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Small Business Week - MEDIA RELEASE

MEDIA RELEASE For immediate release – October 19, 2020

Celebrate Small Business Week by Sharing Your Shop Local Stories

Fort McMurray, AB – Small Business Week is an annual, national celebration of Canadian entrepreneurs and their contribution towards Canada’s economy. To celebrate Small Business Week this year, October 18-24, 2020, the Fort McMurray Chamber of Commerce, in collaboration with Community Futures Wood Buffalo and Startup YMM, is pleased to be running an online contest that supports small businesses in our region.The goal is to encourage residents to share stories about their favourite shops - highlighting the dedicated small business owners working hard behind the scenes, local hidden gems that provide great customer experiences. The contest runs from October 18 to October 24, 2020. Participants in the online contest will have a chance to win $500 of Fort McMurray Bucks that can be spent at any participating local business. All of the details can be found at www.fortmcmurraychamber.ca/small-business-week

“Communities are comprised of stories, these are stories of businesses and the people behind them, stories of our experiences with their product or service. The stories are inspiring, educational and are asking to be shared,” says Dianna de Sousa, Executive Director of the Fort McMurray Chamber of Commerce.

The theme of Small Business Week 2020 is “Forging the Way Forward,” to recognize the challenges businesses are navigating and pay tribute to the small business owners who contribute so much to our community. It is important that our community finds ways to support small business owners in moving forward during these uncertain times.

“Community Futures Wood Buffalo encourages business owners to share your stories with us. For over thirty years, we have been working with small businesses and would love the opportunity to learn more about your business. After all, in difficult times, its great relationships that keeps us moving forward,” says Pamela Ramrup, Executive Director of Community Futures Wood Buffalo.

This is a call to our community to show support for our small business community by spending locally — use the services of a local vendor, grab a socially distanced coffee with a friend at an independent café, or shop at a local boutique.

“Small businesses are fundamental to our everyday as they offer us places to be social and active, and provide us with experiences, products and services”, says Natasha Hartson, Director of Entrepreneurship & Innovation for Wood Buffalo Economic Development Corporation. “They are an important part of our community fabric and we encourage you to join us as we celebrate them.”

Contest Details:
1. Share your small business stories on Facebook and Twitter
2. Include the hashtag #wbsmallbusinessweek
3. Tag Fort McMurray Chamber of Commerce ()
4. Tag the Business you are writing about
5. Each story with the correct tags will result in an entry
6. The same stories if posted on both Facebook and Twitter will qualify for 2 entries
7. Competition runs from October 18, 2020 to October 24, 2020
8. Facebook live draw will take place on October 27, 2020 at 4pm


About Small Business Week:
Small Business Week is an annual celebration of entrepreneurship that has been organized for over 40 years. Every year, close to 10,000 entrepreneurs gather to learn, network, and celebrate the people building businesses across the country.

About Fort McMurray Chamber of Commerce | http://www.fortmcmurraychamber.ca
The Fort McMurray Chamber of Commerce is dedicated to promoting business retention and growth, advocating for sound public policy, and serving our members with outstanding programs and benefits. The Chamber of Commerce is the premier advocate of the region’s business community, representing 400+ members across the region with one voice.

About Community Futures Wood Buffalo | http://woodbuffalo.albertacf.com/ We take the time to really understand your business ideas and roll up our sleeves to help you make them happen. Community Futures Wood Buffalo provides a wide range of small business services, including business loans, business and financial planning, skills development and training, and strategic marketing and networking.

About Startup YMM | www.startupymm.ca
Startup YMM is a small business incubator and technology makers space, operated by the Wood Buffalo Economic Development Corporation. Startup YMM is focused on building a culture of invention and entrepreneurship in the Wood Buffalo region. Helping entrepreneurs navigate challenges at each stage of their ventures through educational programs, building community, and creating spaces where entrepreneurs can work on their idea and be inspired by each other.

Media Contacts:
Carole Jewers
Office Coordinator
Fort McMurray Chamber of Commerce
(780) 743-3100
communications [at] fortmcmurraychamber.ca

Julie MacLennan
Manager, Community Programs
Community Futures Wood Buffalo
(780) 791-0330
cfwbprograms [at] albertacf.com

Andrea Haley
Director, Brand & Corporate Services
Wood Buffalo Economic Development Corporation
(780) 907-2017
Andrea [at] choosewoodbuffalo.ca

Coaching and Professional Services Program - MEDIA RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 2, 2020

Community Futures Wood Buffalo delivers Business Support Program for rural Businesses

Fort McMurray, AB 

Community Futures Wood Buffalo is playing an instrumental role in supporting many businesses in the Fort McMurray area by developing and delivering a Coaching and Professional Services Program for businesses affected by COVID-19, the 2020 Spring Flood, and other economic challenges in the community. 

This program will provide one-on-one business support and access to services by professionals that can provide strategic advice and help businesses develop actionable plans to improve their overall business viability. 

Community Futures Wood Buffalo has partnered with Elite Business Solutions, a Fort McMurray company that will help guide, create, and expand local businesses with the support of professional service providers.

The program is supported in part by the Government of Canada through Western Economic Diversification Canada, as part of the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund.

Quotes:

“We are extremely pleased to partner with the Government of Canada to support businesses having access to professional services. Many businesses in our local community need access to professional service providers who will be able to work hand-in-hand with them to support their long-term viability. Since the 2016 Horse Wildfire, Fort McMurray businesses have been through significant hardship, and this is a welcomed initiative in supporting local area businesses in our region.”- Jason Vargo, Chairperson of the Board for Community Futures Wood Buffalo

“This program will definitely strengthen our businesses, and bring economic vitality back into our community.”- Pamela Ramrup, Executive Director for Community Futures Wood Buffalo

“I know that small businesses have been hit hard due to COVID-19, and this is especially the case for many businesses in the Fort McMurray region that are still dealing with the aftermath of the 2016 wildfire and the 2020 floods. The federal government and our partners are working to ensure small and medium-sized businesses remain at the heart of our economy. This collaboration between Western Economic Diversification Canada and Community Futures Wood Buffalo is one example of how we’re taking action on the ground to provide business owners with the support, resources, and services they need to not just survive, but thrive.”- The Honourable Mélanie Joly, MP for Ahuntsic-Cartierville, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, and Minister responsible for Western Economic Diversification Canada

“Congratulations to Community Futures Wood Buffalo for delivering this important service to Fort McMurray Wood Buffalo’s businesses. And thanks to Western Economic Diversification Canada for recognizing the compelling need for our region. When we consider the impact of the pandemic and recent flood, this program is timely and important.” - Kevin Weidlich, President & CEO, Wood Buffalo Economic Development Corporation

MEDIA RELEASE

Media contact: Pamela Ramrup
Executive Director, Community Futures Wood Buffalo
Tel: (780) 791-0330
Email: cfwbmanager [at] albertacf.com
 

Small and Medium Enterprise Relaunch Grant

Funding for small- and medium-sized businesses, co-ops and non-profits impacted by COVID-19 to offset a portion of their relaunch costs

The Small and Medium Enterprise Relaunch Grant offers financial assistance to Alberta businesses, cooperatives, and non-profit organizations that were ordered to close or curtail operations, and that experienced a revenue reduction of at least 50%, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Eligible organizations can apply for 15% of their pre-COVID-19 monthly revenue, up to a maximum of $5,000 in funding.

Businesses, cooperatives and non-profits can use these funds as they see fit to help offset a portion of their relaunch costs, such as implementing measures to minimize the risk of virus transmission, which could include:

  • physical barriers
  • purchasing personal protective equipment and disinfecting supplies
  • paying rent and employee wages
  • replacing inventory and more

For more information, please refer the Government of Alberta website

Downtown Revitalization Incentives Program

The Municipality has developed the Downtown Revitalization Incentives Program to help property and business owners improve their premises, attract new customers and tenants, and make the choice to stay downtown.

Incentives encourage investment that might not otherwise happen. Incentives can be used to promote specific types of development and improvements in an area. In Fort McMurray’s downtown, incentives are being offered with the aim of:

  • Retaining existing businesses and helping attract new types of business that will increase pedestrian presence on the streets.
  • Introducing new features and amenities that create interest and vibrancy, helping transform the downtown core into a place people want to spend time.
  • Improving the aesthetic qualities within the downtown.

The program offers 50 per cent matching reimbursement grants to help property owners and businesses operators:

  • Improve building exteriors or façades (up to $75,000 or $100,000, depending on the building type).
  • Upgrade or rehabilitate the interiors of existing commercial buildings (up to $50,000).
  • Construct new patios or upgrade existing patios (up to $10,000).
  • Install beautification projects (up to $5,000) and murals (up to $30,000).

The deadline for applications is Dec. 31, 2020.

 

 

Disaster Recovery Funding Available - NEW

If you live in Fort McMurray-Wood Buffalo, and your home, business or property was damaged by overland flooding in April and May of 2020, you may be eligible for the Disaster Recovery Program. This provincial program provides funding for uninsurable property damage, loss and other expenses incurred as the result of a natural disaster.

A program application centre will be opening in Fort McMurray, where disaster recovery program experts will be available to guide you through the application process.

Deadline to apply is September 6, 2020

FOR MORE INFORMATION, refer to the Alberta Government website, call 1-888-671-1111 or email drp.info [at] gov.ab.ca

Wood Buffalo Business Support Organizations Present the Region's Business & Economic Recovery Plan

MEDIA RELEASE
For Immediate Release – July 14, 2020

Wood Buffalo Business Support Organizations Present the Region’s Business & Economic Recovery Plan

Fort McMurray, AB – Key regional business support organizations have partnered to create the Wood Buffalo 2020 Business & Economic Recovery Plan (the “Plan). The partner organizations of the Plan are as follows:

Community Futures Wood Buffalo (CFWB)
Fort McMurray Chamber of Commerce (FMCoC)
Fort McMurray Construction Association (FMCA)
Northeastern Alberta Aboriginal Business Association (NAABA)
Wood Buffalo Economic Development Corporation (WBEDC)

Based on the expertise and recommendations from the Business Recovery Task Force (the “Task Force”), various stakeholder discussions and multi-sector engagement with the business community, the Plan outlines key strategies and actions to support business and economic recovery.

“This community-led Plan is critical for the future sustainability of our region,” says Nick Sanders, Task Force member and Interim Executive Director of the Fort McMurray Chamber of Commerce. “It will help support the immediate response required, recovery efforts and long-term resiliency of Wood Buffalo.”

The Plan outlines the immediate, short-term and long-term programs and business supports as well as the recommended actions each partner organization will deliver.

“The accountability and commitment from each partner organization is important to the Plan’s success,” says Michelle Toner, Task Force member and Executive Director of the Northeastern Alberta Aboriginal Business Association. “Assigning the Plan’s actions gives each of our organizations a way to support recovery.”

The Plan will be presented to the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo (RMWB) Council as information today, July 14, 2020. The Plan will be available on https://wbcentral.biz/knowledge-base/wood-buffalo-2020-business-economic... today at 4:00 P.M.

“This Plan is truly a collaborative approach specific to the business community,” says Kevin Weidlich, Task Force Chair and CEO & President of the Wood Buffalo Economic Development Corporation. “Full recovery will take the whole community continuing to work together and supporting local businesses.”

The Plan’s budget will be presented to Council once all joint funding proposals have received a response.

-30-

 

About the Business Recovery Task Force:
The Business Recovery Task Force was established by Wood Buffalo Economic Development Corporation, with the support of the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo Mayor and Council. The Business Recovery Task Force (the “Task Force”) mandate is to research and recommend immediate and post-emergency supports for both COVID-19 and the Flood. The Task Force is comprised of business leaders and organizations that represent the most impacted sectors in the Wood Buffalo region. A list of the Main Committee Task Force members can be found here.

###



Media Contacts:


Pamela Ramrup
Executive Director
Community Futures Wood Buffalo
(780) 791-0330
cfwbmanager [at] albertacf.com

Nick Sanders
Executive Director
Fort McMurray Chamber of Commerce
(780) 743-3100
ed [at] fortmcmurraychamber.ca

Keith Plowman
President
Fort McMurray Construction Association
(780) 370-8450
keith [at] kplowman.ca

Small and Medium Enterprise Relaunch Grant

Overview

The Small and Medium Enterprise Relaunch Grant offers financial assistance to Alberta businesses, cooperatives, and non-profit organizations that were ordered to close or curtail operations, and that experienced a revenue reduction of at least 50 per cent, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Eligible organizations can apply for 15% of their pre-COVID-19 revenue, up to a maximum of $5,000 in funding.

Businesses, cooperatives and non-profits can use these funds as they see fit to help offset a portion of their relaunch costs, such as implementing measures to minimize the risk of virus transmission, which could include: physical barriers, purchasing personal protective equipment and disinfecting supplies, paying rent and employee wages, replacing inventory and more.

Funding

The Government of Alberta has committed up to $200 million in funding for the program.

Grant funding amounts are calculated based on 15% of the eligible organization’s pre-COVID-19 monthly revenue up to a maximum of $5,000 per business, cooperative or non-profit organization.

Eligibility

Businesses, cooperatives and non-profit organizations that were ordered to close or curtail operations as a result of public health orders issued by Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health may be eligible.

Applicants will be required to demonstrate a revenue reduction of at least 50% in April and/or May 2020 as a result of public health orders.

To be eligible, an Alberta business, cooperative or non-profit organization must meet all of the following criteria.

Be one of the following legal entities:
corporation registered under the Business Corporations Act (Alberta)
partnership registered under the Partnership Act (Alberta)
sole proprietor with a trade name registered under the Partnership Act (Alberta)
corporation incorporated under a special act or a private act of the Alberta legislature
non-profit registered under a special act or a private act of the Alberta legislature
non-profit registered under part 9 of the Companies Act (Alberta)
society registered under the Societies Act (Alberta) or Agricultural Societies Act (Alberta)
cooperative registered under the Cooperatives Act (Alberta)
Maintain a permanent establishment (as defined in Appendix I of the Small and Medium Enterprise Relaunch Grant program guidelines) in Alberta and be established (and in good standing) under at least one of the above acts/legislation.
Be carrying on business/operations or were eligible to carry on business/operations in Alberta on February 29, 2020.

Have less than 500 employees (full time, part-time and contract combined):

Seasonal businesses may use the number of employees from the year prior to when the COVID-19 public health orders were introduced, or the average number of employees over the 3 years prior to the COVID-19 public health orders introduced.
Have been ordered to temporarily close or curtail operations through a COVID-19 public health order. See COVID-19 orders and legislation for more information.
Have experienced a reduction in revenue of at least 50% in April and/or May 2020 in comparison to April 2019, May 2019 or February 2020 as a result of the public health orders.
Seasonal businesses that only operate for part of the year may use their average monthly sales revenue for the full months they were in operation during 2019.
Are open or plan to reopen as public health orders are lifted through Alberta’s phased relaunch.
Have not received any payments, grants or amounts from any other sources.

All applications must be submitted through the online application portal. Find detailed information and the Alberta Government application portal here.

 

WB Central Biz - Flood & COVID Recovery Resources - Shop Local!

Navigating Our Recovery Together


WB Central is your main go-to for business resources and support. Get access to local programs and initiatives actioned by the Business Recovery Task Force. WBCentral.BIZ

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9912 Franklin Ave
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Fort McMurray, AB T9H 2K5

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