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Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

Daily Update: September 15, 2023

YMCA of Niagara interim CEO accepts permanent position, Canada challenges U.S. softwood lumber duties, and more.

In this edition:

  • Government of Canada extends CEBA repayment deadline
  • Metroland to cease print publication of dozens of community newspapers across Ontario
  • Employment Insurance Commission confirms 2024 Employment Insurance premium rate
  • Canadian home sales fall back in August
  • Enhanced GST Rental Rebate to build more apartments for renters
  • Reading Recommendations: Sustainability

Government of Canada extends CEBA repayment deadline

The repayment deadline for CEBA loans to qualify for partial loan forgiveness of up to 33 per cent is being extended from December 31, 2023, to January 18, 2024, recognizing that the end of December is a busy time for many Canadian businesses. This builds on the government’s previous one-year extension announced in January 2022.

The CEBA program was available from April 9, 2020, to June 30, 2021, and provided $49 billion in interest-free, partially forgivable loans of up to $60,000 to nearly 900,000 small businesses and not-for-profit organizations to help cover their operating costs during the pandemic.

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Metroland to cease print publication of dozens of community newspapers across Ontario

Metroland Media Group, the Toronto Star’s sister company, has sought bankruptcy protection and will cease the print publication of its weekly community newspapers across Ontario, moving to an online-only model.

The move involves 605 layoffs, nearly two-thirds of the workforce, the company said in an announcement Friday morning.

The bankruptcy will spare the company’s daily newspapers — including the Hamilton Spectator, Peterborough Examiner, St. Catharines Standard, Niagara Falls Review, Welland Tribune and the Waterloo Region Record — which will continue both in print and online.

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Employment Insurance Commission confirms 2024 Employment Insurance premium rate

The Canada Employment Insurance Commission today made available the Actuarial Report and its summary for the 2024 Employment Insurance (EI) premium rate. The rate is set at $1.66 per $100 of insurable earnings for employees and $2.32 for employers who pay 1.4 times the employee rate. This represents a three-cent increase from the 2023 EI premium rate of $1.63 for employees and $2.28 for employers.

Each year, the Commission is responsible for setting the annual premium rate based on a seven-year break-even rate forecast by the EI Senior Actuary. The rate is set in order to generate just enough premium revenue to cover EI expenses over the next seven years and eliminate any cumulative surplus or deficit in the EI Operating Account.

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Canadian home sales fall back in August

Statistics released today by the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) show national home sales were down on a month-over-month basis in August 2023.

Home sales recorded over Canadian MLS® Systems posted a 4.1% decline between July and August 2023. (Chart A)

The national sales figure was pulled lower in August by declines in Greater Vancouver and the Fraser Valley, Montreal, Ottawa, Hamilton-Burlington as well as London and St. Thomas.

The actual (not seasonally adjusted) number of transactions came in 5.3% above August 2022.

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Enhanced GST Rental Rebate to build more apartments for renters

On September 14, 2023, the Prime Minister announced that the government will introduce legislation to enhance the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Rental Rebate on new purpose-built rental housing, to incentivize construction of much-needed rental homes for Canadians.

To build more rental housing, the removal of GST will apply to new purpose-built rental housing, such as apartment buildings, student housing, and senior residences built specifically for long-term rental accommodation.

This enhancement increases the GST Rental Rebate from 36 per cent to 100 per cent and removes the existing GST Rental Rebate phase-out thresholds for purpose-built rental housing projects. The enhanced GST Rental Rebate will apply to projects that begin construction on or after September 14, 2023, and on or before December 31, 2030, and complete construction by December 31, 2035.

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Did you know?

The Handmaid’s Tale, It: Chapter Two, The Boys, The Time Traveler’s Wife, The Christmas Calendar, and The Shape of Water were all filmed in Niagara.

Focus on Sustainability

Setting a net-zero goal is just the start of a climate strategy. The pressure is now on to deliver substantive progress. For many companies, the vast bulk of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions lie outside the walls of their businesses in their supply chain – called “Scope 3” emissions. Having visibility to, quantifying, and ultimately managing these emissions is difficult. While these impacts lie outside of a company’s direct control, stakeholder expectations, reporting frameworks and business demands require large corporations to activate their partners and deliver progress.

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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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