The ongoing COVID-19 crisis continues to have a negative impact on businesses across Canada and York Region. As we continue to adjust to the rapidly evolving situation, business owners need to be aware of the critical resources and best practices available to them during this extraordinary moment in history. The government continues to respond with quick and substantial measures to assist Canadian businesses through these uncertain times. Banks, government crown corporations, and other businesses have also joined the fight to support our economy and its citizens.
The velocity of updates and news can easily become overwhelming. That’s why York Region and Mentor Works have created a list of frequently asked questions (FAQ) that we’re hearing from the business community, alongside answers to those questions to help York Region businesses navigate income support options, cash flow sources, best practices, and tips on transitioning your business to a remote environment where feasible. And if your business is in a position to join the fight against COVID-19 by providing essential supplies, we thank you for your dedication to keeping us safe and have some answers for you too.
General Questions on COVID-19 Business Support Options
York Region economic development is monitoring federal and provincial announcements and updating our COVID-19: Resources for the York Region Business Community page, with programs, blogs, webinars, and additional resources to support your business during this time.
York Region individuals and businesses looking for a high-level overview of all the measures available related to all facets of COVID-19, can simply start at the Regional Municipality of York COVID-19 page or the Government of Canada’s COVID-19 page. This will provide the latest updates on travel, health, financial support, FAQs, printable resources, etc. Those seeking financial and economic support are recommended to refer to Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan. This will provide specific resources for individuals, businesses, and industries.
The section specific to businesses provides a streamlined list of all the federal responses to COVID-19, such as how to avoid layoffs and rehire employees, deferred payments, support for self-employed individuals, and more. Each initiative offers a brief overview of what’s entailed and a link to learn further information. The Government of Canada page is being updated daily.
If you’re looking for Ontario-specific relief, you can visit the Ontario Government’s COVID-19 Support for Businesses page. This provides a breakdown of financial and tax relief, and guidance for employers.
Following advice from Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, on April 3, 2020, Ontario updated the list of essential businesses that can remain open. These restrictions were put in place to further reduce contact between people and stop the spread of COVID-19. By 11:59 p.m. on Saturday, April 4, 2020, businesses that were not identified on this list were to close their physical locations.
The government is also advising essential workplaces to put the necessary measures in place to protect the health and safety of their employees and the public, including safe physical distancing and hand washing provisions.
If you still have questions about what is considered essential or non-essential, or the potential impacts to your business or employment, please contact the Stop the Spread Business Information Line at 1-888-444-3659. Help is available from Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 9:00 p.m. and Saturday to Sunday 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
The mandatory closure includes all for-profit and non-profit businesses that provide goods or services. It does not include businesses that operate online, by telephone, or by mail/ delivery. Businesses may telework and engage in online commerce.
If you run a non-essential business, you can continue to operate if your staff can work remotely from home. Just keep in mind, there are to be no gatherings at these non-essential facilities – the office is essentially shut down.
Learn about the measures the federal government has put in place to support workers and businesses in Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan. The provincial government supports are also available here including investing up to $304 million to enhance the province’s response to COVID-19. For updates on Regional closures, please visit: york.ca/covid19.
Income and Revenue Support Programs
Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy Program (CEWS):
Up to a 75% wage subsidy from the federal government. This program is retroactive to March 15, 2020 and has a maximum weekly cap of $847 per employee for up to 90 days. Employers are required to make their best attempts at topping up employees’ salaries to 100% of pre-COVID-19 rates. Eligible York employers include individuals, taxable corporations, partnerships, non-profit organizations, and registered charities that have seen a drop of at least 15% of their revenue in March 2020 and 30% in the following months. Learn more about the CEWS program on canada.ca.
- This is a viable option for employers who have seen a drop in revenue due to COVID-19. See this chart for CEWS revenue reduction claiming periods.
- Apply for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy Program (CEWS) through the CRA’s My Business Account portal.
Temporary Wage Subsidy Program (TWS):
Up to a 10% wage subsidy applicable to businesses not eligible for the CEWS 75% wage subsidy listed above. Eligible York employers include individuals (excluding trusts), partnerships, non-profit organizations, registered charities, or Canadian-controlled private corporations (including cooperative corporations). You must have had an existing business number and payroll program account with the CRA on March 18, 2020 and pay salary, wages, bonuses, or other remuneration to an eligible employee. Learn more about the TWS program on canada.ca.
- This is a viable option for employers that are not eligible for CEWS but may still be eligible for a partial wage subsidy.
- Apply for the Temporary Wage Subsidy through the CRA’s My Business Account portal.
Work-Sharing Program (WS):
This program is not a wage subsidy, but instead an option for employers to move their employees to reduced hours while sharing the available workload and allowing employees to simultaneously collect EI. Businesses must be open for at least one year and have a recent minimum 10% decrease in revenue to be eligible. The expected work reduction is from a minimum of 10% to a maximum of 60%. Employers, employees, and unions must all agree to apply for the WS program and the sharing of equal working hours.
- This is a viable option for employers that have had a 10% reduction in revenue and want to keep their core employees working (year-round, permanent, full-time, or part-time employees needed to carry out the day-to-day functions of your company) and their skills sharpened by allowing them to share the available workload.
- Apply for the Work-Sharing Program (WS) on canada.ca
The short answer is no. Many of these programs require that eligible applicants not currently be using other COVID-19-related funding programs.
TWS (the 10% wage subsidy program) requires applicants to state if they will be receiving funds from CEWS (the 75% wage subsidy program) and will deny applicants who are.
The Work-Sharing (WS) program requires employees/individuals to cancel their $2,000-per-month Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) to ensure that there is no duplication during the same eligibility period.
This answer depends on your business structure, but for the majority of York businesses that can meet all the criteria of CEWS listed above, then short answer will be yes. Having employees already laid off does not make them ineligible if they were employed prior to the program launch. It is important to note that CEWS does require employers to make their best attempts at topping up employees’ salaries to 100% of pre-COVID-19 rates.
This program can be used by York businesses that are listed as essential services or have the ability to work while physically distancing. Companies that have been required to shut down by the Ontario government can use this funding program retroactively for wages paid from March 15, 2020 onward.
Apply for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy Program (CEWS) through the CRA’s My Business Account portal.
To ensure that the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) can be applied to businesses as intended, employees/individuals called back to work are required to cancel their CERB (taxable $2,000-a-month benefit for individuals) to ensure that there is no duplication of benefits during the same eligibility period.
To have employees work reduced hours while sharing the available workload and allowing them to collect EI, see the Work-Sharing Program (WS) on Canada.ca.
The CEWS program is retroactive to March 15, 2020, for a maximum of 90 days, and with a weekly cap of $847 per employee.
There are three claim periods that must be applied for individually. The first period is from March 15 – April 11, 2020, which requires businesses to show a 15% reduction in revenue. The second claim period is from April 12 – May 9, 2020, which requires business to show a 30% reduction in revenue. The final period to apply is May 10 – June 6, 2020, which requires business to show a 30% reduction in revenue. Refer to this chart for CEWS revenue reduction claiming periods.
One of the strongest benefits of using the work-sharing program (WS) is to help businesses be ready for the inevitable increase in workload. Canadian economists are predicting a surge of pent-up demand for products and services in Q4 of 2020. Businesses that have properly prepared to meet the needs of consumers will be in a better position to hit the ground running when the time comes.
The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy Program (CEWS) has been expanded to include part-time workers and wage boosts for certain essential workers. More information about these updates can be found on Canada.ca.
At the time of writing it is unclear what questions will be asked, but expect to respond to questions in the portal such as: how your business has handled past layoffs, how long it took employees to be called back, the use of programs similar to the work-share program, how your business plans to fund the remaining 25% of employees’ income, and how your business will manage the next two-to-five weeks of payroll until funds come in.
The federal government has stressed the importance of the accuracy and legitimacy of submissions into these programs, as false or inaccurate submissions will be caught.
The federal government classifies company owners and those directly related to them as arm’s length employees. At the time of writing, arm’s length employees are not eligible for the CEWS 75% wage subsidy, but they would be eligible for the CERB. Find out the latest ruling on how CEWS affects arm’s length employees by checking Canada.ca.
Sole proprietorships are eligible for CEWS, but it is strongly recommended to review the current ruling on Canada.ca.
Learn more about the difference between arm’s length employees and non-arm’s length employees on Canada.ca.
The Canadian government’s income support options related to COVID-19 can differ for each employee. This infographic outlines what income support options your employees should use, with direct links for employees to apply for the appropriate program(s) they may be eligible for.
The federal government has moved all EI claims to the Canadian Emergency Revenue Benefit (CERB) program. This means that regardless of how much your employees would have made on EI, they will now be receiving a taxable $2,000-a-month benefit through the CERB program.
Employer COVID-19 Best Practices
First, if you think that you or an employee may have coronavirus (COVID-19), have been in close contact with someone who has, and are experiencing symptoms, it’s encouraged to take a self-assessment to help determine how to seek further care. We also encourage you to visit the Regional Municipality of York COVID-19 page for information on what to do should you or an employee are displaying symptoms of this coronavirus.
If a worker becomes symptomatic at any time, the employer must immediately arrange for the worker to be fully isolated from others for a 14-day period and contact local public health officials.
If the employee has tested positive and has attended the workplace or been in contact with other employees within the 14 days prior to the confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis, the employer should notify its other employees who may have been in contact with the individual that one of their co-workers has tested positive. The co-workers should further be notified that they should self-isolate for 14 days and seek medical advice if they display any symptoms of COVID-19.
The Government of Canada website outlines information for managers, should an employee be diagnosed with COVID-19 in the workplace. Consult the York Region Public Health authorities for further information as to best steps.
The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) will provide temporary income support to workers who are without employment or self-employment income due to COVID-19. This includes workers who have temporarily stopped working because they are sick or in quarantine.
The Government of Canada has created risk-informed decision-making guidelines for workplaces and businesses during COVID-19. Employers and business owners can use this document to consider risks associated with their workplace/business and implement the appropriate risk mitigation strategies.
The Ontario provincial government has released their road map for reopening the province after the COVID-19 pandemic. The framework includes three stages which prioritize public health and safety as the number one concern. Read more information on Ontario.ca.
Other important protocols for employers include but are not limited to:
- Minimize the opportunity for exposure between employees and between employees and the public by following physical distancing practices. A physical barrier like a cubicle or Plexiglas window also works to increase distance between people.
- Communicate information to employees and business partners on the latest COVID-19 information. Anticipate employee fears, rumours, anxiety, and misinformation, and plan communications accordingly.
- Provide access to hand washing areas and place hand sanitizers in prominent locations throughout the workplace, if possible.
Prepare for increases in absenteeism due to illness among employees. Consider the need for cross-training personnel to function in key positions.
Transitioning to Remote Workplace
If there’s any time for remote working to become the new “normal,” we’ve lucked out with having so many collaborative tools and systems to choose from.
To keep in close connection with your team and clients, some of the most popular tools used are Microsoft Teams, Slack, Troop Messenger, and Flock. Using Google Hangouts Chat is also a great platform that can be used for direct messages and team conversations.
With face-to-face meetings taking a back seat, many people have been working the dress-shirt-and-track-pants combo these days. Some of the best video platform tools are Zoom, Join.Me, Microsoft Teams, and GoToMeeting. All of these platforms have the option to use your webcam, or just voice if preferred.
Many of these platforms have both free and paid premium options. Deciding which plan to choose may be determined by the number of employees, how often you’ll be using the tool, amount of storage needed, and additional features such as one-on-one tech support. A simple search of the platform with free vs. paid will list what is included in each pricing plan.
For example, Zoom’s free version has a 40-minute maximum for video chats of 3+ participants, but unlimited one-on-one meetings. The next tier is paid but accommodates meeting lengths of up to 24 hours.
Remember, during this time it’s crucial for you as an employer to be clear in your expectations, make sure your team has the tools to be successful, and be patient – these times are new territory for everyone.
It’s also critical to keep in mind that there are those looking to capitalize on this situation with scams and phishing attempts. The Regional Municipality of York has provided tips on staying safe online while working from home.
The Accessibility, Accommodations and Adaptive Technology (AAACT) program remains serving Government of Canada employees during emergencies, including COVID-19.
The program’s mandate is to support employees with disabilities, injuries, and ergonomic requirements in the workplace by providing access to systems, computers, programs, and computer resources.
AAACT also loans adaptive equipment and software for employees to borrow or try out, and provides quick access to specialized adaptive solutions for short-term employees. Specialized equipment can be shipped directly to the employee’s workplace.
Due to COVID-19, many federal public servants are working remotely and the AAACT program team continues to help with job accommodations and adaptive solutions and technology via audio and video conference.
The AAACT program can be reached at email@example.com or by telephone at 819-994-4835, TTY 819-994-3692.
How to Join the Fight Against COVID-19
At the time of this writing, there is a significant range of funding programs available to manufacturers and other innovators who want to contribute to Canada’s COVID-19 response – including by retooling to provide essential supplies. Fortunately, these programs have been met with an enthusiastic response – which means that the availability of remaining funds is continually evolving and varies by program; check each program’s respective website for the latest information.
As you review the list of COVID-19 funding programs for retooling and innovation below, note that some programs only support specific project activities, such as internal wages for R&D. No matter what program you pursue, it is important to understand that any project costs incurred before approval is received will not be supported. Preparing an application and then awaiting a program response can be a multi-week process, so businesses are encouraged to act on their interest in these programs as soon as possible.
- The $50 million Ontario Together Fund (OTF) is a provincial government initiative designed, in part, “to help businesses provide innovative solutions or retool their operations in order to manufacture essential medical supplies and equipment.” As of April 11, 2020, over 14,000 submissions had been received and at the time of this writing, the program is seeking medical products, innovative solutions for 3D printed nasopharyngeal swabs (commercial ready), help for small businesses to digitize and leverage e-commerce opportunities, remote learning solutions, and research ideas to help contain the pandemic.
- The National Research Council Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC IRAP) has created a COVID-19 funding stream to grant R&D funding to manufacturers that can provide innovative solutions for Public Health Agency of Canada and Health Canada medium-term needs: personal protective equipment (PPE), sanitization, diagnostic and testing, therapeutics, and disease tracking technology. A cap on COVID-19-NRC IRAP funding has not been announced and is likely awarded on a case-by-case basis.
- NRC IRAP and Innovative Solutions Canada (ISC) have launched the COVID-19 Challenges Procurement Program to help SMEs advance specific near-to-market solutions. Successful applicants may receive up to $300,000 in Phase 1 (proof of concept; up to three months) and up to $2M in Phase 2 (working prototype development; up to 12 months); the NRC or another federal department or agency will then be able to purchase the product for use against COVID-19. Challenges will continue to be announced as new needs emerge.
- The NGen COVID-19 Response is a $50M investment by Canada’s advanced manufacturing supercluster to help companies rapidly respond to the COVID-19 pandemic by developing a national inventory of essential products, equipment, and therapeutics. Funding amounts are project-dependent, but not to exceed $5M per project; NGen may fund up to 100% of costs for projects delivering immediate impacts (April 1-June 30, 2020) and up to 50% of costs for projects delivering medium-term impacts (post-June 30, 2020). Applicants must be members of the supercluster (membership is free).
- The Natural Sciences and Engineering Council of Canada (NSERC) is committing up to $15 million in NSERC Alliance COVID-19 grants to support collaborations between university researchers (primary applicant), the public and not-for-profit sectors, and industry to address pandemic-related research and technical challenges. Applicants may request up to $50,000 for science, technology, and engineering research projects that are up to 12 months in length. This program has an upcoming deadline of June 1, 2020.
- NSERC has also launched the Applied Research Rapid Response to COVID-19 grant, whose objective is to accelerate the transfer and application of applied research and of expertise from Canadian colleges and polytechnics (primary applicant) to community partners (including for-profit and non-profit organizations). Applicants may receive up to $75,000 for projects that address at least one of two competition themes: assisting industry with production challenges to address COVID-19, and contributing to the solution of community innovation challenges. This program has an upcoming deadline of June 1, 2020.
- Mitacs – a national not-for-profit that designs and delivers research and training programs in partnership with Canadian universities, companies, and the federal and provincial governments – has announced that it will expedite the approval process and leverage Accelerate internship funding for COVID-19-related research projects. For a limited time, SMEs responding to COVID-19 can incorporate an Accelerate internship (i.e. for academic research) with a reduced contribution of $3,750 (in wages paid) to the $15,000 award. This grant may be stacked with either of the NSERC COVID-19 grants outlined above.
For manufacturers of PPE and other medical products, the provincial government has launched the $50M Ontario Together Fund (OTF). The OTF is intended in part to help procure – and to help companies build capacity to produce – supplies and equipment for hospitals, long-term care homes, and other critical public services.
The OTF program is in high demand and has received a high volume of applicants. York Region businesses are encouraged to connect with the program via its web portal for more information and to peruse the list of needed supplies. The Government of Canada is also seeking essential products and services via its procurement site.
The federal and provincial governments offer a variety of funding programs for scale-up activities on an ongoing basis. To find out more, York Region businesses can read our blog series on other funding programs available to the information & communications technology (ICT), advanced manufacturing, and agri-food sectors.
York Region businesses who can supply medical supplies and other items to stop the spread of COVID-19 may reach out to the provincial and federal governments via online sites created specially for this purpose:
- The Government of Canada procurement website also features an online submission form for organizations to submit of they can supply essential items. As of the time of writing, products needed include disposable N95 masks and surgical masks, nitrile and vinyl gloves, hand sanitizer, ventilators, and other items.
- The Ontario Together web portal includes an online form for organizations to submit if they are able to supply items including ventilators, swabs, masks, eye protection, gloves, thermometers, and hospital beds. As of April 11, 2020, emergency supply submissions had generated nearly $90M in essential supplies purchases.
- The Regional Municipality of York is also looking to procure these types of supplies. Those interested in connecting with the Region regarding PPE and other medical supply sales can email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Financing and Cash Flow Options
Federal and provincial governments have launched several stimulus programs to help York Region businesses gain access to additional cash and financing options to evolve their cash flow planning and strategic investments.
Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP): This program helps Canadian businesses obtain financing during the current period of significant uncertainty.
BCAP will support access to financing for Canadian businesses in all sectors and regions. Through this program, Export Development Canada (EDC) and the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) will provide $65 billion in direct lending and other types of financial support.
BCAP includes the following programs:
- Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA): CEBA provides much needed credit for small businesses to pay for immediate operating costs such as payroll, rent, utilities, insurance, property tax, or debt service. Small businesses and not-for-profits can apply for interest-free loans of up to $40,000 to help cover their operating costs during a period where their revenues have been temporarily reduced. This program is now available at various financial institutions and credit unions.
- EDC Loan Guarantee for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises: This program provides credit and cash flow term loans of up to $6.25M to small and medium-sized enterprises. Canadian businesses in all sectors that were otherwise financially viable and revenue-generating prior to the COVID-19 outbreak are eligible to apply. These loans are now available through your primary financial institution.
- BDC Co-Lending Program for Small and Medium Enterprises: This program provides term loans from $312,500 to $6.25M for operational and liquidity needs of businesses, which could include interest payments on existing debt. This program is available to businesses that were financially viable and revenue-generating prior to the COVID-19 outbreak. At the time of writing, application details will be made available in the days to come by financial institutions.
Tip: Businesses will need to contact their established Canadian business banking partner before accessing BCAP, as the details on BCAP page are not updated frequently. The government is requiring the banks to educate their clients that inquire about the program.
After a detailed conversation, the banks will then bring in EDC or BDC as the appropriate partner. As loans are only interest free for the first 12 months, it’s encouraged to have a Recovery Business Plan ready to position new forecasts and recovery goals for the next 12 months minimum to achieve maximum loan support.
For more cash flow support, please refer to our Key to Covid-19 Business Survival: Cash Flow Support Programs blog.
Government Funding Incentives and Stimulus Programs
Canada’s federal and provincial governments offer a range of funding programs to support businesses during COVID-19 and beyond. While some recently introduced supports are in direct response to the current pandemic, other pre-established funding programs continue to assist organizations undertaking strategic growth projects.
Canada’s federal government offers the following payroll support programs to help businesses weather COVID-19 impacts:
- Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy Program (CEWS) provides a wage subsidy of up to 75%, retroactive to March 15, 2020, and to a maximum weekly cap of $847 per employee for up to 90 days. Learn more about the CEWS program and its eligibility criteria by reading this FAQ or by visiting canada.ca.
- Temporary Wage Subsidy Program (TWS) provides a wage subsidy of up to 10% to businesses not eligible for the CEWS 75% wage subsidy listed above. Learn more about the TWS program and its eligibility criteria by reading this FAQ or by visiting canada.ca.
- Work-Sharing Program (WS) is not a wage subsidy, but instead an option for employers to move their employees to reduced hours while sharing the available workload and allowing employees to simultaneously collect EI. Learn more about the WS program and its eligibility criteria by reading this FAQ or by visiting canada.ca.
While there is an immediate need to mitigate COVID-19 impacts, other opportunities exist for businesses to position themselves for recovery and growth in the post-pandemic economy. Many federal and provincial funding programs are available to assist Ontario SMEs in their capital investment, export market expansion, research and development, and hiring and training endeavors.
Some government funding programs have temporarily pivoted their focus to the COVID-19 response, others have pending intakes, and still others are open and currently accepting applications. York Region businesses may refer to these articles on the specific programs available to the information & communications technology, advanced manufacturing, and agri-food sectors.
If you have additional questions about what government funding programs your business may be eligible for, email: email@example.com.
The short answer is that the outlook is unclear, as the status of these COVID-19 response funding programs is continually evolving. We do know, however, that both programs are in high demand and have received a high volume of applicants.
The Next Generation Manufacturing Canada (NGen) Supercluster is investing $50 million “to support companies as they rapidly respond to the COVID-19 crisis by building a Canadian supply of essential equipment, products and therapeutics.” **FUNDING FOR THIS PROGRAM HAS BEEN FULLY ALLOCATED AND NO LONGER AVAILABLE**.
The provincial government launched the $50 million Ontario Together Fund (OTF) “to help businesses provide innovative solutions or retool their operations in order to manufacture essential medical supplies and equipment.” As of April 11, 2020, over 14,000 submissions had been received and at the time of this writing, the program is seeking medical products, innovative solutions for 3D printed nasopharyngeal swabs (commercial ready), help for small businesses to digitize and leverage e-commerce opportunities, remote learning solutions, and research ideas to help contain the pandemic.
As is the case with all federal and provincial funding programs, you should thoroughly review program and/or applicant guides before applying, as doing so will ensure your business’ eligibility and your project’s alignment with program goals.
Your business is not alone in experiencing COVID-19 impacts – far from it. Be prepared to complete any funding application honestly and transparently, and don’t shy away from communicating how the pandemic has affected your business. More importantly, convey how your project will better position your business for growth and success in the months and years ahead.
Navigating the government funding landscape can be a challenging process. If you have questions about what government funding programs your business may be eligible for, reach out to a proactive funding planner or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The government funding landscape is always changing, and it has certainly not gone untouched by the COVID-19 pandemic. Some programs – such as IRAP and NGen – have pivoted to support a rapid response to COVID-19, while others – such as CanExport – have temporarily adjusted the project activities it will support.
If your business has an existing government funding contract in place, it will be honoured. Many programs are offering awarded companies flexibility in executing their project activities (such as workforce training), as timelines may have understandably been impacted by COVID-19. Reach out to the program directly to inquire about the specifics of your funded project.
If your business is awaiting a funding decision or considering applying for provincial or federal funding but is unsure about its availability, reach out to the program directly or visit its respective website for more information, as any changes will be announced publicly. York Region businesses may refer to these articles on the specific programs available to the information & communications technology, advanced manufacturing, and agri-food sectors.
Find the latest updates on York Region’s response to COVID-19 visit: york.ca/covid19
For York Region business updates related to COVID-19, please visit: yorklink.ca/covid19
Additional questions about what government funding programs your business may be eligible for, email: email@example.com
- Part 1: Immediate Actions York Region Employers Should Take In Response To COVID-19
- Part 2: The Key To COVID-19 Business Survival – Cash Flow Support Programs
- Part 3: COVID-19 Planning – Government Funding For Industry Sectors
- Part 4: York Region Businesses COVID-19 FAQ