We are working and living in a truly unusual time. The spread of the coronavirus across Canada has marshalled us as an organization to work together and to work quickly to address the things that matter most – our employees, partners and tenants.
The leadership team has been meeting regularly since early March to monitor the coronavirus situation and began to anticipate the potential changes that might be required to our operations. We continue to adjust accordingly as we need to based on heightened government-issued closures and stricter social distancing measures and are performing to the best of our ability.
First Capital’s balance sheet is strong and we are well-positioned to withstand the volatility of the current environment. Our portfolio is built on a solid foundation of grocery-anchored plazas with curated retail that includes pharmacy, liquor, government and medical services in many of our properties to support the community in which it operates. Those essential services remain open.
We are fortunate to have the technology to support 100% of our employees working remotely or on a limited, rotational basis at the properties where essential services are required. We provide weekly People & Culture updates to our staff, all employees have access to a dedicated intranet portal for coronavirus resources, mental wellness webinars, ebooks and podcasts, and employee and family assistance plans.
Supporting small businesses through this time
No one could have anticipated mandated closures of non-essential services and retail for a protracted period of time. We know that small businesses are the lifeblood of the vitality of our neighbourhoods – the coffee shops and restaurants we all enjoy – and we wanted to help these smaller tenants get through this challenging time.
So on March 25, we announced First Capital’s $30 million Small Business Support Program (SBSP) to assist small tenants with deferring rent payments over a 12 month period. https://fcr.ca/fcr-launches-small-business-support-program/ In addition, we have provided all of our tenants – large and small – with a summary of all government programs so they had them in one place to help them make decisions.
These are dynamic times, economic conditions and government policies change daily. We will continue to support our staff and work with our tenants to get through this challenging time together.