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Your business and COVID-19 in Alberta

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We’re here to help

To help you navigate these challenging times, this page provides information on pandemic-related restrictions, support measures, government services, and useful CFIB resources for Alberta. You’ll also learn how CFIB is fighting for your business.

May 4, 2021 – New public health measures to slow the spread of COVID-19 have been implemented in Alberta. Learn more on how the new restrictions will impact your business.

Help us amplify your voice for better support

To get through the pandemic and its impacts, your business will need better and more flexible help from the government of Alberta. Join the fight for greater relief.

Use our operational plan template

Protecting your staff, customers, and business is a top priority, so we’ve put together an operational plan template to help you do just that. With tips for best practices, advice on meeting provincial compliance requirements, and links to downloadable COVID-19 resources, the plan is clear, concise, and easy to tailor to your needs.


Public health measures & restrictions

Business restrictions/Lockdown/Re-opening/Alert Level changes

Starting May 5, new restrictions are in effect for high case regions (with at least 50 cases per 100,000, and at least 30 active cases):

Fitness – effective 11:59 pm on May 9, 2021
• Indoor fitness and recreation facilities must close, including for 1-on-1 training
• All outdoor sports and recreation are prohibited, except with members of your household

Personal services - effective 11:59 pm on May 9, 2021
• Personal and wellness services, including hair salons, barbers, nail salons, estheticians, tattoos and piercing, must close.

Retail – effective May 5, 2021
• Retail services must limit customer capacity to 10% of fire code occupancy (not including staff) or a minimum of 5 customers
• Curbside pick-up and delivery is still permitted

Gatherings – effective May 5, 2021
• Indoor gatherings remain prohibited
• Outdoor gatherings limited to no more than 5 people and a maximum of 2 household cohorts

Schools – effective May 7, 2021, provincewide
• Kindergarten to Grade 12 schools will transition to online learning, effective May 7.
• Post-secondary schools will transition to online learning, effective May 5.

For information on business restrictions, please visit the government of Alberta’s page on “stronger public health measures”.

Mandatory Mask Regulations

For more information on the provincial wide mandatory mask requirements, please visit the government of Alberta’s page on “mask requirements”.

Your municipality may also have specific guidelines for mask requirements in private businesses. Please visit your municipal government website to stay informed.

PPE/OHS/Mental health

PPE suppliers

Non-AHS facilities are encouraged to request PPE through the government’s one-stop email address at [email protected].

Learn more by visiting the government of Alberta’s page on “Personal protective equipment”.

Employee management

OH&S and employment standards/Labour legislation change
  • More information about workplace rules can be found on the government of Alberta’s page “Alberta Biz Connect” under “Workplace Rules”.
  • COVID-19 Temporary Layoff Period: Increased the maximum time for temporary layoffs from 60 days to 180 days. This change is retroactive for temporary layoffs related to COVID-19 that occurred on or after March 17, 2020.
  • Quarantine leave: Employees are entitled to 14 days of unpaid, job-protected leave if they are required to quarantine due to COVID-19. This leave can be taken more than once.
  • Family responsibility leave: Created a job-protected leave for employees caring for children affected by school and daycare closures or ill or self-isolated family members due to COVID-19

For more information about the Alberta government’s vaccine plan, please visit the government of Alberta’s page on “COVID-19 vaccine program”.

Mental health

Online resources are available if you need advice on handling stressful situations.

Help in Tough Times (AHS)

Mental health and coping with COVID-19 (CDC)

If you need to talk, call the 24-hour help lines:

Mental Health Help Line at 1-877-303-2642

Addiction Help Line at 1-866-332-2322

Rapid Testing

Employers can apply through the Alberta government to receive free rapid testing kits to use in their business' COVID screening program. More information can be found on the government of Alberta's page on "Rapid Testing".

Financial relief & government support

Alberta Support Programs
  • Alberta SME Relaunch Grant: the Alberta government is providing eligible small businesses and non-profits to access up to $30,000 to help with relaunch costs (Phase 1: $5,000, Phase 2: $15,000, Phase 3: $10,000). Applications for the third round of the program are now open; rounds 1 & 2 are now closed. Applications will remain open until May 31, 2021. For more information, please visit the government of Alberta’s page on “Small and Medium Enterprise Relaunch Grant”.
  • Education property tax freeze: the Alberta government cancelled the decision made in Budget 2020 and will freeze education property taxes at last year's level (a savings of $32 million for businesses). In the 2021 Budget, the government made a commitment to freeze education property taxes for a second year.
  • Tourism levy deferral: Hotels and other lodging providers can keep tourism levy amounts collected between March 1, 2020 and March 31, 2021.

What CFIB is doing in Alberta

What we’ve achieved
  • Additional relief through the Enhanced COVID-19 Business Benefit
  • Alberta SME Relaunch Grant
    • Expansion from $5,000 to $30,000 and
    • Grant available to new businesses and sole proprietors
  • Reopening plan for small businesses
  • Commercial eviction protection for businesses that was retroactive to March 17, 2020 and in place until August 31, 2020
  • WCB premium deferrals and 50% rebate
  • Extension of the COVID-19 temporary layoff period from 120 days to 180 days
What we’re asking for
  • Reopen rounds 1 & 2 of the SME Relaunch Grant
  • To re-introduce commercial eviction protection legislation to last until the province is well past Stage 4 of its relaunch plan

Learn more on how CFIB is fighting for better relief at the federal level.

Additional resources

Don’t see the information you need? Talk to an expert – it's FREE

CFIB members get one-on-one advice from our business counsellors, exclusive access to helpful webinars, weekly email updates, and a voice in the support measures we push for from the government.

CFIB members: Get in touch today.

Not a CFIB member? We want to support you during this crisis. With a FREE temporary CFIB membership, you can access the same benefits and supports as a CFIB member.

Visit our COVID-19 Help Centre

Our primary concern at CFIB is making sure you have the support you need to get through this uncertain and challenging time. We provide you with expert advice and ensure that you have all of the latest information on government announcements and available support.

Visit our Help Centre