New year, new us
It's a new year and a new look for huumans in your inbox. Welcome to 'The huuman layer' - packed with more insights, more choice and more useful stuff for Small Business in 2023!
Before the holidays we made our predictions for Small Business in 2023, and at huumans we’re already making one of those predictions come true - by changing how we send out our weekly reports. Yes, we’ve moved away from the big social networks and started embracing new platforms!
Substack (if you’re not already aware) is a new(ish) platform entirely focused on reader-supported content without intrusive advertising and dubious tracking - and along with delivering this first report of the year securely to your inbox, it’s going to help us to bring you bigger, brighter, better things in the coming year.
From small business data reports to owner interviews to guides to analysis - our to-do list is ambitious and we’re hoping you’ll be along for the ride.
If you find this report useful, why not share it with the other small business owners in your network?
Top story this week☝️
Employment Insurance (EI) and CPP have gone up
It was the holidays, which meant that there was little real news (unrelated to either snow or the lack of it). So this January, our top story is…inevitably tax related. As you may have heard, both EI and CPP contributions have risen. This means you will have to contribute more to your employees EI or CPP from now on. Employer / Employee contribution is rising from 5.70% to 5.95%. If you're self employed then your personal contribution rate will rise from 11.40% to 11.90%. Link
If you're a huumans customer and you’re now panicking about this rise in EI and CPP - relax and contact your huumans team to find out how this change will affect your business. If you use huumans to manage your payroll, then you’re in luck - we’ve already made these adjustments for you from January 1st.
Job market flux as 50% of Canadian workers start looking for a new job
Employees are on the move again. I mean we saw the omens as far back as 2020, but there’s proof now that the job market is becoming more liquid than ever. This is good news if you’re hiring, maybe less good news if you’re focused on retaining. But either way this is a clear sign that the job market is going to get very competitive. Link
Looking for grants? We got grants.
A nice simple list of available grants for small business owners, because everyone loves a nice simple list right? Anyway, as you probably already know, traditional money is getting harder to access, and many small business owners are looking once more to grants to fill the funding gap. Link
Crypto is at it again!
We were a bit scathing of crypto confidence in our recent predictions article but putting aside our negative analysis of Crypto in 2023, it comes as little surprise that Nova Scotia’s securities regulator has revealed a $750,000 crypto scam in the province. Link
Good news for jobs
Canada added 104,000 jobs in December of 2022, catching most economists by surprise. We warned you that the signs of recession would swing about this year, and we’re starting the new year with a positive trend. Link
The Data Room 🤖
This year we’re launching a new additional monthly newsletter called The Data Room, which will focus on exclusive Small Business data analysis, trends and discussion around business statistics. If you’re interested in understanding the changing numbers and trends around Small Business in Canada, this will be worth a space in your inbox.
Where do these inflation numbers even come from anyway?
The Bank of Canada is expecting inflation to decrease to 3% in 2023, right now that’s looking pretty optimistic considering both Canada and the US are at 40 year highs. You know things are confusing when almost every expert in a field has a different opinion, but how many of us plebs have a firm grasp on what inflation actually is? Part of the problem is that inflation isn’t a phenomenon with a single standard form of measurement. This can make it hard for us to localize a global issue: inflation in the US is different from inflation in the EU which is different from inflation in Canada.
The current state of inflation
As the demand for goods and services grows in an economy the prices naturally rise, by keeping demand and supply at stable levels we can expect a steady rate of inflation. Back in 1979 when the US had 11.25% inflation, one of my favourite economists Chaucy Gardnier put it like this: “In the garden, growth has its seasons. First comes spring and summer, but then we have fall and winter. And then we get spring and summer again.” The idea is that inflation is cyclical and can take some time to cool off, considering we’ve been in the 0.1% to 3% range for the last 30 years, it’s no surprise the last few years of turmoil has brought about this much financial calamity. Both Canada and the US have determined that the ideal rate of inflation is around 2% per year, and the Bank of Canada says we’ll be back on track by 2024. In 2022 the inflation rate in Canada was…
The Balance Sheet 💬
Also this year we’re launching another monthly newsletter called The Balance Sheet, which will focus on opinion, ideas, interviews with small business owners and industry analysis powered by smart voices. If you’re interested in the big (and small) talk around good business and the future of SMB, this will be worthy of your time.
The reality of building a hybrid or remote company in 2023
For most business owners their understanding of remote or hybrid work was quickly forged during the pandemic when it was largely enforced upon them overnight. As lockdowns were mandated, businesses rushed to align to the new normal. Laptops were requisitioned, Zoom subscriptions purchased and staff began what would turn out to be a generationally defining period of home working. It was a confusing time of working out new protocols, new ways of working - and it was all done in a rush with an ever-present fog of instability and worry. Would your business survive. Would the market stabilize. Would everyone be safe.
The majority of businesses who adopted remote working had never considered it as a possibility before, had not considered how it could work, nor had the time or resources to plan out the details. Remote working was implemented overnight with little support, relying on general good will and the hope that the levels of change being inflicted on everyone could be absorbed and somehow managed. You grabbed what you could from the office…
Market at-a-glance 📈
BOC Indicators (Link):
BOC Prime Rate: 6.45%
BOC Unemployment Rate: 5.1%
BOC CPI Inflation Rate: 6.9%
BOC $USD Exchange Rate (Link):
Low: 1.3486 CAD [0.7415 USD]
Average: 1.3554 CAD [0.7378 USD]
High: 1.3658 CAD [0.7322 USD]
Best GIC Rates (Link):
1-year GIC: 5.25%
3-year GIC: 5.10%
5-year GIC: 5.20%
Best 5Y Mortgage Rates (Link):
Variable Closed: 5.200%
Variable Open: 6.600%
Prime Rates (Link):
TD Bank: 6.45%
National Bank: 6.45%
CRA Canadian Pension Plan Rate: 5.95%
CRA Employment Insurance Rate: 1.63%
CRA Minimum Wage per Province: Link
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