COVID-19 Resources for Businesses

Last Updated: May 14, 2020

With the easing of the COVID-19 restrictions, the health and safety of our community is still our top priority. We will continue to maintain an up-to-date list of the best resources we can find to help you re-open your business as quickly and safely as possible. This page will continue to be updated regularly.

Canada's Economic Response Plan Alberta's Economic Response Plan Support the Fort
The Federal Government is taking immediate, significant and decisive action to help Canadians facing hardship. Measures to protect employers and employees from the economic disruption and position Alberta for recovery. The City is working with the Chamber of Commerce to support our local businesses and our community.

Alberta's Relaunch Strategy 


Workplace Guidance for Business Owners

This document has been developed to support all business and sectors (excluding health care settings) in reducing the risk of transmission of COVID-19 among workers, volunteers and patrons. This document outlines the criteria that should be addressed in individual, written workplace policies and procedures established to address the COVID-19 pandemic response.

Workplace Guidance for Business Owners

Biz Connect Website

Biz Connect Website launched for Alberta businesses. This guidance supports sectors currently allowed to operate under public health orders:

Any questions about the Government of Alberta’s guidance for re-opening, or lifting of restrictions for businesses, can be sent to BizConnect@gov.ab.ca.


Business Owners and employees: you are not alone.

The Mental Health Help Line is available 24/7 to provide advice and referrals to community supports nearest you. Call 1-877-303-2642. Other resources include:

Crisis Services Canada
Find Your Canadian Mental Health Association | CMHA
Help in Tough Times |AHS

Calling all suppliers – Help Canada combat Coronavirus disease (COVID-19)

Register for the Alberta Emergency Management Agency (AEMA) Unsolicited Offers Program


Business Continuity
Employer and Employee Information
FAQs
Where can I receive financial support and funding to keep my business operating?

Both the Federal Government and Government of Alberta have announced a range of financial programs to assist small businesses at this time. Programs include:

What supports are being offered by the Province of Alberta? 

The Alberta government will provide immediate funding and supportive measures to support local businesses, employers and employees.

Support for employers is provided through:

See COVID-19 support for employers and employees by the Alberta Government for more details and related resources.

For questions about financial relief and Alberta government programs and services related to the COVID-19 response, call 780-310-4455 from 8am to 8pm, 7 days a week. 

What supports are being offered by the City of Fort Saskatchewan?
In an effort to support residents and businesses during the COVID-19 response, the City of Fort Saskatchewan is taking the following measures:
  • Waiving late fees and penalties on utility bills (water, sewer and waste) from March 23 – June 22, 2020 (90 days).  The City will continue to send the utility bills each month. Please contact the City’s utility billing staff at 780-992-6200 or by email at utilityclerk@fortsask.ca to make these arrangements.
  • Fostering Community Wellness – we are encouraging our amazing residents to build connectedness, foster relationships, and get creative.
  • Waiving Transit Fares – this applies to local routes 582, 583, 584, and route 580 to Edmonton’s Clareview LRT Station.
  • Special Council Meeting – In April Council will meet to discuss the developments in the City’s COVID-19 response strategies and related matters, property tax penalties and the 2020 budget.
How will COVID-19 affect import/exports and shipment of inventory?
Currently, there are no restrictions on the import or exports. While borders are beginning to close for leisure travel, there is no indication whatsoever, this will affect commercial transport. If your business relies on transport by air, be aware most passenger airlines are currently scaling back operations, but cargo services are continuing as normal. 
How can I minimize my business costs as much as possible? 
Speak to your service providers/landlords if payments are upcoming. They are keenly aware of the situation, and there will likely be room for flexibility in payment terms. In some instances, this is already happening:
  • All taxpayers can defer, until after August 31, 2020, the payment of any income tax amounts that become owing on or after mid-March and before September 2020.
  • The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) is permitting lenders to allow payment deferrals.
  • The Government of Alberta announced measures to help those struggling to meet their utility bills.
I’m going to have to lay off employees temporarily. How do I handle it correctly? 
While we know all of our employers want to do everything in their power to avoid layoffs, we understand it can’t be avoided in some cases. The Government of Alberta has information on Temporary Layoffs that’s been updated with information on Employment Insurance and COVID-19.
Are there any alternatives to laying off employees? 

Yes. The Government of Canada has extended the Work-Sharing Program to 76 weeks and created the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy.

What are the details for the Canada Emergency Wage subsidy?

The Government of Canada has announced a 75 per cent wage subsidy for qualifying businesses, for up to 3 months, retroactive to March 15, 2020. This will help businesses to keep and return workers to the payroll.

What if my business is closed and I can’t access the Emergency Wage Subsidy?

The Government of Canada has established a Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) to provide $65 billion of additional support through the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) and Export Development Canada (EDC).

BDC and EDC are working with private-sector lenders to coordinate on credit solutions for individual businesses, including in sectors such as oil and gas, air transportation, exportation and tourism.

This program includes: 

  • Canada Emergency Business Account
    The new Canada Emergency Business Account will provide interest-free loans of up to $40,000 to small businesses and not-for-profits, to help cover their operating costs during a period where their revenues have been temporarily reduced.
    To qualify, these organizations will need to demonstrate they paid between $50,000 to $1 million in total payroll in 2019.
  • Loan Guarantee for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises
    EDC is working with financial institutions to issue new operating credit and cash flow term loans of up to $6.25 million to SMEs.
  • Co-Lending Program for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises
    BDC is working with financial institutions to co-lend term loans to SMEs for their operational cash flow requirements.
    Eligible businesses may obtain incremental credit amounts of up to $6.25 million through the program.

Both of these programs will roll out in the three weeks after March 27, and interested businesses should work with their current financial institutions.

Where can I find out more about Employee Insurance and COVID-19?
The Government of Canada has dedicated Employment Insurance page to apply for EI benefits. Afterwards, you can apply to have the usual one-week waiting period waived by calling the government’s toll-free number at 1-833-381-2725. If there’s a need to lay off employees, ensure they’re receiving a record of employment as they will need this to apply.
What if I don’t qualify for Employment Insurance? 

The Government of Canada created the Canada Emergency Response Benefit. The program will provide a taxable benefit of up to $2,000 a month for up to 4 months to:

  • workers who must stop working due to COVID19 and do not have access to paid leave or other income support;
  • workers who are sick, quarantined, or taking care of someone who is sick with COVID-19;
  • working parents who must stay home without pay to care for children that are sick or need additional care because of school and daycare closures;
  • workers who still have their employment but are not being paid because there is currently not sufficient work and their employer has asked them not to come to work; and,
  • wage earners and self-employed individuals, including contract workers, who would not otherwise be eligible for Employment Insurance.

The Canada Emergency Response Benefit is accessible through a secure web portal. Applicants will also be able to apply via an automated telephone line or via a toll-free number.

Apply for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit

Financial Support

Lease Holders
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