Chamber Chatter - June 16 2020
Connecting Business. Creating Opportunity.
Stage two of relaunch underway

  • Low active COVID-19 case numbers means stage two of Alberta’s relaunch strategy is underway.
  • More businesses, sport and recreation services will be open. Some larger gatherings will be permitted.
  • Public health guidance must be followed.
  • Stage three depends on success in stage two. Success will be determined by the following factors: active case numbers, infection rates, health-care system capacity based on the number of cases in hospital and intensive care.
  • For more information, visit

Supporting Alberta businesses through relaunch

  • The Alberta Biz Connect web page has health and safety guidelines for general workplaces, and sector-specific guidelines. As we have entered stage two, businesses are encouraged to continue to check for new and updated guidance documents.
  • A template on the Biz Connect website can help businesses plan how to protect employees and patrons from infection. Completing the template is voluntary.

Grande Prairie Regional Hospital construction to be completed in June - Everything GP

Alberta’s Infrastructure Minister says construction of the Grande Prairie Regional Hospital will be completed by the end of June.

The announcement was made during oral question period in the legislature Monday afternoon, as Grande Prairie MLA Tracy Allard rose to seek an update on the progress of construction at the long delayed hospital.

Minister Prasad Panda responded by saying the construction portion of the hospital was pretty much complete.

“Mister Speaker, I am really, really, really thrilled to inform this house that we are just a few feet away from the finish line on this project, and later this month Alberta Infrastructure will turn over the keys to Alberta Health Services for commissioning the services in the building.”

Allard said it was good news to hear the construction was nearly completed, but at the same time sought more details from Health Minister Tyler Shandro on what the commissioning process would look like and how long that would take.

Shandro explained the commissioning process includes cleaning, installation and testing of equipment and training of staff.

“It also includes the implementation of Connect Care, the province wide health information network,” said Shandro. “AHS is aiming to have the bulk of the work done and complete this year, but with the impact of the pandemic, we’ll have to wait to see for a firm date (of opening) later in the process.”

Minister Panda also commended Allard on her advocacy to get the project completed, which has been slammed with delays since 2011.

The Hon. Travis Toews, MLA Grande Prairie-Wapiti , will host an in-person Town Hall this Friday in order to seek the perspective of Constituents, answer questions, and share news with people face to face!

Date: June 19, 2020
Time: 7:00 pm
Location: 25 minutes east of Grande Prairie (more details to be provided to registered guests)

This Town Hall is limited to 50 participants due to parking constraints.    

If you would like to attend, please respond with attendees, including names, phone numbers, and email addresses, and it will be followed up with more specific information, until the limit of 50 is reached.

Another  Chamber Virtual Business Showcase  is set for Thursday, June 25 from 5:00-7:00 PM on Zoom. Attendees are encouraged to "bring their own snacks and beverages" and will be able to ask questions of the exhibitors about their businesses. Members will be able to book a "booth", or in this case a chance to promote their operations, services, and products. To register please  CLICK HERE  and for more information, contact Cindy in our office by phone at 780-532-5340 or email . PLEASE REGISTER BEFORE TUESDAY, JUNE 23 TO CONFIRM NUMBERS!

Let us help you spread the word! Send us an ad for our Connections newsletter, get us to re-share your posts on social media, or  put your name up in lights aka our Digital Sign outside Centre 2000 on 116 Avenue!

For more information on Digital Sign reopening advertising, please contact Leah in our office by phone at 780-532-5340 or email for EXCLUSIVE RATES FOR CHAMBER MEMBERS!
The Chamber of Commerce along with the City of Grande Prairie and County of Grande Prairie are working together to provide a unified approach to supporting local businesses.

On our website is a list of resources to help you navigate various levels of financial support. We update this page as often as we can to provide additional resources.

We are also working with the Grande Prairie Regional Emergency Partnership on their Business Relaunch initiative including the Ambassador program, access to Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), and more.

Keep showing us on Facebook what you’re doing to #LoveLocalGP and you could win up to $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
3) tag the business you are supporting and share a photo if possible
4) tag the Chamber, City and County to help us notice your post!

All prizes are in the form of Chamber Cheques redeemable at any of our 13 hundred members

There are 4 draws weekly of $100 through the end of June; plus TWO more bonus draws of $750 and $1500.
Ballad Consulting Group's Fundamentals of Supply Chain Management training program is set to kick off July 26th in Grande Prairie and we are actively recruiting participants to join the program. It is fully funded by the Government of Alberta for clients accessing EI or CERB. 

More information about the program can be found on our website:

Emergency Community Support Fund

Community Foundation of Northwestern Alberta  is activating the Emergency Community Support Fund alongside communities coast to coast to coast.

Vulnerable populations across Canada continue to be disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Marginalized groups, youth, children and the elderly, essential workers, and newcomers are just some of the communities that are facing increased challenges right now.

Launched on May 19, 2020, the  Government of Canada’s new Emergency Community Support Fund (ECSF)  aims to provide additional and much-needed assistance to charities and non-profit organizations serving vulnerable populations.

The Government of Canada is flowing funds through national networks, including  Community Foundations of Canada United Way Centraide Canada  and the  Canadian Red Cross .

We are proud to be working with CFC and the Government of Canada to deliver funding locally in the Northwestern Alberta area to ensure our most vulnerable citizens are safe and healthy.

Through the ECSF, we will be investing in local charities and qualified donees supporting vulnerable populations. Learn more about the program and find out if your organization is eligible to apply by clicking here:

Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF)

The Government of Canada and Community Futures organizations (CFs) understand the difficulties the COVID-19 pandemic has caused the small business community throughout the West. As a result, the Government of Canada has made funds available to the CFs to provide support and assistance to SMEs through the rural stream of the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF).

Small business owners impacted as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic can apply for loans up to $40,000 through the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF).

The Regional Relief and Recovery Fund provides funding to support businesses that have not been approved for supports through the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) or the Emergency Loan Program delivered through Aboriginal Financial Institutions.

What are your priorities for an economic recovery?

The  Alberta Chambers of Commerce  network is asking business leaders to share their insights by taking a short survey to help us advocate your priorities to support job creators and communities.

Please take the survey: 

The survey––which is designed for business representatives who operate in Alberta––will be open until June 30, 2020.
ACC network meeting with CMHC: Recap

Our Chamber participated in a very informative Zoom discussion with our friends from the Alberta Chambers and CMHC representatives on the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) program. Sacha Knorr from the Beaumont Chamber took  notes  throughout the meeting and has kindly shared them for reference.
More small businesses can soon access the Canada Emergency Business Account

Minister of Finance Bill Morneau  announced  that as of Friday, June 19, 2020, applications will be accepted so that more small businesses can access the  Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA). This means that owner-operated small businesses that had been ineligible for the program due to their lack of payroll, sole proprietors receiving business income directly, as well as family-owned corporations remunerating in the form of dividends rather than payroll will become eligible this week. 
Edmonton Chamber webinar: Alberta relaunch

This Thursday, June 18, from 10:00-11:00 AM subject matter specialists will provide their insights into how to adapt and respond to changing business conditions under COVID-19 restrictions. Please  register online  by Wednesday, June 17 at 4:00 PM.

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce and Canadian Business Resilience Network are pleased to provide you with various webinars, free-of-charge, to help you and your organization operate and thrive amid COVID-19. 

Physical Return To Work: Practical Realities And Transformative Opportunities

June 17 | 1:00 PM MT
In partnership with EY

Organizations are faced with a new duality of safely transitioning people back to physical locations while reimagining the future of work and business. This discussion will include: 
  • Operational resilience 
  • Health and safety considerations for a physical return to work 
  • Technology and cybersecurity concerns 
  • The workforce of the future

Take Control Of Your Business: 3 Simple Tools To Help Your Business Survive And Thrive

June 22 | 11:30 AM MT
In partnership with Sysential

Learn about three simple and essential tools to help your business survive and thrive in a period of extreme uncertainty. Sysential works with entrepreneurial organizations, specifically their owners and leaders, to get more of what they want from their business by helping implement proven tools and a complete business system called EOS - the Entrepreneurial Operating System®. 

Building A Resilient Workforce That Can Thrive In The Next Normal 

June 23 | 11:00 AM MT
In collaboration with Deloitte

An estimated 2.7 billion workers worldwide have been affected by full or partial lockdowns, according to the United Nations' labour body, the International Labour Organization. Deloitte's  2020 Global Human Capital Trends report, The social enterprise at work: Paradox as a path forward , comes at a time when the pandemic has forced a rethink of workforce strategies. 

This discussion will focus on the big workforce issues affecting work, workers, workplace, culture and leadership that organizations must consider to create a resilient workforce prepared to thrive in our next normal.

How To Build An Effective Advertising Strategy

June 24 | 11:00 AM MT
In partnership with Facebook

You're ready to advertise but need a strategy and a plan. We'll walk through how to define your advertising goals and objectives, reach your target audience at the right time and place, and learn to measure a successful advertising campaign.