COVID-19 Business Resiliency
The Chamber of Commerce along with the City of Grande Prairie and County of Grande Prairie Economic Development Departments are working together to provide a unified approach to supporting local businesses during these unprecedented times. Many businesses may be experiencing difficult choices or financial hardship during the COVID-19 crisis and below is a list of resources to help you navigate the various levels of support. If you still have questions, please contact our CEO Tanya Oliver by email firstname.lastname@example.org
Rapid Testing Program
The Grande Prairie & District Chamber of Commerce has partnered with the Government of Alberta and the Alberta Chambers of Commerce to provide complimentary COVID-19 rapid testing kits to small and medium-sized businesses. By frequently testing employees, businesses can stop outbreaks before they happen, keeping employees and customers safe.
Please click on the Rapid Testing Program link below for more information. * A Chamber membership is NOT required.
Register for the Program
Please download the Alberta Rapid Screening Tests Business Application form, carefully read the form as well as the terms and conditions, and if you wish to proceed, complete the form in full and send to email@example.com with the email subject line: Rapid test program participant application
Once we have received your completed form we will review and return a signed copy for your records, along with instructions on how and when to pick up your testing kits.
You will be required to provide weekly reports to the Grande Prairie & District Chamber of Commerce every Monday, stating the number of tests performed and the associated results. You can download the excel form to submit to firstname.lastname@example.org here.
- The rapid testing program provides access to rapid test kits for businesses with employees that frequently enter the workplace.
- These tests are designed to reduce the risk of asymptomatic transmission and should not be administered to those with any COVID-19 symptoms! Those with symptoms should not enter the workplace and should be directed to obtain a PCR test through AHS.
- Individuals who have been vaccinated may receive a screening test.
- All businesses must submit an official application form to be reviewed and approved by the Grande Prairie & District Chamber of Commerce.
- Each rapid test kit contains 25 tests.
- At this time, we will provide businesses with one month’s supply of kits based on the requested number of tests per month included in their application form.
- Each kit contains 25 tests so you will be supplied with the number of tests requested for the month rounded up to the nearest multiple of 25.
- All businesses and not-for-profits are eligible to submit an application to participate in this rapid testing program. A Chamber membership is not required.
- Rapid testing kits are supplied free of charge to all accepted applicants.
- For everyone’s safety, walk-up inquiries are not permitted.
- Each business will be required to set up an official COVID-19 screening program and testing protocol for all employees partaking in rapid testing. Please note, businesses are responsible for all costs related to establishing and operating their screening and testing protocols.
- We recommend referencing these training resources available online for more details.
- Confirmed businesses of the rapid testing program will be required to send weekly reports to the Grande Prairie & District Chamber of Commerce stating the number of tests performed and the associated results.
- If a business ends its screening program, all unused tests are required to be returned to the Grande Prairie & District Chamber of Commerce.
- We will order large quantities of kits, but in the event that we run out, the Government of Alberta has indicated that it takes 3 – 4 business days to re-order. We will advise of any stocking issues prior to the date of your scheduled pickup.
- If your business requires a change to the Alberta Rapid Screening Tests Business Application form, they should contact the Government of Alberta directly at email@example.com
- COVID-19 screening does not remove the obligation of employers to abide by the public orders issued by the Alberta Chief Medical Officer of Health (CMOH), as well as adhere to industry-specific guidance posted on Biz Connect.
For further information including current availability of kits, please call 780-532-5340 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The following documents provide an overview of the Rapid Testing Program and the requirements organizations must follow for a screening program:
- Rapid Testing Program overview
- Guidance on asymptomatic testing
- Rapid test infographic
- Considerations for screening programs
- Asymptomatic screening program common questions
The Chamber and Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Alberta are not liable for any personal or bodily injury or property damage that may be suffered or sustained by the Organization, its employees, contractors or agents or any other person in carrying out this Agreement.
Additionally, you are welcome to reach out to any of the Business Resiliency Taskforce partners to explore other ideas for furthering the promotion of your company. For businesses located in the City of Grande Prairie, we encourage you to review the Local Marketing Grant for consideration: https://www.cityofgp.com/economic-recovery/local-marketing-grant
If you have any questions, please contact Chamber CEO Tanya Oliver by email email@example.com.
Overview of Federal Government Services for Small Business web page that highlights programs and initiatives for small businesses.
Canada Small Business Financing Program:
- home page URL https://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/csbfp-pfpec.nsf/eng/home
Links to the Canada Small Business Financing Program:
The Canada Small Business Financing Program makes it easier for small businesses to get loans from financial institutions by sharing the risk with lenders. Up to a maximum of $1,000,000 for any one borrower, of which no more than $350,000 can be used for purchasing leasehold improvements or improving leased property and purchasing or improving new or used equipment. Financial institutions deliver the program and are solely responsible for approving the loan. For more information download their PDF pamphlet or click here to find a lender near you.
Le Programme de financement des petites entreprises du Canada aide les petites entreprises à obtenir des prêts auprès d'institutions financières en partageant les risques avec les prêteurs. Un emprunteur peut obtenir jusqu'à 1 million de dollar dont un montant maximum de 350 000 $ peut être utilisé pour des améliorations locatives, pour l'amélioration de biens locatifs et pour l'achat ou l'amélioration de matériel neuf ou usagé. Les institutions financières offrent le programme et sont entièrement responsables de l'approbation du prêt. Pour plus de renseignements, veuillez télécharger leur dépliant ou cliquez ici pour trouver un prêteur près de chez vous.
Links to the Govt of Canada Business Benefits Finder:
The Government of Canada has introduced many COVID-19 supports to help businesses weather the storm. To get a tailored list of the ones that fit your business situation or to discover other federal, provincial and territorial programs and services designed to help Canadian businesses grow, try the interactive business benefits finder. You can also sign up for the notification feature to receive emails when there are changes to your favourite programs, when application deadlines are approaching, or when a new program that meets your needs is introduced.
Le gouvernement du Canada a mis en place plusieurs mesures de soutien en réponse à l'éclosion de la COVID-19 pour aider les entreprises durant cette période difficile. Pour obtenir une liste personnalisée des mécanismes de soutien qui répondent aux besoins de votre entreprise ou pour découvrir d’autres programmes et services fédéraux, provinciaux et territoriaux visant à aider les entreprises canadiennes à prendre de l’expansion, essayez l’outil interactif de recherche de soutien pour les entreprises. Vous pouvez également vous inscrire aux avis pour être notifié dès qu’une modification est apportée aux programmes qui vous conviennent, que la date limite pour faire une demande approche ou qu’un nouveau programme répondant à vos besoins est lancé.
- Business Link Business Planning Tool
For further insight and support, the partners have been hosting a series of webinars with local experts that we believe to be of value.
CLICK HERE for the complete series of BRT Webinar recordings to date!
For additional information on the Business Resiliency Task-Force (Grande Prairie & District Chamber of Commerce, City of Grande Prairie and County of Grande Prairie Economic Development Departments) current and past webinars and to register please visit our Eventbrite page.
We would like to thank you for attending our events and sending us topics that you would like covered. This allows us to give the information to the business community in a timely manner.
THANK YOU to everyone who showed us on Facebook how much you #lovelocalgp.
A total of $9,500 to spend locally was awarded to randomly drawn contest participants including five weekly prizes of $200 over the six weeks of the contest as well as the grand prizes of $2,000, $1,000, and $500.
The grand prize winners were:
$500 - Heather MacAskill Logan
$1,000 - Theresa Sankovic
$2,000 - Linda Krawchuk-Nagge
Business Advisory Services Voucher Program
A BRIEF HISTORY
The Business Resiliency Taskforce (BRT) made up of the City of Grande Prairie, County of Grande Prairie and the Grande Prairie & District Chamber of Commerce, formed on March 17 to assess and re-evaluate the current economic situation and the changing nature of business needs during COVID-19.
As one of its first initiatives, BRT worked with Community Futures Grande Prairie & Region to create the Business Advisory Voucher Program. The program focused on connecting eligible businesses impacted by COVID-19 with professional services to assist in pivoting their operations and remaining viable during the pandemic, particularly when most businesses were mandated to close. Community Futures was responsible for administration of the program.
The initial phase of this program saw the partners contribute $50,000 towards addressing businesses' immediate needs and opportunities to pivot, followed by connecting businesses and providing up to $3,000 in funding for critical services.
During this initial phase, it was discovered that the majority of businesses in the program required support in their digital services and marketing efforts. Due to COVID-19, digital marketing and digital services has become a necessity as many individuals are limiting their outings and spending more time at home. Even while businesses are permitted to open, the volume of activity that used to occur at brick-and-mortar locations has changed drastically due to hyper localized shopping. Remaining viable in this new reality has become more dependent than ever on having a digital presence. Businesses in the area typically serve a trading area population of 290,000 which has been significantly reduced due to travel restrictions, particularly in neighbouring provinces.
Through Community Future’s triage of businesses in the program, it was discovered that 75% of businesses accepted into the program identified digital services and marketing as an area that they required support. Of the 21 businesses approved for additional business support services, 16 businesses pursued digital services and marketing.
With the findings noted above, the natural progression for phase 2 of the project is to focus on empowering local businesses with knowledge and skills to navigate the digital realm.
PLEASE SEE THE DIGITAL MARKETING TRAINING TAB ABOVE!