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Daily COVID-19 Update: June 5, 2020

Supports for Business

Announcements on Stage 2 to be announced soon

This week, Premier Kenney indicated that, “with the number of active COVID-19 cases continuing to decline, Alberta may be able to speed up plans to move into Stage 2 of its relaunch strategy." A subsequent update on any revisions to the relaunch timeline is expected next week. Businesses and services currently slated to re-open in Stage 2 include: 

  • Potential opening of K-12 schools, with restrictions 
  • Libraries, with restrictions 
  • More surgeries scheduled, including backlog elimination 
  • Services offered by some allied health disciplines like acupuncture and massage therapy. 
  • More personal services like artificial tanning, aesthetics, cosmetic skin and body treatments, manicures, pedicures, waxing, facial treatments and reflexology. 
  • Movie theaters and theaters, with restrictions. 

If you are planning to re-open in Stage 2, we encourage you to review our 5 Steps to Relaunch for guides and resources to help you do so safely. 

Further clarification provided on the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) Program 

CMHC has specified that the CECRA for small businesses is available to property owners who do not hold a mortgage. In addition, property owners of newly constructed or recently purchased properties may also qualify for the CECRA for small businesses, provided the other program requirements are met, including having entered into a lease with an eligible tenant on or before April 1, 2020.

Ending the fear of commercial tenant eviction

Many Alberta businesses are facing challenges paying their rent during the COVID-19 pandemic and will continue to feel the economic pressure even as their businesses reopen. To help ease the economic pinch, government is planning further measures including legislation to ensure commercial tenants will not face rent increases or be evicted for non-payment of rent due to the COVID-19 public health emergency. The new measures will help address shortfalls in the current Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) program, and will give eligible business owners piece of mind as they reopen and help with the provincial economic recovery. Additional details are expected to be finalized during the current summer session.

New provincial grants will ease relaunch costs faced by businesses

As businesses and organizations begin to reopen, the increased cost to operate under public health requirements are causing further stress among business owners and non-profits. To ease the impacts of new measures, the provincial Government is committing up to $200 million in funding for eligible businesses and non-profits to access up to $5,000 to offset a portion of their relaunch costs to provide support during the relaunch. These funds can be used for implementing measures to minimize the risk of virus transmission, (such as physical barriers, personal protective equipment and disinfecting supplies), rent, employee wages or replacement of inventory. The program’s online application is expected to be available in the coming weeks. Program details, including eligibility, are being confirmed.

WCB premiums deferral for private sector businesses and support for small and medium businesses

As announced in March, government is committed to easing the economic burden on businesses by deferring WCB premiums. Private sector employers are saving money on their WCB premium payments now, when they need it most. These actions ensure the sustainability of the workers’ compensation system and that injured workers continue to receive the benefits and supports they need to return to work.

  • Private sector employers have immediate financial relief, with WCB premiums deferred for one year, until early 2021.
  • Employers who have already paid their WCB premium payment for 2020-21 are eligible for a rebate or credit.
  • For small and medium businesses, the government is covering 50 percent of the premium when it is due. 
    • The average small business is expected to save about $1,000 this year.
    • The average medium business is expected to save about $20,000 this year.
  • Large employers are receiving a break having their 2020 WCB premium payments deferred until 2021, at which time their premiums will be due.

See the list of previously announced additional supports for small businesses here.

Supporting Alberta’s beekeepers during COVID-19

In response to the recent challenges faced by Alberta’s beekeepers, Agriculture and Forestry is introducing a new Canadian Agricultural Partnership program to help beekeepers offset the costs of increased colony replacements due to COVID-19. The program, available this summer, will be retroactive to cover issues faced in spring 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic has made importing colony replacements from usual, more affordable sources like New Zealand and Australia more difficult. Program details are still being developed, but producers are encouraged to subscribe to Alberta’s Canadian Agricultural Partnership site, where information will be shared as it becomes available.

Tourism HR Canada - 10-Point Workforce Recovery Plan

With tourism businesses starting to reopen, many need clarity in understanding how to proceed, particularly with physical distancing requirements and maintaining the health and safety of workers and customers. Tourism HR Canada has developed 10-Point Workforce Recovery Plan aimed at helping the tourism sector rebound by ensuring it has a post-COVID-ready workforce.

Tender Opportunity

Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) has a requirement for face shields. The face shields must be made in accordance specifications listed in the request for proposal. These items will be delivered to Winnipeg, Manitoba. Firm quantity: five million, plus options. More information

Supports for Individuals

Supports for Canadians with disabilities to address challenges from COVID-19

The government today announced support to help Canadians with disabilities deal with extra expenses during the pandemic.

This support includes a special one-time, tax-free payment to individuals who are certificate holders of the Disability Tax Credit as of June 1, 2020, as follows:

  • $600 for Canadians with a valid Disability Tax Credit certificate.  
  • $300 for Canadians with a valid Disability Tax Credit certificate and who are eligible for the Old Age Security (OAS) pension.
  • $100 for Canadians with a valid Disability Tax Credit certificate and who are eligible for the OAS pension and the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS).

Combined with the special payments of $300 for Canadians who are eligible for the OAS pension and the additional $200 for those eligible for the GIS, all seniors with a valid Disability Tax Credit certificate will receive a total of $600 in special payments. People who are eligible for this special payment will receive it automatically

Community Supports and Resources

Safely Saving COVID-19 Samples for Research

Health partners are building a safe biorepository to preserve COVID-19 samples long-term to support world-class medical research in combatting the virus.

The new biorepository is now safely collecting, cataloguing and storing samples in sophisticated refrigeration equipment. There will be two hubs – one at the University of Alberta and the other at the University of Calgary. Dozens of Alberta-based researchers working on more than 30 Alberta research projects need the COVID-19 samples to explore things like rapid point-of-care testing, drugs, antibody testing, and genome sequencing. Some studies involve collaborations with scientists across North America. More information

200 Ventilators Donated to Help Save Lives

Local businesses have joined forces to donate 200 high-tech ventilators to Alberta Health Services, supporting life-saving treatment for all Albertans.

Calgary advanced technology firm Exergy Solutions designed and built the ventilators. Suncor Energy provided financial support to make the donation possible. A cross-industry team of partners from across the province worked together to ensure the success of the project. More information

Government Delays Divorce Act Amendments 

Today, government announced the delay of the coming into force of changes to the Divorce Act, which was scheduled for July 1, 2020. Due to extraordinary circumstances related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the coming into force date has been deferred until March 1, 2021.

Border Services Reminds Recreational Boaters that now is not the time to cross the border for discretionary reasons

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) reminds all boaters that crossing the border for recreation or tourism is currently prohibited.

The Government of Canada has introduced border measures to limit the spread of Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Canada, including the restriction of all discretionary travel into Canada.

With the onset of warmer weather, boat and pleasure craft owners may be inclined to take their boats across the border on inland or coastal waterways, or to come to their cottages in Canada. These activities are considered discretionary (non-essential) travel according to temporary travel restrictions currently in place, and are, therefore, prohibited. Boaters are still permitted to navigate across international waters if needed, but are not allowed to enter Canadian territorial or boundary waters for discretionary, leisure (non-essential) reasons, including entry for touring, sightseeing and pleasure fishing. More information


Schrodinger’s Labour Market: Canadian Chamber Comments On Job Figures

There is still a high level of uncertainty about how recovery will unfold. We will have to continue supporting individual Canadians and businesses so they can make it through the current economic turmoil, but we must also start planning to transition to a national stimulus strategy for recovery to get Canadians back to work as our economy re-opens Read the statement

2020 G20 Recommendations For Promoting Innovation, Digital Technologies And Trade

Digital trade issues have taken on an added importance in the context of the COVID-19 economic recovery. We delivered a joint statement with our global partners in advance of the upcoming G20 Digital Ministers meeting to set out our priorities. Key areas include cross-border data flows, technology adoption and ensuring the benefits of technology are realized by all businesses and consumers alike. Read the statement


Webinar | Travel Insurance In The World Of COVID-19, With Johnson Insurance

The COVID-19 pandemic has greatly affected our ability to travel. Yet as restrictions are slowly lifted and lockdown measures decrease, travel constraints will ease up. Once travel is allowed, people will have questions about travel insurance. What am I covered for? Is my current travel insurance policy sufficient? Where can I go if I have further travel insurance questions? Join us on June 10 at 1:00 p.m. ET to find out! Register now

Show Me the Money: Navigating Government Funding Programs

Are you an Alberta-based entrepreneur aiming to secure funding for your enterprise? Don’t miss the Show Me the Money: Navigating Government Funding Programs workshop coming live to the Inventures Unbound engagement hub on June 10, 2020. The half-day live stream event is supported by Western Economic Diversification Canada in partnership with the Alberta Government and Alberta Innovates. Hear from 30 leaders on government funding for small- to medium-sized enterprises. Register here.

Mental Health For Hr Professionals Webinar

Practical strategies that will help you and your employees is taking place on June 22 at 12:00 pm. Register HERE

  • What is Mental Illness? What is Mental Health?
  • HR's Role: Promote productivity or promote wellness?
  • Workplace Culture
  • HR Models: Historical vs. Present
  • Practical strategies that will help you and your employees
  • Making good referrals and a useful resource list


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.

“Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.”
― Søren Kierkegaard


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.

Crowdfunding through COVID-19. 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.

Relaunching Your Business. Watch now.

Rent Relief in a World of the Coronavirus: Watch Now.

Shopify E-Commerce Tools. Watch Now.

Social Media in Crisis. Watch Now.

Strategies for How Businesses Can Persevere And Recover From COVID-19. 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.

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

June 8: Social media marketing essentials for small business. Register now.

June 9: Managing the Impact of COVID-19 at the Board Level (MNP). Register now.

June 9: Getting Creative With Your Mobile Phone, With Facebook. Register now.

June 9: Getting started with email marketing to grow your small business. Register now.

June 9: Restarting and Thriving After COVID-19 and Beyond, presented by PwC. Register here.

June 10: Post-COVID Employee Benefits. Register here.

June 10: Bow Valley College - Intermediate Facebook marketing. Register now.

June 10: Understanding Travel Insurance in the World of COVID-19 with Johnson Insurance. Register now.

June 11: Social Media Marketing: Finding Your Groove. Register now.

June 15: Getting found online - tools/tactics to help your website show up higher in search engines. Register now.

June 15: How to adapt your business to thrive in the new normal. Register now.

June 16: Google Ads – what you need to know to start driving traffic to your website. Register now.

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

June 22: Mental Health for HR Professionals. Register Now.

June 22: Take Control of Your Business: 3 Simple Tools to Help Your Business Survive and Thrive with Bradshaw & Associates. Register Now

June 24: How to Build an Effective Advertising Strategy. Register now.

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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