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, our municipal, provincial, and federal government partners, and more. 

Be sure to watch for our weekly Member Marketplace newsletter on Thursdays featuring sales, promotions, accomplishments, events, and general awareness of our membership. Email tom@gpchamber.com for info. 
Last week's issue can be accessed here.
Connecting Business. Creating Opportunity.
COVID-19 RAPID TESTING KITS FOR BUSINESSES

The Grande Prairie & District Chamber of Commerce has partnered with the Government of Alberta and the Alberta Chambers of Commerce to provide complimentary COVID-19 rapid testing kits to small and medium-sized businesses. By frequently testing employees, businesses can stop outbreaks before they happen, keeping employees and customers safe.
* A Chamber membership is NOT required.

Rapid testing kits will be available for pick up only at our office in Centre 2000, located at 11330 106 Street, Grande Prairie, AB T8V 7X9, Unit 127.
Designated pick-up times are between 8:30 AM and 4:30 PM Monday to Friday (excluding holidays), where businesses can send one representative to collect their rapid testing kits during those select hours.

For further information including current availability of kits,
please call 780-532-5340 or email info@gpchamber.com

The following documents provide an overview of the Rapid Testing Program and the requirements organizations must follow for a screening program:

Chamber Community Pulse Series

The Grande Prairie area has a robust and diverse economy. The Community Pulse series is designed to provide updates and insights from a variety of the industries, sectors, and organizations that make up the fabric of our unique and incredible community. Join us for this weekly series, helping us to share valuable information about our region and the people who make it special.

Our first session will feature an update from the President & CEO of the Alberta Chambers of Commerce, Ken Kobly, on current advocacy efforts on behalf of business as well as details from the most recent provincial survey on Skills, Training and Labour Market needs.

We will also be joined by the Chair of the Board for the Grande Prairie & District Chamber of Commerce, Larry Gibson, and CEO Tanya Oliver, who will present an update on local activities and projects.

Wednesday, June 2
10:00-11:00 AM
No cost to participate but you must register to receive the Zoom link

FUTURE SESSION PRESENTERS:
June 9 - City of Grande Prairie Economic Development
June 16 - Grande Prairie Regional College
June 23 - Municipal District of Greenview Economic Development
June 30 - County of Grande Prairie Economic Development

THANK YOU TO OUR PRESENTING PARTNERS: City of Grande Prairie Economic Development, County of Grande Prairie Economic Development, and Grande Prairie Regional Innovation Network; AND OUR SUPPORTING PARTNERS: Chambers Plan represented by local broker HUB International, Community Futures Grande Prairie & Region, and GetintheLoop Grande Prairie.

Partnering with the Chamber provides great value in helping members to bring topical information and insightful presentations to the Grande Prairie business community. We have a variety of partnership opportunities available; contact Cindy for more information by email, cindy@gpchamber.com or call the office 780-532-5340. 
What are your top priorities for Alberta's reopening?
We want to hear from you!

With Alberta entering Stage 1 reopening today, the Alberta Chambers of Commerce network is launching the latest business survey in our Alberta Perspectives market research program—this one focused on economic recovery and priorities following the COVID-19 pandemic. It will remain open until June 25.

Your opinions and feedback mean a lot to us. The survey only takes approximately 10 minutes to complete.


This is the third provincial priorities survey in the network’s Alberta Perspectives market research initiative. Gathering insights from our members helps our chamber and the ACC network advocate to provincial and local governments on your behalf. 

Last week the Alberta Chambers accepted four policies on our behalf at the ACC AGM and Policy Session:
1. A Tailored and Local P3 Approach to Affordable Housing
2. Off-Highway Fuel Rebate
3. Safer Workplaces for All Vulnerable Highway Workers
4. Strengthening Alberta's Electricity Transmission Intertie Infrastructure (co-sponsor with Lethbridge)
We also had one policy referred to the ACC Board for clarification before moving forward:
1. Illuminating Better Protection for Highway Workers
The Grande Prairie & District Chamber of Commerce invites you to a Chamber Member Orientation on Thursday, June 10 from 2:30 - 4:00 PM on Zoom. This event is designed for first-and-second-year members to find out more about the Chamber and try to make the most of their membership, but anyone who has been a member for more than two years is also welcome to participate in this information session.

This event features Chamber Board Members and staff as well as representatives from HUB International: the local broker for Chambers Plan, and Vexxit to provide information about our products, services and initiatives while also answering any questions you may have about our Chamber and partners.

There is no cost to participate but registration is required to receive the Zoom link. REGISTER HERE
The Grande Prairie & District Chamber of Commerce and the City of Grande Prairie have teamed up to deliver highly tailored instructional workshops to support current business needs in a virtual series called Serving Up Knowledge. The goal of each session is for business leaders or owners to leave with a skillset or ability to action the topic that is covered. 

To view or review last week's session, Turning Up the Volume on Your Messages Together with nine10 Inc., please click here.
CHAMBER COFFEE BREAK

The next Grande Prairie & District Chamber of Commerce Chamber Coffee Break for members is Friday, June 11 at 10:00 AM

These regular virtual networking events offer an opportunity for our members to meet or reconnect online. 

The informal event is intended to be a light-hearted discussion including ice-breaker introductions, questions of the day, and current news topics of interest. 

For more information, contact our office by phone at 780-532-5340 or email cindy@gpchamber.com.
CPP Investments – A global powerhouse, working on behalf of Albertans

The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPP Investments) plays a critical role in the lifetime retirement security of more than 2.8 million Albertans. It is also a major investor in some of the province’s largest companies and major projects, with over $10.2 billion invested in Alberta. Join Jeffrey Hodgson, Director, Global Stakeholder Affairs on Thursday, June 3 at 3:00 PM for a discussion on what’s ahead for the pension fund investment manager and its role in supporting Alberta’s economy, including the evolution of key sectors like energy and technology.

Registration details will soon be available on our Chamber website.
Hosted by Community Futures Grande Prairie & the Grande Prairie Chamber of Commerce; Powered by Project Gazelle
About this event
This book review discussion will explore four money mindsets:
1. In-Debt,
2. Break-Even,
3. Comfortable and
4. Rich.
Author Karen Sutton-Johal explains that each mindset impacts the way you make, spend, save, invest and give money. Through this book review participants will discover their hidden attitudes to wealth. Understanding these mindsets will positively change the way you think about money.
Get your book here!

Tuesday, June 8
11:30 AM-1:00 PM
FEATURED CHAMBER MEMBER VALUE ADDED BENEFIT

Our highlighted Chamber Member value added benefit this week is Pragmatic Conferencing.

Save 30% on audio and video conferencing services.

Contact our office for more information on the Partnership Plan:
email connectgp@getintheloop.ca or phone 780-831-0362
County of Grande Prairie Business Support Network Roundtable

Join the County of Grande Prairie Business Support Network members and other business community leaders in this open forum to share best practices, issues or solutions and industry trends, while helping to set the stage for future CGPBSN sessions, workshops or discussions.

Tuesday, June 8
9:00-10:30 AM

CGPBSN partners: Community Futures Grande Prairie - County of Grande Prairie - Grande Prairie & District Chamber of Commerce - Grande Prairie Regional College - Grande Prairie Regional Tourism - Peace Wapiti School Division - Western Cree Tribal Council

Seeking committee members for the County of Grande Prairie Business Support Network
 
We are looking for a few more people to join us to help organize the sessions and roundtables. To ensure fair representation for our economic region if you are involved with Agriculture, Oil & Gas, Retail, Transport or Forestry we would like to have you help us create informative sessions that relate to businesses within those sectors.
 
If you have suggestions for information sessions or programming that would benefit you or your business, please contact Hetti Huls at the County of Grande Prairie by email hhuls@countygp.ab.ca or phone 780-532-9722 ext. 1201.
Take the Vital Signs Survey today and speak out!

Digging Deep To Uncover Quality Of Life
Northwestern Alberta’s Vital Signs® provides a snapshot of quality of life in the City of Grande Prairie, the County of Grande Prairie, the MD of Greenview and local communities. This knowledge-driven tool uses research to highlight where our strengths are as communities and where the gaps lie. Vital Signs invites every citizen and leader to identify priorities, start conversations, and make informed decisions to drive positive change, where no one is left behind.

ABAD 2021 Virtual Event - Register Now!

Join us virtually for our livestream event on Friday, June 25 when we will recognize this year's finalists and announce our ABAD 2021 winners!

For details and to register, visit https://abbusinessawards.com/the-event/
Alberta's Open for Summer Plan

Alberta’s Open for Summer Plan includes three stages based on vaccination thresholds and hospitalizations:

  • Stage 1 beginning today: Two weeks after 50 per cent of Albertans age 12-plus have received at least one dose of vaccine and COVID-19 hospitalizations are below 800 and declining.

  • Stage 2 could begin on June 10, subject to hospitalizations being below 500 and trending downwards: Two weeks after 60 per cent of Albertans age 12-plus have received at least one dose of vaccine and COVID-19 hospitalizations are below 500 and declining.

  • Stage 3: Two weeks after 70 per cent of Albertans age 12-plus have received at least one dose of vaccine.
Extending relief for Alberta businesses

Application intake for the spring 2021 payment from the Small and Medium Enterprise Relaunch Grant program has been extended to June 30, enabling organizations affected by the May 2021 health orders to apply for this additional COVID relief funding.

For eligibility information and to apply for funding, visit  https://www.alberta.ca/sme-relaunch-grant.

Additional relief for Alberta's tourism industry

three-month extension of the abatement period, which originally ended on March 31, will ensure money stays in the pockets of Alberta’s job creators. Hotels and other lodging providers will be able to keep tourism levy amounts collected between April 1 and June 30.

For more information, visit alberta.ca/tourism-levy.

Government of Canada Regional Relief and Recovery Fund Saving Tourism Jobs in the Prairies

Tourism has been among the sectors hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic due to the unique challenges presented by shutdowns and travel restrictions. There is over $8.4 million available for 20 tourism business support organizations across the Prairies. One measure of support is the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF), delivered in the West by Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD). WD is still accepting applications from small businesses until June 30, 2021.

Learn more in the backgrounder.
A virtual conversation with the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages

Co.Labs is excited to host a virtual event with Minister Joly tomorrow, June 2, from 11:30 AM to 12:30 PM MST.

She will be joined by business leaders from across the Prairies in a moderated conversation to discuss the future of economic growth in the Prairies and how it can be best supported through the new Agency.

You are invited to a North Zone
AHS COVID-19 Community Conversation
 
Alberta Health Services invites you a virtual COVID-19 Community Conversation for the North Zone. Following an update on the status of COVID-19 in Alberta and the region, and AHS’ response - including vaccine safety and efficacy - AHS medical experts will answer your questions.
 
Two virtual events have been scheduled:
 
 
To register, click on the date that works best for you. Learn more at Together4Health, and please share this invitation with friends, neighbours and colleagues who may have questions about COVID-19, and vaccines. We encourage all Albertans to become informed, and to use reliable sources to learn about COVID-19 vaccines.
 
Have you heard a comment about COVID-19 that you want to fact check? You can ask your question at this Community Conversation, or post your comment here and an AHS expert will provide accurate and up-to-date information to validate or debunk your post as fact or fiction:  https://together4health.albertahealthservices.ca/covid-immunizations.
 
Please feel free to submit any questions you may have when you register, or email them to us at Community.Engagement@ahs.ca. This will help us to design a presentation that reflects your key concerns.
Did you know that Canadian companies lose 5% of their revenue each year to internal fraud and theft?

Too often, a business will find itself on the defence, investigating fraud after it already occurs and the damage has been done. These risks are all too real and more prevalent than you’d think with fallout that can be crippling to your organization—many simply cannot afford to be caught off-guard by theft. The best defence to prevent fraud is a good offence – a fraud risk assessment to determine the weaknesses in the protection of your data, monetary and physical assets.

Wondering if your company is at risk? On Thursday, June 3 at 12 PM you're invited to a free webinar with forensic accountant Gayle Callis who will discuss key strategies to conduct a comprehensive risk assessment, identify weaknesses and solutions to mitigate fraud risk in your business. You. will also gain insights into:

  • Fraud motivations
  • Strategies to mitigate fraud risk
  • Cybersecurity incidents and types of threats
  • Cybersecurity protection framework
  • Conducting risk assessment
  • And more

Can't attend live? You should still register! We'll send out the recording after the webinar to all registrants.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Tax tip: How to tell you’ve been contacted by the CRA, and what to do if you are

Now that you’ve filed your 2020 income tax and benefit return, it’s possible that the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) contacts you to discuss your tax and benefit situation. However, you should be aware of scammers pretending to be CRA employees. They often contact Canadians to try to trick them into making payments, and may try to reach you by telephone. To protect yourself from scams, it’s important to know when and how the CRA might contact you.

Alberta's Mental Wellness Day for Schools
 
Alberta’s government is hosting a virtual Mental Wellness Day for Schools across Alberta on June 3. All students, parents, teachers and education staff are invited to take part in free online sessions on mental health and wellness.
 
To accommodate busy end-of-year school schedules, most sessions will be recorded and available to view online afterwards. Detailed information about the event, including how to attend, is available online.

A brighter future for kids now and beyond the pandemic

The Child and Youth Well-Being Review panel will work to understand the full scope of the psychological, social, educational and physical impacts resulting from and related to the COVID-19 pandemic on children and youth. It will then provide recommendations to government in the fall of 2021, to help support young people both now and into the future.

Albertans are invited to share their thoughts and ideas with the panel through a survey at alberta.ca/child-and-youth-well-being-review.aspx until July 31.
Getting Canadians Back to Work
June 3 | 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. ET | Virtual

The pandemic has accelerated the digitalization of payments and the proliferation of digital currencies on Main Street and Bay Street. Has a currency disruption tipped into a currency revolution? This discussion will examine the rise of digital currencies and consider how the shift will impact consumers, businesses, investors and governments.

Big Data, Blockchain and the Digitalization of Energy 
June 8 | 1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. ET| Virtual  

This webinar will explore the ways that big data is increasingly reshaping the distribution of energy and the role it and blockchain technologies will play in the years ahead. Areas of focus include the use of smart meters and big data to customize home energy use to achieve greater energy efficiency, the role of using new technologies to coordinate power grids that do not just distribute but also receive energy from renewable assets, and what the digitalization of energy will mean for the Canadian economy. 

Women in Business Summit: Empowering an Inclusive Recovery
June 23 | 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. ET | Virtual

This is not just another conference for women. Our Summit is about mobilizing the entire Canadian business community to apply its ingenuity to find the bold solutions needed for Canada to compete in a changing economic landscape.   

The Summit will focus on ways to champion women, including:  
1. Professional transitions and new opportunities for upskilling and reskilling 
2. Creating more opportunities for BIPOC employees and equity seeking groups in the workplace 
3. Mental health supports 
4. Advancing female entrepreneurship