Chamber Chatter - May 5 2020
Connecting Business. Creating Opportunity.
Media Release
April 28, 2020
GPREP Aligns with Business Resiliency Taskforce to Unify Regional Economic Response to COVID-19

The Grande Prairie Regional Emergency Partnership has formalized an alliance with the regional Business Resiliency Taskforce to strengthen the region’s collaborative approach to economic recovery in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The group is mandated to support business resiliency throughout the COVID-19 crisis, to help ensure local businesses are ready to respond when the province lifts restrictions on operations, and to guide the economic recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic.

In line with this approach, GPREP has developed a Business Ambassador Team with the immediate priority to support essential businesses currently permitted by the province to be operational, such as grocery stores, financial services, and pharmacies. The goal of this outreach is to aid businesses in the implementation and education of social distancing measures. The Business Ambassador Team will identify best practices and work with local businesses to develop solutions for logistical challenges that may apply to other businesses in preparation for when the province begins to lift restrictions.

In an ongoing effort to support regional businesses, the Business Resiliency Taskforce, comprised of the Chamber, City, and County, continues with previously announced programs such as the #LoveLocalGP campaign, weekly training webinars for local businesses, and a voucher program that offers grants to businesses for a variety of advisory services.

The Business Ambassador Team continues to connect with local stakeholders to determine the best methods to support local businesses as the province begins lifting restrictions. Any businesses interested in speaking to a Business Ambassador are encouraged to e-mail: .
The Chamber of Commerce along with the City of Grande Prairie and County of Grande Prairie Economic Development Departments are working together to provide a unified approach to supporting local businesses during these unprecedented times. Many businesses may be experiencing difficult choices or financial hardship during the COVID-19 crisis and on our website is a list of resources to help you navigate various levels of support. We will try to update this page as often as we can to provide additional resources.

Our next free webinar is this FRIDAY, May 8, 2020 from 12:00-1:00 PM. This week our presenters are Kari Speaker Smith and Stephanie Carlisle from Fletcher Mudryk LLP.

Business Resiliency Webinar #7
- Navigating Through Information Overload
Friday, May 8, 2020
12:00-1:00PM via Zoom Meeting

About this Event
Navigating through Information Overload – Helping community organizations, their management teams and employees in navigating the current subsidy programs.

Kari Speaker Smith, CPA, CA, CFP, B Mgt – Partner
Stephanie Carlisle, CPA, CA, B Comm – Associate
Both with Fletcher Mudryk LLP, a locally owned CPA firm that is proud to be a part of this community for over 85 years.

Feeling overwhelmed with all of the information coming your way? How can you best navigate through all of the data available for you to decide:

1) Can my business, organization or employees apply for this support?
2) If I don’t meet the qualifications for this program, what other options are there?
3) Where do I find the most accurate and up-to-date information?

Our goal is to help you make progress in finding the right information and managing these applications in this informal session with local businesses and agencies.

To register for this event, please  CLICK HERE

Here is the link to last week's webinar on 7 Steps to Start Selling Online with Ryan Blais and Richard Podsada from nine10 Inc.

A Business Advisory Service Voucher Program has been launched by the Business Resiliency Taskforce to help enhance local businesses and enable them to remain viable during the pandemic.

Community Futures Grande Prairie & Region  has been contracted to administer the program which connects eligible businesses with education, training and consulting services.

The Business Advisory Services Voucher Program consists of two phases. Phase One provides an initial review of businesses to develop a needs assessment, assist in accessing all existing support programs, including up to two hours of mental health counselling (up to $500 in total value and 4 hours in duration). Businesses requiring further support will submit a Business Resiliency Plan completed in Phase One, along with a short application.
Phase Two provides eligible businesses with additional coaching and/or technical training or services, which may include services in areas such as human resources, IT, and marketing (up to $3,000 in total value and 4 weeks in duration).

To launch the program the  City of Grande Prairie  and  County of Grande Prairie No. 1  have each contributed $25,000 for a total of $50,000 in funding, with the potential for additional funding from the provincial and federal governments.

Due to the overwhelming response of the program as well as the recent Provincial announcement, the Business Advisory Voucher Program has been suspended. As of 5 p.m. (MST) April 30, all new applications will be waitlisted until further review of the program. We encourage businesses to continue completing the application while the program is under review. 

For more information and to apply to the Business Advisory Service Voucher Program visit the Business Resiliency page on the Chamber’s website.
Keep showing us on Facebook what you’re doing to #LoveLocalGP and you could win $100, $250, $500, $750 or even $1,500 in Chamber Cheques! Support of any business in the Grande Prairie & District area including the City of Grande Prairie, County of Grande Prairie, Sexsmith, Beaverlodge, Wembley, or Hythe will qualify you to enter.

1) use  #LoveLocalGP  in your post
2) make your post public
3) tag the business you are supporting if possible and share a photo when you can
4) tag the Chamber, City and County to help us notice and share your post!

Get creative by sharing a business post, writing a review, patronizing a business or getting a delivery from them. The ways are countless!

All rewards will be in the form of a Chamber Cheque redeemable at any member(s) of our Chamber. Check out the list of members here, you have over 1300 to chose from:

There are 4 draws weekly of $100; $500 draws in April and May; plus runner-up draws of $750, $500 & $250 when we do the grand prize $1500 draw in June.
Technology to support COVID-19 response

As part of its relaunch strategy, the Government of Alberta has launched a voluntary, secure mobile contact tracing application to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“Our efforts to flatten the curve are proving to be effective, but we must continue to remain vigilant. Each one of us has a responsibility to do our part in the fight against COVID-19. ABTraceTogether was designed to help protect Albertans and prevent community spread by quickly alerting people who may be at risk. The more Albertans who use it, the better we will be able to protect individuals from being unknowingly exposed and possibly spreading the disease. Give it a try, and encourage your family and friends to do the same. By working together, we can tackle this pandemic.”
  • Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Chief Medical Officer of Health

Contact tracing is currently performed by interviewing patients who have tested positive for COVID-19, which is resource intensive and has limitations on its effectiveness as it relies on the patient’s memory. Through wireless Bluetooth technology, mobile contact tracing will complement the work of health-care workers and drastically speed up the current manual tracing process. This means Albertans will be contacted more quickly if they are at risk.

Protecting Albertans’ privacy is paramount. Use of the app is voluntary, and users must opt-in. Only your phone number is collected at the time of registering the app. The application does not track the user’s location and does not use your GPS. Data is only stored on the user’s phone in an encrypted format for 21 days. Users must consent to sharing their data if they have tested positive for COVID-19. The only information shared with contact tracers is a random ID of those identified as close contacts after a user is diagnosed with COVID-19 – nothing identifiable is exchanged between phones. Users must be within two metres from each other for a total duration of 15 minutes in a 24-hour period in order to be notified as a close contact.

The app is now available to download for free from the  App Store  and  Google Play . A YouTube video can be seen here .

The application is part of the Government of Alberta’s Relaunch Strategy to safely begin to remove public health restrictions and reopen our economy. Existing public health measures remain in place to stop the spread of COVID-19. For more information, visit .

M&A strategies, succession planning and preparing for recovery

About this Event
Canada’s dealmakers have kept much more than 2 metres apart from mergers and acquisitions since mid-March as investor fear and uncertainty have infected our financial markets. Current and future cash flow uncertainties have impacted valuation considerations. According to a recent Canadian Chamber survey of Canadian businesses, more than 11% of mid and large companies have postponed major deals in reaction to COVID-19.

Join professionals from KPMG’s Deal Advisory practice for a live interactive discussion on Wednesday, May 6 at 2 p.m. (ET) to help you understand how businesses are thinking about their M&A strategies, succession and planning for the eventual rebound as we emerge from lock-down and deploy cash in an era of ultra-low interest rates.

For more information, please contact Lianne Cheng ( ).
The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy Explained | Grant Thornton Tackles Key Questions

About this Event
The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) was created to help businesses retain their workforce during the COVID-19 pandemic. The application for this subsidy opened on April 27 and managing through the requirements of the application can be complicated. Eligibility requirements, meeting the specific revenue tests, and ensuring your documentation is correct can be complex and cumbersome. Please join us on Thursday May 7, 11 a.m. ET , as we tackle common questions that have surfaced and discuss CEWS with tax partner John Di Liso at  Grant Thornton LLP .

During this session John will give an overview of the CEWS program and will also outline some of the key questions raised by taxpayers out of the program. Discussion to include:

1. Eligibility criteria
2. Qualifying periods
3. Application process
4. Issues and opportunities
5. Frequently asked questions

Don’t miss this important opportunity to learn more about CEWS!

County of Grande Prairie Business Support Network
- Insurance Presentation

Join us for a facilitated conversation about the insurance marketplace pre and post CoVD19 and cyber risks.

About this Event
The ever changing COVID19 situation has caused a number of disruptions and has forced us to mobilize our business activities to online. This opens the door to more risk and vulnerability.

Join us for a frank discussion about how this disruption has changed the insurance world and the cyber risks that follow increased online storage and activity.

Pierce Kohl is a local insurance professional and owner/operator of Elevate Insurance Brokers.

Pierce's information session will leave ample time for questions and answers.

Date And Time
Tuesday 12 May 2020
11:30 AM – 1:30 PM MDT
Free webinar
To register, please CLICK HERE

Crowdfunding during COVID-19 – WEBINAR
Thursday, May 7 | 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM

Crowdfunding is the fastest and most effective method to test, launch and grow a business idea. In times like these, tapping into your network and creating connections has never been more relevant. When cash is more important than ever to the health of a business, many small business owners have found themselves struggling to drive revenue in the face of economic challenges. Crowdfunding puts you in the unique position of gaining access to capital and facilitating online transactions to help keep your business front and centre in the market.

Throughout this discussion, we’ll cover:
  • Crowdfunding strategies that can help entrepreneurs raise capital for their business during COVID-19 challenges.
  • How to gain exposure and create connections with your crowd.
  • Tips to leverage and build on your customer base.
  • An introduction to BoostR and the changes ATB has made to the platform to help small businesses.


Carly Wellls
Carly Wells is the Manager of ATB BoostR with ATB Financial. She is extremely passionate about entrepreneurship and helping businesses succeed, not just today, but well into the future. Outside of work, you will find Carly spending time with her family and exploring the great outdoors.

Nikki Cloutier
Nikki is the owner of BLUE LINE FITNESS TESTING, the only company in Alberta solely dedicated to the field of physical fitness and abilities testing specifically for the law enforcement community.

Nikki saw the opportunity to start individuals on the path to a career in law enforcement through supportive physical training and testing. She launched a crowdfunding campaign this past year and has great insights and learnings when it comes to leveraging the crowd.

Dustin Paisley
Dustin Paisley is the co-founder of Local Laundry, a made in Canada retail brand that builds community. As the Chief Laundry Operator, Dustin is responsible for ensuring the smooth operations of the company, including the financial well being. As a 2019 recipient of a Startup Canada award, Local Laundry represents a new generation of brands aimed at making a positive impact on the world, and in their community through the work that they do.