Weekly Update – 6 May 2020
In this week’s digest, as well as some updates on government support for businesses, we’ve also included a number of resources to help with navigating your business out of the situation we’ve all been in. No doubt there are still tough times ahead but there are many reasons to be hopeful and we’re here to help you through it all.
PM Trudeau announced $175 million funding to biotech company AbCellera Biologics Inc., which has identified antibodies that could be used to create treatments or a vaccine.
The federal government is also providing $240 million to boost health services, including virtual access to family doctors for primary care, and a special council to obtain more protective equipment for Canada.
Following that, the government announced a $252 million federal assistance program for the agri-business industry, including a food surplus purchasing program so producers still get compensated and food doesn’t have to be thrown out.
Commercial Rent Assistance
Some more details on the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) program have been announced. The program will lower rent by 75% for small businesses that have been affected by the virus. The program also offers forgivable loans to eligible commercial property owners to cover 50% of the rent payments for those small business tenants who are experiencing financial hardship during April, May and June.
A rent forgiveness agreement is one of the requirements of this scheme. More details will be announced soon and the government hopes CECRA will be operational in mid-May.
Time to revisit your business plan
We’re guessing you didn’t factor and global pandemic and national lockdown into your 2020 business plan!
So it’s definitely a good time to revisit your business plan for the next year. We know that writing a plan can feel like a big effort so here’s a template to make it easier. Please get in touch if you’d like to talk about your plan – especially the financial parts like cash flow.
With little revenue coming in, the old adage “cash is king” is more relevant than ever, and financial uncertainty will likely impact everyone, even those who are making good money. Lifehacker offers up reasons on why you might consider a budget, and why you should be skeptical of the great deals that cash-starved retailers may be pushing. For example, saving $20 on something that costs $100 might seem like a great idea, but you still have to spend $80, and perhaps that $80 could be spent on something more important. Keeping that cash in hand might be more valuable than saving money later.
Jirav suggests that making a pivot to your business to capitalize on the new ways people are buying during the pandemic can help keep cash coming in the door. This a US article but the tips are great.
Pivot don’t pause your marketing
It’s a classic business mistake to cut marketing when cash flow is tight. This often means you’re sealing your fate as without new customers, businesses wither and die.
Is it a good time to hire staff?
If you’re lucky to have a business in a sector not dramatically affected by the Coronavirus shutdown, it could be the perfect time to hire.
This article from the Harvard Business Review outlines the opportunity and steps to seize upon it.
Working from home
Now that many of us have been working from home for a month or more, the cracks are beginning to show. Zoom meetings all day can be more fatiguing than working in the office all day. Fast Company has these tips to preserve your energy.
Time for some good news
Actor John Krasinksi has been running his YouTube segment “Some Good News” for a few weeks now. In a recent episode, astronauts from the International Space Station join in to share some good news, a week before two astronauts returned to earth. You can watch the segment here.
Here to help
We’re committed to helping you through the head winds of the next few months. If you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We are all in this together!