Weekly Digest – 13 October 2021

Welcome back to our Weekly Digest. Read on for the latest updates and some ideas to help us all move forward.

US Border Open to Vaccinated Canadians

Months after Canada opened its border to Americans, US President Joe Biden is allowing Canadians to enter the US by land, as long as they can show proof that they are fully vaccinated against COVID 19 and do not reside in Alberta.

Many Canadians are happy about this move, as it comes just in time for the holiday shopping season!

157,000 New Jobs in September

The economy added 157,000 new jobs in September, according to Statistics Canada. This number is enough to put employment numbers back to pre-pandemic levels. It is also more than double the number of new jobs economists were expecting.

Because of the September jobs surge, the jobless rate is now down two ticks to 6.9%– the lowest unemployment rate since the onset of the pandemic.

However, the number of people working less than half the hours they would normally do is still 218,000 people higher compared to February 2020. The total number of hours worked by all employees is also still at 1.5% below the pre-pandemic level.

Small Businesses to Continue Investing in Online Solutions and Connectivity

Small businesses represent 40% of Canada’s GDP and employ nearly 70% of private sector workers. In the survey findings on the Angus Reid Forum, 96% of the 500 Canadian small businesses surveyed plan to continue investing in online solutions and connectivity.

The survey also showed 60% now conduct most of their business online– a 50% increase since before the pandemic. Also, 71% link business improvements to using connectivity and online solutions.

Bank of Canada: Inflation is Here for a While

Bank of Canada Governor Tiff Macklem says the high cost of living has exceeded federal targets and is proving “more complicated” than thought. However, Macklem assures Canadians they can be confident that inflation can be controlled.

Pandemic Recovery Programs and Business Support

The government has a range 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.

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.

Get in touch with us if you have any questions.

Skilled Trades Training

The government has 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

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.

Get in touch

Contact us if you have any questions or want to discuss the next steps for your business.