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Alberta: COVID-19 relief measures for your business

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We know that this is a difficult time, full of uncertainty. The information you need to run your business changes rapidly, and it can be hard to keep track and make sense of it all.  

In order to relieve some of the pressure on small businesses such as yours, we are gathering all the information you need about government services and supports in Alberta and putting them in this one location. We will continue working with governments to ensure additional relief measures become available for your business as the situation evolves.

Please check back regularly. We will update this page as more information becomes available. 

Closures

Consult our guide to learn which businesses are currently closed in Alberta.

Supports for businesses

The Alberta government has announced measures to help small businesses maintain normal business operations.

  • Corporate income tax changes: corporate income tax balances and installment payments will be deferred until August 31, 2020.
  • Utility payment deferral: residents, agri-businesses and small businesses 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. Call your utility provider directly to arrange for a 90-day deferral on all payments. Learn more about utility payment deferral here.
  • Education property tax freeze: the Alberta government canceled the decision made in Budget 2020 and will freeze education property taxes at last year's level (a savings of $32 million for businesses).
  • Education property tax deferral: the Alberta government has deferred education property tax for businesses for the next six months.
  • WCB premium deferral and relief: WCB premiums have been deferred until early 2021. Employers who have already paid their WCB premium payment for 2020 are eligible for a rebate or credit. For small and medium businesses, the government with cover 50% of the premium when it is due. Find out more here.
  • Tourism levy deferral: Hotels and other lodging providers can delay paying the tourism levy until August 31, 2020 for amounts that become due to government on or after today.

For more detailed information, please visit the Alberta government’s COVID-19 information page.

Alberta Banks

ATB Financial and Alberta credit unions announced assistance to customers impacted by COVID-19. 

ATB Financial customers impacted by COVID-19

  • Customers can apply for a deferral on their ATB loans, lines of credit, and mortgages for up to six months.
  • Small business customers, in addition to payment deferrals on loans and lines of credit, will be provided access to additional working capital.
  • For other business and agriculture customers, ATB will work with customers on a one-on-one basis and further solutions are being considered at this time.
  • For more information on ATB’s relief program, please visit their website.

Alberta credit unions

  • Credit union members will have access to a variety of programs and solutions designed to ease difficulties with loan payments and short-term cash flow.
  • Both individual and business members are encouraged to proactively contact their credit union directly to work out a plan for their personal situation.
Support for employees

Changes to the Alberta Employment Standards Code

The Alberta government made changes to the Employment Standards Code that offer 14-day job protected leave for employees who are required to self-isolate. 

Alberta has an Emergency Isolation Support program that offers paid leave for employees without access to EI for receiving benefits like vacation time or sick leave. This program is also available for small business owners and the self-employed. The benefit is a one-time payment of $1,146 that is meant to bridge the gap until the Federal program commences in April. To access the benefit, the following criteria need to be met: 
 

  • The person will be required to state they require a direct cash payment, or they won’t be able to self-isolate.
  • The person must meet Alberta’s published criteria for self-isolation which includes persons who are the sole caregiver for a dependent who must self-isolate or have been directed by Alberta Health Services to self-isolate. 
  • Supporting documents (e.g. proof of salary) do not need to be submitted with the application but will need to be kept by the person to assist with auditing the programs effectiveness after the fact.

Workers’ Compensation

Information and updates on workers’ compensation issues related to COVID-19 can be found on the website and on the COVID-19 Fact Sheet. The fact sheet includes answers to questions such as:

  • When COVID-19 may be work related?
  • Do I report cases where one staff member caught COVID-19 from a co-worker?
  • When do I report a case of COVID-19 to WCB-Alberta?
  • What happens when I submit a COVID-19 claim?
What is my municipality doing?

Consult our guide to see what your municipality is doing to support businesses in your community.

What is CFIB doing?

With the emergence of COVID-19, our primary concern at CFIB is keeping you, your employees and your business safe. We will provide you with expert advice to guide you through this difficult time, as well as templates and policies that prevent viral transmission in the workplace. We will also continue putting pressure on governments to give your business greater relief—including direct income support.

CFIB’s Alberta legislative team is working to make sure government officials know what your business needs are. We have asked the Alberta government to:

  • Introduce an Emergency Relief Provision in the Alberta Employment Standards Code
  • Provide relief measures for rent and lease payments for small businesses
  • Have a small business hotline to help if business needs to temporary close or how to access/apply for provincial relief measures
  • Press pause on routine audits.

FAQ on COVID-19

We’re dedicated to supporting your business through this difficult time by compiling answers to the most common COVID-19 questions and keeping you up to date on the latest relief measures from the federal government. Visit our Small Business Help Center to learn more.