Skip to content

Daily COVID-19 Update: April 2, 2020

Supports for Business

Canada Emergency Business Account

We received additional information on the Canada Emergency Business Account and were made aware that applications will open Monday across all major banks.

  • The program will provide up to $40,000 for operating costs (can be used to pay other lending/interest if required)
  • An eligible business must have paid between $50,000 and $1M in payroll in 2019 (verified by 2019 T4 Summary of Remuneration)
  • The funds will remain interest free until Dec 31 2022, at which time a 5% interest rate will be applied starting Jan 1, 2023
  • If 75% ($30,000) is paid by December 31, 2022 25% ($10,000) is forgiven
  • There is no principal payment requirement until the full balance is due on December 31, 2025
  • The business must have been an active business as of March 1, 2020 (certain exclusions also apply like no money service business and the requirement to have a Canadian address)
  • Business owners can only apply at one bank and it should be their primary banking relationship

Each bank will roll it out the program slightly differently, so it is advised to speak with your commercial account representative at your bank.

Government of Canada provides guidance on services and functions deemed essential 

The Honourable Bill Blair, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, has released the “Guidance on Essential Services and Functions in Canada During the COVID-19 Pandemic” to assist various jurisdictions and businesses in their decision-making around the types of employees considered essential to maintain the health, safety, security and economic well-being of Canadians throughout this health crisis. The guidance document provides a list of services and functions across Canada’s 10 critical infrastructure sectors: Energy and Utilities, Information and Communication Technologies, Finance, Health, Food, Water, Transportation, Safety, Government and Manufacturing. Read more.

Licenses Extended for Security Services and Investigators

The Security Services and Investigators Program is extending all business and individual licences expiring between March 9, 2020, and July 1, 2020, to allow the businesses and individuals to continue to operate. This applies to locksmiths, security guards and investigators. Find more information here.

Supports for Individuals

Hospital Parking Fees Suspended During COVID-19

Starting April 3, parking at all AHS facilities will be free to health-care workers and the general public. Many health-care workers and physicians are working from home and others need to work at a variety of sites. Removing parking fees and the need for parking passes will make these transitions easier. The change will also reduce the risk of COVID-19 spread from touch screens and buttons at payment sites. While parking will be free, visitors are asked to be respectful of spaces allocated for staff, including those for emergency use. Read more

Community Supports and Resources

Food Bank Receives Funding Support

Nine non-profits across the province will receive funding to provide additional food assistance for vulnerable K-12 students and families in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This $3 million in new funding is in addition to $15.5 million for the school nutrition program. School boards are encouraged to find innovative ways to provide meals or food to students while in-school classes are cancelled. Our school boards locally, and in the county, have been providing support to families in need with delivery of food and learning aids since schools were closed on March 15. Locally, the Medicine Hat & District Food Bank will receive $300,000 to assist their efforts to feed those in need in our community. 

Community Foundation Creates COVID-19 Response Fund for Southeast Alberta

In response to the impact of the COVID-19 virus on our region, CFSEA has created a COVID-19 Response Fund for Southeast Alberta. Funds will be distributed to local charities providing crucial services to our communities’ most vulnerable populations. In addition to the COVID-19 Response Fund, CFSEA will be repurposing their Spring 2020 grant funding to help address the most immediate and urgent needs of charities providing direct services in response to the pandemic. Donations to the relief fund will help provide much needed resources and support to communities across Southeast Alberta for the medium to long term impacts of the pandemic. The COVID-19 Response Fund for SE Alberta is now accepting donations. If you are able to support the local charitable sector during these unprecedented times, please visit their website. 

New Outbreak Standards for Health Settings

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health has outlined new orders on how to control outbreaks of COVID-19 in licensed supportive living (including group homes and lodges), long-term care (nursing homes and auxiliary hospitals), and residential addiction treatment service providers licensed under the Mental Health Services Protection Act. Under the new orders, staff and operators will be required to notify public health authorities as soon as a case is confirmed or if two or more residents exhibit COVID-19 symptoms.

Staff who work at multiple facilities are required to immediately inform their supervisors if they have worked or are working at a facility where there is a confirmed or suspected case. Operators and managers must also inform all families with residents in the facilities. The new standards provide operators with direction on how to deploy staff and resources where most needed, implement isolation measures, and ensure staff have up-to-date training on care and protective equipment.


Canadian Chamber Web Conference

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce held a web conference today with over 250 Chambers, Boards of Trade and Association members, to discuss our collective priorities and next steps as we battle this pandemic. We discussed plans for the new Canadian Business Resilience Network (CBRN) and an overview of the upcoming Statistics Canada business survey. We are pleased to have the Canadian Chamber working on behalf of all businesses across this Country and serving as a conduit for questions and concerns from our Chamber and our members. 

During the session some questions raised included:

Q. A member's revenue was down 28% in March, therefore doesn't qualify for the subsidy. Can we advocate for a sliding scale for those who are just under 30% losses.

A. They are looking at clarification on this.

Q. Can some employees be on EI or CERB and others be on the Wage Subsidy?

A. Yes, it would be one or the other, not both, but yes some employees could be on one and others on another.

Q. Is the Government considering technological support/funding to assist with the requirement to rework production lines or retrofit operations for SMEs and agriculture and value-add food processing?

A. There is nothing on this right now, as the focus for the Government is on liquidity, but it may be something they announce later on and something we are advocating for.

Q. What are start up businesses who just opened in the last year eligible for, as they are unable to meet the 30% reduction in gross revenue by year over year comparisons?

A. If you are a start up/new business there will be new measures announced in the next few days to determine what they will be eligible for or can access.

Q. Can an owner who normally takes draws and dividends for their own income start to pay themselves a wage and get the 75% subsidy?

A. Dividends will qualify as salaries for the wage subsidy.

Q. Will corporations that operate as a partnership and sole proprietors qualify for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy?

A. Yes.

There were many more questions that will be answered in the coming days, but in the meantime, you can view our Q & A documents online here under the Quick Links FAQ section. 


Canadian Chamber of Commerce: Emergency Wage Subsidy concept only as good as execution, 6 weeks too long

The Emergency Wage Subsidy is an important tool to help keep our economy afloat during this crisis, and its effectiveness depends on execution that reflects the realities and timelines of its intended audience: businesses that are struggling. Many businesses that are not essential services have been operating with skeleton staff or completely shut down for nearly 3 weeks. Today, they are being asked to wait an additional 6 weeks before funds are available. We know that many smaller businesses do not have enough cash reserves to wait another 6 weeks.  Those affected will likely now place greater demand on the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB).We urgently need to get these funds into the hands of employers. Every day that we delay these funds will lead to more businesses shutting down and more Canadians facing unemployment. We look forward to continuing to work with the government on behalf of Canada's businesses to ensure the help they receive is sufficient to get them through - and out of - this crisis in the best shape possible. Read the full statement here.

New Resources

Canadian Government CERB Q & A Document

The Canadian government has answered some key questions about CERB such as eligibility, EI applications, maternity leave and others. Read the document.

Chambers Group Insurance Plan COVID-19 Business Resource Centre

The COVID-19 pandemic has presented our communities and businesses with unprecedented challenges. The Chambers Plan has created a COVID-19 Business Resource Centre to help you get the advice, tools, and latest updates to support Canadian business and employees get through this time:

Constant Contact Small Business Support Kit

Constant Contact is helping the small business community maintain business and communication through the COVID-19 crisis and has created a Small Business Support Kit. The Small Business Support Kit is a collection of learning resources and communication tools that can help small business right now:

  • FREE ecommerce and website builder tools included with all paid email marketing packages to help you start selling online quickly*
  • A marketplace ecommerce management tool to help you sell on 20+ marketplaces at once, including Amazon, eBay, and Etsy, now at a reduced cost
  • Industry-specific Small Business Action Plans
  • Daily "Getting Started" product tours to help you learn how to use our tools
  • Weekly webinars focused on implementing action plans and best practices
  • Access to a community online forum to see best practices and share with peers
  • A Small Business Helpline staffed with marketing advisors to assist with your industry-specific Action Plan
  • Email templates designed for use throughout the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Discounted access to additional "do it for me" subscription services for those that need help implementing their Action Plans**
Cash Flow and Operational Resilience

BDC has published an article on managing cash flow and operational resilience through COVID-19.

OECD Country Policy Tracker

Monitor policies measures from around the world with the Country Policy Tracker.


Share your stories and resources with us and on the YXH Business Support Group. and connect with us for any questions you have.


"When crisis comes we begin to see that community is the true and irreplaceable infrastructure." - unknown


For more resources visit our COVID-19 page

On Demand Webinars

The Importance of Human Resources & Being Strategic When Your Business is Being Temporarily Impacted. Watch Now.

How to cope with the impacts of COVID-19 on your business. Watch Now.

Destination Canada: COVID-19 Webinars: Watch Now.

Rent Relief in a World of the Coronavirus: Watch Now.

Webinars Series from the Calgary Chamber of Commerce. Watch Now.

Webinar Series from the Conference Board of Canada, Mental Health and COVID-19. Watch Now.

For the CPHR Alberta Webinar Series: HR Pandemic Essentials, click here.

For the Conference Board of Canada Webinar Series, Mental Health and COVID-19, click here.

Leading Through COVID-19: Institute on Governance offers this free webcast series. Subscribe to YouTube Channel.

Upcoming Webinars:

April 2: CORONAVIRUS: What Every Entrepreneur Needs to Know Right Now. Register here.

April 2: Temporary Layoffs and Frustration of Contract. Register here.

April 3: Special COVID-19 Tax Update. Register here.

April 3: Handling HR During Crisis. Register here.

April 3: Managing Stress in a Changing Environment, Dale Carnegie. Register here.

April 3: CPA COVID-19 Tax Updates. Register here.

April 6: Thinking and Building Resilience. Register here.

April 7: Legal best practices during COVID-19. Register here.

April 7: Managing a Remote Workforce. Register here.

April 7, 2020: Preparing Your Startup for the Impact of COVID-19. Register here.

April 8: Webinar - COVID-19 Gov't Support for Business Owners. Register here.

April 8: Human Resource Planning. Register here. 

April 9: Restructuring and turning around. Register here.

April 13: : Business Development in Trying Times. Register here.

April 7, 2020: Preparing Your Startup for the Impact of COVID-19. Register here.

April 13: : Business Development in Trying Times. Register here.

Scroll To Top