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Well, we've made it through another week and we hope that there is a sense of "new normal" that's beginning to take shape. What will get us through the remainder of this pandemic is to remember we are  i n this together and when we all look out for each other and choose kindness, compassion and resilience, we are stronger as a community. Let's keep doing what we can to  f latten the curve for each other, everyone we care about, and those that need us to protect them the most.

We love our community and we are dedicated to support our businesses, their employees, members, non-members, old and young. Even though it feels like everything has changed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, our commitment as an organization to our community remains constant.

We are here for you and we will emerge stronger than ever.

See our Stronger Together video below:
The Chamber of Commerce is being used as the hub for business information and news for our region and we are asking businesses direct their inquiries and question to us. If we don’t have the answers, we have contacts at every level of Government through our network that we are reaching out to with questions and we are advocating to government with recommendations when we find gaps in supports and resources

Find more updates on our social media
# InThisTogether #YXH2gether #COVID19AB #FlattentheCurve #AlbertaCares
Keep up with the latest
We know that right now it can be overwhelming with the amount of new information coming out each day. We've got you covered with our Chamber Daily COVID-19 Updates. All levels of government, all relevant info, all in one place every weeknight. We also have quick summary videos you can watch at the top of each post.
Your Weekly Tune Up
Information For Business
Canada Emergency Business Account
Applications will open today, Monday April 6, across all major banks.
  • The program will provide up to $40,000 for operating costs (can be used to pay other lending/interest if required)
  • An eligible business must have paid between $50,000 and $1M in payroll in 2019 (verified by 2019 T4 Summary of Remuneration)
  • The funds will remain interest free until Dec 31 2022, at which time a 5% interest rate will be applied starting Jan 1, 2023
  • If 75% ($30,000) is paid by December 31, 2022 25% ($10,000) is forgiven
  • There is no principal payment requirement until the full balance is due on December 31, 2025
  • The business must have been an active business as of March 1, 2020 (certain exclusions also apply like no money service business and the requirement to have a Canadian address)
  • Business owners can only apply at one bank and it should be their primary banking relationship
Each bank will roll it out the program slightly differently, so it is advised to speak with your commercial account representative at your bank.
Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy
Amount
The subsidy amount for a given employee on eligible remuneration paid between March 15 and June 6, 2020 would be the greater of:
  • 75 per cent of the amount of remuneration paid, up to a maximum benefit of $847 per week; and
  • the amount of remuneration paid, up to a maximum benefit of $847 per week or 75 per cent of the employee’s pre-crisis weekly remuneration, whichever is less.
Eligible remuneration may include salary, wages, and other remuneration.It does not include severance pay, or items such as stock option benefits or the personal use of a corporate vehicle.
Eligibility
  • Individuals, taxable corporations, and partnerships consisting of eligible employers as well as non‑profit organizations and registered charities.
  • Public bodies would not be eligible for this subsidy. Public bodies include municipalities and local governments, Crown corporations, public universities, colleges, schools and hospitals.
  • Employers must see a drop of at least 30 per cent of their revenue
How to Apply
Eligible employers would be able to apply for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy through the Canada Revenue Agency’s My Business Account  portal as well as a web-based application. Employers would have to keep records demonstrating their reduction in arm’s-length revenues and remuneration paid to employees.
Temporary Wage Subsidy
Those organizations that do not qualify for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy may qualify for the previously announced  temporary wage subsidy . The Temporary Wage Subsidy is a three-month measure to allow eligible employers to reduce their payroll deductions required to be remitted to the Canada Revenue Agency.
Amount
  • 10% of remuneration paid from March 18 to before June 20.
  • This is up to a maximum subsidy of $1,375 per employee and $25,000 per employer, which is applied through a reduction in remittances to Government.
Eligibility
The 10% subsidy is not based on revenue decreases and is just done through decreasing your remittances to the federal Government. 
  • Individuals, partnerships, non-profit organizations, registered charities, and Canadian-controlled private corporations (including a cooperative corporation) eligible for the small business deduction are all eligible.
  • Businesses must 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 eligible employee.
  • Partnerships are only eligible for the subsidy if their members consist exclusively of individuals (excluding trusts), registered charities, or Canadian-controlled private corporations (CCPCs) eligible for the small business deduction.
How to Apply
The subsidy must be calculated manually, as the CRA will not automatically calculate the allowable subsidy. You must still continue deducting income tax, CPP and EI contributions and then the subsidy is calculated based on the remittance amount to CRA - you cannot reduce your remittance of CPP or EI premiums. Businesses can start reducing payroll remittances on the first remittance period that includes remuneration paid from March 18 to June 19, 2020. The subsidy is considered taxable income.
Information For Individuals
Canada Emergency Response Benefit
The CERB is paid in blocks of four weeks in the amount of $2,000, which is equivalent to $500 per week. A maximum 16 weeks of benefits can be paid. The benefit is available from March 15, 2020, to October 3, 2020. You can apply no later than December 2, 2020.

Am I eligible?
The benefit will be available to workers:
  • Residing in Canada, who are at least 15 years old;
  • Who have stopped working because of COVID-19 or are eligible for Employment Insurance regular or sickness benefits:
  • Who had income of at least $5,000 in 2019 or in the 12 months prior to the date of their application; and
  • Who are or expect to be without employment or self-employment income for at least 14 consecutive days in the initial four-week period. For subsequent benefit periods, they expect to have no employment income.
The Benefit is only available to individuals who stopped work as a result of reasons related to COVID-19. If you are looking for a job but haven’t stopped working because of COVID-19, you are not eligible for the Benefit.

How do I know whether to apply for EI benefits or the CERB?
If you have stopped working because of COVID-19, you should apply for the CERB, whether or not are eligible for Employment Insurance. If you applied for EI regular or sickness benefits on March 15, 2020 or later, your claim will be automatically processed through the CERB

Do I need to be laid off to access the CERB?
No. Workers who remain attached to their company can receive the Benefit. But you must have stopped working as a result of COVID-19, and be without employment income for at least 14 consecutive days within the initial four-week period

Where can I apply?
  • Online with CRA My Account - Apply here
  • Over the phone with an automated phone service: 1-800-959-2019 

When and how will I receive my CERB payment? Is there a waiting period? 
Benefits will start within 10 days of you submitting an application. There is no waiting period. Payments will be made through direct deposit or by cheque. You will be paid more quickly if you choose direct deposit. Your payments will be retroactive to your eligibility date.

Find more questions and answers about the CERB here.
Information For Community
Hospital Parking Fees Suspended During COVID-19
Starting April 3, parking at all AHS facilities will be free to health-care workers and the general public. Many health-care workers and physicians are working from home and others need to work at a variety of sites. Removing parking fees and the need for parking passes will make these transitions easier. The change will also reduce the risk of COVID-19 spread from touch screens and buttons at payment sites. While parking will be free, visitors are asked to be respectful of spaces allocated for staff, including those for emergency use.  Read more .
Free Medicine Hat Transit
The city will be suspending transit fares indefinitely in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Effective immediately, no payment will be required for both regular and special transit passengers. All regular transit passengers will be allowed to enter buses through the rear door with front door access limited to those with mobility issues. Starting next week, weekday bus schedules will alternate to the Saturday schedule with weekends shifting to the Sunday schedule.
Domestic Travel Restrictions
As of March 30, 2020, any Canadian traveller who shows COVID-19 symptoms will be banned from boarding any domestic flights or trains, in an effort to limit the spread of the virus between provinces and cities.
Advocacy in Action
The Canadian Chamber of Commerce issued the following statement regarding the additional details provided by the federal government on its Emergency Wage Subsidy Program:

“We appreciate that the federal government is working very hard to develop and deliver financial measures to help businesses and Canadians weather the impact of COVID-19.

The Emergency Wage Subsidy is an important tool to help keep our economy afloat during this crisis, and its effectiveness depends on execution that reflects the realities and timelines of its intended audience: businesses that are struggling.

Keeping Canadians connected to their employers will be critical to quickly getting our economy back up and running after the crisis. We cannot overstate the importance of maintaining trained employees who can get a business back up and running at a moment’s notice.

Many businesses that are not essential services have been operating with skeleton staff or completely shut down for nearly 3 weeks. Today, they are being asked to wait an additional 6 weeks before funds are available. We know that many smaller businesses do not have enough cash reserves to wait another 6 weeks. Those affected will likely now place greater demand on the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB).

We urgently need to get these funds into the hands of employers. Every day that we delay these funds will lead to more businesses shutting down and more Canadians facing unemployment.

Many businesses that need support will also not be covered by the details announced today. These include businesses with small profit margins that are being hurt by a revenue decline of less than 30%, as well as service firms that are invoicing but do not know when or if these invoices will be paid.
There will also be many businesses whose operational realities do not allow for month over month revenue comparisons. We stand ready to work closely with the government in the coming days to ensure that those companies have access to this important measure.

The Emergency Wage Subsidy will surely protect countless Canadian jobs and, with proper execution, we can help avoid many more job losses. We look forward to continuing to work with the government on behalf of Canada's businesses to ensure the help they receive is sufficient to get them through - and out of - this crisis in the best shape possible.”
Connect with the Business Community
Join the YXH Business Support Group that every business owner and employee can join for supports and information. We will be providing daily live speaker presentations at 7:30 am each weekday morning with business tips and news. Then each evening, we'll be posting a daily update of all the important news and information released that day. We're working for you, from sunup to sundown.
Please remember, when crisis hits, the Chamber is here for business, regardless if businesses are Chamber members are not, we are here for each of you."
Helpful Webinars
Leading During A Crisis and Switching to Remote Work
April 7, 2020
Preparing Your Startup for the Impact of COVID-19
April 7, 2020
 COVID-19 Government Support for Business Owners
April 8,2020
Human Resource Planning
April 8, 2020

Roundtable with the Minister of Economic Development
April 8, 2020
Restructuring and Turning Around
April 9, 2020

See our Pandemic Training Calendar for more
Support Local
Is your business open? Have you changed your hours? Are you offering curbside pickup, delivery, or are doing something a little differently?
Our Support Local page is a way to connect businesses, who are still operating, to their community. We have always promoted the importance of shopping local and COVID-19 makes it more important than ever to get behind our locally owned businesses. Our goal is to make this page a community wide resource for everyone in Medicine Hat to use as their source to find out what businesses are open, so that when it comes time to spend precious hard earned dollars, we can encourage those resources to be spent in our local economy. Send your hours of operation and promotions to membership@medicinehatchamber.com.
Driving Business Forward
During the past few weeks we have been truly inspired by the innovative ways that businesses, in all sectors, have risen to the challenge of pivoting and finding ways to offer excellent customer service while faced with unprecedented circumstances. Our Customer Service Award is a great way to show these businesses their work has not gone unnoticed.

From offering delivery or curbside options, virtual experiences, or making spaces that are accessible to the public as safe as possible, so many businesses have adjusted and maintained, and even enhanced, customer service during this pandemic. The sponsor for this award, CIBC Wood Gundy & CIBC Commercial Banking , who have always been focused on exceptional service, encourage you to nominate a business that has exemplified the “can do” attitude of Medicine Hat by re-imagining and transforming their service delivery model to provide exceptional customer service. Nominate them today!
All nominations are also forwarded to the Alberta Chamber's Business Awards of Distinction. Click here to see this year's submission featuring some of our nominees and winners from our 2019 Business Awards.
Statistics Canada: Canadian Survey on Business Conditions
If you can, please take the time to complete this survey. We want to ensure the government has as much information as possible to understand the depth of need from business.
#YXH2gether
Medicine Hat College
Instructors and staff at MHC have been working together to develop a face shield prototype to aid in the prevention of the spread of COVID-19. Great job Medicine Hat College being ready to lend your knowledge and expertise. Way to re-imagine your normal operations to support our community!
Bradley East Photography and Little Reflections by Kyla
These photographers have taken traditional family portraits and added a new twist by taking porch portraits during COVID-19. Funds are being donated to local-not-for-profits.Thank you for reminding us that we can still be together even if we are apart.
Useful Links