July 6, 2020
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July 6, 2020

Your CFA Daily Update on COVID-19



Bank of Canada - Quarterly Business Outlook Survey

The bank's quarterly business outlook survey published Monday suggests many service sector and energy companies don't expect a return to pre-pandemic employment levels.

About one-third say they have used a federal wage subsidy to reduce or avoid layoffs, while other firms looking to rehire or hire new staff cited an emergency federal benefit for workers as a hurdle to their plans. The latest figures from the federal government show the $45-billion wage subsidy has paid nearly $17.1 billion to 245,160 companies as of June 29. Meanwhile, the Canada Emergency Response Benefit, or CERB, has paid $53.53 billion in benefits to 8.16 million people as of June 28 since it was introduced in late March.

The worry among workers about losing their job rose to the highest level seen in the bank's regular survey of consumer expectations, released alongside the business outlook survey. Workers' expectations of how easily they could find new work dropped to the lowest level since the 2015 oil price shock. Consumers' expectations for wage growth were below what they anticipated for inflation, while the outlook for growth in household income dropped to its lowest level in the survey's history.

The central bank's business survey detailed some of the impact of the lockdowns and stay-at-home requests

  • Nearly half of all businesses reported an outright decline of their sales in the past 12 months because of COVID-19, low energy prices and the uncertainty both wrought.
  • More than half of businesses expect their total sales over the next 12 months to be lower than they were in the last year, with future sales indicators at record lows.
  • About half of firms expect their sales will "mostly recover" within the next year as COVID-19's effects recede, but the expectations of a return to pre-pandemic levels often depend on lifting government-mandated restrictions. Some companies said they could get back to normal operations within a month of public health restrictions being lifted.
  • Companies' plans to invest in themselves have been cut back. Those companies planning a bump in capital budgets are often trying to digitize their operations, or boost productivity in the context of staff working from home.

The consumer survey said spending expectations have tumbled, which the banks says suggests consumers have become more cautious due to the economic impact and health risks related to the pandemic. The bank said consumers expect to spend mostly on essentials. They expect to spend less on durable goods like cars and furniture, as well as for services that involve face-to-face interactions like eating out, travel or going to the movies.

The business outlook survey and Canadian survey of consumer expectations come ahead of the Bank of Canada's next interest rate announcement and monetary policy report on July 15. The central bank is expected to keep its key interest rate on hold at 0.25 per cent, while the monetary policy report will include an update to its economic forecast.

Business Outlook Survey—Summer 2020


Canadian Survey of Consumer Expectations—Second Quarter of 2020

Quebec threatens to close bars, nightclubs that don't comply with COVID-19 rules

Quebec's health minister says the province will not hesitate to shut down bars, nightclubs and other gathering places if they don't comply with COVID-19 regulations, after a new spike in infections was detected last week on Montreal's South Shore.

By Thursday, the province will release details about how customers and venues could be fined if they don't respect the rules. Health Minister Christian Dubé said at a news conference Monday. There will also be an increased police presence in these venues starting on Thursday and that they are also looking at different ways to ensure COVID-19 restrictions are followed, such as stricter enforcement of a venue's reduced capacity, closing bars and nightclubs earlier and ensuring clients remain seated.

The penalties won't be limited to nightlife, Dubé said. Quebec will also crack down on any venue where people gather — including beaches and pools — if physical-distancing rules aren't being respected.

Bars across the province were given the green light to reopen on June 25. 

Montreal mayor says masks will soon be mandatory in enclosed public spaces

Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante says her administration is working on a new regulation that would make it mandatory to wear a face covering in enclosed public places. Plante said the city is intending on having the new rule in place by July 27, but there will be a grace period before it's enforced. Wearing a face covering on public transit in Quebec will soon be mandatory. The province's new regulation goes into effect on July 13.

2/3 of Canadians support closing businesses again if COVID-19 cases spike: survey

The new poll conducted by Nanos Research for CTV News surveyed 1,049 Canadians within the past week, and found that two-thirds of respondents support, or somewhat support, another round of business closures in the event of a significant rise in cases and hospitalizations.

Forty-two per cent of respondents said they support the closures, while another 28 per cent said they somewhat support them. About one in four Canadians oppose (16 per cent) or somewhat oppose (11 per cent) the idea.

Support for shutting down businesses during a second wave was strongest in Ontario (53 per cent) and weakest in Quebec (24 per cent). Those older than 55 -- who are more susceptible to the virus -- were more supportive of the closures, at 77 per cent, than younger Canadians aged 18 to 34, at 64 per cent support.

4 in 5 Support Mandatory Masks

The poll also found that most Canadians support the mandatory wearing of masks in all public spaces, with 54 per cent in support and 25 per cent somewhat supportive. Nearly one in five respondents said they opposed (11 per cent) or somewhat opposed (nine per cent) mandatory face masks. Support for mandatory face masks was highest in Ontario, at 65 per cent. While Ontario Premier Doug Ford has repeatedly rejected this idea, Toronto -- which accounts for 12 per cent of Canada’s total caseload -- recently made it mandatory to wear a face mask in all enclosed public spaces, such as grocery stores and public transit. Support for mandatory masks in public was lowest in the Prairies, which still saw a majority of support at 68 per cent.

Seniors who qualify receiving one-time COVID-19 payments of up to $500 this week

Eligible seniors in Canada will finally be receiving their one-time COVID-19 payments this week, a measure first promised by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in mid-May, to aid in the rising costs associated with the pandemic. The federal government estimates there are currently 6.7 million seniors who are eligible for the OAS pension and 2.2 million who are eligible for the GIS. These payments are set to total $2.5 billion.

Any senior who is eligible for the Old Age Security (OAS) pension will receive a $300 payment, and an additional $200 is being sent to seniors eligible for the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS). The payments are being made directly to anyone who is eligible, with no application needed.

Sask: Restaurants and bars can expand services, indoor rinks and pools can reopen starting Monday

More restrictions on businesses have begun to ease as the provincial government continues to reopen the Saskatchewan economy. Starting Monday, seating at bars and restaurants across the province will be expanded to "a level that allows staff and customers to maintain two metres of physical distance," a news release from the province said. Previously, restaurants and bars were only allowed to operate at 50 per cent capacity.

As well, pool tables, video lottery terminals and dart boards will be allowed to be used, as long as physical distancing can be maintained. Casinos and bingo halls will be able to reopen on Thursday.

Live entertainment in bars is set to return on July 16, along with race tracks and rodeos.

Webinar Series On Demand


JULY 7, 2020
AT 2:00 PM ET

Remaining Competitive in a Virtual World: Why Ecommerce Matters and Fraud Protection Even More So…

SPEAKER: Marta Rzeszowska, Moneris

The recent COVID-19 pandemic has only accelerated ecommerce as businesses were forced to close and consumers were asked to stay home in the name of public health. Learn about a variety of digital tools that small businesses should consider to give consumers a safe, contactless payment experience that also protects your business from fraud.


JULY 13, 2020
AT 2:00 PM ET

Business Resilience Planning: Preparing your business for long term success

SPEAKER: Phil Racco, Senior Manager, Enterprise Risk Services, MNP LLP

COVID-19 caused a wave of disruption to business and life in Canada.In this interactive discussion, gain practical insights on how to prepare your business to respond to disruption now and in the future.

We encourage you to submit your questions ahead of time.


 JULY 28, 2020
AT 2:00 PM ET

Navigating the digita lworld and digitizing your business

SPEAKERS: Ayham Aldajane, Nown POS; Marta Rzezkowska, Moneris; additional speakers TBC

Join this panel discussion for an in-depth conversation about business in the digital world including: digital payments and cyber security, managing the customer experience in a digital world, choosing the right solution(s) for your business and where to find them, moving business processes online (e.g. accounting, payroll, etc.), and managing your data.






Feedback from our Members

“I would like to take this moment to express how amazing the CFA webinar series has been for myself and my stores. I am regularly sharing the information and enjoy the daily "break" around lunch time, basically having a nearly daily lunch and learn.”

 - Suzanne Howie, Franchise Support, Print Three Franchising Corp.

COVID-19's impact on the world is creating waves across all sectors and industries.

Every member of the CFA community is dealing with an issue that is affecting the world, our industries, our communities, our businesses, and our people.

We would like to hear from you if you have any topics, issues or questions to navigate turbulent times in order to support you further: 


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