Chamber Chatter - July 21 2020
Connecting Business. Creating Opportunity.
2020 CANWEST CHAMBER MEMBER GOLF CLASSIC

Thursday, August 13, 2020
Bear Creek Golf Club

  • Registration
  • Shotgun Start
  • Buffet Dinner served by Course Staff and can be eaten on site or taken home
  • Mulligan and Grand Prize Draws
  • 4-Person Texas Scramble Format

Member Registration: $150+GST/person; ($600+GST/four-person team)
Green Fees, Power Carts, and Supper included

* Please contact Cindy Simigan at  cindy@gpchamber.com  for sponsorship opportunities and for more information.
 
 
THANK YOU TO OUR TITLE SPONSOR:
CANWEST GROUP BENEFIT CONSULTANTS
 
OTHER SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES: 
WATERING HOLE SPONSOR
MNP

LUNCH SPONSOR
(one available)

GRAND PRIZE SPONSOR
(one available)

TEAM CART SPONSORS
County of Grande Prairie
Alliance Disposal
(two more available)

BEVERAGE CART SPONSORS
(two available)

HOLE IN ONE SPONSORS
Paradise Inn & Conference Centre
Roger Arcand Professional Corp.
(two more available)

HOLE SPONSORS
Community Futures Grande Prairie & Region
Grande Prairie Regional Tourism Association
Northern Doors
Sherry Drysdale, Mortgage Associate, Dominion Lending
(ten more available)

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.
The Chamber of Commerce along with the City of Grande Prairie and County of Grande Prairie are working together as a Business Resiliency Taskforce 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 and reopening guidelines.

Digital Marketing Training

The Business Resiliency Taskforce has partnered with Community Futures Grande Prairie & Region and nine10 Inc. to offer pragmatic and in-depth digital marketing training to local businesses that have been impacted by COVID-19.

The purpose of the program is to equip local businesses with the skills and knowledge to grow their business utilizing the latest digital marketing tools. The areas of focus will be digital content strategy, branding & visual identity, web design tools and applications, social media, search engine marketing and websites & e-commerce.

Once complete, businesses will come out of the workshop with the knowledge to grow their social following, enhance their visual brand, run effective marketing campaigns, and setup a powerful website.

While the value of the program is estimated at $4,000 per business, thanks to the partnership and municipal funding, businesses will have access to the program for $250.

Due to the experiential and hands on format of the workshops, space is limited so businesses are encouraged to apply early. Applications for the program open July 21 and will be accepted until August 5. Digital onboarding will begin at the end of August with in-person training beginning mid-September. 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.

For full program details and eligibility or to apply, visit grandeprairiechamber.com/covid-19-business-resiliency/ 
Applications are now open for the Small and Medium Enterprise Relaunch Grant.

The grant offers financial assistance to Alberta businesses, cooperatives, and non-profit organizations that were ordered to close or curtail operations, and those that experienced a revenue reduction of at least 50 per cent, 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.

The Government of Alberta is providing $15 million to buy and install new laboratory equipment in health facilities in Edmonton and northern Alberta including Grande Prairie.

New centrifuges, microscopes, analyzers and other pieces of essential equipment will ensure people living in and around Edmonton and across northern Alberta will continue to have access to top-of-the-line diagnostic and treatment services.

Learn more by CLICKING HERE
As part of the newly constructed Grande Prairie Regional Hospital, the Government of Alberta is building a new 28-bed mental health unit and 32-bed inpatient unit for medicinal and surgical space.

The 28-bed mental health unit will consist of: 14 adult beds, six psychiatric intensive care unit beds, four youth beds and four geriatric beds.

Construction will begin this month and is expected to be complete in July 2021. This phase of the project is expected to support 184 construction and related jobs in the Grande Prairie area.

Investing in jobs, innovation for natural gas sector
Alberta’s government is investing in 20 new projects that will create more than 750 jobs while reducing emissions in the natural gas sector.

In October 2019, Emissions Reduction Alberta (ERA) launched the Natural Gas Challenge and invited technology developers to share project concepts for innovation opportunities in Alberta’s natural gas industry. Alberta’s government is providing $58 million through ERA to support this opportunity to create more than 750 jobs in the natural gas sector.

The 20 new projects have the potential to reduce a cumulative one million tonnes of emissions by 2030 – the same as taking about 750,000 cars off Alberta’s roads.

For more information, CLICK HERE .
Funding boost for unemployed apprentices
Financial support will help about 3,300 unemployed apprenticeships continue their training.

Eligible apprentices under the Apprentice Training Award will now receive $1,500 during their classroom instruction period, up from $1,000 offered when the program began in 2016.

Financial support is designed to assist apprentices who are unemployed continue in their apprenticeship program. The funds are intended to help apprentices manage costs like tuition, books, material fees, tools, transportation and living expenses during their classroom instruction period.

Eligible apprentices will be notified about how to apply for the Apprentice Training Award once they begin their classroom instruction. Eligible apprentices will begin receiving the increased award in September 2020. Information is available at  tradesecrets.ab.ca .
ACC signs national joint letter to address recipe for disaster looming for the food services industry

On Monday, the Alberta Chambers of Commerce (ACC) joined the Canadian Chamber of Commerce , Restaurants Canada, businesses, and chambers of commerce and boards of trade across Canada to call on all orders of government to urgently address the damaging impacts of COVID-19 on Canada's food services industry.

"Restaurants play a vital economic, social, and cultural role in communities across our province and our country. They have long been places to celebrate milestones, experience different cuisines, and connect with friends and family––all while contributing significantly to local, provincial, and national economies," says ACC President and CEO Ken Kobly. "Unfortunately, COVID-19 and ongoing physical distancing requirements mean Canada's restaurant industry has lost a devastating 800,000 jobs since the beginning of the pandemic. The food services industry already operates on razor-thin margins and can't take much more."

Prior to COVID-19, Canada's restaurant industry directly created one out of every 15 jobs (1.2 million Canadians), served 22 million meals per day to Canadians, operated nearly 100,000 establishments, paid Canadians $30 billion in wages and benefits, and contributed $31 billion annually to Canada's GDP. Today, revenues are off by 60 and 70 per cent while business operators continue to pay nearly full pre-COVID costs––an untenable situation.

Today's letter outlines where government programs have supported the industry while identifying key gaps where immediate action is required to prevent irreparable harm to the food services industry.

"Food service operators have acted quickly and creatively to adapt to the reality of COVID-19. Whether by shifting to delivery and curbside pickup, developing meal kits and cook-at-home products, or creating distanced and safe eat-in spaces, we've seen first hand the innovation and flexibility of Alberta's entrepreneurs," says Kobly. "However, there's only so much an industry can take. Governments need to act quickly to make sure we don't lose this vibrant industry for good."

Read the  joint letter .
On July 25, make a purchase from a local small business, add your name to the big spend list, and share on social using #TheBigSpend

Leading Influence, a national not-for-profit organization, is launching an idea called " The Big Spend ." The Big Spend is about challenging every Canadian wage earner to spend on purpose in a locally owned business on one day (July 25th). It's a collaborative effort of community groups, chambers of commerce, business associations, etc. that are partnering together and leveraging their networks to support a crucial sector of our national economy. This is a non-partisan, non-political initiative intended to benefit communities across Canada.

Three grants are available for downtown businesses looking to improve vibrancy in our downtown core. Get all the details here:  https://bit.ly/2OxCYA8
County of Grande Prairie seeking to add Highway 40X as an economic stimulus project

  • Story by Shaun Penner, EverythingGP

The County of Grande Prairie is pushing to see the Highway 40X ring road southwest of Grande Prairie be added to the province’s list of economic stimulus projects.

A motion was passed at last week’s County Council meeting for Council to contact Grande Prairie-Wapiti MLA and Minister of Finance Travis Toews to have the project added to the list of proposals. The ring road would see a connection be built between the intersection of Highway 43 and Highway 43X west of city limits, going south to connect it with Highway 40 south of Grande Prairie.

County of Grande Prairie Reeve Leanne Beaupre knows with the amount of heavy traffic on area roads, the completion of such a bypass would not only be beneficial to the County but the City of Grande Prairie as well.

“They [the City of Grande Prairie] really have felt the impact of all the heavy industrial traffic as it moves around the City, or tries to move through the City,” said Beaupre.

“Wapiti Road, if anybody travels on it, has really seen a lot of traffic. This will help alleviate some of those issues. Not only for the City but for those industry members that are trying to get around the City without having to go right through the middle of it.”

Beaupre says the project is near shovel ready status, as she says Alberta Transportation has completed its consultation with affected landowners and stakeholders and has secured the alignment to get the road built.

“So, it’s just a matter of doing the detailed design and actually investing the money in it to build the infrastructure.”

The ask comes as the twinning of a 19-kilometre section of Highway 40 south of the City is slated to begin in the coming months, and also follows the completion of the Highway 43X bypass from Range Road 63 to Highway 43 West last fall.

With that, the completion of the Highway 40X road would an excellent addition to the expanded infrastructure for Beaupre, as she says during her entire career on Council, finding ways to alleviate traffic on area roads has always been a high priority.

“I’ve been around for 15 years and we’ve been discussing the amount of traffic that travels to try and find its way to Highway 40 because of the large industrial activity that happens in the area.

“So, we’ve been speaking to the province of Alberta and the different ministers over many years about completing some sort of a ring road or heavy haul path for them.”
The County of Grande Prairie Business Support Network is proud to host the 2nd session in the series “Mastering the Pandemic- Finding Success Amid the Chaos on August 11 at 9:00 am and will host Grande Prairie Regional College – Continuing Education Department, Revolution Group, Maddhatters and Better than Fred’s.
 
Join us as we listen to how our local groups have pivoted to remain resilient. Learn what their best practices have become, mistakes that were made, or things they would have done differently. There is plenty of time for questions.
 
Please see the link countygp-bsn.eventbrite.ca for more information on this and future events.
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:  https://balladgroup.ca/courses/fundamentals-of-supply-chain-management/
Working Remotely Through a Crisis & Flex Work Long Term | Webinar with CWB

You’re invited to join the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and CWB Financial for a webinar on Wednesday, July 22 at 11:00 AM MDT to discuss the future of working remotely through a crisis and long term outlook for flex work essential to all organization and business owners.

What resources are in place to assist teams to be set up in productive new work environments and supporting mental health? How do Chambers of Commerce, associations and business owners support their employees and teams? What are the major cyber security threats for SMEs during and post-pandemic?