Weekly Update – 29 September 2021

Welcome back to our Weekly Update. Here are latest updates as we roll into autumn season of 2021.

Trudeau Vows New Government Will Move Faster on Priorities

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said his minority Liberal government has been given a mandate “to move even stronger, even faster on the big things that Canadians really want.”

He listed measures to fight climate change, further boost the country’s vaccination rates, and support economic recovery.

More Than 80% of Canadians Fully Vaccinated

More than 80% of eligible Canadians over 12 years old have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Despite a slow start to the national vaccine rollout due to shipment delays, Canada really began to ramp up its vaccination efforts in the spring.

Authorities are preparing to vaccinate children between the ages of five and 11 as well, but a vaccine hasn’t been approved for this age group by Health Canada yet.

Report: Ontario’s Economy Slumped from 2000 to 2019

Ontario’s economic performance over the last two decades has been among the weakest in the country, according to a new study by the Fraser Institute. In the key metric of per-person business investment, Ontario recorded the third-lowest average annual growth rate of just 0.3% when adjusted for inflation and population.

It also lagged far behind B.C., the top-performing province, where the average growth rate was 2.7%. Ontario was the worst performer in real per-capita aggregate economic growth of 9.1% from 2000-19, compared to an average of 26.1% for all provinces.

Big Spending Could Fuel Inflation

Trudeau’s Liberals have pledged $78 billion in new spending over five years, about 4% of gross domestic product. That would be in addition to the $101 billion in extra spending over three years passed in a budget earlier this year.

This huge spending could further fuel the already-hot inflation, adding pressure to the Bank of Canada to hike interest rates sooner than planned.

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.

Five Strategies to Gain Market Share

New businesses may find it extremely challenging to increase their market share. The success of your efforts depends on your decisions and other factors that vary from one industry to another. However, this Forbes article shares five strategies that will help you gain a bigger market share no matter what sector you’re in:

  • Define your brand. Create a recognizable brand identity to distinguish your company from others.
  • Study the competition. Dissect the market you’re about to enter and own up to determining what your direct competitors do better that you currently do.
  • Target your market. Dive deeper into defining your existing and ideal customers so you can market your business more effectively.
  • Be innovative, yet flexible. Find the right balance between sticking with what makes your services unique, while still being willing to adapt to necessary changes.
  • Connect with your customers. Directly engage with your customers to acquire feedback and assess their needs.

Need more focused business advice? Get in touch with our advisors today and let’s chat about your specific situation.

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