues Enforcement Guidance For Recording Cases of COVID-19

Read the full news release and guidelines
Visit the OSHA COVID-19 webpage

Families First Coronavirus Response Act

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act requires employers covered by this Act (those with fewer than 500 employees) post this notice of employee rights under the act. Companies can either post this where they would post federal wage and hour posters, or send to employees via electronic copy.  

Download the poster

Coronavirus Aid, Relief & Economic Security (CARES) Act

The CARES Act tasks the Small Business Administration with overseeing the distribution of millions of dollars in loans and grants to help small businesses survive the pandemic. It also provides additional funding for SBA’s Resource Partners to provide advice and training to help small businesses respond to the unprecedented challenges in communities throughout the country.

Below are resources to provide information and help understanding the act. For specific information and actions, we recommend you contact your bank or financial institution. 

What Is An “Essential” Business?

Which businesses are “essential” is being determined at the state and local level. But most states and localities are turning to the essential critical infrastructure guidelines issued by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for guidance. 

Are Home Builders/Construction/Building Material Suppliers "Essential"?
Many states are ordering non-essential businesses to close to stop the spread of coronavirus. But many states have included exemptions for construction workers allowing them to continue working. 

View a map of states to understand the limits of home builders on jobsites. (National Association of Home Builders)

View a dashboard tracker of states with a stay-at-home mandate for Construction and Building Material Suppliers. (The Journal of Light Construction)

Statewide Stay-at-Home Orders

Click here for an interactive map from The New York Times listing state and city-wide "Shelter at Home" orders.

Other U.S. Domestic Resources:


Wage Subsidies 

The proposed Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy would cover 75% of salaries for qualifying businesses, for up to 3 months, retroactive to March 15, 2020. Employers of all sizes and across all sectors of the economy would be eligible with the exception of public sector entities.

This program is designed to help employers hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic to keep and retain workers.

Organizations that do not qualify for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy may qualify for the previously announced wage subsidy of 10% of remuneration paid from March 18 to before June 20, 2020.

Eligible employers would be able to access the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy by applying through a Canada Revenue Agency online portal. More details on how to apply will follow soon.


The Canadian Government is extending the maximum duration of the Work-Sharing program from 38 weeks to 76 weeks for employers affected by COVID-19. This measure will provide income support to employees eligible for Employment Insurance who agree to reduce their normal working hours because of developments beyond the control of their employers.

Business Credit Availability Program

The Canadian Government has established a Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) to provide $40 billion of additional support through the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) and Export Development Canada (EDC).

BDC and EDC are working with private sector lenders to coordinate on credit solutions for individual businesses, including in sectors such as oil and gas, air transportation, exports and tourism.

This program includes:

  • Loan Guarantee for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises

    EDC is working with financial institutions to issue new operating credit and cash flow term loans of up to $6.25 million to SMEs.

  • Co-Lending Program for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises

    BDC is working with financial institutions to co-lend term loans to SMEs for their operational cash flow requirements.

    Eligible businesses may obtain incremental credit amounts of up to $6.25 million through the program.

These programs will roll out in mid-April, and interested businesses should work with their current financial institutions.

Canada Emergency Business Account

The new Canada Emergency Business Account will provide interest-free loans of up to $40,000 to small businesses and not-for-profits, to help cover their operating costs during a period where their revenues have been temporarily reduced.

To qualify, these organizations will need to demonstrate they paid between $50,000 to $1 million in total payroll in 2019.

This program will roll out in mid-April, and interested businesses should work with their current financial institutions.

Click here for more resources and information from the Government of Canada. 

Global Resources

Education Resources

Webinar Recordings

  • Unable to Wash Your Hands of This: How the Coronavirus has Effected the Import and Export Wood Products Industry
    • Presenters: Paul Owen, President, Vanport International, Inc.; Pete Malliris, Associate Editor, Random Lengths; David Cox, President, Richmond International Forest Products; Zach Yan, Trader, Olympic Industries 
    • Watch the Recording
  • Managing Your Credit and Liquidity Through COVID-19
    • Presented by Robert Grien, Managing Director, TM Capital Corp.; Jerome Romano, Managing Director, TM Capital Corp.
    • Watch the Recording
  • Workplace Response: COVID-19 How to Plan
    • Presented by Claudia St. John, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, President, Affinity HR Group Inc.
    • Watch the Recording
  • Families First Coronavirus Response Act - What You Need to Know
    • Presented by Claudia St. John, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, President, Affinity HR Group Inc.
    • Watch the Recording
  • Employer COVID-19 Response - An Overview of the CARES Act
    • Presented by Claudia St. John, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, President, Affinity HR Group Inc.
    • Watch the Recording
  • Workplace Response to COVID-19: Your Questions Answered
    • Presented by Claudia St. John, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, President, Affinity HR Group Inc.
    • Watch the Recording