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Our COVID-19 Response

We are committed to safely reopening our economy and progressing towards long-term recovery while also reducing the risk of COVID-19. Our office is closed and all staff are working from home, but we continue to work on behalf of Calgarians. We are collaborating with organizations including the Calgary Chamber, Tourism Calgary and Business Council of Alberta to work with all orders of government towards economic recovery and resiliency.

Supporting our local workforce and business community continues to be a main priority. For those hiring or looking for work, our new site Connecting YYC links Calgary job seekers with businesses in need of immediate talent.

This is also the time for fresh thinking and new ideas as many businesses are having to pivot in response to the evolving landscape. One of the best resources for innovative thinking are post-secondary students and our site YYC Student Connection allows businesses to connect with these students. From marketing, strategy, planning and more, visit the website to resource a project with a post-secondary student and provide them with practical, volunteer experience.

As part of our efforts to provide the tools and resources for navigating business continuity amid COVID-19, we are also hosting webinars to help businesses prepare for the rapidly changing environment.

Camaraderie and community spirit continue to bring businesses together for shared prosperity. If you have a solution or offer for your peers, the broader YYC community or global economy, tell us about it at our new YYC Business Marketplace. 

Our Insights

As a credible voice for the Calgary business community, Calgary Economic Development shares its insights on our city’s path forward after the pandemic and other timely topics in opinion articles and podcasts.

Opinion Editorials:

Podcasts:

Alberta's Relaunch Strategy

We are currently in Stage 2 of the Government of Alberta's strategy to gradually reopen businesses while slowing the spread of COVID-19. For more information on which businesses are permitted to open and guidelines on how to reopen your business, please see the resources below:

Support for Calgary Businesses

We are here for the Calgary business community as a credible resource as we navigate these uncertain times. We want to ensure you are prepared for business disruption, including accessing government resources to mitigate potential impacts to your business and employees. We've compiled this list of resources for small business, nonprofits, startups and entrepreneurs, and employees. The list below also provides information on tax relief and deferrals, funding information and international trade.

 

General

Browse resources and advice from our valued Team Calgary partners, government, and other organizations to help your business navigate during COVID-19:

Leadership by our Team Calgary partners

Team Calgary is a corporate partnership program that engages Calgary's visionary thought leaders to help influence Calgary's economic growth. Learn what these organizations are doing to respond to COVID-19 and to support our local community here.

For Small Businesses

Small businesses are facing challenging times during this pandemic. Please consult these resources for additional guidance:

For Startups & Entrepreneurs

The following resources have been created specifically for startups, entrepreneurs and founders to assist their businesses during COVID-19:

For Non-Profits

For more information on supporting non-profits, please consult the following resources:

For Employees

Below is a summary of the assistance available to employees who have been laid off or had their hours reduced as a result of COVID-19:

Government of Canada:

  • Employment Insurance Program
  • Canada Emergency Response Benefit
    Taxable benefit of $2,000 a month for up to four months for workers who lost their income due to COVID-19. CERB covers Canadians who lost their job, are sick, quarantined, taking care of someone sick with COVID-19, or are working parents who must stay home without pay to care for children who are sick or at home because of school and daycare closures. If you have stopped working because of COVID-19, the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) may provide you with temporary income support. The CERB provides $500 a week for up to 16 weeks.
  • Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy
    Provides eligible employers with up to 75 per cent of employee wages for up to three months, retroactive to March 15. Companies with revenue that decreased at least 30 per cent are paid directly so they continue to pay employees. The subsidy is open to all-size companies, including not-for-profits and charities. It excludes foreign-owned companies. The CRA will begin to accept applications on Monday, April 27, 2020.

Government of Alberta:

Workers Compensation Board (Alberta):

Funding Information

Learn more about the funding options available for your business during COVID-19:

Government of Canada:

Export Development Canada

  • Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP)
    This $10-billion program is a partnership between EDC and Canadian financial institutions to support businesses financially impacted by COVID-19. EDC will provide a guarantee to your financial institution to provide access to additional credit for payroll and operational costs.

Tax Relief or Deferrals

Explore information regarding tax relief, and changes to corporate income tax including deferrals in the list below:

City of Calgary:

  • Business Improvement Area (BIA)
    Late payments cancelled until June 30 for tax penalties between April 1 and June 30. 
    Businesses that have not paid the BIA tax have until June 30, 2020 to pay a penalty free. A penalty of 7% would apply to taxes outstanding as of July 1, 2020. 

  • Tax Instalment Payment Plan (TIPP)
    Non-residential property owners participating on Tax instalment payment plan (TIPP). You’ll see a decrease in your April 1 instalment equal to the provincial property tax portion of your tax instalment. This portion has been deferred for six months.
     

Government of Alberta:

  • WCB premium payment deferral
    Small, medium and large private-sector employers can defer WCB premium payments until 2021. For small and medium businesses, the government will cover 50 per cent of the 2020 premium when it is due in 2021. Employers who paid WCB premiums in 2020 are eligible for a rebate or credit.

  • Corporate income tax changes
    Corporate income tax balances and instalment payments due between March 18 and August 31, 2020 can be deferred until August 31, 2020 to increase employers’ access to cash so they can pay employees, address debts and continue operations.  

  • Education property tax Deferral
    Education property tax rates will be frozen at last year’s level – reversing a 3.4 per cent in Budget 2020. Collection of non-residential education property tax for businesses will be deferred for 6 months. Deferred amounts will be repaid in future tax years. 

  • Tourism levy deferral
    Hotels and other lodging providers can delay paying the tourism levy until Aug. 31 for amounts that become due to government on or after March 27, 2020. Payments deferred until Aug. 31 will not be subject to penalties or interest. 

  • Utility payment deferral
    Residential, farm and small commercial customers can defer electricity and natural gas bill payments for the next 90 days to ensure no one will be cut off, regardless of the service provider This program is available to Albertans experiencing financial hardship as a direct result of COVID-19. 


For International Trade

For more information on international trade, please consult the following resources:

Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA)

toll-free line is in place to answer your questions about the Canada-U.S. border, what are deemed essential services and what documentation is required. Please call 1-800-461-9999 within Canada, and 1-204-983-3500 or 1-506-636-5064 outside Canada. 

Other resources include:

Data Hub

For statistics and data related to COVID-19, please refer to the list below:

Latest Government Updates

Visit these sites to learn about the latest announcements from our municipal, provincial and federal governments

How You Can Help Your Community

Even during this crisis, we can continue to support our community while practicing social distancing.

Health & Safety

We all have a responsibility to help prevent the spread. Please take steps to protect yourself and your community by following the guidelines for physical distancing, good hygiene, and staying home and away from others if sick or in isolation. 

Following are some helpful resources:

If you feel unwell or start to develop symptoms associated with COVID-19, please follow the guidelines from Alberta Health Services:

 

In the News

Stay informed with the latest news surrounding COVID-19.

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