Weekly Update – 26 August 2020

Welcome back to our Weekly Update. We hope you and your family are safe and doing well as we close out the summer and head into fall.

Canada Corporate Earnings Drop 8% in Second Quarter

According to Statistics Canada, pretax profits at Canadian companies fell in the second quarter– its lowest in roughly 5 years. Overall, seasonally-adjusted pretax profit dropped 8% from the previous quarter to $52.27 billion dollars.

It is no secret that we are in difficult times, so now is the time to review your business strategy. If you need professional guidance, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.

Canadian Travel Ban to Last Until September 21

As the US continues to wrestle with the pandemic, border closures were extended and non-essential travel will be prohibited until September 21 to contain the spread of COVID-19.

Canada to Move Unemployed Off COVID-19 Emergency Benefits

Canada outlined a plan to move the unemployed off a COVID-19 emergency benefits program and onto an expanded Employment Insurance scheme that requires people to look for a job to qualify.

The government is extending the emergency support by four weeks until the end of September. However, starting September 27, it will offer unemployment benefits to people who would not normally qualify in the form of the Employment Insurance plan. Unlike the emergency benefits, you will have to demonstrate that you are looking for employment to be eligible.

FedEx Awards $150,000 to Canadian Small Businesses Through the #SupportSmall Program

As the retail landscape in Canada changes across all industries due to the pandemic, FedEx Express Canada awarded grants to companies in various sectors through the #SupportSmall program.

While the government has a big role in supporting the economy, there are many ways individuals can do their part and support local small businesses. Here are ways you can help small businesses stay afloat during the COVID-19 crisis.

  • Purchase gift cards from your local stores.
  • Shop online, but keep it local.
  • Order takeaway food and drinks from your local restaurants.
  • Be a little more generous than usual when giving tips.
  • Leave positive reviews online and promote them on social media.
  • Postpone instead of cancelling.
  • Join online classes if local businesses offer this option to follow social restrictions.

The coronavirus is one of the greatest challenges of our times. If you own a small business and are struggling to survive, we can help you reimagine your business so you can come back stronger as the economy gradually reopens. Drop us a message to schedule a business consultation.

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.

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

Rent Relief Program Extended

The government announced that the CECRA program has been extended once again to cover a portion of August’s rent for businesses that qualify. To be eligible for the rent relief program, businesses will have to prove a 70% decline in sales for July or August.

Click here to learn more about this program. For assistance on your application for CECRA or other financial support schemes that you may be eligible for, please get in touch with us.

Take Online Payments Safely

The pandemic has significantly changed our lives including the way we shop and make payments. As e-commerce and online payments increasingly gain popularity, it is important for small businesses to adapt.

As a responsible business owner, you must ensure that your customers’ data are protected to gain their trust. This article from Entrepreneur shares some security tips when accepting online payments.

  • Choose a secure eCommerce platform and processor.
  • Educate yourself and your employees.
  • Verify the transaction and more.

What’s your money-making idea?

If you’re anything like us, you’re always trying to find ways to bring in more money into your business or to identify a profitable niche for a new business that you’re looking to put up. We know that this is easier said than done, so here are some tips that worked for us:

  • Know your passions and think about the pain points surrounding them.
  • Research the potentially profitable problems you’ve identified. Verify if people are willing to pay and how much they are willing to shell out for products or services that solve these.
  • Deep dive into the data and do an analysis of your potential market. By looking at the past and present trends, you’ll gain insights on how the future could look like and how your business can fit in.
  • Learn from your competitors. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel, but make sure to highlight your point of difference to your market.

Whether you are a new business owner or a relatively experienced one, it is exciting and challenging to come up with new money-making ideas. However, if you need fresh insights for a winning business idea or some guidance in revamping your business plan, don’t hesitate to drop us a message.

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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