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Weekly Update: October 9 – 15, 2020

Supports for Business

Government announces new, targeted support to help businesses through pandemic including Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy

The federal government announced the government’s intention to introduce new, targeted supports to help hard-hit businesses and other organizations experiencing a drop in revenue including:

  • The new Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy, which would provide simple and easy-to-access rent and mortgage support until June 2021 for qualifying organizations affected by COVID-19. The rent subsidy would be provided directly to tenants, while also providing support to property owners. The new rent subsidy would support businesses, charities, and non-profits that have suffered a revenue drop, by subsidizing a percentage of their expenses, on a sliding scale, up to a maximum of 65 per cent of eligible expenses until December 19, 2020. Organizations would be able to make claims retroactively for the period that began September 27 and ends October 24, 2020.
  • A top-up Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy of 25 per cent for organizations temporarily shut down by a mandatory public health order issued by a qualifying public health authority, in addition to the 65 per cent subsidy.
  • The extension of the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy until June 2021. The subsidy would remain at the current subsidy rate of up to a maximum of 65 per cent of eligible wages until December 19, 2020.
  • An expanded Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA), which would enable businesses, and not-for-profits eligible for CEBA loans to access an interest-free loan of up to $20,000, in addition to the original CEBA loan of $40,000. Half of this additional financing would be forgivable if repaid by December 31, 2022. Additionally, the application deadline for CEBA is being extended to December 31, 2020.
Modernizing irrigation district infrastructure

Alberta’s government, together with the Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB) and eight irrigation districts, is modernizing irrigation infrastructure. The signing of a Memorandum of Understanding amongst all parties and agreement in principle for the CIB to invest about $407.5 million in this project, to be paid back by the irrigation districts, represents an innovative approach to financing a unique asset class. More information.

Update to Industrial Energy Efficiency and Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Storage (IEE-CCUS) Grant Program

A revised grant application form has been posted to the Industrial Energy Efficiency and Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Storage (IEE CCUS) grant program webpage, available at:  Applications are open until 5 p.m. Mountain Daylight Time (UTC-6 hours) on October 30, 2020. Questions regarding the IEE-CCUS Grant Program should be directed to

Supports for Individuals

Applications Open: Canada Recovery Benefit

The CRB is one of three programs that replaced the now-closed CERB. The CRB gives income support to employed and self-employed individuals who are directly affected by COVID-19 and are not entitled to Employment Insurance (EI) benefits. The CRB is administered by the Canada Revenue Agency.

More STEAM opportunities for students

Alberta’s government is partnering with Shad Canada to create more opportunities for Grades 10 and 11 students to take part in a STEAM and entrepreneurship summer program. Through a four-year funding partnership, Shad Canada will expand recruiting to more high schools and provide bursaries to more female, Indigenous, and low-income students, as well as those who live in remote or rural areas. More information.

Community Supports and Resources

AHS review implementation plan released

The Government of Alberta has directed Alberta Health Services (AHS) to proceed carefully in implementing a portion of their plan.
There will be no job losses for nurses or for other front-line clinical staff. Any reduction in full-time equivalent positions will be in keeping with proactive disclosures announced in the fall of 2019. A minimum of 100 management positions will be eliminated and a full review of senior AHS executives will be completed before the end of the fiscal year. More information.

Additional support for food banks and local food organizations

The federal government announced an additional investment of $100 million through the Emergency Food Security Fund. The Government of Canada will provide this funding to national and regional organizations, who will then support food banks and local food organizations across Canada. More information.

Have your say about Budget 2021

Alberta’s government is asking Albertans to help set the direction of the upcoming budget. The online survey is now live until Dec. 4, and the telephone town halls will take place on Nov. 30, Dec. 2, and Dec. 3. More information is available at

Repeal of Bill10: Minister Shandro

Minister of Health Tyler Shandro issued a statement on the repeal of the Public Health (Emergency Powers) Amendment Act. Read the full statement.

Animal Health Research Boost for University of Calgary

The governments of Canada and Alberta are investing in critical animal health diagnostics at the University of Calgary’s Faculty of Veterinary Medicine. The $3.44-million agreements were finalized in March and will help the faculty launch a pilot project to expand its diagnostic service unit for animal disease diagnosis and welfare until February 2024. More information.

Connecting Community Brings Hatters Together

A new community initiative aims to bring Hatters together and start conversations about what makes us who we are. This project appears throughout the community and online. The City also collaborated with Shaw Spotlight TV to produce a series of #imahatter videos. To participate in the conversation, an online community forum is active on Shape Your City. Residents can also share their story through social media by using the hashtag #imahatter. More information.


New Details for Business Support Programs Are Promising; Immediate Implementation Crucial

Hon. Perrin Beatty, President and CEO of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, released the following statement a statement in to the Government’s announcement on expanded business supports:

“Today’s program changes come at a critical time as case numbers are rising and provinces across Canada are reintroducing restrictions on businesses that depend on personal interactions. Implementation must be equally timely..." Read the full statement.

Taxes, timelines top barriers to Alberta business

The Alberta Chambers of Commerce (ACC) has released initial data from the latest survey of its Alberta Perspectives market research program—survey one of a three-part series focusing on identifying challenges for local businesses. See the press release.

Canada Has A Unique Opportunity To Hit The Reset Button

As Canadians across the country work to regain a sense of normalcy, we know that things will never quite be the same. But that can be a good thing because it provides a rare opportunity to truly hit reset—as an economy and as a society. Read more in the CBRN blog with Guy Cormier, President and CEO of Desjardins Group. Read more.

New Resources

Return to the workplace: A psychological toolkit for heading back to work

Developed by Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), Ontario Division, this toolkit provides guidance on how to support the mental health of individuals as they plan safe transitions back into their workplaces and to help employers as they develop policies and procedures for supporting staff returning to the work environment. Download the toolkit here.

Holiday Resources for Retailers

New ideas and resources for retailers rethinking their holiday 2020 planning and marketing approaches. Click here.

LinkedIn Resources
The Canadian entrepreneur’s guide to modern technology

Tips and best practices to choose the right technology for your small business from Cisco.

RBC Experts Offer Advice To Business Owners

When COVID-19 hit, the federal government worked quickly to get relief measures in place to help Canadian businesses manage through this difficult time. Since March, many businesses have taken advantage of the programs available. But what happens when the relief ends? RBC experts offer advice to business owners in a recent Q&A blog post. Read more.

Featured Webinars

October 18-24

BDC virtual Small Business Week | More information

October 19th

Introducing Enterprise Europe Network Canada | Register here.

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

Win the holidays with shopping | Register here.

Interviewing Techniques in a COVID-19 Environment | Register here.

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

October 29th

The State Of The Pandemic Economy: Harvard Club Webinar Featuring Dr. Trevin Stratton | Register now.

November 3rd

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

Foundations of Human Resources course series offered by Medicine Hat College in partnership with Mount Royal University, starts Nov 3. Click 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

COVID-19 Infection Control for your Business

Upcoming Webinars
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