Business Support and Recovery

Look for "NEW" to see which programs have been updated and/or added

Dedicated Support:

There is a dedicated staff member who will be available by phone to help businesses find and connect to the resources they need to support them.

Call 403-938-8052

Hours are noon-4 pm Monday - Friday

Alberta Re-launch Resources

Resources and information to help your business re-open

Alberta Re-Launch Strategy

Alberta Re-Launch Strategy

The Alberta Government has provided a plan for a staged re-launch of businesses through several phases. A link to the entire plan is available on the menu to the right. 

Details

Gathering restrictions

A gathering is any situation that brings people together in the same space at the same time for the same purpose. Check with your local municipality for additional restrictions in your area.

Unless otherwise identified in public health orders, the following gathering restrictions are in place:

  • 200 people maximum for audience-type community outdoor events, such as festivals, firework displays, rodeos and sporting events, and outdoor performances
  • 100 people maximum for other outdoor events and indoor seated/audience events, including wedding ceremonies, funeral services, movie theatres, indoor arts and culture performances and other indoor spectator events where people remain seated
  • 50 people maximum for indoor social gatherings, including wedding and funeral receptions and birthday parties
  • No cap on the number of people (with public health measures in place):
    • worship gatherings
    • restaurant, cafes, lounges and bars
    • casinos and bingo halls

Learn more

Small and Medium Enterprise Relaunch Grant

The Small and Medium Enterprise 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 50%, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Eligible organizations can apply for 15% of their pre-COVID-19 revenue, up to a maximum of $5,000 in funding.

Businesses, cooperatives and non-profits can use these funds as they see fit to help offset a portion of their relaunch costs, such as implementing measures to minimize the risk of virus transmission, which could include:

  • physical barriers
  • purchasing personal protective equipment and disinfecting supplies
  • paying rent and employee wages
  • replacing inventory and more

Details

Alberta Biz Connect: Industry specific guidelines

As businesses prepare to reopen as part of Alberta's relaunch strategy, resources are available to help keep you, your staff, and your customers safe. 

This site includes a variety of PDFs, and resources on policies and general guidance as well as for businesses by sector, planning for operation.

Resources

Cooperative Investment Program (Tourism)

Travel Alberta acknowledges the extraordinary circumstances and challenges that tourism businesses are dealing with in our province. The Cooperative Investment Program is to assist tourism operators and regions across Alberta to RESTART consumer marketing activities and aid in the development of traveller products, experiences, and packaging in a COVID-19 travel environment. 

Details

Guidelines for Farmers' Markets

The Alberta Government has created guidelines to support market managers and vendors in reducing the risk of transmission of COVID-19.

Guideline document

Workplace Guidance for Business Owners

The Government of Alberta has developed a reference document for businesses on reducing the risk of transmission of COVID-19 among workers, volunteers and patrons, and outlines the criteria for workplaces before re-opening. 

Reference Guide

 

Preparing for future pandemics

Experts have predicted that there could be two or three waves of COVID-19 outbreaks. The Alberta Government has prepared a checklist to help businesses prepare for future situations:

Checklist

Relaunch Grants and Rent Assistance

Business and Non Profit Relaunch Grant

To ease the impacts of new measures, businesses and non-profits need support to reopen. Government is committing up to $200 million in funding for eligible businesses and non-profits to access up to $5,000 to offset a portion of their relaunch costs. These funds can be used for implementing measures to minimize the risk of virus transmission, (such as physical barriers, personal protective equipment and disinfecting supplies), rent, employee wages or replacement of inventory.

The program’s online application is expected to be available in the coming weeks. Program details, including eligibility, are being confirmed.

Commercial Rent Assistance

To help ease the economic pinch, government is planning further measures including legislation to ensure commercial tenants will not face rent increases or be evicted for non-payment of rent due to the COVID-19 public health emergency. The new measures will help address shortfalls in the current Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) program, and will give eligible business owners piece of mind as they reopen and help with the provincial economic recovery.

Additional details are expected to be finalized during the current summer session.

Details for both

Tourism Levy

On May 19, 2020, the Minister of Economic Development, Trade and Tourism announced that hotels and other lodging providers will be allowed to keep tourism levy amounts collected between March 1 and December 31, 2020.

Details

Webinars

Business Series for Digital Marketing is a series of multiple workshops designed to empower entrepreneurs in the adoption and implementation of digital skills and tools to help their businesses survive...and thrive.

Upcoming workshops are facilitated live online via Zoom by a digital marketing expert.  If you can't make it at that time or want more time to review the strategies and concepts a follow-up will be provided the following day and provide you with 7 days access to the learner materials and recording.

$50 per workshop

3 - 3.5 hours; live online

CourseDate
Email MarketingSept. 15 or Oct. 14
Google Search OptimizationSept. 22 or Oct. 21
Social Media MarketingSept. 29 or Oct. 28
Google AdsOct. 6 or Nov 4

To register

 

 

Federal Resources
Government of Canada Economic Response Plan

Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan:

This includes information related to programs being provided to businesses during COVID-19

Details

 

 

 

 

Government of Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA)
  • The program will provide forgivable loans to qualifying commercial property owners to cover 50 per cent of three monthly rent payments that are payable by eligible small business tenants who are experiencing financial hardship during April, May, and June. 

  • The loans will be forgiven if the mortgaged property owner agrees to reduce the eligible small business tenants’ rent by at least 75 per cent for the three corresponding months under a rent forgiveness agreement, which will include a term not to evict the tenant while the agreement is in place. The small business tenant would cover the remainder, up to 25 per cent of the rent.

  • Impacted small business tenants are businesses paying less than $50,000 per month in rent and who have temporarily ceased operations or have experienced at least a 70 per cent drop in pre-COVID-19 revenues. This support will also be available to non-profit and charitable organizations.

  • The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation will administer and deliver the CECRA, a collaboration between the federal government and provincial and territorial governments, which are responsible for property owner-tenant relationships. 

  • Provinces and territories have agreed to cost share total costs and facilitate implementation of the program. They will cost share up to 25 per cent of costs, subject to terms of agreements with the federal government.

  • It is expected that CECRA will be operational by mid-May, with commercial property owners lowering the rents of their small business tenants payable for the months of April and May, retroactively, and for June.

Full News Release

Government of Canada Emergency Business Account

As of June 26, 2020, businesses eligible for CEBA now include owner-operated small businesses that do not have a payroll, sole proprietors receiving business income directly, as well as family-owned corporations remunerating in the form of dividends rather than payroll. This means that more small businesses can access it.

Applicants without at least $20,000 in payroll in 2019 will have to demonstrate having eligible non-deferrable expenses between Cdn.$40,000 and Cdn.$1,500,000 in 2020.

The new Canada Emergency Business Account will provide interest-free loans of up to $40,000 to small businesses and not-for-profits, to help cover their operating costs during a period where their revenues have been temporarily reduced.

To qualify, these organizations will need to demonstrate they paid between $20,000 to $1.5 million in total payroll in 2019.

Business owners can apply for support from the Canada Emergency Business Account through their banks and credit unions.

Current details

Government of Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy

On July 17, the government announced proposed changes to the CEWS. More information will be coming soon.

Details

How to apply

The  Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy calculator supports employers as they prepare to apply for the CEWS.

Calculator

To help businesses keep and return workers to their payroll through the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, proposed the new Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy. This would provide a 75-per-cent wage subsidy to eligible employers for up to 12 weeks, retroactive to March 15, 2020.

Current Information

 

Relief and Recovery Fund (Community Futures)

Welcome to WD’s Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF).

The Fund aims to help western Canadian businesses cope with the financial hardship resulting from COVID-19.

Details

Community Futures

Business Development Bank of Canada and Canadian Federation of Independent Business

Business Development bank of Canada

BDC has announced new measures to support Canadian entrepreneurs including working capital, payment postponements and rate reductions

Effective immediately, new relief measures for qualified businesses include:

  • Working capital loans of up to $2 million with flexible terms and payment postponements for up to 6 months for qualifying businesses;
  • Postponement of payments for up to six months, free of charge, for existing BDC clients with total BDC loan commitment of $1 million or less
  • Reduced rates on new eligible loans
  • Additional details regarding Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) measures, including industry specific support, to be announced in the coming days.

COVID-19: Business planning tools for entrepreneurs

These planning tools and tips can help you map out your next steps, identify new opportunities, mitigate risk and create resilience in your company, so you can emerge strong in recovery.  

Planning Tools

Canadian Federation of Independent Business

The CFIB had added staff to better support businesses during this time. Their website includes lots of information to support small business.  Support for:

  • Coronavirus and small business: keeping you and your employees safe
  • Providing answers to numerous questions and other information available

 

COVID-19 Resources for the Nonprofit and Charitable sectors

A list of CharityVillage resources, tools, and services available to assist your organization. Job posting fees have been reduced by 15% effective immediately for everyone until May 31, 2020. 

Details

Charity Village Website

Manufacturers needed to help combat COVID-19

If you are a Canadian manufacturer or business that can assist Canada in meeting the need for medical supplies, your help is needed.

If you can say yes to the following, we want to hear from you.

  • You manufacture in Canada and/or have ready access to necessary inputs through your supply chain.
  • You have equipment or facilities that can be rapidly re-tooled to meet medical needs, including for personal protective equipment (PPE) such as gloves, masks and surgical gowns; sanitizers; wipes; ventilators; and other medical equipment and supplies.
  • You have skilled workers who are able to respond and who could be available for work in the current circumstances.

Go to:

My Business Wants to Help

National Research Council COVID-19

The National Research Council of Canada’s Industrial Research Assistance Program provides advice, connections, and funding to help Canadian small and medium-sized businesses increase their innovation capacity and take their ideas to market. Check this link for current opportunities.

Details

Tech Soup Canada - non-profit

Resources to help your nonprofit during the COVID-19 pandemic.

DETAILS

Government of Alberta

List of provincial government programs for businesses

Support for Employers

Alberta Government allocates $2 billion for capital projects

The government is doubling the capital maintenance and renewal (CMR) funding in 2020-21 from $937 million to $1.9 billion by accelerating the capital plan. This will allow government to act quickly and work with companies across the province so they can keep their workers employed during these challenging times.

the Alberta government will allocate almost $2 billion from the 2020 Capital Plan to resurface roads, repair bridges, restore schools and fill potholes, all to get thousands of Albertans back to work.  

Details

Emergency funding for charities, non-profits

The Alberta government announced additional emergency funding to charities, not-for-profits and civil society organizations to support their COVID-19 response.

This funding will be provided immediately and will support social services in enabling social distancing, as well as supports and services for at-risk seniors and families facing homelessness, poverty and social isolation.

Details

Emergency isolation support

Financial support for working Albertans who are experiencing a loss of income resulting from self-isolation due to COVID-19.

Details

Emergency Financial Services

Grants for the Child Care Sector

The provincial government has provided up to $17.8 million in grants for the child care sector.

Quick facts:

  • Supports are in addition to federal support for businesses, including:

  • Increased wage support for qualifying small and medium-sized businesses to 75 per cent, for up to three months.

  • Canada Emergency Business Account provides interest-free loans of up to $40,000 to small businesses and not-for-profits to help cover their operating costs during a period where their revenues have been temporarily reduced.

    • $10,000 is considered a grant and does not have to be repaid.

  • Deferral of GST payments until June 30.

  • Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance relief program, to cover 75 per cent of rent payments.

More Details

Permitted services at locations accessible by the public
Temporary layoffs

Employers who want to keep an employment relationship may temporarily lay off an employee.  Albertans affected by COVID-19 can  apply for a one-time payment of $1,146 from the provincial government as part of a $50 million relief fund.

Details

WCB Alberta

 The Government of Alberta has  announced new measures to provide financial support to help employers through the challenges of the global COVID-19 pandemic. Workers, employers and health care providers can find information and resources for the workers' compensation system Here.

Links

Documents:

Provincial Resources
Alberta Innovates

Are you an innovator? Are you working on technology development. Check the Alberta Innovates site for more details on supports and funding.

Details

Alberta Innovates held their Inventures Conference online. These videos are now available and provide information about funding for innovative, start up businesses,  from ideating to establishing.

Session 1: Support for Startups (ideating and concepting)

Webinar

Session 2:  Support through the "Valley of Death" (committing and validating)

Webinar

Sesssion 3: Support for Growth (Scaling and Establishing) 

Webinar

Alberta Purchasing Connection

If a company/stakeholder/client is interested in offering support/or products during this Covid 19 emergency, please provide details on the product or service on Alberta Purchasing Connection’s  Emergency Response Database. Should there be an emergency requirement for the product or service, the company will be contacted by a representative of the Government of Alberta.

Website

 

 

Business Link

Business Link is continuing to support entrepreneurs in Alberta by ensuring COVID-19 resources and information are up-to-date and available.

A list of resources for small businesses affected by COVID-19: Details

Additionally they have:

Tips for Small Businesses

Emergency Response Plan Template

Canadian/Okotoks Chambers of Commerce

Canadian Business Resilience Network (CBRN)

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce , in partnership with the Government of Canada,  has  launched the Canadian Business Resilience Network (CBRN) to help the business community prepare, persevere and, ultimately, prosper as we collectively face the COVID-19 pandemic.

 The CBRN aims to:

  • Provide tools and supports through CBRN.ca to businesses in their business continuity efforts.
  •  Provide a consistent and reliable flow of accurate, up-to-date information.
  • Work closely with governments to ensure the right supports are in place and to be a conduit for information from the government to the private sector.
  • Instill confidence in Canadian businesses and the economy.

Website

Okotoks and District Chamber of Commerce

Sign up for their mailing list: Here

Canadian Chambers of Commerce

The Canadian Chambers of Commerce will be creating a microsite with specific information for businesses.

Details

The Canadian Chambers of Commerce Pandemic Preparedness guide

Business Link

Business Link  is a nonprofit organization that helps people navigate the steps toward starting their own businesses. They provide one-on-one support and guidance, market research, access to experts, training, networking opportunities, and specialized support for Indigenous entrepreneurs.

Resources for Small Businesses Affected by COVID-19:

 

Local Support

Local support for Okotoks' businesses

Bring Me Basics online shopping platform

Bring me basics is a website set up by the Eagle Radio station and it's parent company Golden West Broadcasting to make it possible for the community with local businesses by facilitating the online purchase of items.

Details

Community Futures business loans

Regional Relief Recovery Fund

Small- and medium-sized businesses can apply for loans of up to $40,000 with terms that include:

  • No interest accrual or principal payments through December 31, 2022. 
  • If 75% of the loan is repaid by December 31, 2022, the remainder of the loan is forgiven.  
  • Blended principal and interest payments beginning January 1, 2023 and loans must be repaid by December 31, 2025.  
  • No prepayment penalties.  

More information
 

COVID-19 Continuity - Resources for Business Leaders

This website has a diversity of resources to help businesses understand the challenges and opportunities associated with running their business operations during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Website

Okotoks Shop Local online resource

Online list of local businesses and services. There are updates from businesses on products and services that are still available to residents:

Website

Relaxed parking storage containers extended

The Town has relaxed the requirements for parking temporary storage containers (PODs, C-Cans) on private driveways. 

Businesses can now park these on their residential driveways has been extended 

If you need to do this, please contact Planning Services at 403-995-2760 or by email

If you have a business with an approved, fenced yard and have room, please reach out to other businesses or contact Planning Services to let them know you would be willing to store a container. 

Mental Health

Resources to support business owners 

Alberta Municipal Health and Safety Association

Tactics for Maintaining Mental Fitness During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Website

Mental Health Webinar Series

The Okotoks Entrepreneurial Ecosystem sponsored a series of FREE webinars for local entrepreneurs and businesses, along with anyone else who may need a little extra support during this time. Each topic will kick off on Thursdays with an educational webinar followed by a deeper dive training the following Tuesday on the same topic. 

 

TopicEducational WebinarDeep-dive Training 
The Grief Response and Leading People through itRecorded webinarRecorded webinar
Leadership through trauma and team- building tactics in crisisrecorded videorecorded webinar
Communication skills in crisisRecorded WebinarRecorded Webinar
Business resilience and supporting team mental healthRecorded webinarRecorded Webinar
Maintaining creativity and innovation in crisisRecorded webinarRecorded Webinar
Tough conversationsRecorded webinarRecorded Webinar
Teaching team mental health and self-care strategies in crisisRecorded webinarJune 2
Mental Health and Addiction COVID-19 Community Funding grant

The Alberta Government will be providing grant funding for projects that enhance community mental health and addiction recovery. 

One time grant funding of up to $25 million will be available to organizations for eligible projects and services to enhance community mental health and addiction recovery.

Key points:

  • Funding will be distributed through 3 calls for proposals from Alberta Health.
  • Overall administration of the funding should not exceed 1%.

Important Dates:

  • Final call for proposals – August 2020 to November 2020

Details

Agriculture

Support for those in the agriculture industry

Farm Credit of Canada

To ensure producers, agribusinesses and food processors can remain focused on business-critical functions, FCC has put customer support programs in place.

Details

 

Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP) Program

The purpose of the Canadian Agricultural Partnership Products to Markets –Small Projects Program is to support growth of Alberta’s agricultural industries by supporting the development of New Products and/or Processes, commercialization of products in New Markets, and expansion into local, domestic and international markets.

  • Recognizing this is a difficult time for businesses in the Province, it is important to highlight that the Program can support past investments made by a business (retroactive to April 1, 2019). Eligible expenses on the funding list may help address current business needs in response to the COVID-19 crisis. These include but are not limited to; development of e-commerce, pivoting to new market channels, new product development, and retrofitting equipment to meet current changes in product demand.

Details

Free Training and Webinars

Online training and seminars to support businesses with recovery and future success

Small and Medium Business

Calgary Chamber Webinars

The Calgary Chamber has created the following webinars to support businesses. Each one is less than an hour long and these are and can be viewed anytime:

HR Resource webinar - a Business to Business conversation: Link

Workshare and Remote Working: Link

Leadership through a crisis: Link

Mental Health and Resiliency for your employees: Link

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Recorded Webinars

Business Finance and tax: Intermediate

Recorded Webinar

Introduction to e-commerce through Shopify

Recorded Webinar

Managing Cash flow in a Crisis

Recorded webinar

A guide to successful email marketing for small business

SAVED WEBINAR

Digital communications in the age of OVID-19 (webinar)

Recorded webinar

Get your store online in changing times - recorded webinar

Saved Webinar

How to dominate the first page of Google without paying for ads

SAVED WEBINAR

Remote working Tips and Tricks

If you missed the remote working teleconference hosted by Lethbridge Telconnect. You can still watch the recorded session. 

Forward to 10:45 where the session begins. 

Recorded webinar link

 

 

 

Tourism

Destination Canada

Destination Canada provides intelligence, tools and resources that help the Canadian tourism industry reach international markets. Check their web site for tools and resources, and coronavirus updates.

Website

Webinars

April 1 - watch the recorded conversation with the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages; Ben Cowan-Dewar, Chair of the Board, Destination Canada; and Charlotte Bell, President & CEO, Tourism Industry Association of Canada. 

Recorded Webinar 

Travel Alberta

Travel Alberta has been hosting a number of webinars to support businesses in the tourism industry:

Understanding the Benefits E-commerce Can Bring to Your Business and How to Get Started

April 23 I 10 - 11 am

The COVID -19 crisis has businesses looking at different ways to serve their customers while adhering to current restrictions to help stop the spread. On April 23, Connections LIVE welcomes Calgarian and fourth-generation Albertan Kelly Doody, Founder & CEO of Social School to discuss the benefits e-commerce can bring to your business.

Information and Registration

Previous recorded webinars:

Communicating with your customers during a crisis

webinar