Your go-to spot for Business Updates
The sounds of spring are in full swing. Has anyone else noticed how loud those birds have been lately?
As global air pollution drops , the earth breathes, and the chirps get louder and louder, we find ourselves in another week of the COVID-19 saga.
So, to guide you through the next micro-chapter of the pandemic, we’re pulling out all the stops.
In this week’s issue of TIPS for TOUGH TIMES, you’ll find heartwarming tales of care and community, a complete work-from-home guide, global approaches to government relief, and of course, our usual domestic updates.
A Word from our Officials
A lot has happened with the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) . Here’s what you need to know:
Canada Summer Jobs. To support students, the federal government will pay 100% of the wages paid by employers through the Canada Summer Jobs program. 
Help is on the way. In partnership with the Government of Canada, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce has established the Canadian Business Resilience Network (CBRN) to help the business community through the pandemic. Consider them a hub for tools, guidance and accurate information as you navigate the crisis.
Meanwhile in Nova Scotia…
One-time payments . The Small Business Impact Grant will provide small businesses with a grant of 15% of their revenue from sales (in April 2019 or February 2020) up to a maximum of $5,000. It can be used for any purpose necessary. Plus, Nova Scotia’s Worker Emergency Bridge Fund is providing $1,000 to self-employed people and laid-off workers who don’t qualify for EI.
And a quick note from Vancity… They’re temporarily cutting their credit card interest rate to 0% . For the next 6 months, personal and business cardholders who need to defer payment due to the pandemic will be offered payment deferrals for up to 6 months at 0% interest.
The Global Community
How have other governments been handling the crisis?
Commercial Rent - Australia . A mandatory code of conduct for commercial tenancies instituted in Australia prevents landlords from evicting tenants and enforces that they lower commercial rates in line with the companies falling revenue
Small Business Grants – The UK. The UK government is offering small business grant funding of £10,000 for eligible small businesses. Plus, they’re offering grant funding of £25,000 for eligible retail, hospitality and leisure businesses.

Widespread Cash Payout - Hong Kong . The government is issuing a  HK$10,000 cash payout to all Hong Kong permanent residents aged 18 or above.
Short-Term Layoffs – Sweden. The Swedish government is introducing a program for short-term layoffs where employers can halve their wage costs, while employees still receive more than 90% of their wage.
Event Cancellation Denmark . Denmark is issuing an aid program for event organizers to cover damages for large cancelled events (over 1,000 people).
Coronavirus testing India . India’s Supreme Court has ordered all coronavirus tests to be made free . Private labs can no longer charge for tests.
Supporting the Arts The City of Denver. $1,000 cash grants are being awarded to individual artists whose incomes have been affected by the pandemic.
Your Work-from-Home Guide
Keep that routine. Caring for elderly parents while trying to work from home can be challenging. Here are some helpful tips on maintaining balance, including upholding a routine, establishing boundaries and viewing the day from their perspective.
A moms-eye-view. Take it from these full-time work-from-home moms – a schedule is your friend. Find more insights on telecommuting with kids from these WFH experts .
Protect your data. Spending the day on zoom? Take a peek at this article to keep your zoom chats private and secure .
Don’t forget your mentees . A crisis is when your mentees need your leadership the most. It can also be great for you. Click here to see two professors discuss the psychosocial and career benefits of mentoring .
The set up. Straight from Architectural Digest, here’s a curated list of all things to consider when setting up a home office . A cable organizer – that’s what I’ve been missing!
Make it a great meeting . Social dynamics change when we’re all behind a screen. If you’re looking to elevate your presence in the next meeting , check out this article. Tip #1 – look at the camera, not your colleagues. 
Productivity is possible . You’re going to like this one – #3 is reward yourself. Read this article from MindTools on staying focused while working from home, or check out their 1-minute video .
Navigating the New Normal
While we didn’t expect to have to sanitize our milk cartons after every trip to the grocery store, this is indeed our new reality. May as well be prepared!
Stay safe at the grocery store. With all the spring holidays coming up, you might need to head to your local marketplace. Check out this detailed video to ensure that you’re doing everything you need to keep safe.
Make those quarantine calories count. Make sure you’re nourishing your body and maintaining a healthy diet while in isolation. One recommendation: nut butters.
Try this one GYB member Dr. Penina Lam is combining nutrition and humanitarianism with her amazing spread Happea Butter. With every jar sold, one sachet of nutrient-rich food is donated to vulnerable children, reflecting their vision for a world where everyone has access to nutritious foods.
Get that heartbeat up . A challenge in fitness and creativity both, working out at home requires commitment. Read on for advice on how to exercise in a pandemic .
Delivery Etiquette. When the going gets tough, the pizza gets going. Here is a full guide on how to safely order delivery groceries or takeout during quarantine.
Did you say FREE? Thank you, Forbes for this comprehensive tracker on all the free at-home services available during COVID-19. Free audiobooks, free yoga – even free opera!
Plus…our friends at The New York Times are offering subscriptions to Canadians at just $1 a week!
Healthy holidays. From virtual Passover Seder dinners to family-only egg hunts, families everywhere are finding new ways to celebrate in isolation. Read this article for reflections on observing Easter, Passover and Ramadan during quarantine .
Cut yourself a break. If you find yourself with loads of extra time during the pandemic, the internet might make you feel pressured to ‘make the most of it’ through home projects or spring cleaning. But as productivity consultant Matt Bailey reminds us, “It’s tough enough to be productive in the best of times let alone when we’re in a global crisis”. Read the full article from the New York Times here .
Tips by team
Leave it to the marketing team. Here is some guidance on navigating brand marketing during the coronavirus. Think empathy, transparency, and generosity.
Adapt your sales strategy . Economic uncertainty and sales go together like oil and water. But there is hope yet – check out these 5 tips on helping your sales team adapt to COVID-19.

All about customer service. CEO of business coaching firm Petra Coach gives us tips on how to forge stronger relationships with customers through this crisis. The gist: what you do now will matter later.
Shake up your e-commerce game. The Hustle is launching a new podcast titled Exit Strategy, hosted by Moiz Ali , founder of Native , where he interviews some of the most successful ecommerce entrepreneurs around the world. Discover how they started, grew and eventually sold.
Non-profit s – this one's for you
Remote work. Here is an overview of (mostly) free resources for remote communication and information sharing that non-profits can implement without external IT support.
Plus… .a virtual workshop titled Managing the Impact of COVID-19 on Nonprofits . Click here to check out the 1 hour 30-minute video.
Fundraising event got cancelled? Don’t panic. This post has some great strategies on how to pivot after COVID-19 cancellations.
Management Hub. The National Council of Nonprofits has put together a highly informative page , full of links on how to manage your organization’s finances, take part in public decision-making, how to take care of yourself and more. You might want to bookmark this one.
Q & A time . The Nonprofit Technology Enterprise Network (NTEN) is hosting virtual open office hours where you can find answers to your burning questions. To register, click the link here .
Support in Alberta . The Community Foundation of Southeastern Alberta has created a COVID-19 relief fund to be distributed to nearby charities to help with their response efforts. You can donate to the fund here .
Humans being Human
From companies to individuals, humanity is showing up.
Good neighbors are everywhere. After witnessing the struggles that seniors have been facing as they try to buy essential goods like groceries, Mississauga, ON., resident Tariq Syed stepped up to help . He created the Good Neighbor Project on Facebook, a page that connects seniors with volunteers in order to get them what they need. Within 3 days, the page had more than 3,000 people!
Sounds of Bobcaygeon . Bobcaygeon, ON., resident, Richard Kyle rallied his community together to show love and support to the Pinecrest Nursing Home, where COVID-19 has killed more than 20 residents. He organized a campaign, Sing Bobcaygeon From Your Porch , and on April 5 th , 2020, the town came together to sing The Tragically Hip’s famous song, Bobcaygeon. While physically apart, their voices in unison were there as a message of support to everyone at Pinecrest.
Empowered women empower women. That’s the motto for Sara Blakely, CEO of Spanx, and her newly launched Red Backpack Fund. The Spanx by Sara Blakely Foundation donated $5 million to support female entrepreneurs struggling through COVID-19. GlobalGiving will be overseeing the fund, which will make 1,000 grants of $5,000 each to female entrepreneurs in the US.
The best kind of chain reaction. Mandy Farmer, CEO of Accent Inns, is leading by example. Her hotel company, Accent Inns, stepped up to offer significantly reduced rates to front line caregivers, many of whom have been scrambling to find a place to sleep at night out of fear of bringing the virus home. As a result, local businesses and community members joined in, donating meals and purchasing rooms for health care workers. Thanks to the extra initiative from supporters, rooms are now FREE for frontline workers. What a beautiful story of community support
Not just any milkman. This UK milkman has been delivering in north Leicestershire for over 35 years. Throughout the pandemic, however, he’s been helping out residents who need an extra hand. Delivering food and supplies, picking up prescriptions and even taking a cat to the vet have all been in his job description lately. Thank you, Tony Fowler!

Kids can help too. Children have been putting up drawings of rainbows in their windows to send a message: we’re all in this together.

Photo: Anthony Devlin/Getty
Now that’s resourceful. Leah Lizarondo is a WE Empower Awardee and the CEO & Founder of 412 Food Rescue, an organization that aims to fight hunger and promote sustainability by preventing food waste. This week, one of her volunteers had to get creative while distributing food and used an ironing board to display it for the community. Who would have thought an ironing board would make for such a great table? Thinking outside the box in times of struggle – gotta love that!
Interested in food security? Hear Leah discuss food insecurity during the pandemic on the Voices of Resilience Podcast.
Speaking of SDGs and WOMEN ENTREPRENEURS.  Only 6 Days Left to Apply—The WE Empower UN SDG Challenge is in full swing! This global challenge for business leaders and changemakers will send 5 finalists from around the world to New York City for a week of trainings, networking, the opportunity to pitch their businesses for a $20K grant and much MORE. GroYourBiz is so proud to be a lead sponsor of this initiative! Apply TODAY!
Supplies on the way! Nearly 5,000 Canadian companies have offered to help the government as they secure a supply of crucial items for frontline health workers. From the multiple organizations working to produce up to 30,000 made-in Canada ventilators, to the apparel companies like Arc’teryx creating medical gowns, our local businesses are showing the Canadian way. And we can’t forget to thank 3M for making sure that Canada receives masks!
We can still connect in quarantine. Gail Green, one of our very own GYB members, is using her company Emergenetics to foster connection during this isolating time. A company dedicated to realizing the potential of people in organizations, communities and at home, Emergenetics is offering virtual delivery of their signature workshop experiences. Sign up to be trained in team-based collaboration – a great skill to hone while you’re working from home.
While you’re here…Emergenetics is in the running for the HR Reporter Readers’ Choice Award. If you feel so inclined, you can vote for them here. Keep in mind - you only need to answer question #38 for your vote to count!
Inspiration Hub
Tales of perseverance . This podcast, Going Through It , features 14 talented women as they discuss the moments in their lives and careers where they had to make the decision: quit or keep going. Listen to how they navigated the big moments in life here .
Where’s the good news at? The news cycle can be overwhelming. Follow @goodnews_movement on Instagram for a more positive spin. Full of tender human moments and people doing good, it’s a great page to look at after a long day.

Thank you to the Queen. The Queen gave an inspiring address, reminding us that as we join together with all the nations across the globe, we will succeed in the fight against the pandemic. That success, she says, will belong to each and every one of us. Watch the full video here.
Easter Bunny deemed essential. Jacinda Ardern, the Prime Minister of New Zealand, announced that the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy will be deemed essential workers. Ardern added, “of course, they are going to be particularly quite busy at home with their family as well and their own bunnies”. You made us smile, Prime Minister.
That's it for now.
Miss us already? You can catch us online for another round of our virtual webinar series . Our last four were a great success, with excellent feedback coming from our members. If you missed them, don’t worry! You can still access them by subscribing here .
Speaking of webinars ...BMO is offering some resources in response to COVID-19: two webinars and a podcast. While the first webinar deals with managing cash flow and understanding government relief programs, the other provides insights on the economy, business planning and tax implications. HR questions? Find answers in this podcast , featuring HR Lawyer and consultant Laura Williams in a discussion on hiring, firing and layoffs during this uncertain time.
Finally, as we enter the spring-time holiday season, let’s take a minute to feel grounded in ourselves and to remember to share love with our family and friends. This 2-minute video, titled “The Optimist Creed – PROMISE YOURSELF” by leadership coach Simerjeet Singh , is a great source for inspiration – it covers optimism, bringing positivity to others, and the power of acknowledging that happiness comes from within. Happy Easter, Passover and Ramadan everyone!
We’ll see you next week!
GroYourBiz Ltd.
Barbara Mowat, President
Let us know what you thought of this week's newsletter!