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Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

Daily Update: November 25, 2021

Service Canada will begin sending Notices of Debt to Canadians with an outstanding balance of money owed from advance CERB payments.

Ineligible recipients of CERB advance payment to receive Notice of Debt

Many Canadians who applied for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) through Service Canada before June 14, 2020 received an advance payment of $2000 within a few days of applying. This was an advance of four weeks of the CERB.

To reconcile this advance payment, Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) applied this advance against other payment periods in June, July and August of 2020. Recipients saw an interruption in payments in order to apply the money paid to weeks of eligibility. However, if recipients of the advance payment were not entitled to or did not collect CERB payments for at least 20 weeks, some or all of the advance payment remains as an outstanding balance owing.

In the coming weeks, Service Canada will be sending messages to Canadians who still have an outstanding balance of money owed from the advance payment, informing them that they have an overpayment and highlighting that they will be receiving additional details in the next few weeks outlining their appeal rights and the process for repayment.

Click here for more information.

Is your business receiving all the federal assistance it is entitled to?

The Government of Canada has introduced many COVID-19 supports to help businesses weather the storm. To get a tailored list of the ones that fit your business situation or to discover other federal, provincial and territorial programs and services designed to help Canadian businesses grow, try the interactive business benefits finder. You can also sign up for the notification feature to receive emails when there are changes to your favourite programs, when application deadlines are approaching, or when a new program that meets your needs is introduced.

The Canada Small Business Financing Program makes it easier for small businesses to get loans from financial institutions by sharing the risk with lenders.  Up to a maximum of $1,000,000 for any one borrower, of which no more than $350,000 can be used for purchasing leasehold improvements or improving leased property and purchasing or improving new or used equipment. Financial institutions deliver the program and are solely responsible for approving the loan. For more information download their PDF pamphlet or click here to find a lender near you.

Get tools and information on what to consider before starting a business. Get information to help you identify opportunities to grow your business. Learn how to fuel your R&D and innovation projects through government grants, contributions and loans, as well as private sector financing. Learn about programs and services available in your region to help your business succeed.  Find out more about the municipal, provincial, territorial and federal permits, licences and regulations that apply to your business.  Learn how to handle day-to-day operations, including budgeting, marketing and payroll deductions and more. Overview of federal government Services for Small Business

Government of Canada “extremely disappointed” in U.S. softwood lumber duty increase

The Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development, today commented that “Canada is extremely disappointed that the United States has decided to increase the unfair duties it is imposing on Canadian softwood lumber from most producers to 17.9%. Canada calls on the United States to cease imposing these unwarranted duties on Canadian softwood lumber products.

“These unjustified duties harm Canadian communities, businesses, and workers. They are also a tax on U.S. consumers, raising the costs of housing, renovations, and rentals at a time when housing affordability is already a significant concern for many.”

The U.S. Department of Commerce announced that it will impose duties of 17.9 per cent on average on softwood lumber imported from Canada, double the previous rate.

Click here for more information.

Government of Ontario to host provincial-municipal housing summit

Premier Doug Ford and Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, will host a provincial-municipal housing summit on December 16 for Ontario’s Big City mayors and regional chairs. The summit will aim to identify further opportunities for collaboration as the province and municipalities continue to address the housing affordability crisis.

“It’s no secret that Ontario has a housing crisis, as demand has drastically outpaced supply over the past decade. While our government’s policies are working to address affordability, including the tools we’ve provided to municipalities, we know that housing prices are still out of reach for so many Ontarians,” said Minister Clark.

Click here for more information.

Digital and data talent invited to participate in provincial fellowship program

The Government of Ontario is now accepting applications to bring some of Ontario’s best digital and data talent into government to help build Ontario’s digital future. Fellows, nominated by their organizations, will be private-sector digital and data professionals — senior backend developers, product managers, user experience designers, service designers and data specialists — operating within Ontario to help solve the government’s most pressing design, data and technology challenges. They will begin their provincial ministry placements in February 2022 for approximately six months.

The deadline for applications is December 10, 2021. Information on the application process for organizations is available at

Click here for more information.

Canadian payroll employment grew by 91,000 in September

Payroll employment, as measured by the Survey of Employment, Payrolls and Hours (SEPH), rose by 91,100 (+0.5%) in September, the fourth consecutive monthly increase. Whereas Labour Force Survey (LFS) employment returned to its pre-COVID level in September, SEPH payroll employment was 250,200 (-1.5%) lower than in February 2020.

Payroll employment increased in eight provinces in September, led by Ontario (+43,100; +0.7%), British Columbia (+17,800; +0.8%) and Quebec (+14,100; +0.4%). Nationally, gains were driven by the services-producing sector (+80,500; +0.6%), particularly accommodation and food services (+19,800; +1.8%), public administration (+15,900; +1.4%) and finance and insurance (+14,700; +1.9%).

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Canada house prices poised to surge again despite central bank warning

Canadian housing prices are set to surge again in the coming months as investors and first-time buyers scramble to buy before interest rates go up, ignoring a warning from the Bank of Canada that there is a high risk of a sudden price drop.

Central bank Deputy Governor Paul Beaudry told would-be home buyers on Tuesday to consider if it is a “good time to buy or not,” pointing to market frothiness in certain cities and renewed investor activity.

Those conditions could “expose the market to a higher chance of a correction,” he said.

The Bank of Canada last month signaled the overnight rate, currently at a record low 0.25%, could start rising in the “middle quarters” of 2022. Another rush to buy is probably already under way, analysts said.

Click here for more information.

Reading Recommendations

Small businesses expect fastest wage growth in over a decade

Financial Post/Bloomberg News

Canada’s small businesses are expecting wages to rise at the fastest pace in over a decade.

Businesses see employee compensation rising by 3.1 per cent over the next year, according to a November survey of members by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business. That’s the highest level in data that goes back to 2009. The historical average is 1.6 per cent.

‘Great resignation’ presents risks for data protection

Canadian HR Reporter

Once an employment relationship has ended and HR says goodbye to a worker, there are critical steps that need to be followed to ensure important company data is safeguarded, says a security expert.

“If you leave the employee either with a device that has data on it or they’ve got data on a personal device that they’ve been using whilst in your employment [that’s not good], and given the issues of the last 18 months with remote working and such, there’s a strong possibility of an employee taking data with them,” says Tony Anscombe, chief security evangelist at ESET in Half Moon Bay, Calif.

With the onset of COVID and many employees working from home, corporate data has been dispersed on a “much wider scale,” which brings new risks to IT departments, he says.

Niagara COVID-19 statistics tracker

Niagara COVID vaccination tracker

Free rapid COVID-19 testing kits are now available to businesses. Visit to learn more and reserve kits for your organization.

Information on government grants, resources, and programs, policies, forms, and posters for download and use, are available here. The GNCC is here to support you. Contact us with any questions you have.

Through the Daily Updates, the GNCC aims to deliver important business news in a timely manner. We disseminate all news and information we feel will be important to businesses. Inclusion in the Daily Update is not an endorsement by the GNCC.

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