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Weekly Update: May 7 – May 13, 2021

Supports for Business

Rapid COVID-19 testing program

Employers and service providers can apply to receive free rapid test kits for use in their organization’s COVID-19 screening program. Rapid test kits are provided free of cost to successful applicants. Businesses and service providers that want to access free rapid tests from the Government of Alberta will no longer be required to have a health-care provider oversee their screening program. Find out more, review the program overview and then download and complete the request for rapid tests form

Invest Alberta - Alberta Opportunity Book

Invest Alberta has recently launched the development of the Alberta Opportunity Book. If you are an Alberta company seeking investment or know of an Alberta company seeking investment, this is an opportunity to highlight the project and financial requirements. Invest Alberta and Alberta’s International Offices will then use this information to promote project/investment projects with potential investors. Please share this attachment with those who have shovel-ready projects. Complete one form for each project/investment opportunity and send all submissions C/O Jordan Speakman, Senior Manager  – Investment Programming, Invest Alberta Corporation. The deadline for submission is May 31.

Inventures Startup Pitch Event – DEADLINE EXTENDED!

The application deadline has been extended to May 16 at 11:59 PM MT. Get your application in now for the Inventures 2021 international startup pitch competition, happening September 22-24, live in Calgary. Pitch finalists will receive free registration to the Inventures conference, access to professional coaching and a chance to WIN $10,000 in funding! Startups will also receive tons of exposure to investors from around the globe. Find out more.

Amplifying live music funding in Alberta

Alberta’s government is launching the Stabilize Live Music Grant program to help rebuild and reopen live experiences once public health guidelines allow. Grants of $1,500 will help musicians and other live music professionals prepare for a return to live performances. Grants up to $25,000 for for-profit music venues will support innovative projects to help Alberta’s music industry adapt and relaunch. Eligible live music professionals and businesses can apply through the association’s website, starting May 17, until all funds are awarded.

Alberta partners with Montana on trucker vaccinations

Alberta commercial truck drivers who are regulated to transport goods into the United States will be able to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. About 2,000 Alberta truck drivers are eligible to be vaccinated under the program.

View Alberta's announcement of the vaccine partnership with Montana in the May 7 news release.


The Small and Medium Enterprise Relaunch Grant program has been reopened for a new payment to businesses affected by the April 2021 public health orders. Eligible organizations can now apply for this additional COVID relief funding. To apply visit:

Supports for Individuals

More money through the Canada Child Benefit.

In 2021, families that are entitled to receive the CCB with a net income of $120,000 or less, will receive $300 per payment for each child under the age of six. The first payments will be issued on May 28, 2021, which will include both the January and April payments for those entitled to them. The final two payments will be issued on July 30 and October 29, 2021. Families that already receive the CCB will not need to take any action to receive the payments. However, families do need to file their 2019 and 2020 tax returns to access them. Read more.

Alberta administers two-millionth COVID-19 vaccine dose

As of May 12, 2,019,714 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Alberta, with 38 per cent of the population having received at least one dose. There are now 322,247 Albertans fully vaccinated with two doses. All Albertans age 12 and older are eligible to book appointments through AHS or a participating pharmacy provincewide. Legislation now allows Albertans up to three hours of paid, job-protected leave to get a COVID-19 vaccine.

Masking exceptions for health conditions

Starting May 13, the rules around exemptions from wearing a mask due to a medical condition are changing. Individuals will now be required to obtain a medical exception letter verifying their health condition from an authorized health-care provider. The medical exception letter must come from a nurse practitioner, physician or psychologist. It may be presented when in a public setting, if requested by enforcement officials or retrospectively in court if a ticket is issued. This is modelled after the approaches currently used in Saskatchewan and other provinces.

Community Supports and Resources

Family resource centres expand across Alberta

Alberta’s government is investing $1.5 million to increase access to family resource centres across Alberta. Grants to open new centres and expand existing services have been awarded to the Gateway Association in Edmonton, STEPS Society in Red Deer, Inclusion Alberta and Autism Society Alberta. Read more

New vaccination campaign launches

Back to Normal is a new phase of Alberta’s vaccination campaign. This advertisement is the first element of the campaign.

Enforcement of public health measures

Fines for non-compliance with public health measures have doubled to $2,000. Unpaid fines are backstopped with stronger fine collection actions and restrictions on registry services. For example, a person may have to pay their outstanding fine before they can renew their driver’s licence.


Agriculture sector provides a solution for Canada’s climate, data and export goals

DYK the agriculture and agri-food sector accounts for 2.3 million jobs and 7.4% of Canada’s overall GDP ($143 billion) and is a quiet economic driver for Canada’s economy?

Often, we don’t realize farmers are high tech or climate experts, but the facts show the agriculture and agri-food sector is highly innovative and increasingly recognized as a leader in fighting climate change.

In response, the Chamber network launched Canada’s FoodLink, a multi-sectoral coalition to promote Canada’s industry abroad and support the Canadian agriculture and agri-food sector in leading Canada’s economic recovery.

View the resource.

Lockdown Scars Are Showing on Canadians

Our collective focus is currently on the light at the end of the vaccine tunnel, but we risk losing sight of the continued turbulence in labour market – and what that means for the Canadians bearing the brunt of it. This recent lockdown will mean more permanent business closures. The job prospects for displaced workers grow slimmer with every month in lockdown as more businesses throw in the towel. Canada’s entrepreneurs are tapped out and the longer restrictions continue, the worse the situation will become. Read more.


Have Your Say

Which Tax Forms Do You Think Should Be Eliminated or Digitized by the CRA?

Through our outreach with the Canada Revenue Agency and political offices, we have been asked to suggest ideas for tax reform. If you’ve got input and specific suggestions for tax forms to be digitized, consolidated or eliminated, push them through our Tax Form Buster.

Everyone has an opinion on taxes. We would love to hear yours! Submit Your Tax Reform Idea

New Resources

Three good reasons to file your tax return – even though the deadline has already passed
  1. You may be eligible for a refund.
  2. You may be eligible for benefits or credit payments.
  3. You could be at risk of interrupting your COVID-19 benefits.

Find out more.

Small Business Podcast: Small Business Chat with Trevin Stratton

Listen to this podcast where the Canadian Chamber shares the experience of leading the business community through the most severe economic downturn in our lifetimes and what improvements will be made to better support Canadian businesses after the federal Budget 2021. Listen now.

Workplace Recovery Toolkit

This toolkit provides practical guidance for businesses to re-establish their operations while ensuring the health and safety of staff and customers.

Alberta Economic statistics

Featured Webinars

May 15

Value Proposition: what makes your business idea unique and how to market the value to your customer | Register

May 17 or 18

South Zone AHS COVID-19 Community Conversation | Register for May 17, 6:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. or for May 18, 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.

May 18, 19 or 20

How to Emerge from the Pandemic with a Digital Growth Plan | Register

May 19

Future of Travel: Sunnier Days Ahead | Register

May 20

The Art of Effective Digital Workplaces: Communication Style Workshop | Register

Join Canada’s 5G Revolution, with PwC Canada | Register

Alberta Economic Recovery Summit Update | Register

May 25

Family Firm Risk and Opportunity Mapping | Register

May 26

Destination Canada/TIAC Alberta Tourism Town Halls | Register

Industrial Revolution 4.0: Accounting for Crypto - The Future of Digital Currencies in Canada| Register

Restart Your Retail Business Safely | Register

June 3

Communication and Conflict Management for the Family Enterprise | Register

Industrial Revolution 4.0: Getting Canadians Back to Work | Register

June 8

Renewable Energy Purchasing for Canadian Retail | Register

June 23

Women in Business Summit: Empowering an Inclusive Recovery | Register


AMHSA & AUMA Presents "Maintaining Mental Fitness" During the Pandemic (FREE 12 Part Live Webinar Series)

The Alberta Municipal Health & Safety Association (AMHSA) and the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association (AUMA) along with Howatt HR presents a FREE Mental Health Webinar Series. These biweekly discussions will examine the key behaviours organizations and individuals can do to maintain Mental Fitness during the COVID-19 pandemic. The next webinar (Tips for being less overwhelmed at work) will take place on Tuesday, May 25 at 10:00 – 12:00 PM. | Register

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