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Weekly Update: September 4 – 10, 2020

Supports for Business

Government Announces Extension of Rent Relief for Small Businesses

Today the Government of Canada announced the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) program will be extended for the month of September. The government also announced this will be the final extension for the CECRA program. More information.

Advancing the growth of food producers and processors

To advance the growth of food producers and processors, Alberta Agriculture and Forestry and Jobs, Economy and Innovation ministries teamed up to create Alberta Food Directories. The directory has been designed to assist community event planners, procurers of food, and those interested in supporting Alberta made foods. Food procurement staff can now easily access details on local/regional and Alberta food producers and processors at

Funding for Canadian Organic Growers

The federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, announced an investment of over $640,000 to the Canadian Organic Growers (COG) to help get more Canadian consumers buying Canadian-made organics produced locally by Canadian organic farmers. More information.

ICC Partners With GIST Advisory To Pilot SME 360X System: Looking For Pilot Project Participants

The International Chamber of Commerce has partnered with the GIST Advisory to help pilot its SME 360X system. The SME 360X measures key performance indicators on greenhouse gas emissions, water consumption, air pollution, water and land pollution and enables SMEs to make more sustainable decisions to grow their businesses. Participants will also receive practical advice to improve their performance, targeted by sector and region. Contact Mark Agnew if you are interested in becoming involved in this pilot project.

P3 opportunity now open to build Alberta schools

A request for qualifications (RFQ) for the P3 bundle, which includes high schools in Blackfalds, Edmonton, Langdon and Leduc, is posted on the Alberta Purchasing Connection. Once the RFQ is closed on Oct. 8, a short list of up to three proponents will be invited to bid on the P3 project through the request for proposal stage. More information.

Government Announces Targeted Support For Black Entrepreneurs And Business Owners

The government announced up to nearly $221 million in support for Black entrepreneurs and business owners, in partnership with Canadian financial institutions. One of the goals is to launch Canada’s first-ever Black Entrepreneurship Program. Read more.

Investing in conservation and jobs

Up to 125 jobs will be supported in conservation-related activities, including seed gathering and tree planting to restore seismic lines in caribou management areas. Projects will also focus on culvert and bridge replacement, as well as repairs to water crossings that help recover at-risk species and protect habitat. More information.

New funding for the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety

The federal Minister of Labour, announced new funding of $2.5 million over two years for the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS), so it can continue to provide valuable guidance to Canadian workers and businesses. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, CCOHS has published health and safety tip sheets on its website, made e-learning courses available free of charge and provided an online space, Pandemic Info Share, where businesses can share resources and advice. Read more.

Supports for Individuals

Government of Canada strengthens federal labour standards for work-integrated learning

The Government of Canada announced the coming into force of changes to federal labour standards. The changes strengthen protections and regulations for internships in federally regulated workplaces and build on other efforts to protect young workers, including anti-harassment and violence legislation. Backgrounder

Will the owner of $900,000 please stand up?

More than 250,000 Albertans could find forgotten funds, which are currently resting in a pot worth about $103 million. The total includes almost $900,000 in uncashed dividends belonging to an individual Albertan. It is the highest individual value ever held in the registry. Find out more.

Community Supports and Resources

First step of $20M commitment to enhance palliative care

Funding of $5 million will be provided to the Covenant Health Palliative Institute to increase access to palliative and end-of-life services and promote advance care planning. Additionally, $1 million will be provided to the Alberta Hospice Palliative Care Association (AHPCA) to establish in-person and online support groups, develop Alberta’s first telephone grief support line and expand workshops on palliative care for Albertans. Copayments for end-of-life drugs will also be eliminated. More information.

Government of Canada launches Call for Proposals for community-based projects that support seniors

Today, the Minister of Seniors Deb Schulte, announced the launch of the 2020–21 New Horizons for Seniors Program (NHSP) Call for Proposals for community-based projects. This year, organizations will be able to apply for funding to support seniors dealing with the pandemic by submitting project proposals that offer specific COVID-19 relief and recovery activities for seniors. More information.

Nominate an outstanding community volunteer by September 15

The Stars of Alberta awards highlight and pay tribute to volunteers who give their time, energy and skills to make a difference in the lives of Albertans. Find out more and nominate a deserving volunteer today.


Concern That CECRA, Like Patio Season, Is Coming To An End Too Soon

Today the Government of Canada announced the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) program will be extended for the month of September. The government also announced this will be the final extension for the CECRA program. While CECRA has been a lifeline for many main street businesses continuing to experience weaker demand than usual, many more businesses haven’t benefited because of program restrictions or disagreements with landlords. Main street businesses need to know what comes next, and they need to know now. Whatever comes next needs to be easier to use for Canada’s small businesses, and with more flexible options. Read the statement.

Response To Latest Job Numbers

Canadian Chamber of Commerce Chief Economist, Dr. Trevin Stratton, responded to the latest Labour Force Survey results, which showed slowing growth. Dr. Stratton noted Canadians can’t return to their normal lives or find a new normal until they are gainfully employed; everyone recovers when business recovers. Any true recovery must, and inevitably will, be business-led. Read the statement.

Meeting With Provincial And Territorial Policy Leads

Members of our Food Services Working Group, as part of the Our Restaurants campaign, met with provincial and territorial policy leads to discuss and highlight the challenges facing the industry. The conversation was positive but underscored the urgent need for support for our restaurants in communities across Canada. Please ensure your local chamber or board of trade is actively engaged with the campaign and is using the materials we made available in the campaign’s toolkit. Learn more.

New Resources

Keeping Stewardship And Continuing To Rise In The Face Of Adversity 

It comes as no surprise that the last few months have been a truly trying time for the travel and tourism industry — and the global economy as a whole. In our latest thought leadership piece from Air Canada, the challenges the airline industry in Canada has faced as a result of COVID-19 are explained along with what measures are being put in place so that the airline industry can overcome the crisis and emerge stronger. Read more.

A Progress Report on the Economy

In a speech delivered by videoconference, Governor Tiff Macklem provides insight into the key issues behind the Bank of Canada’s September 9 rate decision. Watch Now.

Medicine Hat News Offer for Restaurants - Let's Eat! 

A restaurant is more than just a place to just eat; they are the places we go with our families, friends and business colleagues. They are an integral part of our lives. When the pandemic forced businesses to close, restaurants were some of the hardest hit. We have joined with the Medicine Hat & District Chamber of Commerce and the Canadian Chamber of Commerce to get the word out that Our Restaurants need our help. The Medicine Hat News will be publishing a special feature five days a week highlighting our restaurants, pubs and food establishments. Here is your opportunity to let everyone know you are open to serve them for dine in, take out, drive thru or delivery service. We want the public to know by supporting you means supporting the community, so Let’s Eat Medicine Hat. Find out more here.

Featured Webinars

September 11th

CRA Consultation: Work-Space-In-The-Home Expense: Register HERE

September 14

Virtual Briefing On The B20 And G20 | Register HERE

September 17th

Managing Conflict in Family Business | Register HERE

September 22nd

Updated Humane Transport Regulations | Register HERE

The Journey of Artificial Intelligence (AI) Tech Adoption | Register HERE

September 23rd

Environmental, Social, Governance (ESG) Training Program | Register HERE

Crisis Communications In Times Of Pandemic: Maintaining Your Brand While Facing Financial Challenges | Register HERE

September 24th

Recalling Your Workforce After COVID-19  | Register HERE

POS buying guide Webinar | Register HERE

September 25th

Exit Planning for Alberta Business Owners | Register HERE

November 5th

Mental Health S.O.S - Hosted by the Medicine Hat Chapter Committee | Register HERE

Various Dates

September 17-December 3: Family Business Transition - In Depth Workshop Series | Register HERE

Upcoming Webinars
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