Weekly Digest – 9 December 2020

Welcome back to our Weekly Digest. We hope you and your family are safe and doing well. Read on for the latest updates and some ideas that will help us all move forward.

Canada Added 62,000 Jobs in November

Canada’s economy added 62,000 jobs last month, which is better than economists had been expecting, but it’s also the lowest total since the labour market recovery from COVID-19 began in May.

Jobless rate declined to 8.5% from a peak of 13.7% in May, but still well above the 5.6% in February before the pandemic.

Changes in Canada Emergency Business Account

The Government of Canada announced that applications for the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) top up increase of $20,000 opened on Friday December 4th, 2020. All applicants have until March 31, 2021, to apply for a $60,000 CEBA loan or the $20,000 expansion.

Further details can be found here. Alternatively, you may contact us for any questions and for assistance on your application.

Alberta Orders Businesses to Close, Makes Masks Mandatory

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney has reintroduced strict lockdown rules and banned all outdoor social gatherings, as his province has seen thousands of new COVID-19 cases. With over 1,000 new cases a day and more than 100 people in intensive care, Alberta has the highest rate of new infections of any province.

Retail stores and churches can remain open, but at 15% capacity. A province-wide mask mandate in indoor public spaces, including workplaces, except for farms has also been put in place.

Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business Gets $500,000 Investment From Facebook Canada

The Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB) has received a $500,000 investment from Facebook Canada, designed to establish an Indigenous business support fund, along with access to skills training and a membership program.

This investment includes access to Facebook’s Digital Skills Training Certificate Program. Together with cash grants provided by the CCAB’s support fund, training will be offered to help Indigenous business owners learn how to build their brand online while covering membership fees to ensure the program can support the participating businesses throughout 2021.

More details can be found here. You may also contact us for assistance with your application and to consider other options you may be eligible for.

Canada Extends International Travel Restrictions

Canadian Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Bill Blair announced that travel restrictions on U.S. citizens to enter Canada will be extended until December 21, and restrictions on travelers arriving from other countries will be extended until January 21.

There are a number of exceptions for immediate family members of citizens, essential workers, seasonal workers, caregivers and international students, to name a few.

New COVID-19 Rules for International Travellers

Anyone arriving in Canada by air is 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.

New Rent Subsidy Program Kicks Off

Businesses struggling to pay the bills because of the COVID-19 pandemic will be able to start applying Monday for a long-awaited new commercial rent-relief program offered by the federal government.

The new Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy will cover up to 65% of rent or commercial mortgage interest on a sliding scale based on revenue declines, with an extra 25% available to the hardest-hit firms.

Further details of this new rent assistance can be found here. You may also contact us so we can help you apply or consider other options you may be eligible for.

Applications Open for Benefits

The Canadian government has opened the application process for the three 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).

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.

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 but contact us if you have any questions.

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.

Best Online Booking Systems to Check Out

As COVID-19 restrictions continue to ease and businesses start to reopen, having a reliable scheduling app could make the life of a business owner much easier. Here are some of the best online booking systems you might want to use for your business:

Acuity Scheduling

Who’s it for?

  • General businesses
  • Fitness studios
  • Education/ coaching
  • Salons and spas

Key Features

  • 2 minute set-up demo
  • Customers can view real-time availability
  • Self-booking
  • Time zone auto-adjust
  • Automatic reminders for customers
  • Stripe, Square, and PayPal integration


Who’s it for?

  • General businesses

Key Features

  • Powerful integrations including: Zoom, GoToMeeting, Facebook, Google Calendar, Office 365, Stripe, and Paypal
  • Flexible meeting type options
  • Advanced analytics options
  • Intelligent scheduling with caps and buffers


Who’s it for?

  • General businesses
  • Beauty and wellness
  • Salons and spas
  • Consulting/sales
  • Trades businesses

Key Features

  • One-click video appointments option
  • Free package comes with one to four staff logins
  • Integrations with other apps including: Facebook, Instagram, Slack, Google Calendar, Office 365, Xero, and QuickBooks
  • Weekly projected revenue reporting options


Who’s it for?

  • Salons and spas
  • Fitness studios
  • Beauty and wellness

Key Features

  • Subscription fee relief for specific businesses
  • Price increase suspended for 2020
  • Powerful peer business support through Mindbody One
  • Advanced marketing options
  • POS (point of sale) integration options


Who’s it for?

  • General businesses
  • Technology teams

Key Features

  • Multiple integrations including: Stripe, PayPal, Office 365, and QuickBooks
  • Advanced dashboard and reporting
  • Open API
  • Easy rescheduling
  • Automated reminders
  • Intelligent booking capacity tools

Get in touch

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