Dear BYC Members,
I am writing to provide you with an update on the Club finances and the work that Management and the Finance Committee have undertaken in response to the Province closing our operations in March.
Our response was similar to a sailor facing an unexpected storm. BYC was forced to lower the sails, batten down the hatches, throw an anchor and chart new courses. At the time of writing we are still pointed into the wind patiently waiting for the Province and City to allow us access to the boatyard and hopefully some limited use of our tennis courts.
The Provincial order to close the clubhouse and harbour has clearly changed our financial outlook for the year. Club Management and the Finance committee have been meeting remotely on a regular basis, evaluating the impact of the Club/Harbour closure on our finances and preparing and reviewing various reopening scenarios.
Our objectives from the start have been to:
- Develop defensive tactics to mitigate the immediate loss of cash inflow.
- Ensure that the Club has the financial and human resources to continue operations for the rest of this year.
- Maintain our restricted funds for needed capital projects and unexpected maintenance.
- Ensure that we are in a financial position to operate next year.
During the first week of closure the Club made the difficult decision to lay off our part time staff and delay the hiring of summer staff. I believe Club management did a very good job assisting those affected, to apply for the Covid -19 Federal government benefits.
In addition we have :
- Applied for the special Federal Covid -19 bank financing which is a $40,000 loan, interest free and with $10,000 of principal forgivable if we repay the loan by December 2022.
- Completed the research and calculations to apply for the 75% Federal Wage subsidy program. This is a 3 month program which takes us into June. At the time of writing it appears that this program will be extended into the summer which is good news.
- Received permission from our Bank to defer 3 months principal payments on our mortgage.
- Deferred HST payments and rent.
- Recommended that all planned 2019 capital projects not started be deferred until next year.
We were especially fortunate to recently receive $24,773 Provincial funding from their 2019 flood relief program. This was unbudgeted and certainly helps our cash flow. Thanks to Club management for making the application last summer.
I understand that we have not been able to fully enjoy the Club facilities this year and it is likely that some restrictions will continue for the balance of the year. This is not the start of the season that anyone would have predicted. I hope everyone agrees that we are in this together.
BYC is a member based not-for-profit organization and as such we budget a small surplus each year. We are not customers in the traditional sense but collectively we all have a vested interest in the success of the Club and are accountable for its survival. Membership and mooring fees account for approximately 43% of our revenue and help us to cover most, but not all, of our fixed costs for the Clubhouse and Harbour and also provide funds for capital projects and major maintenance. As such we do not have the option to reduce or refund our fees. Food and Beverage and outside events account for approximately 45% of our revenues and contribute a significant amount to covering our Clubhouse fixed costs. We have unexpectedly lost a major source of revenue this summer by having to close the Clubhouse and delaying summer programs such as Learn to Sail . In response we have been looking at all ways to reduce our expenses and different models on how our Food & Beverage will operate once restrictions are slowly lifted. We will be refunding where necessary, deposits received for outside events and summer programs .
We also understand that some of our members may have been financially impacted by the pandemic. We recognize and want to continue the long term relationship that we have enjoyed and request that members who require assistance with a payment plan contact our Club Manager Paul Moore.
So where are we?
We are comfortable that we will achieve our objectives.
Over the last 8 weeks Club management and the finance committee have been preparing various reopening scenarios and budgets. This fits with an old saying that “ You can’t change the sea or the weather no matter how hard you try . So it’s best to learn how to sail in all directions” . We know that it will not be business as usual and have prepared budget scenarios based on the information we have and our best guesses. We know that we will be incurring an operating loss this year under any scenario. However we believe that if we continue to be proactive and plan, the loss will be manageable. We will continue to meet remotely as Federal /Provincial governments provide us more guidance/information.
We are fortunate to have a Finance committee that brings expertise from the finance, accounting , small business, health and government sectors. This expertise has provided us with invaluable professional advice and information.
Thank you for your understanding and support and stay well.
Randy Tivy FCPA, FCA
Britannia Yacht Club
“ A strong storm brings a brighter rainbow”