Your Weekly Tune Up
Changes to the repayment terms for Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) loans
The Government of Canada announced changed to CEBA loans. To qualify for the forgivable portion of the loan (up to $20,000):
- Businesses must pay the full amount of a CEBA loan by January 18; or
- Have a refinance plan in place with the financial institution that provided their CEBA loan by March 28.
If neither of these conditions are met, businesses will be required to repay the full amount of their loan over two years with 5% interest by December 31, 2026. This new deadline of December 31, 2026, represents an extension of one year from the previous deadline to repay outstanding loan balances.
These changes also apply to CEBA-equivalent lending through the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF); however, the details for how businesses can qualify for the forgivable portion of CEBA-equivalent loans provided through RRRF via refinancing by March 28th, remain unclear. Unlike CEBA loans provided through traditional financial institutions, loans accessed through RRRF were provided through government-funded entities such as Community Futures.
Employment Insurance (EI) Premium Increases for 2024
The EI premium rate for 2024 will increase three cents per $100 of insurable earnings for both employers (from $2.28 to $2.32) and employees (from $1.63 to $1.66).
Maximum insurable earnings for 2024 will also increase to $63,200 from $61,500, meaning the maximum annual EI contribution for employers per employee will increase $65.34 to $1,468.77 (for employees, this will increase by $46.67 to $1,049.12).
Read the letter from the EI Commissioner for Employers to Hon. Randy Boissonnault, Minister of Workforce Development and
Official Languages, expressing specific concerns regarding the impact these cost increases will have on employers. Increasing premiums to return the EI operating account to balance would break the federal government's commitment to pay back the current account deficit through general revenues.
Labour Facts - Did you know?
There are currently 545 job postings across “Medicine Hat, Redcliff, Cypress County, and Forty Mile” according to Vicinity Jobs.
By 2025, the anticipated number of job openings is expected to exceed the number of new job seekers, resulting in the provincial labour market seeing shortages reaching around 33,100. (Alberta Occupational Outlook 2021-2030)
93% of employers are doing some sort of hiring - up from 82% in 2021. (LinkedIn)
The best candidates are off the market in 10 days, so catching the right candidate’s eye is essential. (LinkedIn)
Need help in filling the demand. Check out these resources and events:
- 7 Tips for Writing Job Posts that Attract Candidates (LinkedIn)
- How to write a job description for next gen talent (University of Waterloo)
- Hire employees (Government of Canada - Job Bank)
- Occupations in Alberta (Government of Alberta - ALIS)
- Medicine Hat College/Career Expo 2023.
- October 4, 2023, 10am-3pm
- For more information contact email@example.com
- Employment Standards webinars (including live Q&A) are scheduled for the following topics:
- Employment Standards in Alberta- Administration and Enforcement – Wednesday, September 27, 2023 at 1:30 p.m.
- Employment Standards in Alberta – Vacation Pay and General Holiday Pay – Thursday, October 5, 2023 at 10:30 a.m.
- Employment Standards in Alberta – General Overview – Tuesday, October 17, 2023 at 1:30 p.m.
- For more information, or to register for one of the sessions, please visit: https://www.alberta.ca/employment-standards-webinars.aspx
- To book a presentation for your company or organization, please email: Presentations@gov.ab.ca
Vehicles as work sites
Did you know that a vehicle used for work purposes while away from a work site (such as when delivering a parcel, or being driven between offices) is itself considered a work site? Did you know that the hazard assessment requirements specified in Alberta’s OHS legislation apply in such cases, even if it’s a personal vehicle? Learn more about vehicles as work sites on the OHS Resource Portal.
Advocacy in Action
Economic realities of doing business in our city
The Business Council of Alberta President, Adam Legge, Vice President Policy & Chief Economist, Mike Holden, Vice President Communications & External Relations, Scott Crockatt, and External Relations Specialist, Jess Taylor had a jam packed visit to Medicine Hat on September 11 & 12. Along with the Chamber, they met with industry stakeholders and all three levels of government to get a sense of the economic realities of doing business in our city. They also had the opportunity to visit Cancarb, Methanex, South Country Co-op, and Big Marble to get a sense of the size of a few of our larger industrial operations. We were grateful to have them here, and look forward to collaborating with them in the future. There thought leadership document, Define the Decade, highlights opportunities around belonging, opportunities and solutions, not unlike the focus for our own Chamber.
The challenges highlighted during various meetings focused around five areas.
- Power/Energy reliability in supply, cost and regulatory environment: clean energy, net zero and CCUS along with Bill 22 and the Tier program provincially
- Water and the need for efficiency and storage solutions
- Trade & Transportation, particularly as it relates to trucking, rail and ports
- Affordable housing
- Competitiveness for business retention, investment attraction and workforce development
We all believe, despite the challenges, there is opportunity within our region within Agriculture, Agrifood and Ag-tech, along with energy, aerospace and our industrial sector. Read the Defining the Decade: The Next Four Years. A Guidebook for a Vibrant & Growing Alberta and check out the key sectors identified for our region, as we look to define the decade for our region.
Municipal Red Tape & Business Support Research
With 'red tape' holding back businesses and rising electricity costs, we want your feedback on how the Chamber network can support your business?
The Alberta Chambers of Commerce network's is conducting their fifth annual research initiative on municipal red tape and business support.
Take this 5-minute survey to help us advocate on behalf of your business with local and provincial government. If you can't open link, please copy and paste the URL: https://www.albertaperspectives.ca/c/r/ab-mrt-2023r
Survey closes September 29.
Next Level Events
Learn from the Experts is Coming Up!
Learn from the Experts - Sponsored by McNally's Tap House. After our first Learn from the Experts event in June, we heard loud and clear that this event was incredibly impactful for all the attendees. We're inviting you back for another opportunity to meet with other industry experts with different focused topics to ask questions specific to your business. The format will be similar to the first one, with speed-dating-style conversations taking place over the course of two hours. Each attendee will have an opportunity to speak with each expert on the issues that will be most impactful to them. Register now
Medicine Hat Culture Days
Medicine Hat Culture Days kicked off this past Saturday September 16th and runs until Sunday September 24th. The “What Matters to Hatters Coalition” along with several organizations across Medicine Hat have put together a week full of culture! To immerse yourself in and learn about culture of all kinds, see the Med Hat Culture Days activities below or visit the Facebook page to learn more: https://fb.me/e/1fdfktY7n
Business Growth Trade Show
We know you have a million things to do. Make finding free programs easy! Life as an entrepreneur can be a whirlwind. You can be so busy working in your business that you never have time to work on it. We hear you, and you're not alone.
The Business Growth Trade Show is designed to be a one-stop information event where entrepreneurs like you can find grants, workforce support, business expertise, and more. We just need you to come and discover all that's available for you. Take a step towards mastering the chaos of entrepreneurship by connecting with the right people and programs. We hope to see you there!
P.S. Sign up now to be entered for some amazing prizes at the event. Learn more | Sign up Now
Canada Alberta Job Grant Insights
Have you used the Canada Alberta Job Grant for your organizations training needs? Has it been a while? Join us September 27, 2023 at 10:00am to learn about the program and whether or not your organization qualifies.
The Canada-Alberta Job Grant is a training program where an employer applies on behalf of their present or future employees for eligible training costs. Employers decide who gets training and what type of training may be needed for their employees.
Enriching Your Business
Fueling the Business Community
• NEW MEMBERS •
We would like to welcome Prairie West Mailbox to the Chamber Family!
We continually look forward to helping our members during their business journey and wish each the best in all future endeavors. We are extremely happy to have such amazing members, and are very glad that we can serve a part in that journey! Keep your eye out for more new member posts moving forward!
Small Business week: Share your Insights
Would you like to save money on your payment system, but are concerned about compatibility?
Whether it’s a restaurant point-of-sale system or an eCommerce shopping cart, software options can add capabilities to your current payments solution to help you manage your business more effectively. With all the software and hardware choices out there, it can be hard to know which ones will work well together.
If you want to know if your business management software systems will work with Elavon, you can research more than 170 software and hardware solutions at WorksWith Elavon.
WorksWith is a searchable digital repository that allows you to discover which solutions are supported by Elavon. Discover solutions ranging from things like:
- eCommerce solutions and shopping carts
- Retail or restaurant point-of-sale systems
- Practice or property management systems
- Enterprise resource planning systems
From Authvia’s text-to-pay to Dentrix for dental practices, each product page explains the solution, as well as its features and how that solution connects to Elavon to support embedded payments.
Fill Up On Funding
Community Fund Program
If you are ready to make a difference and have a pay-it-forward Idea, apply now! $30,000 in funding available for southern Alberta initiatives!
More information at https://fieldlawcommunityfund.com/
CES 2024 – Las Vegas
CES is the most influential tech event in the world happening in Nevada Jan 9 – 12, 2024. It’s the proving ground for breakthrough technologies and global innovators. This is where the world's biggest brands do business and meet new partners, and the sharpest innovators hit the stage. The government of Alberta is attending the event with a delegation of Alberta consumer electronics companies. Participating companies can offset their travel costs through the Alberta Export Expansion Program. Sign up before October 31, 2023, to take advantage of the B2B programming offered in conjunction with the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. https://www.ces.tech/about-ces.aspx
Tourism Investment Program
Have a great idea? Travel Alberta wants to hear about it. You can apply for tourism funding to turn your dream into reality.
Check out more insights for Product Development and the Co-operative Investment program.
Crossword Puzzle Answers
Did you figure it out? Here are the answers for our September 11th crossword puzzle!
Remember that if you subscribe to our weekly email, you get access to the crossword puzzle! Anyone who sends us their answers will get their name put into our quarterly draw. The prize? Receive 5 promotional credits with us (for members) or credit towards a membership (for non-members)! Oh and bragging rights that you're a crossword master!
Labour Market Notes – Labour market continues to march ahead
September 17th-21st | 24th World Petroleum Congress | Register
September 19th | Web Presence 101 - Ensuring Your Foundation is Set | Register
September 21st | Why Entrepreneurs Need to Know About the Competition Bureau | Register
September 26th | Social Media for Your Business | Register
September 27th | Startup Women: How I Raised My First 100K - And I What Did Next | Register
September 28th | Digital Harvest: Phoneography | Register
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