Weekly Digest – 23 September 2020

Welcome back to our Weekly Digest. We hope you and your family are safe and doing well. Read on for this week’s update.

Research: Only 29% of Canada’s Small Businesses are Back to Full Sales

In a new report by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, more than two-thirds of small businesses in the country still haven’t returned to full sales levels, 6 months after the temporary shutdown due to COVID-19.

As of September 16, only 29% of small- and medium-sized companies said they are back to ‘normal or better’ sales. This figure is largely unchanged since the middle of July.

If your business is one of those and you want to kick your recovery into a higher gear, drop us a message so we can work out a plan.

New Deal with GlaxoSmithKline and Sanofi for Potential COVID-19 Vaccine

GlaxoSmithKline and Sanofi have agreed to supply Canada with up to 72 million doses of potential COVID-19 vaccine.

Both pharmaceutical giants have significant R&D and manufacturing capability worldwide. They have also reiterated that they are committed to making the vaccine affordable and available globally.

Canadian Authorities Expand COVID-19 Restrictions

As COVID-19 cases continue to surge, Canadian authorities have been pushed to expand restrictions and limit large social gatherings. In cities like Toronto, Montreal, and Ottawa, officials are stepping up the enforcement of strict protocols, limiting indoor, private gatherings to six or 10.

In Ontario, the size of indoor gatherings is reduced to 10 and outdoor gatherings are limited to 25 people. The province is implementing a $10,000 fine for organizers of gatherings that break such rules.

Google Canada Launched Tool to Help Small Businesses Go Global

Google Canada has launched Market Finder, which is a one-stop-shop for Canadian small businesses seeking to go global. This free tool will help them identify the best markets for their products or services and prepare customized business plans using detailed market insights.

There are also videos and guides available to help small businesses prepare for new markets and educate in areas such as logistics, localization, and international payments.

Are you looking to pivot and transform your business by going online and boosting your digital capabilities? Drop us a message so we can schedule a consultation and discuss how we can make this possible.

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.

Assistance for Businesses in Canada

If you’re wondering what assistance is available to your business, please get in touch with us. There is a range of programs and grants including the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA), the Co-lending Program, the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS), Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) and more.

The application deadline for Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA), which provides eligible small businesses with interest-free $40,000 loans, will be extended until the end of October. More than 730,000 loans amounting to $29 billion have already been approved under this scheme.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us and we will help you assess based on your current financial situation and business needs.

Sleep is NOT for the Weak

Significant changes in the way we live brought by the pandemic, such as extended periods of lockdown, work from home setup, and social restrictions, have blurred the lines between life and work. Sometimes people forget even the simplest self-care habits such as getting enough rest.

Sleep is as close to a panacea as we are likely to get in our lifetimes: it helps us recover from injuries and illness, plays a vital role in memory formation, and helps keep us healthy. Disrupting our sleep has an adverse impact on nearly every system in our bodies.

The uncertainties due to the current global crisis also cause high levels of stress. In a recent study by the National Bureau of Economic Research, it was found that unemployment disrupts sleep, along with other negative impacts on health and well-being.

Even if you’re not unemployed, the pandemic has been stressful enough that many people are experiencing ‘coronasomnia.’ In this article, a Harvard Business Review editor describes her experiments with four different tactics to get better sleep. The one that worked best for her was setting aside all electronics and avoiding all screens for two hours before bedtime.

These have been unusual times that are impacting nearly everyone on the planet. We hope that you are finding ways to make this a time not just for survival but for growth as well!

Digital Main Street Grant

The Digital Main Street Grant is a $2500 grant for small businesses to adopt new technologies and embrace digital marketing. You can read more here or drop us a message if you need assistance in taking advantage of this new grant.

Avoiding COVID-19 Online Scams

Recently, there has been a significant increase in COVID-19-related online scams that steal your personal data, impersonate authorities, offer fraudulent medical goods and services, and make fake requests for charitable donations. Below are some tips from Google Safety Center to keep you from falling victim to these scams.

  • Know how scammers may reach you– Aside from emails, they may also use text messages, automated calls, and malicious websites.
  • Check trusted sources directly– Scammers may pose as trusted and authoritative sources. So directly visit reliable sources instead to get the latest factual information.
  • Be cautious of requests for personal or financial information, pause and evaluate before sharing– Do not provide confidential information such as logins, bank details, and addresses to suspicious or unverified sources. Donate directly through non-profits.
  • Double-check links and email addresses before clicking– Fake links imitate established websites by adding extra random letters and numbers or words, so be extra careful and check before you click.
  • Search to see if it’s been reported– Copy and paste the email address, phone number, or suspicious portion of the message on your search engine to check if it has already been reported.
  • Add an extra layer of security to your account– Add two-factor authentications to your accounts for extra protection online.

If you encounter phishing pages, you can report it here. For malicious software, you can report the site here.

Get in touch

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