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Daily COVID-19 Update: April 28, 2020

Supports for Business

Criteria for Restarting the Economy

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, all orders of government have been working together to slow and contain the spread of the virus. As the first wave of the virus’ activity passes, provincial and territorial governments will move at their own pace to safely restore economic activity within their jurisdictions, while protecting the health of Canadians.

The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today announced that the federal, provincial, and territorial governments have come together and agreed to a set of common principles for restarting the Canadian economy, based on shared understanding and appreciation of what science and experts are telling us. This statement identifies the criteria that need to be in place before we can go back to work and school, or see neighbours and friends.

This statement acknowledges the importance of restarting the economy through a gradual approach that protects the health of Canadians, including high-risk groups, as well as the need to ensure public health capacity for future waves of the virus, while at the same time continuing to support a range of economic sectors and Canadian workers.

The statement acknowledges that provinces and territories will take different steps at different times in order to ease restrictions, reflecting the specific circumstances in each jurisdiction. The statement identifies four main principles, including taking a science and evidence-based approach to decision-making, coordination and collaboration between all jurisdictions, continued accountability and transparency of all governments, and flexibility and proportionality as information changes over time.

This statement also identifies the criteria and measures that need to be in place in order to begin to take steps to restart the economy:

COVID-19 transmission is controlled, so new cases are contained at a level that our health care system can manage.

  • Sufficient public health capacity is in place to test, trace, isolate, and control the spread of the virus.
  • Expanded health care capacity exists to support all needs, including COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 patients.
  • Supports are in place for vulnerable groups, communities, and key populations. This includes the protection of seniors, residents of group living facilities, workers in close quarters, homeless people, and Indigenous people and those living in remote locations, health care workers and other essential workers, and inmates.
  • Support and monitoring of workplace protocols are in place to keep Canadians safe at their jobs, and prevent the introduction and spread of COVID-19.
  • Restrictions on non-essential travel are eased and managed in a coordinated manner.
  • Communities are supported in managing local disease activity, including in child care, schools, and public transportation, and industry and economic sectors are engaged to support the health of Canadians, reduced viral activity, and protection of the economy as it restarts.
Changes to CERB Eligibility for Self-Employed Workers

Previously, self-employed individuals could not earn more than $1000 in employment income. This has now been specified that business owners “should consider their net pre-tax income (gross income less expenses)” in calculating their earnings for the CERB

Small Business owners can receive income from their business in different ways, including as salary, business income or dividends. In determining their eligibility for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit:

  • Owners who take a salary from their business should consider their pre-tax salary;
  • Owners who rely on business income should consider their net pre-tax income (gross income less expenses);
  • Owners who rely on dividend income should consider this as self-employment income provided it comes from non –eligible dividends (generally, those paid out of corporate income taxed at the small business rate).

Those who pay themselves through dividends are also now eligible for CERB as long as the dividends are non-eligible dividends (generally those paid out of corporate income taxed at the small business rate) Non-eligible dividends count towards the minimum $5000 in income required for eligibility. Non-eligible dividends also count toward the $1000 income threshold for a benefit period. Find more information through the Q & A resource on CERB here

Supports for Individuals

Select registry services available remotely

To help limit the number of Albertans who need to visit registry agents in person, the Government of Alberta is temporarily allowing registry agents to provide corporate registry services, personal property registry services, and select motor vehicle services by phone, secure email, fax or mail. For a full list of services available through alternative delivery methods, visit

Community Supports and Resources

COVID-19 Modelling Update

The Government of Alberta has introduced a new “low” modelling scenario estimating 298 Albertans will require hospitalization and 95 will require critical care when the virus reaches its peak. If current trends continue, this scenario will become the most likely scenario for Alberta.

Updated modelling scenarios continue to estimate that Alberta’s outbreak will reach its peak in late May. However, the number of Albertans hospitalized at the peak of the virus is predicted to be lower than originally estimated. This reflects Alberta’s experience over the past few weeks and the proportion of cases actually entering hospital and intensive care units.

Alberta Health has scaled up the capacity of the province’s health-care system in order to ensure it is prepared to support patients at the peak of the pandemic in any scenario.

Existing public health measures remain in place to stop the spread of COVID-19.


Update from Canadian Chamber forum with Minister Joly

Important updates from our call with the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and the  Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages today highlighted that CEWS should be in bank accounts by May 7th with the applications being processed May 5th. We also sent a follow up to her department staff to find out more details on the Regional Relief and Recovery fund and when applications will be accepted, along with how the program criteria will be rolled out. We were also advised through the call today that the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance program will apply to both mortgaged and non-mortgaged properties, so are seeking more information and clarification on those details.

“Save our SMEs” Campaign

As the institutional representative of more than 45 million companies in over 100 countries, the International Chamber of Commerce “Save Our SMEs” campaign put an immediate focus on bringing attention to the scale of the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on SMEs. SOS aims to ensure that emergency measures and stimulus packages reach small businesses and their workers at the speed and scale required, and provide tools to MSMEs to help them navigate this difficult period. As part of the campaign, ICC has released a call to action encouraging governments to ensure that stimulus efforts flow rapidly into the real economy and provide direct and immediate support to MSMEs and their workers to ensure their continued operation. Read more. 

Canadian Chamber Identifies 5 Keys to Reopening the Economy

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce issued a statement outlining five key considerations to help re-open the economy:

We are asking for an all hands on deck approach to ensure decision makers receive sound advice from a broad set of stakeholders and ideally through a task force model. We need to learn from international best practices, knowing that many other economies around the world are ahead of Canada in their COVID-19 recovery, so we have the ability to draw upon lessons learned from both successful and unsuccessful processes in comparable jurisdictions. We need interprovincial alignment and minimal impact to businesses that operate across provincial boundaries. We need policies that maximize recovery, transitioning from immediate financial support programs to policies that will aid in a healthy and growing economy moving forward and we need to reestablish global supply chains and the international trade that many businesses rely on. Read more.

Now, we need to hear from you.

What issues will impact your company or sector as Canada begins to re-open?

What kind of public health guidance will you require from governments?

Your insights and needs will inform Canadian Chamber discussions with governments as we re-open the economy over the coming months. Submit your feedback here.

New Resources

SME Teleconference With The CRA

The Canada Revenue Agency is holding an interactive Q&A teleconference session for SMEs on April 29, 2020 from 11:00 to 12:30 p.m. MST about the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS). The session will respond to general questions about the CEWS and will provide resources needed to apply. Participants will have the opportunity to submit their questions online. Due to space limitations, the CRA asks that each organization to only have one person register and participate in the session. Register Now.

IG Wealth - Business owners in Canada: Navigating COVID-19 economic volatility and Government relief measures

In this webinar, we’ll discuss foundational investment principles that are important to your long-term financial well-being, both as a business owner and personally.   We’ll also share deeper context into the Federal Government’s recently announced economic support measures for individuals and businesses. This webinar will be held on Saturday, May 2nd at 10 am. Register here.


Please share your stories with us, send us your questions or connect with us online.


"History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again." - Maya Angelou


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.

Leading During a Crisis and Switching to Remote Work. 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.

APEX Alberta Webinars: Watch the recorded series

BDC Webinar Series: Register 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. Click here.

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

D2L Webinar Series: Digital Transformation for Associations. Watch Now.

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

Free Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS)® IDS™ sessions. Register here.

StartUp Canada Women Entrepreneur Webinar Series: Click here.

Travel Alberta Webinar Series. Watch Now.


Upcoming Webinars

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

April 29: COVID-19 Webinar Series - Managing Your Mental Health. Register here. 

April 29: WTF: What To Feel When Stressors Collide. Register here. 

April 29: StartUp Canada: Lessons on Awakening Entrepreneurship. Register here.

April 29: Using Distance to Generate New Ideas for Your Business. Register here. 

April 30: Travel Alberta - Creating Virtual Experiences. Register here.

April 30: StartUp Canada: Leadership Communications During the COVID-19 Crisis. Register here.

April 30: BDC How to get through the crisis with an online strategy. Register here.

April 30: EDC: COVID-19 Export Forecast and Current Economic Outlook. Register here.

April 30: Canada Chamber: State of Canadian Business in the Wake of COVID-19. Register here.

May 5: Local Food Market Channels. Register here. 

May 6: COVID-19 Webinar Series - Beyond Reacting: How to Re-Invent and Disrupt in the New Reality. Register here.

May 6: SEO for Beginners: How Customers Find You Online. Register here.

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

May 7: Write Like a Rockstar. Register here.

May 7: AWE: To Pivot or Not to Pivot? FAQ about adapting your business. Register here.

May 7: BusinessLink: Business Growth During & After COVID-19. Register here. 

May 7: Business Sustainability During Times of Crisis. Register here.

Check out more events on our Pandemic Training Calendar



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