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Weekly Update: February 4 – 11, 2021

Supports for Business

Canada United grants up to $5,000 available! Reopening Canada United February 16th!

Over $14 million has been contributed to the Canada United Small Business Relief Fund by the federal government, RBC and Canada United partners to support COVID-19 recovery efforts. We have provided relief to over 2,000 small businesses across the country. Applications will be accepted again starting next week on February 16, 2021 at 1 p.m. ET. Grants of up to $5,000 are still available for small businesses to cover expenses related to personal protective equipment (PPE), renovations to accommodate re-opening guidelines and developing or improving website and e-commerce capabilities. Learn more.

Do You Know a Woman Entrepreneur Who Deserves to be Recognized?

For 29 years, the RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Awards have shone a spotlight on Canada’s most accomplished women who have demonstrated excellence — from economic growth to social change, from local to global reach, across multiple sectors. Nominations are now open. More information.

Leaders in Equality Award of Distinction (LEAD) Program

Earlier this year, the Leaders in Equality Award of Distinction (LEAD) Program was launched. This award provides funding to students through two streams, one being the Women in STEM stream. Applications are open and the deadline is Feb. 21.

More support for tourism and other small businesses experiencing COVID-19-related losses across Western Canada

The expanded Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) now offers up to an additional $20,000 for eligible small businesses needing continued financial support. More information.

Submission Deadline Extended: Business Link Pitch Competition

Pitch your business, connect with other small business owners, and you could win up to $3,000! This competition is an opportunity for Indigenous and immigrant small business owners to build the confidence and the skills they need to talk about their businesses and will provide a platform for business owners that often face challenges with business exposure and access to networking opportunities outside of their immediate cultural groups. More information.

Supports for Individuals

Suicide Bereavement Counselling Subsidy Program

The Canadian Mental Health Association of Alberta Southeast Region (CMHA ASER) announced a new subsidy support program for family members and friends who suffered a loss due to a death by suicide.  The Suicide Bereavement Counselling Subsidy Program allows individuals of any age needing support to access up to six sessions to meet with a counselling professional and counselling services would directly bill CMHA ASER. Find out more.

$465 million for Alberta’s critical workers

Hundreds of thousands of workers who continue to provide critical services to Albertans during the COVID-19 pandemic will receive a one-time payment in recognition of their hard work and sacrifice. The Critical Worker Benefit is a joint federal-provincial program that will see $465 million go to approximately 380,000 Alberta public and private sector workers as $1,200 cash payments. The Critical Worker Benefit will be available to workers in the health-care, social services, education and private sectors who deliver critical services to Albertans or support food and medical supply chains. More information.

Government of Canada addresses CERB repayments for self-employed individuals

The Government of Canada announced that self-employed individuals who applied for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) and would have qualified based on their gross income will not be required to repay the benefit, provided they also met all other eligibility requirements. The same approach will apply whether the individual applied through the Canada Revenue Agency or Service Canada. More information.

COVID-19 rapid testing expanding in Alberta

Rapid testing will be used to screen asymptomatic staff at all long-term care and supportive living facilities in Alberta and a new rapid testing pilot has been launched at two Suncor sites. More information.


Community Supports and Resources

Community Foundation of Southeast Alberta Announces $1,267,320 to transform public spaces

Organizations can apply to the Healthy Communities through to March 9, 2021 at 3:00 pm. Visit to find out more about how to apply, explore resources for applicants and sign up for community mobilization sessions. A second application round for the Healthy Communities Initiative will take place Starting May 2021. Please connect with Niki @Niki Gray if you have any questions regarding the application process.

City to Reopening Plan for Recreation Facilities under New Guidelines

The City commenced it's re-opening plans on Monday, February 8th. Read more.

City Confirms No Pending Sale of Electric Generation Assets

The City of Medicine Hat has confirmed there is no pending sale of the electric generation assets under consideration, and that any future possible sale would be subject to an appropriate consultation and approval process. Read the release.

Limited school and team sports allowed as of Feb. 8

Starting Feb. 8, children and youth will be allowed to participate in lessons, practices and conditioning activities for indoor and outdoor team-based minor sports and athletics. All games continue to be prohibited. Read more.

Government of Alberta and the Alberta Medical Association partner to vaccinate Albertans

Minister of Health Tyler Shandro and Alberta Medical Association (AMA) President Paul Boucher issued a statement on the Government of Alberta forming a partnership with the 11,000 physicians in the province to help administer as many vaccines to Albertans as quickly as possible. Read the statement.

Alberta’s government is reinstating the coal policy

Alberta’s government is reinstating the 1976 coal policy including the four coal categories, which dictated where and how coal leasing, exploration and development could occur. Further, the Minister of Energy has issued a directive to the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) so that no mountaintop removal will be permitted and all of the restrictions under the 1976 coal categories are to apply, including all restrictions on surface mining in Category 2 lands. All future coal exploration approvals on Category 2 lands will be prohibited pending widespread consultations on a new coal policy. Read more.


Chamber on Labour Force Survey numbers

The release of the Labour Force Survey numbers included a 213,000 decline in job numbers and gives us a fuller picture of the impact of lockdowns in Ontario and Quebec and their link to a steep drop in economic activity. The numbers were unsurprisingly and unfortunately bleak. Leah Nord, Canadian Chamber of Commerce Senior Director, Workforce Strategies & Inclusive Growth, was featured in multiple media outlets on the topic. Listen now.

Canadian Chamber Helps Clarify Duty of Good Faith in Contracts

Represented by Canadian Chamber member Torys LLP, we have again contributed to a major Supreme Court of Canada ruling—this time concerning the duty of good faith in contracts. The judgment, Wastech Services Ltd. v. Greater Vancouver Sewerage and Drainage District, clarifies what the duty of good faith requires when making discretionary business decisions under contracts. Read Torys' analysis of what the ruling means for you.

New Resources

Covid-19 Exposure in Workplace Common Areas

Alberta Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) incident monitoring shows an increase in COVID19 exposure with the failure of controls in workplace common areas. Common areas include:

  • lunchrooms/break rooms, smoking areas
  • hallways
  • washrooms
  • locker rooms
  • parking lots
  • time clocks
  • elevators

Find out some best practices to address this risk through this resource bulletin. Read all the latest OHS eNews online.

OHS COVID-19 publications by industry

Updated on January 8, 2021, this collection of COVID-19 guidance documents shows what industries and other governments are doing to address COVID-19. Check out the resource.

Conflict resolution during COVID-19: Best practices for frontline workers

Reminding each other to follow public health orders can be awkward, stressful or escalate to being dangerous. The Calgary Chamber partnered with the City of Calgary to outline a few ways to frame those conversations in positive ways, and when to call for help. Check it out here.

Closing soon – Canada Business Emergency Account (CEBA)

The Canada Business Emergency Account (CEBA) provides up to $60,000 in interest-free loans to eligible businesses, up to $20,000 of which is forgivable. This program is still open for applications, but only until March 31, 2021. Apply before the deadline.

City of Medicine Hat Waterfront District FAQs

The reveal of the proposed Waterfront District at our State of the City Address was received with enthusiasm and interest. The City of Medicine Hat has provided a Frequently Answered Questions page on their website to give a bit more information about this exciting development plan. See the FAQs located at the bottom of the Waterfront District page on the Invest Medicine Hat page.

Featured Webinars

February 17

Canada 360 Virtual Summit | Register Now with discount code CCCMember

Cannabis Act Review: Ancillary Businesses | Register

February 18

Vexxit webinar: Simplifying tax season for Canadian small business | Register

February 19

Demystifying Tech for Your Business | Register

February 22

Industrial Revolution 4.0 Corridors and Infrastructure webinar | Register

Breaking Down Barriers: Dealing with Stress & Your Taxes | Register

February 23

Breaking Down Barriers: Successfully Build & Optimize Your Website | Register

February 24

Amazon Business Webinar | Register Now

Business PR Strategies | Register

February 25

Employer Workshop - Understanding and Recruiting Gig Workers | Register

Breaking Down Barriers: Special Communication & Legal Questions Answered | Register

Uncovering Growth Opportunities for Tech in 2021 | Register

The future of retail: Exceeding post-COVID customer expectations | Register

February 26

Lessons From The Accountant: Preparing for Tax Season for Sole Proprietors | Register

Partnership at Home - family management and work responsibilities | Register

March 4

Strike Up 2021 Digital Conference for Women Entrepreneurs | Register

March 23-29

True North Free Trade Forum | Find out more or email to get your invitation to the online event platform. The online platform will allow you to complete your online company and personal profile, access content, see who else is attending, request 1:1 business meetings with anchor companies and register for the Forum's two-day program.

Webinar Series

Culinary Tourism February 9 and 16 | Register here.

Self-Management Series on Time, Energy and Attention Management February 2, 9 and 16 | Register

Facebook Fundamentals Video Series: January 26 - February 16, 2021 | Register

February 17: Getting Into Retail 1: Food and Retail Landscape | Register

February 24: Getting Into Retail 2: Thinking Strategically About Getting Into Retail | Register

March 10: Getting Into Retail 3: Connecting with the retail food buyers and business development advisors | Register

Women Entrepreneurs in STEM: Breaking Down Barriers to Starting a Business | Register here.

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