MONDAY, APRIL 12, 2021
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to have a hold on our community, we remain challenged to execute against the obstacles that we are confronted with daily. A year ago, I committed to a more transparent approach as it relates to the financial updates to the membership from the Finance Committee. As the Chair of both the Finance and COVID committees, I can tell you that the current pandemic plays a major role in our agenda for both committee meetings. To say that we are not out of the woods yet seems to be an understatement of our current situation, but we remain focused and confident in our plan.
We started this planning process more than a year ago to ensure that The Vancouver Club would be sustainable through these challenging times, and we were able to successfully work through our crisis planning towards a fully stabilized landscape, and, one day, return to a thriving community of members at our club.
With the ever-changing environment, it has been challenging to forecast the financial impact based on the continued restrictions that reduce the use of our club. That said, the management team has completed a significant amount of heavy lifting over the last year, supported by respective committees and the Board of Directors, to pull together a plan that included a conservative approach to our revenue projections, along with an increase to both the capital improvement fund (CIF) and a separate monthly special assessment that would offset operational losses for the next three years. As it stands, year to date, we have collected $800k for the special assessment which has not only offset our real losses for 2020/2021 but a portion of the loss carried forward from 2019/2020. In addition to the special assessment, the CIF now stands at $975k and plans are in the work to provide greater insight into which “must-have” projects will be worked on in the coming year.
Both the CIF and special assessment are contributions from the members and represents your commitment to the long-term sustainability and growth of our cherished establishment. A huge thanks must go out to all of you for your continued support.
I am pleased to report, without the aid of audited financials, that we have performed well against our forecast as it relates to revenue and loss projections. These results were impacted by the following key contributors:
- • Achieving revenue projections with the assistance of government subsidies
- • Overall Reduction of forecasted losses
- • Detailed business planning by Management
- • Tight control over variable operating expense items
- • Significant reduction in staff during the lean months
- • Creative member engagement programs to drive additional revenue opportunities
- • Continued member support
With our fiscal year end closing March 31st, 2021, our attentions turned to the operating plan for the upcoming year. Based on the current trends relating to the pandemic, and having the vaccine rollout in sight, Management worked hard to build a plan that remained conservative in nature but had the line of sight to local businesses returning closer to normal by October.
Several iterations of the financial plans were built and reviewed at both the committee and Board levels. The Club’s 2021/2022 Operating Budget was approved by the Board of Directors on February 26, 2021. In doing so, the Board considered many contributing factors:
- • The continuation of the COVID-19 Provincial Health restrictions to social gatherings.
- • Multiple scenarios including the plans around additional closures or continued restrictions.
- • The importance around being conservative but “real” when forecasting our financial recovery.
- • The continuation of government support initiatives such as the emergency wage subsidy (CEWS) and the rental subsidy (CERS), both slated to end in June of 2021.
- • The impact to our staff with the extension of the EI program until June 30th, 2021.
- • Detailed business planning that arrived at the Club’s Operating and Capital plans for not only this fiscal period but for years to come.
- • Understanding of the impact of members leaving against the number of new members that we continue to attract.
- • The continuation of suspending charges related to locker fees (both fitness and liquor), parking and of course, the minimum food charge.
Although we are forecasting another year of losses for 2021/2022, we are ahead of our recovery plan that was presented at last year’s AGM. We have always looked to find our way back to profitability as soon as possible, but we had believed that it would be a three-to-four-year process and our belief is that it is still an appropriate time frame for our full recovery.
With the approval of the special assessment, along with the government programs we are participating in, our club remains in a healthy financial position. With the support of our members, we have successfully weathered the storm to date, and I remain extremely confident, by being focused on our operational plan, we will be equally as successful for the upcoming term.
I look forward to presenting both the audited financials from 2020/2021 as well as our plan forward during the Town Hall scheduled for April 27th, 2021, but in the meantime, I want to reassure you that the management team, along with your elected Board of Directors are working together to ensure that our club continues to provide the service you and your families have come to expect.
Dean P. Medwid
Finance/COVID Committee Chair
Board of Directors