On March 18, 2020, the Alberta Government announced a $50 million investment in Albertans affected by COVID-19.
The Alberta Government COVID-19 Economic Response Plan for Albertans and employers and employees can be found here.
The Government of Alberta's Emergency Isolation Support program is now closed.
This was a temporary program to provide one-time funding until the Government of Canada announced its own support program. The new Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) is now available.
Residential customers can defer electricity and natural gas bill payments until June 18, 2020 to ensure no one will be cut off, regardless of the service provider. No Albertan can be cut off from these services or see their services reduced during this period.
You are eligible if you are experiencing financial hardship and cannot make your regular payments as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, you:
This applies to bills for residential, farm, and small commercial:
Albertans who are able to pay their utilities are strongly encouraged to do so to allow greater support for those in need.
Albertans in arrears or behind in payments before the deferral program launched on March 18 are also eligible for a deferral.
To arrange for a deferral and repayment plan, contact your natural gas or electricity provider directly.
You can sign up for the deferral at any time; however, the deferral ends on June 18, 2020. Starting June 19, the agreed upon repayment plan will be implemented.
In situations where rent and utilities are combined, contact your landlord directly to discuss the circumstances.
Payments will be required at the end of the deferral period, but you will not be required to pay for the entirety of the deferral on June 18.
Contact your utility provider to discuss repayment plan options.
In addition to the agreed repayment plan, consumers may:
For support in negotiating a repayment plan that fits your budget or in resolving any service or billing issue, contact the Utilities Consumer Advocate.
All providers are affected by the utility deferral program, including:
The utility payment deferral applies to all customers, including those eligible for the Regulated Rate Option or Default Gas Supply.
Government and the Alberta Utilities Commission will work with utility companies to develop approaches for repayments that will help consumers pay back their deferred utilities within a reasonable time period.
A six-month, interest free, suspension on Alberta student loan payments for all Albertans in the process of repaying these loans has been implemented.
Personal banking customers can apply for a deferral on their ATB loans, lines of credit, and mortgages for up to six months.
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.
Contact your credit union to work out a plan for your personal situation.
The Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) Relaunch Grant offers financial assistance to eligible Alberta businesses, cooperatives, and non-profit organizations that were mandated to close or reduce operations, and experienced a revenue reduction of at least 30%, as a result of COVID-19.
The program offers two payments to eligible applicants, with up to $20,000 in available funding per eligible application.
Recipients can use these funds as they see fit to help offset a portion of the financial impact set by new public health measures or their relaunch costs, such as implementing measures to minimize the risk of virus transmission, which could include:
Applications are open for the first and second payments. Application intake will remain open until March 31, 2021.
All applications and corresponding grants are subject to a potential audit by the Government of Alberta, or their authorized representatives, upon reasonable notice to the recipient.
Grant funding amounts for the first payment are calculated based on 15% of the eligible organization’s pre-COVID monthly revenue up to a maximum of $5,000 per business, cooperative or non-profit organization.
Each eligible applicant will receive one first payment representing 15% of one month’s worth of pre-COVID revenue, up to a maximum of $5,000.
Applicants can choose either April or May 2020 to demonstrate their 30% revenue reduction.
A second payment is available to businesses, cooperatives, and non-profits in areas on the provincial watch list that were required to curtail operations as a result of new public health orders in effect from November 6, 2020 and later.
The second payment is valued at three times the amount of the approved first payment, up to a maximum of $15,000.
Enterprises that were ordered to close or reduce operations as a result of public health orders issued by Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health may be eligible for the SMC Relaunch Grant.
Applicants will be required to demonstrate a revenue reduction of at least 30% in April and/or May 2020 as a result of COVID-19 public health orders.
To be eligible, an Alberta business, cooperative, or non-profit organization must meet all of the following criteria:
If any other payments, grants or amounts were received from federal or provincial government sources or from insurance to replace or compensate for the loss of revenue (other than the sources listed above), your organization is not eligible to apply.
To be eligible for the second payment, organizations must be operating in a region affected by the public health orders in effect from November 6, 2020 and later, and must have been required to curtail operations by those public health orders.
Organizations with multiple Alberta permanent physical establishments that have seen revenue reduction are eligible to apply for funding for each establishment. This includes scenarios where an organization has more than one location/chapter/branch that has seen revenue reduction of at least 30% due to COVID-19 public health orders.
Applicants will be required to submit separate applications for each location/chapter/branch, and check the appropriate box in the application form.
An organization whose operations were not closed or substantially curtailed due to a public health order by the Chief Medical Officer of Alberta as a result of COVID-19 are not eligible. All awarded applicants may be required, upon an audit, to substantiate how the public health orders affected them and how they influenced their operations and revenues.
For information on the public health orders please refer to the COVID-19 orders and legislation.
Non-profit organizations that receive operational funding from government (such as, education supports and health care), except for agricultural societies, are ineligible.
Non-profit organizations that receive funding from the programs below are also ineligible:
Other ineligible entities include municipalities and overnight camps and those that have received the Government of Alberta’s Faith-based and Cultural Facility Relaunch Grant.
Businesses, cooperatives and non-profits from all regions of the province may apply at any time until application intake for the program closes on March 31, 2021.
Applicants who have not yet applied can apply for both their first and second payments using a single application.
Applicants who have already submitted an application for their first payment will be given the option to fill out and submit an application for the second payment. The application for the second payment will be accessible through the online application portal as an add-on to the first submitted application. Starting a completely new application will result in the application being flagged by the system as a duplicate and will cause payment delays.
Before completing your application read the guidelines
All applications must be submitted through the online application portal.
In order to access the online application portal, you must have a My Alberta Digital ID (MADI) user account with a secure login name and password. If you already have a MADI, please log in with your existing credentials.
If you do not have a MADI, visit the MADI webpage to set up an account before accessing the online application portal.
Applications must be submitted through the online application portal before application intake closure date of March 31, 2021.
Ensure you have the following critical pieces of information:
You will also be required to provide the following:
For detailed information on the supporting documents required, review the “Application Requirements” section of the program guidelines.
The program aims to process applications and issue payments within 10 business days following submission.
After you have submitted your application, your application will appear on the main page of the online application portal in "Submitted" status. Check the main page for further updates on the status of your application.
Approved applicants will receive funds via Electronic Fund Transfer directly into their bank account.
Applications with incomplete or incorrect information, or that require manual review, will experience a delay in processing and will not receive payment within 10 business days.
Corporate income tax balances and instalment payments coming due between March 18 and August 31, 2020 are deferred until August 31, 2020.
Due dates for filing corporate income tax returns due after March 18, 2020 and before June 1, 2020 have been extended to June 1, 2020.
Education property tax rates will be frozen at last year’s level – reversing the 3.4% population and inflation increase added in Budget 2020.
Collection of non-residential education property tax for businesses will be deferred for six months, or both municipal and education property tax are deferred for a shorter time that is of equivalent benefit.
Municipalities are expected to set education property tax rates as they normally would, but defer collection.
Commercial landlords are encouraged to pass savings on to their tenants through reduced or deferred payments to help employers pay their employees and stay in business.
Businesses capable of paying their taxes in full are encouraged to do to so. This will assist the province in supporting Albertans through the pandemic.
Taxpayers should contact their municipality directly for information for details on their municipality’s approach to education property tax deferrals.
Small, medium, and large private sector employers can defer WCB premium payments until 2021.
Employers who have already paid WCB premiums in 2020 are eligible for a rebate or credit.
For more information on impacts on WCB download the WCB: COVID-19 Employer Fact Sheet
Residential, farm, and small commercial customers can defer electricity and natural gas bill payments until June 18, 2020, to ensure no one will be cut off regardless of the service provider.
Call your utility provider directly to arrange for deferral on all payments until June 18, 2020.
Hotels and other lodging providers can delay paying the tourism levy until August 31 for amounts that become due to government on or after March 27, 2020. Payments deferred until August 31 will not be subject to penalties or interest.
Hotels and other lodging providers are still expected to file returns, as required by legislation, and must collect the tourism levy from guests staying at their properties during this period.
Business members should contact their credit union directly to work out a plan for their personal situation
ATB small business customers can:
Other ATB business and agriculture customers can access support on a one-on-one basis.
Further solutions are being considered at this time.
Employers should consider their business continuity plans and how COVID-19 could impact their workplace. To prepare, make plans to:
Find supports in creating your business continuity plan here.
Talk to a small business advisor at Business Link to get free advice, coaching and information on COVID-19 resources and supports.
Submit your question online or contact them directly:
Hours: 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (open Monday to Friday, closed weekends and statutory holidays)
Phone: (780) 422 7722
Toll free: 1 (800) 272 9675 (Canada only)
TTY: 1 (800) 457 8466 (For the deaf or hard of hearing)
Temporary workplace rules are in effect as of March 17, 2020, to help employers and employees manage rapidly changing conditions. These changes will be in place as long as the government determines they are no longer needed and the public health emergency order remains.
The Alberta Government is:
Changes to the Employment Standards Code will allow full and part-time employees to take 14 days of job-protected leave if they are required to self-isolate, or caring for a child or dependent adult that is required to self-isolate.
Employers and employees may consider using other available leaves should an employee be required to self-isolate.
Employees can request using their vacation pay or banked overtime, but employers are not required to grant the request. Provincial employment rules only require employers to provide vacation pay, vacation leave, or pay banked overtime within a year of it being earned.
Employers can request employees voluntarily take vacation leave and/or use their vacation pay or banked overtime, but cannot force them to do so under provincial employment rules.