Weekly Digest – 4 August 2021
Welcome back to our Weekly Digest. Read on for the latest updates and some ideas to help us all move forward.
Canada to Receive 2.3 Million COVID-19 Vaccine Doses This Week
The government is expecting to receive more than 2.3 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine this week. Canada has already received more than 66 million COVID-19 vaccine doses, enough to fully immunize all eligible Canadians.
Government Extends Pandemic Recovery Programs and Business Support
The government extends a number of pandemic economic support including the Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) and the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS).
The eligibility period for CRB, CEWS, Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS), Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB), and Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) will be extended to 23 October.
The amount of support available to employers under both the CEWS and CERS programs will also be increased for the period of 29 August to 25 September. CRB can pay out between $300 to $500 per week to recipients, depending on when they applied. The number of weeks claimants can receive the CRB will be increased to 54 weeks from the previous 50.
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CB Insights: Canadian Companies Seeing Venture Capital Funding Boom
A new report from business analytics firm CB Insights said Canadian companies have raised US$6.3 billion so far this year, more than double the US$2.9 billion in funding they received throughout all of last year. Companies in the country raised US$4.3 billion in 2019 and US$3.4 billion in 2018.
Venture capital (VC) and technology experts attribute the funding boom to a strong global market and growing interest in the country’s technology and talent. Canada attracted an increasing number of overseas giants including Microsoft, DoorDash, Amazon, Google, Wayfair, Twitter, Pinterest, Reddit, and Netflix, which opened offices and expanded their Canadian workforce during the pandemic.
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.
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 Small Brands Can Compete with Major E-Commerce Companies
With advanced supply chain and shipping logistics capabilities, diverse offerings, and retail dominance, it can be overwhelming for small businesses to compete with major e-commerce companies.
However, instead of focusing on beating shipping speed, price points, or product offerings, small- and medium-sized e-commerce players can differentiate themselves by doing what the huge brands can’t. This Forbes article shares some ways smaller brands can compete with the big names.
- Find your niche. Determine what your business excels at, and focus on that.
- Make customer service king. Short wait times and knowledgeable people ready to help every time customers call elevate the customer experience.
- Run lean operations. Ensure your operations run efficiently by establishing strong inventory management, demand forecasting, and enterprise resource planning and e-commerce platforms.
Want some expert advice on how to grow a profitable e-commerce business? Book a one-on-one consultation with us so we can discuss your specific situation.
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Contact us if you have any questions or want to discuss the next steps for your business.