Utility company Hydro One has released a statement declaring that late payment fees will be suspended to help businesses recover from COVID-19 disruption.
Following through with this idea, the company will henceforth return CA$5mn in security deposits to more than 4,000 eligible corporate clients. The freeze on late payments is currently projected to last until early May 2020.
This will be welcome news for businesses experiencing financial trouble, although Hydro One’s residential customers will be unaffected as security deposits have not been required since 2017.
Hydo One’s customer-centric approach stems from a recognition that its electric utility services are amongst the most valuable to everyday lives of most Canadian citizens.
"We are here to support families and businesses during this unprecedented time," said Mark Poweska, President and CEO.
"Customers are counting on us now more than ever – not only to keep the lights on across the province but to offer support during this difficult time.
"Hydro One will continue to work with industry partners and the province to advocate on behalf of our customers now and into the future."
In addition to suspending late fees and offering security deposit refunds, the company is also offering financial assistance and flexible payment options via its bespoke Pandemic Relief Fund.
Help from above
The authorities of Ontario are also trying their best to bring relief to the region’s citizens, particularly those who have recently become unemployed due to their workplace folding or temporarily closing down.
The Ontario Government announced that it would be released $1.9bn in funds to assist such people, with Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) premiums deferred for a six-month period across the province.
"Our government is working day and night to provide Ontarians with certainty and support during this difficult time,” said Minister Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development.
“This Relief Package being implemented by the WSIB will help sustain businesses, protect our economy and save jobs.
"By making this change today, we are building upon the substantial financial help we are providing business owners and workers. The top priority is to keep people safe,” he added.
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