Chamber Chatter - August 25 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. 

For more information on Chamber Member Connections submissions,
please email tom@gpchamber.com.
Connecting Business. Creating Opportunity.
The Grande Prairie & District Chamber of Commerce invites you to join our members and guests at a Ribbon Cutting for Pharmasave Junction Point THIS Thursday, August 27 at 1:00 PM. Event runs from 11:00 AM-4:00 PM).

Pharmasave Junction Point is located at 9625 97 Street, Unit 102, Grande Prairie.
The Grande Prairie & District Chamber of Commerce invites you to join our members and guests at a Ribbon Cutting for Dr. Phone Fix on Wednesday, September 2 at 11:00 AM.

Dr. Phone Fix is located at 11517 Westgate Drive, Unit 113, Grande Prairie.
The Grande Prairie & District Chamber of Commerce invites you to join our members and guests at a Ribbon Cutting for Quen's Tea and Juice on Wednesday, September 16 at 10:00 AM. Event runs from 10:00 AM-12:00 PM).

Quen's Tea and Juice is located at 9823 116 Avenue, Unit 104, Grande Prairie.
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. On our website is a list of resources to help you navigate the various levels of support for business.
UPDATE YOUR CHAMBER INFORMATION

Thank you to our 13 hundred member businesses for supporting our Chamber. In our efforts to best promote your services, we need your help. Please take a few moments to check your information with us. This includes your business name, mailing address, physical address if different, your contact information including phone, email, website, and fax number if in use, number of employees, and the categories in which you are listed. We also ask you to review your web page with us to ensure you are making the most of your membership and look your best to users searching for your info!

Please contact Leah Fujarczuk, Member Relations and Engagement, at 780-532-5340 or leah@gpchamber.com for more information.
PUT YOUR NAME UP IN LIGHTS!

Let us help you spread the word about your business! Send us an ad for our our Digital Sign outside Centre 2000 on 116 Avenue!

For more information on Digital Sign advertising with EXCLUSIVE RATES FOR CHAMBER MEMBERS, please contact Leah in our office by phone at 780-532-5340 or email leah@gpchamber.com.
By joining the Alberta Perspectives insight community, you'll hear first about new Alberta Chambers of Commerce surveys and research.

Log into Alberta Perspectives anytime to access survey results (results we share directly with government), participate in quick polls, and catch media coverage of community insights.

Online course provides guidance on returning to work safely during the COVID-19 pandemic

The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) has released the e-course Pandemic Planning: Reopening for Business, to help organizations across Canada safely return to work during the COVID-19 pandemic. 
Relaunching funding for community projects

Alberta’s government is reopening the Community Initiatives Program Project-Based grant stream to support economic recovery and build social connections.

Alberta’s non-profit and community organizations can now apply to the Sept. 15 intake of the Community Initiatives Program Project-Based grant stream, which aims to foster healthy and vibrant communities across Alberta. Funding will focus on events, festivals, programs and projects delivered in innovative and creative ways that align with public health measures.


The Community Initiatives Program Project-Based grant was paused in May to reallocate funds to help struggling front-line charities and non-profits maintain their core operations and provide services during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Small and Medium Enterprise Relaunch Grant

Funding for small- and medium-sized businesses, co-ops and non-profits impacted by COVID-19 to offset a portion of their relaunch costs.

The Small and Medium Enterprise Relaunch Grant offers financial assistance to Alberta businesses, cooperatives, and non-profit organizations that were ordered to close or curtail operations, and that experienced a revenue reduction of at least 50%, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Eligible organizations can apply for 15% of their pre-COVID-19 revenue, up to a maximum of $5,000 in funding.

Businesses, cooperatives and non-profits can use these funds as they see fit to help offset a portion of their relaunch costs, such as implementing measures to minimize the risk of virus transmission, which could include:
  • physical barriers
  • purchasing personal protective equipment and disinfecting supplies
  • paying rent and employee wages
  • replacing inventory and more

Application intake will remain open until August 31 or for 4 weeks following the start of Phase 3 of Alberta’s Relaunch Strategy – whichever is later. An official date for intake closure will be posted when Phase 3 of Alberta’s Relaunch Strategy is announced.

Alberta Biz Connect

Workplace guidance and supports to help businesses and non-profits affected by COVID-19 begin to reopen and resume operations safely.


Alberta's Recovery Plan


Alberta builds stronger softwood lumber case

A World Trade Organization (WTO) panel responsible for reviewing the softwood lumber dispute has released its final report with findings highly favourable to Canada.

In 16 of the 19 claims raised, the WTO panel was in favour of Canada. This includes issues such as the U.S. Department of Commerce’s (USDOC) not considering relevant information submitted by provinces and not making appropriate adjustments to consider their specific market conditions.

The report comes after the USDOC imposed both countervailing and anti-dumping tariffs on Canadian softwood lumber exports to the U.S. in April 2017. Canada, with the support of the provinces and industry, including Alberta’s government and the Alberta Forest Products Association, initiated the WTO challenge of the countervailing duty determination in November 2017.  

Alberta looks forward to U.S. implementation of the WTO panel’s report, but recognizes that there will be further lengthy legal processes ahead. In the meantime, it is expected that the findings will guide future legal decisions, and further solidify Canada’s position that U.S. duties applied to Canadian softwood lumber are unfair and unwarranted.

MORE INFORMATION
Tracy Allard, MLA for Grande Prairie, added to Alberta cabinet team as new Minister of Municipal Affairs

https://www.alberta.ca/release.cfm?xID=7309383860F19-ABEC-E8E1-8216D1763D2C9B45
Learn About Proposed Changes to the Business License Bylaw 
 
The City of Grande Prairie is proposing changes to the Business License Bylaw to support business retention, investment attraction, and overall economic growth by providing the City and industry with an understanding of the local business landscape. 
 
Register to attend an online information session on September 9, where you will learn about the proposed changes to the Bylaw. Can’t make it? Take the City’s online survey! Submission deadline extended until September 11.  
 
Details about the Business License Bylaw, information session, and survey are on the City’s engagement website: https://engage.cityofgp.com/business-license-bylaw-review
The Economic Recovery Program has been developed by the City of Grande Prairie to support businesses in the creation of employment and recovery activities in the wake of the COVID-19 Global Pandemic. Phase One of the program includes $450,00 for the Beautification and Patio Grant and $50,000 for the Local Marketing Grant.
 
The Beautification & Patio Grant matches 50% of Project Costs for up to a maximum $15,000 for any Façade improvement, landscaping or patio project that improves aesthetic appeal, pedestrian access and safety according to the Program Guidelines. Click here for full application details for the Beautification & Patio Grant.
 
The Local Marketing Grant matches up to 50% of Project Costs, to a maximum of $2,500 for the creation of a marketing plan or marketing content. Or, a grant equal to 75% Project Costs, to a maximum of $7,500 for the creation of a collaborative marketing plan or project involving three or more businesses. Click here for full application details for the Local Marketing Grant.
The City and County of Grande Prairie No. 1 have partnered to encourage residents in the region to voluntarily wear non-medical face masks in public areas where physical distancing of two-metres is not possible.

According to Alberta Health, wearing a non-medical mask can help slow the spread of COVID-19 but should be complemented with other prevention measures including:
• Practice physical distancing, at least 2-metres apart
• Self-isolate if you’re feeling sick
• Wash/sanitize your hands frequently
• Cover coughs and sneeze
• Avoid touching your face

Visit masktogether.ca for more information, or read the full press release for details: https://bit.ly/2QkSb8T.
Here is the recording of the recent County of Grande Prairie Business Support Network’sMastering the Pandemic – Finding Success Amid the Chaos” session 2.

We hosted several local organizations as they shared their stories and challenges due to the pandemic lockdown.
 
Please listen as our guests offered insight, best practices and future plans that will assist them in remaining resilient in time of uncertainty.
 
Watch our YouTube video at this link: https://youtu.be/U66jZev_hw4
 
If you are interested in sharing your story with us please let us know as we would like to continue showcasing our businesses.
 
Upcoming event
 
Our next free roundtable via zoom is on September 8th at 9:00 AM. Join us as the group is invited to talk about trends, issues, ask for assistance, offer support or connect with the business supports and other businesses.
 
Please register on our Eventbrite page here
 
The County of Grande Prairie Business Support Network (CGPBSN) is an ongoing group of businesses, business organizations, and government, who identify and work together to address business and workforce challenges in the region.

The partnerships formed through the CGPBSN contribute to the long-term sustainability of the region and its surrounding areas.

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions for our group, please feel free to reach out to Hetti Huls at hhuls@countygp.ab.ca
RBC ‘Corporate Canada’, business associations, major media partners, and chambers of commerce and boards of trade from coast to coast have teamed up to start a movement, Canada United, where everyday Canadians and large businesses come together in support of small and local businesses.

RBC and partners are contributing 5¢ to the Canada United Small Business Relief Fund for each social view or like in connection with the Canada United program. This fund will assist with recovery in communities across the country.

Give local businesses your business today, or join us August 28, 29 and 30 for a national Canada United Weekend. We want the country to shop and dine local to help small businesses recover and kickstart our economy.

Are you a business that wants to participate in the August 28-30 Canada United Weekend? Use our NEW Small Business Kit for some quick and easy ways to participate.

Or, do you want to learn how to apply for a relief grant through the Canada United Small Business Relief Fund? Learn more.