COVID-19 Business Update – 5 February 2021
Welcome back to our Weekly Digest. Read on for the latest updates and some ideas to help us all move forward.
Canada to Produce COVID-19 Vaccine Domestically Before End of 2021
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that Canada’s National Research Council-owned Royalmount facility will produce millions of COVID-19 vaccine shots developed by Maryland-based Novavax. Its production is expected to start in the fall this year as the global market is contending with delivery delays and protectionist measures.
Canadian Corporations Band Together For COVID-19 Rapid Testing Project
Some of Canada’s top airlines, banks, and sports teams have united to pilot COVID-19 rapid tests through the use of antigen tests distributed by Ottawa. The pilot is being run by the University of Toronto’s Creative Destruction Lab in hopes to find a way to reopen workplaces.
Rogers Communications and Air Canada were the first two companies to begin the testing and in late January were joined by Suncor Energy Inc. and Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment.
HASCAP Loan Applications Now Open
New loan applications from the Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program (HASCAP) have opened starting 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.
Regional Relief and Recovery Fund
The $1.7 billion Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) is providing assistance to businesses and communities that may require additional support to cope with and recover from the pandemic. The RRRF is part of Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan and is complementary to existing federal programs.
You must first apply for other federal support measures before applying to the RRRF. Applicants are required to attest that they have applied for other federal benefits and were approved, rejected or deemed ineligible.
More information on eligibility criteria and how to apply can be found here. You may also drop us a message if you need assistance on your application.
Ontario Now Accepting Small Business Support Grant Applications
The Ontario government has opened an application process for small businesses affected by the provincially ordered shutdown to access thousands in one-time support grants.
The Small Business Support Grant, which was announced at the end of 2020, will provide between $10,000 and $20,000 to small businesses that were ordered closed or were subject to “significant” restrictions.
To qualify for the program, the government required business owners to show they had a revenue decline of at least 20 per cent in April 2020 compared to April 2019.
You can learn more about it here. Also, you may drop us a message if you need assistance.
Government Expands Canada Emergency Business Account Loans
Starting December, eligible businesses facing financial difficulties due to COVID-19 can access a second CEBA loan of up to $20,000 – on top of the initial $40,000 that was available to small businesses. Half of this additional financing, up to $10,000, will be forgivable if the loan is repaid by December 31, 2022.
Applications for CEBA have been extended to March 31, 2021. More information can be found here. Alternatively, if you have any questions or require assistance, simply drop us a message.
Government Support for Businesses
The federal government continues to enact measures to mitigate the financial impact of the pandemic. Here are the available assistance you can take advantage of:
- The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) is intended to help businesses cover a portion of wages and keep employees on payroll. It continues until June 2021.
- The work-sharing program allows employees whose hours got reduced by an average of 10% to 60% to claim employment insurance for lost wages. This has been extended to 76 weeks from 38.
- The Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy provides rent and mortgage assistance until June 2021. Businesses can make claims retroactively for the period of Sept. 27 to Oct. 24, 2020.
- The Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) offers government-guaranteed bank loans of up to $40,000 for small businesses. The deadline for the application has been extended to March 31, 2021.
- For mid-sized companies, the Business Development Bank of Canada’s mid-market financing program provides commercial loans between $12.5 million and $60 million.
3 Ways Busy Entrepreneurs Can Save Time
As a small business ourselves, we understand how hectic your day-to-day operations can get. Given there will never be more than 24 hours in a day, we’ll share some effective tips to help you accomplish more and save time to do the things you love.
As a business leader, one of the key skills you need to learn is delegation. Small business owners tend to think that no one can do the job as well as they can.
However, wearing too many hats may mean something important could fall through the cracks. So learn which ones to delegate based on your employees’ skills and focus on the core aspects of your business.
Use the power of technology
In the modern business landscape, cloud-based systems and apps are your bestfriends. When used properly, they can simplify and streamline processes, helping you get the job done with ease. Research on the best tools that can automate repetitive tasks and have more time in your hands.
Outsourcing is a more cost-effective approach to expanding your team compared to hiring an in-house staff. When you outsource non-core yet essential tasks, you’re allowing yourself to focus on what you do best, like growing your business.
If you want to learn more about how our advisors can help ease your burden, get in touch with us today!
Get in touch
Contact us if you have any questions or want to discuss the next steps for your business.