Chamber Chatter - June 9 2020
Connecting Business. Creating Opportunity.
Alberta moves to stage two of relaunch
Strong testing data shows active COVID-19 cases in Alberta are lower than expected, meaning stage two of the relaunch strategy can safely begin on June 12, a week sooner than expected.

Albertans can enjoy additional activities in their daily lives while the province continues to open up the economy.

Current data from June 8 show only 355 active cases and 44 people in hospital across Alberta. This is a decrease of almost 70 per cent in active cases since May 14 – when the province began stage one of the Alberta Relaunch Strategy. With its robust approach to testing, Alberta has performed more COVID-19 tests per capita than most other jurisdictions in the world.

As the province enters stage two of relaunch, safety remains the top priority. More businesses, sport and recreation services can open if they are ready. Some larger gatherings for seated audience events will be permitted. In all cases, public health guidance must be followed.

A new interactive map will help Albertans understand the level of risk in their community and learn about any enhanced health measures at the local level, giving additional information on what they need to do to keep themselves and their loved ones safe and protected. Currently, no communities in Alberta need locally targeted enhanced measures.

What can open with restrictions
  • K-12 schools, for requested diploma exams and summer school, following guidance
  • Libraries
  • More surgeries
  • Wellness services such as massage, acupuncture and reflexology
  • Personal services (esthetics, cosmetic skin and body treatments, manicures, pedicures, waxing, facial treatment, artificial tanning)
  • Indoor recreation, fitness, and sports, including gyms and arenas
  • Movie theatres and theatres
  • Community halls
  • Team sports
  • Pools for leisure swimming
  • VLTs in restaurants and bars
  • Casinos and bingo halls (but not table games)
  • Instrumental concerts
The 50 per cent capacity limit for provincial campgrounds is also being lifted. Over the coming days, the online reservation system will be updated and sites will come online in phases. By July 1, all camping sites will be open for reservations. First-come, first-served sites may open sooner. Information on additional sites will be added to  alberta.parks.ca  when they become available.

Events and gatherings can be larger in stage two
Maximum 50 people:
  • Indoor social gatherings – including wedding and funeral receptions, and birthday parties
Maximum 100 people:
  • Outdoor events and indoor seated/audience events – including wedding and funeral ceremonies
No cap on the number of people (with public health measures and physical distancing in place):
  • Worship gatherings
  • Restaurants, cafés, lounges and bars
  • Casinos
  • Bingo halls
There is more flexibility for ‘cohort’ groups – small groups of people whose members do not always keep two metres apart:
  • A household can increase its close interactions with other households to a maximum of 15 people
  • Performers can have a cohort of up to 50 people (cast members or performers)
  • Sports teams can play in region-only cohorts of up to 50 players (mini leagues)
  • People could be part of a sports/performing and household cohort
Everyone is encouraged to follow public health guidelines and notify others in the cohort(s) if they have symptoms or test positive for COVID-19. If they do test positive or have symptoms, mandatory isolation is required.

Still not approved in stage two
  • Social gatherings that exceed above listed maximums
  • Regular in-school classes for kindergarten to Grade 12. Classes will resume September 2020
  • Vocal concerts (as singing carries a higher risk of transmission)
  • Major festivals and concerts, large conferences, trade shows and events (as these are non-seated social events and/or vocal concerts)
  • Nightclubs
  • Amusement parks
  • Hookah lounges (permitted for food and drink only)
  • Major sporting events and tournaments
  • Non-essential travel outside the province is not recommended. This recommendation will not be lifted until stage three of the relaunch strategy.
The success of stage two will determine when Alberta progresses to stage three. Factors are active cases, health-care system capacity, hospitalization and intensive care unit (ICU) cases, and infection rates. For more information, visit  alberta.ca/RelaunchStrategy .

Quick facts
  • Relaunch stages include an evaluation and monitoring period to determine if restrictions should be adjusted. Triggers that will inform decisions include active cases, hospitalizations and intensive care unit (ICU) occupancy.
  • Active cases, the percentage of positive results and the rate of infection will be monitored to inform proactive responses in localized areas of the province.
  • Decisions will be applied at both provincial and local levels, where necessary. While restrictions are gradually eased across the province, an outbreak may mean that they need to be strengthened temporarily in a local area.
  • Physical distancing and good hygiene are the most important measures to prevent respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19.
  • Clean your hands regularly for at least 20 seconds, avoid touching your face, cough or sneeze into your elbow or sleeve, and dispose of tissues appropriately.

Related information

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
2) MAKE YOUR POST PUBLIC
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 https://business.grandeprairiechamber.com/directory

There are 4 draws weekly of $100 through the end of June; plus THREE more bonus draws of $500, $750 and $1500.
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:

ACC launches survey on economic recovery, provincial priorities

EDMONTON — The Alberta Chambers of Commerce has launched the most recent survey of its Alberta Perspectives market research program––this one focused on economic recovery and provincial priorities following COVID-19 and record-low oil prices.

The survey––which is designed for business representatives who operate in Alberta––will be open until June 30, 2020. The Alberta chambers network, with 122 community chambers throughout the province, will then use the data to inform local and provincial government advocacy. The ACC will also be launching a public survey to gain additional perspectives on current issues and priorities.

"This has been an incredibly challenging and emotional time for so many Albertans," says ACC President and CEO Ken Kobly. "As a result, there are a wide variety of opinions out there as well as, unfortunately, a lot of misinformation. This survey is designed to give us high-quality, representative data––ensuring the actions we take in this recovery stage address the most pressing needs of Alberta's job creators."

The survey is available at  https://albertaperspectives.vision-critical.com/c/a/6WUibjXwZtm7YLy9Y9BQWi . To share the survey, please copy and paste the link as shown rather than sharing the unique URL from your browser.

Despite relaunch, Alberta businesses anticipate slow recovery

As Alberta moves into the relaunch phase of its COVID-19 economic response, 80 per cent of businesses expect a slow economic recovery—a six-point increase since April.

Non-medical masks available to Albertans

Albertans can now access 20 million free, non-medical  face masks  to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. People can visit one of almost 600 A&W, McDonald’s Canada, or Tim Hortons drive-thrus in the province to receive four non-medical masks. Masks are free and no purchase is necessary.

New relaunch supports and commercial tenancy measures

The government will continue to provide Alberta’s businesses and non-profits with  additional supports  as they deal with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, including:
  • up to $200 million in funding for eligible businesses and non-profits to access up to $5,000 to offset a portion of their relaunch costs and
  • further measures including legislation to ensure commercial tenants will not face rent increases or be evicted for non-payment of rent due to the COVID-19 public health emergency.

Stage 2 town hall recordings: NEW LINK

Economic Development Minister Tanya Fir recently hosted a series of telephone town halls with Dr. Hinshaw to consult with impacted industries on stage 2 of relaunch. The audio recordings of these conversations are now available via  Dropbox .

CBRN Roadmap to Recovery

The Canadian Business Resilience Network launched  Roadmap to Recovery , which takes a comprehensive look at the challenges facing our economy and identifies 51 specific recommendations governments should adopt to overcome the challenges identified. 

CCC webinar: Physical return to work: Practical realities and transformative opportunities

On June 17 at 1 p.m. MT, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce will be joined by three EY professionals for a virtual roundtable, where they'll discuss the realities and opportunities of the physical return to work and how this evolving situation is encouraging organizations to reimagine their work environment and workforce model.  Register online .

Now Accepting Applications: CBRN Small Business Relief Fund

Applications are now open for the Canadian Business Resilience Network Small Business Relief Fund ! We are offering grants to Canadian small businesses that have been adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic to help them recover and support their resilience. These grants are made possible through the generosity of Salesforce and will be offered as a one-time payment of $10,000 to 62 businesses across the country. Applications are being accepted until Friday, June 12, 2020 at 6:00 p.m. MT.

A New Support Program From Canada Post 

As part of Canada Post’s Think Small support program, from now until August 31, 2020, you can benefit from a quick, easy and cost-effective way to promote your business to your local community. 

If you have a promotion you’d like to share, or if you just want to remind your neighbours that you’re open for business and ready to serve them, Canada Post is offering two direct mail promotional offers to help you do just that.

Does your company require PPE as Canada returns to work?

As Canada's industries return to work, there is an increased demand for PPE. The Rapid Response Platform automatically matches supply with demand, simplifying supplier discovery during the procurement process.

Questions? Contact  contact@rrpcanada.com