Weekly Digest – 4 November 2020

Welcome back to our Weekly Digest. We hope you and your family are safe and doing well.

Moving forward is the only option we have to get through this crisis. Read on for the latest updates and some ideas that will help us all move forward.

Qalipu First Nation Launched COVID-19 Business Support

The Qalipu First Nation has launched a COVID-19 Business Support Fund for member-owned businesses. Qalipu has $150,000 in funding available and will distribute it as non-repayable grants of up to $10,000 for eligible small businesses.

The funding which comes from Indigenous Services Canada can be availed by businesses operating for a year, still financially viable and expecting to continue operations. Those which have already received any other non-repayable COVID-19 business funding will not be qualified.

More details on the application and guidelines are available here.

If your business is still struggling and you need help in considering your options or applying for other funding or government-backed support, feel free to drop us a message.

SURVEY: Majority of Canadian Business Leaders Feel Better Prepared for Future Crises

In a survey conducted by Microsoft Canada on 670 business decision-makers, it was shown that 69% of Canadian business leaders are confident that their business will survive the pandemic into 2021 and 54% feel confident that their business will be able to adapt to whatever the upcoming year might hold. Also, 51% are confident that their business could survive the second wave of COVID-19 cases.

If you need some tips on how to make your business more resilient and adapt to difficult economic conditions, get in touch with us so we can schedule a one-on-one consultation.

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.

CanExport SMEs

Up to $75,000 in funding will be available to help Canadian SMEs break into international markets.

CanExport Innovation

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.

CanExport Associations

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’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.

How to Take Your Retail Business Online

With the COVID-19 restrictions and the tough economic times we are experiencing, now is the right time to add a new revenue stream and get your retail business online. You can either launch your own website or use an existing ecommerce platform.

Have your own ecommerce website

If you already have your own website or you are planning to launch one, you can add in an online shop to that. There are several ecommerce platforms that can integrate with your website or act as a standalone website. These include:

Sell on an existing ecommerce platform

If you don’t want to manage your own website, you can list your products on an established ecommerce website instead. Look through the available options and identify which ones suit your needs. Some of the best options include:

Whatever route you decide to take, take the time to write detailed product descriptions, take high quality photos of your products, and make use of available features on the platform to increase your chances of making a sale.

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).

Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB)

The Canada Recovery Benefit is for employed and self-employed individuals directly affected by COVID-19 who can’t get Employment Insurance benefits.

If you are eligible for the CRB, you can receive $1,000 ($900 after taxes withheld) for a 2-week period. If your situation continues past 2 weeks, you will need to apply again. You may apply up to a total of 13 eligibility periods (26 weeks) between September 27, 2020 and September 25, 2021.

Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB)

The Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) is for employed and self-employed individuals who are unable to work because they’re sick, need to self-isolate due to COVID-19, or have an underlying health condition that puts them at greater risk of getting COVID-19.

If you’re eligible for the CRSB, you can receive $500 ($450 after taxes withheld) for a 1-week period. If your situation continues past 1 week, you will need to apply again. You may apply up to a total of 2 weeks between September 27, 2020 and September 25, 2021.

Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB)

The Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB) is for employed and self-employed individuals who are unable to work because they must care for their child under 12 years old or a family member who needs supervised care.

If you’re eligible for the CRCB, your household can receive $500 ($450 after taxes withheld) for each 1-week period. If your situation continues past 1 week, you will need to apply again. You may apply up to a total of 26 weeks between September 27, 2020 and September 25, 2021.

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.

Get in touch

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

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