Your Weekly Tune Up
Council approves best of market interim electricity rate through new bylaw
At the regular City Council meeting on Monday, October 16, 2023, Council gave second and third reading to Bylaw No. 4796, amending Electric Utility Bylaw No. 2244. Effective November 1, 2023, this new bylaw will bring into force a single best of market interim electricity rate, not to exceed a maximum rate of 11 cents per KWh or a minimum rate of 7 cents per KWh, charged to all residential, small business, and commercial customers. In an effort to create price stability for consumers, the City of Medicine Hat has shifted away from rate setting based solely on provincial retail market prices toward a pricing methodology that will see rates calculated based on a twelve‐month forecast of the wholesale electricity energy market. On November first, the new rate
calculation will automatically be applied to all residential and small/medium commercial accounts, regardless of whether a contract is currently in place or not. To keep your existing contract for the length of time remaining in the contracted period, a request must be received prior to December 1, 2023 by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Read this article online.
Not sure if the Underused Housing Tax applies to you?
Check out the CRA’s new online self-assessment tool on Canada.ca!
The Underused Housing Tax (UHT) is an annual 1% tax on vacant or underused housing in Canada. The UHT generally applies to foreign owners of housing in Canada, but it’s important to note that some Canadian businesses—such as certain corporations that own housing in Canada—may be affected owners. If you are an affected owner, you must file an annual return.
The CRA has published a new online self-assessment tool to help you find information related to your specific ownership conditions, including links to information about exemptions that you may qualify for.
Southeast Alberta Economic Opportunity Strategy and Implementation Framework
We are pleased to relay an update to our members on behalf of the Regional Steering Committee who will be guiding the implementation of the Regional Economic Development Strategy. Each member of the steering committee is a member of one of the six participating municipalities and brings perspective as a representative of their municipality to ensure equitable contribution to this work. Members of the Steering Committee are from the following municipalities:
- Village of Foremost
- Town of Bow Island
- Town of Redcliff
- County of Forty Mile
- Cypress County
- City of Medicine Hat
This collaboration is a unique opportunity to develop the five-year Strategy and Framework where key players work towards the common objective to establish a structured framework that encourages job creation and diversification while broadening the economic base, enhancing infrastructure and endorsing sustainable progress. The Committee is committed to engaging and partnering with Economic Development Stakeholders and their participation in the development and implementation of the Regional Strategy.
The RFP for the development of the regional strategy was posted on September 19th with submissions accepted until October 31st. On November 9th, the Steering Committee will meet to adjudicate each proposal with the anticipated execution of the Agreement taking place on December 5th, 2023.
If you or a company you know may be interested in the opportunity, please forward the this link. Proponents must download the documents from the Bids & Tenders website to be registered as a plan taker.
City invites community to public engagement open house
The City of Medicine Hat is inviting residents to connect, engage, and share their perspectives on various local initiatives during a public engagement open house event at City Hall on Wednesday, Nov. 1, from 4 to 8 p.m.
This in-person engagement event is designed to foster a collaborative environment between City staff and community members. The aim is to provide insights, gather feedback, and encourage community participation in new and ongoing projects that shape the future of Medicine Hat. For more details and the departments that will be involved, read more online here.
Advocacy in Action
Small Business Week provides opportunity to highlight regional priorities for our business community
Small Business Week was a busy week for the Chamber, advocating to City Council on Monday, October 16; participating in an update on the regional economic development strategy and hosting a business-focused town hall with members of City Council on Tuesday, October 17; we hosted a meeting with Minister Jones and were pleased to celebrate the opening of S3 group, along with attending the Developoment Advisory panel meeting, hosting our monthly board meeting and attending the MLA town hall all on October 18. We were pleased to host the Leadership Breakfast on October 19th, followed by a meeting with the Premier and MLA Wright, along with tours and a meeting with Parliamentary Secretary Grant Hunter, which were organized by our Mayor, Linnsie Clark and MLA Justin Wright to focus on the agri-food corridor in Southern Alberta.
We were also able to squeeze in our regular monthly Urban Development Industry meeting and heard from the new Real Estate Specialists with the City. The week allowed our Chamber to focus on long term energy strategies, economic development priorities, various questions and concerns from our members, along with development planning and the priorities of the agri-food corridor. While it was a busy week, it was rewarding to be part of so many conversations that focused on our business community and the opportunities and long-term.
It’s Always a Good Time to Discuss Small Business.
Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, but they face unique challenges, particularly in the wake of the pandemic. Our latest Policy Matters identifies four significant challenges facing small businesses and how a shift in government policy will help businesses overcome them and stay ahead in today’s competitive global marketplace.
Next Level Events
Midnight Madness is Coming Soon!
Midnight Madness is a yearly event that usually takes place a week before Black Friday to encourage people to shop early and support the local shops and owners within the downtown core. Come on down and enjoy all that downtown has to offer with live entertainment, giveaways, retail sales & specials, food and beverage offerings, a petting zoo, buskers, horse & carriage rides (weather dependent) and so much more. Keep your eyes out for more details as we get closer!
We can't wait to see you for another year of Midnight Madness, November 17th! Check out more details (TBA) here: www.downtownmedicinehat.ca
This Week! Business Growth Trade Show
The Business Growth Trade Show is designed to showcase government-funded programs available to businesses and municipalities in Southeast Alberta. Business owners and municipalities are challenged to stay informed about all the government programs available to support them. We are providing a one-stop information event where Southeast Alberta businesses and municipalities can easily find relevant support and make in-person connections for program follow-up as needed. Check out https://www.apexalberta.ca/business-growth-tradeshow for more information.
Join us at the Cypress County Ag Connections Conference on Nov 22, 2023
We'll have the honor of hosting the incredible Lesley Kelly as our keynote speaker!
Lesley Kelly is not only a farmer but a passionate advocate for mental health in agriculture. She's the heart and soul behind "High Heels & Canola Fields," bridging the gap between consumers and farmers. Her journey began while building a snack food company with the grains from her own farm, revealing the disconnect between agriculture and consumers.
Lesley's goal is to build community and connection that benefits the industry, farmers, and consumers alike. She's played a pivotal role in initiatives like Bell Let's Talk, raising over $149 million for
mental health community projects. She also co-founded the Do More Agriculture Foundation, solely focused on mental health in agriculture, training thousands of farmers across Canada in mental health since 2018.
She is a cohost of the "What The Farm" podcast, Director for Saskatchewan Wheat, and a dedicated mom and wife. Don't miss her session, "Weather the Storm," where she'll share her "Weather the S.T.O.R.M." strategy - 5 invaluable tips to help us recognize when stress is too much and how to support each other during challenging times in farming.
Tickets sales end October 31st, or when tickets sell out. Get your tickets today at www.cypresscountybusiness.ca
Enriching Your Business
Fueling the Business Community
• NEW MEMBERS •
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!
Partek launches new website
Partek is thrilled to introduce their new website!: www.partek.ca
This redesign is aimed at making your experience smoother, more informative, and more engaging. Whether you're a long-time client or just getting to know them, they believe you'll appreciate the changes.
The new website highlights client case studies that demonstrate the impact technology can have on local businesses, they've included an archive of useful tips and topics from advice on email management to the latest cyber security threats, and finally, you can find tech-information based on specific solutions or industries.
Medicine Hat is home to S3 Group’s sixth facility in North America and first in Alberta
Saskatchewan-based S3 Group builds tynes, harrows, air seeder blowers and other custom equipment. The new 22,000-square-foot facility is projected to be manufacture-ready at the end of 2023. S3 Group also plans to establish an engineering centre of excellence in Medicine Hat by 2028 to support new product development. The government’s Investment and Growth Fund is a deal-closing fund meant to help provide an additional incentive for companies considering investing in Alberta. S3 Group will receive $1.3 million to grow their company into Medicine Hat.
The Investment and Growth Fund was established in 2021 and S3 Group is the 10th company supported by it. For every $1 million that the fund contributes, more than $70 million is forecast to be spent in the province. Read the news release
Fill Up On Funding
Supporting women in STEM
Women pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields can now apply for the Women in STEM Scholarship. Supporting women in STEM | Aide aux femmes dans les STIM | alberta.ca
Canada Digital Adoption Plan (CDAP)
Applying to the Boost Your Business Technology grant just got easier for Canadian businesses. Directors/presidents can now assign a representative to apply on behalf of the company. Canadian companies can get up to $15,000 in grants to work with a professional digital advisor to develop a tailored digital adoption plan. Apply online
Venture Capital Catalyst Initiative
The Government's renewed commitment to the VCCI will help increase the availability of capital for Canada's high-potential innovative firms, including those in the life sciences sector and for entrepreneurs from underrepresented groups, such as women and racialized communities. This will be accomplished through the introduction of three new streams under VCCI:
- Funds-of-funds stream investing up to $350 million in funds-of-funds;
- Life sciences stream investing up to $50 million in VC funds primarily focused on investing in high-growth potential technology companies Canada's life sciences sector; and,
- Inclusive growth stream investing up to $50 million to support increased access to VC for underrepresented groups, such as women and racialized communities.
Micro-Grants Now Open to Canadian SMEs.
Our member, UPS Canada, in partnership with the Innovators & Entrepreneurs Foundation (IEF), has launched a micro-grant program designed to provide a financial boost to Canadian small- and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) that are already operational, generating revenue, and that need a financial boost to improve their business operations.
The goal of the micro-grant program is to support founders belonging to equity-deserving and/or racialized communities across Canada overcome financial obstacles and achieve growth, sustainability, and success in their businesses. Applications are being accepted until 11:59 p.m. PT on November 12, 2023. All applications must be submitted through the IEF’s website portal
Crossword Puzzle Answers
Did you figure it out? Here are the answers for the October 16th 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!
First draw coming up in November! Get your answers in for the chance to win.
Labour Market Notes – Labour market pulls back
Guide: Spotlight on export financing
Black Friday Marketing: How To Prep for Your Business
October 24th | Webinar: Retail Holiday Shopping Report | Register
October 26th | 2023 CANIE Awards" Innovation & Entrepreneurs Foundation | Apply Now
November 9 | Startup Global | Ready, Set, Go Global! Assessing Export Readiness | Register
November 17 | Midnight Madness | More information
November 30 | Presidents' Reception & Member Appreciation | Register
December 13 | Retail Conditions Report: Holiday Edition | Register
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