Weekly Digest – 25 August 2021

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

US-Canada Border to Remain Closed Until 21 September

Canada’s land border with the United States will remain closed until at least 21 September. The US is currently dealing with a surge in COVID-19 cases due to the delta variant. This comes two weeks after Canada opened its land border to Americans who are fully vaccinated and have a negative PCR test taken within the previous 72 hours.

The extension of the border closure doesn’t affect the ability of US citizens currently in Canada to cross the land border into the US or of Canadians to fly to the US.

What You Need to Know About Canada’s Border Reopening

Canada has opened its border to vaccinated US citizens for non-essential travel on Monday, 9 August. For US citizens planning to cross the border, the following are required:

  • Proof of vaccination (Pfizer, Moderna, Astra-Zeneca, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines)
  • A recent negative molecular COVID-19 test submitted through the ArriveCAN app

Fully vaccinated travelers will not need to take a post-arrival test unless they have been randomly selected to complete a day 1 COVID-19 molecular test at no cost.

Trudeau Promises to Spend $10 Billion in Healthcare if Re-elected

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau promised to spend $3 billion more on healthcare to help the provinces hire 7,500 new family doctors, nurses, and nurse practitioners if voters return his party to government on 20 September.

If re-elected, Trudeau said he would also send $6 billion to the provinces to help address the wait for some procedures. This is higher than the $4 billion that was earmarked in the most recent budget.

Further, a Trudeau-led government would also float some $400 million to the provinces and territories to expand virtual primary care services. This means total healthcare commitment by a Liberal government could hit $10 billion.

British Columbia Plans Vaccine Passports for Restaurants, Sports Events

British Columbia will require patrons of non-essential businesses such as restaurants and movie theatres to be vaccinated against Covid-19. This requirement will also be applicable to fitness studios, sporting events, converts, weddings, and other private and public indoor social events.

People wanting to enter a non-essential business must have at least one dose of vaccine starting 13 September and both doses by 24 October.

Quebec was the first province to bring in vaccine passports for non-essential businesses earlier in August.

Government Extends Pandemic Recovery Programs and Business Support

The government extends a number 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.

The amount of support available to employers under both the CEWS and CERS programs will also be increased for the period of 29 August to 25 September. 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 of Canada 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 Now Open

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.

Training Incentive Allowance

The Training Incentive Allowance can help with tuition fees, books, childcare, equipment, transport and any additional caring costs while studying. It’s available for courses at levels 1-7 of the NZ Qualifications Framework. Visit the Work and Income website to find out who’s eligible, how much you can get and who can apply.

Three Sales Strategies to Help You Grow Your Business

Marketing is essential in growing a business. Without customers coming your way, you can’t increase sales.

Businesses can boost their sales by implementing visibility strategies that can get their products or services in front of more customers. However, aside from great marketing, you would also need the right sales systems in place.

This Forbes article shares three sales systems that can help small businesses increase their revenue. Below is a rundown of these strategies:

  1. Create a sales funnel that adds value and nurtures prospects. A sales funnel is a step-by-step process that leads consumers into making a purchase. The best way to develop a solid sales funnel is by adding value for customers, followed by offering content that solves their pain points.
  2. Have better discovery conversations, and disqualify the wrong fits. Your goal should be to onboard customers who make sense for your business and would benefit from your services.
  3. Show up in all the mediums and methods your ideal consumers use. Show up where your customers are– you can use blogs, videos, podcasts, or other formats to reach your ideal customers.

Do you need more tailored business advice? Get in touch with us today and let’s work out a plan together!

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