COVID-19 Business Update – 9 September 2020
Welcome back to our Weekly Digest. We hope you and your family are safe and doing well. Read on for this week’s update.
Canada Adds 246,000 Jobs in August as Rebound Continues
The future is looking bright for Canada as its economy has recovered almost two-thirds of the jobs lost since March. In August, 246,000 jobs were added as most social restrictions eased and businesses reopened. This cut the unemployment rate to 10.2 percent.
If you need a boost in your business recovery, drop us a message so we can work out a plan.
Auto Sector Helps Canada Trade Bounce Back
Canadian trade continued to rebound from a pandemic crunch in July, driven by a second month of strong auto sales. However, its trade deficit still swelled.
Total imports rose 12.7 percent to $47.9 billion, while exports were up 11.1 percent to $45.4billion. Yet, these figures were still down from pre-pandemic levels.
Canadian Healthtech Company Launches COVID-19 Self-Assessment Tool
The University of Toronto has launched an online COVID-19 self-assessment tool called UCheck for the start of the 2020-2021 academic year.
The tool was developed by Thrive Health, which is also the creator for Health Canada’s official COVID-19 support app, which has already provided over 10 million risk assessments.
UCheck is the first of its kind in the country and allows University of Toronto community members to log in, answer a series of screening questions, and determine their COVID-19 risk status. Users will then be given either a Green or Red status- Green means they can proceed to campus, while Red indicates the user should avoid coming to campus.
Possible Extension of Rent Relief Program for Small Businesses
The Globe and Mail reported that the Canadian government will extend its rent relief program for small businesses hit by the pandemic into September, citing sources familiar with the policy discussions. Officials are also reportedly working on options to reform the program.
While this report has not yet been verified by the government, we will continue to keep you posted. For assistance in availing government-backed funding and relief programs such as this, don’t hesitate to contact us.
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.
Assistance for Businesses in Canada
If you’re wondering what assistance is available to your business, please get in touch with us. There is a range of programs and grants including the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA), the Co-lending Program, the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS), Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) and more.
The application deadline for Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA), which provides eligible small businesses with interest-free $40,000 loans, will be extended until the end of October. More than 730,000 loans amounting to $29 billion have already been approved under this scheme.
Please don’t hesitate to contact us and we will help you assess based on your current financial situation and business needs.
How Much Debt Can Your Business Take On?
During an economic downturn when business is slow, a cashflow boost in the form of debt might be necessary to maintain the smooth running of your business. While there are plenty of lending options to consider including government-backed funding schemes, you shouldn’t borrow what you can’t pay back.
So the question is: How much debt is too much?
This timely Forbes article teaches how to calculate three important metrics that will keep you honest about how much debt you can take on. However, if you need personalised advice based on your unique business situation or some help with loan applications, drop us a message.
Helping Your Team Overcome the Trauma of the Pandemic
When COVID-19 hit, we witnessed a significant change in our lives. While the immediate concerns involve worker safety, disrupted supply chains, and financial losses, the pandemic can also adversely impact our mental health.
Although some people brush off the trauma that the crisis has caused, how you cope can affect your life and your work performance in ways you may not imagine. This Harvard Business Review article outlines the things business leaders can do to support their team members.
- Build a culture of connection by intentionally checking in with your team on a regular basis.
- Offer flexibility and be inclusive.
- Communicate more than you think you need to.
- Modify policies and practices to reduce stress for everyone.
The best part about adopting these steps is that they won’t just allow you to help the sanity of your staff during and after this pandemic, it can also make you a more effective leader even without this crisis. If you need personalised guidance on improving the overall performance of your business as you recover from the impacts of COVID-19, feel free to get in touch.
Digital Main Street Grant
The Digital Main Street Grant is a $2500 grant for small businesses to adopt new technologies and embrace digital marketing. You can read more here or drop us a message if you need assistance in taking advantage of this new grant.
Avoiding COVID-19 Online Scams
Recently, there has been a significant increase in COVID-19-related online scams that steal your personal data, impersonate authorities, offer fraudulent medical goods and services, and make fake requests for charitable donations. Below are some tips from Google Safety Center to keep you from falling victim to these scams.
- Know how scammers may reach you– Aside from emails, they may also use text messages, automated calls, and malicious websites.
- Check trusted sources directly– Scammers may pose as trusted and authoritative sources. So directly visit reliable sources instead to get the latest factual information.
- Be cautious of requests for personal or financial information, pause and evaluate before sharing– Do not provide confidential information such as logins, bank details, and addresses to suspicious or unverified sources. Donate directly through non-profits.
- Double-check links and email addresses before clicking– Fake links imitate established websites by adding extra random letters and numbers or words, so be extra careful and check before you click.
- Search to see if it’s been reported– Copy and paste the email address, phone number, or suspicious portion of the message on your search engine to check if it has already been reported.
- Add an extra layer of security to your account– Add two-factor authentications to your accounts for extra protection online.
Get in touch
Contact us if you have any questions or want to discuss your next steps for your business.