Weekly Digest – 16 March 2022

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

Report: Small Business Growth Surpasses Pre-Pandemic Levels

The country is experiencing a resurgence of small business growth, as it increases year-over-year by 62% nationally, according to Equifax Canada’s Market Pulse Small Business Credit Trends Report for Q4 2021.

337,000 Jobs Added Last Month

The job market rebounded significantly in February, as Statistics Canada reported that the economy added 337,000 new jobs, pushing the jobless rate down to 5.5%.

Inflation Rate Now at 30-Year High

The inflation rate rose to a new high of 5.7% last month, with energy prices being the major factor. The ongoing crisis in Ukraine led to this jump in prices during the month and into the next.

Pre-Arrival COVID Testing to Be Lifted

According to sources, the federal government will announce that travellers entering Canada will no longer have to take a pre-arrival COVID-19 test at airports and land border crossings. This testing requirement is expected to be dropped by the end of the month.

Supply Management Processing Investment Fund Launched

The government has announced the launch of the Supply Management Processing Investment Fund worth $292.5 million to help processors of supply-managed commodities boost their competitiveness and resilience. The fund is intended to support processors to address the impacts of international trade agreements.

Pandemic Support for Commercial Tenants

Businesses, non-profit organisations, and charities who have seen a drop in revenue during the pandemic may be eligible for a subsidy to cover part of their commercial rent or property expenses through one of the following:

Tourism and Hospitality Recovery Program (THRP) – Rent (Effective: Until 7 May 2022)
Hardest-Hit Business Recovery Program (HHBRP) – Rent (Effective: Until 7 May 2022)

You can learn more about these subsidies here.

COVID-Business Aid Loan Repayment Extended to 2023

Originally, if claimants repaid the balance of their Canada Emergency Business Account loan on or before the end of 2022, the government planned to forgive up to one-third of their loan. Now, eligible businesses “in good standing,” will have until 31 December 2023 to repay and be eligible for up to $20,000 of debt forgiveness.

Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit Open for Applications

The federal government announced that the Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit is open for applications. It gives temporary income support of $300 a week to employed and self-employed people who can’t work due to a COVID-19 lockdown. Payments will be retroactive to 19 December.

COVID-19 Recovery Programs

The government is taking immediate action to support Canadians and businesses facing hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic. You will find support for individuals, businesses, sectors, communities, and other measures here.

Ontario Extends Paid Sick Leave Program Into 2022

Labour Minister Monte McNaughton is extending the pandemic paid sick leave to 31 July. Originally, the provincial program was supposed to wrap up on 31 December. However, with the more contagious Omicron variant, the Labour Minister announced that it would continue.

HASCAP Loan Applications

Loan applications from the Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program (HASCAP) is available until 31 March 2022. 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. Further details can be found here.

Get in touch

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