These are challenging times for us locally, provincially, federally and globally. Governments at every level are working to protect Canadians from the COVID–19 virus and the Medicine Hat & District Chamber of Commerce will take necessary steps to assist our business community.
We recognize that COVID–19 has wide-sweeping effects on our business community and every day we see new policy and procedural changes as this unprecedented pandemic affects company operations.
We understand how devastating this pandemic is on your business and we also recognize there is a lot of information out there to navigate and so it becomes difficult to find credible sources. In order to stay up to date and informed with the latest information, we encourage you to use the resources on our website.
In the meantime, the Chamber has cancelled or postponed all of our upcoming events within the next couple of months, we've closed our office and moved to protect our team by working remotely so that we can remain in good health to better serve our community. We are holding off on board room bookings to prevent further spread and to ensure social distancing. However, please know if you need Chamber services, you can always get in touch with any of our team members, as we are here to serve you. If you email us, that is the quickest way to connect with us and our voice mails do go to our emails, so we will be able to monitor messages this way as well. We understand the considerable stress you are going through, not only as business people but also with your families and friends. If we can help in any way or if you have any thoughts on how we can help you get through these troubling times, please do not hesitate to contact us at email@example.com.
Monitor the Situation and Stay Up to Date
Need to stay up to date with the latest news and updates? Use these links and resources:
- Government of Alberta - Covid-19: Information for Albertans, Current Situation and What's New
- COVID-19 Statistics in Alberta
- Government of Alberta News feeds
- Government of Alberta livestreams and video highlights
- Government of Canada: Actions on COVID-19
- Government of Canada - COVID-19: Updates and information
- Government of Canada - COVID-19: Statistics in Canada
- Bank of Canada Rate News
- CPAC Headline Politics
- Prime Minister of Canada Videos
- Subscription for Public Health Updates
Here are the some key resources you can use as you navigate this challenging time:
Local Resources for Business
- City of Medicine Hat - Invest Medicine Hat: Covid-19 Information
Provincial Resources for Business
Federal Resources for Business
- Canadian Chamber of Commerce: Resources for Business
- Government of Canada - Business and Industry: Resources and Supports for Canadian business
- Government of Canada - Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre: Covid 19 Fraud
- Government of Canada - Employment and Social Development Canada: Benefits and Services
- Canadian Chamber of Commerce FAQ Resource
- Canadian Chamber Technical Call: Work Sharing and CERB: FAQ Document
- Canadian Payroll Association: Questions and Answers from the Payroll Infoline
Templates & Guides
Industry Specific Resources
- Process to follow if an employee becomes ill;
- Policies around travel;
- Policies around sick leave;
- How to mitigate risk so essential business functions can continue; and
- Internal and external communications plans.
Here are the some key resources you can use as you navigate this challenging time:
- Alberta Prepares: Pandemic Influenza Business Checklist
- BDC Business Continuity Plans and templates for Entrepreneurs
- Business Continuity & Recovery Plan
- Business Continuity Handbook
- Business Continuity Template
- Business Insurance: How is coverage triggered? (Insurance Bureau of Canada)
- Crisis Communication Plan
- Emergency Response Plan Template
- Maintaining business during an infectious disease outbreak
- Managing Cash Flow
- International Chamber of Commerce: Coronavirus Guidelines for Business
With the Insurance Bureau of Canada, the Calgary Chamber developed a tool to help you find gaps in your business continuity plan, and to help you business better prepare for disaster.
- Employment Standards Rules
- Employment Standards Toolkit
- Employment Standards Code
- Employment Standards for layoffs, recall and terminations
- Canadian Payroll Association: Payroll Continuity Best Practice Guidelines
- Record of Employment information
- OHS: Respiratory viruses and the workplace
- WCB COVID-19 worker fact sheet (PDF, 57 KB)
- WCB COVID-19 employer fact sheet (PDF, 70 KB)
- Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety
- World Health Organization: Getting your workplace ready for Covid-19
Changes to the Employment Standards Code will allow employees who are required to self-isolate or are caring for a loved one with COVID-19 to take 14 days of paid job protected leave to cover the self isolation period being recommended by Alberta's Chief Medical Officer of Health. There will be no requirement to have a medical note for such leave or to have worked for an employer for 90 days to qualify for such leave.
A separate phone line has been set up through Service Canada for queries related to EI sickness benefits relating to COVID-19. The phone number is 1-833-381-2725. The federal government has waived the one (1) week waiting period for Canadians requiring EI sickness benefits for COVID-19, including those who are in a 14-day isolation period. Canadians can apply right away. For employers who do not offer sick leave, or for employees who have exhausted sick leave entitlements, this are other supports available as listed below.
Funding and Assistance
- ATB and Alberta Credit Union support
- Business Credit Availability Program
- BDC: Support for entrepreneurs impacted by the coronavirus
- Canada-Alberta Job Grant to help offset eligible training costs
- Canada Emergency Business Account
- Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)
- Chambers of Commerce Group Insurance business assistance
- Child Tax Benefit
- Corporate Tax Deferral
- CRA Request for Taxpayer Relief Form
- Education Property Tax Deferral for Business
- Education Property Tax Freeze for Households
- Emergency Financial Assistance
- Emergency Isolation Support
- Employment and Social Development Canada Supports
- Employment Insurance Sickness benefits
- Export Development Canada
- Facebook Small Business Grants
- Family and Community Support Services - Funding for not for profit emergency social services
- Federal Economic Response Plan
- Federal Government Supplementary Unemployment Benefit Program
- Flexibility for Taxpayers
- Free Credit Counselling, Budgeting Help & Debt Consolidation Options
- GST/HST Deferral
- Income Support Program
- Income Tax Filing and Payments
- Mobile Health Support: Mobile TELUS Health App
- Security for Alberta Renters
- Small and Medium-sized Enterprise Loan & Gaurantee program
- Student loan repayment deferral (Federal)
- Student loan repayment deferral (Provincial)
- Support for Businesses
- Supports for Employees
- Support for Tourism Operators
- Temporary Wage Subsidy
- Tourism Levy deferral and remittances
- Trade Commissioner Service: Resources for Canadian businesses
- Utility payment deferral
- Wage Subsidy for Employers
- WCB Premium Deferral for Private Sector
- Work Sharing Program to avoid layoffs
Check out our list of other business resources on our website
Virtual Business Tools
Pandemic Education and Training Resources
The Importance of Human Resources & Being Strategic When Your Business is Being Temporarily Impacted. Watch Now.
How to cope with the impacts of COVID-19 on your business. Watch Now.
Social Media in a Crisis: Bloggity Inc.: Watch Now.
Destination Canada: The Visitor Economy: Watch Now.
Rent Relief in a World of the Coronavirus: Watch Now.
Webinars Series from the Calgary Chamber of Commerce. Watch Now.
Webinar Series from the Conference Board of Canada, Mental Health and COVID-19. Watch Now.
Alberta has implemented public health orders restricting mass gatherings and certain businesses and workplace closures to protect Albertans’ health and limit the spread of COVID-19. You can view the business, workplace and facility closures here. This also outlines the measures for essential services and risk mitigation strategies.
All Albertans are encouraged to take personal steps to help prevent the spread.
- Practice good hygiene
- Practice social distancing
- Take the Online Screening
- Prevent the Spread Posters
- Resource on prevention and risks
To protect yourself and others:
- Wash your hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Remember to cough and sneeze into your sleeve or a tissue and then throw away the tissue and wash your hands or use a sanitizer.
- Regularly disinfect your hands, surfaces and objects, such as desks and shared areas.
- Avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing.
- If you have flu-like symptoms and / or have recently traveled to an affected region, immediately consult your health care provider, follow their directions and advise your company.
- If you are ill, stay home and let your work know if needed.
- Avoid travel to higher risk areas and impacted regions.
- Get information from credible sources as misinformation can spread quickly.
- self-isolate for 14 days if returning from travel outside Canada or were exposed to COVID-19
If you have symptoms, like a dry cough, fever, fatigue or difficulty breathing:
- stay home - do not go to an ER or clinic
- take the COVID-19 self-assessment
- call Health Link 811 for instructions and testing
View additional information on Symptoms and treatment
If you see facilities that are not following limitations and restrictions of the province, please notify public health inspectors through the online complaint form.
The City of Medicine Hat call centre is available Monday to Friday from 9 am to 4 pm to provide information to residents and help connect them to community resources. The information line number is 403-529-8106.
The Alberta Connects Contact Centre is available seven days a week from 8 am to 8 pm. Call toll-free from anywhere in the province by dialing 310-4455 for general information about the Government of Alberta and its response to COVID-19, or for help contacting individual program areas. This line cannot provide medical advice.
The Mental Health Help Line number is 1-877-303-2642 and the Addiction Help Line is 1-866-332-2323. Both lines are open seven days a week from 7 am to 11 pm with calls placed from 11 pm to 7 am routed through 811. Albertans will be connected directly to AHS addiction and mental health staff.
Service Canada Centres are temporarily closing in person service centres and so people are to apply online. Read more.
- Alberta Emergency Management Agency: Unsolicited Offer Program to provide support
- Awareness resources and documents
- BBB Tips on COVID-19: Don't panic, be safe and avoid scams
- Being Prepared: A resource for individuals, communities, schools and workplaces
- Canadian Mental Health Association supports
- Canada Post Services
- Conference Board of Canada: resources, research and webinars
- Economic Developers Alberta: Economic Disaster Recovery
- Family and Community Support Services Grant Program
- Find Local Support Organizations: HelpSeeker.org
- Individuals and families preparedness checklist
- Institute for Sustainable Development: Tips for Alberta Business and Community Leaders Working to Address Economic Fall-Out
- Learning Resources: LearnAlberta.ca; My Child's Learning: A Parent Resource
- Non-profit/voluntary sector preparedness checklist
- Risk-informed decision-making for mass gatherings during COVID-19 global outbreak
- World Health Organization: Coping with stress during COVID-19
An official global travel advisory is in effect: Avoid non-essential travel outside Canada until further notice.
Check the Pandemic COVID-19 travel health notice.
Check our Travel Advice and Advisories for more information.
If you need financial help to return to Canada, check COVID-19: Financial help for Canadians outside Canada.
Social Media To Follow
- Medicine Hat & District Chamber of Commerce
- Healthy Canadians
- Travel advice from the Government of Canada
- Canadian Chamber of Commerce
- YXH Business Support
- Business Resource Hub