Alberta Biz Connect
Workplace guidance and supports to help businesses and non-profits affected by COVID-19 begin to reopen and resume operations safely.
COVID19 Business Supports Partnership Release (March 30th, 2020)
Town of Edson Supports
Council has approved some key recommendations from the Emergency Management Advisory Committee for personal and business-related supports at their April 7th meeting.
Temporary Tax Payment Due Date. Council has passed all three readings of Bylaw 2244. This bylaw amends the taxation due dates and the subsequent penalty dates for 2020, as directed by the Emergency Management Committee.
- Taxes due – September 30, 2020.
- First penalty run – October 1, 2020
- Second penalty run – November 1, 2020
Automatic payments for tax accounts will continue unless the account holder contacts the finance department with further instructions. Residents and businesses that can make payments are encouraged to keep their accounts up to date.
Utility Bill Payment Deferrals. Council has approved the recommendation to defer utility bill payments. The following is now in place:
- The Town of Edson will continue sending out utility bills but suspend processing penalties on unpaid utility accounts until the bills due on August 25, 2020.From that date on, penalties will only apply to new balances.
- Give utility customers until the end of 2020 to catch up on the unpaid balances. This allows them to spread the payments over a number of months if necessary.
Automatic payments for utility accounts will continue unless the account holder contacts the finance department with further instructions. Again, customers that can make payments on time are encouraged to do so. These payments will still need to be made up in 2020.
Adjustment of Staff Hours. Approval was given for the reduction of staff hours to a 0.9 schedule. While this move will have impacts on service levels, the resulting savings would be approximately $540,000 for 2020. Further emergency budget discussions will be happening at the Committee of the Whole meeting of April 14th, 2020.
211 Support - The Town of Edson would like to remind everyone that there are supports available in these difficult times. Please call 211 to speak to a live person who can assist 24 hours a day. 211 can help connect residents to social supports and referrals, including mental health assistance. This free resource is available by call, text, or online chat at https://www.ab.211.ca/.
Local Business Supports
Community Futures West Yellowhead is available to chat with via phone or email should you have any concerns or questions about your business during this time.
780-865-1224, or email email@example.com
In order to better serve the businesses of our region during the COVID-19 crisis, we are asking for you to complete the following survey. Thank you for your participation as we all work to manage this public health and economic crisis together.
BUSINESS IMPACT SURVEY
The Edson and District Chamber of Commerce is also available via phone or email.
780-723-4918, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Town of Edson Planning department is working hard to keep up to date on recent changes and can assist or direct by calling 780-723-4402 or emailing email@example.com.
Please see the link below for details on how to register and apply for MyAlberta Emergency Isolation Supports.
https://www.alberta.ca/emergency-isolation-support.aspx - Eligible working Albertans can receive a one-time emergency isolation support payment of $1,146 if they are required to self-isolate or are the sole caregiver of someone in self-isolation and they have no other source of pay or compensation.
For further supports see : https://www.alberta.ca/covid-19-supports-for-albertans.aspx
Economic Developers Alberta is conducting an online survey for Alberta businesses to help determine trends and resources required. This can be found at https://edaalberta.wufoo.com/forms/r19ded0919ea64b
The Alberta Urban Municipalities Association is also keeping a summary of supports available. Their guide can serve as a helpful resource to inform local not-for-profit organizations, local businesses, and stakeholders about the supports that are available. The Guide will be updated weekly and can be found through the AUMA online hub for COVID-19.
The Government of Canada has outlined their Economic Response Plan. It contains supports for individuals and businesses. Follow the link for the official release.
Highlights of Canada Economic Response Plan (from Community Futures West Yellowhead)
- If you owe taxes, you will have until August 2020 to pay those taxes. You still need to file but the deadline is now extended to June 1st. It is important that even if your business is closing that you still stay on top of your CRA and tax obligations. If you are concerned about paying this obligations, please call CRA at 1-800-959-5525 for businesses. It may be faster to get details through your CRA account. Your accountant can also answer questions but please remember, they are also small business owners and are working in tax season to also manage their small businesses, their staff and their families. Please be patient.
- Canada-US border is shut to non-essential travel. If you are an export-import business, please contact the BDC as they are working with Export Canada on this every changing issue. BDC also has a business credit program that is available for applications online. https://www.bdc.ca/en/pages/special-support.aspx?special-initiative=covid19
- Wage subsidy for small business employers at 10% (now updated to $75%). If you are still paying your workers and not laying them off, this will be available for 3 months.
- Self-employed individuals can apply for employment benefits at $900 bi-weekly (every two weeks) up to 15 weeks. You are able to apply online and receive funds by direct deposit. Medical documentation is not required. This will start in early April.
- Emergency support benefits will be for those who are not eligible for EI for up to 14 weeks. This is especially important for small business owners who are not eligible for EI. Please do not visit Service Canada offices in the region as it is not guaranteed that they will be able to serve you in person. Details on how to apply is at this link https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/corporate/notices/coronavirus.html or you can call at 1-833-381-2725.
- Banks and mortgage lenders are offering mortgage deferrals for a 6 month period. You are going to be able to skip a payment but you need to contact your bank directly. Please do not go to the banks but use email and phone to contact your local banker. They will have messaging and tools to help you do this. Please be patient as our banking partners are trying to help you as much as possible and stay on top of current information.
Links to business support programs and associations
Helping understand the challenges and opportunities associated with running your business operations during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Federal Government Support for Canadians and Businesses
Business Development Canada – Support for Entrepreneurs
Export Development Canada – Support for Exporters
Western Economic Diversification (WD) – Support for Businesses
Canadian Chamber of Commerce Pandemic Preparedness Guide to help create a business continuity plan
Canadian Federation of Independent Business – Small Business Guide- Keeping You and Your Employees Safe
Economic Developers Alberta supports
Tips for Alberta Business and Community Leaders to Address the Social and Economic Fallout from the Coronavirus
Chartered Professionals in Human Resources of Alberta (CPHR Alberta)
- CPHR Alberta has launched a free webinar series for HR professionals facing the many challenges presented as the coronavirus pandemic evolves. As the situation changes and escalates, HR professionals are making difficult decisions affecting our employees and organizations. From March 31 – April 23 they will host two webinars per week on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 12 pm - 1 pm MST. Click HERE for webinar topics and to access registration.
*Please note that this is an evolving situation. Check original sources for the latest information.