Weekly Update – 22 September 2021

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

Trudeau Wins Another Minority in Election

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau hung onto power, although he fell short of his goal for a majority win. Canada’s main stock market and the Canadian dollar strengthened against the USD on Tuesday, as the election win of Trudeau‘s Liberal party reassured investors that economic support would continue.

US Border to Remain Closed to Canadians Until at Least 21 October

The land border between the United States and Canada will remain closed for the non-essential travel of Canadians into the US until at least 21 October, according to a White House official. Meanwhile, Canada started allowing US travelers into the country in August.

Ontario’s Proof of Vaccination System Begins

Ontario’s new COVID-19 vaccination passport takes effect on Wednesday, requiring people to present proof of full vaccination to access non-essential businesses in Ottawa and across Ontario. It can be either a paper or digital copy of their vaccination receipt.

Children under 12 will not need to show proof of vaccination to access non-essential businesses.

Pfizer Canada Seeks Authorisation for Kids’ COVID Vaccine

Pfizer Canada says it plans to provide Health Canada with data showing its COVID-19 vaccine works for children aged 5 to 11, and that it will also seek US authorization for this age group soon. This is a key step towards protecting schoolchildren from the coronavirus. Currently, the vaccine is already available for anyone aged 12 and above.

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.

Tips for First-Time Business Owners

First-time founders often waste time and resources during the early stages of building their business because of the knowledge gap on how to efficiently start a company. In this Forbes article, seven tips have been shared for the successful launching and running of a business.

  • Create an online presence. Build brand trust by having a beautifully designed website and polished online presence that potential customers, investors, and staff can visit.
  • Find an organisation system that works for you. Have one place to store all your information, manage to-do lists, stay aligned on big-picture ideas, manage data, plan out product and content calendars, among other things, so you can run your business more efficiently.
  • Stay on top of your finances. You’ll become a more strategic business owner when you keep your finances on track and understand your cash flow.
  • Learn to block your time. Scheduling your time is key– block out hours of your time on your calendar to focus on certain projects.
  • Don’t skimp on HR and payroll. Ensure your HR and payroll are taken care of so you can have peace of mind. It’s recommended to invest in a platform that can help keep these aspects of your business running smoothly.
  • Remember that you don’t have to start from scratch. Helpful templates and resources are available everywhere– you don’t have to start everything from scratch.
  • Keep confidential information confidential. Limit who has access to proprietary information.

Your most precious resource is your time. So if you want to find more ways to save time and focus on building a thriving business, get in touch with our advisors today!

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