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Daily COVID-19 Update: May 12, 2020

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Supports for Business

Property Assessment Notices Start Arriving This Week

Property Assessment Notices will begin arriving in resident’s mailboxes beginning May 14, 2020 for Multi-Family and Non-Residential properties. Assessment notices for property owners of Single Family Residential and Farmland properties were mailed February 28, 2020. Legislation allows property owners 60 days from the Notice of Assessment date (May 22, 2020) to review and discuss any concerns with the City’s Assessment Department. It is important to contact the Assessment Department for an explanation before filing an appeal. Purchasers of property should obtain or confirm the assessment value if the sale occurs during the appeal period.

City Council will set the annual tax rate in June and tax notices will be mailed out at the end of July. Property assessment appeals for Multi-Family and Non-Residential property must be received by the Clerk of the Assessment Review Board by July 21, 2020. The final date of complaint for Single Family Residential and Farmland properties has been extended to July 1, 2020 under Ministerial Order No. MAG: 014/20. Tax payments have been deferred to September 30, 2020, however, those that are capable of paying their taxes earlier are encouraged to do so. This will assist the municipality to support services through the pandemic. It is important to note that property owners and purchasers must review their Assessment Notices before the 60 day appeal period ends as Property Tax Notices cannot be disputed. See more resources related to assessment here.

New Government Process Launched Today Allows TFWs To Get Back To Work Quickly

Today, the Government of Canada announced, effective immediately, a new, temporary policy that will drastically reduce the time it takes for a temporary foreign worker to start a new job. While this policy is in place, workers who are already in Canada and have secured a new job offer, typically backed by a labour market test, can get approval to start working in their new job, even while their work permit application is being fully processed.  More information

Canadian Agricultural Program: Value-Added Products to Markets - Large Projects program

The Large Projects program is now accepting applications until 11:59 pm on June 5, 2020 to support growth of Alberta’s value-added Food Processors and Bio-Industrial Processors. The Program targets Projects that enable growth of their businesses through increased sales related to the development of New Products, adoption of state-of-the-art processes, commercialization of products in New Markets, and expansion of their business in local, domestic and international markets.

Eligible activities include:

  • Processing Capacity Expansion
  • Product and Process Development
  • Label and Package Development
  • Market Development
  • Export Preparation and Planning
  • Product Demonstration

Grant requests must be more than $50,000, to a maximum of $500,000 per applicant per fiscal year and can consider support of past investments made by the business (retroactive to April 1, 2019). Read more.

5 Minutes For Business: Business As Usual

“Business as usual” is a thing we hear people say. However, this edition of 5 Minutes for Business will help you to better understand just how unusual business has now become amid COVID-19,  along with what the new normal will look like. Read more.

Supports for Individuals

Additional Support for Canadian Seniors

The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today announced a series of additional measures to help Canadian seniors and provide them with greater financial security in this time of crisis. These measures include:

  • Providing additional financial support of $2.5 billion for a one-time tax-free payment of $300 for seniors eligible for the Old Age Security (OAS) pension, with an additional $200 for seniors eligible for the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS). This measure would give a total of $500 to individuals who are eligible to receive both the OAS and the GIS, and will help them cover increased costs caused by COVID-19.
  • Expanding the New Horizons for Seniors Program with an additional investment of $20 million to support organizations that offer community-based projects that reduce isolation, improve the quality of life of seniors, and help them maintain a social support network.
  • Temporarily extending GIS and Allowance payments if seniors’ 2019 income information has not been assessed. This will ensure that the most vulnerable seniors continue to receive their benefits when they need them the most. To avoid an interruption in benefits, seniors are encouraged to submit their 2019 income information as soon as possible and no later than by October 1, 2020.

Community Supports and Resources

Prioritizing Funding for Frontline Non-profits

Reallocating money from the Community Initiatives Program Project-based grant to the Community Initiatives Program Operating grant will help struggling front-line charities and non-profits maintain their core operations and provide services during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The May and September intakes of the Community Initiatives Program Operating grant will be combined into one intake in June to help flow much-needed dollars to front-line organizations faster. Funding for this one-time intake will be prioritized for small and medium-sized organizations that focus on food security, shelter and housing, and addictions and mental health supports so they can continue to care for vulnerable Albertans.

  • The program will provide $8 million in funding.
  • The limit for Community Initiatives Program Operating grant requests will be increased from $60,000 to $75,000.
  • The three-year eligibility period for the Community Initiatives Program will be waived to allow all organizations in need of operational funding to apply for this one-time intake.
  • The January 2020 Community Initiatives Program Operating intake is being reviewed for funding. Applicants for this grant will be notified in May regarding grant decisions.
City Provides Clarity on Outdoor Recreation Spaces

With recent direction from the Provincial Government that all summer festivals and events are cancelled until the end of summer due to COVID-19, the City of Medicine Hat is providing further clarity on local impacts pertaining to outdoor recreation spaces.

City parks and trails are still open for use, but community members are encouraged to follow the provincial guidelines on outdoor activities. Stay home if you are unwell, practice physical distancing, avoid gathering or sharing equipment with people outside of your household and try to avoid contact with frequently touched surfaces. Residents are also reminded that playground structures, skate parks, skate spaces and outdoor fitness spaces are closed. Read more.


Chambers Call for Updated Guidelines

When the time comes to cautiously reopen businesses across Canada, the safety of workers and consumers must be paramount. It is for that reason we recommend that Health Canada (in coordination with provincial/territorial health officers) develop updated guidelines for employers – alongside a public health campaign for consumers – on the proper use of personal protective equipment (PPE) and other health and safety considerations related to combatting COVID-19. Read the letter. In the meantime, you can see our resources on PPE in step 4 of our 5 Steps for Business to relaunch.

The Business of Business: The Challenges of COVID-19 from a Global Perspective

Hon. Perrin Beatty, Canadian Chamber of Commerce President and CEO, is joined by Carolyn Fairbairn, Director General of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), to discuss the COVID-19 challenges facing business and government from a global perspective. CBI is the leading British business association, representing over 190,000 businesses. Watch now.

New Resources

Business Recovery Planning Workbook

The workbook is designed to help you gather information that you need, make assessments, answer questions, and make the best business decision for you and your company. It can also  be used as a foundational step to working with professional advisors. Or, if you choose not to work with an advisor, it is set up so you can undertake the steps by yourself. 

Canadian Export Challenge Pitch Competition

This September, UPS, the Trade Commissioner Service and Export Development Canada are collaborating with Startup Canada along with Mastercard and Scotiabank, to present the first nationwide, fully-digital pitch competition for Canadian exporters powered by Google. In light of COVID-19, the Canadian Export Challenge will aim to support entrepreneurs through these challenging times with a combination of livestream presentations, breakout sessions, and interactive learning. 

CXC will also include a digital pitch competition. Entrepreneurs will be pitching to win $5,000 (scale-up category), $2,500 (startup category), and a chance to win up to $25,000 and up to an additional $100,000 in in-kind scaling support at the Finale in October. The free events are open to attend for all Canadian entrepreneurs, and anyone interested in learning more about the Canadian export ecosystem. Entrepreneurs are invited to apply through video submissions starting June 1st, 2020.  Visit for tips on how to prepare for your pitch or to learn more about CXC 2020.

Connect Supply and Demand of COVID-19 Supplies

BASF is proud to support the Rapid Response Platform (RRP), an instant matching platform that connects supply and demand of COVID-19 related supplies, such as input materials and end products for personal protective equipment. More information

Call for pre-qualified contractors

Accommodation: The purpose of this PQR process is to identify Pre-Qualified Contractors with the ability to provide accommodation services with set rates across the province for Approved Individuals. Pre-Qualified Contractors will enter into Master Agreements for the provision of accommodation services and these Master Agreements will be valid up to December 31, 2020.

Transportation: The purpose of this PQR process is to identify Pre-Qualified Contractors with the ability to provide passenger transportation services with set rates across Alberta for Approved Individuals to and from Commercial Accommodation. Pre-Qualified Contractors will enter into Master Agreements for the provision of passenger transportation services and these Master Agreements will be valid up to December 31, 2020.


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.


“You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have.” - Bob Marley


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. 

Maintaining Sales in the face of COVID-19. 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 13: Federal support for Canada’s economic recovery & what Western Economic Diversification Canada is doing in Alberta. Register here.

May 14: University Of Calgary Webinar: Canada’s Energy Transition. Register now.

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 21: Recovery & Overcoming Adversity with Business Link: an Online Panel. 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 22: Valuing Nature: Value Balancing Alliance – Impact Measurement And Green Accounting. Register now.

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

May 28: Work-Life Wellness for Entrepreneurs: During & Beyond the COVID-19 Crisis. Register here.

May 28: Succession Planning Webinar. Register here.

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

June 4: Cash Flow Management in Times of Uncertainty Webinar. 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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