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Weekly Update: April 9 – 15, 2021

Supports for Business

Alberta’s government is expanding the small business relaunch grant

The Alberta government is offering small businesses affected by the most recent public health orders another payment of up to $10,000 from the Small and Medium Enterprise Relaunch Grant. Alberta businesses affected by the latest public health orders will be eligible to apply for another payment in the second half of April. This additional payment will also be available to new businesses that began operating between March 1, 2020 and March 31, 2021. The program is scheduled to be open for applications until May 31 and is capped at $350 million. Read more.

City of Medicine Hat Business Innovation Grant

Now accepting applications for fourth and final phase! The City of Medicine Hat Business Innovation Grant is a part of the COVID-19 Assistance package intended to support businesses in coping with and recovering from the economic impacts. Qualifying businesses may be eligible for $500 - $15K!

The City of Medicine Hat offers a wide range of grant opportunities for the community including a community vibrancy grant, community development grants, special cultural events and more! View additional incentives and resources.

ICYMI: Travel Alberta Cooperative Investment Program

This grant program is designed to assist tourism operators, destinations and communities with consumer marketing activities and aid in the development of visitor products and experiences. This is no requirement for matching funding by recipients. There will be two intakes to this program: April 1-30, 2021 and September 1-30, 2021. Apply before April 30th.

Pitch for a chance to win $25,000 in cash and prizes

Powered by Orbiiit, The Pitch gives startups a chance to showcase their work to investors and consumers for a shot to win $25,000 in cash and prizes. The competition is open to all startups and entrepreneurs globally, and submissions are open now until May 4th. The winner will be judged by Dragon's Den Michele Romanow in the final round, wins $25,000 in cash and prizes, as well as a 30-minute 1-on-1 online meeting with Michele herself.

Alberta’s government will update apprenticeship education and skilled trades governance

If passed, the Skilled Trades and Apprenticeship Education Act will replace the Apprenticeship and Industry Training (AIT) Act, which was introduced in 1991. The changes will enable Alberta to expand apprenticeship education to other professions and high-demand occupations and modernize how skilled trades professions are governed. The changes will also serve as a foundation to ensure effective investment in education and training programs. Read more.

Alberta signs small modular nuclear reactor MOU

Alberta has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with New Brunswick, Ontario and Saskatchewan to support the development of small modular nuclear reactors (SMRs). Read more.

Supports for Individuals

Vaccine updates and program expansion

As part of Phase 2C of Alberta’s vaccine rollout, nurses, doctors, dentists and any health-care workers in patient care facilities or providing direct patient care in the community will receive the vaccine. Due to limited vaccine supply, all other groups in Phase 2C will become eligible in the coming weeks. Read more.

Physician clinics to begin offering COVID-19 vaccines

Starting April 19, 10 physician clinics across the province (two in each zone) will participate in a pilot project to administer COVID-19 vaccines to eligible patients. Based on the learnings from this pilot, the program will expand to include more clinics in May. Participating clinics will contact patients and handle appointment bookings directly. A complete list of participating clinics will be posted online when the rollout expands next month. Read more.

Milestone One million COVID-19 vaccine doses delivered in Alberta

As of April 13, one million doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been delivered through Alberta Health Services and community pharmacies, with nearly 18.1 per cent of Albertans now having some protection against COVID-19. Read more.

Community Supports and Resources

Public Health Amendment Act

The provincial government announced that they will be updating the Public Health Act. The proposed amendments are a result of extensive feedback from Albertans and recommendations from the Select Special Public Health Act Review Committee and Alberta Health. Proposed amendments include: removing all sections in the act that authorize a minister to modify legislation by order, removing unnecessary powers to order mandatory immunization or conscription and outlining how personal health information is collected or disclosed under the act. More information.

Alberta’s government has tabled amendments to the Public Lands Act

If passed, Bill 64, the Public Lands Amendment Act, 2021, will enable the government to collect fees for recreation on public lands. Along with amendments, the government is announcing its intention to implement a Public Land Camping Pass on June 1. Fees collected would be used to upgrade infrastructure, improve education, fund conservation officers on the ground, enhance public safety and ensure better environmental and waste management. More information.



Budget 2021: Canada’s recovery will be inescapably business-led, will this budget help them do it?

For all of the subsidy and stimulus spending Canada has seen and will continue to see, the only path to real, sustainable growth is job creation and business investment. In the short term, the Canadian Chamber has advocated that Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy and Canadian Emergency Rent Subsidy continue to be available for struggling small businesses, with a few improvements like adjusting the baseline formulas for both programs to account for seasonal businesses and increasing the CERS multi-entity cap to ensure struggling medium-sized businesses are treated fairly. At the same time, other sectors of the economy that depend on interacting face-to-face with customers are experiencing immense difficulties and are widely expected to be among the last to recover. They will need targeted policies to assist their longer recovery period. As it looks forward, the Canadian Chamber is urging the government to tackle more structural issues within the business environment that, if left unaddressed, will hamper Canada’s economic recovery. These are related to helping businesses create jobs and get people back to work, mobilizing business investments and encouraging consumer spending, helping business go digital and help to create new revenue streams, reduce waste and produce new clean technologies to attain climate targets. Read more.

ACC issues letter to Premier Kenney in response to latest provincial health measures

The Alberta Chambers of Commerce (ACC) sent a letter to Premier Jason Kenney and all UCP caucus members. The letter requests an immediate meeting with the premier to discuss the government's decision-making process and data around public health orders. We will update you on how the government responds. Watch the interview featuring ACC President and CEO on Alberta Primetime. You can also view our letter to Premier Kenney here.

Commitment for updated Guidance.

We reached out to Alberta BizConnect after the new restrictions were announced for some clarification and guidance. They advised that all guidance documents located at are being updated to reflect new public health orders and restrictions. The Government of Alberta is updating public health orders, guidance and recommendations continuously based on evidence and the expert advice of our public health officials. You are encouraged to visit regularly for the most up-to-date information. If you are needing clarification or can't find the guidance you are looking for email Alberta BizConnect or connect with our team to let us know.

New Deployment of Rapid Screening | A Push from Across the Chamber Network

Rapid screening is critical to keeping the disease in check. Unfortunately, the use of this essential tool, which can save lives and help the reopening of our economy, has been slow and uneven across Canada. Our network of provincial and territorial chamber CEOs sent a co-signed letter to Canada's premiers to urge more widespread use and deployment of rapid testing. Read the Letter.

Initiative Launched to Bolster Canada-U.S. Trade Relations

Canada’s post-COVID economy depends on a business-led recovery. We think that the best way to spur the recovery for both countries is to renew and revitalize the Canada-U.S. economic partnership. This new initiative will focus on five priority issues: the Canada-U.S. border, Buy American, defence and security, regulatory cooperation and environment and natural resources. Find out more.

Business Leaders Issue Statement on Partial Strike at the Port of Montreal

We joined Canada’s leading national industry associations in issuing a statement on the announcement of a partial strike by CUPE Local 375 at the Port of Montreal. Read our Statement and our letter to the Prime Minister.

Pathways To Permanent Residency For International Students And Temporary Foreign Workers

The government will be implementing a one-time program for recent temporary permit holders, including international students and temporary foreign workers. We have long been advocating for the government to facilitate pathways to permanent residency for temporary residents

New Resources

Tax filing deadline approaching

It is essential that you file your income tax and benefit return on time by April 30, 2021, even if you can’t pay all your balance owing right away. Filing by April 30, 2021, will allow you to avoid interruptions to your credit and benefit payments (including COVID-19 recovery benefits) and to get your refund, if applicable, in a timely manner. CRA has provided some additional tips and information to make last‑minute filing easier. If you owe taxes this year, maybe for the first time, the CRA will help you find solutions that do not create undue stress. Read more.

Are you self-employed? Know your tax obligations

To get ready for a tax filing season like no other, CRA has put together tips and information for self-employed individuals. View the resources here.

Do you work in the sharing economy? Here’s some tax information for you

The sharing economy can take a variety of forms, such as:

  • Transportation: ridesharing, rentals of bikes, boats, or food deliveries
  • Accommodation Sharing: renting out your home, rooms, or cottage
  • Space Rentals: industrial kitchens, parking spots, workspaces, or laboratories

Find out more.

Alberta Tourism Industry Dashboard

This dashboard is a comprehensive summary of the most current visitation statistics, trends in the accommodation sector, status of tourism businesses, park attendance, consumer demand and resident sentiment. View the dashboard.

CRA Information

With CRA receiving larger call volumes and are experiencing longer call wait times this year due to COVID-19, you may want to check out these resources to save you time.

Startup Canada podcasts

Movers and shakers of Canada’s entrepreneurship community give a glimpse into the future of business. Tune in weekly for new episodes every Tuesday airing at 10 AM ET. Listen now. You can also listen in to the Startup Women Podcast for women entrepreneurs , connecting you with leading experts and organizations that provide capital, mentorship, training, tools and other support to help you to make your vision reality, faster.

CFIA Virtual Assistant

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has launched an expanded virtual assistant to help industry and consumers better self-serve and find key information, tools and resources. The virtual assistant can be accessed from CFIA's homepage.

Canadian Chamber and Abacus Data Poll: Returning to the Workplace

How do Canadians feel about how and where they work during the pandemic. Abacus Data completed the polling to find out. View the results and read the press release.


Have your Say

Share your thoughts on labour protections in Canada before April 30

To ensure that labour protections keep up with the rapid pace of change, the Government has launched an online consultation to better understand:

  • the experiences of gig workers in federally regulated sectors, including those who work through digital platforms like delivery or freelance applications; and
  • how federally regulated workers could benefit from a “right to disconnect” policy.

The consultation will be open until April 30, 2021.

Backgrounder: The "Right to Disconnect"

Backgrounder: Gig workers and digital platform workers

Featured Webinars

April 19

Business Model Canvas | Register

April 20

Conversation with the President of the Public Health Agency of Canada | Register

April 20-22

Canadian Family Enterprise Forum | Register

April 22

A Budding Business – Building the Foundation for a Cannabis Store | Register

How has COVID-19 Re-defined the Experience Economy in Alberta? | Register

April 23-25

Techstars Startup Weekend focused on gathering women tech entrepreneurs who are learning how to launch a startup. Techstars Startup Weekends are 54-hour events designed to provide superior experiential education for technical and non-technical entrepreneurs.

April 27

Modernizing Through Change in the Family Enterprise, featuring local business owners from Rosenau Transport | Register

April 28

What you need to know if you provide taxable goods and services | Register

Employer Workshop - Alberta Employment Standards | Register

April 30

Women Entrepreneurs - What's Your Money Mindset? | Register

March 30-April 30

Open Dialogue: Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Canada | Find out more.

May 4

Canada Life’s Workplace Strategies for Mental Health | Link to Join at 11:00 am MST

May 5

Industrial Revolution 4.0 Continues: Getting Canadians Back to Work | Register

May 12

Executive Summit: Re-globalization in a Business-led Recovery | Register

ICYMI: Top 10 HR Questions answered by Peninsula Employment Services now viewable on Demand

Webinar Series

April 8-July 22: Alberta Business Family Institute - Transition Planning series | Register

CPA Financial Literacy Webinar Series for Small Business | Register

Family Enterprise Leadership Series | Register

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

Alberta Innovates: Inventures Unbound | Free Pass

View an overview of events and market intelligence related to the technology sector globally here

Federal relief funding with Vexxit: CEWS, CERS and CEBA | Watch now

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