Chamber Chatter - November 3 2020
Thank you for supporting the Grande Prairie & District Chamber of Commerce! This WEEKLY email highlights information and updates from our Chamber, the Alberta and Canadian Chambers of Commerce, and our municipal, provincial, and federal government partners.  
 
Be sure to watch for our weekly Chamber Member Connections newsletter on Thursdays featuring sales, promotions, accomplishments, events, and general awareness of our membership. Email tom@gpchamber.com for info. 
Connecting Business. Creating Opportunity.
The Grande Prairie & District Chamber of Commerce 2020 Annual General Meeting and Canwest Chamber Chair Salute is scheduled for Thursday, December 3.

The meeting will include a review of our activities in 2020 and election of our 2021 Board of Directors.
 
* If you are interested in running for the Board:
Contact the Chamber Office to request a Nomination Package
Call 780-532-5340 or Email tanya@gpchamber.com 

Completed nomination forms must be received by the Chamber office prior to 12:00 PM on Friday, November 20 to be considered by the Nomination Committee.
GetintheLoop is the fastest growing Franchise in Canada and has the largest network of local merchant offers in the Country; a professional platform serving hundreds of thousands of members, all while empowering small business owners with simple and affordable tools to make their local marketing efforts easier and more effective.

Our Chamber was awarded an Economic Recovery Grant from the City of Grande Prairie, and thanks to the City's generosity we are offering the remainder of 2020 FREE for all businesses in our area to become partners and test drive the platform as a part of your recovery efforts and experience firsthand how it can work for you. Chamber Members will receive preferred pricing on the monthly subscription rate beginning in January 2021. Join as a partner and start creating your offers now!  https://www.grandeprairiechamber.com/getintheloop/

We encourage everyone to download the free app to start accessing our offers on GetintheLoop and we look forward to working with our Member businesses who will benefit from this platform. 
The Business Resiliency Taskforce (Chamber of Commerce, City of Grande Prairie and County of Grande Prairie No. 1), in partnership with Community Futures Grande Prairie & Region and nine10 Incorporated is excited to offer a SECOND ROUND of Digital Marketing Training for eligible local businesses in the region. The training sessions will be focused on empowering local businesses with knowledge and skills to develop a brand and navigate the digital realm of Websites, Social Media and Search.

With support from the Government of Canada’s Regional Relief and Recovery Fund, which is administered in Alberta by Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD), CFGPR is pleased to announce a second intake to the Digital Marketing Training program. Funding from WD will enable an additional 20 businesses and up to 40 people access to the program through early 2021.


Due to the experiential and hands on format of the training, space is limited. Applications for the program will be accepted until November 6. Successful applicants will be notified by November 13 with digital onboarding beginning at the end of November. COVID-19 risk mitigation and physical distancing measures will be acknowledged during in-person training with a contingency plan in place for a digital delivery model.
Take Alberta Nonprofit Network’s (ABNN) nonprofit survey to inform our combined understanding and decision making.

A lot can happen in a few months – what nonprofits were dealing with in the spring is vastly different than the struggles of today. To help build an understanding of the current state of Alberta’s nonprofits and charities, ABNN is conducting a fall sector survey. What are your funding, operating and staffing challenges? What support and policy decisions do you need on the road to recovery?

ABNN reports the data and results from this survey will be shared with the sector, government partners and funders to support ongoing dialogue. The information gathered in their last two surveys was used by Alberta organizations in grant applications, resource development, programming direction and as part of advocacy and media outreach. Numerous funders, including the Government of Alberta and Alberta community foundations, also used the survey data to inform their funding decisions.

The more organizations that complete the survey the better picture we can get. 

 
The survey is open until Friday, November 6.
Upcoming County of Grande Prairie Business Support Network Roundtable – November 10 9:00 AM – FREE zoom roundtable
 
Join us on November 10th at 9 AM to discuss current sector issues, industry trends, available supports, requests, and network with several other business leaders and business resources and supports.

We are still holding our bi-monthly round table meetings via zoom until we can safely resume in person. So please take advantage of the free information and networking opportunities until then.

Follow the County of Grande Prairie Business Support Network to watch for upcoming events and register on our Eventbrite page
 
Save the Date County of Grande Prairie Business Support Network Session– December 8, 2020
 
We are working on our December presentation on mental wellness resources. Stay tuned for more information.
New employment standards rules in effect November 1

In July, the Restoring Balance in Alberta’s Workplaces Act was introduced. The employment standards rules are intended to save employers time and money.
Many of these new rules are taking effect November 1, such as:
  • Adding flexibility to rules for hours of work averaging arrangements to make it easier for employers to set up arrangements, create schedules, and calculate overtime.
  • Helping youth find work, and reducing red tape and administrative burdens by expanding the types of jobs 13 and 14-year olds are allowed to do without first needing a permit. Employers are still responsible for the health and safety of young workers, and parents still have to provide their consent for 13 and 14-year-olds to work.
  • Clarifying that employees continue to accumulate vacation time while on a job-protected leave.
  • Clarifying rules for rest periods and flexibility in scheduling breaks.
  • Creating simpler and more flexible rules for general holiday pay average daily wage calculations.
  • Creating more flexible rules for payment of final earnings upon termination that allows employers to align payments with their payroll cycles.
  • Allowing employers to quickly correct payroll errors, or recover vacation pay paid in advance, because written authorization is no longer required from the employee to deduct an amount that was overpaid on a paycheque. Employers are still required to notify employees that an amount will be deducted from their paycheque.
  • Giving employers more time to pay administrative penalties if they receive a penalty for breaking rules.
  • Decreasing payment amounts for administrative penalties on a case-by-case basis.
  • Removing specific timing requirements for temporary layoff notices. Written notices are still required.
  • Clarifying that employees can get electronic pay statements as long as they have confidential access and can print a paper copy. This was already accepted in practice, but is now expressly allowed in the law.
  • Allowing an employer and union to agree to alter employment standards rules such as hours of work, notice of work times, days of rest, and overtime hours under hours of work averaging arrangements.
More flexible rules for group terminationslength of temporary layoffs, and variances and exemptions took effect earlier this year.

Resources for employers
Fact sheets are available online to help employers understand the new rules. You can also contact Alberta Employment Standards with questions about these rules.
Alberta Employment Standards offers free online webinars that provide details on current employment standards rules. Webinars on the new rules will be available at a later date.
Canadian Chamber of Commerce AGM wrap up

Some highlights included:
  • More than 900 total delegates in attendance, representing all regions of the country
  • Alberta boasted the second-largest number of voting delegates
  • Ontario: 85 delegates
  • Alberta: 81 delegates
  • B.C.: 40 delegates
  • Atlantic Canada: 25 delegates
  • Quebec: 12 delegates
  • Saskatchewan: 11 delegates
  • Manitoba: 7 delegates
  • Northwest Territories: 3 delegates
  • Nunavut: 1 delegate
  • Yukon: 1 delegate
  • Delegates passed nine out of 11 Alberta policies during policy debate
Canada Emergency Business Account now open to businesses using personal banking accounts

The Government of Canada announced that the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) will be available to businesses that have been operating out of a non-business banking account.
Minister O’Regan Launches $750-Million Fund for Oil and Gas Companies to Reduce Methane Emissions 

The Government of Canada launched the $750-million Emissions Reduction Fund to reduce methane and GHG emissions. This fund provides primarily repayable funding to eligible onshore and offshore oil and gas firms to support their investments to reduce GHG emissions by adopting greener technologies and help maintain jobs in a time of economic hardship and uncertainty.
Creating jobs through clean energy technology

Alberta’s government is spending $50 million from the industry-funded Technology Innovation and Emissions Reduction (TIER) system to create jobs, grow our clean-tech industry and cut emissions.
Two new Alberta immigration pathways

In order to create new businesses and job creators in high-demand industries, Alberta’s government is launching two new immigration pathways to attract investment, create new high-paying jobs for Albertans, diversify the economy and encourage international graduates to launch businesses here in Alberta.
New Internships for Students

"Alberta is helping students gain world-class research skills and driving innovation by supporting more than 3,800 new internships.

In partnership with Mitacs, post-secondary institutions and employers, Alberta’s government is growing internship opportunities to build hands-on learning opportunities for students, researchers and industry partners."

Read more at:
CRA webinar: Learn more about the 10% temporary wage subsidy for employers (November 4)

The TWS is a three-month COVID-19 relief measure that allows eligible employers to reduce the amount of federal, provincial, or territorial income tax they need to remit to the CRA.

Webinar: Board governance basics (November 7)

This 90-minute webinar introduces you to some of the essential of effective partnerships to help you and your partners successfully achieve “more than the sum of the parts” results. 

CCC webinar: Preparing for smart and sustainable growth to benefit Canadian businesses (November 9)

Join Robin Silvester, president and CEO of the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority, as he shares their plans for smart and sustainable growth at the Port of Vancouver, for the benefit of communities and businesses across the country.

CCC Webinar: The Role Of Technology For Business Transformation In A Post-Covid Economy (November 12)

The role of a strong network and next generation technology for business recovery and optimization in a post-covid economy. Fortunately, Canadian telecom has been investing for years, and the dawn of 5G could not have come at a more important time.

This conversation with Navin Arora, President Business Solutions at TELUS and Pau Castells, Director of Economic Analysis at GSMA, will examine how 5G will revolutionize and transform business operations and influence customer revenues, improve productivity and operational expenses for businesses as well as safety and security, and discuss how investment in this next generation technology will drive $150 billion to the Canadian economy over the next 20 years.

Canadian Chamber of Commerce Executive Summit Series 

The Executive Summit Series brings together senior executives and thought leaders for a dialogue on top issues affecting Canadian business. 

The Western event, taking place on November 24, will feature the Hon. Jean-Yves Duclos, President of the Treasury Board, and panel discussions surrounding Canadian transportation and trade.