Welcome back to our Weekly Digest. Read on for the latest updates and some ideas to help us all move forward.
Economy Rebounds Amid Business Reopenings
The economy returned to growth as consumers headed back to restaurants and entertainment venues, pushing spending on services.
Gross domestic product rose 0.7% in August, Statistics Canada said in a flash estimate from Ottawa. This represents a reversal from July, which showed a 0.1% contraction. Economists were predicting a 0.2% drop in output for July, after early guidance indicating a weak start to the second half of the year.
Canada-US Bridge Reopened After Possible Explosives Alert
The busiest border crossing between Canada and the U.S. has fully reopened following a police investigation into possible explosives found in a vehicle. The police detained one person in connection with the probe that for nearly seven hours significantly hampered traffic Monday across the Ambassador Bridge linking Windsor, Ontario, with Detroit.
The Canada Border Services Agency says normal operations resumed just before 5 pm on Monday.
What to Watch Out For This Week
- Bank of Canada governor Tiff Macklem is scheduled to give a speech on Thursday. The bank’s consumer price index for August hit a near two-decade high due to price increases for items like furniture, gasoline and food.
- Statistics Canada is set to release its labour force survey for September on Friday. Recently, it was reported that 90,000 jobs were added in August, representing the third consecutive monthly increase.
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.