Special Edition Action Through Connection
Together, We Are Stronger
Greetings!

These are unprecedented times for our community, our country and around the world. With everything turned upside down, we are all doing our best to navigate these uncharted waters. Together, and only together, will we get through these challenging times.

We would like to start by acknowledging those working hard to keep our families and community safe and informed. From nurses and doctors in healthcare, police officers, local media and so many others keeping essential services running, we acknowledge and appreciate all your hard work.

Together, we support our local businesses, no matter how big or small. As a community we encourage you to reach out to your favourite local businesses, purchase a gift card, inquire about online shopping, leave a Google review. These small actions may have a lasting impact on a local business.

Along with the City of Airdrie/Airdrie Economic Development, the Airdrie Chamber of Commerce is committed to advocating on your behalf, asking the questions that need to be asked and providing up to date resources. 

We must make informed decisions to keep everyone healthy, happy and safe. More than ever, we are in this together.
 
Sincerely,

Your Airdrie Chamber of Commerce
Trudeau promises 75% wage subsidy
The prime minister announced on Friday, March 27th that t he federal wage subsidy for small and medium-sized businesses hit by the coronavirus  pandemic is jumping up to 75%,

Trudeau also said the government will be offering a new Canada Emergency Business Account to provide loans of up to $40,000 to businesses that will be interest-free for one year.


COVID-19 Business Resources
The Airdrie Chamber is focused on continuing to build the resiliency of our business community through the challenges posed by COVID-19.

Please note that information is changing daily and we will do our best to provide regular updates as they unfold.

Alberta declared COVID-19 a public health emergency.

The City of Airdrie Team is Available to Help
 
The Economic Development department is available to support Airdrie businesses. We encourage you to contact them to discuss challenges you may be facing. They can be reached at  economic.development@airdrie.ca  or  403-948-8844 .
 
Click here for the City of Airdrie business resources page   where you can find important information such as business occupancy limits. 
 
Where do I begin?

Analyze your business to determine where you are at right now and what your options are:
·      Talk to your banker and accountant
·      Talk to your insurance provider and health benefit provider
·      Talk to your staff

How do I keep my employees?

The government is offering a  temporary wage subsidy . (See above Global News story.)

Businesses will benefit immediately from this support by reducing their remittances of income tax withheld on their employees’ remuneration. Employers benefiting from this measure include corporations eligible for the small business deduction, as well as non-profit organizations & charities. 


The government Work-Sharing program  is implementing temporary special measures to support employers and employees affected by the downturn in business caused by COVID-19. The new temporary special measures are available to employers impacted directly or indirectly by COVID-19. The measures allow for eligible employers to retain skilled employees and workers to remain employed during the temporary downturn in business due to COVID-19.

Access the  Work-Sharing page to learn more about the program and its requirements.

Access the  Work-Sharing temporary special measures   page to find out if you are eligible for temporary special measures.


What do I do if I have to lay off employees?

You are still required to adhere to the  notice periods  required by the Government of Alberta and issue Record of Employment (ROE).
  • When the employee is sick or quarantined, use code D (Illness or injury) as the reason for separation (block 16). Do not add comments.
  • When the employee is no longer working due to a shortage of work because the business has closed or decreased operations due to coronavirus (COVID-19), use code A (Shortage of work). Do not add comments.
  • When the employee refuses to come to work but is not sick or quarantined, use code E (Quit) or code N (Leave of absence), as appropriate. Avoid adding comments unless absolutely necessary.

TIPS:
  • Avoid adding comments as this will mean that they are flagged to be looked at and will take longer to process.
  • Use Internet Explorer if you are facing difficulties.
  • Due to the high volume, wait time is longer than normal.




What if I am self-employed or a contractor?
 
Provincially , the Alberta COVID-19 Emergency Income Support Program. Must sign up BEFORE April 1st, 2020. CLICK HERE

Federally , the Emergency Care Benefit will provide up to $900 bi-weekly, for up to 15 weeks. Application for the Benefit will be available in April 2020, and require Canadians to attest that they meet the eligibility requirements. They will need to re-attest every two weeks to reconfirm their eligibility. To apply for the Benefit:
1.  Access it on CRA  My Account   secure portal;
2.  Access it from secure My Service Canada Account; or
3.  Call toll free number equipped with an automated application process 1-833-381-2725.

The Emergency Support Benefit will provide up to $5.0 billion in support to workers who are not eligible for EI and who are facing unemployment. CLICK HERE


Employment Insurance:
Do I qualify and how do I access it?

If you are   laid off due to work closures  apply for regular EI benefits. To qualify you will need 700 hours worked in the last year and an Record of Employment saying you've been laid off from your employer to get benefits. There is a 1-week wait period. You can find  more info + apply online  or call 1-800-206-7218.

If you are unable to work due to self-quarantine  , apply for EI Sickness Benefits . You will need 600 work hours in the last year and do not need an ROE or sick note to qualify. The 1 week wait period is waived. Find  more info + apply online  or call 1-833-381-2725.

If you are   laid off and ineligible for EI  apply for the Emergency Support Benefit. $5 billion dollars has been allocated to this program with more details to come and applications will be available in April. Make sure you have a  CRA My Account  to apply for this benefit. A toll free number is yet to be released.

If you are   self-quarantined and ineligible for EI  apply for the Emergency Care Benefit , including the self-employed, who are sick with COVID-19, quarantined, or taking care of a family member with COVID-19. This benefit allows up to 15 weeks of benefits up to $900 bi-weekly. Applications will begin in April . Make sure you have a  CRA My Account  to apply for this benefit. A toll free number is yet to be released.

If you are a   parent that is unable to work because of school closures you can apply for the Emergency Care Benefit . This benefit allows up to 15 weeks of benefits up to $900 bi-weekly. Applications will begin in April . Make sure you have a  CRA My Account  to apply for this benefit. A toll free number is yet to be released.

Find more information on the federal government's Resources for Canadian Business  page.


What are my rights as an employee?

Full and part-time employees are entitled to take 14 days of job-protected leave if they are:
  • required to self-isolate
  • caring for a child or dependent adult that is required to self-isolate

The leave does not apply to self-employed individuals or contractors.

Employers are not required to pay sick leave if you are not required to self-isolate. Your employer will have their own policies. Contact them to receive information specific to your position.

What Mental Health Resources are available?

The Mental Health Help Line: 1-877-303-2642 is available 24/7 to provide advice + referrals to community supports.

Resources
Member Connections
Thank you Nikki Nordick, Airdrie Puppy Pals and Dawnie Mcelligott, At Dawn Massage for sending us this great pic of your latest business meeting. This is social distancing at its best!

Send us your pictures, best practices or feel good stories, to share in our next newsletter, as we navigate through the COVID-19 crisis. Email: marilyne@airdriechamber.ab.ca
Airdrie Home & Lifestyle Show Cancelled
As many of you already know, the Airdrie Chamber of Commerce made the difficult decision to cancel the Airdrie Home and Lifestyle Show on April 25th and 26th at Genesis Place due to government guidelines around the COVID-19 crisis. 

We are committed to best serving all exhibitors during this very challenging time. If you have any questions regarding exhibitor or sponsor refunds, please email Ashley at events@airdriechamber.ab.ca

Please note that there are discussions around a possible October 3th & 4th 2020 show . Stay tuned for more information to come after June 1st, 2020. 

Please note that all other Chamber events are postponed until further notice.
Calgary Chamber Webinar Support
#Here4YYC  
Business resources webinar series  
 
As we continue to navigate these uncertain times the Calgary Chamber of Commerce will be hosting a daily webinar providing resources, information, and support to help you and your business through the uncertainty.  

The webinar will take place from 11:00 am – 11:30 am Monday-Friday.  
Bow Valley College Online Webinar Support
Planning through an emergency COVID-19 (webinar)
Even though we remain ‘in the thick of it’ in terms of responding to the challenges associated with COVID-19, there are things that we need to be considering for the future. This webinar will focus on short, medium, and long-term planning throughout this emergency – focusing on how to be best prepared for the ‘recovery’ phase. 
 
Tuesday, March 31 | 9:00 am – 10:00 am
FREE
Get your store online in changing times (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. Build the basics of your Shopify store!
 
Wednesday, April 1 | 10:00 am – 11:30 am
FREE
How to dominate the first page of Google without paying for ads (webinar)
When more than 90% of customers use search engines like Google when making buying decisions and 40% of searches on Google have a local intent, it is clear that customers want to find the specific product or service in their local area!
Thursday, April 23 | 10:00 am – 11:30 am
FREE
Canadian Chamber of Commerce Update

COVID-19: Top Five Things SMEs Need to Know
These are challenging, unprecedented times for all of us, and especially for small- and medium-sized businesses in Canada. We are here to help Canadians get through this pandemic.

Watch the following video with our President and CEO, Perrin Beatty , to learn the top five things SMEs should know right now.

Click here  for the latest information about available resources and programs to support you and your business.

Letter from more than 60 business organizations
More than 60 of Canada's leading business organizations, including the Alberta Chambers of Commerce, have issued a statement calling on government to protect jobs and postpone non-essential new measures.
Meet Our New Members
JORI International Ltd
(403) 571-3200


Painting by J&M
(403) 804-0780
PMC Plumbing 
(587) 583-5495
Urban Rubber Paving
(403) 689-7748
E-News Sponsored By
Airdrie Chamber of Commerce
102, 150 Edwards Way NW
Airdrie, AB T4B 4B9
403. 948.4412