Chamber News - January 12 2021
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 tom@gpchamber.com for info. 
Last week's issue can be accessed here.
Connecting Business. Creating Opportunity.
The Grande Prairie & District Chamber of Commerce submitted the following letter to the Office of the Premier as well as the offices of the MLAs for Grande Prairie and Grande Prairie-Wapiti constituencies regarding our urgent request for a reopen plan for business:

The Grande Prairie & District Chamber of Commerce represents more than 1200 businesses who, when able to operate, employ over 20,000 Albertans. Our Chamber commends the Alberta government’s decision to allow all retail businesses to remain open, in albeit limited capacity, refraining from trying to decide which goods are “essential” vs “non-essential” as this step is important to our economic outlook.

The latest round of business closures, however, require more information and communication surrounding the available science and data than has been provided to date. Businesses who have been forced to close once again have followed health protocols, implemented new processes and procedures, spending valuable time and resources to do their part to protect society. As the Voice of Business in Grande Prairie for over a century we must support our members who have made it clear, while they support the measures taken to protect their well-being, their confusion and frustration with the current information dictating which businesses are and are not able to operate.

There are several reference points that the Chief Medical Officer and Emergency Management Cabinet Committee use to make their recommendations and decisions. We are asking the Alberta government to outline a re-open plan that correlates these data points in detail with policy that clearly outlines actions expected of operators to begin reopening and to keep our economy going. As a community that is several hours away from other major centers, we are also asking that this re-open plan be considered on a regional basis and that population density be examined.

Our Chamber of Commerce respects that there is a balance that needs to be considered between protecting our citizens and health system and the economy. We need answers for the entrepreneurs who have poured their hearts, souls and savings into their dreams only to have them put on hold for an indeterminable amount time; while business appreciates the revised relaunch grant being made, it simply does not make up for the costs endured and the uncertainty faced by operators every day. The pandemic has proven to be difficult to predict, anticipate and control, yet every extension of restrictions moves these Albertans – and the Albertans who depend on the jobs our entrepreneurs create – closer to the brink of no return and insolvency with long term consequences for the fiscal future of our province.

Thank you for your consideration. We are always available to meet and discuss this matter further.

Larry Gibson
Chair of the Board of Directors
Grande Prairie & District Chamber of Commerce
The Chamber also surveyed our Members as to their opinions on the following:

The Alberta government has announced that current restrictions related to COVID-19 will be in place until at least January 21. Considering the differences between large urban centres vs smaller urban centres (such as Grande Prairie) in regards to demographics, case counts and the impacts of the restrictions on our businesses, are you in favor of aligning with the current/ongoing restrictions or would the Chamber advocating for less restrictions on business in our region be of more importance?

The survey closes today for those who have yet to submit their response. A shareable link is available by clicking here.
GetintheLoop is the fastest growing franchise in Canada and has the largest network of local merchant offers in the country; a professional platform serving hundreds of thousands of members, all while empowering small business owners with simple and affordable tools to make their local marketing efforts easier and more effective.

Our Chamber invites all businesses in our area to become partners as a part of your recovery efforts and experience firsthand how it can work for you. Chamber Members receive preferred pricing on the monthly subscription rate. Join as a partner and start creating your offers now! https://www.grandeprairiechamber.com/getintheloop/

We encourage everyone to download the free app to start accessing our partners' offers on GetintheLoop and we look forward to working with our Member businesses who will benefit from this platform. 
Third and final round of digital marketing training open for applications

The hands-on and in-depth digital marketing training program developed by local partners is now accepting applications for its third and final cohort. The program will assist eligible businesses in the Grande Prairie area impacted by COVID-19 in the development and execution of their own digital marketing strategies.

Earlier this year the City of Grande Prairie, County of Grande Prairie, Grande Prairie & District Chamber of Commerce, and Community Futures Grande Prairie and Region partnered with nine10 to develop and deliver a Digital Marketing Training program. The program equips businesses with knowledge and practical training in digital content strategy, web design tools, social media, and search engine optimization.

Businesses accepted into the first two cohorts represent various sectors, including accounting, mechanical repair, retail, personal care & health services, construction, food & beverage, and oil & gas service.

The third cohort will be hosted in a virtual format to comply with provincial health measures and allow delivery to begin as soon as possible with minimal disruption. A series of tools and platforms will be utilized to ensure the experiential and hands on nature of the training is translated into the digital format.

Due to the experiential and hands on format of the training, space is limited. Applications for the program open today, January 12, and will be accepted until January 22. Successful applicants will be notified by January 27 with training running from February 8 to March 31.

For program details and eligibility or to apply, visit grandeprairiechamber.com/covid-19-business-resiliency/
Thank you to everyone for showing their appreciation and support for businesses in the City of Grande Prairie and County of Grande Prairie No. 1 through our #lovelocalgp contest. $9,500 in gift cards for local businesses was awarded. Congratulations to our grand prize winners:

Heather MacAskill Logan - $500

Theresa Sankovic - $1,000

Linda Krawchuk-Nagge - $2,000
EXPLORE INNOVATE GROW

Join Growing the North's VIRTUAL Economic Development Conference
February 16, 17, 18, 2021
For more information, visit https://growingthenorth.com or contact the Chamber of Commerce by phone 780-532-5340 or email info@gpchamber.com

The Growing the North Conference is an annual event organized and hosted by the following 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
Nominations Now Open for 2021 Women of Influence Awards
 
The Women of Influence Awards were created to commemorate International Women’s Day in Grande Prairie. The 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. These awards are a way to celebrate women’s achievements and promote equal opportunity for all.
 
To make a nomination, please fill out and submit the nomination form at cityofgp.com/womenofinfluence. Nominations are being accepted until Monday, February 15, 2021.
 
This year's reception will be held virtually via Zoom on March 5, 2021 from 12:00 p.m.- 1:00 p.m. Register for the free event in advance at cityofgp.com/womenofinfluence. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.
 
Stay tuned on our social pages for a guest speaker announcement in February!
County of Grande Prairie Business Support Network presents Disney's Approach to Business Excellence
 
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 February 3 at 10 AM.  
 
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 their 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.
 

If numbers are insufficient by January 21, the event will be postponed so please don't hesitate or delay in registering!
ACC calls on government to safely reopen shuttered businesses

EDMONTON — Ten months into the COVID-19 pandemic, the Alberta Chambers of Commerce is calling on the Alberta government to find ways to safely reopen closed businesses wherever possible. The call comes after Premier Jason Kenney announced last week that current COVID-19 restrictions will remain in place for at least another two weeks.

"Our position has always been—and will continue to be—that Alberta's government take action informed by the advice of the chief medical officer of health," says ACC President and CEO Ken Kobly. "At the same time, we're nearly a year into this pandemic and many businesses have been forced to endure months of shutdowns. This is simply not a sustainable situation for our job creators or our provincial economy."

Kobly says that there have been success stories of government working with industry to facilitate limited reopening, pointing to new guidelines that have allowed Alberta registered massage therapists to resume work under certain guidelines as an example.

"As I've said many times before, public health is and must continue to be our number one priority. And we've seen examples of government and industry coming together to find safer ways for Alberta business to operate," says Kobly. "Albertans are keen to get back to work. Unfortunately, the more time that goes on, the less likely that becomes. Time is of the essence to find ways to safely keep our economy going."
Alberta Urban Municipalities Association Webinar with Alberta, Sherwood Park and Grande Prairie
Chambers of Commerce

Alberta Urban Municipalities Association (AUMA)'s Webinar – Trends, examples and lessons learned - Streamlining local governments – is rescheduled to Thursday, January 21, 2021.

Join speakers, including representatives of the Alberta, Sherwood Park, and Grande Prairie chambers of commerce, to discuss collaboration between chambers and municipalities to support local businesses and create jobs.

ABAD 2021 nominations and submissions now open!

Alberta businesses deserve celebrating, especially after the challenges so many of our local businesses have faced this year.

Show your appreciation for your favourite Alberta businesses by nominating them for the 2021 Alberta Business Awards of Distinction in one or more of this year's 13 categories:


The closing date for nominations and submissions is February 14, 2021. Finalists will be announced Spring 2021.


Follow ABAD on FacebookTwitter and Instagram for updates!
Applications for Canada Summer Jobs now open

The employer application period for the 2021 Canada Summer Jobs (CSJ) program is now open. Applications can be submitted until Friday, January 29, 2021. For more information on CSJ, including the eligibility criteria and application guide, visit Canada.ca/Canada-summer-jobs, a Service Canada Office or call 1-800-935-5555.
New pre-departure COVID-19 testing requirements come into effect for all air travelers flying into Canada 

The Government of Canada issued an Interim Order formalizing new COVID-19 testing requirements for all air travelers coming to Canada and providing additional guidance to airline operators and the travelling public regarding the new pre-departure testing requirement that was announced on December 31.

WEBINAR: Business Insurance 101 – Supporting Businesses during the Pandemic, with the Insurance Bureau of Canada | January 15, 2021 

When it comes to commercial insurance, many business owners are seeing their premiums rise and may be finding it increasingly difficult to get the appropriate insurance to meet their needs in certain regions. While there are no easy solutions to the problem, Canada’s insurers are pulling together to find creative solutions to support businesses across all sectors in accessing the insurance they need. 

WEBINAR: Cannabis Act Review: Medical Cannabis and Cannabis Health Products | January 20, 2021

The Cannabis Act, which came into force on October 17, 2018, requires that the Minister of Health initiate a review of the Act by October 17, 2021, three years following the legalization of recreational cannabis for adult use. In advance of the federal government’s review of the Act, the National Cannabis Working Group will be leading an industry-led review of the legislation. This webinar will focus on medical cannabis and cannabis health products.  

Tax year-end filing for businesses
What you need to do to prepare for your year-end

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is hosting a free webinar to help employers prepare and file their information summaries and tax slips at their tax year-end. Topics to be discussed in the webinar include:
  • what the tax year-end is;
  • remittances and year-end filing;
  • who is subject to year-end filing;
  • how to ensure proper year-end filing;
  • how to report certain COVID-19 relief measures announced in 2020;
  • year-end forms (T4, T4A, and others); and
  • GST/HST and TD1 considerations

This webinar is for you if you’re:
  • a business with remunerated employees; and/or
  • a business using the services of non-employee worker or contractor.

You’re invited to submit your questions about year-end filing before the webinar is broadcast. To do so, please visit the registration site on January 18, 2021 between 06:00 EST and 20:00 EST.

The webinar is on Wednesday, January 27, 2021, at:
8 AM MST - French Register now
11 AM MST - English Register Now
Important CBRN Resources

The Canadian Business Resilience Network website remains up-to-date with access to resources to help businesses, families and communities persevere through the coming weeks and months. Please feel encouraged to make the most of these resources and share them with your networks.