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MEMBER SUPPORT

Message from the CEO 
Stay up-to-date with COVID updates.
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Financial Support for Members
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COVID-19: Frequently Asked Questions
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Member Wellness Monday
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Message from CEO,  Glenn Stang

Dear members,

Yesterday, the Saskatchewan government announced increased measures to stop the spread of COVID-19 in our province. As a result, effective today, mandatory masking will be required to enter our branches for members, staff and the public.  We will provide a mask if you forget to bring one.

This is an unfortunate result of increasing rates of positive COVID-19 cases across the province and especially in our region.  

As a reminder as we continue through this pandemic, please consider if your transaction can be completed using one of our online or self-serve tools. We continue to recommend these tools as a first choice:

Thank you for your understanding. As always, drop me a note if you have any questions. 

Stay safe,
Glenn Stang

®Trademark of Interac Inc. Used under license.



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Speak to the CEO

Building relationships beyond banking is a big deal to us. And we’re never too busy to hear from our members. That includes our CEO. Reach out to let him know how we can help.

Missed a CEO Message?

There’s always something happening at Synergy. To make it easy to stay in the loop and see how things have evolved, you can always find past CEO Messages here.

Need Digital Banking Support?

If you need a hand navigating through features and want a better understanding of how to do something new, we’ve put together some interactive video demos to help.

Financial Support for Members

The June 30, 2021 CEBA application period deadline has now passed.

New applicants can no longer apply for a $60,000 CEBA loan or the $20,000 expansion at their financial institution.

To learn more, visit the government of Canada’s Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA).

What is CERB?

The Canada Emergency Response Benefit was created by the federal government to provide temporary income support to workers who have stopped working related to COVID-19.

Who is eligible?

Individuals who are eligible for Employment Insurance regular or sickness benefits, or who have recently exhausted Employment Insurance regular or fishing benefits may also be eligible.

How much does the benefit provide?

The new Canada Emergency Response Benefit provides $500 per week for a maximum of 16 weeks.

The benefit is available from March 15, 2020, to October 3, 2020. You can apply no later than December 2, 2020, for payments retroactive to within that period.

For more information on CERB:

There are criteria that must be met to apply and the benefit is taxable. We encourage you to visit the Government of Canada's Q&A page for application information.

It is also important to note that this is taxable. We recommend talking to a tax expert about any income tax requirements you should consider.
The BCAP deadline is December 31, 2021.
As part of the federal government’s new $65 billion Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP), Synergy Credit Union and Export Development Canada (EDC) are partnering to provide small- and medium-sized Canadian businesses with financing during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

This program helps businesses access the credit you need to cover payroll and other operating costs during this global health crisis. The EDC BCAP Guarantee provides businesses with up to $6.25 million in credit to cover operational costs like payroll and rent.

How does it work?
If your business needs a new loan to cover operational costs during the COVID-19 pandemic, you may be eligible for the EDC BCAP Guarantee. Proceeds from the BCAP-supported loan cannot be used to repay or refinance existing debt (further restrictions apply to other non-operational costs). Export sales are not required to qualify for the program.

EDC fees related to this guarantee will be deferred for the first six months, giving some short-term relief to your business.

EDC will provide a guarantee to Synergy Credit Union on 80% of the value of your loan. By sharing risk with EDC, we can help your company access the financing it needs.

Please note: the guarantee on the loan is to your financial institution, not your business, so you remain responsible for the full value of the loan.

Next steps:
  • Learn more information about the program.
  • Reach out to your Synergy representative to help decide if the BCAP program is a good fit for your cash flow needs.
  • Fill out the form on the EDC website.
  • Your Synergy representative will follow up with the next steps with you.

The HASCAP deadline is December 31, 2021.

The Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program (HASCAP) is available to Synergy Credit Union business members. The program is intended support to Canadian businesses facing economic hardship demonstrated in revenue decline as a result of the economic environment due to COVID-19.

If you are a qualifying Synergy Credit Union Business member, HASCAP provides you with access to a non-revolving government-guaranteed amortizing term loan between $25,000 up to a maximum amount of $1 million.

  • 4% annual fixed interest rate with a repayment term of 10 years.
  • No principal payments for 12 months from the date of loan advance.

Who can apply through Synergy?

  • Existing Synergy Credit Union members where Synergy is your primary bank or primary lender;
  • Canadian-based businesses;
  • Your business must have been financially stable and viable prior to the current economic situation;
  • You must have received payments either from the Canada Emergency Subsidy (CEWS) or the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS) by having demonstrated a minimum 50% revenue decline for at least three months (not necessarily consecutive) within the eight-month period prior to the date of the HASCAP Guarantee application;
  • Businesses that are eligible for CERS/CEWS must have applied for these relief programs before they can apply for HASCAP;
  • The program is intended to exclusively fund the operational cash flow needs of the business or any of its operating subsidiaries (i.e. payroll, rent, utilities, taxes, scheduled debt repayments and other fixed costs) including any costs incurred in retrofitting its operations to ensure its continued viability.

Contact your Synergy Representative today at 1-866-825-3301 to begin the application process.

More details from the federal government are available here.

 

Please note, the following are not eligible:

  • Businesses whose revenue model is predicated on non-commercial sources such as direct government funding or private donations;
  • Government organizations or bodies (other than an indigenous entity or body) as well as entities in which a government organization or body (other than indigenous entities or bands) owns equity interests;
  • Non-profit organizations, registered charities, unions, or fraternal benefit societies or orders, or a Person in which any such organization owns equity interests [except if it is actively carrying on a business in Canada (including a related business in the case of a registered charity) that earns revenue primarily from the regular supply of property/goods or services and not from non-commercial sources such as direct government grant funding or private donations];
  • Religious organizations, or a Person* in which any such organization owns equity interests;
  • Fundraising vehicles for charities;
  • A Person in which equity interests are held by any single current member of the Parliament of Canada or any single current member of the Senate of Canada other than a Person* whose equity interests are publicly traded;
  • Entities that operate any form of sexually exploitive business or promote violence, incite hatred or discriminate on the basis of race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability;
  • Businesses that have been determined to have committed tax evasion.
  • Other terms and conditions apply.

Member Relief Program

We have been here through good times and difficult times with our members for nearly 80 years.

We’re proud of the resiliency of our members and want to ensure they know we are here for them.

Whether it was the oil crash in the 1980s or the recessions in 2008, we have learned many things: one of which is there isn’t a cookie-cutter approach that we can take to meet our members’ diverse needs.

Recently, sustained hot weather and lack of precipitation is expected to have an impact on the bottom line of some of our agriculture members. We know this can be stressful as crops and pastureland in some areas are struggling.

We want you to know Synergy offers flexible options, including mortgage and loan payment relief, combined with tailored solutions in these circumstances.

Please contact us to discuss options, to ask us any questions, or to help you determine what may be best for you. You can give us a call at 1-866-825-3301 or 1-306-825-3301.

We're here to help.

COVID-19: Frequently Asked Questions 

Saskatchewan COVID protocols are changing. Effective September 17, our actions will align to Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) guidance for members and visitors attending our branches. Synergy’s number one priority continues to be the health and safety of our team, so Team Synergy can continue to serve members well.

Going forward wearing a mask will be mandatory. If you forget your mask we will provide you with one.
The federal government has recently announced several legislative changes due to the COVID-19 pandemic. One of those adjustments is a change to the calculation of the 2020 required minimum withdrawal for Registered Retirement Income Funds (RRIF):
  • The minimum amount that must be withdrawn from RRIFs will be reduced by 25% for 2020. For example, if your 2020 minimum amount would have been $10,000, the reduced minimum amount will now be $7,500.
  • The minimum amount for individuals receiving variable benefit payments under a defined contribution registered pension plan or pooled registered pension plan will also be reduced by 25% in 2020. Variable benefits are payments made to plan members from a defined contribution pension plan or pooled registered pension plan like a RRIF.
Please note: Individuals who have already withdrawn more than the reduced 2020 minimum amount will not be permitted to re-contribute to their RRIFs an amount up to the 25% proposed reduction.

With the lower RRIF minimum amounts in effect for 2020, you now have more flexibility in managing your retirement savings since you can leave more of your funds in a tax-sheltered environment in 2020, if that best suits your personal cash flow needs for the year.

We would encourage you to call us to discuss your options regarding your RRIF and other retirement savings in 2020. We want to make sure you can maximize your ability to take advantage of this adjustment.
Branches are open with our regular hours:
  • Monday to Thursday: 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
  • Friday: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
  • Saturday: 9:00 am - 3:00 pm (Lloydminster branch only. All other branches are closed on Saturday)
  • Sunday: Closed
Synergy’s number one priority continues to be the health and safety of our team, so Team Synergy can continue to serve members well. Going forward:

  • Wearing a mask will be optional, but we respect and support teammates, members and visitors who continue to wear one.
  • We will keep hand sanitizer available at our entrances, but it is not mandatory for members and visitors to use it.
  • Plexiglass barriers will remain in place wherever they are installed. Teammates and members who are comfortable meeting in office spaces without a plexiglass is permitted.
  • Physical distancing will not be enforced but I encourage everyone to continue the practice and establish physical boundaries you are comfortable with.
  • The extra cleaning measures to reduce COVID spread will continue in our branches for the next few months.
  • We will keep the children play areas and coffee stations closed for now, but washrooms will be open to the public again.
These cautionary actions will be eased as experience is gained over the next several weeks and the health and safety of Team Synergy is demonstrated.
You can feel assured that deposits held at Synergy Credit Union are fully guaranteed by Credit Union Deposit Guarantee Corporation. There is no limit to the size of deposit covered by the guarantee – whether $1 or $1,000,000 or more, all deposits are fully guaranteed.
This includes all funds held on deposit with Synergy's:
Most merchants are asking their customers to refrain from using cash as it causes them operational concerns and could be a point of contamination. Please practice safe distancing and increased personal hygiene. You may want to consider cashless options, such as INTERAC e-Transfer† transactions or using your mobile wallet with Apple Pay, Google Pay or Samsung Pay.

While it has been a general practice for people to make sure they have the essentials on hand (note: NOT hoarding) just in case of an extended stay at home, we are not recommending heading to the ATM and withdrawing large sums of money.
We have a number of safe alternatives to cash that are widely accepted:
  • Debit and credit tap: Using the tap function also allows you to avoid having to push buttons on the machine.
  • Apple Pay, Google Pay or Samsung Pay: are all available and are as simple to use as tapping your phone on the point-of-sale machine (similar to the tap function on your debit card).
  • INTERAC e-Transfer† transactions: Owe a friend or business some cash? Send a quick (and free in most cases) e-Transfer from your online banking account or mobile app.
  • Online banking: Avoid heading out to pay bills by being set up on online banking. It is simple to navigate and will ensure your payments are completed in a quick and secure manner.

† Trade-mark of Interac Inc. Used under license.
For our business members concerned about a potential drop in revenue with people opting to self-isolate, we encourage you to contact our Business and Agriculture Financial Centre to discuss your options. Together, and with good discussion, we can develop a plan to help you manage potential impacts and continue to be a successful business.
During this time, it is important to be vigilant against those seeking to commit fraud. We will never send you unsolicited emails asking for confidential information, such as your password, PIN, access code, credit card, or account numbers. Please do not respond to unsolicited e-mails, text messages, websites, or pop-up windows that request this type of information. We also remind you not to open attachments or click hyperlinks in emails or text messages that are sent by someone you do not recognize.
Our Synergy Credit Union Collabria Credit Card travel insurance provider (Desjardins Financial Security Life Assurance Company – DFS) is advising cardholders to take note of the Canada Travel, Global Travel Advisory, to avoid non-essential travel outside of Canada until further notice.

If applicable, Cardholders can submit their travel insurance claim online. To do so, please visit the DFS website and click on “Claim” to find the right Claim form. Please note: there is an English language toggle button on the top right corner of the page as well. From there, follow the applicable steps to enter your claim details and send your information directly to the insurer.

Cardholders are also encouraged to visit the DFS website where frequently asked questions (FAQs) relating to the evolving COVID-19 situation and card insurance coverages are continuously updated. If you have further questions on your coverage, please contact DFS at 1-800-463-1623.
We hear you. There is a lot of information out there, but it's important to be able to determine what matters to you. It's also important to note that markets tend to fluctuate constantly, so it's imperative to maintain a long-term view even during what is a stressful time.

We encourage you to call our Member Contact Centre (1-866-825-3301 or 1-306-825-3301) and they will be happy to direct you to the financial expert you have been working with. They can walk you through any potential impacts this pandemic could have — or not have — on your investment portfolio.

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Show us where you feel at home!
Hey members! Have you sent us your local snapshots yet? Help us make your new digital house feel like home by sending us your local photos and you could be featured on our new website, just like this photo from Denise Britton.
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