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  • Employee contributions to spousal health coverage on the rise: survey | Small Biz Advisor
    Watson Its annual Willis Towers Watson National Business Group on Health Best Practices in Health Care Employer Survey found that the use of spousal surcharges when other employer provided coverage is available is expected to more than double by 2018 from 27 to 56 The average spousal surcharge across all employers surveyed is 1 200 per year The survey also found that a small number 3 of respondents don t offer or have eliminated subsidies altogether for spousal coverage with another 10 planning to by 2018 Given the high cost of healthcare companies no longer want their plans to be spouse magnets which may incur thousands of dollars a year in additional healthcare expenses when spouses have access to coverage through their own employers said Randall Abbott senior health and benefit strategist at Willis Towers Watson Assessing the actual costs for spouses and determining how to best manage them can help create more efficient healthcare plans and avoid or reduce additional across the board increases in employee contributions While not as prevalent the survey found that a similar trend has emerged in healthcare coverage for employees children Less than half 46 of respondents have increased employee contributions for children s

    Original URL path: http://www.smallbizadvisor.ca/news/employee-contributions-to-spousal-health-coverage-on-the-rise-survey-4227 (2016-04-26)
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  • BoC says volatility abating | Small Biz Advisor
    worse Most economists surveyed by Bloomberg forecast no change in the BoC s lending rate this year while seven of 19 expect a cut The BoC has held its benchmark interest rate at 0 5 since July after two rate cuts earlier in 2015 amid the oil price shock Raymond Kerzérho director of research with PWL Capital in Montreal said by email that his firm is favouring high credit quality and short duration fixed income assets to keep portfolio volatility in check He adds Based on the prices of bankers acceptance futures the market expects short term credit market rates to remain where they are for the year While Q4 domestic growth was higher than forecast and annualized inflation reached 2 in January the BoC said upward pressures on inflation are likely to unwind in the coming months From the Bank of Canada s perspective the higher inflation that we ve seen is not a reflection of underlying domestic demand it s a reflection of the weak Canadian dollar said Frances Donald senior economist for Manulife Asset Management In my view the Bank of Canada is on hold for 2016 Donald said the BoC appears to be comfortable with the rebounding loonie which has risen almost 10 since falling to a 12 year low in January Oil prices have also risen helping the S P TSX composite index overcome its drop in value this year The BoC said it will also be analyzing the Liberal government s stimulus package details of which will come in the federal budget on March 22 and incorporating it into the Bank s April projections Young said he will be watching the federal budget for how fast the government intends to roll out the infrastructure spending Is this money that s going out now into

    Original URL path: http://www.smallbizadvisor.ca/news/boc-says-volatility-abating-4225 (2016-04-26)
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  • Bank of Canada holds key rate ahead of budget | Small Biz Advisor
    Canada says financial vulnerabilities have crept higher and the commodity price slump has left overall business investment very weak The bank says that next month it will evaluate the impact of fiscal stimulus measures Ottawa is expected to include in the March 22 budget The federal government has made billions of dollars worth of commitments such as infrastructure spending that it insists will help revive economic growth and create jobs The Bank of Canada also stood pat on its key rate in January after lowering the benchmark twice in 2015 In explaining the January decision governor Stephen Poloz said senior bank officials entered pre announcement deliberations with a bias toward making another cut to the already low interest rate of 0 5 Poloz said despite the weak outlook the eventual decision to hold firm came after they considered an important factor the federal government s promise to pump billions into infrastructure projects In January the central bank downgraded its 2016 growth projection to 1 4 from its fall forecast of 2 At the time it also predicted the economy to eventually bounce back and expand by 2 4 in 2017 Heading into Wednesday s announcement there was little expectation of a change to the Bank of Canada s overnight rate target Economists however were looking for fresh information as to how it views the state of the economy The bank s statement noted how oil and some commodity prices have rebounded in recent weeks nudging up the weakened Canadian dollar With these movements both the price of oil and the exchange rate have averaged close to levels assumed in the January monetary policy report the statement said At the same time the low level of oil prices will continue to dampen growth in Canada The bank also said Wednesday that

    Original URL path: http://www.smallbizadvisor.ca/news/bank-of-canada-holds-key-rate-ahead-of-budget-4224 (2016-04-26)
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  • Consumer confidence mixed across Canada | Small Biz Advisor
    months even as Alberta is hitting a new low the national index climbed 3 7 points in February to 83 7 But results were mixed regionally with Ontario Quebec and B C more optimistic Confidence fell in Atlantic Canada the Saskatchewan and Manitoba regions and in Alberta In particular Ontario gained 7 6 points while Quebec added 4 1 points in February However over the same period confidence fell in

    Original URL path: http://www.smallbizadvisor.ca/news/consumer-confidence-mixed-across-canada-4219 (2016-04-26)
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  • News | Small Biz Advisor - Part 2
    2016 While proponents are expressing concern about the absence of any mention of target benefit pension plans Ontario wants to revamp advisor regulation and education BY Advisor ca Staff April 6 2016 Ontario is seeking public feedback on recommendations to help consumers access quality professional financial advice The Most employees believe their firm will do better in 2016 BY Staff April 6 2016 Seventy five per cent of employed Canadians say they expect their company to perform better financially Benefits plan design touted as key to optimizing company spend BY BenefitsCanada com Staff April 5 2016 The clear message when Loblaw and Shoppers Drug Mart prepared to redesigned their benefits plan U S gained 215 000 jobs in March BY Christopher S Rugaber Associated Press April 5 2016 U S employers notched another solid month of hiring in March by adding 215 000 jobs driven Small biz tax cuts not off the table Chagger BY Advisor ca Staff April 5 2016 Minister of Small Business and Tourism Bardish Chagger says the promised tax cut for Canadian IIROC and FSCO to share info on rule breakers BY Advisor ca Staff March 30 2016 IIROC and FSCO have signed an information sharing

    Original URL path: http://www.smallbizadvisor.ca/news/page/2 (2016-04-26)
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  • News | Small Biz Advisor - Part 7
    startups BY Alexandra Bosanac CanadianBusiness com February 10 2016 A recent joint report from professional services firm KPMG International and U S based CB Insights that Don t depend on interest rates to shore up economy BoC BY Advisor ca Staff with files from wire services February 9 2016 The Bank of Canada s trend setting interest rate shouldn t be responsible for shoring up the country s Most investors stay the course with retirement savings BY Staff February 9 2016 The majority of Canadians investing for retirement will stay the course with their portfolio mix Fewer Canadian firms winning cyber war BY Staff February 9 2016 Only 37 of Canadian organizations believe they are winning the cyber security war a decrease U S productivity fell sharply in Q4 BY Martin Crutsinger Associated Press February 4 2016 U S productivity fell sharply in the final three months of 2015 closing out a fifth No recession in 2016 just a sluggish economy BY Staff February 4 2016 As the Canadian economy continues to suffer from the further deterioration in oil prices the Employers confused about benefits administration BY Staff February 4 2016 Health and dental insurance group term life insurance training

    Original URL path: http://www.smallbizadvisor.ca/news/page/7 (2016-04-26)
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  • Loonie won’t fully recover until end of 2016 | Small Biz Advisor
    global economic strategy asset allocation and currency management at CIBC Asset Management The Canadian dollar will remain weak probably revisit ing lows that were reached not that long ago he says It will continue to trade around low levels for quite a while so you re more likely to get a long consolidation phase as opposed to a quick sustainable rebound One reason is the Bank of Canada has been depreciating the loonie The objective is to be more competitive Being more competitive means exporting more to the rest of the world However Lépine explains The BoC has not been successful even though the currency had gone down significantly Its depreciation of the loonie has done little so far to cushion the downturn in Canadian economic activity via better export numbers As such the Bank may not be finished with its plan to depress the currency Plus the loonie has room to fall further The BoC has been running out of leeway and rates are already close to 0 so you can t cut interest rates a lot more But there s also talk of whether the Bank can go negative given the Canadian dollar has already been quite undervalued

    Original URL path: http://www.smallbizadvisor.ca/news/loonie-wont-fully-recover-until-end-of-2016-4218 (2016-04-26)
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  • Ontario’s economy projected to grow in 2016 | Small Biz Advisor
    U S consumer demand will help boost the province s exports Highlights of the study The province s real GDP is expected to increase by 2 4 per cent in 2016 Exports are expected to rise thanks to the lower Canadian dollar and strong U S consumer demand Infrastructure spending will also continue to grow further helping to offset the slowdown in consumer spending Only four provinces are expected to see their economy grow by more than 2 this year British Columbia Ontario Manitoba and Nova Scotia The province s exports will be a key driver of growth for the next two years Strong demand from the United States tends to help Ontario exports Moreover the Canadian dollar is weak relative to its U S counterpart in 2016 making goods purchased in Ontario relatively cheaper for U S producers International exports are forecast to grow by 4 7 in 2016 due largely to increased trade with the United States Business investment is also expected to pick up this year Residential investment which comprises a significant portion of business investment in Ontario will increase by 5 1 in 2016 Residential investment surged in 2015 as homebuyers rushed to avoid the federal government s new mortgage regulations and take advantage of still low mortgage rates In addition sustained export growth will encourage investment in machinery and equipment to help boost manufacturing capacity Government spending will weigh on economic growth over the next two years as the provincial government continues to hold back program spending in an effort to balance its budget on schedule by 2017 2018 The Ontario government projects a deficit of 4 3 billion for 2016 17 before balancing the books as promised in 2017 18 According to the Conference Board s Ontario Budget Analysis February 25 2016 over the

    Original URL path: http://www.smallbizadvisor.ca/news/ontarios-economy-projected-to-grow-in-2016-4217 (2016-04-26)
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