Chamber Chatter - July 28 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
Alliance Disposal
County of Grande Prairie
(two more available)

BEVERAGE CART SPONSORS
(two available)

HOLE IN ONE SPONSORS
CMB Insurance Brokers
Paradise Inn & Conference Centre
Roger Arcand Professional Corp.
(one more available)

HOLE SPONSORS
City of Grande Prairie
Community Futures Grande Prairie & Region
Grande Prairie Regional Tourism Association
Northern Doors
Sherry Drysdale, Mortgage Associate, Dominion Lending
(nine 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/ 
Alberta municipalities to share $1.1 billion for infrastructure projects

EDMONTON, AB– Over one billion-dollars will help get Albertans working, support municipal and public transit operating costs, and create thousands of good-paying jobs.

The province announced they are providing municipalities with $500 million in additional funding to build shovel-ready infrastructure projects starting in 2020.

Alberta will match the $233 million in federal funding to support municipal operating costs during the pandemic and $70 million to support public transit operating costs for a total of $606 million.

The $500 million will boost municipal infrastructure funding by almost 30 per cent, and create an estimated 2,500 jobs from projects that will begin construction in 2020 or 2021.

Municipalities and Metis Settlements may begin applying for funding to build roads, bridges, water, and wastewater treatment plants, and other important infrastructure that would not have been built at this time without the stimulus.

Premier Jason Kenney says job creation is important during this pandemic.
“The past five months have been tough for Albertans as we faced the global coronavirus recession, the unprecedented collapse of energy prices, and the COVID-19 pandemic. But Albertans are resilient, and Alberta’s Recovery Plan is a bold plan to build, diversify, and create jobs.”

“This investment will provide municipalities with the funding they need to get through the crisis, create good jobs now, and build the infrastructure that will fuel economic growth in our province for generations to come.”

This $500-million in additional municipal infrastructure is part of the more than $10 billion infrastructure spending announced as part of Alberta’s Recovery Plan.
Government legislation to support Canadian workers, businesses, persons with disabilities, and legal rights receives Royal Assent

Bill C-20, An Act respecting further COVID-19 measures, received Royal Assent, ensuring that the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) will continue to protect jobs by helping businesses keep employees on the payroll and encouraging employers to re-hire workers previously laid off. The broader and better targeted CEWS will make sure that Canadian workers and businesses are in a better position as our economy safely re-opens.

Specifically, the changes introduced in Bill C-20 will:
  • Allow the extension of the CEWS until December 19, 2020, including redesigned program details until November 21, 2020.
  • Make the subsidy more accessible to a broader range of employers by providing a gradually decreasing base subsidy to all eligible employers that are experiencing a decline in revenues. This will help many struggling employers with less than a 30-per-cent revenue loss get support to keep and bring back workers, while also ensuring those who have previously benefited could still qualify, even if their revenues recover and no longer meet the 30 per cent revenue decline threshold.
  • Introduce a top-up subsidy of up to an additional 25 per cent for employers that have been most adversely affected by the COVID-19 crisis. This will be particularly helpful to employers in industries that are recovering more slowly.
  • Provide certainty to employers that have already made business decisions for July and August by ensuring they will not receive a subsidy rate lower than they would have under the previous rules.
  • Address technical issues with the CEWS identified by stakeholders, for example by providing continuity rules to address circumstances where an employer purchased all or substantially all of another entity’s business assets.
  • Make the proposed amendments to the CEWS previously introduced in Bill C-17, An Act respecting additional COVID-19 measures.

For more information, CLICK HERE
The Canada Revenue Agency announces an extension to the payment deadline and offers interest relief on outstanding tax debts during the COVID-19 pandemic

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation, and is committed to supporting Canadians throughout it. The CRA understands that individuals and businesses might be dealing with difficulties in meeting their financial obligations, including paying tax debts they may have incurred prior to the crisis. In addition to  measures already announced , the CRA is extending the payment deadline and applying relief to interest on existing debt.

For more information, CLICK HERE.
The Conference Board of Canada (CBoC) released its report,  A Rising Tide: The Economic Impact of B.C.’s liquefied natural gas industry .

Here are some relevant highlights:
 
  • Between 2020 and 2064, total annual investment would average over $11 billion, totalling in excess of $500 billion over the entire period.
  • More than $90 billion in revenue could be generated for provinces and territories in Canada. 
  • For Canada as a whole, LNG would mean 96,550 more jobs a year and over $6 billion in wages.
  • Alberta’s GDP could see a $1.6-billion bump
  • Alberta would see a gain of nearly 10,000 jobs.
  • The top three sectors in Alberta that would benefit in terms of GDP gains would be Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction, over $800 million; owner-occupied dwellings, about $140 million; retail and wholesale trade, over $120 million.
  • The federal government could expect to see $64 billion in additional revenue.

For more information, CLICK HERE.
Workers’ compensation review

Albertans can share feedback on the workers’ compensation system to ensure it meets the needs of workers and employers by August 10, 2020.

Overview
The workers’ compensation system helps workers who become ill or injured on the job recover and return to work. Employers fund the system through premiums.

The Government of Alberta wants to hear feedback from Albertans to make sure the workers’ compensation system is efficient, affordable and sustainable while serving the needs of employers and workers.

Topics under review include:
  • benefits for workers
  • supports for return to work after an injury or illness
  • sustainability of the workers’ compensation system
  • enhancements of workers’ compensation processes
  • governance requirements

To provide your feedback, CLICK HERE

Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Act review

Albertans can share feedback on OHS legislation to ensure it meets the needs of workers and employers by August 12, 2020

Overview
The OHS Act helps keep Alberta workplaces safe and workers healthy by preventing work-related injuries, illnesses and fatalities.

The Government of Alberta wants to hear feedback from Albertans on ways to keep workers protected while reducing administrative burdens for businesses and employers.

Topics under review include how the OHS legislative framework can:
  • strengthen the Internal Responsibility System
  • enable innovation
  • clarify accountabilities

To provide your feedback, CLICK HERE
Alberta business community pessimistic about future

EDMONTON — The Alberta business community is pessimistic about the province's long-term future, with recent Alberta Chambers of Commerce (ACC) data showing a 26 per cent drop in confidence over the past year.

"With the twin challenges of low oil prices and the COVID-19 pandemic, it's not surprising to see business confidence drop in our province," says ACC President and CEO Ken Kobly. "However, the degree of this drop—more than 25 per cent in a single year—really underscores the fact that our business community needs our continued support as the province reopens. This crisis is far from over."

Business confidence declined 20 per cent between July 2019 and March 2020. Since March, confidence has dropped a further 6 per cent—likely due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Kobly notes that while it may be tempting to attribute the current situation to the COVID-19 pandemic, the data show the oil price decline may be an even bigger factor in the business community's outlook. When asked about contributors to Alberta's fiscal problem and growing debt, 97 per cent of respondents agreed the oil price decline contributed to the current financial situation, with 86 per cent saying it contributed "a great deal". While 96 per cent of respondents agreed COVID-19 played a role in Alberta's current situation, 72 per cent believe the pandemic contributed greatly.

"While COVID-19 has certainly worsened our province's financial situation, business confidence began to decline long before the current health crisis," says Kobly. "Any economic recovery plan needs to account for the longstanding issues plaguing our economy, as well as the more recent impacts of COVID-19."


Thank you to everyone in our area who participated in the survey. For the Northwest specific results, please CLICK HERE.
New Opportunity for Local Food Service Provider in Muskoseepi Park
 
A unique and exciting opportunity is currently available for a local entrepreneur to provide food and beverage services in Muskoseepi Park at the Ernie Radbourne Pavilion.

Expressions of interest for the leased kitchen are being accepted until August 10. Hours of operation will be proposed by the business as the City recognizes the seasonality and variable hours and traffic of the facility.
 
For more information or to submit an Expression of Interest for Leased Space,  please visit the City of Grande Prairie website .
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.
Deloitte Canada’s In-Depth Analysis Of The Canadian Survey On Business Conditions

On July 14, Statistics Canada released the second wave of the Canadian Survey on Business Conditions (CSBC), with the support of our organization. The purpose of the CSBC is to measure the impact of COVID-19 on Canadian businesses, which in turn can inform decision-making to mitigate the impact and improve responses. In collaboration with Deloitte Canada, we have now made available infographics that take a deep dive into the data and what it reveals about the situation for Canadian businesses as they navigate the pandemic.

WEBINAR: July 29, 2:00 p.m. ET | Navigating Your Business To Recovery, Hosted By Desjardins

Have questions about navigating through government support programs? Want to learn more about e-commerce and cybersecurity? Or maybe you have questions about labour laws during the pandemic? Join this packed webinar to hear from experts on:
  • Navigating government support programs.
  • Leveraging online in the ‘’new normal’’ for growth while understanding how to manage risk (cybersecurity/privacy).
  • An employers’ guide to reopening the workplace from a legal standpoint.

WEBINAR: August 10, 2:00 p.m. ET | The Key To Employee Well-Being During And After The Pandemic, Hosted By Desjardins

COVID-19 has seriously shaken things up for Canadians, in both their professional and personal lives. With our new normal, which—for many of us—means teleworking and homeschooling, we're seeing an uptick in health problems that organizations and insurers need to address and adapt to. In this webinar, we'll be looking at how overall health culture, which includes physical, mental and financial health, is especially important during a crisis. And how going forward, this culture will be an integral part of group plans.