Your go-to spot for Business Updates
Contact tracing comes to Canada.

A new, nation-wide app is being developed to notify Canadians of Covid-19 exposure.

Here’s how it works: Those who test positive for the virus will be given a unique code that they can use to anonymously upload their positive status to a national network. When those who have downloaded the app come into contact with someone who has tested positive, they will be notified that they may have been exposed to the virus.

Use of the new app “ COVID Alert ” will be voluntary, free, and will be available to Canadians in the coming weeks. Ontario will be the first to try it out, hoping to have it available for download on July 2 .
Image Credit: CBC News
Policy Updates
Longer layoffs. The Government of Canada has extended the time periods for temporary layoffs to give employers more time to recall their employees. Layoffs made before March 31 can now extend for six months or until December 30, , whichever comes first. Layoffs made between March 31 and September 30 can extend to December 30.

CERB Extension. The PM has announced that the Canada Emergency Response Benefit, which provides $2,000 a month to eligible applicants, will be extended for an additional eight weeks .

Canada-US Border Closure. After an extension, the border is set to remain closed until July 21 st .
In the News

Frontline food workers. Grocery giants Loblaws, Sobey’s and Metro all reversed the $2 pay premiums that they had instituted for their employees through the pandemic.
  • Soon after, the House of Commons Industry Committee voted unanimously to summon representatives from Loblaw, Metro and Empire to explain how they all came to this decision within 24 hours of each other.
  • Hmm…Suddenly memories of bread price fixing are arising….

Mortgage rates plummet. Canadian mortgage rates have hit an all-time low . One bank – HSBC Canada – now offers Canada’s lowest bank-advertised five-year fixed rate ever, at 1.99%. 

Racism in healthcare. The Province of British Columbia is investigating after allegations that E.R. staff at multiple health care facilities in BC engaged in a racist game whereby they would guess the blood alcohol level of Indigenous patients.
Tension in the House. After calling out Québec MP Allan Therrien as a racist, NDP leader Jagmeet Singh was kicked out of the House of Commons . Watch Singh’s heartfelt response here .
Image Credit: Getty Images

Ports in protest. Ports along the West Coast of Canada and the United States shut down last week as workers with the International Longshore and Warehouse Union came together in support of racial equality and social justice. Held on June 19 th, the occupation honoured Juneteenth, a holiday commemorating the liberation of slaves in the United States.
Image Credit: Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press
Supreme Court Victories. In a win for the LGBTQ community, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the 1964 Civil Rights Act protects gay, lesbian and transgender employees from discrimination based on sex. They also rejected the Trump administration’s push to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) immigrant program, which protects some 650,000 young immigrants.
Image Credit: Manuel Balce Ceneta/The Associated Press

Outbreaks return. Both New Zealand and Beijing had declared themselves coronavirus-free, only to see new outbreaks emerge after reopening. This trend reflects the difficulties of maintaining containment long-term.
Image Credit: Kevin Frayer/Getty Images
Residents only. Saudi Arabia has announced that this year’s Hajj - the yearly pilgrimage that millions of Muslims make to Mecca – will be very limited and restricted to Saudi residents only. Both Indonesia and Malaysia cancelled earlier this month, countries that typically send a combined total of a quarter million Muslims to make the pilgrimage.
Image Credit: Amr Nabil/AP
A new take on ‘audience’. The Barcelona Opera has reopened, this time playing to an audience of….plants. Nearly 2,300 seats were covered in plants from local nurseries.
Image Credit: Emilio Morenatti/AP
I get by with a little help from my friends
Taking the time to connect and learn from each other opens the door for growth, especially in turbulent times.
One-on-one sessions . WorkSafeBC and Small Business BC have partnered up to offer FREE one-on-one advisory sessions for businesses on how they can reopen both safely and successfully.

Virtual town hall. The PARO Centre for Women’s Enterprise is hosting a virtual town hall, supported by the Government of Canada, which will cover how to take advantage of local supports and grow your business. Hosted on July 9 th , from 1:30 PM – 2:30 PM PST, you can register here .
Business bootcamp. Moody’s Foundation and WEConnect International are offering a two-day, online capacity building program for a select group of women entrepreneurs in Canada. The training program, which is free to both apply for and attend, will take place on August 25 th & 26 th – you can apply here.

Speed networking. On Tuesday June 30 th, Immigrant Women in Business will host an online networking event on social enterprising and entrepreneurship. Leaders in corporate culture, philanthropy, sales, marketing and social responsibility can come together at this free event!
Advisory services. The Women’s Enterprise Centre offers free business advisory services, giving help to women entrepreneurs at all stages of their business. Plus, a free Webinar on how to improve conversational skills and forge deeper professional relationships, June 30 th at 2:00 – 3:00 PM PST.
Work in Flux
Changes in labor power. 7 labor leaders weigh in on how the pandemic has reinvigorated the labour movement - better protections for domestic workers, boosts in minimum wage, unemployment benefits for freelancers and more. Read on for a broader discussion on these powerful shifts. 
Image Credit: Wavebreakmedia/iStock; rightdx/iStock; ymgerman/iStock
The 4-day work week. Picking up steam in Canada and abroad, the 4-day work week is said to boost productivity, increase well-being and create better work-life balance. One municipal office in Nova Scotia has just initiated a pilot project – see how it’s going.

Five stars in safety. As businesses begin to reopen, consumer decisions are being driven by the level of safety precautions taken by each company. Take for example Yelp, which now features safety measures that businesses can display, including sanitizing between customers, limited capacity, contactless payment and more.
  • Plus…making your employees feel safe. Stay current on official guidelines, have open conversations about PPE, emphasize community safety and document any safety issues.
Image Credit: Getty Images
Image Credit: Getty Images/Alexi Rosenfield
Forget business as usual. Now is the time to take stock – of your values, your strategy, your support system and of how you’re spending your time. Taking this transitory time to check in with yourself can offer clarity and perspective as you plan your next move.
Second Chance Grants
Let’s give that project, initiative, expansion plan – whatever it is – a second chance. Scroll through to find funding that works for you!


Grants for developing international markets. Apply online for up to $75,000 in CanExport SMEs funding , which will cover up to 75% of your international market development activities. Available to Canadian small and medium-sized enterprises, the program allows Canadian businesses to target up to 5 unutilized export markets. Apply here !
Grants to enhance supply chains with AI. Through Scale AI’s funding initiative, you can get up to a 50% reimbursement for approved projects that adopt or commercialize AI for supply chains. Submission guidelines are available here.

Green tech funding. Sustainability Technology Development Canada (STDC) provides funding through their SD Tech Fund, accepting applications throughout the year. They fund Canadian SMEs that are advancing pre-commercial green technologies. On average, they fund 33% of the project cost.
Indigenous Innovation Grants. Later this year, Indigenous Innovation Initiative will be requesting project proposals, whereby Indigenous innovators can apply for seed funding amounts between $100,000 to $250,000 to develop their ideas on how to advance equity for Indigenous peoples across Canada. The project must apply a gender focus and must ground its approach in Indigenous community, culture, and knowledge systems.
Hiring in STEM. Hire an intern in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM) or Natural Resources and receive up to a 50% wage subsidy for both wages and training. There are currently two streams of funding – have a look!
Image Credit: The Education Magazine
Grants for WBOs. Apply to the Cartier Women’s Initiative’s Regional Awards to be selected for a $30,000 or $100,000 grant. Women-owned and women-run impact-driven businesses from around the world, across all sectors are encouraged to apply. The deadline is July 31 st, 2020!


The Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation’s Northern Business Opportunity Program:
  • If you have no business in Ontario.  The Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC) is offering conditional grants to businesses that currently do not have a presence in Ontario and who are looking to expand operations in Northern Ontario. Apply here by June 30th 2020.
  • If you have a new business in Ontario. They’re also offering conditional contributions to new businesses in Northern Ontario that intend to begin their operations in priority economic sectors. Funding will cover up to 50% of project costs, up to a maximum of $200,000. Apply here by June 30th
  • If you have an existing business in Ontario. Lastly, the NOHFC is offering conditional grants to existing Ontario businesses looking to expand or retain their operations in Northern Ontario in order to create jobs, to export, to improve competitiveness, and to grow revenues. Apply here by June 30th.

Seed funding for Ontario Startups. Apply summer 2020 for $30,000 in seed capital funds (which must be matched by grant recipients), along with 7 months of one-on-one mentorship, access to market research and connections to investors. Check out the AC Jumpstart program, funded by FedDev Ontario, here.

Diversifying local Ontario economies. FedDev Ontario is seeking Businesses or not-for-profit organizations in small communities who are working to develop, diversify and transform their local economies in southern Ontario. Non-profit organizations can get from $250,000 to $5 million in non-repayable contributions, while incorporated businesses can get the same in repayable contributions at zero interest.

Going digital. To help small businesses be more digitally effective through the pandemic, the Government of Ontario has created a Digital Mainstreet shopHERE program, providing independent small businesses and artists with a quick, zero-cost way of selling online. Mainstreet businesses can apply for $2.5K digital transformation grants to ease the transition.
Nova Scotia

Enhance your online presence. The Digital Adoption program contributes up to 50% of eligible costs for Nova Scotia businesses to adopt digital tools and implement process improvements to bolster their online presence through thee pandemic. Funding will assist with e-commerce solutions and will support remote working.

Create low carbon communities. Funding of up to 75% is available to non-profits and community organizations to engage in projects, such as transportation, buildings, or electricity, that are geared toward reducing emissions. Scroll through all the streams here - applications must be completed by September 30 th, 2021.

Funding for agricultural businesses. Non-repayable funding to help those in the agricultural sector is offered through 4 distinct streams. Check your eligibility – applications close December 31, 2020.

And a loan in British Columbia

The Unity Women’s Entrepreneurs Program. C redit union Vancity and the Women’s Enterprise Centre are teaming up to provide loans to women entrepreneurs in BC who have been affected by the pandemic. The program offers up to $150,000 with no payment or interest in the first 6 months, along with professional business support and connections to other WBOs.
In a crisis, we pivot
In the words of Winston Churchill , “Never let a good crisis go to waste”. Times of turbulence, while incredibly challenging, can be a catalyst for new ideas, new ways of doing, and new businesses entirely. Just ask General Motors, Burger King, CNN, Uber and Airbnb – they were all founded in the midst of economic downturn .

Better yet, just ask me. I started my business during the early 1980s, when interest rates skyrocketed. 26%!

All that to say, I am incredibly proud to celebrate the optimism and perseverance demonstrated by our members. Today, I’d like to highlight a few stories that inspire me, give me courage, and push me to approach this challenging time with a new lens!

Take a peek at these peaks! Seven years ago, GYB member Kerri Jones and her partner Alex Relf opened Australian pie shop Peaked Pies in Whistler B.C. Fast forward to this week and they are celebrating the grand opening of their THIRD location, located in Burnaby Heights! Opening up a restaurant in the midst of a pandemic is no easy feat – what a show of resilience. Congratulations, Kerri!
Strictly money. Saijal Patel, founder & CEO of Saijelle has unveiled a financial education program designed exclusively for women. Titled Strictly Money, the 10-week web-based program offers crucial perspective on how to take control of your wealth. GroYourBiz members can receive exclusive pricing – contact Saijal to get your discount code.
Opportunities await. Brandy Ferrer, founder & CEO of Pathfinder Strategies has graced us with an expert take on the workforce opportunities arising through the pandemic. Find reflections on the expanding talent pool, the WFH life, and how to focus your hiring practices.

What have YOU done to pivot your business? Send us an email at – we want to celebrate your initiative!
Community Corner
At the end of a long newsletter, there’s nothing like coming home. Thankfully, our GYB community corner is a home-like space where members can explore the connections and opportunities that our membership offers.

This is my story. This past week, I had the honour of appearing on the Aman Gill Show to share my story – the story of how I started my business. In this hour interview, I outline some of the obstacles I have faced throughout my career, I share some of the twists and turns that my path has taken along the way, and I explore the magic that comes from empowering and connecting women entrepreneurs.
  • Always remember, life is a zig zag course! You can watch the whole episode here.
Speaking of connection…Experience the benefits of collaboration in a free session with a virtual advisory board. Not only will you benefit from the expert feedback of experienced WBOs, you’ll learn how to leverage what’s in front of you as you develop your business.
Want to give it a try? Register here . Chairs Marg Hachey, Marla Kott, Vania Sakelaris, Victoria Eastwood, Crystal D’Cunha & Sabrina Fabbro will each facilitate some amazing sessions over the course of the next month. Here’s what’s coming up:
A Taste of GroYourBiz – London, UK. You’ve built your business – now what? What steps will you take to grow and evolve? In this virtual information session, we give you a sense of how a community like GYB’s can help you take your business to the next level.
Hear it from the experts:
  • Join the Chairs of London, UK, Emma-Jane Taylor, CEO, The Works Company and Susan Kabani CEO, UGENIE.IO as they expand on the tangible benefits of peer advisory boards and a robust network of like-minded entrepreneurs.
  • Hosted on June 30th, 2020 – 12:30PM – 2:00 PM BST you can RSVP here.

Last but certainly not least, we’d like to extend a warm welcome to our new members! The GroYourBiz community is an ever-growing family of bright women business owners, and we are thrilled to be opening our arms to even more! Click the link to check out their profiles and get to know them.
That's all folks.
We'll catch you next week for another round of TIPS!
Can’t wait to see you back here next week.
#togetherathome #togetherweshare #togetherstrong #excelsior

GroYourBiz Ltd.
Barbara Mowat, President
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