Weekly Digest – 18 November 2020
Welcome back to our Weekly Digest. We hope you and your family are safe and doing well. Read on for the latest updates and some ideas that will help us all move forward.
74% of Canadian Businesses Expect to Retain Staffing Levels
Despite the upwards trajectory of the COVID-19 pandemic, most businesses anticipate to retain the same number of employees they currently have.
Between mid-September to late October, Stats Canada interviewed business owners for the latest edition of the Canadian Survey on Business Conditions.
Since the start of the pandemic, 36.5% of companies had laid off at least one employee. Going forward, 74.1% of businesses surveyed expect their number of employees to remain the same over the next three months.
If you’re still struggling to keep your business afloat, get in touch with us today so we can work out a plan.
Canada Provides Targeted Support to Help Maintain Jobs in British Columbia
The Honourable Joyce Murray, Minister of Digital Government and Member of Parliament for Vancouver Quadra, announced over $1.7 million for business ecosystem support in British Columbia. This funding from Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) is expected to help maintain more than 11,000 jobs in businesses across the province, and is part of the government’s commitment to create one million jobs across Canada.
It complements existing programs offered by WD such as the WES Ecosystem Fund and the Regional Innovation Ecosystems (RIE) program.
Do you need help in evaluating your funding support options and applying for assistance? Contact us today.
CanExport: New Funding for Small- and Medium-Sized Businesses
The CanExport program will be pivoting to provide new support to small and medium-sized businesses on e-commerce, online platforms, and virtual trade events. Additional resources will also be provided to help businesses navigate changing trade rules, as well as women and Indigenous entrepreneurs.
Up to $75,000 in funding will be available to help Canadian SMEs break into international markets.
Up to $75,000 in funding to help Canadian SMEs, academic institutions and non-government research centres develop R&D collaborations through partnerships in foreign markets.
Starting December 1, 2020, Canadian national industry associations and trade organizations can apply for annual funding of up to $400,000 to pursue international business development activities.
You can find more information here.
Canada Home Sales Post Best October on Record
The COVID-19 pandemic has primed the Canadian housing market for a particularly busy October, pushing sales to a monthly record in the off-season despite cooling weather and a second wave of infections.
Home sales grew 32.1% in October compared with the same period last year, setting a record for the month, even as they fell 0.7% from the all-time monthly high in September.
The housing market has been playing catch up this summer and fall from COVID-19 shutdowns that dampened the spring buying season. Despite a second wave of virus infections, the housing market is not shutting down the same way this fall as it did in the spring.
Canada’s COVID-19 Alert App Updated to Include More Precise Information
The COVID Alert app can now provide more precise information to people who are exposed to the virus.
Users who test positive for COVID-19 can enter the time their symptoms started or the date they were tested. These bits of information are important to determine when they were most infectious to others, while those who are exposed can better estimate the time period they were at risk.
The new features are optional and the additional data will not be shared with the government or anyone else.
New COVID-19 Rules for International Travellers
Starting November 21, anyone arriving in Canada by air will be required to submit a quarantine plan and a novel coronavirus “self-assessment” before getting on a flight. Those who are entering the country by land are also strongly encouraged to do the same.
The information must be submitted digitally through the ArriveCAN app. Meanwhile, those who can’t use the app to submit must contact the government using a toll-free telephone number before starting their trip.
Furthermore, travellers are required to use the ArriveCAN app to send updates after they arrive in Canada, including confirmation that they have made it to their place of quarantine or mandatory self-isolation. Those in quarantine will also have to submit a daily update on their COVID-19 health status throughout the duration of their quarantine.
Failing to comply with these new rules could be subject to penalties ranging from verbal warning to a $1,000 fine.
More information can be found here.
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).
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.
Customers Not Paying? Here are Tips to Prevent Non-Payments
At some point, businesses will face the inevitable non-paying customer problem. Whether it’s a regular customer who continuously misses due dates or a one-timer who completely ghosts you, dealing with non-paying clients can be stressful and frustrating.
Here are some tips to make sure they don’t miss a payment deadline:
- Always discuss payment terms upfront.
Detail all projected costs, including installment fees and payment deadlines right from the start of the engagement.
- Provide multiple payment options.
The more flexible your business is in terms of payment, the easier it will be for customers to send their payments across. Accept digital payments and credit cards to accommodate those who prefer paying with these options instead of cash.
- Send invoices immediately.
Give your customers enough time to pay you by sending invoices and billing them upfront.
- Take time to follow-up on payments.
Don’t hesitate to reach out to customers who haven’t paid you yet. Some people genuinely forget about due dates and simply need to be reminded.
- Work with a factoring company.
A factoring company will pay you immediately following an invoice, using it as collateral. When the customer themselves pay the invoice, the transaction will be closed.
Do you need help chasing payments and keeping your invoices on track? Get in touch with us today and let’s discuss how we can help you.
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Contact us if you have any questions or want to discuss your next steps for your business.