Weekly Digest – 3 November 2021

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

Ottawa Public Health Outlines Plan to Vaccinate Kids

As Pfizer awaits approval of its vaccine for kids from Health Canada, Ottawa Public Health says it will be able to vaccinate all children five- to 11-years-old within four weeks of being given the green light.

An estimated 70,000 children will become eligible for the vaccine in the coming weeks. According to Medical Officer of Health Dr. Vera Etches, the goal is to vaccinate 90% of that population.

Standardized COVID-19 Proof of Vaccination for Travel

The Prime Minister announced last month that a standardized Canadian COVID-19 proof of vaccination for travel is now available to residents of Newfoundland and Labrador, Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia, Nunavut, Ontario, Quebec, Saskatchewan, and Yukon.

Although no specific date was given, this proof of vaccination will be available in other provinces soon. This provides Canadians a reliable way to demonstrate their COVID-19 vaccination history within the country and abroad.

Proposal to Extend the Canada Recovery Hiring Program

The Minister of Finance announced a proposal to extend the Canada Recovery Hiring Program until 7 May 2022 to support new and existing workers.

To qualify for the CRHP, employers must have a revenue reduction of at least:

  • 0% for claim period 17 (6 June 2021 to 3 July 2021)
  • 10% for claim periods 18 to 22 (from 4 July 2021 to 20 November 2021)

The subsidy rates are the following fixed rates:

  • 50% for periods 17 (6 June to 3 July 2021), Period 18 (4 July 2021 to 31July 2021) and Period 19 (1 August to 28 August 2021)
  • 40% for period 20 (29 August to 25 September 2021)
  • 30% for period 21 (26 September to 23 October 2021)
  • 20% for period 22 (24 October to 20 November 2021)

Construction Industry Expected to Register Annual Growth of 6.5%

Canada’s construction industry is expected to achieve an annual growth of 6.5% in real terms in 2021, up from the previous forecast of 2.5%, according to the Construction in Canada – Key Trends and Opportunities to 2025 (Q3 2021) report. This upward revision is due to stronger-than-expected growth in the first half of this year caused by a boom in residential construction.

This forecast is based on the assumption that the construction industry will remain strong in the second half of this year, supported by the residential sector and progress in the country’s vaccination drive, coupled with higher public spending in infrastructure and clean energy projects.

What to Watch Out for This Week

Here are the key events to watch out for in the business world this week:

  • Toronto Home Sales– The Toronto Regional Real Estate Board is scheduled to release its October home sales numbers on 3 November.
  • October Jobs Numbers– Statistics Canada is scheduled to release its labour force survey for the month of October on 5 November.

Shift in COVID-19 Support Programs

Employment Minister Carla Qualtrough says the shift in the government’s COVID-19 support programs from passive ones to those that incentivize work reflects Canada’s success in fighting the pandemic.

The new measures are aimed at replacing the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) and the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS). which expired on Saturday.

It was announced last week that the federal government is spending $7.4 billion to extend and create new COVID-19 support schemes for hard-hit businesses and workers that will carry into the spring.

Financial Literacy Resources to Help Canadians Bounce Back

November marks Financial Literacy Month— an initiative launched by community groups, non-profits, and government bodies to help improve financial literacy among Canadians.

Through Financial Literacy Month, Canadians can leverage information and support from various nonprofits and government agencies to better understand their finances. This will in turn help them become more confident, make better money decisions, and ultimately bounce back from the pandemic.

ABC Life Literacy Canada offers a number of free financial literacy resources from its Money Matters financial literacy program. You can learn more about Money Matters here.

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.

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

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