2020 COVID-19 Pandemic Response

In January 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the novel coronavirus a global health emergency. The virus, known as COVID-19, was first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China.

Then, on March 11, 2020, the WHO assessed COVID-19 as a pandemic. 

Just like our response to the 2013 Southern Alberta Flood, and the 2016 For McMurray Wildfires, in response to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic,  EDA is taking the lead in providing ideas, tools and resources to accelerate business and economic recovery. 

Your Input Matters 

COVID-19 and Low Oil Prices Business Impact Survey

Economic Developers Alberta (EDA), the Alberta Chambers of Commerce (ACC) and Community Futures Alberta are collaborating in the COVID-19 and Low Oil Prices Business Impact Survey.

Read the full survey report here

EDA Business Impact Survey

Between March 20-24,2020, EDA hosted an online survey to gather information on the impact the pandemic is having on Alberta businesses. To view the results click here.

Other Resources

Here is a link to a page of Other Resources you will find useful. 

Beyond COVID Webinar Series: Business & Economic Recovery

Since March, we have been holding a series of FREE virtual seminars designed to connect us with community leaders from Alberta, across Canada and around the world. These weekly webinars provide information to help accelerate business and economic recovery. 

As of May 20, we have shifted our focus slightly. These "Beyond COVID" webinars will profile various topics and/or industries; in particular, where the opportunities are post-COVID. We are pleased to be hosting these with AUMA. We have taken a pause on these webinars but you can see recordings of past webinars by visiting the blog at the bottom of this page.   


Visit the blog below to find presentations and webinar recordings.

  • March 27, 2020 5:00 PM | Anonymous

    New Small and Medium-sized Enterprise Loan and Guarantee program to help ease access to credit for entrepreneurs impacted by COVID-19.

    Program to include loans to be risk-shared between BDC and financial institutions.

    Read more here: 


  • March 27, 2020 1:48 PM | Anonymous

    Prime Minister announces support for small businesses facing impacts of COVID-19

    March 27, 2020
    Ottawa, Ontario

    The Government of Canada is focused on helping Canadians and businesses through this tough economic time. We will continue to protect the health and safety of Canadians, while supporting families and businesses and keeping our economy strong in the face of uncertainty.

    The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today announced additional new measures to support small businesses dealing with the economic impacts of the pandemic. These measures will help Canadian businesses protect the jobs that Canadians depend on, and pay their workers and bills during these difficult times.

    Today’s announcement is a part of the government’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan, which already commits $107 billion in support to Canadians so they can buy groceries, pay rent, and care for their loved ones, and also supports businesses through this difficult time. 

    To further support small businesses, the Government of Canada will:

    · Announce a 75 per cent wage subsidy for qualifying businesses, for up to 3 months, retroactive to March 15, 2020. This will help businesses to keep and return workers to the payroll. More details on eligibility criteria will start with the impact of COVID-19 on sales, and will be shared before the end of the month.

    · Allow businesses, including self-employed individuals, to defer all Goods and Services Tax/Harmonized Sales Tax (GST/HST) payments until June, as well as customs duties owed for imports. This measure is the equivalent of providing up to $30 billion in interest-free loans to Canadian businesses. It will help businesses so they can continue to pay their employees and their bills, and help ease cash-flow challenges across the country.

    · Launch the new Canada Emergency Business Account. This program will provide up to $25 billion to eligible financial institutions so they can provide interest-free loans to small businesses. These loans – guaranteed and funded by the Government of Canada – will ensure that small businesses have access to the capital they need, at a zero per cent interest rate, so they can pay for rent and other important costs over the next number of months.

    · Launch the new Small and Medium-sized Enterprise Loan and Guarantee program that will enable up to $40 billion in lending, supported through Export Development Canada and Business Development Bank, for guaranteed loans when small businesses go to their financial institutions to help weather the impacts of COVID-19. This is intended for small and medium-sized companies that require greater help to meet their operational cash flow requirements.

    These new investments will help Canada’s financial institutions provide the credit and liquidity options that a range of Canadian businesses need immediately.

    The Government of Canada understands that some sectors have been disproportionally impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. We will continue to carefully monitor all developments, and take further action in the near term. We’re all in this together, and the Government of Canada will continue to work around the clock to ensure all Canadians and small businesses get the support they need to weather this crisis.


    “Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, and an important source of good jobs across this country. They are facing economic hardship and uncertainty during the COVID-19 pandemic, and that is why we are taking action now to help them get the financial help they need to protect their workers and pay their bills.”

    The Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada 

    “The measures that we are taking to protect Canadians and our economy from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic remind us that extraordinary times demand extraordinary actions. With the new measures we are announcing today to support businesses, we are showing once again that we will do what we must to ensure that workers and businesses are supported through the outbreak, and that our economy remains strong in the face of adversity.”

    The Hon. Bill Morneau, Minister of Finance 

    Quick Facts

    · The deferral to June of GST/HST payments, as well as customs duties owing on imports, will generally apply to remittances that become due in March, April, and May. These amounts would normally have been due to the Canada Revenue Agency and the Canada Border Services Agency as early as the end of this month. This measure will take effect immediately, through existing authorities.

    · The Canada Revenue Agency is introducing a series of administrative measures to remove some of the burden on businesses experiencing financial hardship.

    · The new Canada Emergency Business Account will provide funding to eligible financial institutions so that they can provide interest-free loans in the form of lines of credit of up to $40,000 to businesses with payrolls of less than $1 million. A quarter of this loan (up top $10,000) is eligible for complete forgiveness.

    · The new Small and Medium-sized Enterprise Loan and Guarantee program will operate as follows: 

    o   Export Development Canada will provide guarantees to financial institutions so that they can issue new operating credit and cash flow term loans of up to $6.25 million to small and medium-sized businesses. These loans will be 80 per cent guaranteed by Export Development Canada, to be repaid within one year.

    o   Small and medium-sized businesses can also get support through a new Co-Lending Program that will bring the Business Development Bank of Canada together with financial institutions to co-lend term loans to these businesses for their operational cash flow requirements. Eligible businesses may obtain incremental credit amounts of up to $6.25 million through the program, which will be risk-shared at 80 per cent between the Business Development Bank of Canada and the financial institutions. Eligible financial institutions will conduct the underwriting and funding directly for customers. 

    · The government has already introduced several measures to support businesses affected by COVID-19: 

    o   Providing eligible small employers a temporary wage subsidy for a period of three months. The subsidy will be equal to 10 per cent of remuneration paid during that period, up to a maximum subsidy of $1,375 per employee and $25,000 per employer. Businesses will be able to benefit immediately from this support by reducing their remittances of income tax withheld on their employees’ remuneration.

    o   Extending the maximum duration of the Work-Sharing program, from 38 weeks to 76 weeks, for workers who agree to reduce their normal working hours because of developments beyond the control of their employers.

    o   Establishing a Business Credit Availability Program, largely targeted to small and medium-sized businesses, through the Business Development Bank of Canada and Export Development Canada. These organizations are working closely with private sector lenders to coordinate on credit solutions for individual businesses, including in sectors such as oil and gas, air transportation, and tourism.

    o   Increasing credit available for farmers and the agri-food sector through Farm Credit Canada.

    o   Deferring the payment of income taxes. The government is allowing all taxpayers to defer, until after August 31, 2020, the payment of income tax amounts owed on or after March 18 and before September 2020. This relief would apply to tax balances due, as well as instalments, under Part I of the Income Tax Act. No interest or penalties will accumulate on these amounts during this period.

    Related Product

    ·        Additional support for Canadian businesses from the economic impact of COVID-19

    Associated Links

    ·        Prime Minister outlines Canada’s COVID-19 response

    ·        Government of Canada takes action on COVID-19

    ·        Canada outlines measures to support the economy and the financial sector

  • March 25, 2020 3:18 PM | Anonymous

    Here is a recording of the webinar March 25.

    To download results from the survey, click here.

  • March 24, 2020 6:00 PM | Anonymous

    Our CEO Leann Hackman Carty was on the radio program  “Calgary Today" with Joe McFarland. To listen to the interview,  please click the link, select the date: March 24 and the time 4:00. Her interview is just after the news segment.

    Calgary Today 


  • March 20, 2020 3:30 PM | Anonymous

    COVID-19 Business Impact Survey

    In consultation with our various economic development partners, Economic Developers Alberta (EDA) has agreed to develop and share this online survey for distribution to the broader Alberta business community. 

    This short survey will enable us to gather consistent, high level data on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic to Alberta businesses. 

    We will then be able to share overall trends on immediate needs and the resources required. 

    One of EDA's priorities is to ensure we all have the best and most relevant information available to navigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic to our businesses and economies. 

    The survey is available on our website: www.edaalberta.ca.

  • March 19, 2020 4:30 PM | Anonymous

    BDC announces additional measures to provide relief for Canadian entrepreneurs

    New measures include working capital, payment postponements and rate reductions

    Effective immediately, new relief measures for qualified businesses include:

    • Working capital loans of up to $2 million with flexible terms and payment postponements for up to 6 months for qualifying businesses; 
    • Postponement of payments for up to six months, free of charge, for existing BDC clients with total BDC loan commitment of $1 million or less
    • Reduced rates on new eligible loans
    • Additional details regarding Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) measures, including industry specific support, to be announced in the coming days. 

    MONTREAL, March 18, 2020—In addition to its existing products and services, BDC, Canada's bank for entrepreneurs, has announced additional measures to provide relief to business owners impacted by the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) as part of the BCAP. These actions complement other measures to be announced in the coming days, as well as the measures announced by the Government of Canada earlier today.

    Businesses seeking support through BCAP should first contact their financial institutions for an assessment of their situation. Financial institutions will refer to EDC and BDC their existing clients whose needs extend beyond what is available through the private sector alone. Existing BDC clients should reach out to their account manager for additional information.

    "This is not the first time BDC steps in and acts as a shock-absorber for entrepreneurs. We did it during the financial crisis in 2008-2009 and when the oil prices collapsed in 2016. When available credit goes down, BDC lending goes up", says Michael Denham, BDC President and CEO. "Entrepreneurs are telling us the current situation is putting pressure on their supply chains, their cashflow and their people. We are here for them and their business. Now, more than ever, are we having meaningful conversations with entrepreneurs on business continuity, financial management and operations to help them emerge stronger".

    "These strong measures provide immediate relief to Canadian small businesses and entrepreneurs," says the Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade. "Nobody should have to lay off their employees due to COVID-19, and the need to help with cash flow and liquidity is something I've heard directly from small business owners and entrepreneurs across Canada. Working together with BDC, we will do whatever it takes to help businesses through this difficult time."

    These new measures aim to alleviate the impact of COVID-19 on business activity and complement services offered by other financial institutions, with whom BDC will continue working. For BDC, eligible businesses needed to be financially viable entities prior to the impact of the coronavirus.

    As announced by the Government of Canada on March 13, BDC is collaborating with Export Development Canada (EDC) and chartered banks as part of BCAP to provide more than $10 billion in direct lending and other types of additional support at market rates to help businesses through to a more stable time.

    Given the high volume of requests we are currently receiving, processing time may take longer than usual. We understand the urgency of the situation and have mobilized all BDC teams to support.

    For more information on BCAP: https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance.html.

    For more information on BDC's initiatives, visit bdc.ca/coronavirus. The Bank will be updating the page regularly with tools, financial solutions and additional measures to help entrepreneurs through the situation.


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