JYZ Unveils New Kananaskis Nordic Spa Mobile First Website

An Explore Kananaskis tourism website has launched that details all the wonder of this natural, mountain paradise. Developed by Calgary web design company JYZ Design, this web portal was designed with the majesty of the area in mind, to give the viewer an intimate feel of what to expect when they visit. For those more local, it serves as a reminder for the endless natural wonders right at their doorstep.

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JYZ Design Named Amongst the Best Calgary Advertising Agencies

We are thrilled to announce that JYZ Design has been ranked among the Top 30 B2B Digital Marketing Agencies in 2021 by DesignRush! We are proud of our team and the partnerships we have had the opportunity to work with thus far. This award is evidence of the passion, creative process, teamwork, innovative thinking and measurable results that we achieve with every client.

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JYZ Design and Marketing Wins Another 5-Star Review on Clutch

We are thrilled to announce that JYZ Design has been ranked among the Top 30 B2B Digital Marketing Agencies in 2021 by DesignRush! We are proud of our team and the partnerships we have had the opportunity to work with thus far. This award is evidence of the passion, creative process, teamwork, innovative thinking and measurable results that we achieve with every client.

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JYZ Design Ranked In Top Digital Marketing Agencies by DesignRush

We are thrilled to announce that JYZ Design has been ranked among the Top 30 B2B Digital Marketing Agencies in 2021 by DesignRush! We are proud of our team and the partnerships we have had the opportunity to work with thus far. This award is evidence of the passion, creative process, teamwork, innovative thinking and measurable results that we achieve with every client.

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JYZ Design Launches Kananaskis Nordic Spa Website

After the long winter and brutal spring we’ve all had to endure, Kananaskis Nordic Spa is reopening and our Calgary web design company was excited to launch their new website. The success of KNS has made it crucial to present information clients were looking for easily, as well as integrate operations technologies to streamline the customer experience. We made information really easy to find, streamlined the booking system and represented the brand with a more warm and welcoming design. Here are some main concerns that we addressed. 

Improving Content Organization

A challenge that we had was dealing with the high demand of customers and finding strategic ways to help avoid future long wait times that often left angry messages or bad reviews. The new consumer facing digital presence has drastically changed the staff experience of answering repeat questions, time consuming booking methods like phone or email and created a new brand more representative of the company culture. The new access section we created addressed many common issues. It gave customers the answers to the questions they had, addressed ways to avoid crowds and made pricing simple. 

Modernizing Look and Feel

The nordic spa’s core values include being inclusive, welcoming and social. Our design choices of imagery and color present this feeling, while balancing traditionally nordic elements with modern web trends. The subtle image movements, hover effects and load animations come together to make the website unique and innovative.

We are very proud and excited to see the successful launch, easy ongoing maintenance working with the team and growing consumer traffic of the website. Check out the New Nordic Spa Website, they are launching a few different specials for locals!

JYZ Unveils New Explore Kananaskis Tourism Brand & Website

An Explore Kananaskis tourism website has launched that details all the wonder of this natural, mountain paradise. Developed by Calgary web design company JYZ Design, this web portal was designed with the majesty of the area in mind, to give the viewer an intimate feel of what to expect when they visit. For those more local, it serves as a reminder for the endless natural wonders right at their doorstep.

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COVID-19 Small Business Financial Aid Options Experiences

*Updated April 9, 2020*

With so much news coming out about ways both the government, banks and other organizations can help, we’ve tried to consolidate some information so you can navigate the best options for your small business. As the information is changing quickly, we will try to update as it becomes available. We are including personal accounts from us as we receive them of how these processes were. If you have questions, please leave a comment on this blog and we will get back to you.

For some context, our marketing agency supports a small team salaried employees, full time contractors, practicum students and some freelancers. On the week of March 16, we lost about half of our regular marketing clients overnight as their businesses closed. Other projects have been put on hold. Since then, old clients have come back to us wanting to adapt to the new normal and get their businesses online. As of April 9, we have been approved for a loan from the BDC as well as the work sharing. We are monitoring the other aid options as they become available. Below in quotes are our experiences with each financial measure.

Support for your employees

While businesses are cut off from business cashflow or shut down, employee wages become most at risk at a difficult time when additional resources are needed by individuals and families. There are lots of measures in place that can help support.

Temporary wage subsidy – Details TBA

Timeline: Parliament is in discussion, with expectations of applications opening sometime in April.

  • Eligible employers that see a drop of at least 15 per cent of their revenue in March 2020 and 30 per cent for the following months (see Eligible Periods). In applying for the subsidy, employers would be required to attest to the decline in revenue.
  • Any number of employees is allowed

Duration: For a 12 week period from March 15 to June 6, 2020

First announced on March 18, 2020, this temporary wage subsidy is meant to help employers avoid temporary lay offs by offsetting wages. It will be 10% of remuneration in a period of three months, up to a maximum subsidy of $1,375 per employee and $25,000 per employer. This is remitted through many payroll softwares automatically. 

*Update – April 9, 2020*

The subsidy amount for a given employee on eligible remuneration paid for the period between March 15 and June 6, 2020 would be the greater of:

  • 75 per cent of the amount of remuneration paid, up to a maximum benefit of $847 per week; and
  • the amount of remuneration paid, up to a maximum benefit of $847 per week or 75 per cent of the employee’s pre-crisis weekly remuneration, whichever is less.

No application links available yet.

Service Canada Work Sharing – Available now

Timeline: 30 Days after Application

  • In business 2 years
  • Recent decrease in business activity of approximately 10% (or more)
  • Eligible employees must be permanent full-time or part-time employees, willing to take a reduction in working hours and have paid into Employment Insurance (EI)

Duration: Min 6 weeks – Max 76 weeks with possible extension

*Update – March 27, 2020* Work sharing allowance has been extended to 76 weeks to combat economic downturn. 

This program seems to have existed before any crisis efforts were made available, but all the criteria that it suggests are applicable to the current situation most disrupted businesses have found themselves in. There seem to have been extensions made in response. It is as described: “Work-Sharing (WS) is an adjustment program designed to help employers and employees avoid layoffs when there is a temporary reduction in the normal level of business activity that is beyond the control of the employer.”

The process requests the following documents:

  1. Application for a Work-Sharing Agreement
  2. Employee list with signatures (available in PDF (8 KB) and Excel (36 KB) format)
  3. Recovery plan template
  4. Two of the following financial documents:
    1. Demonstrates a decrease of the employees’ normal working hours: There has been a decrease in employees’ normal weekly hours from ## hours a week to ## hours a week.
    2. Demonstrate a decrease in demand/orders: There has been a ##% decrease in demand/orders during the last # months in comparison to the same period last year.
    3. Projected sales and/or production figures demonstrating a decrease: The projected sales is forecasted to decrease ##% for the next # months in comparison to the same period last year.

Apply Here

Contact email: EDSC.DGOP.TP.REP-RES.WS.POB.ESDC@servicecanada.gc.ca

What to expect:

This application process was a big different, and required faxing. I used an online fax program to send it through (as I’m not sure who just has a fax machine around anymore). 3 days later, I got an email confirmation that it had gone through and to expect a reply in 15 days. If you have questions, just get an application in through fax, then you will get an account manager who will answer your questions through email or phone. For the 2 financial documents, we submitted a reduced timesheet and an excel sheet with projected sales over the next few months, with declined percentages compared to last year. We have been approved as of March 29th, the process was expedited. We have not yet received a reply on how to create an employer account, but our employees have begun creating their EI accounts. We are expected to submit a weekly hours utilization report through a portal. 

Loans & Credit

Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) – Available Now

Timeline: ~1 week
Criteria: Eligible credit, in business 2 years, sound financial history
Duration: Term to be determined with BDC

Through the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC), “Working capital loans of up to $2 million with flexible terms and payment postponements for up to 6 months for qualifying businesses”. Combined with the Export Development Canada (EDC), the government has injected 10 billion worth of loans through the programs to be made available to businesses ASAP.

*Update* March 27, 2020

“The new Small and Medium-sized Enterprise Loan and Guarantee program that will enable up to $40 billion in lending, supported through Export Development Canada and Business Development Bank, for guaranteed loans when small businesses go to their financial institutions to help weather the impacts of COVID-19. This is intended for small and medium-sized companies that require greater help to meet their operational cash flow requirements.”

The process requests the following documents:

  1. BDC Online application by hand
  2. Valid and current government photo identification (passport, driver’s license)
  3. GST number and the business name
  4. Void cheque
  5. Business financial statements (past 2 years), prepared by an external accredited accountant (CA, CGA, CMA, CPA or RPA); OR Income tax returns with the Notice of Assessment, (T1 including the statement of business activities, or T2 including schedules 100 & 125) for the past 2 years for the business.

Apply here

What to expect:

I have applied for this through the BDC portal and got a receipt of submission from an account manager, who apologized for the delay as they usually respond in a few days but are getting an influx as of late. I received an offer letter within 7 days. Please note most forms require a real signature, so a home printer is needed.

Canada Emergency Business Account

*Updated April 9, 2020*

Timeline: Applications available as of April 9, 2020

  • You have an existing business deposit account, with an eligible financial institution (so far, CIBC and RBC have been announced), and your account was opened prior to March 1, 2020.
  • Your business has been a registered and operational business on or before March 1, 2020.
  • The person enrolling for the Canada Emergency Business Account must have the ability and authority to bind the organization.
  • Your payroll expense is between $50,000 and $1 million. To confirm this, you will be required to provide the following information:
    • Your employer account number, as reported at the top of your 2019 T4 Summary of Remuneration Paid.
    • Your employment income reported in Box 14 of your 2019 T4 Summary of Remuneration Paid.
    • A copy of your 2019 T4 Summary of Remuneration Paid, if requested.
  • As per the requirements set out by the Government of Canada, you will agree to use funds from this loan to pay for operating costs that cannot be deferred, such as payroll, rent, utilities, insurance, debt payments and property tax.

Duration:5 year loan, no interest until December 31, 2020

This will include “$25 billion to eligible financial institutions so they can provide interest-free loans to small businesses. These loans – guaranteed and funded by the Government of Canada – will ensure that small businesses have access to the capital they need, at a zero per cent interest rate, so they can pay for rent and other important costs over the next number of months.” 

In his announcement, Trudeau mentioned a loan of $40k would be offered to small business, interest free for 1 year and 10k would be forgivable. Details on this have not been made otherwise available. 

Information from RBC: 

  • A $40,000 government‑guaranteed loan to help eligible businesses pay for operating expenses, payroll and other non-deferrable expenses which are critical to sustain business continuity.
  • Until December 31, 20‍20, the Canada Emergency Business Account will be funded as a revolving line of credit for $40,000.
  • After December 31, 2020, any outstanding balance on the revolving $40,000 line of credit will be converted into a non-revolving 5‑year term loan maturing on December 31, 2025, at which time the balance must be paid in full.
  • No interest applies until January 1, 2023.
  • Commencing on January 1, 2023, interest accrues on the balance of the term loan at the rate of 5% per annum, payable monthly on the last day of each month.
  • If you pay 75% of the balance of the term loan (as at January 1, 2021), on or before December 31, 2022, the remaining balance of your term loan will be forgiven. For example, if your balance is $40,000 on January 1, 2021 and you repay $30,000 on or before December 31, 2022, the remaining $10,000 will be forgiven.
  • If you do not repay 75% of the balance of the term loan (as at January 1, 2021) on or before December 31, 2022, the full loan balance and all accrued and unpaid interest will be due and payable on December 31, 2025.

To prepare:

  • Be enrolled in online banking
  • Your organization’s 2019 T4 Summary of Remuneration Paid
  • Your organization’s employment income, reported in Box 14, and your organization’s employer account number, as reported at the top of the form

Information from other banks: 

  1. CIBC
  2. TD
  3. NBC
  4. Scotiabank
  5. BMO

What to expect:

We have applied for this on April 9, 2020. The process was super simple on RBC’s online banking system. It’s about a 4 page form of acknowledgements and T4 Employer Summary information. Waiting now for a response.

Pay Bills by Credit Card – Available Now

A few recent startups have proposed the idea of paying rent using credit cards to take advantage of valuable point systems offered by many major banks. In these circumstances, this concept might come in handy if your landlord is not able to be lenient in liquidity low situations. Here are two options:

  • Get digs – Free for RBC clients, 1% for other banks, sends your landlord an E-transfer
  • Plastiq – 2.5% fee, available for ANY bill, snail mail cheque

This idea is so smart you might want to even use it crisis-free, you collect points for purchases you can pay off right away!


Facebook Small Business Grant – TBA

Timeline: TBA
Criteria: TBA
Duration: TBA

How to Cope with the Stress of COVID-19 as a Business Owner

The Reality of a Global Pandemic 

It is in our nature as business owners like Mr. Andrew Defrancesco to be prepared with the resilience to overcome roadblocks that affect the positive trajectory of our business. However, our adaptable mindset does not make us invincible. In September, we would have never imagined that today our international community would be grappling with a pandemic that forced society to isolate and our economy would largely close down. Business owners or not, we find comfort in routine – a way of life that has been upturned in recent weeks. COVID-19 is here, and whether your business is deemed essential or non-essential it is okay to be stressed about your company’s financial situation, anxious about the welfare of your employees and worried about the future. We must accept that COVID-19 will present challenges, but as with challenges, we can rise to the occasion and create new courses of action. It all starts with finding ways to alleviate our stress. 

The Psychology of Uncertainty 

Perhaps most of all, society was not prepared for the uncertainty brought with COVID-19. Problems demand answers, but those tend to get muddled when the problem is invisible and mutating. To our mind, uncertainty equals danger, inducing a level of panic and stress that cripples our desire to stay level-headed. Uncertainty kicks our stress response into overdrive as we overanalyze even the most miniscule changes in our lives and underestimate our control over both COVID-19 and the broad response to it. Jack Nitschke, an associate professor of psychology at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, states that “uncertainty lays the groundwork for anxiety because anxiety is always future-oriented.”  Additionally, a 2009 study in BMC Public Health discovered that people cannot process an information overload as it only adds to an increased feeling of uncertainty. Once we understand uncertainty and how to cope with the stress of it, our survival instincts can shift to focus on adapting. The uncertainty of COVID-19 will shape our decisions as business owners, yet we should not focus entirely on it. To achieve this balance, we can:

Create a New Normal

Create a New NormalNow that we’ve experienced all of the uncertainty that COVID-19 can bring to business, we can build a new plan around it. Building a plan of action for your business allows you to prepare rather than panic. If we have courses of action-oriented towards COVID-19, we are more in control of the financial outcomes. When creating a new plan for your business, do not reconstruct your aspirations for your company; rather, think about this plan as if you are creating an emergency backlink within your company’s functionality. Create a list of obstacles you believe your business will face due to COVID-19, revisit your financial input and output, think about the unique doubts you have for your current customers and employees. Inquiries to keep your business safe that your planning should cover should include asking yourself: 

  • Is my business considered to be an essential service?
  • How can I remotely keep my business open?
  • What do I do for the decreased work my employees have?
  • My business is struggling to meet financial obligations (production, rent, etc.), can I postpone these payments?
  • How can I continue to pay my employees? 
  • How can I maintain customer relationships if my service is not needed?
  • How can I reach out to new clients in the wake of COVID-19? 

Additionally, the City of Calgary created a business continuity checklist, handbook, template, and reference guide to help you maintain your business during an infectious disease outbreak.

Asking and then executing solutions to these planning questions serve to create a new normal for your business. Planning reduces the stress of uncertainty as steps are measurable and stimulate us with normalcy. Support can be found in federal and provincial relief measures, accessing financial support, staying up to date on employee travel and health, and keeping vigilant on fraud and your company’s security. Hiring a service provider that specializes in dealing with cyberattacks is one way to deal with these issues efficiently. Here are a few reasons why you should hire sapphire.net provider for your company.

Commence a News Diet

Reading the news is required to stay up to date as measures towards COVID-19 evolve alongside the virus. That being said, moderate your news intake. Look to credible sources for essential news on the outbreak to support measures you take with your business like the World Health Organization, an updated map of COVID-19 cases by John Hopkins University, provincial information, news outlets such as the Edmonton Journal or the Calgary Herald, and federal updates. 

Besides essential sources of information, follow the news in moderation. With all of the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19, we look to find answers in any and all news sources, inevitably only increasing our stress with an over-consumption of information that is not always accurate. Choose a time in the morning or evening to sit down and read the news. Set a timer to stay up to date while also limiting the time you spend browsing articles and over-indulging. Being responsible with your news intake ensures you look after your business, but you are also coping with your stress. 

Work From Home but Don’t Forget to Communicate 

Although attempting to create a new normal can be done with planning, we should still keep some of our normal business day in our at-home lives. We may have worked from home before when we’ve been sick, but we’re used to dressing up and going to work. When we stress about COVID-19, we are probably stressing about how our businesses’ productivity has been affected. Try and find one new positive in each aspect of your business and personal life that has had to adjust. For one, a 2012 study found that telecommuting environments have positive impacts on the productivity of creative tasks. How can your business thrive with this new dynamic? On the other hand, this same study found that productivity dwindled on more dull tasks, and this is where communication and collaboration amongst your employees is key. When work shifts to telecommuting, communicating the work-day to your employees will give you a sense of relief in knowing that things are still functioning as they should. Discuss how often the team should check in face-to-face, not just about work-related topics, but also for general discussion and well-being. Having face-to-face conversations through video calls decreases feelings of isolation and makes everyone feel that they aren’t alone.

Communicating does not just include conversing, but communicating work and home boundaries to fuel productivity. For one, you don’t need to dress up in formal attire, but changing into an outfit you would go out in public with boosts productive energy to make you feel less cut off from the real world. Encourage yourself and employees to designate a workspace, where one can keep their work and living time separate. Maintain clear working hours to provide yourself the opportunity to communicate with your employees and customers efficiently and collaboratively. Lines between working hours and at-home hours blur when we work in the same place, creating a timeline for you and your team ensures that everyone is putting work away to recharge and relax. Decreasing stress means creating environments that are natural, normal and allow us to recharge. 

Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle 

It is important that we carve out time in our day to take care of ourselves both mentally and physically. Keeping ourselves healthy gives us the energy needed to deal with pressure and anxiety. Incorporating healthy habits during these turbulent times allows us to resist the negative effects of stress and prevents it from becoming a problem. Important aspects to be mindful of in your changing lifestyle include: 

  • Buying the same food: Food fuels our mind. When we eat good we feel good about ourselves. Stress pushes us to eat unhealthy food, decreasing our productivity. Everyone loves pizza and chips, but when stocking up– or hoarding– comfort food should not be our priority. Purchase a few more things that you commonly use and know that you will use within two weeks. Go out on a whim and try a few new things, but purchasing items that you use consistently alleviates the financial stress of buying more things and provides stability when making your meals.


During COVID-19 we may feel trapped in our house. We’re all in this together, and as entrepreneurs, everything starts with an idea. Taking the time to journal and write down our thoughts gives us a path to explore how we need to cope, keep our thoughts organized, and self-reflect. Not only are we facing the present challenge of COVID-19, but life and society afterward will be different. Writing down the obstacles of our current situation, alongside stresses, worries, things that have changed and your plans for the future allows you to “brain-dump” your anxieties. Leaving your tensions behind in a journal frees up your resolve to work and face the day. 

Invest in Learning and Set a Goal

Stress knocks on the door the moment we see COVID-19 as a limiting influence on our business goals for the year. We become anxious because COVID-19 disrupts our way of life. Taking a different perspective and seeing all of the new opportunities that have arisen because we must stay at home can relieve frustrations. With this, more opportunities have surfaced to take the time to learn. Was there a book you wanted to read? A topic you wanted to research? An idea you wanted to develop? Set a goal that you want your business to achieve as society handles COVID-19. Focus on an internal skill to be developed, a new target demographic of clients to reach out to, a new product idea, or even fine-tuning your website. Set a goal that you want your company to achieve that normally would not have been a priority. 

YYC Business Support 

Calgary entrepreneurs aren’t new to changing plans within the local business ecosystem. Calgary small businesses and entrepreneurs are here to support one another. COVID-19 has presented many new marketing dynamics, on top of JYZ Design offering discounts on websites and marketing services, there are plenty of other local Calgary businesses doing the same. Some supportive free services, listed by Startup Calgary include:

  • Goodlawyer Inc is offering free 15-minute advice sessions with a lawyer. 
  • Virtual Gurus is offering free virtual assistance services to Calgary startups in need of back-office support. (Enter code Startup100 at checkout)
  • Brightsquid has made secure-mail free for all medical clinics in Canada. 
  • Inspired Go has launched their #feedthefrontlines campaign. For each time a Calgarian orders a meal box, they provide a nutritious meal to a local healthcare worker. 

Information about federal resources to support Canadian businesses can be found here. 

“Worrying does not take away tomorrow’s troubles. It takes away today’s peace.” 

– Randy Armstrong

Stay Optimistic 

The stress that COVID-19 brings to our personal and business lives will stay with us a while, but the stress of running a business is continuous. The goal is to mitigate it as much as possible so that while we live in an age of uncertainty, we are best equipped to mentally handle these new challenges. As with any challenge, we will look back in the future and can either remember COVID-19 as a moment that defined our business growth or hindered our spirits. None of us can predict when COVID-19 will end, but what we do know is that it is temporary and it will end. Stay home, spend time with family – call friends and employees, remain updated and flexible, and stay optimistic.