A federal pandemic business loan is coming due. Some in N.S. can’t afford to pay

Small businesses in Nova Scotia are bracing for Jan. 18, the date Canadian Emergency Business Account loan repayments come due.

The federal money was given to small businesses and not-for-profits in April 2020 to help lessen the impacts of the COVID-19 lockdown. The money has to be repaid by Jan. 18 in order to receive loan forgiveness of up to $20,000.

Duncan Robertson, a senior policy analyst with the Canadian Federation of Independent Business in Nova Scotia, told CBC’s Information Morning Halifax this week that four in 10 businesses in Nova Scotia will be able to pay back the loan, a quarter will have to borrow money to get the loan forgiveness, two in 10 won’t be able to make the deadline and the rest don’t know what will happen.

“If they do miss that January deadline, they will go from having $40,000 debt on Jan. 18 to $60,000 debt,” Robertson said.

“They’ll have to pay that five per cent interest and then they’ll have until Dec. 31, 2026 to fully repay that CEBA loan.”

Robertson said the federation is concerned for the more than 16,000 small Nova Scotia businesses that took the loan and were counting on the forgivable portion. He said they’re hoping the federal government will extend the forgivable loan by a year so businesses have time to catch up.

“When they took that loan, we weren’t really sure what the economic realities would be and now many are faced with high costs and rising interest rates, so we’re asking government to take that into account … we found that would benefit around 95 per cent of businesses that took that loan,” said Robertson.

‘Bad time for a lot of small businesses’

The Restaurant Association of Nova Scotia said half of the establishments are either just breaking even or operating at a loss.

“With increased expenses across the board and high debt loads, many businesses will not be able to pay back their CEBA loans by the determined deadline,” the restaurant association said in a statement. “We urge the Federal Government to extend the repayment deadline as restaurants continue to recover from closures during the pandemic and navigate challenges in the industry.”

Brendan Doherty, the owner of Edible Matters and The Old Triangle Irish Alehouse, said the loan repayments are coming at “a terrible time for small businesses.” He said the loans were “a lifeline that kept

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Business Strategy After Sam Altman Firing

Turmoil is rocking the artificial intelligence industry. Business leaders developing an AI strategy should—in most but not all cases—continue as before the recent big news.

The board of OpenAI fired Sam Altman as CEO on November 17, and the company’s president, Greg Brockman, resigned soon after. Three days later, Microsoft announced, “Sam Altman and Greg Brockman, together with colleagues, will be joining Microsoft
to lead a new advanced AI research team.”

The business world was stunned by the rapid turnaround, but maybe should not have been too surprised. The latest advances in AI came quickly, throwing a great deal of computing activity into a state of flux. The technical capabilities of large language models have grown rapidly, with fast-moving implications for business practices of end-users of AI. In between, new relationships between the AI startups and the major tech companies were forged. AI businesses such as OpenAI and Anthropic need cloud computing providers, and the corporations with cloud operations need AI for their other business lines.

Rapid change is not surprising for a fast-growing industry using new technology to power sales. Past generations saw it with railroads, petroleum and automobiles. This will not be the last change in the industry. It might be the last change for the week of Thanksgiving, but probably not even the last change of 2023.

Key people, such as Sam Altman, matter. But how much they matter is quite debatable. Historians argue this issue. Do great people make history, or does history make great people? Most of the top business innovations developed as technological opportunities advanced. A great leader may see the opportunity and implement it first, but someone else would eventually have come along to do the same.

Business leaders about to ink a major deal with OpenAI or Microsoft related to AI might want to pause and learn more. In all other cases, companies should continue developing AI implementation strategies. The best advice right now is to focus on specific apps that utilize AI to improve employee productivity in narrow activities. Microsoft has been incorporating ChatGPT into its current products, while many startups have developed very specific apps that utilize a large language model to help with very specific business tasks.

Those specific apps will be far

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3 in 5 believe Biden knew of son’s business dealings: Poll

Three out of five respondents believe President Biden knew of his son Hunter Biden’s business dealings, according to a survey conducted by Harvard’s Center for American Political Studies, Harris X and The Harris Poll.

Sixty percent of respondents think Biden “helped and participated in Hunter Biden’s business,” while 40 percent said they think the president did not help or participate, the poll found.

Republicans were more likely than Democrats to say they think Biden participated in his son’s business, despite there being no clear evidence of that claim; 81 percent of Republican respondents said they think Biden participated, compared to 39 percent of Democrats and 59 percent of independent voters who said the opposite.

Sixty-one percent of Democrats said Biden had no knowledge of his son’s business dealings, while 19 percent of Republicans thought the same, along with 41 percent of independents.

According to Harris Poll Chairman Mark Penn, the results show that voters are still concerned about Hunter Biden’s business deals and his father’s potential involvement.

“While the news has pivoted to other topics, voters remain concerned about Hunter Biden and how involved President Biden was in his business,” Penn said in an emailed statement.

Former Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) opened a formal impeachment inquiry into the president in mid-September and claimed the Biden family has a “culture of corruption.”

That month, the House Oversight and Accountability Committee held its first hearings on the impeachment inquiry into Biden and had a focus on Hunter Biden’s bank records and business dealings.

Democrats say Republicans have yet to connect the president to any wrongdoing.

Still, the president and his son are earning low favorability scores with voters.

“Hunter received a high unfavorable rating – worse than the president – and most believe that the president at least knew about his dealings,” Penn’s statement said.

Hunter Biden earned the highest unfavorable rating, with 37 percent of voters saying they have a “very unfavorable” view of him, 1 percent more than said the same of President Biden.

Former President Trump earned the highest favorability rating in the November poll, with 30 percent of respondents saying they have a “very favorable” view of him and 34 percent who said they have a very unfavorable view.

The survey was conducted online Nov. 15-16 with 2,851 registered voters.

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The Ultimate Guide To Building A Good Plan

When starting a business, a business plan is essential. Whether you are launching an online store or opening a brick-and-mortar shop, having a well-written business plan is crucial to your success.

A business plan is essentially a roadmap that outlines your goals, strategies, and potential hurdles. It not only helps you stay organized but also provides a clear vision of your business to potential investors and stakeholders.

Think of the business plan as a blueprint that guides you towards building a profitable and sustainable business. If you’re serious about starting a business, take the time to create a well-crafted business plan.

How a business plan benefits you

A business plan is not just a document for investors or loan officers – a business plan can be an invaluable tool for yourself as well. By taking the time to write out your idea and flesh out the details, you gain a deeper understanding of your business and what it takes to make it a reality.

Plus, having a plan in place helps you stay focused and motivated when the going gets tough, and can save you time and money in the long run.

Don’t underestimate the power of a solid business plan. Not only does it benefit your bottom line, but it can also be a source of inspiration and guidance as you navigate the exciting world of entrepreneurship.

How a business plan benefits the lender

It’s no secret that starting a business requires ample financing. But if you’re an entrepreneur, how do you convince lenders to invest in your vision?

The answer is simple: a well-crafted business plan.

Not only does a business plan outline your company’s goals and strategies, but it also shows lenders that you’ve done your homework and have a clear understanding of your market and competitors. By presenting a comprehensive plan, you give lenders the confidence to trust that their investment will yield a return.

A business plan benefits not only the entrepreneur but also the lender, providing a roadmap to success and building a foundation of trust and accountability.

A strong business plan is a key factor that lenders consider when deciding whether to loan you money. It shows them that you have a solid plan in place for repaying the loan and growing your business.

By putting in the effort to create a

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Behold the Ozempic effect on business

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It’s rare that the presentation of the results of medical studies attract standing-room-only crowds. But that was the case a couple of weeks ago in Philadelphia, when medical professionals and media alike packed a ballroom at an American Heart Association meeting.

They were there to hear the news that Wegovy, one of a new group of massively popular weight-loss medications, could not only make patients a lot thinner and cut their risk of diabetes, but also reduce the chance of death from heart attack or stroke by 20 per cent.

Not since the rise of cholesterol-reducing statins, or perhaps even pain medications like Advil, has a group of pharmaceuticals so captured the public imagination. Wegovy, and its better known cousin Ozempic, are “semaglutides,” a class of drugs that slow digestion and mimic the effects of natural appetite-reducing hormones. First commercialised by Danish insulin maker NovoNordisk, they are now being developed and rolled out by many major pharmaceutical companies. Not only do they lead to an average 15-20 per cent weight loss in obese patients, they also appear to protect the heart, liver and kidneys, organs which are often put under strain by excess weight.

Prescriptions for these drugs are up a whopping 300 per cent in the US since 2020, despite the fact that they can cost between $300 and $1,300 per month. Bank of America expects 48mn Americans (about one-seventh of the population) to be on the meds by 2030.

This reflects not only the fact that three-quarters of the US population is overweight, but also the impact of intense media interest in the drugs. They are being used not only by the truly overweight and/or diabetic patients for whom they were developed, but by Hollywood stars and others who believe you can never be too rich or too thin.

Pre-diabetic patients are going on them to avoid more serious illness. Psychiatrists are doling out prescriptions to patients whose antidepressants have caused them to put on weight. WeightWatchers has acquired a telemedicine company to start prescribing semaglutides via Zoom.

Any number of other companies in industries ranging from fast food to insurance to health and fitness are seeing their core business models disrupted by drugs that seem to fundamentally change how much people want to eat.

Let’s start with

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