Business Update – 21 July 2021
Welcome back to our Weekly Digest. Read on for the latest updates and some ideas to help us all move forward.
Canada Border to Open to Vaccinated US Citizens on 9 August
After almost a year and a half of being closed for non-essential travel, the US-Canada border will reopen for fully vaccinated US citizens starting 12:01 am on 9 August. In order to cross the border, travelers must be fully vaccinated 14 days prior to travel and must be able to present proof of vaccination.
The vaccines that are acceptable in Canada include Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, and AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD vaccines. Those who arrive by plane will no longer be mandated to quarantine upon entry into Canada, and only those who show symptoms of the coronavirus will be required to do so.
Furthermore, Canada plans to open its borders to fully vaccinated travelers from any country starting 7 September.
Canada Set to Receive 7.1 Million COVID-19 Vaccine Doses This Week
The federal government is expecting to receive about 7.1 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines this week– 3.1 million of which are Pfizer-BioNTech doses and four million are Moderna vaccine doses.
As of Friday last week, 79% of eligible Canadians had received at least one dose of a vaccine and more than 50% were fully vaccinated.
Manufacturing is Leading the Economy Out of Recession
The manufacturing sector is outperforming pre-pandemic levels, with manufacturing sales and railway car loadings surpassing pre-pandemic levels, according to a report by RSM Canada. However, Canadian manufactured products face market challenges amid increasing Buy American provisions in the US.
Meanwhile, the housing market accounted for two-thirds of economic growth in the first quarter, as increasing demand for single-family homes and tight supply drove up prices.
Government Invests in Local Dairy Industry in the Eastern Townships and Centre-du-Québec
The government has announced investments totalling over $535,000 for three projects with Quebec dairy processors that will help boost production and capacity. The dairy industry is a vital part of the local rural economy.
An investment of up to $222,975 will go to Les Fromages Latino Inc. in Val-des-Sources, $230,440 will be for La Fromagerie du Presbytère in Ste-Elizabeth-de-Warwick, and up to $83,552 will be invested to Fromagerie La Station Inc. located in Compton.
Skilled Trades Training
The government of Canada 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.
Government Extends Access to COVID-19 Benefits
Legislation enacted in March 2021 extends and expands the Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB), the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB), the Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB) and Employment Insurance (EI) regular benefits.
The amendments include:
- Extension of the maximum duration of CRB and the CRCB to 38 weeks (from 26 weeks)
- Extension of the CRSB to four weeks (from two weeks)
- Extension of the EI regular benefits so they’re available to a maximum of 50 weeks (from 26 weeks) for claims that are made between 27 September 2020 and 25 September 2021.
Self-employed individuals who have opted into the EI program will now be able to use a 2020 earnings threshold of $5,000 (previously $7,555). This change is retroactive for claims as of 3 January 2021 and applies until 25 September 2021.
More information can be found here.
HASCAP Loan Applications Now Open
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.
How to Solve Growing Business Pains
Experiencing business growth can be both exciting and challenging. As your business moves to the next level, some things may take you by surprise. This Forbes article discusses some of the most common growing pains and some tips on how to deal with them.
- Constantly fixing mini-crises. When everyone turns to you every time a mini-crisis arises and you constantly put out fires, you lose focus on your long-term goals. What you can do is to hire some senior members to help with some of these issues, as well as set long-term goals and forecasts for your business.
- Not enough time to meet business demands. When you hit a growth curve, demand also increases and it can sometimes feel like you don’t have enough time to accomplish everything. Review your org chart and make sure your employees are accomplishing tasks that are aligned to your short and long-term goals. If you’re not ready to take in more in-house staff, hire freelancers for short-term requirements.
- No established processes and procedures. Focus on your long-term goals and implement procedures before you need them. You should also listen to your employees’ feedback about your existing technology and processes because they’re the ones who use them every day.
- Ineffective communication. While you don’t necessarily have to say goodbye to informal catch-ups even as your business grows, you should scale communications and have formal processes for increased transparency and efficiency.
- Knowing when to scale. Not everyone is meant to run large-scale operations, so be realistic about your capabilities. Have a reliable board of directors or mentors to serve as your trusted advisors.
Is your business growing too fast? We’re not only good at crunching numbers, we can also guide you through this new stage in your business. If you need tailored advice, get in touch with us today!
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