COVID-19 BUSINESS SUPPORT INFORMATION

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FEDERAL
Business Supports

The Government of Canada is taking immediate, significant and decisive action to help Canadians facing hardship as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.

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PROVINCIAL
Business Supports

COVID-19 support for employers and employees
Measures to protect employers and employees from the economic disruption of COVID-19 and position Alberta for recovery.

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LOCAL
Business Supports

The Town of Fairview Council and the Heart of the Peace Economic Development committee is currently working on business supports, updates will be provided.

FEDERAL BUSINESS SUPPORTS

The Government of Canada is taking immediate, significant and decisive action to help Canadians facing hardship as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.

In the PMs address March 30, 2020, he spoke more about the supports for Canadian businesses. They expanded this to all businesses (not just small ones). The government will provide 75% of each employees salary and are asking the businesses to top that up if they can. Businesses are expected to hire back employees that they may have laid off.

Criteria mentioned in the address was that if they lost 30% or more of their typical sales, they would be eligible.

The program is mentioned here https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/economic-response-plan/covid19-businesses.html#wage_subsidies but it has not been updated yet with the new information.

On March 18, 2020, the Prime Minister announced a new set of economic measures to help stabilize the economy during this challenging period. These measures, delivered as part of the Government of Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan, will provide up to $27 billion in direct support to Canadian workers and businesses.

The federal government is also launching a calculator on the CRA website to help businesses eligible for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) determine the amount that they can claim. Companies can apply for the CEWS beginning Monday, April 27.

Canada.ca for Businesses and Employee’s direct link

Support for Canadians

  Income Support for Individuals Who Need it Most

  Flexibility for Taxpayers

  Mortgage Default Management Tools

  Role of Financial Institutions

Support for Businesses

  Supporting Canadian Businesses Through the Canada Account

  Helping Businesses Keep Their Workers

  Flexibility for Businesses Filing Taxes

  Ensuring Businesses have Access to Credit

  Supporting Financial Market Liquidity

  Facebook Small Business Support

Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan

Host site with current information and additional resources for businesses affected by the COVID-19 disruption. Click the link below

https://businesslink.ca/covid-19/

PROVINCIAL BUSINESS SUPPORTS

The Alberta government will provide immediate funding and supportive measures to support local businesses, employers and employees. Click the link to the Alberta Government website resource page that provided a full overview of the supports in place such as; Funding and supportive measures, Job protective leave, Vacation pay and leave, EI benifits and additional resources.

https://www.alberta.ca/covid-19-support-for-employers.aspx

Effective Monday January 18, 2020, some province wide restrictions will be eased

News Release

  • Outdoor social gatherings are allowed up to 10 people. Indoor gatherings remain prohibited.
  • Personal and wellness services are allowed to open by appointment only.
  • Funeral ceremony attendance has been increased to 20 people, with mandatory masking and 2 metre physical distancing. Funeral receptions are not allowed.

All other mandatory restrictions will remain in place until further notice.

Alberta Provincial Government link:

https://www.alberta.ca/restrictions-on-businesses.aspx

Restrictions on certain types of businesses that provide services to Albertans have been put in place to limit the spread of COVID-19.

Due to Alberta’s high case numbers, aggressive action is required now to protect our health system from being overwhelmed.

The current situation is critical. These mandatory restrictions apply provincewide and will be in place at least until January 12, 2021.

Health officials are monitoring the situation and will adjust measures if required.

Public health orders

Orders issued by Alberta’s chief medical officer of health:

  • Order 42-2020 (masks, gatherings, business restrictions)
  • Order 44-2020 (counselling services, end of life visits and group physical activities)

The Alberta government has outlined multiple tools and links including Employment Standards, EI benefits, OHS, and WCB information, Click link below.

https://www.alberta.ca/guidance-for-workplaces.aspx

Many Alberta businesses have been required to close or limit their operations in order to protect public health during the COVID-19 pandemic. This has resulted in revenues being drastically reduced and in difficulties for many job creators.

The new Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) program will give certainty to small businesses by providing 50 per cent of monthly commercial rental costs. Eligible landlords and tenants would each be responsible for 25 per cent of the remaining costs.

CECRA Program

Alberta’s Relaunch Strategy puts safety first while gradually reopening businesses, resuming activities and getting people back to work.

While we face a long road to recovery, there are signs our collective efforts are helping slow the spread of COVID-19.

We must ensure the sacrifices we have already made are not wasted. To be successful, we must stay vigilant to slow the spread: follow public health measures, practice physical distancing and good hygiene, and continue acting responsibly.

Alberta’s Relaunch Strategy

Enhanced Infection Prevention and Control Measures

Workplace Guidance for Business Owners

Alberta Biz Connect

Registration

AHS is hosting two virtual Community Conversations to provide members of the business community with updated information regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, and Alberta’s relaunch strategy.

  • Event #1: Thursday, May 14, 11:00 am – noon
  • Event #2: Friday, May 15, 2 – 3:00 pm

(Video’s have been recorded and saved for future viewing)

May 14, 2020

With strict safety guidelines in place, Albertans can and should confidently support Alberta businesses as the province gradually relaunches the economy.

“As we continue to carefully relaunch our economy, the safety of Albertans remains our top priority. Alberta businesses have demonstrated great resilience through this pandemic. Now it is time to show them our support. I encourage all Albertans to go out and support local businesses in a safe and responsible way. We all have a role to play in supporting our province’s economic well-being, while remaining vigilant in the fight against COVID-19. With care and common sense, we will be able to move steadily and safely through the stages of our relaunch strategy.”

Jason Kenney, Premier

Stage one of Alberta’s relaunch strategy puts safety first as restrictions are gradually lifted. Calgary and Brooks will see a slightly more gradual reopening, taking into account higher case numbers in these two communities, to balance public safety with the need to get businesses open and services restored for Albertans.

“Thanks to the sacrifices Albertans have made, much of the province has been successful at flattening the curve. Yet, I know the idea of relaunching our economy evokes strong emotions for many of us. It is OK to feel anxious, but we must move forward for our collective health and well-being. Shop specifically for what you need, not just to browse. Take appropriate precautions, stay home if you are sick and look out for each other. Together, we can successfully move forward in a gradual and thoughtful manner.”

Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Chief Medical Officer of Health

With enhanced testing capacity and contact tracing ability, along with a rapid response plan in place in the event of possible outbreaks, the province is ready to take the first incremental steps to reopen some businesses and services.

Stage one – all areas of Alberta except cities of Calgary and Brooks

  • With increased infection prevention and control measures to minimize the risk of increased transmission of infections, some businesses and facilities can start to resume operations on May 14 in all areas except the cities of Calgary and Brooks:
    • Retail businesses, such as clothing, furniture and bookstores. All vendors at farmers markets will also be able to operate.
    • Museums and art galleries.
    • Daycares and out-of-school care with limits on occupancy.
    • Hairstyling and barbershops.
    • Cafés, restaurants, pubs and bars will be permitted to reopen for table service only at 50 per cent capacity.
    • Day camps, including summer school, will be permitted with limits on occupancy.
    • Post-secondary institutions will continue to deliver courses; however, there will be more flexibility to include in-person delivery once the existing health order prohibiting in-person classes is lifted.
    • Places of worship and funeral services, if they follow specific guidance already online.
    • The resumption of some scheduled, non-urgent surgeries will continue gradually.
    • Regulated health professions are permitted to offer services as long as they continue to follow approved guidelines set by their professional colleges.
  • In Calgary and Brooks, the relaunch will be gradual over 18 days due to higher COVID-19 case numbers in these communities.

Stage one – cities of Calgary and Brooks

Opening May 14:

  • Retail businesses, such as clothing, furniture and bookstores. All vendors at farmers markets will also be able to operate.
  • Museums and art galleries.
  • Daycares and out-of-school care with limits on occupancy.
  • The resumption of some scheduled, non-urgent surgeries will continue gradually.
  • Regulated health professions are permitted to offer services as long as they continue to follow approved guidelines set by their professional colleges.

Opening May 25:

  • Hairstyling and barbershops.
  • Cafés, restaurants, pubs and bars will be permitted to reopen for table service only at 50 per cent capacity.

Opening June 1:

  • Day camps, including summer school, will be permitted with limits on occupancy.
  • Post-secondary institutions will continue to deliver courses; however, there will be more flexibility to include in-person delivery once the existing health order prohibiting in-person classes is lifted.
  • Places of worship and funeral services, if they follow specific guidance already online.

The new alberta.ca/bizconnect web page provides business owners with information on health and safety guidelines for general workplaces, as well as sector-specific guidelines for those able to open in stage one. Businesses allowed to reopen during stage one will be subject to strict infection prevention and control measures, and will be carefully monitored for compliance with public health orders. It will be up to each business operator to determine if they are ready to open and ensure all guidance has been met.

Physical distancing requirements of two metres remain in place through all stages of relaunch and hygiene practices will continue to be required of businesses and individuals, along with instructions for Albertans to stay home when exhibiting symptoms such as cough, fever, shortness of breath, runny nose, or sore throat. Albertans are also encouraged to wear non-medical masks when out in public places where keeping a distance of two metres is difficult.

Still not permitted in stage one:

  • Gatherings of more than 15 people unless otherwise identified in public health orders or guidance.
  • Gatherings of 15 people or fewer must follow personal distancing and other public health guidelines.
  • Arts and culture festivals, major sporting events and concerts, all of which involve close physical contact.
  • Movie theatres, theatres, pools, recreation centres, arenas, spas, gyms and nightclubs will remain closed.
  • Services offered by allied health disciplines like acupuncture and massage therapy.
  • Visitors to patients at health-care facilities will continue to be limited; however, outdoor visits are allowed with a designated essential visitor and one other person (a group of up to three people, including the resident), where space permits. However, physical distancing must be practised and all visitors must wear a mask or some other form of face covering.
  • In-school classes for kindergarten to Grade 12 students.

Recommendations:

  • Travel outside the province is not recommended.
  • Remote working is advised where possible.
  • Encourage Albertans in Calgary and Brooks to wait to access services upon reopening in their communities rather than travelling for services.
  • Albertans are encouraged to download the ABTraceTogether mobile contact tracing app and use it when in public.

Progression to stage two will be determined by the success of stage one, considering health-care system capacity, hospitalization and intensive care unit (ICU) cases, and infection rates. For more information, visit alberta.ca/RelaunchStrategy.

Quick facts

  • Relaunch stages will include an evaluation and monitoring period to determine if restrictions should be adjusted. Triggers that will inform decisions on the lessening or tightening of restrictions include hospitalizations and intensive care unit (ICU) occupancy.
  • Confirmed cases, the percentage of positive results and the rate of infection will be monitored on an ongoing basis to inform proactive responses in localized areas of the province.
  • Decisions will be applied at both provincial and local levels, where necessary. While restrictions are gradually eased across the province, an outbreak may mean that they need to be strengthened temporarily in a local area.
  • The most important measure Albertans can take to prevent respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19, is to practise physical distancing and good hygiene.
    • This includes cleaning your hands regularly for at least 20 seconds, avoiding touching your face, coughing or sneezing into your elbow or sleeve, and disposing of tissues appropriately.

Related information

Multimedia

The SME Relaunch Grant offers financial assistance to Alberta businesses, cooperatives, and non-profit organizations that were ordered to close or curtail operations, and that experienced a revenue reduction of at least 30%, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The program offers 2 payments to eligible applicants, with up to $20,000 in available funding per eligible application.

LOCAL BUSINESS SUPPORTS

The Town of Fairview Council and the Heart of the Peace Economic Development committee is committed to our local business and what is required to navigate through this COVID-19 disruption.

WEBINAR AVAILABLE TO WATCH ON REGISTER NOW LINK BELOW

On April 2 at 1:00 p.m., join Smith Business Insight and Queen’s Executive Education for a free 60-minute webinar offering entrepreneurs a unique perspective on the current situation, and advice on how to overcome the obstacles and preserve your business. Featuring seasoned entrepreneurs and experts: George Rossolatos, CEO of the Canadian Business Growth Fund; Jess Joss, CEO of Equation Angels; Stephen Smith, CEO and co-founder of First National Financial; and Elspeth Murray, CIBC Faculty Fellow in Entrepreneurship at Smith School of Business.

Register now to learn:

  • How to make sense of the current business climate
  • How to pivot your business in the coming weeks and months
  • Ideas for cash-flow management
  • How the current crisis is affecting funding for businesses
  • How to maintain a positive outlook
  • Useful lessons from past economic crashes
  • Advice to make it through and be ready for recovery

Employers should consider their business continuity plans and think about how the possibility of COVID-19 could impact their workplace. In order to prepare, we recommend plans are made to protect employees, limit spread in workplaces, and ensure continuity of critical services if staff are ill or self-isolating.

Resources:

What additional steps can we take?

Emphasize staying home when sick, respiratory etiquette, and hand hygiene by all employees. Communictate these actions by:

  • Placing posters that encourage staying home when sick, correct etiquette for coughing and sneezing, and hand hygiene at the entrance to your workplace and in other workplace areas where they are likely to be seen.
  • Provide tissues and no-touch disposal receptacles for use by employees.
  • Instruct employees to clean their hands often with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% – 95% alcohol or wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Soap and water should be used preferentially if hands are visibly dirty.
  • Provide soap and water and alcohol-based hand rubs in the workplace. Ensure that adequate supplies are maintained. Place hand rubs in multiple locations or in conference rooms to encourage hand hygiene.

Perform routine environmental cleaning:

  • Routinely clean all frequently touched surfaces in the workplace, such as workstations, countertops, and doorknobs. Use the cleaning agents that are usually used in these areas and follow the directions on the label.
  • No additional disinfection beyond routine cleaning is recommended at this time.
  • Provide disposable wipes so that commonly used surfaces (for example, doorknobs, keyboards, remote controls, desks) can be wiped down by employees before each use.

Ensure the information you are receiving is from a reliable source to prevent the spread of misinformation:

Who should stay home from work?

Actively encourage sick employees to stay home:

  • Employees should notify their supervisor and stay home if they are sick.
  • Recommend that employees with symptoms of acute respiratory illness stay home and not come to work until they are free of fever (37.8°C / 100.4F or greater on an oral thermometer), signs of a fever, and any other symptoms for at least 24 hours, without the use of fever-reducing or other symptom-altering medicines (e.g. cough suppressants).
  • Ensure that your sick leave policies are flexible and consistent with public health guidance and that employees are aware of these policies.
  • Alberta Health Services has created an online self-assessment tool to help determine who should be tested for COVID-19.

What about employees returning from vacation or business travel?

Employers should inform their employees of the following advice provided by Alberta public health officials:

  • Effective March 12, if employees are returning from an international trip, they should isolate themselves for 14 days after they return. This should be done even if they are NOT feeling ill.
  • Employees should self-isolate and call Health Link 811 (do not go to a walk-in clinic or hospital emergency room) for additional precautions and follow-up testing if they have travelled to anywhere outside of Canada and / or experienced any of the following:
    • contact with someone who was suspected or confirmed to have the novel coronavirus
    • were in a health-care facility
    • have symptoms, such as cough or fever
  • Alberta Health Services has created an online self-assessment tool to help determine who should be tested for COVID-19.

What if an employee is directed to self-isolate?

Alberta Health is providing information to guide those required to self-isolate. If an employee is directed to self-isolate:

  • Employees and employers should work together to explore alternate working arrangements. This could include:
    • Working from home or remotely
    • Doing work that does not require the employee to contact other people in the community or at work
    • If an alternate working arrangement is not possible, employees can use paid sick time if their employer offers this
    • Employees may also be able to use five days of sick time without risk of losing their job with the personal and family responsibility leave, but this time is unpaid

What support can we offer employees who are quarantined?

Isolation can be difficult for some people to manage. It can take a toll on mental health, so offering your employees supports is important.

One way to support them is to guide them through plan their mental readiness and resiliency for isolation. The Conference Board of Canada offers some strategies to help you cope and to support your mental health, and mitigate the negative impacts of feeling isolated. They have also made available webinar recordings on managing mental health during this time. Alberta Health has also published a guide to aid with self-isolation.

Road to Recovery – Marketing Webinar

May 28 at 2:00 p.m.we are offering a Marketing Webinar: Road to Recovery.  Borrell is renowned for unequaled insights on local advertising and marketing.

Consumer spending hasn’t stopped, but it has shifted. New habits are being formed and new buying

behaviors create new opportunities. Businesses are looking for ideas and advice. With the right knowledge and expertise, your marketing plan can help you move in the right direction.

This complimentary webinar provides expert guidance to businesses on how to engage consumers in this shifting climate, including:

·        A look at consumer trends and how to adapt your marketing strategy

·        How to use promotions to drive business

·        Marketing concepts on what to say and how to say it

Speakers include:

·        Gordon Borrell, CEO – Borrell Associates: Gordon is ranked in the top 2% among Gerson Lehrman Group’s 150,000 consultants worldwide and is quoted frequently in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Ad Age, Forbes and other publications.

·        Jim Brown, President – Borrell Associates: Jim has more than 25 years of innovative and results-driven leadership in fast-paced sales and marketing roles.

·        Corey Elliot, Executive Vice President of Local Market Intelligence – Borrell Associates: Corey heads up Borrell’s ongoing surveys of local marketers — the largest survey of SMBs in the U.S. — as well as the company’s expansive database of local advertising and marketing expenditures.

·        Tom Tsinas, Managing Director – Postmedia: Tom brings two decades in media marketing and digital advertising to his current position as Managing Director, Search & Social at Postmedia.

(Updates will be provided in a timely manner)

COVID-19 Business SupportsRead