Another day, another interest-free dollar. That’s how that saying goes…right?
Welcome back for your second update on the Canadian Business scene, plus much more. This week, we’re serving you a healthy dose of government updates, tips and ideas from business leaders around the world, and some Covid-spiration from our very own GroYourBiz Global members. Thanks UK for your contribution.
Let’s dive in.

First, a Federal Update

Wage subsidies. Trudeau has announced further details on the 75% wage subsidy. Now, businesses of all sizes, nonprofits and charities that experience a 30% drop in revenue due to the pandemic will qualify for the program. It is retroactive to March 15th 2020, available for up to three months, and will apply to the first $58,700 of each employee’s salary.

Remember, the subsidy will not cover those who receive support under the Canadian Economic Response Benefit (CERB).

More details, more cashflow. More information on the Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) has been made available. This program includes:
  • Canada Emergency Business Account: loans of up to $40,000 for small businesses and not-for-profits to cover operating costs where revenues have been reduced. Zero interest for the first year.
  • Loan Guarantees from EDC. EDC is offering financial institutions guarantees on clients’ operating loans or one-year term loans as well as providing emergency liquidity to Canadian companies. You can find an overview of the program at the EDC website, however the most comprehensive information we could find is available here at

Highlights include: A 75% guarantee to your financial institution on the underlying credit facility, tenor up to 1 year on an operating line or cash flow term loan facility up to $5 million, ability to defer guarantee fees for a period of 6 months.

More from EDC… The EDC’s Export Guarantee Program provides financial institutions with a guarantee of clients’ repayment, making it easier to access funds.
Their Trade Finance Guarantee solutions will allow companies to eliminate the need for collateral, freeing up working capital. They will also reduce the pricing of their Foreign Exchange Guarantee by 30% and defer payments by 6 months.
Lastly, EDC is changing their insurance solutions. Highlights include: EDC taking on greater risk when assessing new buyer coverage requests, waiving the waiting period for claims under the export policies, and covering losses for shipped goods for select credit insurance customers.

These programs will begin in the three weeks after March 27th. Interested businesses should connect with their financial institutions to discuss options.

GST, HST and Customs Duties. The federal government is now allowing businesses as well as self-employed individuals to defer payments of GST, HST and customs duties owing on their imports until June 30, 2020. More details are available here.

Dropping interest rates. On Friday, March 27th the Bank of Canada cut their overnight rate target yet again, this time dropping it to ¼ percent. As a result, BMO, RBC, TD, CIBC and the Bank of Nova Scotia have cut their prime rate to 2.45%, effective March 30th.

And a Few Words From the Provinces

B.C. Climate Action Tax Credit. The government of British Columbia has enhanced payment of this credit, to be received through the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). The credit is a maximum of $218 for adults and $64 per child.

Ontario Tax Relief. Beginning April 1, 2020, no penalties or interest will apply to Ontario businesses that miss any filing or remittance deadline under a long list of provincial taxes. This will last for a period of 5 months. A full list of applicable taxes are available here.

Employer Health Tax Exemption. The Ontario government is increasing the Employer Health Tax (EHT) exemption for 2020 from $490,000 to $1 million.

Workers’ Compensation. Worksafe Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) Ontario is providing a relief package for Ontario businesses. Eligible businesses will be able to defer premium reporting and payments until August 31, 2020.

Renters, this is for you! Here is a full run down on what each Province is doing to help renters through the pandemic.

Now, Let’s Take it to the Experts

It’s all about balance. Jim Collins, author and business expert (Good to Great, Built to Last) highlights the Stockdale paradox in this 3-minute video. A great tool for navigating uncertain and difficult times, the paradox reminds us to confront the hard facts, while holding faith that things will change.
  • See it in action. Here is Arne Sorenson, CEO of Marriott International in a display of what many are calling authentic leadership. Vulnerable and hopeful – without hiding the facts.

Get creative. Mark Cuban offers his advice to small businesses struggling amid the pandemic. One suggestion? Experiment. Try finding new services to offer or even work with your competitors to tackle the industry together.

Put pen to paper. Amy Webb, author, CEO and founder of the Future Today Institute shares The ‘Axes of Uncertainty’, a step by step guide for dealing with times of deep uncertainty. Get ready to write!

Make yourself available. David Maxfield and Joseph Grenny, authors of bestselling books Crucial Conversations and Crucial Accountability, have identified the top 7 skills for managing remote employees. Highlights include frequent check-ins, great communication and an open-door policy.

Tips from 2008. David Cote, former CEO of Honeywell skillfully navigated the Great Recession. Now, he’s offering advice on how businesses can handle COVID-19. Cote urges CEOs to put away the panic, embrace independent thinking, and plan for the worst. The full article is available here.

Take the challenge. Many business leaders, including Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, are supporting the WHO’s #SafeHands challenge by posting videos demonstrating good hand hygiene. Other leaders include: Thrive Global CEO & Huffington Post founder Arianna Huffington, Save the Children President & CEO Janti Soeripto, CARE President & CEO Michelle Nunn and AIHA CEO Larry Sloan.

Focus, focus, focus. Dan Sullivan, founder and president of The Strategic Coach Inc., offers a Scary Times Success Manual on how to lead during difficult times. Sullivan offers 10 areas to focus on, including gratitude, relationships, progress and the present.

Adapt together. Adam Mosseri, CEO of Instagram, discusses the challenges of managing from his garage. He notes that staff at Instagram have begun volunteering to work in areas they’re not normally assigned to, picking up the slack as a team.

New LinkedIn Features. To support small businesses, LinkedIn has added a bunch of new features to increase online engagement. They even hosted a live interview with Mark Cuban highlighting his advice for small businesses! Stay in the loop by visiting the LinkedIn for Small Business Page.


Women Business Owners Making a Difference

Distilleries are making hand sanitizer, grocery stores are reserving shopping hours for seniors and manufacturers across Canada have stepped up to produce ventilators.
But what about our members?
This week, we’re both proud and excited to shine a spotlight on the GroYourBiz members who are out there taking proactive steps in the fight against COVID-19. We see you, ladies!

Carolyn Cross, CEO, Ondine Biomedical Inc.

Seniors communities are especially at risk during the pandemic. Thankfully, our very own Carolynn Cross is working hard to keep them safe.
Carolyn and her team at Ondine Biomedical have put an Edmonton seniors’ community on the map – The Village at Westmount is the first facility of its kind to implement a ground-breaking antimicrobial technology in the fight against COVID-19.
In partnership with Ondine Biomedical, Christenson Communities have begun administering the Steriwave ND Photodisinfection protocol to both residents and staff at their Village at Westmount location. By using the technology to disinfect noses, both Ondine Biomedical and Christenson Communities hope to prevent the spread of pathogens in these vulnerable communities.
Thank you, Carolyn, for your amazing contribution to protecting older adults.

Susan Kabani, Founder & CEO, Ugenie

With kids at home during the crisis, parents everywhere are scrambling to fill the days. Our Co-Chair Susan Kabani is busy creating resources to help these caregivers out.
Susan is using her membership platform Ugenie to launch a Parents Resource Hub complete with activities, worksheets, and virtual classes for caregivers at home with children during the pandemic. By bringing children’s activities and educational resources together, she has created an online community for parents as they navigate the crisis together.
What a great idea, Susan!

Dr. Dionne Laslo-Baker, Founder, DeeBee’s Organics

We all know that healthcare workers are on the front lines of this crisis, working every day to keep us safe. Dr. Dionne Laslo-Baker, founder of DeeBee’s Organics, wanted to offer them “tiny little moments of joy” to show her gratitude.
After feeling a calling to help out, she decided to donate her DeeBee’s Organics SuperFruit Freezies to workers at the Royal Jubilee Hospital as well as to the midwives of Vancouver Island. She and her partner Steve supplied these delicious and healthy treats to doctors, nurses, midwives, hospital technicians, cleaners, security, administrative staff and support workers. What a beautiful example of helping out your community during tough times.

Ann Baiden, CEO & Founder, Innovatex Solutions Inc.

Ann Baiden is also finding ways to support our healthcare professionals. She is cleverly using her promotional products company, Innovatex Solutions, to prevent the virus from spreading in medical environments. Responding to a call for waterproof phone cases in the ICU, Innovatex donated the phone cases they had in stock and reached out to their factory to get more blank phone cases shipped. They’re also reaching out to other nurses, doctors, paramedics and anyone that might benefit from these products as they want to help as much as they can. What an innovative solution – you can read more about it here.

Opportunities for Women Business Owners

Now that we’ve covered our amazing WBOs out there in the field, let’s go over some of the resources and opportunities available for women in business.
WE Empower SDG Global Business Challenge. Created to highlight the contributions that women entrepreneurs are making around the world, this challenge calls on women who are working to solve one of the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals through their business. You can submit your application along with a 2 minute video here. Applications are due April 15th, 2020.
Wake up! The Organization of Women in International Trade (OWIT) is hosting a Wake Up Call Webinar on April 8th, 2020 to discuss health and wellness in the context of COVID-19. Covering both long and short-term health strategies, this webinar will give you the tools you need to strengthen your immune system during these challenging times. Both members and non-members can register here.
The whole enchilada. A comprehensive list of resources for women entrepreneurs in Canada. A big thank you to the Women Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub (WEKH)
GroYourBiz WE Empower UN SDG Awardees 2018

Your Secret Weapon Through This Crisis: Pearls

When it comes to pearls, leave it to Diana. Journalist, author, filmmaker and branding specialist – Diana Bishop is truly a renaissance woman. After all she did interview Nelson Mandela, Celine Dion and met the Queen! Through her blog  A Woman of a Certain Age in Paris, Diana has created an amusing way for us to connect and lift each other up during this turbulent time. Her recent blog post, Get Out Your Pearls! is a call to women everywhere to dig out their best pearls and put them on – even if they’re stuck at home. Since every strand of pearls has a unique story, Diana is inviting all you ladies to take a picture with your pearls on, write up where they came from and how long you’ve had them, and send it in to her so she can share.
Well, I just loved this idea, so we added our own blog, which of course shares my story. I got out my favourite strand immediately and started typing up my response. Here’s what I had to say:
As many of you, I’m sure you are hearing about “virtual cocktail parties” to “virtual weddings” as well as “virtual business meetings” in order to stay connected with, colleagues, friends and family. I’m also hearing stories about “which pajamas are you wearing? Day or Night ones?” or “I just ironed my nightgown for the first time in 30 or more years!”.
Well Diana, congratulations on making me feel extra special today. I decided to get up earlier, put on make-up, and wear my pearls! What a difference it made.
“My first pearl was a ring bought in Thailand in the 1990s with CIDA colleagues Adair Heuchan and Nancy Spence. Then in Vietnam I was with Ann Marie Almeida, who was the President of the Association of Women’s Business Centre at the time. She was so involved with negotiating and making sure that what she was buying were “real” and not faux. I didn’t care but I bought the grey ones instead and real pearl earrings. My white pearls came years later given to me by my daughter when she was working in Shanghai. I actually don’t know if they are real or not and I don’t care—they mean more to me than anything. They are beautiful. Most of all I feel totally different dressed with make-up and wearing pearls! Thanks Diana. We all need a “lift up” during these times. Keep up your stories!”

You don’t want to miss these…

Apply an Intercultural Approach. Mafalda Arias, president and co-founder of Mafalda Arias and Associates, is an intercultural trainer and consultant for inclusion strategies. In the midst of the coronavirus outbreak, which has seen a rise in hate crimes and anti-Asian harassment, she has put together a list of 7 questions that social practitioners can use to apply an intercultural approach to their work during this time.

Calling all nonprofits. To find a little inspiration amidst all the uncertainty, nonprofits should check out this helpful blog. Full of success stories, it offers resources to nonprofits on communicating with donors, raising funds, and continuing to do good during COVID-19. You can also find some media resources, such as podcasts and webinars for nonprofits here.

Support in your pocket. Download the Canada Business App to receive tailored recommendations on how to access government support for your business. Get in on Google Play or download it from the App Store.

Small Business Help Centre. The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) has created a help centre, complete with free policy templates, business preparedness checklists, webinars and more.

Stay connected. Remember those virtual cocktail parties I mentioned earlier? Well in order to make that 5 o’clock call, you’re going to need some internet! Thankfully telecom companies like Telus are cutting you a break. Expect waived fees and flexible payment options.

And that’s a wrap!

Well, that’s all folks. We’ll catch you here next week for another deep dive into the COVID-19 pandemic with tips on how to navigate each twist and turn.
If you’re looking for more leadership advice or tips on how to stay resilient, look no further. Our community of women entrepreneurs have combined their wealth of knowledge to provide complimentary webinars to the GYBers and global community at large. You can register here to find expert insight on team building strategy, social distance marketing and how to stay positive.