COVID-19 Business Update – 13 August 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.

Pfizer Announces Deal for Experimental COVID-19 Vaccine

Pfizer and BioNTech had signed a deal to supply Canada with an experimental COVID-19 vaccine.

Deliveries of the vaccine candidate are planned over the course of 2021, subject to clinical success and Health Canada approval. The government said it would make an announcement on the next steps in procuring vaccines.

Currently, there are no approved vaccines for the coronavirus, but 19 vaccines are being tested around the world.

Canada Added More Jobs Than Expected in July

The Labour Force survey released in July showed that initial recovery in Canadian employment was sharper than previous economic downturns. Newly-released data by Statistics Canada also indicate that average weekly earnings increased in May, rising 2% to $1,139.

Recently, Statistics Canada revealed the country added 418,500 jobs in July, and the unemployment rate fell to 10.9%. However, it is important to note that the vast majority were part-time positions.

The recovery in employment in Canada comes as a result of the continued reopening of the economy from temporary closures due to COVID-19.

Canada Extends Travel Ban to August 31

Canada has recently extended the travel ban for most foreign travelers to August 31, and launched a new contact tracing app to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

Canada has a separate agreement for border controls with the United States. Last month, the two countries agreed to extend restrictions on non-essential travel to August 21. Meanwhile, the new app called COVID Alert will be fully functional in Ontario at first, but will be rolled out across the country in the coming days.

Using Bluetooth to send random codes between phones, the app can trace and contact people who have been exposed to a COVID-19 positive individual.

Transitioning People Off COVID-19 Emergency Benefits

Canada will start transitioning people off the emergency income support schemes onto traditional unemployment benefits starting September, as it winds down the costly aid plan. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also announced that they will create a parallel benefit for people who are not eligible for traditional employment insurance, such as gig or contract workers.

Digital Economy Players Receive Stimulus Fund

Recently, eight Northern Ontario digital and tech companies received more than $1 million in recovery stimulus through the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund and Energy and Northern Development and Mines Minister Greg Rickford.

These investments in the North’s digital economy will help businesses grow, boost economic development across the region, and create highly-skilled employment opportunities for the people of Northern Ontario.

$4 million invested in Quebec’s Indigenous Businesses

The Federal Government announced investments amounting to more than $4 million to support indigenous businesses and communities, specifically 18 projects spread across different regions in Quebec. The recent announcement was made during the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples.

This financial assistance, granted by Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions (CED), will create good jobs, bolster several projects in the tourism sector, and boost local construction and infrastructure projects.

Assistance for your business

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.

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

Reinventing Your Business for Speed in the Post-COVID World

The pandemic has prompted business leaders to embrace technology and data, reinvent core processes, and adopt collaboration tools. In the post-COVID-19 era, there will be an increasing need for businesses to get things done fast without compromising quality. This McKinsey article talks about nine actions to unleash sustainable speed:

  • Speed up and delegate decision making.
  • Step up execution excellence
  • Cultivate extraordinary partnerships.
  • Flatten the structure.
  • Unleash nimble, empowered teams.
  • Make hybrid work, work.
  • Field tomorrow’s leaders today.
  • Learn how to learn.
  • Rethink the role of CEOs and leaders.

The coronavirus is one of the greatest challenges of our times. If you want to stay afloat, the time to build a business designed for speed is now. We can help you reimagine your business and reinvent the future so you can come back stronger as the economy gradually reopens.

On the Bright Side…

We’re now in the third quarter of 2020 and we are still in the grips of a global pandemic– leaving many scared, frustrated, and struggling. However, among the dire news, there have been a few bright spots, as this article points out, with a listing of 100 positive things that have happened so far in 2020. For example, drive-in movie theatres are showing a resurgence, adoption and fostering of homeless animals has risen, and museums around the world have opened for virtual tours.

We understand that this year seems incredibly hard, and it surely doesn’t feel like a moment when you can easily see the glass as half full or make lemonade out of lemons. While it’s okay to not be okay, we encourage you to find the silver linings.

Get in touch

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

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