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Weekly Update: October 2 – 8, 2020

Supports for Business

Start Alberta Tech Awards Applications – open until Oct 11, 2020

The Start Alberta Tech Awards Applications close Oct 11. The third annual Start Alberta Tech Awards, which take place Nov 16, 2020, will showcase our community's grit and determination by recognizing individuals and organizations for their significant contributions and meaningful impact on Alberta's tech and innovation ecosystem. For detailed information:

Record-breaking lumber prices boost forest sector

Alberta is now seeing record-breaking solid wood prices at $1,288 per thousand board feet for western spruce-pine-fir. Prices for lumber, oriented strand board and plywood have also seen a profound recovery from April lows, with benchmark prices increasing between 125 per cent and 215 per cent. More information.

Provincial Natural Gas Vision and Strategy

A new plan for diversifying and growing Alberta’s natural gas industry will position the province as a post-pandemic powerhouse for responsible energy development. The Natural Gas Vision and Strategy is a key part of Alberta’s Recovery Plan and shares the actions Alberta’s government will take to grow the sector and seize emerging opportunities for clean hydrogen, petrochemical manufacturing, liquefied natural gas (LNG) and plastics recycling. More information.

City of Medicine Hat Business Innovation Grant approvals reach $1.26M for local businesses

As of October 6, 2020 the City of Medicine Hat Business Innovation Grant (MHBIG) has approved 140 applications at a total value of $1.26M for local businesses. The City is currently in the third tranche of grant funding and has committed to opening a fourth $500,000 tranche in the future. More information.

Setting the stage for clean geothermal development

By implementing a geothermal policy, the government will provide industry with clarity on rules and processes, establish an approach to land use and liability management, and protect landowners and mineral rights owners. More information.

Skills for Jobs Task Force report received

Alberta’s government will review the final report of the Skills for Jobs Task Force and respond to recommendations in the coming weeks.
The Skills for Jobs Task Force explored ways to ensure Albertans have the education, skills and training they need to be successful after graduation and enter the workforce. The report will look at strengthening and improving apprenticeship education and skills development – and better recognize the important role of skilled trades professions. More information.

CyberSecure certification to help protect businesses from cyber attacks

CyberSecure Canada is officially launching a web portal to help organizations obtain cyber certification. Canada’s cyber security certification program helps small and medium-sized organizations assess, plan and implement cyber security practices to guard against cyber attacks, protecting their business, their clients and their partners. More information.

Emergency On-Farm Support Fund

The fund will provide support to farmers for direct infrastructure improvements to living quarters and work stations, temporary or emergency housing (on or off-farm), as well as personal protective equipment (PPE), sanitary stations, and any other health and safety measures to safeguard the health and safety of Canadian and temporary foreign workers from COVID-19. Contributions under the program will be cost-shared 50:50 with the applicants up to $100,000. More information.

Supports for Individuals

Applications Now Available For The Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) And The Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB)

You can now apply for CRSB and CRCB through the Canada Revenue Agency. Both programs are part of the package replacing the CERB with applications for the Canada Recovery Benefit available starting October 12. CRA’s new CRSB, CRCB and CRB web pages provide extensive information about these benefits including eligibility requirements, how to apply and eligibility period dates. Apply for CRSB. Apply for CRCB.

Celebrating Alberta’s rural veterinarians

Oct. 4-10 is Animal Health Week, and Alberta’s government is taking the opportunity to thank rural veterinarians, who help keep Alberta’s farm animals healthy and happy by working with our ranchers and livestock producers. Alberta’s agriculture industry is an essential part of our heritage and a crucial contributor to the economy. In 2019, provincial livestock market receipts were $6.9 billion – the highest on record, and up 6.5 per cent from 2018. The livestock industry wouldn’t be able to function without the hard work and dedication of the province’s veterinarians and veterinary technologists. More information.

New interest relief measure to provide much-needed help to Canada Student Loan borrowers on medical or parental leave

A new measure was announced to help student borrowers manage financial burdens they may face when taking temporary medical or parental leave from their studies—including for mental health reasons. This measure, which was announced as part of Budget 2019, is effective as of October 1, 2020. Borrowers who are approved under this new measure will benefit from a suspension of payments and interest on their Canada Student Loans for six months, which can be extended up to a total of 18 months of leave. More information.

Community Supports and Resources

Additional Support to Local Charities around Southeastern Alberta

The Community Foundation of Southeast Alberta will be providing an additional $152,740 to support local charities responding to COVID-19 as part of an ongoing partnership with Community Foundations of Canada, United Way Centraide Canada and the Canadian Red Cross. This is a second round of funding through the Government of Canada’s $350M Emergency Community Support Fund. Deadline to apply is October 30, 2020. For more information:

A Safe and Healthy Halloween

Alberta's chief medical officer is not cancelling Halloween. Outdoor Halloween activities are lower risk and supported by public health. Find a new tip sheet online and printable posters to place in your window to let people know if you are handing out treats.

City Introduces Spectator Capacity Limits at Arenas

Parks & Recreation staff continue to review facilities throughout the City as the COVID-19 pandemic evolves. To date, the Cenovus Arena, the Canalta Centre, the Hockey Hounds Recreation Centre and the Kinplex I have reopened and are accepting bookings from organized user groups. Public skating has not yet resumed. Find information on capacity limits and the City's Recreation Guide.

Provincial police force study moves ahead

PwC Canada will provide the government with an independent assessment of a possible transition to an Alberta provincial police service. More information.

Province provides funding for flood mitigation

Alberta’s government is spending $53 million from the industry-supported Technology Innovation and Emissions Reduction (TIER) fund. Projects will include flood mitigation infrastructure, watershed restoration projects and a new program to help municipalities and Indigenous communities adapt to future floods. More information.

Government of Canada Launches the Canadian Centre for Energy Information Website

The federal government announced the launch by Statistics Canada of the Canadian Centre for Energy Information (CCEI)’s website. The website will improve the overall quality of Canada’s energy data and provide better access to it. This interactive, user-friendly one-stop shop brings together energy information from federal, provincial and territorial governments, Indigenous governments and communities, academics, industry associations and international organizations. More information.



Freeze It For Them: A Call To Freeze Beer Tax Increases

Providing Canadians with financial relief and protecting and creating jobs is the key to economic recovery coming out of COVID-19. For Canadian consumers, every dollar they can keep in their pockets counts. For our workforce, every job matters. In Canada, 85% of the beer consumed here is made here. It’s by-and-large a local industry. Yet almost half the price of beer – 47% – is government tax that continues to rise regularly.

Canada’s National Brewers is leading Freeze It for Them – a campaign in support of our collective economic recovery that is calling on government to freeze beer tax increases. Learn more.

5 Minutes for Business – Canadians Deserve A Break

Prime Minister Trudeau was asked whether Canadians can expect tax increases to help pay for the significant increases in government spending that have occurred in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. His response came as a relief to Canadians and businesses when he said, “No. The last thing Canadians need to see is a raise in taxes right now.” However, Canadians and struggling restaurant and hospitality businesses ARE scheduled to be hit with an increase in taxes on beer, wine and spirits next April 1 and every year after that. Read more.

G20 Business Advisory Group’s Recommendations To Government

The G20’s business advisory group has finalized its recommendations to governments in advance of next month’s G20 Summit. The recommendations include measures to respond to the pandemic and support the longer- term economic recovery. Some of the thematic areas covered include: digital economy trade, infrastructure, women in business, energy, and the future of work. Read the recommendations.

ACC statement on AFL boycott campaign

Alberta Chambers of Commerce (ACC) President and CEO Ken Kobly a issued statement on the Alberta Federation of Labour (AFL) campaign to boycott businesses that donated to UCP political action committees in the 2019 provincial election. "Regardless of political stripe, Alberta businesses need our support now more than ever if they are going to survive these unprecedented challenges." Read the full statement.

New Resources

Thinking about starting your own business or need to brush up on your business planning? Join StartUp

Every Thursday for five weeks you can participate in a 5-part series on starting your own business. These build on each other, so sign up for them all, starting with the first one on October 20th! These might also be valuable for existing businesses as topics range from startup Steps and the business model canvas, to market research and financing to making sure you price your product right. Interested? Register here.

OHS Code review plan

The OHS Code three-year review plan for 2020-2023 is now available. The plan is updated annually and provides OHS with an opportunity to improve health and safety outcomes while enabling innovation, competitiveness and streamlining of requirements.

Occupational Health and Safety for Small Businesses

Find OHS resources for employers with fewer than 20 workers in the Small business category of the OHS Resource Portal.

Global Cleantech and Renewable Resources

Are you interested in funding, market intelligence or events related to the Cleantech and renewable sector globally? If so the newsletter we receive from the Trade Service Branch of the Ministry of Jobs, Economy and Innovation might be of interest to you. Click here to view the resource.

Global Efforts To Safely Restart Travel

The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the World Tourism Organization of the United Nations, and AOKpass announced their partnership to support global efforts to safely and efficiently restart travel. The ICC AOKpass will provide a means to securely verify that passengers have obtained mandatory negative PCR test results and help restore confidence among travellers as well as potentially allow them to avoid long quarantine periods at their point of destination. More information.

BDC - 5 steps to manage your operations for the COVID-19 recovery

BDC has developed a framework to help businesses successfully navigate the recovery. Find it here.

Featured Webinars

October 9th

What's New: Let's take a look at Facebook's Facelift | FREE

A Simple Recipe for Social Media Success | FREE

October 13th

Cybersecurity: Risks, Issues And Trends Affecting Canadian Business | Register here.

October 14th

2020 Round Table - Provincial Update With Minister Allard and Deputy Minister Nally | Register here.

Business Planning in this Period of Uncertainty | Register now.

Website SEO Strategies Revealed:10 Tips To Improve Your Search Results | FREE

October 15th

Business During a Pandemic: A Discussion on Sales Development and the Small Business Trends Report | Register now.

Harnessing Canada’s Tax System For Inclusive Recovery And Growth | Register now.

Let's Get Started: Email Marketing plus List building ideas | FREE

Social Media Made Simple + Website Engagements! | FREE

October 18-24

BDC virtual Small Business Week | More information

October 20th

A Vision For A Thriving Canada In 2030 | Register here

Retail Holiday Shopping Forum | Register through the Retail Council of Canada

Drive New Business with Social Media | FREE

Seniors Care in the South Zone, brought to you by Palliser Triangle Health Advisory Council and AHS | Register here.

October 21st

Navigating Addiction & Mental Health Services in a Virtual Environment, brought to you by Palliser Triangle Health Advisory Council and AHS | Register here. 

New CRA Reporting Requirements for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy, Temporary Wage Subsidy and Canada Emergency Business Account. You must register in advance here.

Recession-Proof Your Business: Tips To Thrive! | FREE

October 22th

COVID-19 Community Conversation,  brought to you by Palliser Triangle Health Advisory Council and AHS | Register here.

Managing Remote Employees | Register here.

Grant Writing 101 - A Live Interactive Webinar | Register here.

Strengthening Trade And Transportation Networks For Long-Term Prosperity | Register here.

October 19-23rd

Small Business Week Webinar Series: BBB Connects | Register here.

October 28th

The Power of the Inbox in 2020 | FREE

Create Your First Email Campaign! | FREE

November 3rd

Executive Eastern Summit Series with Right Hon. Paul Martin | Register here.

November 5th

Innovation Forum 2.0: Medicine Hat-made innovative ideas to support the social sector and improve the process for getting help to those in need | Register here for in person or here for online.

November 24th

Executive Western Summit Series with Hon. Jean-Yves Duclos | Register here

Recorded Webinar

Exit Planning for Alberta Business Owners

Hazard Assessment and Control

Upcoming Webinars
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