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The next 'the Voice' e-newsletter will be sent on January 11, 2021
Fuelling Our Business Community
There has been a lot of information over the past nine months along with various changes to supports and programs, but we want to make sure you have the supports you need to get through the holiday season and start 2021 with funding and support to give you a kick start to the new year.
To assist small and mid-sized businesses continue to survive this ongoing health crisis, the province is expanding and increasing the Small and Medium Enterprise Relaunch Grant. The government is lowering the revenue loss threshold to 30% (from the original 50%), and all eligible businesses in the province will also be able to apply for a second grant payment. Read more information.

The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) was changed in November to extend the subsidy to June 2021 with details for claim periods beginning after December 19, 2020 still to be confirmed. Read more information.

The Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS) was more recently announced and applications are now open. This is an improved program to the previous Canada Emergency Rent Assistance program. Read more information.

The Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) is available through financial institutions and provides interest-free loans of up to $60,000, increased from the previous $40,000. Repaying the balance of the loan on or before December 31, 2022 will result in loan forgiveness of 33 percent (up to $20,000) to help small businesses and not-for-profits with their operating costs. Read more information.

There are also programs to support employees impacted directly by Covid-19 including Employment Insurance, the Canada Recovery Benefit, Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit, and the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit.

ShopHERE program and Shop | YXH launched to help businesses shift to an online format. ShopHere is the free website build, plus the first 90 days free with Shopify. ShopYXH.ca is an online marketplace, which is being provided completely free for businesses to sign up. Read more information.

The portal for the expanded Small & Medium Enterprise Relaunch Grant is now open. Businesses can now start applying for the second round of funding through SME Relaunch grant. This is a grant, not a loan, so you do not have to pay it back but it is taxable. Read more information.

The annual call for applications for the Canada Summer Jobs (CSJ) program will launch on December 21, 2020, and will remain open until January 29, 2021. Applicants will be able to seek funding to hire youth between April 26, 2021 and February 26, 2022. Read more information.

Employees who worked from home more than 50% of the time over a period of a least four consecutive weeks in 2020 due to COVID-19 will now be eligible to claim the home office expenses deduction for 2020. To learn more about the tax reform we need, visit www.ThinkGrowth.ca. Read more information.

Energy Savings for Business Program is a program that will help accelerate the uptake of commercially available energy efficiency technologies, leading to operational efficiencies and cost reductions for small and medium-sized industrial and commercial facilities. Read more information.

When this program launches, companies can receive a grant of up to 20% toward qualifying research and development expenditures.
Holiday Resources
In collaboration with the Medicine Hat Public Library, Police Point Park, and 14 participating downtown businesses, the Esplanade Arts and Heritage Centre has created a cheerful holiday outdoor experience that can be safely enjoyed with your household. More information.

The NORAD Tracks Santa website (www.noradsanta.org) is now live. Featuring Santa’s North Pole Village, the website includes a holiday countdown, games, activities, information regarding NORAD’s mission of defending North America, and more. More information.
Let's Make This a Local First Holiday Season!
Show some local love during this holiday shopping season by participating in #localfirstyxh Christmas! Our community has everything you need to prepare for the holiday season with:

To learn more contact: membership@medicinehatchamber.com or follow our Facebook event 
With COVID shutting down the Christmas Markets, Chantel Fischer, our Membership Coordinator, has converted the Buy and Sell Xchange on the Chamber's website to a Christmas Buy and Sell Xchange where vendors can sell their Christmas Stock.
Please contact Chantel if you would like your holiday promotion included or watch the video for more information. membership@medicinehatchamber.com
Essential government services are available 24-7 to help anyone who needs support during the holidays. Find out more.

The Medicine Hat Women's Shelter has a 24-7 Helpline for help supports, safety planning, intake for the emergency shelter and other programs. You can call 403-529-1091 or 1-800-661-7949 for help. The Phoenix Safe House provides a safe haven for individuals with or without children fleeing family violence and abuse, along with support, information, safety planning and referrals to other community resources. They also have the Musasa 2ns Stage Shelter with wrap-around supports and service. Find out more.

Rapid testing will be expanded across the province to reach Albertans in homeless shelters, long-term care facilities, and remote rural communities, starting Dec. 18. Read more.

People will receive their Climate Action Incentive when they file their 2020 personal income tax returns. A family of four will receive $981 in Alberta. Families in rural and small communities receive an extra 10 per cent. Full details on payment amounts for individuals and families in 2021 are specified in the backgrounder related to the news release.
Next Level Events
Quick Check Up
Shop Local
Helpful Webinars
Business Insurance 101 – Supporting Businesses during the Pandemic

January 15
See our events calendar for more opportunities to connect.
Last week's poll results:
Would a webinar on the various supports (CEBA, CERS, etc.) be of interest to you?:
Yes: 80% No: 20%%
Useful Links
Find more updates on our social media