Ottawa throws a lifeline to Canadian businesses.
If I had (600) million dollars…
By Hannah Rosen
Ahhh September. Crisp air, falling leaves, big pumpkins, and even bigger deals…for small and medium businesses, that is.
As COVID-19 numbers continue to rise across provinces (except the Maritimes, you flawless folks), the federal government is hoping to bolster businesses for the financial troubles of the anticipated second wave. If the government chooses to renew shutdowns, as we saw back in March and April, many small and medium businesses could find themselves in hot water (or cider, as per fall recommendations).
All jokes aside, COVID-19 is posing a serious threat to Canadian business owners, with the CFIB estimating that 14 per cent of small- and medium-sized businesses in Canada (roughly 160,000) are at risk of closing permanently. While we tried our best to maintain a hot-girl summer within our borders, COVID also led to very little business for tourism, hotels, and catering, with little-to-no hope of business to pick up until next summer (praying to the scientists to get us that vaccine ASAP).
$962 million was already invested in the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund, and the additional funding will be split with $456 million made available to help businesses struggling to bridge their finances through another lockdown, and $144 million will help provide capital and technical support to rural businesses and communities. The big concern? Making sure this funding is available as quickly as possible, to prevent any businesses from closing prematurely.
So, as you create your holiday shopping list, consider local businesses rather than big box stores. Local creators on Etsy, vouchers to neighbourhood businesses, and takeout from area restaurants are the new way to every Btch’s heart.
Alberta oil on track to reach Alaska
By Cydney Melnyk
Last week, U.S. President Trump announced that he would issue a presidential permit for the A2A Cross-Border Rail project, which is a project to build a railway running from Fort McMurray, Alberta to Alaska.
Interesting, what would this mean for Canada?
If built, the railway could help move Canadian oil to international markets; it could also transport grain, container goods, and potentially passengers. However, the project still needs to undergo an environmental impact assessment in Canada. Then, it would need federal and provincial approval.
While we haven’t heard from all premiers yet, Alberta’s Jason Kenney has already announced his support for the project. It is estimated to cost $22 billion and A2A Rail has reportedly spent nearly $100 million, stating that the project would create 18,000 jobs for Canadians.
So, when can I buy my train ticket to head to Alaska!?
Even though the presidential permit comes as a win for the railway, the project still has a long way to go. The proposed railway spans multiple jurisdictions and would need permission from both U.S. and Canadian Regulatory Processes. Furthermore, the proposed route for the railway would include the traditional, treaty and heritage lands of Indidenous Peoples in Canada and the U.S., from which approval would need to be granted.
Also, with the upcoming U.S. Presidential election, the project could be cut under a new administration. Democrat nominee Biden has already said that if elected, he would revoke the permit for the Keystone XL pipeline, which was another project Trump approved to connect Canadian oilsands to the U.S.
Despite the risks, A2A Rail aims to start prep work for construction in December with the goal of getting the locomotive moving by 2025. For now, all passengers please standby!
Trump, COVID-19, and the U.S. Stock Market. Oh Boy
By Ai-Men Lau
Last Friday, President Donald Trump tweeted that he and the First Lady had tested positive for COVID-19.
Since then, reports of President Trump’s condition has spurred confusion. On Saturday morning, Navy Commander Dr. Sean Conley offered an optimistic assessment of the President’s condition. But sources close to Trump report not-so-great conditions, and medical professionals have noted the current prescription Trump is receiving is for severe cases of COVID-19. Even Dr. Conley was evasive when asked if Trump was on supplemental oxygen.
Trump’s COVID-19 diagnosis also fuels uncertainty for an already nervous U.S. stock market. Currently, the markets remain relatively positive despite the diagnosis. However, many investors are worried that a serious decline in President Trump’s health with less than a month before Americans go to the polls could shake up the U.S. stock market (which has just reported its worst monthly performance since March).
With the President’s health potentially in jeopardy, the market is facing great uncertainty that cannot be ignored. The outcomes investors have imagined range from a quick recovery that bolsters Trump’s image as a fighter or a long and drawn out illness or death that could fuel uncertainty in the stock market.
If that uncertainty persists, tech and momentum stocks*, which have led this year’s stock market, may be particularly vulnerable to a sell off*. The tech-heavy NASDAQ fell more than 2% on Friday.
It also doesn’t help that Trump has declined to commit to a peaceful acceptance of election results if Joe Biden were to win. It could very well be that if the President’s health does not recover, he may give up on contesting the election. But the stock markets aren’t banking on that.
*What’s a momentum stock?
Momentum stocks are the stocks that are making new highs, or gaining momentum with higher volatility than usual. The goal of trading momentum stocks is to buy high and sell higher in a short period of time, anywhere from a few minutes to a few weeks depending on which style you use.
*What’s a sell off?
When a substantial number of shareholders sell a specific stock, it is called a sell-off. Generally speaking, prospective buyers sit on the sidelines until the conditions that caused the sell-off to occur are over. Because there are few buyers and many sellers, the stock price declines, sometimes dramatically.
A sell-off may be caused by an event within the company, like a report of lower than expected earnings. A sell-off can also be caused by external forces. For example, a spike in grain prices may trigger a sell-off in food stocks because of the increases in raw materials costs.