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

GDP Rebounded to Pre-Pandemic Level in November 2021

The economy grew by 0.6% in November 2021, making it the sixth consecutive month of economic expansion before the rapid spread of the Omicron variant, according to Statistics Canada.

The economy rebounded to pre-pandemic levels, with real GDP 0.2% above its February 2020 level. Growth in manufacturing and wholesale had the largest contribution to the rise in GDP.

What to Watch Out For This Week:

Statistics Canada will release its labour force survey for January on Friday. It is expected to show a weakening in the job market due to the COVID-19 restrictions put in place to prevent the surge in Omicron cases.

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.

Additional Government Support for Cultural Workers

The Canada Performing Arts Workers Resilience Fund was launched to provide $60 million to help workers in the live performance sector. It will fund initiatives that provide short-term financial assistance to those experiencing economic hardship and requiring emergency support, and provide workers with guidance, information, and professional development opportunities in areas such as financial management, mental health and well-being, and career transition.

The deadline to apply is 4 March 2022.

Affordable Housing for Black Canadians

Up to $50 million of funding through the National Housing Co-Investment Fund has been dedicated to building housing for Black households. It will also provide more affordable housing for Black renter households.

Grant for Small Businesses in Ontario

Ontario is rolling out a new $10,000 grant for small businesses forced to close due to the pandemic. Eligible businesses include gyms, museums and galleries, tour services and before- and after-school programs.

Businesses that qualified for the Ontario Small Business Support Grant and that have been forced to close will be pre-screened for the new grant, and need not apply.

COVID-Business Aid Loan Repayment Extended to 2023

The federal government is extending the deadline for small businesses to pay back their Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) loans to the end of 2023.

Originally, if claimants repaid the balance of their 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.

The Canada Revenue Agency said British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador and Nunavut are designated as lockdown regions.

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. 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.

Get in touch

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