Daily COVID-19 Update: May 4, 2020
Supports for Business
City Announces COVID-19 Assistance Package
City Council announced a COVID-19 assistance package to support residents and businesses in coping with and recovering from the economic impacts of the pandemic. The package was introduced at the May 4 meeting of City Council and includes support for both residents and business owners.
Although the responsibility for public health and economic well-being of the community largely rests with other levels of senior government, the City has chosen to augment and support provincial and federal programs to customize for local conditions.
The package includes up to $8.2 million dollar in support consisting of the following:
- $3.9M COVID property tax credit for all classes (subject to final 2020 Assessment values completed early May). This will be achieved by maintaining all municipal taxes at 2019 rates (originally set to increase by 3.5% for 2020)
- $0.3M relating to three-month payment deferral of property taxes and utilities with a 12-month repayment plan for arrears (up to 24-month repayment plan on a case-by-case basis.)
- Up to $2M grant for reinvestment into local businesses. The fund will be facilitated by Community Futures Entre-Corp in $500,000 tranches. Entre-Corp is a trusted and capable entity, and is well-equipped to facilitate fund redistribution as per their current mandate. The City will provide criteria to ensure appropriate adjudication of applicants.
- Up to $1M support for vulnerable residents. Offered via $250,000 tranches as needed, the contribution will be shared between Community Warmth and Community Foundation of Southeastern Alberta.
- Up to $1M for inducements to achieve / expedite economic development, and financial amendments to existing contractual arrangements on a case-by-case basis. This fund will be facilitated by the CAO office.
The City has also submitted to the Province a list of shovel-worthy capital projects that may qualify for Federal or Provincial Government stimulus spending. Read more.
Reopening Canada’s Economy
The COVID-19 pandemic curve is starting to flatten; provinces and territories are allowing businesses to reopen, and Canada needs a plan to restart the economy. The Canadian Chamber of Commerce has identified five key areas that need to be part of the country’s strategy to reopen the economy quickly and safely:
- Providing advice to government
- International best practices
- Interprovincial alignment
- Governmental financial assistance
- International Trade
Find more information on the Canadian Business Reliance Network here. What supports or information do you need? Email us at email@example.com with any comments, concerns or questions you may have about recovery.
Commitment to Maintain Global Supply Chains
The G20 Trade and Investment Ministers, along with Ministers of attending guest invitees, reaffirmed their collective determination to ensure the continued flow of goods, services and personnel as well as maintaining global supply chains. The statement committed to:
- working to ensure the flow of goods in global supply chains
- facilitating the essential movement of people
- minimizing the negative Impacts on trade and investment arising from the pandemic to facilitate an inclusive and sustainable economic recovery
Supports for Individuals
Canada Child Benefit and Goods and Services Tax Credit
Families receiving the Canada Child Benefit (CCB) will get $300 extra per child in May to help them deal with the added pressures of COVID-19. Eligible families will automatically receive this one-time increase as part of their scheduled CCB payment in May. Those who already receive the CCB do not need to re-apply for this one-time increase. In addition to this one-time CCB increase, the Government has provided individuals and families with low and modest incomes with a special top-up payment through the Goods and Services Tax credit. This measure gave, on average, close to $400 for single individuals and close to $600 for couples. The tax filing deadline was also extended to June 1, 2020.
Nurse Practitioners to Provide Expanded Care
Alberta is modifying regulations to allow nurse practitioners to provide expanded care to nursing home residents during COVID-19. Changes to the nursing home regulations will allow nurse practitioners to act as primary care providers in nursing homes, admitting and assessing residents, as well as offering follow-up care. Changes will also enable nurse practitioners and other qualified health professionals to prescribe medication and order treatments in nursing homes, according to their scopes of practice.
Resuming Non-Urgent Surgeries and Allied Health Services
As part of its relaunch strategy, the Alberta government has developed a plan to lift some restrictions on non-urgent surgeries and other regulated professional health services. As Alberta continues to flatten the curve of COVID-19 infections, the province is ready to lift some of the restrictions on non-urgent scheduled day surgeries in regions where hospital and clinic capacity and the rate of new COVID-19 infections does not present a significant risk. A carefully controlled and phased approach will be used, with the most urgent patients and those waiting the longest receiving care first.
The first priority will be to treat patients who would be at the highest risk if their surgery was further delayed and those who have been waiting longest. AHS has created a centralized booking system, and will contact patients on wait-lists to reschedule procedures. As procedures ramp up, the province will continue to evaluate and determine additional procedures that can resume, such as short-term overnight stays.
In addition to resuming some non-urgent surgeries, independent regulated health professionals, such as chiropractors, physiotherapists, psychologists and other community providers, including optometrists, audiologists and dieticians, are also permitted to resume operations as long as they are able to follow Alberta Health guidance to limit transmission in these settings.
The Government of Alberta is working closely with the professional colleges that govern allied health professionals in Alberta to develop guidelines for their members who choose to resume operations. This includes guidelines related to physical distancing, patient screening, care of patients with COVID-19, use of personal protective equipment (PPE) and cleaning procedures. In the meantime, as these guidelines are being developed, health professionals should follow Alberta Health guidelines on safe practices. Each clinic or practitioner will be responsible for determining their ability to keep themselves, their patients and staff safe.
Community Supports and Resources
Prime Minister announces virtual care and mental health tools for Canadians
The Government of Canada announced an investment of $240.5 million to develop, expand, and launch virtual care and mental health tools to support Canadians. Working with provinces, territories, and stakeholders, this investment will be used to create digital platforms and applications, improve access to virtual mental health supports, and expand capacity to deliver health care virtually, including projects to reach vulnerable Canadians. This investment will:
- help Canadians safely engage with their regular health providers and specialist health services through telephone, text, or video-conferencing;
- support access to mental health supports and reliable health information in a safe and secure manner, which will reduce the pressure on our health system;
- help governments, public health officials, hospitals, and health care facilities make evidence-based decisions; and
- support federal, provincial, and territorial initiatives in collaboration with innovators, health stakeholders, and organizations like Canada Health Infoway, to expand virtual health services to Canadians.
The Government of Canada has a suite of digital tools to help support the physical and mental health and well-being of Canadians during COVID-19. These include:
- Wellness Together Canada, an online portal dedicated to mental wellness and substance use support. It connects Canadians to peer support workers, social workers, psychologists, and other professionals for confidential chat sessions or phone calls, and makes it easier to find credible information and help address mental health and substance use issues.
- Canada COVID-19, a mobile app that features a symptom tracker, a self-assessment tool, trustworthy up-to-date information on COVID-19, as well as information on mental health and substance use support.
- Get Updates on COVID-19, a web-based email service that provides subscribers with critical information related to the pandemic. Subscribers receive emails directing them to important and authoritative content on the Government of Canada’s COVID-19 website.
Canada and International Partners Launch the Coronavirus Global Response
Canadian and international researchers are racing to develop diagnostics, treatments, and vaccines that will save lives, protect the health and safety of people everywhere, and lay the groundwork for a sustainable worldwide economic recovery.
The Government of Canada has joined other global leaders to launch the Coronavirus Global Response. This online pledging event aims to initially raise more than $8 billion (USD) to help researchers and innovators develop solutions to test, treat, and protect people, and to prevent the further spread of COVID-19.
The Prime Minister highlighted that, to date, the Government of Canada has announced investments of over $850 million (CAD) that support this fundraising target. This includes funding to:
- mobilize Canadian researchers’ and life sciences companies’ coronavirus research and development of medical countermeasures;
- support accelerated vaccine development, including through the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations and other partners;
- find a safe and effective treatment for COVID-19 through the World Health Organization (WHO) Solidarity Trial;
- coordinate a COVID-19 viral and host genome sequencing effort across Canada;
- help provide COVID-19 diagnostic support to more than 20 partner countries; and
- create strategies to tackle misinformation, stigma, and fear.
In today’s interconnected world, the global health system relies on the strength of all regions to ensure a sustainable global recovery. That is why the government is providing funding to support some of the world’s most vulnerable populations, and working with international partners as they coordinate and prioritize response efforts in vulnerable countries. The aim is to maximize global benefits from these investments, and commit to helping to ensure that once a vaccine is developed, it will be produced at a scale and cost accessible to all countries.
Find information on this international fundraising effort here.
International Chamber of Commerce: Save Our SMEs (SOS) campaign and website launch
Earlier this month, the International Chamber of Commerce sounded the alarm about the impact of COVID-19 on micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs). As a result of the pandemic, demand and cash-flow have dried up, jobs have been lost, and entrepreneurs have dramatically curtailed if not closed their businesses—at least temporarily.
ICC’s Save Our SMEs (SOS) campaign seeks to ensure that the impacts of COVID-19 on small businesses are clearly understood by policymakers and the media – while also providing tools and resources to help them weather and recover from the crisis. The importance of this agenda cannot be overstated: MSMEs account for two-thirds of the globe’s jobs and half of its GDP.
As part of our ongoing efforts, we also today launched a new SOS website, which features key advocacy materials and is designed to help entrepreneurs find the insights and information they need easily.
We invite you to read more and join the conversation on social media using the hashtag #SaveOurSMEs.
Call to Action: The SOS campaign was launched with a landmark call to action – featured widely in media outlets – urging governments and international organisations to make unprecedented fiscal, trade and policy interventions to help MSMEs survive the COVID-19 crisis. Major companies also have a vital role to play in supporting small businesses in their supply chains: read our five step approach to how multinationals can take purposeful action to safeguard their suppliers and distributors.
COVID-19 Supply Council
Canadian Chamber of Commerce President and CEO, the Hon. Perrin Beatty PC, OC, has been invited to be part of the national COVID-19 Supply Council in partnership with the Government of Canada and 16 of Canada's leading chief executives. Find out more about the Supply Council.
Payworks Guide for Canadian Business
Earlier this week Payworks released the COVID-19 Related Government Relief and Legislation Guide for Canadian Business. This is a comprehensive guide that breaks down the supports applicable to the widest range of Canadian employers and workers by eligibility, parameters and application details. It also covers both federal and regional relief and legislation, as each province and territory is offering its own unique supports in addition to the policies enacted nationwide. You can obtain a free version of this guide through a subscription to The Works blog. By subscribing, you will automatically receive each subsequent updated version of the guide directly through email. To subscribe to Payworks’ COVID-19 Related Government Relief and Legislation Guide for Canadian Business, visit: https://info.payworks.ca/en-ca/covid19.
Helping Entrepreneurs find COVID-19 Cash Relief
Looking for access to emergency credit? Duke University’s COVIDCAP platform provides a unique searchable database to help any entrepreneur in the world locate COVID-19 cash relief resources in their community.
The Business of Business: Staying Mentally Healthy During COVID-19
In this edition of The Business of Business, Perrin Beatty, our President and CEO, has a conversation with Louise Bradley, President and CEO of the Mental Health Commission of Canada. They discuss the importance of prioritizing mental health and the practices businesses can implement to promote positive mental health throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Watch now.
F&S Safety Buzz presents Re-launch Safely
What do you need to know from an OHS perspective to Re-Launch Your Business? Join Amy Zuk from F&S Safety Buzz as she discusses what you and your employees need to know from the perspective of AB Occupational Health and Safety prior to your RE-Launch. This is a free webinar that will be held on May 7, 2020 from 12:00pm - 1:00pm. Register now.
Travel Alberta: Creating Engaging Content (Even During a Pandemic)
In a world without travel, people are living their lives online, consuming content and interacting with their digital communities like never before. In this week’s session, Travel Alberta’s Tom Babin, Manager of Global Content and Social Media, will explore how compelling content and a strong online community can inspire people to travel when the world opens up again. He will walk through the elements of a great story, what has changed due to COVID-19 and what Travel Alberta is sharing in social media during this phase of the pandemic. Thursday, May 7, 10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. Register here.
Grant Thornton LLP - Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy Webinar
Managing the requirements of the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy application can be complicated. Eligibility requirements, meeting the specific revenue tests, and ensuring your documentation is correct can be complex and cumbersome. Please join us on Thursday May 7, 9:00 a.m. MST, as we tackle common questions that have surfaced and discuss CEWS with tax partner John Di Liso at Grant Thornton LLP
During this session John will give an overview of the CEWS program and will also outline some of the key questions raised by taxpayers out of the program. Discussion to include:
- Eligibility criteria
- Qualifying periods
- Application process
- Issues and opportunities
- Frequently asked questions
Don’t miss this important opportunity to learn more about CEWS! Register now.
Share your stories and resources with us and on the YXH Business Support Group and connect with us for any questions you have.
Recognize your heroes by using the hashtag #YXHheroes.
Honour your everyday heroes through the Alberta Northern Lights Volunteer Awards program. Nominations can be submitted online.
"Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much." – Helen Keller
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.
BDC Economic Pulse (April 20): 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.
Keeping Your Company and Employees Secure When Working Remotely. 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.
Understanding, Accessing and Optimizing the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy. Watch Now.
Working From Home During COVID-19. Watch Now.
AMHSA, CSSE, Howatt HR, AUMA Mental Health Webinar Series. Click here.
APEX Alberta Webinars: Watch the recorded series
BDC Webinar Series. Click here.
BusinessLink: View upcoming events.
Calgary Chamber of Commerce. Watch Now.
CPA Small Business Webinar Series. Click here.
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.
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 6: CBRN: M & A strategies, succession planning and preparing for recovery. 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