Daily COVID-19 Update: April 8, 2020
Supports for Business
Important Changes to the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy
The Government announced some welcome changes to the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) today including:
- flexibility to compare revenue of March, April and May 2020 to that of the same month of 2019, or to an average of the revenue earned in January and February 2020.
- demonstration of a 15 percent reduction in gross revenues for March with the 30 percent reduction required in April and/or May.
- the ability to measure revenues either on the basis of accrual accounting (as they are earned) or cash accounting (as they are received). Special rules would also be provided to address issues for corporate groups, non-arm’s length entities and joint ventures.
- eligibility to receive a 100-per-cent refund for certain employer-paid contributions to Employment Insurance, the Canada Pension Plan .
- eligibility for registered charities and not-for-profit organizations including the choice of whether or not to include government funding in their revenues for the purposes of comparison.
Find information from the Government of Canada on the CEWS here.
Canada Emergency Business Account
We also received more information that businesses should be able to start applying for the Canada Emergency Business Account interest-free loan on April 9.
Changes to Canada Summer Jobs Program
Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, announced temporary changes to the Canada Summer Jobs program that will help employers hire summer staff and provide young Canadians access to the jobs they need during this unprecedented time. This program will help create up to 70,000 jobs for youth between 15 and 30 years of age and will provide opportunities for youth to develop and improve their skills within the not-for-profit, small business, and public sectors.
The temporary changes to the program for this year include:
- an increase to the wage subsidy, so that private and public sector employers can also receive up to 100 percent of the provincial or territorial minimum hourly wage for each employee
- an extension to the end date for employment to February 28, 2021
- allowing employers to adapt their projects and job activities to support essential services
- allowing employers to hire staff on a part-time basis
These changes will help youth stay connected to the labour market, save money for their future, and find quality jobs in safe, inclusive, and healthy work environments. Read more.
Community Supports and Resources
Province releases COVID-19 Modelling Data
Modelling projections from the provincial government for COVID-19 highlights the importance of continuing aggressive countermeasures to protect the lives and livelihoods of Albertans in order to stop the pandemic and restart the economy. Alberta Health’s modelling projections indicate total cases range from 800,000 to one million infections, from mild and undiagnosed to detected, confirmed and treated, under two provincial scenarios. The Government of Alberta is advising that existing public health orders could be in place until the end of May to protect the health and safety of Albertans.
Both scenarios estimate that after the virus reaches its peak, the number of cases will decline over the summer months. Without any provincial interventions to manage the pandemic response, projections show that about 13,000 Albertans could have been hospitalized with 3,900 requiring intensive care.
The modelling helps the province anticipate and prepare for the demands on Alberta’s health-care system. Alberta Health has been scaling up the capacity of the province’s health care system by expanding the capacity of hospitals, opening up more acute care beds, intensive care unit spaces, and ventilators. These measures will ensure that under both provincial scenarios, our health-care system is prepared to support patients at the peak of the pandemic.
The model uses several key assumptions, including:
- not all cases are detected
- transmission is more common within an age group, rather than between age groups
- there is no asymptomatic transmission
- people are infectious for five to 10 days
- all ICU patients require ventilation
- overall 14 per cent of cases are hospitalized and 5 per cent require ICU, but this varies significantly by age
All Albertans have a responsibility to help prevent the spread. Take steps to protect yourself and others:
- Practice social distancing.
- Stay home and away from others if sick or in mandatory self-isolation.
- Practice good hygiene – wash hands often for at least 20 seconds, cover coughs and sneezes, and avoid touching your face.
- Monitor for symptoms, such as cough, fever, fatigue or difficulty breathing.
- Anyone who has health concerns or is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 should complete an online COVID-19 self-assessment.
For recommendations on protecting yourself and your community, visit alberta.ca/COVID19.
Digital Citizen Contribution Program
The Hon. Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Canadian Heritage, announced yesterday that the Government of Canada is investing $3 million in several organizations through the Digital Citizen Initiative’s Digital Citizen Contribution Program. This funding will help combat false and misleading COVID-19 information as well as the racism and stigmatization.
The Canadian Chamber of Commerce released this statement applauding the positive steps to address gaps in the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy, but is also urging the Canadian government to get funds into business owners’ hands in days, not weeks.
Canadian Chamber of Commerce: The Business of Business Series
In the first edition of The Business of Business, the Hon. Perrin Beatty, Canadian Chamber of Commerce President and CEO, has a conversation with the Hon. Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade, on the effects of COVID-19 on SMEs and what resources are available to help them prepare, persevere and, ultimately, prosper through this pandemic. See the video here.
Partek IT Solutions Provides Resources for Business
Locally based business Partek IT Solutions has compiled a COVID resource page that businesses can use to assist with topics such as Working From Home Safely, Avoiding Corona Virus Scams and Remote Work Policies. You can find these resources here.
Please share your stories with us, send us your questions or connect with us online.
‘Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.’ - Mahatma Gandhi
For more resources visit our COVID-19 page
On Demand and Webinar Series
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: The Visitor Economy: Watch Now.
Rent Relief in a World of the Coronavirus: Watch Now.
Webinars Series from the Calgary Chamber of Commerce. Watch Now.
CPHR Alberta Webinar Series: HR Pandemic Essentials, click here.
For the Conference Board of Canada Webinar Series, Mental Health and COVID-19, click here.
Constant Contact Webinar Series: View the line up of sessions and register.
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.
April 16: Self Care 101 for Entrepreneurs webinar. Register here.
April 22: Communication and Conflict Management for Business Families. Register here.