New Canada Digital Adoption Program to help small businesses thrive in the digital economy
The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today announced the launch of the Canada Digital Adoption Program (CDAP), to help Canadian small- and medium-sized businesses grow their online presence and upgrade or adopt digital technologies. This investment, which will provide $4 billion over four years, will support up to 160,000 small businesses and create good middle-class jobs across the country, including thousands of jobs for young Canadians.
Under the CDAP, Canadian small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) will be able to assess their digital readiness and apply for grants and loans online.
Aligned with provincial regulations, proof of vaccination no longer required at City-owned facilities
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 28, 2022
Welland, ON – Effective March 1, the City of Welland is removing the requirement for proof of vaccination to enter City facilities previously requiring a passport. This decision is in line with the province’s next phase of reopening.
Mask mandates remain in place, and physical distancing is encouraged. The health and safety of employees, visitors, and the general public are the main priorities stressed in all City facilities.
“We have followed every guideline and procedure to date and in doing so have been able to keep our facilities open, when possible,” said Adam Eckhart, fire chief and CEMC. “With the province’s announcement and the Region’s updated instructions, we are pleased to take this next step in welcoming guests to our facilities.”
Self-screening is still required, and anyone who fails the screening is reminded to follow public health protocols for the appropriate next steps.
City facilities are now operating at full capacity under the lifted restrictions, and, though not required, appointments and pre-registration are encouraged. Since learning of the ease of restrictions, City staff have prepared for the changes, though patience and kindness as the next phase take effect is supported. However, with varying comfort levels with the eased restrictions, many remain vulnerable or are at a higher risk of infection.
The City of Welland will monitor the impacts of these changes on its operations and adjust processes accordingly. As we advance, let’s be kind and understanding when interacting with those who may have differing levels of concern about their ongoing risk from the pandemic.
Niagara Region Public Health remains available for information and to answer questions. Anyone with questions or concerns can contact them by visiting niagararegion.ca/COVID19 or calling the COVID-19 Info-Line Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. at 905-688-8248, press 7 or toll-free at 1-888-505-6074.
Statistics Canada: Businesses challenged by rising costs, hiring and recruitment, and supply chains
Employment fell by 200,000 (-1.0%) in January and the unemployment rate rose 0.5 percentage points to 6.5%. The Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 4.8% on a year-over-year basis in December 2021, up from 4.7% in November. In an effort to combat the spread of the Omicron variant of COVID-19, many jurisdictions had implemented stricter public health measures during the fourth quarter of 2021 and continuing through the first quarter of 2022. The combination of inflationary pressures, labour challenges, public health measures and supply chain issues have impacted businesses in a variety of different ways.
Businesses expect to face a variety of obstacles over the next three months is the rising cost of inputs related to rising costs, hiring and recruitment as well as those related to supply chains. Many businesses that are facing challenges maintaining inventory levels or acquiring inputs, products and supplies, either domestically or abroad, expect these challenges to worsen in the short term. Over the next three months, half of businesses expect their profitability to remain relatively unchanged, over one-third expect to increase the prices they charge and over three-quarters expect their number of employees to remain the same.
The most commonly expected obstacle over the next three months is the rising cost of inputs, including labour, capital, energy and raw materials, with just over half (50.3%) of businesses expecting it to be an obstacle, up from 42.5% of businesses in the fourth quarter of 2021.
Just over half (50.3%) of businesses expected rising cost of inputs, including labour, capital, energy and raw materials to be an obstacle, up from 42.5% of businesses in the fourth quarter of 2021.
Shortage of labour force was expected to be an obstacle over the next three months for nearly two-fifths (37.0%) of all businesses, led by those in accommodation and food services (64.9%), construction (48.9%), manufacturing (48.1%) and retail trade (45.7%).
Just over three-fifths (60.8%) of businesses indicated having some plans over the next 12 months related to recruitment, retention and training. Over two-fifths (44.9%) of businesses plan to increase wages offered to existing employees over the next 12 months, with over three-fifths (61.2%) of businesses in accommodation and food services and over half in wholesale trade (55.0%) and manufacturing (50.1%) planning to do so.
Over one-third (35.6%) of businesses expect cost of insurance to be an obstacle over the next three months.
Over one-third (34.6%) of businesses expect transportation costs to be an obstacle over the next three months.
Nearly one-third (32.1%) of businesses expect difficulty acquiring inputs, products or supplies domestically in the next three months.
Over one-third (35.7%) of businesses expect to raise prices in response to inflation, up from just over one-quarter (25.9%) of businesses that expected to do so in the fourth quarter of 2021
Nearly half (49.6%) of businesses expect profitability to remain relatively unchanged. Over one-third (34.6%) expect their profitability to decrease over the next three months, while 12.9% expect their profitability to increase.
Over three-quarters (77.8%) of businesses expect to retain the same number of employees over the next three months, similar to 77.4% in the fourth quarter of 2021. Conversely, 8.1% of businesses expect their number of employees to decrease, down from 9.7% in the fourth quarter of 2021. In accommodation and food services, 17.2% of businesses expect a decrease in the number of employees over the next three months.
Province launches Intellectual Property Ontario to help businesses commercialize ideas
The Ontario government is launching Intellectual Property Ontario, a new board-governed agency that will serve as a go-to resource for Intellectual Property (IP) expertise to help researchers and companies maximize the value of their IP, strengthen their capacity to grow, and compete in the global market.