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BMO, CIBC extend work from home to April as Canada cases surge – BNN

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Signage is displayed outside the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) in the financial district of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, on Friday, Feb. 14, 2020. Canadian stocks declined with global markets, as authorities struggled to keep the coronavirus from spreading more widely outside China. However, investors flocking to safe havens such as gold offset the sell-off in Canada's stock market.

A recent surge in COVID-19 cases is derailing Canadian banks’ plans to bring employees back to offices, with one lender even asking some workers who had already returned to go back home.

Canada is now facing about 5,000 new COVID-19 cases a day, prompting provinces and cities including Toronto — home to the country’s five biggest banks — to implement new restrictions to limit the virus spread. Even Prime Minister Justin Trudeau recently returned to working from home in an attempt to set a national tone of caution.

Bank of Montreal and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce are extending work-from-home plans for some employees until at least April. Toronto-Dominion Bank hasn’t set a firm date for a return, but said in a memo last week that most people working from home won’t come back “until at least the spring.”

Royal Bank of Canada even encouraged employees who had gone back to offices to return to working from home as of Nov. 16, according to a memo from Chief Human Resources Officer Helena Gottschling. Canada’s second-largest lender by assets said it will continue pre-screening and requiring masks and distancing for those who can’t work remotely.

“For those in critical roles that cannot be done from home and who are working on premises today, please continue to work on site,” Gottschling said in the Nov. 12 memo. “Our ongoing protocols will continue to protect employees’ health and safety in the workplace.”

The bank hasn’t set a firm time for employees to return. Royal Bank also delayed plans to have employees retrieve personal items from work sites in and around Toronto until further notice.

Bank of Nova Scotia also hasn’t set a specific time for office employees to return because of “uncertainty around how the COVID-19 pandemic will unfold in the coming months,” according to a spokesman. Canada’s third-biggest bank said workers will receive at least four weeks notice before being asked to return.

Bank of Montreal doesn’t “foresee any broad-based changes for employees who are currently working from home any sooner than April 2021, unless a specific business need exists,” the company said in an emailed statement. The country’s fourth-largest lender previously said workers would remain out of the office until the end of this year. The bank will give employees 30 days notice before asking them to return.

Most CIBC employees who are already working off-site will continue to do so until at least April, Sandy Sharman, the executive who oversees human resources, said Wednesday in a memo to staff. The bank originally advised employees they’d be working from home until at least the end of the year.

CIBC, Canada’s fifth-largest lender, said it will give workers at least four-weeks’ notice before asking them back, Sharman said in the memo. The bank had planned to start relocating employees to its freshly built new headquarters at CIBC Square by the end of the year.

“With the majority of our team members working from home seamlessly, we have the flexibility to align our decisions and timing around our long-term real estate plans, including CIBC Square, and the guidance we receive from local governments and public health authorities,” she said.

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How to Succeed When Buying a Franchise Store and Financing Its Cost

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Franchise Store

It’s a road you want to go down successfully. We’re talking about your decision on buying a franchise in Canada, financing the franchise cost, and being successful in the franchise store or business you have chosen.

Clients always ask us if it’s ‘ risky ‘ to buy a franchise. Our answer is somewhat facetious, in that if a franchise fails, we prefer to have someone to blame – that’s you, the franchisor, or your franchise lender. It’s rarely the lender, leaving you and the franchisor.

The reality is quite frankly the same as if you were acquiring any business, namely, Do your homework! And invest some time in solid due diligence. Make a good decision about who you are going to do business with.

After selecting a franchise opportunity the challenge of financing the business becomes even more bewildering to some of our clients. Let’s share some solid tips, info, and suggestions around the successful financing of your franchise cost.

We often focus solely on your financing challenge when buying a franchise; we should add that it’s just as important to spend some time on understanding the general financing situation around the partnership you are about to enter into with your franchisor. Disclosure documents these days are fairly heavily weighted towards you as the franchisee understanding that you are entering into business with, so we encourage all clients to take a strong look at your franchisors profitability, its financial management, and any items of public record that might hint or portend of future problems.

Unfortunately many franchisees we talk to about franchise cost and how we will finance the franchise are under the misconception that there is 100% financing available for your new business. In Canada that is pretty well never the case, and you need to make a strong assessment of the maximum amount you can contribute to the venture from a personal equity basis. If you borrow too much and put too little in the financial folks call that being ‘ over-leveraged’- therefore any little bumps in the economy or your ability to generate sales becomes a huge problem if you aren’t properly capitalized.

And we already know your next question, which is ‘ how much do I have to put in ‘. We would prefer to give you a clear final answer on that one, such as xx %, but the reality is that your investment is tied to a couple of factors… the size of the financing you require, how you will finance it, and whether initial ratio analysis will show that you meet all qualifications.

A ratio is just a ‘ relationship’ of numbers. The two key ratios that you need to focus on in franchise financing are debt to equity and working capital. Typically you want to have only two times more debt than your investment in the business, and from a working capital point of view, you want to ensure you have liquid assets to cover at a minimum short-term payable.

Do franchisors offer loan assistance – the answer is yes… and no. By that, we mean simply that many franchisors have developed relationships with Canadian business financing advisors who assist franchisees in finalizing all aspects of the franchise cost financing – including business plan preparation, negotiations, sourcing debt, etc. You should rarely if ever, expect the franchisor to supply direct loan financing assistance – they are selling franchises, not building a financial empire.

In Canada typical methods of financing, a franchise are a BIL loan, a working capital term loan, and equipment leasing and financing.

Speak to a trusted, credible, and experienced business financing advisor who will work with you to successfully finance your franchise store in a minimum amount of time with a maximum amount of success!

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Three deaths, 216 new COVID-19 cases identified in Manitoba – CTV News Winnipeg

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WINNIPEG —
The province announced three new deaths linked to COVID-19 Saturday, the same day restrictions were eased across most of the province.

A man in his 60s died, along with two women; one in her 70s, the other in her 80s. They were all from the Winnipeg health region, according to the provincial COVID-19 bulletin.

Public health officials recorded 216 new infections, with more than half in the province’s north.

Of the new cases, 118 are in the Northern health region, 50 in the Winnipeg health region, 22 in Interlake-Eastern, 14 in Southern health and 12 in Prairie Mountain Health.

The five-day test positivity rate is 9.8 per cent in Manitoba and 6.5 per cent in Winnipeg.

There are 272 people in hospital, with 40 in the ICU.

The number of Manitobans who have died of COVID-19 now stands at 798.

According to the bulletin, 1,836 tests were done Friday, bringing the total number since February 2020 to 463,084.

The Manitoba government released the update as new public health orders came into effect.

Retailers can sell non-essential items again, hair salons and barber shops can open and Manitobans are allowed to have two designated visitors to their households.

The new orders do not apply to northern Manitoba, where cases have jumped over the past few weeks.

The province also began accepting appointments Saturday for a pilot testing site in Winnipeg, which is dedicated to educational staff.

Manitoba teachers, educational support staff and others working in schools or with students can now book appointments for rapid testing at the Fast Pass site at 1066 Nairn Avenue.

“Eligible clients must be symptomatic, identified as a close contact because of an exposure at school or have a symptomatic household member,” reads the bulletin.

Appointments can be made here.

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216 new cases of COVID-19 in Manitoba, including 118 in north – CBC.ca

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There are 216 new cases of COVID-19 and three more deaths from the illness in Manitoba, according to a provincial news release issued on Saturday.

Of the new cases, more than half — 118 — are in the Northern Health Region, which has seen a worrisome spike recently.

The rest of the cases are in the Winnipeg (50), Interlake-Eastern (22), Southern (14) and Prairie Mountain (12) health regions.

The deaths reported Saturday were all in the Winnipeg health region — a man in his 60s, a woman in her 70s and a woman in her 80s.

The provincial five-day test positivity rate — a rolling average of the number of tests that come back positive — is 9.8 per cent, up from 9.3 per cent on Friday. Winnipeg’s rate also rose slightly, to 6.5 per cent from 6.2.

The province’s news release says 1,836 COVID-19 tests were completed Friday, bringing the total number of lab tests completed since early February 2020 to 463,084.

The number of Manitobans in hospital is 272, up from 268 on Friday. There are also 40 people in intensive care, up from 33 the day prior.

On Friday, the province reported 173 new cases of COVID-19, with more than a third — 64 — in the Northern Health Region.

As well, Fox Lake Cree Nation declared an outbreak of COVID-19 on Friday.

There are 34 active cases in the First Nation, about 700 kilometres northeast of Winnipeg, Chief Morris Beardy said in a news release.

That number includes Beardy himself.

“This is very serious and scary for us all. I also know how resilient and strong our community is, and how we can support each other through difficult times,” he said.

There are 88 Fox Lake households affected by the virus, including 15 in the Bird reserve and 70 in the nearby town of Gillam, according to the release.

The northern region, including the town of Churchill, was excluded from an easing of some of the province’s strict pandemic restrictions, which came into effect for the rest of Manitoba Saturday, following recent drops in case numbers.

Two designated visitors are now allowed for each household, and group of up to five can gather outdoors on private property.

Retailers are allowed to sell non-essential items in-store again, and barbers and hair stylists are able to go back to work.

As well, as of Saturday, all Manitoba teachers, educational support staff and other staff working in schools and directly with students can now make an appointment for rapid COVID-19 testing at the Winnipeg Fast Pass site at 1066 Nairn Ave., provided they meet certain criteria.

To be eligible, people who work in schools must be symptomatic, identified as a close contact because of an exposure at school, or have a symptomatic household member. 

Appointments for the pilot site are now open for eligible staff working in all schools and school divisions, the province says.

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