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.
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.
Resources and information to help your business re-open
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.
Starting in mid-April, the Enhanced COVID-19 Business Benefit will provide funding to eligible small and medium businesses most affected by the pandemic and ongoing public health restrictions. Payments will be calculated based on 15% of the eligible business’s monthly revenue, up to a maximum of $10,000. Businesses can use these funds as they see fit to help offset the costs of re-opening, and implementing public health measures including:
To be eligible for the Enhanced COVID-19 Business Benefit, applicants must:
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:
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.
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.
The application process for CECRA (Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance) for small businesses is closed.
New Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy:The new rent subsidy would support businesses, charities, and non-profits that have suffered a revenue drop, by subsidizing a percentage of their expenses, on a sliding scale, up to a maximum of 65 per cent of eligible expenses until December 19, 2020. Organizations would be able to make claims retroactively for the period that began September 27 and ends October 24, 2020.
This is managed by the OCC, is supporting Canadian businesses across different sectors and industries with grants of up to $5,000. These grants will help thousands of small business owners cover the costs of personal protective equipment, make physical modifications to their businesses to meet local health and safety requirements, and enhance their digital or e-commerce capabilities. This is especially important as we enter the second wave of the pandemic.
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.
The Faith-based and Cultural Facility Relaunch Grant support faith-based and cultural organizations with the relaunch of facilities used for cultural, religious, spiritual and ceremonial gatherings. One-time reimbursement funding will help offset additional cost incurred to meet the appropriate public health directives for Albertans during the COVID-19 crisis. The program will enable organizations to:
CEBA will be available to businesses that have been operating out of a non-business banking account.
To be eligible, businesses must have been operating as a business as of March 1, 2020, must successfully open a business account at a Canadian financial institution that is participating in CEBA, and meet the other existing CEBA eligibility criteria. The deadline to apply for CEBA is December 31, 2020.
CEBA is part of our economic response plan to help Canadians and Canadian businesses deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. The measures under this plan are helping businesses keep their doors open, keep their employees on payroll, protect the jobs that Canadians depend on, and recover quickly when the time comes.
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:
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.
The CFIB had added staff to better support businesses during this time. Their website includes lots of information to support small business. Support for:
If you are a Canadian manufacturer or business that can assist Canada in meeting the need for medical supplies, your help is needed.
Find opportunities to sell goods and services related to COVID-19 to the Government of Canada.
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.
List of provincial government programs for businesses
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.
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.
The Alberta government is temporarily expanding eligibility to the Canada-Alberta Job Grant (CAJG) to help businesses access the training they need. The expansion is effective until February 28, 2022. Expanded eligibility includes:
In addition, other changes will make the application process more efficient. For example, an employee’s training can start as soon as government receives an application, rather than having to wait for the application to be approved. This allows businesses to begin training sooner if required.
Temporarily expanding the CAJG provides more opportunities for businesses to access support as part of Alberta’s Recovery Plan.
Learn more about the program and apply online: alberta.ca/CAJG
The Critical Worker Benefit will provide a one-time payment of $1,200 to eligible Albertans in recognition of their hard work to provide Albertans with the care and critical services they need.
Eligible workers in the health care, social services, education and private sectors will receive a $1,200 benefit distributed through their employers.
Private sector employers have until Friday, March 19, 2021 to apply for the benefit on behalf of their eligible employees.
To be eligible for the Critical Worker Benefit, private sector workers must:
Workers listed in the following private sectors are eligible to receive the Critical Worker Benefit:
From May 20 to August 31, 2021, employers can apply to the Albertan Jobs Now program to cover wages or training costs of hiring unemployed or underemployed workers in new or vacant positions. This funding will help employers re-open or expand their operations.
More than 22,000 Albertans will be able to get back to work through the largest jobs training program in Alberta’s history.
The Alberta Jobs Now program will provide up to $370 million to help private and non-profit businesses support much-needed jobs for unemployed and underemployed Albertans across the province and help Alberta’s economy recover.
Employers will be able to apply for a grant that covers 25 per cent of an employee’s salary for a 52-week period up to a maximum of $25,000 per employee. The grant can be used to cover salary or training costs. Employers who hire persons with disabilities will receive a grant 1.5 times higher than the amount they receive for other new employees.
-Private sector businesses and non-profit organizations in Alberta can apply.
-Applications will be assessed on a first come, first served basis
Alberta’s live experience organizations have been hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. They have lost a full season of programming and revenue but still have ongoing overhead costs. The Stabilize Program will provide one-time grant funding to support live experience presenting and performing arts, sport and rodeo organizations. The funding will help these organizations continue to operate and reopen when it is safe to do so.
The Stabilize Program will support and leverage Albertans’ investments to non-profit organizations that own and/or operate live experience venues by matching private donations from $250,000 to $1 million dollar for dollar
The maximum funding request is up to 25% of eligible expenses. These expenses are based on the 2 most recent board-approved/audited financial statements up to and including March 31, 2020
Are you an innovator? Are you working on technology development. Check the Alberta Innovates site for more details on supports and funding.
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.
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.
Okotoks and District Chamber of Commerce
Sign up for their mailing list: Here
The Canadian Chambers of Commerce will be creating a microsite with specific information for businesses.
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.
Local support for Okotoks' businesses
Small- and medium-sized businesses can apply for loans of up to $40,000 with terms that include:
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.
Resources to support business owners
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.
|Topic||Educational Webinar||Deep-dive Training|
|The Grief Response and Leading People through it||Recorded webinar||Recorded webinar|
|Leadership through trauma and team- building tactics in crisis||recorded video||recorded webinar|
|Communication skills in crisis||Recorded Webinar||Recorded Webinar|
|Business resilience and supporting team mental health||Recorded webinar||Recorded Webinar|
|Maintaining creativity and innovation in crisis||Recorded webinar||Recorded Webinar|
|Tough conversations||Recorded webinar||Recorded Webinar|
|Teaching team mental health and self-care strategies in crisis||Recorded webinar||June 2|
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.
Support for those in the agriculture industry
Recorded online training and seminars to support businesses with recovery and future success
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
Finance and tax topics can often seem like another language but understanding them is necessary to the success of your business. This workshop is appropriate for owners who have some experience with finance and tax and are interested to take the next steps in your business. Those who have completed our “Business Finance and Tax: Introduction” seminar may also be interested to continue with these intermediate topics.
E-commerce isn't easy. How do you get your products online? How will you build an online brand? How are you going to drive traffic and sales? This workshop will teach you about selling online through Shopify and how the multichannel ecosystem works. It’s an opportunity to learn the basics of online brand strategy, as well as how to find the right customers through effective digital marketing. This workshop covers everything you need to know to get your first sale online!
Business Link presenter Mark Shields.
Understand the steps to plan an effective email marketing strategy, to build campaigns that engage your target audience via their inbox, and to ultimately grow your business. Pre-registration is required
In the era of physical distancing, communicating with customers has taken on a whole new importance – and challenge. Customers we previously interacted with in-person have moved online, and now all communication must flow through digital channels.
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!)
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.
If you missed the remote working teleconference hosted by Lethbridge Telconnect. You can still watch the recorded session.
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.
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.
Travel Alberta has been hosting a number of webinars to support businesses in the tourism industry: