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Daily COVID-19 Update: May 8, 2020

Supports for Business

Employee training supports for agri-businesses

A new Agriculture Training Support Program has been created to help employers in the food supply chain provide for and offset costs related to safety and training during COVID-19, including the costs for personal protective equipment and to remove any barriers to get Albertans safely working. By providing up to $5 million in support to farmers, agri-businesses and food processors, the program helps offset the cost to train new employees safely in new agri-food roles. The program will support training for as many as 2,500 new jobs in Alberta. The maximum government contribution under the program is $2,000 per new employee, up to a maximum of $50,000 per employer. Grants will be administered on a first-come, first-served basis until available program funding is fully allocated. In addition, about $1 million in funding will be targeted for meat processors to provide support for new hires to undertake meat-cutting training. This job training support complements the launch of Alberta’s Agriculture Job Connector, a web resource to help agriculture employers looking for workers connect with job seekers. Read more.

Government of Canada extending the emergency wage subsidy program

The federal government announced that it will be extending the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy program beyond June to help kickstart Canada's economic reopening and boost jobs. The government will provide more details next week.

Details of the Emergency Support Fund For Cultural, Heritage And Sport Organizations Announced

Starting today, partner organizations will be contacted so that the $500 million announced on April 17 can begin to flow to cultural and sport organizations. Canadian Heritage is working closely with its partners – in particular, the Canada Council for the Arts, the Canada Media Fund, FACTOR, Musicaction, and Telefilm Canada – to distribute the funds as quickly as possible using existing channels.

The distribution of funding will include:

  • Up to $326.8 million to be administered by Canadian Heritage and divided among select departmental programs and Portfolio agencies as well as key delivery organizations. Specifically:
    • $198.3 million will be provided to the beneficiaries of arts and culture funding via existing programs as well as other organizations with demonstrated needs;
    • $72 million will be provided to the sport sector;
    • $53 million will be provided to the heritage sector via the emergency component of the Museums Assistance Program; and,
  • $55 million to be distributed by the Canada Council for the Arts;
  • $3.5 million will be provided for COVID-related projects under the Digital Citizen Initiative.
  • $115.8 million to support the Canadian audiovisual sector, to be distributed by the Canada Media Fund ($88.8 million) and Telefilm Canada ($27 million).

The use of the remaining funds will be assessed based on needs. It will be delivered in two phases with support for those projecting financial impact and funds for temporary support. Read more

AHS COVID-19 Community Conversation: Business Re-launch

AHS is hosting two virtual Community Conversations to provide members of the business community with updated information regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, and Alberta’s relaunch strategy. How can your business plan to re-open in the coming weeks and months? What can you do to continue to protect your employees, clients and customers?

Business leaders will have an opportunity to ask questions directly to Dr. Laura McDougall, Senior Medical Officer of Health.Register for one of two sessions taking place on Thursday, May 14, 11:00 am - noon and the second one on Friday, May 15, 2 – 3:00 pm Submit questions in advance (before 4:00 p.m. on May 13) by emailing

If you are interested in attending this event, please register for one of the two events by May 13 @ 4:00 p.m. All confirmed attendees will receive a Zoom meeting link prior to the meeting.

Federal government announces new Industry Strategy Council

The federal government announced the new Industry Strategy Council, which is an advisory board to assess the scope and depth of COVID-19’s impact on industries and inform government’s understanding of specific sectoral pressures.

Supports for Individuals

Consumer Protection Act

As of May 8, Alberta’s Consumer Investigations Unit (CIU) has received 458 complaints about price gouging related to COVID-19 at businesses across Alberta and 351 have been forwarded for further inspection or investigation. The CIU does review each complaint and will initiate an investigation if there is clear evidence of price gouging. If found guilty, a company could face fines up to $300,000

The Consumer Protection Act prevents suppliers from grossly raising prices with no explanation beyond what is reasonable for goods that are readily available. If you see prices for products or services in Alberta skyrocket because of COVID-19, you can report it through or by calling 1-877-427-4088.

Community Supports and Resources

Non-essential travel

Travel to summer homes, cabins and cottages within Alberta is now permitted. Those choosing to travel within the province are reminded to consider local community guidelines and the health and safety of small communities. Albertans should not travel to summer homes outside the province. If planning a trip of this kind, prepare for minimal stops by packing food and stopping only if necessary.

Outdoor gun ranges allowed to open with restrictions

Starting May 8, outdoor gun ranges in Alberta will be allowed to open with restrictions to ensure adequate physical distancing and increased sanitization and limited contact with high-touch objects and surfaces. Operators can go online to find guidance documents for reopening businesses.


New health and safety guidelines for employers

Today, the presidents and CEOs of Canada’s national and provincial chambers of commerce issued a letter to the Hon. Patty Hajdu, Minister of Health, recommending the development of updated guidelines for employers on the proper use of personal protective equipment (PPE) and other health and safety considerations related to combating COVID-19.

Job Loss Staggering, Business Innovation Saving Countless More From Unemployment 

Despite being widely expected, today’s unemployment figures are staggering. The unfortunate reality is that some three million Canadians have lost their jobs during the COVID-19 crisis, including two million in April alone. Through the recent Canadian Survey on Business Conditions, we learned 40.5% of businesses laid off staff and 38.1% of them reduced staff hours or shifts in the early stages of the lockdown. Read more

The Impact Of COVID-19 On The Travel And Tourism Industry

We have been working closely with the federal government on mitigating the impacts of COVID-19 on Canadian businesses. Despite the immediate and severe challenges facing travel and tourism industries, governments have also started to put their minds to recovery. We would like to support policy discussions around the challenging recovery ahead for Canada’s travel and tourism supply chains and as such, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce is forming an ad-hoc coalition of associations, chambers of commerce and travel, hospitality and tourism businesses to inform and jointly advocate on some of these issues.

New Resources

How-to Guide for Reopening your Workplace

Cushman & Wakefield’s “Recovery Readiness: A How-to Guide for Reopening your Workplace”, outlines some of the best thinking and practices that our more than 53,000 professionals have compiled across the globe and also includes insights from key partners. The recommended practices and protocols already have been implemented at locations across the globe with tremendous success.

This approximately 30-page document was developed for both owners and occupiers and walks readers through a step-by-step process of how they can work together to ensure a safe return to the workplace.

Workplace Readiness Essentials Checklist:

This one-page PDF summarizes the critical items from the guide with simple checklists across topics like Preparing the Building, Preparing the Workforce, Controlling Access, Creating a Social Distancing Plan, Reducing Touch Points & Increasing Cleaning and Communicating for Confidence

Regulatory requirements for non-medical masks/fashion face coverings

To help retailers navigate what they need to know regarding face masks, the Retail Council of Canada has put together answers to frequently asked questions and a more detailed list of requirements.

Networking From Home

The way we do business has changed, seemingly overnight—so has the way we stay connected. On our blog this week, Helium Scribe has listed some of the ways you and your business can stay connected during this new normal. Read more.

Canada’s e-commerce moment is now: Here’s what retailers need to know

Canadian retailers may have entered this e-commerce moment unexpectedly, but these are all easy and accessible ways to meet this digital moment now, and in the future. Make sure your products are there for a world of new customers online, stay on top of fast-changing consumer trends and needs, and make sure you’re set up now for an e-commerce future. Read more. 

Recording of KPMG webinar on strategies, succession planning and recovery

On Wednesday for the KPMG webinar on M&A strategies, succession planning and preparing for recovery was  recorded and is available here.

Travel Alberta: Revisiting Your Business Model During the COVID-19 Crisis

From cash flow to staffing, every business is facing overwhelming challenges right now. In this session, a team of specialists from Business Link will discuss key business plan components you should review to help you ride out the COVID-19 crisis. Join business strategists Matt Hill, David Bayda and Mark Shields from Business Link for tips on financial considerations and stability, how to adapt your operations and suggestions for innovative product and service delivery. 

Thursday, May 14, 10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. Register here.

Federal support for Canada’s economic recovery & what Western Economic Diversification Canada is doing in Alberta

Justin Riemer, Assistant Deputy Minister, Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD), will provide an overview of federal economic measures in response to COVID-19. The Government of Canada has announced a series of programs to help businesses through the pandemic. Learn more about these programs, and the actions WD is undertaking to support firms and industry sectors in Alberta through economic recovery. Wednesday, May 13th at 11:00 am. Register here


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.


“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” Benjamin Franklin


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.

Webinar Series

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.

International Economic Development Council Webinar series. Watch now.

StartUp Canada Women Entrepreneur Webinar Series: Click here.

Travel Alberta Webinar Series. Watch Now.

Upcoming Webinars

May 12: APEX Alberta: Facebook 101. Register here.

May 12: Canadian Chamber Ensuring The Recovery And Resilience Of Canada’s Food Service Sector. Register now. 

May 13: Federal support for Canada’s economic recovery & what Western Economic Diversification Canada is doing in Alberta. Register here.

May 14: Introduction to e-commerce with Shopify. Register Now.

May 14: APEX Alberta: Facebook 2.0. Register here.

May 14: Travel Alberta: Revisiting Your Business Model During the COVID-19 Crisis. Register here.

May 14: AHS COVID-19 Community Conversation: Business Re-launch. Register now.

May 15: AHS COVID-19 Community Conversation: Business Re-launch. Register now.

May 15: BBB Virtual Selling Webinar. Register Now.

May 20: APEX Alberta: Human Resources Fundamentals. Register here.

May 20: ABFI The Lemonade Summit for family business owners. Register here.

May 20: Create a Powerful Marketing Strategy in 7 Steps. Register here.

May 22: How To Create A Brand For The Digital Era. Register here.

May 22: BDC Planning for recovery: How to restart your business in the wake of COVID-19. Register here.

May 27: APEX Alberta: Everything DiSC Workplace. Register here.

June 3: APEX Alberta: Personality Dimensions – Sales and Customer Service. Register here.

June 17: APEX Alberta: Everything DiSC Productive Conflict. Register here.

Don’t forget Joe Social Media – Free Social Media training from May 1 – June 30 (times vary). Register here. Use promocode: Resilience

Check out more events on our Pandemic Training Calendar


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