July 24, 2020
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July 24, 2020

Your CFA Update on COVID-19



Canada United – Small Business Relief Grants

The Ontario Chamber has partnered with RBC, along with other companies, associations, chambers and major media from across the country where everyday Canadians and large businesses come together in support of small and local businesses.

Canada United is offering small business relief grants of up to $5,000 to help small Canadian businesses with recovery efforts as a result of COVID-19. The grant funds will grow over the next several weeks as every video watched and social post liked from Canada United will result in a 5¢ contribution from RBC and other partners. Funds can be used for PPE, renovations, or e-commerce capabilities.

Learn More
Power Sessions

GetintheLoop is helping CFA members on the road to recovery!

We are hoping that we can contribute to getting your brand back to driving significant revenue. To help on the road to recovery, we are offering CFA members to join the platform for no cost, with no. obligation, for 3 months

Learn More

Inflation bounced back as economy reopens

The Consumer Price Index rebounded 0.7 per cent in June compared to its level last year, following two months of deflation. Year-over-year inflation ticked up 1.1 percentage points in June compared to May, the strongest gain since March 2011.

Gasoline prices have been largely responsible for the decline in overall inflation since the start of the pandemic, dropping by over 30 per cent between February and April. However, over the last two months global oil prices have solidified, and so have gasoline prices in Canada, averaging just 10 per cent below February levels in June. Excluding the impact of gasoline prices, consumer prices were up 1.2 per cent.

In addition to higher energy prices, an increase in food prices (up 2.7 per cent) propped up inflation in June. Beef prices rose 8.3 per cent month over month—the largest increase since May 1982—because of shutdowns at meat processing plants affected by Covid-19 outbreaks.

The average of three core inflation measures used by the Bank of Canada inched up 0.1 percentage point to 1.8 per cent in June, moving closer to the Bank’s 2.0 target.

As most shopping malls were allowed to re-open in June, clothing and footwear prices grew by a slight 0.1 per cent on a month over month basis, putting an end to the losing streak started in April. Passenger vehicle prices were also up in June, helping to mitigate the overall decline in goods prices.

Overall, stronger prices in June reflect the pickup in economic activity as the economy gradually re-opens. Despite the weak state of the economy, core measures of inflation are close to the Bank of Canada target rate. For many businesses, operating while COVID-19 remains a health risk will be costly. This could result in higher prices despite the weak state of the economy.

CEWS Testing Opportunity – Express Your Interest by Monday, July 27

The Canada Revenue Agency is looking for 35 participants, consisting of business owners and accountants, to participate in a testing session for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) website and spreadsheet for the fifth claim period. The purpose of this study is to test the new onscreen calculator and calculation spreadsheet used in the CEWS application process. This test will run roughly 45 minutes and will be moderated by Neo Insight.

The initial screener survey will take five minutes to complete. It will be used to determine eligibility for the testing of the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy website and spreadsheet. The deadline to express your interest is this coming Monday, July 27.

Check Your Eligibility

Canada Labour Code Leave of Absence Period Extended

For federally regulated members, this week the Government of Canada amended the Canada Labour Standards and extended the maximum allowable length for a leave of absence due to COVID-19 from 16 to 24 weeks. This change allows the eligibility to match the previously extended Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB).

More Information

Legal cannabis sales hit record high in May

Statistics Canada data released Tuesday showed a four-per-cent swell from April to May, with sales reaching a record $186 million.

Between January and April, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario authorized nearly 50 new cannabis retailers. Other provinces have continued to authorize new retailers as well this year. In Alberta, there are close to 500 cannabis providers operating in the province, an increase of more than 200 since September. 

Meanwhile, alcohol sales have remained relatively steady during the pandemic, except for a brief spike in March, when beer, wine and liquor store sales surged by more than 15 per cent. 

National Reopening Government Regulation Tracker

In order to operate, businesses must abide by all national, provincial/territorial and local codes issued by our governments. This includes when and which businesses are allowed to open, an array of health and safety measures, social distancing standards, occupancy limits and more.

Refer to our national reopening government regulation tracker to access the rules and regulations that are in place according to federal and provincial/territorial jurisdictions.

Access the Tracker

Online shopping has doubled during the pandemic, Statistics Canada

Lockdowns to combat the COVID-19 pandemic led to a surge in online shopping in Canada, with sales surging 99.3 per cent between February and May.

new report released by Statistics Canada says e-commerce hit a record $3.9 billion in May, a 2.3 per cent increase over April and 99.3 per cent increase over February. E-commerce sales more than doubled year over year, with a 110.8 per cent increase compared with May 2019.

The record gains occurred as total retail sales experienced record declines, the report says, with April data showing the starkest contrast. Retail sales that month plummeted to $33.9 billion, down 29.1 per cent from February and 26.4 per cent from the prior year. Meanwhile, e-commerce increased 63.8 per cent in April.

Statistics Canada said it will continue to update the data to assess the long-term changes as pandemic restrictions loosen, noting that as stores reopened in May, the proportion of e-commerce sales was 10 per cent, down from a record high of 11.4 per cent in April.

Masks to be mandatory in most indoor public spaces in Nova Scotia

Starting at the end of the month, Nova Scotians will be expected to wear non-medical masks in most indoor public spaces. The policy will take effect Friday, July 31.

Indoor public places include:

  • Retail businesses.
  • Shopping centres.
  • Personal services businesses, such as hair and nail salons, spas, body art facilities, except during services that require removing a mask.
  • Restaurants and bars, except while people are eating or drinking.
  • Places of worship or faith gatherings.
  • Places for cultural or entertainment services or activities, such as movie theatres, concerts and other performances.
  • Places for sports and recreational activities, such as a gym, pool or indoor tennis facility, except while doing an activity where a mask cannot be worn.
  • Places for events, such as conferences and receptions.
  • Municipal or provincial government locations offering services to the public.
  • Common areas of tourist accommodations, such as lobbies, elevators and hallways.
  • Common areas of office buildings, such as lobbies, elevators and hallways, but not private offices.
  • Public areas of a university or college campus, such as library or student union building, but not classrooms, labs, offices or residences.
  • Train or bus stations, ferry terminals and airports.

Non-medical masks are already required for passengers and drivers using public transit, as well as private taxis and shuttles. That measure took effect today.

Manitoba's Phase 4 reopening goes into effect on Saturday

Some other Phase 4 changes will come into effect this Saturday includes allowing movie theatres to reopen and stage performances to resume. Theatres will be allowed up to 30 per cent of their normal capacity or 500 people, whichever is lower. The same limits will apply for faith-based gatherings as of Saturday. Casinos will also be allowed up to 30 per cent of normal capacity. Proposed changes to visits at long-term and personal care homes will also move forward as of this weekend. 

Those size limits are scaled down from the draft plan, which proposed capping attendance at 50 per cent of venue capacity.

The province of Manitoba is postponing some of its plans to ease restrictions put in place to slow the spread of COVID-19, in response to feedback to its proposals. The government's draft plan for Phase 4 of reopening, which was released earlier this week, had proposed relaxing the 14-day self-isolation requirement for travellers from eastern and southern Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Canada. Increasing maximum sizes for public gatherings is also on hold for now.

BC: Most locations of potential COVID-19 exposure in B.C. are now listed online

Many new cases linked to exposure at parties, bars; 4 health authorities now listing venues, times of concern. The Vancouver Coastal HealthFraser HealthInterior HealthNorthern Health and Island Health authorities now all have websites listing recent public exposure events.

Sherrard Kuzz LLP Legal Support Program
To help navigate the recovery of COVID-19, CFA members have the opportunity to contact Sherrard Kuzz LLP for one free phone-consultation, once per calendar year, to a maximum of 15 minutes. A member may use their 15 minutes to seek information about any employment, labour or human resources issue related to the User (subject to Sherrard Kuzz LLP successfully completing a conflict check to ensure it may advise on the matter).

To take advantage of this CFA member benefit, contact Michael Sherrard at msherrard@sherrardkuzz.com or 416-603-6240.

Webinar Series On Demand


JULY 28, 2020
AT 2:00 PM ET

Navigating the digital world 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

“My husband, Jim and I would like to thank everyone at the CFA who has worked so hard and tirelessly to provide us with updated information on the Covid-19 crisis, for the webinars, lobbying for change and for all of the support you provide to members on a regular basis. We are sincerely grateful. To everyone at the CFA, take care and stay healthy.”

 - Nadine Cartman, CEO, Chicken Delight of Canada Ltd

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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