• COVID-19, Okotoks, Business Support

Business Support and Recovery

Current information as of  April 3, 2020

The Town of Okotoks and the Okotoks Entrepreneur Ecosystem are working together to compile the resources and information businesses need to access during this crisis. This page will be continually updated as new information and opportunities are identified.  Businesses will need to research the information that is relevant to them and contact the organizations/institutions directly. 

Link to the presentation video - business presentation starts at 56:15


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

Federal Resources
Government of Canada Economic Response Plan

Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan:

This includes information related to Taxes, GST, Income Support and Access to Credit, among others. 


March 27 update - Additional Support for Canadians

To further support small businesses, the Government of Canada will:

  • Announce a 75 per cent wage subsidy for qualifying businesses, for up to 3 months, retroactive to March 15, 2020. This will help businesses to keep and return workers to the payroll. More details on eligibility criteria will start with the impact of COVID-19 on sales, and will be shared before the end of the month.
  •  Allow businesses, including self-employed individuals, to defer all Goods and Services Tax/Harmonized Sales Tax (GST/HST) payments until June, as well as customs duties owed for imports. This measure is the equivalent of providing up to $30 billion in interest-free loans to Canadian businesses. It will help businesses so they can continue to pay their employees and their bills, and help ease cash-flow challenges across the country.
  •  Launch the new Canada Emergency Business Account. This program will provide up to $25 billion to eligible financial institutions so they can provide interest-free loans to small businesses. These loans – guaranteed and funded by the Government of Canada – will ensure that small businesses have access to the capital they need, at a zero per cent interest rate, so they can pay for rent and other important costs over the next number of months.
  • Launch the new Small and Medium-sized Enterprise Loan and Guarantee program that will enable up to $40 billion in lending, supported through Export Development Canada and Business Development Bank, for guaranteed loans when small businesses go to their financial institutions to help weather the impacts of COVID-19. This is intended for small and medium-sized companies that require greater help to meet their operational cash flow requirements.





Government of Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (Opens April 6)

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

Frequently Asked Questions – Temporary Wage Subsidy for Employers

The Temporary Wage Subsidy for Employers is a three-month measure that will allow eligible employers to reduce the amount of payroll deductions required to be remitted to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). 

You are an eligible employer if you:

  • are a non-profit organization, registered charity, or a Canadian-controlled private corporation (CCPC);
  • have an existing business number and payroll program account with the CRA on March 18, 2020; and
  • pay salary, wages, bonuses, or other remuneration to an employee.


Government of Canada Emergency Response Benefit

Businesses will be able to apply for the benefit starting April 6, either through CRA's "My Account" or using the automated phone line. Information is available on How to apply, Dates to apply, Eligibility, and questions and answers. Check on this link. 


CRA link

Navigating the Canada Emergency Response Benefit:

This chart has been released to help you navigate through the system: 

Regional Development Agency Deferrals

The Government of Canada has announced that all Regional Development Agencies (RDAs), including WD, will apply a deferral until July 1, 2020, on all payments due to the Government for clients in the repayment phase of their projects. This is effective April 1, 2020. This moratorium is not forgiveness, but will defer payments and related interest charges to relieve some of the pressure your business may be facing. WD will work with clients to formalize these deferrals into an amended repayment schedule in the coming months to give them more certainty with respect to their payment obligations.

If you have received funding through WD check this page. 

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.

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


Provincial Resources
Government of Alberta

Temporary layoffs

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


Emergency isolation support

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


Provincial Link to information

Emergency Financial Services

 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.



Education Property Tax Deferral for Business

During a pandemic, Alberta households should not need to worry about paying additional property taxes. The government will immediately cancel the decision made in Budget 2020 and will freeze education property taxes at last year’s level.

Reversing the 3.4 per cent population and inflation adjustment will save Alberta households and businesses about $87 million in 2020-21, which means $55 million for households and $32 million for employers.

The government expects that Albertans and Alberta businesses will fully realize these savings and that municipal property tax levels will not be increased as a result of the lower provincial education property tax levels.

Essential Services - Businesses permittted to provide services at locations accessible by the public


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.




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




Okotoks and District Chamber of Commerce

The Okotoks Chamber of Commerce is engaging with the business community every Thursday at 4:00 pm for an education session. Details are on the Chamber's events calendar: Here

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.


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:


New Public Health Measures
Utilities support

Utilities Support

Residential, farm and small commercial customers can defer electricity and natural gas bill payments for the next 90 days to ensure no one will be cut off, regardless of the service provider. Details


As we all take important precautions to practice social distancing, TELUS’ virtual healthcare solutions allow you and your colleagues to securely monitor your health and that of your families. Through Akira by TELUS Health, their employer-based healthcare solution, you have an opportunity to support the physical and mental well-being of your employees and their families through on-demand, personal virtual medical consultations with health professionals from the comfort and safety of your own home. 

Local Support

Local support for Okotoks' businesses

Bring Me Basics

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.


Emergency Ventilator/Respirator Project

 1,000,000 ventilators are needed by May 29 , 2020

This project involves finding vendors/suppliers and  engineering firms to assist, with vendor/part selection being determined by March 27/20.

Target Timeline

  • Prototype Completed Wednesday March 25, 2020

  • Final BOM Completed Thursday March 26, 2020

  • Supply Chain vendor/part selection Friday March 27, 2020

  • Setup of model / reference assembly line March 30, 2020

  • assembly line setup guidelines document available March 31, 2020

  • assembly line procedures and requirements available April 2, 2020

  • promotion of full assembly requirements and procedures April 3, 2020

  • onramp 5 assembly lines in 5 different facilities April 7, 2020

  • onramp 5 more lines April 8, and April 9

  • onramp 10 assembly lines per day April 14, 15,16 and 17, 2020

  • total 60 lines in operation by April 17 creating 6000 ventilators per day

  • continue onramping 60 lines per week till end of May to reach 400 lines

  • 1,000,000 ventilators produced by Friday May 29, 2020

Project Overview

Component Detailed List

To contact the manufacturer Click Here


Town defers utility bills

At the March 23 regular Town Council meeting, Council amended Water Bylaw 24-18 and Fees, Rates and Charges Bylaw 09-19 to provide deferred utility (water and waste services) payments and utility penalty relief for all Okotoks utility customers due to the financial impact of COVID-19.

Council also directed administration to report on other initiatives to support the community. 


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.


Parking relaxed for storage containers

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 until June 30. 

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. 

Full news release

Bank resources and support

Canadian Bankers Association

Effective immediately, Bank of Montreal, CIBC, National Bank of Canada, RBC Royal Bank, Scotiabank and TD Bank have made a commitment to work with personal and small business banking customers on a case‑by‑case basis to provide flexible solutions to help them manage through challenges such as pay disruption due to COVID‑19; childcare disruption due to school closures; or those facing illness from COVID‑19.


Loan payment relief is available to members for up to three months to help lessen the financial impact from business slowdown, reduced hours or layoffs. The relief extends to members, small business members, commercial members, and agricultural members in good standing who are feeling a financial impact and are looking for a temporary relief from mortgage, line of credit, loan and car payments*. 

* go to website for terms and conditions


For small business customers whose operation has been interrupted in any way as a result of COVID-19, ATB is offering payment deferrals on loans and lines of credit, and can provide access to additional working capital. They have also added deferrals on Mastercard® payments. 

COVID-19 update from ATB   

Customer relief programs. 

Private Sector Grants and Programs

Funding support through non-government sources

Facebook Small Business Grants Program

Facebook is offering $100M in cash grants and ad credits for up to 30,000 eligible small businesses in over 30 countries where They operate.




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.



Government of Canada

Announcement from the Government of Canada on support for Agri-food businesses


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


Get your store online in changing times - recorded webinar

Held April 1 I 10 -11:30 am

Saved Webinar

During this time of social distancing and store closures, it is crucial now more than ever to have an online presence to still engage with customers and continue to grow your business. This webinar focused on building the basics of your Shopify store! This workshop helped businesses start from the very beginning, from creating Shopify stores and Account Settings to setting up a Payment Provider (how to get paid!)


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

April 23 I 10 - 11:30 am

Information and registration

Pre-registration is required

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Managing the impact on global supply chains

This on-demand webinar is being offered by Economic Development Canada  for participants to learn how the coronavirus is affecting global trade and how your company can be protected.

Webinar Link


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

Additional online learning programs:

Emerging Technology series for April is FREE to register in and is entitled Python for Machine Learning & Deep Learning.   Take the chance to learn this powerful programming language and many of its business applications to help enhance your toolkit!

Find out more here 





Destination Canada

Destination Canada will be hosting regular webinars to share our approach amid the COVID-19 situation and will continue to invite industry partners, representatives from government as well as applicable businesses to provide the most up-to-date information and resources.

When: Wednesday April 1, 2020 at 11 a.m. ET

Speakers:   The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages; Destination Canada; and Tourism
                      Industry Association of Canada.

Webinar Link

Or iPhone one-tap:
Canada: +16473744685, 935540038# or +16475580588, 935540038#
Or Telephone:
Dial (for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location):
Canada: +1 647 374 4685 or +1 647 558 0588  or +1 778 907 2071  or +1 438 80

Destination Canada's most recent webinars - Link

Destination Canada COVD-19 updates - Link