COVID-19 Business Update – 28 October 2020
Welcome back to our Weekly Digest. We hope you and your family are safe and doing well.
Moving forward is the only option we have to get through this crisis. Read on for the latest updates and some ideas that will help us all move forward.
Canada- U.S. Border Closure Extended to November 21
The Canada-U.S. border closure was originally set to expire on October 21, but a government announcement this week says the closure will be extended until at least November 21. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is also warning Canadians not to fly to the U.S. because they are putting themselves and their loved ones at risk, although the U.S. allows Canadians to fly to the country for leisure travel.
Canada Pilots COVID-19 Testing in Alberta For International Travelers
The Canadian federal government and the province of Alberta will pilot a joint initiative that will test arriving international and transborder travelers for COVID-19 starting November 2.
In September, Air Canada piloted its own testing program for arriving international travelers in order to ease travel restrictions and quarantine measures. According to the carrier, the results are encouraging with fewer than 1% testing positive.
Growers Can Now Access CEBA by Opening a Business Account
Growers can now access the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) by opening a business account. Over 85,000 farm businesses will have access to the interest-free loans of CEBA, which equates to up to $5.1 billion.
One-third of this amount will be forgivable, which means up to $1.7 billion may be provided directly to farmers through the forgivable portion of their interest-free loans. This follows the announcement on future major expansions to CEBA to increase the limit to $60,000 and double the non-repayable forgivable portion to $20,000.
If you have a farm business and would need some help to apply for this government-backed loan, feel free to drop us a message so we can assist you.
Second Annual Canadian Black Business Week
It’s the second annual Canadian Black Business Week, and entrepreneurs and Black business groups are seeing signs of real positive change amid the challenging times.
The Canadian Black Business Week is an initiative launched in 2019 and spearheaded by the Canadian Black Chamber of Commerce to shine light on the unique challenges faced by such businesses and spotlight their successes.
Reopening Guides for Businesses to Operate Safely
As parts of Canada start to reopen their economies, COVID-19 outbreaks have been witnessed in workplaces. As a responsible business owner, you must do your part to avoid risks and protect not only your family and employees, but also the community.
The Canadian government has provided a comprehensive guide on how businesses and employees can stay safe while operating amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Alternatively, you may also contact us for guidance.
Ottawa Announces New Rent Relief Program
As a second wave of COVID-19 hits parts of Canada, the federal government will provide targeted aid, including an overhauled rent relief program, which the government said will now allow businesses to apply directly for relief through the Canada Revenue Agency until June 2021.
The new rent subsidy will support businesses, charities and non-profits that have suffered revenue drops by subsidizing a percentage of their expenses on a sliding scale, up to a maximum of 65% of eligible expenses, until December 19.
The “top-up” emergency rent subsidy of 25%, in addition to the 65% subsidy, will be available to organizations temporarily shut down by a mandatory public health order.
If you need assistance for your application or would like to consider other options available to your business, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.
Transition from CERB to Employment Insurance Program
The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) ends when you’ve received 28 weeks of benefits or on October 3, 2020, whichever comes first. For those who applied through the Canada Revenue Agency, the last four-week period for the CERB was August 30, 2020 through September 26, 2020. However, you can still apply for the CERB retroactively through CRA.
If you still need financial assistance after your CERB ends, there are some temporary changes to the Employment Insurance program to help you access such benefits.
These changes, which will be in effect for 1 year, include the following:
- A minimum unemployment rate of 13.1% applies to all regions across Canada starting August 9, 2020
- You only need 120 insured hours to qualify for benefits because you’ll receive a one-time credit of: 300 insured hours if you’re applying for regular benefits; 480 insured hours if you’re applying for sickness, maternity, parental or caregiving benefits
- You’ll receive at least $500 per week before taxes, or $300 per week before taxes for extended parental benefits but you could receive more
- If you’re a fisher, they will look at the earnings from your 2018, 2019 and 2020 summer or winter seasons to determine your benefit rate and establish your claim for the same season
- If you received the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), the 52-week period to accumulate insured hours will be extended
- A medical certificate is not required for EI claims beginning March 15, 2020, or later
Applications Open for Three New Benefits
The Canadian government has opened the application process for the three new benefits that are intended to help people who lost their income because of COVID-19.
The Canada Revenue Agency has opened the applications on the My Account section of their website for the Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB), Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB), and the Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB).
Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB)
The Canada Recovery Benefit is for employed and self-employed individuals directly affected by COVID-19 who can’t get Employment Insurance benefits.
If you are eligible for the CRB, you can receive $1,000 ($900 after taxes withheld) for a 2-week period. If your situation continues past 2 weeks, you will need to apply again. You may apply up to a total of 13 eligibility periods (26 weeks) between September 27, 2020 and September 25, 2021.
Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB)
The Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) is for employed and self-employed individuals who are unable to work because they’re sick, need to self-isolate due to COVID-19, or have an underlying health condition that puts them at greater risk of getting COVID-19.
If you’re eligible for the CRSB, you can receive $500 ($450 after taxes withheld) for a 1-week period. If your situation continues past 1 week, you will need to apply again. You may apply up to a total of 2 weeks between September 27, 2020 and September 25, 2021.
Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB)
The Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB) is for employed and self-employed individuals who are unable to work because they must care for their child under 12 years old or a family member who needs supervised care.
If you’re eligible for the CRCB, your household can receive $500 ($450 after taxes withheld) for each 1-week period. If your situation continues past 1 week, you will need to apply again. You may apply up to a total of 26 weeks between September 27, 2020 and September 25, 2021.
If you need help with your application, get in touch with us so we can assist you. You may also book a consultation with us so we can explore other financial assistance options you may be eligible for.
10% Temporary Wage Subsidy for Employers
The 10% Temporary Wage Subsidy for Employers (TWS) is a 3-month measure that allows eligible employers to reduce the amount of payroll deductions they need to remit to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).
The subsidy is equal to 10% of the remuneration you pay from March 18 to June 19, 2020, up to $1,375 for each eligible employee. The maximum total is $25,000 for each eligible employer.
If you need help in applying for this wage subsidy and other types of government assistance you may be eligible for, feel free to drop us a message.
New Canada United Small Business Relief Fund
The Canada United Small Business Relief Fund brings together financial institutions and business associations to support small businesses affected by COVID-19.
Starting August 31, the fund provides up to $5,000 in funding toward recovery efforts such as buying personal protective equipment, renovating physical spaces, or developing e-commerce capabilities.
This new funding is being managed by the Ontario Chamber of Commerce on behalf of the national Chamber network.
How to Write a Business Proposal
So you’ve found a great opportunity to sell and you need to submit an impressive business proposal to convince your potential client to grant you the contract. It may seem overwhelming at first, but you can craft this document with a bit of a know-how and a good understanding of your business and what you can offer.
Below are the basic points to be included in your business proposal:
- Title page
This keeps your document tidy and gives a nice first impression of how you do business.
- Cover letter
Your cover letter should introduce your business and your proposal. It is recommended to keep it concise, friendly, and with a positive tone.
- Table of contents
It will let your potential client know right away what are the points included in the document.
- Executive summary
Present a high level overview of the problem you’re meaning to solve, overview of the solutions you will provide, the expected result, and a call-to-action.
Identify the gap and how you intend to fill this gap.
- Services and methodology
Go into the finer details of what products or services can get from you to address their needs. Provide a timeline to transform your proposal to reality and share a realistic delivery plan.
- Why hire us
Lay out what sets you apart from other players in the industry. Let your potential client know about your experience, expertise, relevant projects you’ve worked on, and case studies or testimonials from previous clients.
It is good to let the client know right on how much it will cost to execute what you proposed and what you expect the return to be.
- Terms and conditions
Outline what the client can expect from you and your business by agreeing to your proposal. Through the terms and conditions, you will also be able to set expectations regarding delivery dates and payments.
- Agreement and call to action
This section is where the client can formally agree to your business proposal. Add a gentle call to action to encourage them to sign.
In some cases, it is the client which provides the outline or template for the proposal. Regardless, when writing a business proposal, it is important to ensure that it shows your potential clients the value that you can add to their business. Be as detailed as possible regarding your plan and make it visually appealing for a positive first impression.
Get in touch
Contact us if you have any questions or want to discuss your next steps for your business.