Weekly Update – 2 September 2020

Welcome back to our Weekly Update. We hope you and your family are safe and doing well.

Canada Secures Deal for Up to 114 Million Doses of Potential COVID-19 Vaccines

The federal government has signed deals with two U.S. pharma companies to secure 114 million doses of potential COVID-19 vaccines under development.

Novavax announced that it has agreed to produce 76 million doses of a vaccine it is working on for the Canadian government. Meanwhile, Ottawa announced that it has struck a separate deal with a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson to secure up to 38 million doses of the company’s potential vaccine.

These deals are an important step in the government’s efforts to secure a COVID-19 vaccine that will keep Canadians safe and healthy.

International Travel Ban Extension

The policy barring most foreign travelers from entering Canada has been extended to September 30. Meanwhile, the country has a separate agreement with the United States, wherein the ban will be in place until September 21.

Research: 60% of Canadian Restaurants Could Close in the Next Three Months

A recent joint study by Statistics Canada and The Canadian Chamber of Commerce predicted the possibility that 60% of Canadian restaurants would fail within three months due to the existing social distancing measures in effect. The survey also indicated that the COVID-19 shutdown in the country temporarily closed 83% of businesses in the accommodation and food service industries, with two-thirds laying off staff.

If your business has been hit by the pandemic, get in touch with us right away so we can work out a plan together and help you recover.

How to Know Which New Product Ideas to Pursue

Last week, we talked about ways to come up with fresh ideas to bring in more money into your business or identify a profitable niche for a new business.

Now that you have a list of new product ideas, the next logical step is to determine which of these are worth pursuing. Check out this Forbes article that discusses ways to determine if your customers want your new product and how to make sure you’re investing your time wisely.

If you need guidance in boosting your profitability, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us for expert business advice tailored specifically to your business

New Canada United Small Business Relief Fund

The Canada United Small Business Relief Fund brings together financial institutions and business associations to support small businesses affected by COVID-19.

Starting August 31, the fund will provide up to $5,000 in funding toward recovery efforts such as buying personal protective equipment, renovating physical spaces, or developing e-commerce capabilities.

This new funding is being managed by the Ontario Chamber of Commerce on behalf of the national Chamber network.

Assistance for Businesses in Canada

If you’re wondering what assistance is available to your business, please get in touch with us. There is a range of programs and grants including the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA), the Co-lending Program, the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS), Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) and more.

The application deadline for Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA), which provides eligible small businesses with interest-free $40,000 loans, will be extended until the end of October. More than 730,000 loans amounting to $29 billion have already been approved under this scheme.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us and we will help you assess based on your current financial situation and business needs.

Taking Time Off From Work During the Pandemic

With the extended periods of lockdown and working from home, days become indistinguishable from one another and the line between work and life starts to blur. As people tend to work longer days, not to mention the fact that we are still in the middle of a pandemic, managing stress levels has become more important than ever.

So what does taking some time off from work during a pandemic look like? This Forbes article shared some steps to take a work-free vacation, including:

  • Truly disconnect from work by setting an out of office message on your email and turning off notifications that will tempt you to work.
  • Prepare for your time off by figuring out what must be done ahead of time and which ones can wait until you get back.
  • Sometimes, you can only disconnect from work 90% of the time. So establish boundaries by setting a specific time frame you’ll allow yourself to address urgent issues and check in on critical projects during your vacation.
  • If you live in an area with strict social restrictions, you’ll need to get creative on how you’ll spend your time off. Staying at home doesn’t mean boring- spend quality time with your family, try out new activities, or meet with your friends virtually.

Regardless of how you spend your vacation, the important thing is to use this time to rest, relax, and recharge your body and mind. Do this, and you’ll get back to work feeling refreshed.

Digital Main Street Grant

The Digital Main Street Grant is a $2500 grant for small businesses to adopt new technologies and embrace digital marketing. This is definitely a good opportunity for you to improve your business in these challenging times! You can read more here or drop us a message if you need assistance in taking advantage of this new grant.

Avoiding COVID-19 Online Scams

Recently, there has been a significant increase in COVID-19-related online scams that steal your personal data, impersonate authorities, offer fraudulent medical goods and services, and make fake requests for charitable donations. Below are some tips from Google Safety Center to keep you from falling victim to these scams.

  • Know how scammers may reach you– Aside from emails, they may also use text messages, automated calls, and malicious websites.
  • Check trusted sources directly– Scammers may pose as trusted and authoritative sources. So directly visit reliable sources instead to get the latest factual information.
  • Be cautious of requests for personal or financial information, pause and evaluate before sharing– Do not provide confidential information such as logins, bank details, and addresses to suspicious or unverified sources. Donate directly through non-profits.
  • Double-check links and email addresses before clicking– Fake links imitate established websites by adding extra random letters and numbers or words, so be extra careful and check before you click.
  • Search to see if it’s been reported– Copy and paste the email address, phone number, or suspicious portion of the message on your search engine to check if it has already been reported.
  • Add an extra layer of security to your account– Add two-factor authentications to your accounts for extra protection online.

If you encounter phishing pages, you can report it here. For malicious software, you can report the site here.

Get in touch

Contact us if you have any questions or want to discuss the next steps for your business.

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