Business resources through COVID-19
With supports from the Alberta and Canadian Chambers we have compiled a number of resources to help inform you as you navigate through this difficult time.
Please note our office is closed to the public but staff are available via email or phone to serve our members.
If you're able to support local business please consider doing so by postponing instead of cancelling, buying gift cards to be used at another time, ordering for pickup or delivery, or by just checking in and being generally supportive.
Summary document of current government supports - link
City of Red Deer
Residential, farm, and small commercial customers can now defer payments for water, sewer and waste utility bills for the next 90 days. No penalties will be applied. Link.
City of Red Deer COVID-19 updates and resources can be found here.
On March 18, the Alberta Government announced new supports for Albertans and employers in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Of particular note:
- A temporary Emergency Isolation Support program of $50 million for working adult Albertans who must self-isolate because they meet the Government of Alberta's published criteria for self-isolation
- Residential, farm, and small commercial customers can defer electricity and natural gas bill payments for the next 90 days
- Defer the collection of corporate income tax balances and installment payments, due after today, until August 31, 2020
- Education property tax payment deferral - deferred for 6 months.
- WCB payment deferral until 2021.
- More information on these initiatives can be found here.
For the full list of supports, see the Alberta Government's media release.
Sick Leave - Alberta
On Friday, March 13, 2020 the Alberta government announced changes to the Employment Standards Code Regulation prohibiting employers from requiring sick notes from employees, expanding job-protected leave from 5 to 14 days, and waiving the requirement that employees be employed for 90 days before being entitled to this job-protected leave.
Employment Insurance Sickness Benefits
In the interim, a separate phone line has been set up through Service Canada for queries related to EI sickness benefits relating to COVID-19. The phone number is 1-833-381-2725. The federal government has waived the one (1) week waiting period for Canadians requiring EI sickness benefits for COVID-19, including those who are in a 14-day isolation period. Canadians can apply right away. For employers who do not offer sick leave, or for employees who have exhausted sick leave entitlements, this is an option to provide some compensation.
On March 17, Alberta Health declared a state of emergency under the Public Health Act.
- All events of more than 50 people are to be cancelled
- No attendance at rec centres, casinos, bingo halls, bars, theatres and other facilities
- Sit-down restaurants can remain open at lower capacity
Respiratory viruses and the workplace
Government of Alberta pandemic checklists
Alberta employment standards rules
Alberta Health Services COVID-19 online screening
Help prevent the spread posters
Alberta Prepares pandemic influenza checklist
Calgary Chamber emergency preparedness
Albertans can now meet with Alberta-licensed physicians for free through their smartphone using the Babylon by TELUS Health app. Read the provincial government's release.
On March 18, the federal government announced new supports for Canadians and businesses. See the full list of measures here.
Canada Emergency Response Program – $2000/month for up to four months for those that have lost their income due to COVID-19. More details to come along with process next week at www.canada.ca
Temporary Wage Subsidy for Employers: Announced March 27th - this subsidy will be equal to 75% of renumeration paid backdated to March 15th. 30% revenue drop to qualify, 75% subsidy up to $58,700 in annual earnings or $1129/weekly - $847 of that is subsidy, no cap on the business size, non-profits, corporations are all eligible.
Work-share 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. More info. Contact email.
Canada Emergency Business Account - Announced March 30th. Loans up to $40,000 for small and medium businesses, one year interest free. More details to come.
Business Credit Availability - Will enable up to $10 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.
Canadians can issue or view records of employment online through the Government of Canada website.
CCC Pandemic Preparedness for Business resources
Government of Canada COVID-19 information
Facebook: Business Resource Hub
Trade Commissioner Service
Export Development Canada
Business Development Bank of Canada
Businesses can also download the federal government's Canada Business App on either Android or iOS.
Deloitte - Managing cash flow through a crisis
World Health Organization
COVID-19 outbreak information
Video conferencing services
With Canadians encouraged to limit in-person contact, many organizations are shifting to working and/or meeting remotely. The below article provides six free video conferencing apps to help you stay connected during this time.
The 6 best free video conferencing apps
Boardable meeting platform
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Boardable is currently offering nonprofits 90 days' free use of its virtual meeting platform. For more information, visit the Boardable website.
COVID-19 and mental health
The Canadian Mental Health Association put out a list of resources to support mental health during this pandemic.
University of Calgary COVID-19 Community Supports