Weekly Digest – 10 November 2021

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

Pfizer COVID-19 Booster Dose Authorized by Health Canada for 18+

Health Canada has authorized a booster dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for those 18 years old and above. A third dose of the vaccine, also known as Comirnaty, is authorized to be administered at least six months after the second dose.

A similar application for a booster dose of the Moderna vaccine is still under review by Health Canada.

31,000 Jobs Added in October

The jobs number only expanded 0.2% or added 31,000 jobs in October— below economists’ expectations, but enough to push the jobless rate down by two points to 6.7%, according to Statistics Canada.

The retail sector added 72,000 jobs, while the accommodation and food services sector continued to lose them, shedding another 27,000 jobs during the month.

One in Four Entrepreneurs in Canada Looking to Sell or Close Their Business

More business owners are turning to mergers and acquisitions through the pandemic recovery as a way to address the ongoing labour shortage, according to a BDC study. This comes as one in four Canadian businesses look to sell or close their business within the next five years.

The report is based on a survey of 1,563 Canadian entrepreneurs conducted in May and June.

Standardized COVID-19 Proof of Vaccination for Travel

The Prime Minister announced last month that a standardized Canadian COVID-19 proof of vaccination for travel is now available to residents of Newfoundland and Labrador, Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia, Nunavut, Ontario, Quebec, Saskatchewan, and Yukon.

Although no specific date was given, this proof of vaccination will be available in other provinces soon. This provides Canadians a reliable way to demonstrate their COVID-19 vaccination history within the country and abroad.

Shift in COVID-19 Support Programs

Employment Minister Carla Qualtrough says the shift in the government’s COVID-19 support programs from passive ones to those that incentivize work reflects Canada’s success in fighting the pandemic.

The new measures are aimed at replacing the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) and the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS). which expired on Saturday.

It was announced last week that the federal government is spending $7.4 billion to extend and create new COVID-19 support schemes for hard-hit businesses and workers that will carry into the spring.

Financial Literacy Resources to Help Canadians Bounce Back

November marks Financial Literacy Month— an initiative launched by community groups, non-profits, and government bodies to help improve financial literacy among Canadians.

Through Financial Literacy Month, Canadians can leverage information and support from various nonprofits and government agencies to better understand their finances. This will in turn help them become more confident, make better money decisions, and ultimately bounce back from the pandemic.

ABC Life Literacy Canada offers a number of free financial literacy resources from its Money Matters financial literacy program. You can learn more about Money Matters here.

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.

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