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Daily COVID-19 Update: April 21, 2020

Supports for Business

Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy Calculator Now Available

Employers will be able to apply for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy starting on Monday, April 27th. To prepare in the meantime, a Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy calculator has been made available online by the federal government. If you qualify for this benefit you can use this calculator to help you to estimate the amount of your wage subsidy. The CEWS is based on the number and type of eligible employees you have and the amount and type of pay they received before and during the crisis. More information on how the subsidy is calculated and the type of information that will be required to calculate the CEWS can be found here. After you apply for the wage subsidy, your claim will be subject to verification. 

Regional Relief and Recovery Fund details

We received a response from Western Economic Diversification today and were provided additional details on the $675 million through Canada’s Regional Development Agencies and $287 million to support rural businesses and communities through the Community Futures Network. They stated that the eligibility details and an online application will be available on the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund page in the coming weeks, as they work to put in place the right mechanisms to assist you through these extraordinary circumstances. Details of all Government of Canada support measures are available in Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan.

AgriStability 2020 enrolment deadline extended

The AgriStability enrollment deadline for the 2020 program year has been extended without penalty, from April 30th to July 3, 2020. This extension will allow farmers more time to sign up and benefit from the program. Read the info bulletin; Read AFSC's AgriStability information

Supports for Individuals

Bundled Service from Akira by TELUS Health

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce has partnered with TELUS Health to make sure that our members are able to support their employees through the exclusive offer. Akira by TELUS Health provides 24/7 direct access to medical consultations through secure text and video chat. Akira by TELUS Health members can use the service for medical advice, referrals to specialists, new and refill prescriptions, and mental health support. The exclusive bundled offer provides anyone who signs up for Akira by TELUS Health, a complimentary in-person service with the Medisys Health Group, including preventive health assessments for employees, occupational health, and on-site fitness programs for employees. Please email TELUS and one of their representatives will work with you to assess your needs and connect you to their TELUS Health suite of services.

Chambers Plan Employee Benefit Supports

Chambers Plan continues working to assist businesses such as yours, providing flexibility and support in the areas most needed. Plan design modifications and benefit extensions during temporary employee layoffs, for example, have resulted in thousands of businesses keeping benefits in place for their employees when they may otherwise have been unable to do so. They have worked hard to provide savings to firms as quickly as possible, and now, retroactive to April 1st, they will provide the following credits on your May billing: 

  • Dental: 50% premium reduction adjustment
  • Extended Health: 10% premium reduction adjustment

There is nothing to do to access this. If you are a Chamber Plan client, credits will be applied automatically. This does not represent a rate change; your May bill will show the credits applied for April, as well as the full premium for May. Adjustments deemed applicable for May would be reflected on your June billing, and so on. They will continue to support firms and their employees in this way until such time as employees are able to make use of these services and claims experience begins to return to normal.

The Chambers Plan also created a COVID-19 Business Resource Centre to give Canadian businesses the advice, tools, and latest updates to help get through this difficult time. The resource centre is available for anyone to use, and we will be updating it daily with new articles, the latest news, and relevant webinars.

Johnson Insurance COVID-19 response

Johnson Insurance has announced updates to its Customer Care Program in response to COVID-19. Through the AUTOmatic Rebate they will be giving all customers a 10% reduction of car insurance premiums for the months of April, May and June and flexible payment options have been made available to help support their customers. Additional details and options can be view through their website.

Community Supports and Resources

Support for health-care aides

The Government of Alberta announced support to increase staffing of health-care aides and alleviate pressures in contracted continuing care facilities. Supports include additional funding to allow for:

  • Increased health-care aide staffing levels.
  • A wage top-up of an additional $2 per hour for health-care aides.
  • Up to 1,000 paid student practicum positions to fast-track certification and get more staff into our continuing care facilities.

In addition, $24.5 million is being advanced to operators to help address immediate cost pressures due to COVID-19. Read the news release.

Family and Community Support Services program

The Family and Community Support Services program has been amended to temporarily allow funding to be used for food supply issues during the pandemic.

Federal Government Increases Emergency Community Support Fund

COVID-19 is having a disproportionate impact on those most vulnerable, creating a greater need for community-based organizations. To help these Canadians, the Government of Canada will provide an additional investment of $350 million to charities and non-profit organizations through the Emergency Community Support Fund in order to deliver essential services to those in need. 

The investment will flow through national organizations that have the ability to get funds quickly to local organizations that serve vulnerable populations. It will support a variety of activities, such as:

  • Increasing volunteer-based home deliveries of groceries and medications
  • Providing transportation services, like accompanying or driving seniors or persons with disabilities to appointments
  • Scaling up help lines that provide information and support
  • Helping vulnerable Canadians access government benefits
  • Providing training, supplies, and other required supports to volunteers so they can continue to make their invaluable contributions to the COVID-19 response
  • Replacing in-person, one-on-one contact and social gatherings with virtual contact through phone calls, texts, teleconferences, or the Internet


COVID-19 and SMEs

With small and medium-sized businesses representing nearly 90% of all private sector employment in Canada, we know they are being hit the hardest by COVID-19. Join Susanna Cluff-Clyburne, Canadian Chamber Senior Director of Parliamentary Affairs, to learn what support measures are available and what the Chamber network is doing to advocate on behalf of SMEs. Watch here.

New Resources

Finance Canada

Finance Canada has produced a refined search tool to help businesses find the financial supports they may be eligible for, including direct financial support programs, access to credit and more. Find the search tool here.


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


“The difference between the impossible and the possible lies in a man’s determination.”- Tommy Lasorda


For more resources visit our COVID-19 page

On Demand Webinars

Alberta Bits & Pieces Webinar. Watch Now.

Canadian Business Resilience Network Video Content

Conflict Escalation & What to Do About It. Watch Now.

Destination Canada: The Visitor Economy: Watch Now.

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

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

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

Shopify E-Commerce Tools. Watch Now.

Social Media in Crisis. Watch Now.

Working From Home During COVID-19. Watch Now.

Webinar Series

AMHSA, CSSE, Howatt HR, AUMA Mental Health Webinar Series. Click here.

BusinessLink: View upcoming events.

Calgary Chamber of Commerce. Watch Now.

CPHR Alberta: HR Pandemic Essentials. Click here.

Conference Board of Canada Webinar Series: Mental Health and COVID-19 and Ask an Economist. Click here.

Constant Contact Webinar Series: View the line up of sessions and register.

Economic Developers Alberta (EDA) Wednesday weekly: Business & Economic Recovery During the COVID-19 Crisis

Travel Alberta Webinar Series. Watch Now.

Upcoming Webinars

April 22: BBB Savvy Consumers: How to Identify and Avoid Covid-19 Scams and Frauds. Register here.

April 22: Communication and Conflict Management for Business Families. Register here.

April 23: Medicine Hat Mayor Ted Clugston Answers Your Questions. Register here.

April 23: Crisis Comunications. Register here.

April 23: COVID-19: Retail Solutions - Create a Virtual Downtown By Taking Downtown to an Online Marketplace Platform. Register here. 

April 23: FarmSafe Workshop - Emergency Response . Register now.

April 23: Travel Alberta: Understanding the Benefits of E-commerce. Register here. 

April 23: Start Up Canada: How to Activate your Wise Woman Inner Power. Register here.

April 24: Contractual obligations and force majeure. Register here.

April 24: Managing Cash Flow in Crisis. Register here.

April 24: Learn about online shipping and eCommerce with Freightcom. Register here. 

April 29: Colleges and Institutes Canada Webinars for SMEs: Expand Your Innovation Capacity. Register here.

May 5: Local Food Market Channels. Register here.

May 7: Selling Food in Alberta? Know the Regulations. Register here.

May 7: Write Like a Rockstar. Register here.

Check out more events on our Pandemic Training Calendar

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