Weekly Digest – 24 November 2021

Weekly Digest – 24 November 2021

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

B.C. Flood: COVID-19 Test Requirement Dropped For Canadians Crossing Into the US

Canadians crossing into the United States for fuel and other essential goods will be exempt from having to show a negative COVID-19 test result on their return in order to help flood-hit residents in British Columbia.

While the flood situation in Canada’s westernmost province remains serious, there have been some improvements as water levels drop and roads reopen. However, more potentially damaging weather is forecast for the province this week.

British Columbia declared a state of emergency after a phenomenon known as an “atmospheric river” brought a month’s worth of rain in two days.

Survey: Canadian Businesses Don’t See Profits Recovering for Another Year

Canadian businesses are more pessimistic than their global peers about future growth, a study by HSBC has shown. In the US, 72% of businesses are more optimistic than they were a year ago, in Canada it’s 56%, and globally it’s 64%.

Results also show that Canadian businesses don’t expect to return to pre-pandemic levels of profitability until November 2022.

Applications for the Next Gen Agriculture Mentorship Program Now Open

The government of Canada and Saskatchewan announced that applications for the Next Gen Agriculture Mentorship Program are now being accepted. It is delivered by the Canadian Western Agribition, as the government recognizes that investing in the next generation of agricultural producers is important in helping the industry grow.

The program builds leadership capacity among young leaders and prepares them to take on active roles in industry leadership, governance, and efforts to build public trust by pairing each successful applicant with an established member of the agriculture industry.

The federal and provincial governments will provide $100,000 to support this round of mentees. Eight applicants will be chosen for an 18-month mentorship experience starting in February 2022.

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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