A new study says many Canadian entrepreneurs are focused on shoring up their balance sheets after recording a drastic drop in revenues and mounting debt during the first wave of COVID-19.
The Business Development Bank of Canada survey says the top priority of business owners is getting their financial houses in order, including reducing operating costs and improving cash flow.
Investing in technology was also a priority for entrepreneurs, according to the study which also listed a focus on remote work, online sales and reviving growth as other key areas.
The study found that small- and medium-sized businesses were hit hard by the crisis, with 76 per cent reporting a decline in revenues and profits during the pandemic.
Nearly half ending up laying off staff, while about 39 per cent of entrepreneurs took on more debt to survive, the BDC said.
Still, the BDC study said 87 per cent of entrepreneurs are confident they will make it through the crisis.
Pierre Cleroux, BDC’s vice-president of research and chief economist, says his “biggest worry” is the high debt levels of many businesses.
Canada’s emergency commercial rent assistance program comes to an end as small business owners struggle
“If there’s a second wave and we have to go into lockdowns, the good news is businesses are more prepared,” he said in an interview. “They’ve worked hard to be more efficient, reduce costs and be more present online.
“The bad news is they are more in debt than they were six months ago, so they are more fragile.”
Cleroux said the transition to remote working and the focus on technology and online sales has been a significant shift.
“I never saw such a momentum in terms of investing in technology,” Cleroux said. “This is going to help them in the long run.”
More than half of entrepreneurs surveyed said remote working helped their business innovate and improved employee productivity.
“For many years, businesses were not really open to remote work because they didn’t think it would be beneficial,” Cleroux said.
“The pandemic has really changed that perception.”
Only one in five entrepreneurs said teleworking hurt innovation or productivity.
The BDC study also found that the pandemic has changed the spending habits of Canadians.
B.C. bar and restaurant owners say mandatory 10 p.m. shutdown rule is seriously hurting business
The research said more than 83 per cent of Canadian shoppers were willing to pay more for local products, while 56 per cent made more online purchases during the pandemic.
The study said the importance of e-commerce was highlighted by business owners and that companies that were already selling online reported being less affected by the lockdown.
The BDC said the study is based on two surveys, with 1,000 Canadian small- and medium-sized enterprise leaders and 2,000 consumers polled in May and June.[
© 2020 The Canadian Press
Canada adds 2787 new cases, breaking previous day’s record
Coronavirus cases rose by 2,787 in Canada on Thursday, breaking the daily record last set the day before, while deaths rose by 33.
The increases put Canada’s national case total at 208,933 and deaths at 9,862.
Quebec reported 1,033 cases Thursday, bringing its total to 97,231. There are currently 553 hospitalized in the province, down by 12 from yesterday, with 101 of them in ICU, up by seven from the day before.
The province also reported 20 deaths, eight of which occurred in the last 24 hours. The virus has killed 6,094 people in the province to date.
Ontario reported 841 new cases Thursday, the second-highest case increase recorded so far, bringing the province’s total to 67,527.
There are now 6,390 active cases in the province with 270 people hospitalized, 74 in the intensive care unit and 48 in ICUs on a ventilator.
Nine deaths were also reported to bring the death toll to 3,071 in the province.
Out west, British Columbia announced 274 new cases, breaking the previous record of 203 from the day earlier for most new cases in the province.
The province now has 1,920 active cases with 71 hospitalizations, 24 of which are in intensive care.
Officials said many of the new cases were the result of social gatherings, such as weddings and funerals, and some due to “large” Thanksgiving gatherings.
No new deaths were reported, keeping B.C.’s toll at 256.
Meanwhile, Alberta reported 406 new cases, breaking the 400-mark for the first time in the pandemic. There are now 3,519 active cases.
No new deaths were reported.
Saskatchewan reported 60 new cases Thursday to bring its total to 2,558, with 509 active cases and 21 people currently in hospital, three of whom are in ICU.
No new deaths were reported to add to the province’s 25.
Manitoba announced the province’s deadliest day of the pandemic, with four new deaths to add to the 47 total, the vast majority of which have happened in the last few weeks.
The province added 147 new cases, with 42 hospitalizations and eight in intensive care — its highest rate of hospitalizations to date in the pandemic.
In the Atlantic bubble, Nova Scotia announced no new cases to add to its four active cases with no hospitalizations. The province has seen 1,097 cases total and 65 deaths.
New Brunswick, though, reported three new cases Thursday to bring its total to 322, with 81 active cases and five hospitalizations, one of which is in ICU. No new deaths were added to its total of four.
Newfoundland and Labrador also added one new case to bring its total to 288, and no new deaths.
No new cases or deaths were reported for PEI or any of the territories.
The coronavirus has infected 41,561,983 people wordwide to date and has killed 1,135,289, according to Johns Hopkins University.
— With files from Global News staff
Source:- Global News
Canada breaks record for coronavirus cases – CTV News
Canada has reported its highest number of COVID-19 cases in a single day, breaking a record set in the spring as two provinces announced their worst one-day tallies.
According to CTVNews.ca’s coronavirus tracker, Canada recorded 2,786 new cases on Thursday, breaking the previous record of 2,698 cases, which was set on Oct. 17.
This is also the first time the country surpassed the May 3 tally of 2,760 cases. This number was only as high as it was because it included 1,317 missing cases in Quebec from earlier in the pandemic. At the time, the province cited a computer error for the discrepancy.
Canada’s grim milestone comes as British Columbia and Alberta both broke new daily case records for the second straight day, adding 274 and 427 cases, respectively.
Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.’s provincial health officer, attributed her province’s spike in cases to social gatherings.
“Much of the recent surge that we have seen in new cases in B.C in the last couple of weeks is directly linked to social events,” she said during a news conference. “These events have caused clusters and outbreaks that have now spilled over into our health-care system.”
Alberta’s top doctor cited Thanksgiving as the source of surging coronavirus cases there.
“The leading source of exposures for active cases right now are close contacts, and many of the cases that we are seeing now are the result of spread over Thanksgiving when families gathered together,” Dr. Deena Hinshaw said in her provincial update.
“People did not mean to spread COVID, but it is a reminder where social gatherings where social distancing and masking are not used consistently are a significant risk for spread.”
Quebec continues to be the epicentre of the pandemic in Canada, adding more than a thousand new cases for the sixth time in seven days. Ontario, the second hardest hit province, registered more than 800 new cases on Thursday.
Manitoba also broke a record, but not for the number of new cases. The province recorded its deadliest day with four deaths related to COVID-19.
Ontario reports 841 more COVID-19 cases, 7-day average on the rise – CBC.ca
Ontario reported another 841 cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, as the seven-day average of new daily cases — a measure that helps limit noise in the data — is starting to climb again after a brief lull.
Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Williams said at a news conference that today’s number of new cases is the second highest the province has seen since the virus’s second wave hit.
“That’s concerning as we watch how this second wave is working through us in the province of Ontario,” Williams said.
The seven-day average now sits at about 761, still below the most recent peak of 781 that came earlier this month, but consistently on the rise in the last four days.
The province also reported nine more deaths in today’s update, a second-straight day with nine new deaths. Forty people have died from COVID-19 in Ontario in the last week.
Today’s new cases are concentrated in the following public health units:
- Toronto: 335
- Peel: 162
- York: 106
- Ottawa: 72
Other areas that saw double-digit increases include:
- Durham Region: 29
- Halton Region: 29
- Simcoe Muskoka: 24
- Hamilton: 20
- Eastern Ontario: 10
- Middlesex London: 10
Seventy-four of the newly confirmed cases of the illness are school-related, including at least 49 students and five staff. A total of 1,641 cases school-related cases have now been registered provincewide since the academic year began, with 501 schools having reported at least one in students or staff. That figure is equivalent to about 10.38 per cent of all publicly-funded schools in Ontario.
(Note: All of the figures used in this story are found in the Ministry of Health’s daily update, which includes data from up until 4 p.m. the previous day. The number of cases for any particular region on a given day may differ from what is reported by the local public health unit, which often avoid lag times found in the provincial system.)
Williams said cases in schools have been primarily found in students, but there has not been much evidence of in-school transmission.
“That means a lot of good work is being done … in the school settings,” he said.
But the province is, Williams said, seeing clusters of cases linked to social gatherings at weddings, sporting events and at household gatherings.
Ford wishes for ‘crystal ball’
At the province’s daily news conference Thursday, Premier Doug Ford was asked if he had any insight as to if the province will be able to lift its “modified Stage 2” restrictions that have been enacted in the parts of Ontario that have been hardest hit by the virus. When introduced, the province said they were planning for the measures to last for 28 days.
“I wish I had a crystal ball to find out where we’re going,” Ford said. “I pray in a couple of weeks that these numbers are going to change.”
“People have to follow the guidelines.”
Ontario has now seen a total of 67,527 confirmed cases of COVID-19 since the first was reported in late January. Of those, about 86 per cent are considered resolved, including 741 more in today’s update.
There are 6,390 confirmed, active infections provincewide, a jump of 91 since Wednesday and a new record-high for Ontario.
After a considerable decrease in Wednesday’s update, the number of people in Ontario hospitals with confirmed cases of the illness increased again, up 10 to 270. Some 74 patients are being treated in intensive care, and 48 are on ventilators — one fewer than Wednesday.
Meanwhile, there are active outbreaks of COVID-19 in at least 80 long-term care facilities.
5 Toronto hospitals with COVID-19 outbreaks
Another Toronto hospital has declared an outbreak of COVID-19.
The Scarborough Health Network said six patients are infected in one unit at its general hospital in the city’s east end.
A spokeswoman for the health network said the unit has been closed to admissions in order to protect patients and staff.
Leigh Duncan added that enhanced infection prevention and control measures are in place in the affected unit.
Scarborough joins a growing list of Toronto hospitals that have declared an official outbreak, defined as two health-care-related cases of COVID-19 within 14 days.
St. Michael’s Hospital, St. Joseph’s Health Centre, Toronto Western Hospital and the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health have also declared outbreaks among staff or patients.
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