Weekly Digest – 17 March 2021

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

Canada Invests Millions More in Domestic COVID-19 Drug Development

Ottawa will invest up to $54.2 million to KABS Laboratories and up to $13.44 million to Immune Biosolutions to expand their operations in Quebec.

Meanwhile, up to $32.7 million will be invested in Novocol Pharmaceutical of Canada for its biomanufacturing facilities in Ontario. A further $150 million will also be given to help companies advance through the early stages of research and development of Canadian-made vaccine candidates.

NACI Recommends AstraZeneca Vaccine for People Over 65 Years Old

The National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) backed the use of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine for people 65 years old and above after initially recommending against it. This comes after three recent real-world studies showed that it is safe and effective for older adults.

Government Invests in Training to Certify Canadians in Skilled Trades

The government is investing over $1.6 million in funding to The Redwood for a project under the Union Training and Innovation Program (UTIP) that will help local apprentices in Toronto succeed in the skilled trades. This is part of the $62 million investment over five years intended to help develop a highly qualified skilled trades workforce and help Canadians gain access to well-paying jobs.

Scotiabank Report: Canadian Business Owners Optimistic About Recovery

Nearly 8 in 10 businesses are feeling optimistic about post-pandemic recovery, with 53% anticipating that their business will change for the better, according to Scotiabank’s 2021 Canadian Business Outlook Report.

Around 68% expect to return to pre-pandemic conditions within 6 months or less, with 81% planning to make investments during that time.

$3.18 Million Top-Up Funding for Women-led Businesses Across the Prairies

More than $3.18 million in top-up funding have been given to Women Entrepreneurship Strategy (WES) Ecosystem Fund recipients in the Prairies. This investment will support coaching, mentorship, and networking opportunities to help women entrepreneurs in the Prairies navigate the pandemic and continue growing their business.

It will also support women-owned businesses to continue scaling up and accessing new markets as Canada’s economy recovers.

Government Extends Access to COVID-19 Benefits

The Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough, announced the federal government’s intent to introduce amendments to increase the number of weeks of benefits available for the Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB), the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB), the Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB) and Employment Insurance (EI) regular benefits.

The proposed changes include:

  • increase the number of weeks available under the Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) and the Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB) by 12 weeks extending the maximum duration of the benefits through regulation from 26 weeks to up to 38 weeks;
  • increase the number of weeks available under the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) through regulation from the current 2 weeks to 4 weeks; and
  • increase the number of weeks of EI regular benefits available by up to 24 weeks to a maximum of 50 weeks through legislation, for claims that are made between September 27, 2020 and September 25, 2021.

More information can be found here.

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.

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:

Wage Subsidies

  • 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.

Rent Relief

  • 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.

Business Loans

  • 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.

Upcoming Key Dates

Below are the upcoming key payment and filing dates to take note of:

  • Your tax return for 2020 has to be filed on or before 30 April 2021.
  • For self-employed individuals, if you or your spouse or common-law partner carried on a business in 2020, your return for 2020 has to be filed by 15 June 2021. However, if you have a balance owing for 2020, you have to pay it on or before 30 April 2021.

6 Financial Documents Any Small Business Needs

Drawing up the right financial documents matters to your small business’ success more than you think they do. They can give you a clear view of your financial health and can help you make sound decisions.

Below are the six most useful financial documents that you can benefit from:

  1. Income statement- This shows your revenue and expenses and indicates if your business is profitable.
  2. Cash flow statement- This documents how cash is coming in and going out of your business. Most importantly, this shows which parts of your business are generating the most cash and which ones are spending the most cash. It can be really helpful when creating upcoming budgets.
  3. Balance sheet- This shows if your assets balance with your liabilities. If you have more liabilities than assets, you’re losing money and must reevaluate.
  4. Accounts receivable aging report- This is a list of overdue customer invoices. It covers how late the payment is and how to contact the client for collection.
  5. Budget report- This compares the actual results of your business with a pre-established budget. It is used to determine how much funds each area of the business is given and how well they use the funds to achieve the goals of your business.
  6. Business plan- This maps out where your business is, where you want it to go, and how you plan to get there.

If you need help generating or understanding these financial documents, simply get in touch with us. Our reliable team can explain these in language that’s easy-to-understand.

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