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Latest news

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.

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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

Regional Relief and Recover Fund - NEW

New Funding Available to Rural Businesses in Western Canada

Small and medium size businesses in rural communities have been hit hard by COVID19. Until now, many have not qualified for federal government funding supports such as the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) or Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP). That is about to change. 

Rural businesses will be able to apply for loans of up to $40,000 from the $95.7 million earmarked for Western Canada through the Government of Canada’s Regional Relief and Recovery Fund.  For more information, please contact Community Futures Wood Buffalo at 780-791-0330 ext. 2 or by cfwbmanager [at] albertacf.com (subject: Regional%20Relief%20and%20Recovery%20Fund%20-%20Inquiry) (email).

Regional Relief and Recovery Fund and Community Futures Facts Sheet 

News Release - Western Economic Diversification Canada 

News Release - Community Futures PanWest

Fort McMurray Flood Recovery of Commercial Spaces Begins

Damage assessment teams, consisting of building and safety codes inspectors have been rapidly deployed to inspect each commercial property in the indirect flood-zone. These damage assessments will provide a better idea of the extent of damage to commercial properties.

After these commercial damage assessments are completed, business owners who are deemed crucial for providing re-entry resources, and who are approved by the Regional Emergency Coordination Centre, will be able to return to their properties to assess damages, and begin the recovery process.

Although these properties are located in zones that were not directly affected by flood waters, there is a strong possibility that damage could be present.

The facilitation of access for crucial re-entry resources will begin today.

Officials within the Regional Emergency Coordination Centre have determined a specific list of these re-entry resources, and will be in direct contact with these resources. Critical re-entry resources include key government infrastructure, grocery stores, hardware stores, gas stations, hotels, and pharmacies.  At this time, other requests for access for assessment are not being granted.

Further details on the recovery plan will be provided regularly on the RMWB Website.

Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF)

On behalf of the Community Futures Network of Canada and the 268 Community Futures Organizations located in rural areas and territories across Canada, we applaud the Prime Minister's announcement from Friday, April 17th where $287M dollars have been allocated to the Community Futures Network.

This funding will be allocated towards smaller employers and businesses located in rural parts of the country who do not qualify for the recently announced wage subsidy or loans or still need assistance in managing their operations through these challenging times.

As Canadians work together to limit the spread of COVID-19, the severe financial impacts of the pandemic and physical distancing measures have ben particularly challenging for rural communities and the small businesses that they rely on to provide essential goods and service. The loss of one of these businesses in a small community, where there are no other local options, can be devastating. And we know that some of the greatest impacts, in seasonal industries like tourism, are yet to come.

That's why we are so appreciative of the supports announced today by Prime Minister Trudeau.

The higher operating costs faced by rural small businesses and the smaller markets that they serve mean that the current loss of revenues is felt harder, and that their road to recovery will be longer and more challenging. The funds announced today will go a long way towards making that road easier to travel.

The Government of Canada RRRF

COVID-19 Support for Small Business

Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) 

We wanted to share some additional details about the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA), which was announced by the Government of Canada on March 27.

What is the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA)?

To ensure that small businesses have access to the capital they need to see them through the current challenges, the Government of Canada has announced the launch of the new Canada Emergency Business Account, which will be implemented by eligible financial institutions in cooperation with Export Development Canada (EDC).

This $25 billion program 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, due to the economic impacts of the COVID-19 virus.  This will better position them to quickly return to providing services to their communities and creating employment. 

To learn more about CEBA, please refer to the Department of Finance Canada website.  To enrole online, please see the Royal Bank of Canada.

 

Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP)

We live and work right here in Fort McMurray just like you, and we are standing ready to provide financing and support to local businesses through these uncertain times. 

While developments are happening quickly, we are offering the following information to help you plan and respond to this rapidly changing situation. 

The Government of Canada established this program to further support financing in the private sector through the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) and Export Development Canada (EDC).

Businesses seeking support through BCAP should first contact their financial institutions for an assessment of their situation.
If you are an existing Community Futures client reach out to us and we'll help you assess your situation.
Existing BDC clients should reach out to their account manager for additional information.

Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan

On March 18, 2020, the Prime Minister announced a new set of economic measures to help stabilize the economy during this challenging period. These measures, delivered as part of the Government of Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan, will provide up to $27 billion in direct support to Canadian workers and businesses.

 

Supporting Employers & Employees

Alberta Government Resources

Respiratory viruses and the workplace: OHS information for employers, supervisors and workers

Employment standards rules

Pandemic Business continuity planning (PDF, 319 KB)

WCB COVID-19 worker fact sheet (PDF, 57 KB)

WCB COVID-19 employer fact sheet (PDF, 70 KB)

POSTERS: Help Prevent the Spread

 

Federal Government Resources

Employment and Social Development Canada

Work-Sharing program

CFIB Small Business Resources

Helpline to all business owners including non-CFIB members for advice on managing COVID-19 situations in the workplace.
Call at 1-888-234-2232.

Keeping your employees safe - (Canadian Federation of Independent Business)

 

Business Preparedness

General Small Business Resources

Alberta Pandemic Preparedness checklist for business

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce Pandemic Preparedness website

Continuity Plan Toolkit for Entrepreneurs - Business Development of Canada (BDC)

Economic Development Resouces

Tips for Alberta Business and Community Leaders – Economic Developers Alberta

 

If you need assistance, reach out to us. We are here to help!  780-791-0330   CFWBadmin [at] albertacf.com

 

Resources for Employers and Staff During COVID-19

GOVERNMENT OF CANADA RESOURCES

Find ongoing general updates from the Government of Canada.

For general business information.

Work-share Program:  The Government of Canada offers the Work-Sharing Program, which is designed to help employers and employees avoid layoffs when there is a temporary reduction in the normal level of business activity that is beyond the control of the employer.

For more info, check out the Work-Sharing program website or call the Employer Contact Centre at 1-800-367-5693.

Employment Insurance Program:  The Government of Canada offers benefits for individuals who may qualify if they have lost their job.  

COVID EI claims can be made at:  1-833-381- 2725.
 

GOVERNMENT OF ALBERTA RESOURCES

Current COVID updates.

Information for employers and employees:
     
Income Support Program

Income Support can help you and your family with basic living costs and other necessities. Depending on your needs and situation you may be eligible to receive assistance through Alberta’s Income Support program.  It is income/asset tested for your entire household and “ongoing” and/or “emergency benefit” streams.

Income support policy and contact information.  

Note: your local office may be assessing via telephone, not in person at this time.   

Information on employment rules for layoffs and terminations.

ADDITIONAL LINKS

• Canadian Chamber of Commerce.

• Flexibility regarding filing Taxes.

• Fort McMurray Chamber of Commerce is updating their websites regularly with very good information.

VALUABLE INFORMATION FOR SMALL BUSINESS IN CANADA

The Canadian Federation for Independent Business has an extensive database of information through their COVID-19 Small Business Help Centre. Access it by clicking here.

 

Stay healthy & hopeful.

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Community Futures Wood Buffalo
9912 Franklin Ave
Suite 105
Fort McMurray, AB T9H 2K5

780-791-0330

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Anzac, 
Chard, 
Cheecham, 
Conklin, 
Devenish, 
Draper, 
Fort Chipewyan, 
Fort Fitzgerald, 
Fort MacKay, 
Fort McMurray, 
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Saprae Creek, 
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