Helping local businesses clear a path to fiscal recovery.
The COVID-19 pandemic has spawned economic uncertainty both worldwide and right here at home. During these challenging times, we want to reassure the business community: we're in this together, and we will support you to the best of our collective ability.
Wetaskiwin Economic Development has developed an economic resiliency strategy as a response to COVID-19 and the direct impacts this pandemic has and will have on our businesses and economy as a whole. This will be a fluid strategy that is responsive to the changing situation.
City News and Initiatives for Local Business Resiliency
The City has temporarily suspended its plastic bag ban, meaning no penalties for businesses wishing to provide or supply them. MORE »
To help ease the strain, City Council moved to freeze utility disconnects and late payment penalties on overdue accounts. MORE »
Intermodal Container Deferral of Fees and Charges Amendment
Administration pushed the current motion on the table to increase fees and charges related to intermodal containers to return to Council in Q4,
Noise Control Considerations
Consideration from the City Manager to issued permits allowing the production of certain sounds outside of normal business due to COVID-19.
The payment deadline for property taxes has been deferred until September 30, 2020. No penalties will be applied to unpaid property taxes.
Deferral of enforcement and penalties for resident businesses until August 31, 2020. Please note that non-resident businesses are still required to obtain a business license to work within the City of Wetaskiwin.
|Planning, Development & Engineering services remain open for inquiries and applications (just not in person). MORE »|
Business Impact Surveys
Help us understand the extent of the impact on your business that the COVID-19 pandemic response has caused.
Outreach to Local Businesses
During the month of April, the City of Wetaskiwin’s Economic Development Department, in partnership with the Leduc and Wetaskiwin Regional Chamber of Commerce, conducted a Business Outreach program.
Through the process, we reached out to 551 businesses who were either a Chamber of Commerce member or have an active business license with the City of Wetaskiwin. Our team had direct communication with 332 businesses. The program was designed as a check-in with the local business community to better understand their needs during COVID-19 and to share resources that may be helpful.
Encourage Businesses to Reach out for Additional Support or Direction
If our team was unable to communicate with your business during the business outreach program, and you require immediate assistance, please reach out to either the City of Wetaskiwin or the Leduc and Wetaskiwin Regional Chamber of Commerce using the information below.
City of Wetaskiwin Economic Development
educ and Wetaskiwin Regional Chamber of Commerce
For those who are starting or continuing with a job search, these are some regional resources you can use:
Resiliency Recommendations for Local Businesses
- The health and safety of yourself, your staff, customers and partners are number one priority; review the section below: Resources for Businesses Affected by COVID-19
- Familiarize yourself with Human Resources policies and processes, including absenteeism, communications, sick leave, employee travel, social distancing, and workplace disinfecting; be clear and consistent with your employees; review Alberta Employment Standards
- Provide resources for those who have or will be laid off, explore the following sections: COVID-19: Financial Relief for Albertans (under Important News); COVID-19 Financial Relief Programs for Businesses, and; Resources for Businesses Affected by COVID-19
- Adhere to Cleaning and disinfection recommendations for COVID-19 (under Important News)
- Abide by physical distancing, gathering restrictions, and all provincial public health orders
- Abide by Alberta Biz Connect guidance for businesses and sectors (see below)
- Implement flexible working arrangements if possible; utilize virtual office environments like GoTo Meetings, Skype for Businesses, Google Hangouts, or Zoom
- Review your supply chain; have a Plan B in case of disruptions of service in your primary vendor(s)
- Work with customers and vendors to defer business instead of cancelling
- Explore options for online sales of products and gift cards
- Should your business need close for any reason, implement measures to reduce the risk of any criminal activity
- Keep storefront and sales area lights on
- Keep exterior lights on
- Turn off/unplug all equipment
- Store flammables and combustibles in secure location
- Keep cash register open and empty; do not leave cash on premises
- Secure other valuables if unable to take them off premises (equipment and stock)
- Secure and lock all doors and windows
- Activate security system and security surveillance equipment
- Prioritize your communications; be factual
- Build a communications plan to vendors, suppliers, customers, staff
- Be sure to communicate topics like: open vs. closed, hours of operation, special offers, items available online (products, gift cards), curbside pickup, takeout
- Be sure to ask your customers to share online if they've purchased a gift card or have supported your business in a specific way
- Be sure to use all communications tools like your website, social media, newsletter, email, flyers, posters, etc.
- Learn about federal and provincial funding opportunities in the section below: COVID-19 Financial Relief Programs for Businesses
- Learn about other government funding opportunities in the section below: COVID-19 Financial Support Measures for Various Sectors
- Explore options to defer your capital costs
- If you're a mortgage holder, reach out to your bank to understand if they're offering any deferred payment programs
- If you rent space, speak with your landlord for support
- Review your insurance policies and speak with your insurance provider for support
- Monitor and preserve your cashflow carefully
Business Relaunch Toolkit
The City has been working hard to build a set of tools to help local businesses during the stages of re-entry. Download some of these great assets to get started:
Business Relaunch Guides
Business Relaunch Poster Series
Business owners and employees: you are not alone.
Resources for Businesses Affected by COVID-19
As businesses prepare to reopen as part of Alberta's relaunch strategy, resources are available to help keep you, your staff, and your customers safe. By working together, we can ensure our sacrifices to slow the spread of COVID-19 are not wasted. To be successful during the economic relaunch, businesses should continue acting responsibly by following public health and physical distancing measures and using good hygiene and disinfecting practices.
This guidance supports all workplaces in preventing the spread of COVID-19.
- Alberta Health daily checklist: October 8
- Cohort groups: June 23
- Enhanced infection prevention and control measures
- Flushing water systems: May 13
- General relaunch guidance: August 20
- Hand sanitizer, what you need to know: June 23
- Industry-initiated COVID-19 testing: September 28
- Non-medical face masks for the general public: May 14
- Occupational Health and Safety resources
- Public health orders and legislation
Guidance for businesses and sectors for Stage 1 of relaunch
This guidance supports sectors that were allowed to operate during the COVID-19 pandemic or could reopen under Stage 1 of relaunch.
- Campgrounds (private and municipal): June 30
- Day camps: August 31
- Daycare and out-of-school care (child care): August 31
- Disability services providers: June 8
- Dog parks: June 18
- Farmers' markets and public markets: September 30
- Food processing facilities: June 18
- Funeral homes: June 18
- Golf course and driving range operators: June 18
- Gondolas, trams and chairlifts: July 21
- Graduation ceremonies: September 29
- Grocery stores: October 8
- Hair salons and barbershops: June 18
- Hotels, motels, bed and breakfasts, and vacation rentals: June 30
- Hunting and fishing lodges, camps and outfitters: June 30
- Industrial work camps: June 5
- Interpretive attractions: June 18
- Malls and shopping centres: June 18
- Multi-family dwellings, condominiums and apartment buildings: June 18
- Museums and art galleries: June 9
- Outdoor events: September 29
- Outdoor fitness: June 22
- Places of worship: October 9
- Playgrounds: June 18
- Post-secondary institutions: June 22
- Preschools: August 31
- Restaurants, cafes, pubs and bars: September 17
- Retail businesses: June 18
- Shelters: preventing, controlling and managing COVID-19: June 8
- Shooting (firearm) ranges: August 12
- Taxis, limos and rideshares: June 29
Guidance for businesses and sectors for Stage 2 of relaunch
This guidance supports businesses and sectors for their reopening under Stage 2 of relaunch, starting June 12.
- Animals and pets: June 22
- Beaches and recreational areas near water: July 17
- Bingo halls: September 30
- Canvassing and campaigning: September 30
- Casinos and racing entertainment centres: September 3
- Chartered tour buses, multi-city buses and passenger trains: June 13
- Drive-in style events: September 14
- Family day home/group family child care programs: August 31
- Food catering: June 11
- Food sampling and beverage tasting: August 21
- Garage, yard and estate sales: July 30
- Home-based mobile and door-to-door operations: September 30
- Horse racing parks and motor raceways: June 30
- Indoor events: June 23
- Indoor recreation entertainment and play centres: September 23
- Instrumental music: September 11
- Junior collegiate and university leagues: October 20
- Large production facilities: June 15
- Libraries: June 9
- Live music, dance and theatre: June 25
- Movie theatres: June 9
- Office buildings: September 16
- Outdoor spray parks and wading pools: June 9
- Outdoor vocal concerts: July 17
- Personal services: September 9
- Professional sporting events: August 4
- Public rallies, marches and demonstrations: June 30
- Public transit: July 8
- Rodeos: September 29
- Safe holiday entertaining: September 24
- School (ECS-12) 2020-21 school re-entry plan: August 27
- School (ECS-12) guidance for school re-entry, scenario 1: August 20
- School (ECS-12) implementing school re-entry guidance: October 8
- Screen-based production industry: June 12
- Seniors centres and seniors serving organizations: August 11
- Singing and vocal performance: September 11
- Sport, physical activity and recreation: October 20
- Summer school re-entry: June 10
- Swimming pools and whirlpools: September 9
- Tradeshows and exhibiting events: August 4
- Video lottery terminal retailers: June 17
- Warehouse operations: June 15
- Wellness services: September 9
Personal protective equipment
As businesses prepare to reopen, it's important to take measures to protect employees and customers:
- Practice good hygiene and thorough cleaning and disinfecting
- Use Health Canada approved hard-surface disinfectants and hand sanitizers for use against COVID-19
- Conduct a hazard assessment to identify existing and potential hazards related to COVID-19
- Aid physical separation through barriers (Plexiglas), signage, floor markings and traffic flow controls to limit people in a space
Business owners can purchase PPE
Connect to PPE suppliers using the websites below. The government is not responsible for products or prices offered on these sites.
Alberta-based businesses that manufacture PPE
The Business Resilience Service allows you to connect with experienced business advisors from across Canada for guidance on which government relief programs will be most appropriate to support your small to medium sized business, not-for-profit or charity on how to respond and reshape amid uncertainty.
The program, delivered to your organization free of charge, provides guidance on COVID-19 financial support program options and eligibility, direction on accessing the most appropriate support organizations, help to make decisions to support recovery plans, and real time insights and feedback to policymakers.
To access the Business Resilience Service, call 1-866-989-1080 and connect with a business advisor from the accounting profession. This service is available 7-days a week,
Essential workers are considered critical to preserving life, health and basic societal functioning. This includes, but is not limited to, first responders, healthcare workers, critical infrastructure workers, hydro and natural gas, and workers essential to supply society by critical goods such as food and medicines.
Businesses and services on the Essential Services list can continue to provide services at locations accessible to the public, but must have proper risk mitigation measures in place, such as sanitation stations and appropriate distancing between customers.
The intent of the Essential Services list is to provide general guidance to business owners and operators. This list is not meant to be exhaustive. If you have questions about how the Essential Services list may apply to your business, please email: BizConnect@gov.ab.ca.
Employers should consider their Business Continuity Plan and how COVID-19 could impact their workplace. To prepare, make plans to protect employees, limit spread in workplaces, ensure continuity of critical services if staff are ill or self-isolating, and explore alternate working arrangements, such as working from home or remotely and/or doing work that doesn't require contact with other people.
As a small business owner, you may be facing immediate challenges or be worrying about the weeks to come in light of the actions taken by our Government to further prevent the spread of COVID-19. Business Link has gathered current information and resources available to you as you work through the implications this has on you and your business.
Business Link is a non-profit organization designed to help small business owners through one-on-one support and guidance, market research, access to experts, training, networking opportunities, and specialized support for Indigenous entrepreneurs. Talk to a small business advisor at Business Link, and get free advice, coaching and information on COVID-19 resources and supports.
Business Link is supported by the Government of Canada and the Alberta Government.
COVID-19 Economic Response Plan for Canada
The Government of Canada is taking immediate, significant and decisive action to help Canadians facing hardship as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.
New Economic Recovery Council for Albertans
The Economic Recovery Council has been appointed to provide insight and expert advice on how to protect jobs during the economic crisis stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic and the recent collapse in energy prices. The Council will also focus on strategies for long-term recovery from the crisis, including efforts to accelerate diversification of the Alberta economy.
COVID-19 Financial Relief Programs for Businesses
- Alberta Credit Unions offer relief solutions
- Assisting innovative and early-stage businesses
- ATB Financial offers access to additional working capital
- Business Credit Availability Program for loan guarantee for SMEs
- Business Credit Availability Program for co-lending for SMEs
- Businesses unable to access other support measures
- Canada Emergency Business Account
- Canada Emergency Commercial Rental Assistance
- Industrial Research Assistance Program for early-stage businesses
- Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility
- Mid-Market Financing Program
- Mid-Market Guarantee and Financing Program
- Regional Relief and Recovery Fund
- Small and Medium Enterprise Relaunch Grant
- Young entrepreneurs
- Utility payment deferrals for Albertans
- WCB premium payment deferrals for Albertans
- Education property tax deferral for Albertans
- Corporate income tax changes for Albertans
- More time to pay income taxes
- Deferral of sales tax remittance and customs duty payments
- Tourism levy deferrals for Albertans
- ATB Financial offers payment deferrals on loans and lines of credit
- Alberta Credit Unions offer relief solutions
COVID-19 Financial Support Measures for Various Sectors
- Keeping workers in food supply chain safe
- Increasing credit availability
- Helping food producers access more PPE and adapt to health protocols
- Helping producers faced with additional costs incurred by COVID-19
- Increasing the Canadian Dairy Commission borrowing limit
- Helping redistribute existing and unsold inventories
- Increasing interim payments from 50% to 75% through AgriStability
- Expanding the AgriInsurance to include labour shortage