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Daily COVID-19 Update: May 19, 2020

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Supports for Business

Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) expanded 

The federal government  announced an expansion to the eligibility criteria for the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) to include many owner-operated small businesses. The program will now be available to a greater number of businesses that are sole proprietors receiving income directly from their businesses, businesses that rely on contractors, and family-owned corporations that pay employees through dividends rather than payroll.

To qualify under the expanded eligibility criteria, applicants with payroll lower than $20,000 would need:

  • a business operating account at a participating financial institution
  • a Canada Revenue Agency business number, and to have filed a 2018 or 2019 tax return.
  • eligible non-deferrable expenses between $40,000 and $1.5 million. Eligible non-deferrable expenses could include costs such as rent, property taxes, utilities, and insurance.

Expenses will be subject to verification and audit by the Government of Canada. Funding will be delivered in partnership with financial institutions. More details, including the launch date for applications under the new criteria, will follow in the days to come. To date, over 600,000 small businesses have accessed the CEBA, and the government will work on potential solutions to help business owners and entrepreneurs who operate through their personal bank account, as opposed to a business account, or have yet to file a tax return, such as newly created businesses. See the announcement.

Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance Website Updates

To help you prepare for the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance program, sample versions of the application documents are now available on the CMHC website. You can review them in order to have the required information on-hand when the application portal opens. Please note that these sample documents are for illustrative purposes only. The final versions of the documents will be available within the portal when it becomes active. Please visit the CECRA for small businesses web page as there are additional details on the program. You may also consult the Frequently Asked Questions section as CMHC has included additional answers to your questions surrounding eligibility, definitions and process. Visit the updated program page to get the latest details. 

Additional relief for tourism industry

The Alberta government is providing new support for hotels and other lodging providers that allow them to keep tourism levy amounts collected between March 1 and December 31, 2020. This measure will free up between $16 million and $27 million in additional cash flow for the hospitality sector, which employs 30,000 Albertans. Amounts collected prior to March 1, 2020 that are being deferred under the previously announced deferral program can continue to be deferred until August 31, 2020. Accommodation providers are still expected to file returns throughout 2020, as required by legislation, and will be expected to resume regular tourism levy payments in 2021. Travel Alberta is also working on measures to support local tourism organizations across Alberta that will be announced at a later date and are part of the Government of Alberta’s broader plan to help Alberta’s tourism industry recover and eventually grow. The three-phase plan will focus on:

  • responding and providing the sector with immediate relief
  • relaunching and supporting the sector through recovery
  • rebuilding and positioning the sector for growth
Relaunch Considerations and Planning Template

The Alberta Biz Connect web page provides business owners with information on health and safety guidelines for general workplaces and is updated regularly with new information. Businesses and locations that are reopening can now access a template on that web page to help plan how employees and patrons will be protected from the spread of infection. Originally this plan was slated to be a mandatory requirement to be posted in a business location and online, however as of today, completion of this template is now voluntary. Information and the plan template is available at Those businesses that have questions can also email Read the Government of Alberta COVID-19 Update here

Western Livestock Price Insurance (WLPIP) calf price insurance

The deadline to purchase Western Livestock Price Insurance (WLPIP) calf price insurance has been extended to June 18, 2020 in response to the ever-changing circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. The extension gives producers an additional three weeks to monitor premiums and purchase calf price insurance policies.

Additional Government Supports For Women Entrepreneurs

On May 16, the Government of Canada announced an additional $15 million in funding to the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy (WES). The money will go directly to select organizations that are currently WES Ecosystem Fund recipients to help women entrepreneurs through the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more.

World Health Organization Seeking COVID-19 In-Kind Equipment Donations

To aid with the global response to COVID-19, the WHO is seeking in-kind donations of medical equipment. If you are able to help, please complete the WHO’s questionnaire. Complete the questionnaire.

Long Term Care Facilities to Receive Additional Funding

A provincial investment of more than $170 million will help keep residents and staff in long-term care, designated supportive living facilities and seniors lodges safe from COVID-19. One of the key conditions for Alberta’s relaunch is strong protection for the most vulnerable, including those in congregate living facilities. Funding will be used for enhanced staffing and extra cleaning supplies and will address lost accommodation revenue. A total of $14.2 million will be allocated per month. Funding is retroactive to March 15. There will be a requirement to report on the use of these funds, and facilities will need to return money not spent on COVID-related purposes. Funding will continue until the orders from Alberta's chief medical officer of health are lifted. It will be distributed in coordination with Alberta Health Services and Seniors and Housing.

Supports for Individuals

Prime Minister announces annual increase to the Canada Child Benefit (CCB)

The CCB will be increased once again in July, to help families keep up with the costs of living and raising their children. This additional tax-free support will help families pay for things such as food, clothes, and activities they can do together at home. The increase will be in place for the 2020-21 benefit year, and will raise the maximum benefit to $6,765 per child under age 6, and $5,708 per child aged 6 through 17. This increase is in addition to the one-time special CCB payment announced by the Prime Minister earlier this month, to help families deal with the added pressures of COVID-19. On May 20, 2020, this special measure will give families currently receiving the CCB an additional $300 per child with their May payment, and deliver almost $2 billion in extra support across the country to help families during this challenging period. Read the press release.

Community Supports and Resources

Additional Details for the Emergency Community Support Fund

Additional details were provided today for the Emergency Community Support Fund (ECSF). 

Eligible Projects

Many different types of projects are eligible for funding. Registered charities and other “qualified donees” can apply through community foundations for projects that:

  • Address a well-being need caused by COVID-19;
  • Serve one or more vulnerable groups such as seniors, persons with disabilities, veterans, newcomers, refugees, women, children and youth, LGBTQ2 people, Indigenous people and racialized people, such as Black Canadians and others.
  • Will be completed before March 31, 2021.

 Here are some examples of eligible projects: 

  • Increased staffing and supplies at a shelter for women and children fleeing violence;
  • Food supplies for First Nations members living on-reserve, where supplies and delivery are interrupted;
  • Equipment for a food bank to accommodate rise in food orders;
  • Technology enabling seniors in-residence to connect with their families virtually;
  • Preparing and delivering food for persons with disabilities;

Community foundations are working with United Way Centraide Canada and the Canadian Red Cross to distribute the ECSF. You can only receive ECSF funding from one of us for the same project costs. 

Application Process

If you have a project that matches these criteria, the application is designed to be straightforward and efficient. Complete the online application This is the direct link to CFC’s National Application Portal, which should take about 20 minutes. It has some brief questions about your project and the vulnerable groups your organization is supporting.  

Applications will be received and assessed on a weekly rolling basis, so that you can get an answer as soon as possible. The final closing date to submit an application will be July 27, 2020. 

Streamlined Reporting

Reporting requirements for projects approved for funding will be as light as possible - we know community-based organizations have important work to deliver right now. This process includes a short description of the outcomes and, once you have finished the project, a brief report due by April 1, 2021. 

Learn more

You can find additional information about the Fund and all the materials you need to prepare an application here and here;

If you have additional questions please don’t’ hesitate to reach out or call the Medicine Hat Community Foundation office at 403.527.9038

Support for the Canadian Red Cross

Up to $100 million in funding will be provided to help the Red Cross meet increased demand due to COVID-19, and to support future floods and wildfire relief efforts. This funding includes up to $41 million to address immediate COVID-19 needs, with over $15 million committed to enhance the Red Cross’ response capacity and $25 million to support public health efforts. With this funding, the Red Cross will:

  • recruit and train volunteers and staff
  • adapt its operations to the COVID-19 context
  • support quarantine and isolation sites
  • acquire personal protective equipment for its personnel and volunteers
  • provide training to the health care sector and other essential workers on using personal protective equipment, and maintaining infection prevention and control measures within facilities
  • expand their roster of public health and infection prevention and control specialists
  • procure and deploy, as necessary, emergency health supplies and equipment, including a mobile field hospital, to prepare for future waves and outbreaks of COVID-19

In addition, up to $59 million of this funding will be available to support additional relief and recovery efforts this year related to COVID-19, as well as for future floods and wildfires. Read the press release.

Canada-U.S. Border Closure Extended

Today it was announced the closure of the Canada-U.S. border would be extended an additional 30 days to June 21. The conditions of the closure remain unchanged, which bans non-essential travel.


Ensuring Financial Support for SMEs

Without adequate and immediate fiscal interventions, a significant proportion of SMEs will be unable to weather the COVID-19 crisis.We’ve identified a number of best practice principles that all governments should seek to replicate. Read our open letter to finance ministers.

Leveling the Trading Field

Reforms to enable MSME participation in international trade can limit economic losses, protect jobs and set strong foundations for renewed economic growth. Read our 10 point plan on how trade policy can be tailored to the needs of small businesses in the face of the pandemic. 

Canadian Chamber Welcomes Expansion Of Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) Criteria

Today’s announcement addresses our concerns that eligibility for CEBA should not discriminate against different business structures, such as entrepreneurs receiving income directly from their firms and businesses that rely on contract employees and pay staff through dividends.Unfortunately, firms must still have a business account with a financial institution to qualify for CEBA. Many small firms do not have a separate account for their businesses and will still not qualify and we are working towards a resolution for this. Read the statement here.

New Resources

Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy application guide

Find additional details about what to do before you start and instructions on how to apply here.

Google Guidance for Businesses affected by COVID-19

If your business is affected by COVID-19, update your Google My Business profile to provide the most accurate information to your customers. You can provide updates about your business to customers such as:

  • Your adjusted hours of operation, for instance if you close early.
  • If your business services are experiencing delays.
  • Extra services you are providing for the community.
  • If your business is "Temporarily closed".

The updates will show on your Business Profile on Google Search and Maps. Read more and view the YouTube video with Tips here.

VCHours Support for the StartUp Community

The Canadian startup community has come together over the past couple of weeks to support Canadian startups who are facing unprecedented challenges due to the pandemic. VCHOURS offers a line of support to all Canadian startups who may need it, recognizing that many startups may not yet have advisors, investors, or other stakeholders to lean on. With VCHOURS those in the startup community can schedule short one-on-one calls with any Venture Capitalists (VCs) committed to this initiative. Read more.

Cleaning and disinfecting public spaces during COVID-19

This document from the Government of Canada provides guidance on cleaning and disinfecting of public settings, including schools, universities, public libraries, museums, public transit, communal residences and workplaces. It provides details on what you should know, the products to use and creating a cleaning procedure. Read more.

SME Cybersecurity Guidance

COVID-19 has placed SMEs at an increased risk of cyber attacks. The International Chamber of Commerce has produced a new guide includes resources to help SMEs to combat cyber threats to their business operations.

Protecting Small Business Cybersecurity

To help small businesses protect their operations, RiskRecon, a Mastercard company, is providing Canadian small businesses (0-100 employees) with free cybersecurity rating assessments through RiskRecon’s 'My Cyber Risk' from the time they sign up for the service through December 31, 2020. Read more.

Family Friendly Business Continuity

ICC and UNICEF have partnered to develop family friendly business continuity guidance to support employees, their families and their children through the COVID-19 crisis. 

Deloitte Economic Recovery Dashboard 

Deloitte’s COVID-19: Economic recovery dashboard monitors the health, social, financial and economic activity that will signal when a recovery is coming. It’s available to anyone seeking a real-time, full picture view of the country’s situation as businesses, governments and others continue to respond to this global health crisis. The dashboard also contains supporting commentary from Deloitte Canada’s chief economist, Craig Alexander, since the dashboard forecasts are updated with quarterly GDP numbers, the timing of the rebound and the timing of full recovery. Access the Dashboard.


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.


“Always put your best foot forward, because you never know where your next step may lead you.” - Stephan Labossiere


For more resources visit our COVID-19 page

On Demand Webinars

Alberta Bits & Pieces Webinar. Watch Now.

Canadian Business Resilience Network Video Content

13 Ways COVID-19 and Your Business Part 1: Watch Now.

Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) Explained: Watch Now.

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.

How to Navigate Government Programs with KPMG. 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.

What To Feel When Stressors Collide, With Canada Life. 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. Learn how to find bid opportunities. Register now.

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.

Retail Council of Canada

StartUp Canada Women Entrepreneur Webinar Series: Click here.

Travel Alberta Webinar Series. Watch Now.

Upcoming Webinars

May 20: Q&A With The Canada Revenue Agency On The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS). 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: COVID-19: Get financing and support for your business (Q&A with EDC & BDC). Register here.

May 21: 13 Ways Easing Into The New Normal. Register here.

May 21: Recovery & Overcoming Adversity with Business Link: an Online Panel. Register here.

May 21: Research and Insights to Help Guide Alberta’s Tourism Recovery. Register Now.

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 26 & June 2: Rock My Business Plan. Register here.

May 26: CWB Financial Webinar | Putting People First: How to Win During a Crisis. Register now.

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

May 27: Digital Strategy in a Time of Crisis. Register here.

May 27: Marketing Your Business Re-Opening. 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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