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

Be sure to watch for our weekly Member Marketplace newsletter on Thursdays featuring sales, promotions, accomplishments, events, and general awareness of our membership. Email for info. 
Last week's issue can be accessed here.
Connecting Business. Creating Opportunity.
We've teamed up with the City of Grande Prairie to deliver a series of free instructional workshops to support current business needs.

The goal of each session is to cover a specific topic in detail which will allow businesses to leave with a skillset or ability to action the content covered.

The next sessions in the series include:

  • Facebook Newsfeed Optimization - Marissa Trarback, nine10 Inc.
Thursday, February 25 – 3:00 PM
  • Food Photography 101 - Chris Beauchamp
Thursday, March 4 – 10:00 AM
  • Top Ten HR Policies You Need - Jennifer Caseley, Caseley Consulting
Thursday, March 11 - 10:00 AM

To view our previous session on Cyber Security with Fusion Business Solutions, CLICK HERE.

The Grande Prairie & District Chamber of Commerce will be hosting Chamber Coffee Breaks beginning March 12.

These virtual events will run from 10:00-11:00 AM every second Friday and will offer an opportunity for our members to network online.

The agenda will include ice-breaker discussions, question of the day, and current news topics of interest.

For more information, contact our office by phone at 780-532-5340 or email

Membership renewal notifications have been emailed. If your business has not received an invoice for 2021, please contact our office by phone at 780-532-5340 or email

Members are also encouraged to contact Leah Fujarczuk, Member Relations and Engagement, with any other questions including updating your account, enhancing your webpage, posting information, registering for events, accessing our digital sign and more. Email

Members will receive their 2021 Chamber certificates upon renewal payment.
Contact our office for more information on the Partnership Plan:
email or phone 780-831-0362

THANK YOU to everyone who participated in this year's conference on behalf of the Growing the North organizing partners:

  • City of Grande Prairie
  • County of Grande Prairie
  • Community Futures Grande Prairie & Region
  • Farm Credit Canada
  • Grande Prairie & District Chamber of Commerce
  • Grande Prairie Regional College
  • Grande Prairie Regional Innovation Network
  • Grande Prairie Regional Tourism Association
  • Municipal District of Greenview


Grande Prairie Regional Innovation Network

Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers
Farm Credit Canada
Grande Prairie Region Destination Marketing Fund
Municipal District of Greenview
Nauticol Energy
Side Group of Companies

GPRC Alumni Foundation through the Walter Paszkowski Agriculture Legacy Fund

International Paper
Seven Generations Energy Ltd.

Edmonton Chamber of Commerce - Canada's Trade Accelerator Program (TAP)
GetintheLoop Grande Prairie
Mackenzie County
Rural Municipalities of Alberta

PLEASE NOTE: Attendees will be receiving a link to a post-event survey in your email from EventMobi. Your input is appreciated. You will also soon be receiving access to the conference presentation videos. Watch your inbox!
Are you a problem solver, change maker or innovator who would like to make a difference? Then join the Grande Prairie Regional Innovation Network on February 26th at 12:00 PM as award winning entrepreneur, educator and author Craig Elias leads a round table on how to foster innovation in northwest Alberta.

The Women of Influence Awards are please to announce Kari Speaker-Smith as the keynote speaker for this year’s virtual event.
Kari Speaker Smith, CPA, CA, CFP, FEA is a partner of the locally-owned CPA firm Fletcher Mudryk LLP where she has been practicing for over 25 years. Certified as a Family Enterprise Advisor, her expertise centers on facilitating conversations with local business owners, entrepreneurs and farm families, focussing on their stories of journey and the legacy they want to build for themselves, their family and their community. Since moving from her farm roots of Southern Alberta in 1993, she has witnessed the incredible pioneering spirit, diversity and resilience of the Peace Region.
Kari has served and continues as an ambassador for the Board of the Community Foundation of Northwestern Alberta. She actively participates in the Business Resiliency Task Force to connect local businesses with much-needed resources during the current economic downturn, and to continuously seek opportunities to support her community, clients, business colleagues and family. Kari will be sharing her collection of stories that encapsulate this year’s International Women’s Day theme #ChooseToChallenge. She looks forward to providing her insight and encouraging a commitment of change through her lens of, “Listen. Learn. Lead.”

To register to attend the free, virtual event Friday, March 5 from 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m visit
The Women of Influence Awards were created to celebrate International Women’s Day locally in Grande Prairie. The awards recognize local women who have made a strong impact by promoting equality, providing opportunities for women in the community and breaking barriers in their field.
International Women’s Day (IWD) is an event recognized world-wide to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women and to advocate for the continued advancements of equal rights. The IWD 2021 theme is #ChooseToChallenge. It is a call-to-action to challenge and call out gender bias, discrimination and stereotyping and seek out and celebrate women’s achievements.
City Council approved two new initiatives to support the community as part of their COVID-19 economic recovery:
  • First, $125,000 from the Economic Recovery Fund for the Barrier-Free Grant to improve accessibility to buildings and properties around the city and provide immediate economic relief, stimulus funding, and investment in the community.

Helping businesses move towards more accessible spaces is an important part of the City's commitment to building a welcoming and inclusive community for all residents. Applications and program details will be announced in March.
  • Second, a fee waiver for drinking establishments to apply to allow all-ages during the day, like restaurants.

The fee waiver recognizes the desire for businesses to adapt due to COVID-19 restrictions. It also eliminates the potential financial barrier with the waiver of the fee to apply for the change of use.

For all the details on both initiatives, read the full story here:
Join the County of Grande Prairie Business Support Network for a Private Online Live Course With Disney Institute – New Date!    
The County of Grande Prairie Business Support Network is pleased to announce that Disney Institute will be offering an exclusive 5-hour Disney’s Approach to Business Excellence live online course on April 7th, 2021 at 10 a.m. for our members.    
Presented live online by Disney Institute leaders, Disney’s Approach to Business Excellence offers the opportunity to build knowledge and discover proven Disney business insights from our chain of excellence. The presentation will include Disney best practices in leadership excellence, employee engagement and quality service that can be adapted and applied to your own profession, team or organization to achieve greater results.
Register today with special booking code CGP22 Visit Disney Institute for more details, then find our event listed in the course schedule to enroll.
Businesses "in the dark" about restrictions, reopening

"We have always advised—and will continue to advise—business operators to follow the direction of the Alberta Government and Chief Medical Officer of Health," says Kobly. "However, these data show business operators are really in the dark about the reasons behind this direction. There's been a clear breakdown of communication."

Canada-Alberta Job Grant expands eligibility

The Alberta government is temporarily expanding eligibility to the Canada-Alberta Job Grant. to help businesses access the training they need.

The expansion is effective until February 28, 2022. The new eligibility includes funding mandatory courses or training required for a job. Other changes include allowing an employee’s training to start as soon as government receives an application, rather than having to wait for the application to be approved.
Government of Canada proposes increase to number of weeks for recovery benefits and EI regular benefits to ensure continued support for Canadians who have been hardest hit

The proposed changes would:
  • increase the number of weeks available under the Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) and the Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB) by 12 weeks extending the maximum duration of the benefits through regulation from 26 weeks to up to 38 weeks;
  • increase the number of weeks available under the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) through regulation from the current 2 weeks to 4 weeks; and
  • increase the number of weeks of EI regular benefits available by up to 24 weeks to a maximum of 50 weeks through legislation, for claims that are made between September 27, 2020 and September 25, 2021.

Enhanced COVID-19 Business Benefit Program

Businesses that can demonstrate a revenue reduction of 60% or more will be eligible to receive 15% of their monthly revenue, up to a maximum of $10,000. Small business owners in Alberta can access this program in April 2021, following the conclusion of the Small and Medium Enterprise Relaunch Grant program.

Detailed information on program parameters will be included in the program guidelines closer to the launch date in April.

Critical Worker Benefit

Eligible workers can get a $1,200 one-time payment for serving Albertans in critical health, education and supply chain roles during the pandemic.

Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program (HASCAP) Guarantee

Businesses heavily impacted by COVID-19 can access guaranteed, low-interest loans of $25,000 to $1 million to cover operational cash flow needs.


For operators to keep in mind when developing their COVID operational guidelines and making sure staffing levels are appropriate if there happens to be a positive COVID case with your staff:

* A close contact is anyone who, during the infectious period:
  • lived with or was within two metres of a person who has COVID-19 for 15 minutes or more of cumulative contact, i.e. multiple interactions for a total of 15 minutes or more, even if a mask was worn during that contact, or
  • has had direct contact with bodily fluids of a person who has COVID-19 (e.g., was coughed or sneezed on), or
  • provided direct care for a person who has COVID-19, or
  • has physical contact with a person who has COVID-19, such as handshake, hugging, kissing, or sexual activity, or
  • shares items with a person who has COVID-19 such as drinks, personal hygiene items, cigarettes, vapes, lipstick, eating utensils, etc.

Resources to Help Your Small Business Navigate COVID-19 

We recognize SMEs have been especially hard hit by the global pandemic. We have dedicated a page on to make it easier for you to find financial support, plan your operations and support the health and well-being of your employees. 

Restaurants Canada #RestaurantsAreFamily
Over $14 million has been contributed to the Canada United Small Business Relief Fund by the federal government, RBC and Canada United partners to support recovery efforts due to COVID-19. Together, we have provided relief to over 2,000 small businesses across the country.

Grants of up to $5,000 are available to small businesses to cover expenses related to personal protective equipment (PPE), renovations to accommodate reopening guidelines and for developing or improving website and ecommerce capabilities.
The Canada United Small Business Relief Fund was created as part of Canada United, a nationwide campaign led by RBC and over 70 large businesses, the national network of chambers of commerce and leading business associations to encourage Canadians to buy and dine local. 
Industrial Revolution 4.0 – The Series Continues with Agriculture in the 21st Century: How Canada Can Lead by Example
March 02 | 1:00 p.m. ET | Online

Canada is poised to be a leader in the agriculture and agri-food sector, a trend identified in many reports and roundtables over the last few years. With the federal government’s announcement in November 2020 of further investments in the Universal Broadband Fund, this panel will discuss tools that leaders in the sector can use to innovate and enhance their productivity.