Weekly Update – 15 September 2021

Welcome back to our Weekly Update. Read on for the latest updates and some ideas to help us all move forward.

Report: Family Businesses Better Positioned to Drive Economic Recovery

In a KPMG Enterprise and STEP Project Global Consortium report, family businesses in Canada and worldwide are using their unique strengths to rebound from the pandemic. In fact, they are well positioned to spur the country’s post-pandemic recovery.

The global report involving 2,500 family businesses and more than 500 non-family businesses showed that the dynamics and structure of family-owned businesses made them more resilient and responsive to the initial shock of the COVID-19 crisis. Further, they were able to adapt and recalibrate to pursue new opportunities.

90,200 Jobs Added in August

Canada’s economy added 90,200 jobs in August, marking its third consecutive monthly surge. Unemployment rates also fell to 7.1% for the month, compared with 7.5% in July, bringing the rate to the lowest level since the onset of the pandemic last year.

The increase was concentrated in full-time work and in the service sector, led by gains in accommodation and food services. This comes as restrictions eased in much of the country. Employment increased in Ontario, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Nova Scotia.

Bank of Canada Hints It May Stop Adding Economic Stimulus

The economy is moving closer to the point where the Bank of Canada won’t have to add stimulus to the economy through its quantitative easing program. Bank of Canada Governor Tiff Macklem said that when they reduce stimulus, it will start by hiking rates before reducing its government bond holdings.

However, it was made clear that a move to a reinvestment phase of the quantitative easing program would depend on economic developments.

Pandemic Recovery Programs and Business Support

The government has a range of pandemic economic support including the Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) and the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS).

The eligibility period for CRB, CEWS, Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS), Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB), and Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) will be extended to 23 October.

The amount of support available to employers under both the CEWS and CERS programs will also be increased for the period of 29 August to 25 September. CRB can pay out between $300 to $500 per week to recipients, depending on when they applied. The number of weeks claimants can receive the CRB will be increased to 54 weeks from the previous 50.

Get in touch with us if you have any questions.

Skilled Trades Training

The government has announced funding of nearly $890,000 for the College of Carpenters and Allied Trades in order to support the implementation of online learning. This investment is intended to help develop a highly qualified skilled trades workforce, and prepare Canadians to fill available jobs as our economy restarts.

Alberta Expands Financial Support Program to SMEs

Alberta is expanding its Small and Medium Enterprise Relaunch Grant to include another payment of up to $10,000 for eligible businesses. This marks the third time the $10,000 payment has been made available to Alberta organizations. It will also be available to businesses that started operating between 1 March 2020 and 31 March 2021.

The Small and Medium Enterprise Relaunch Grant offers financial assistance to Alberta businesses that experienced at least a 30% decline in revenue because they were ordered to shut down or limit operations due to COVID-19.

HASCAP Loan Applications

Loan applications from the Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program (HASCAP) opened February 1.

Loans start at between $25,000 and $1 million for a single business depending on the size of the operation, and run up to $6.25 million for companies with multiple locations like a chain of hotels or restaurants. Interest rates are set at 4% across the board, terms will be up to 10 years, with up to a 12-month postponement of principal payments at the start of the loan.

To be eligible, companies will have to show a year-over-year revenue drop of at least 50% over three months, not necessarily consecutive, in the eight months before the application.

Further details can be found here.

Cyberthreats

To avoid phishing attacks by clicking on bad links in emails, a commonly advised strategy is to hover the over the link to check on the destination before clicking on that link. However, a recent spate of phishing attacks has targeted Office 365 customers by leading victims to a fake login page where Office 365 credentials are stolen. Bad actors have been exploiting open redirects to redirect visitors from trustworthy sites to malicious sites. Google warns that the mouse hover trick is not a reliable tool to prevent phishing.

How Business Leaders Can Prevent the “Great Resignation”

The pandemic has turned our lives upside down, and many of us are responding by making significant changes in our personal and professional lives. With people becoming increasingly confident that they can find better work, the “Great Resignation” has ensued.

This Forbes article outlines some ways employers can stop the mass exodus:

  • Listen and learn. Gauge your employees’ well-being. Check how they’re doing on a regular basis and find out what they need for personal and professional growth.
  • Coach to mitigate burnout. Many people leave their jobs because of burnout. So review your wellness benefits or consider adding more. You might also want to identify at-risk staff and offer mental health hours to step away from work.
  • Invest in flexibility. It might not be easy for small businesses to provide extremely high pay, but you can at least offer work flexibility. If you can ease up on conventional standards of when and where your employees work, they are more likely to stay.

In a nutshell, it boils down to one thing: put your people first. If you need more focused business advice, get in touch with us today and let’s work out a plan!

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