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Government announces financial support for Albertans

Last updated March 30, 2020. We will update blog posts when more information is released.

If you are an employer in Alberta, you may have heard the province is offering several supports for people impacted by COVID-19.

FBC has read through the announcements and provided a summary for employers.

Read more about the programs that may impact your employees and your business below.

Emergency Isolation Support Benefit

This temporary program is intended to bridge the gap for Albertans until the federal emergency care benefit is available in April.

This benefit will apply to working Albertans who don’t have another source of compensation (including Employment Insurance) and must self-isolate.

It also applies to sole caregivers of a dependent who must self-isolate.

Eligible individuals will be able to apply online to receive a payment of $1,146 ($573 per week).

Who qualifies for the Emergency Isolation Support Benefit?

The Emergency Isolation Support covers your employees if they have experienced total or significant loss of income and are not receiving compensation from any other source if:

  • They have been diagnosed with COVID-19
  • They have been directed by health authorities to self-isolate
  • They are caring for someone who is self-isolating

Click here to read more about the Emergency Isolation Support program.

Utility payment holiday

Electricity and natural gas bill payments can be deferred for the next 90 days.

This applies to residential, farm and small commercial customers of any service provider.

This program came into effect on March 18, 2020 and will run through June 18, 2020.

Your employees should call their utility provider to arrange for the 90-day deferral.

Student loans repayment holiday

A six-month, interest-free pause on student loan repayments will begin March 30th, 2020 for those who need it.

No application is necessary.

Job protections

All employees, regardless of the amount of time worked, will have their jobs protected if they must self-isolate or are caring for a dependent that must self-isolate.

No medical note is required.

Help for employers

Many Alberta employers, particularly small businesses, are facing extraordinary financial stresses and will need support with short-term cash flow.

The government’s initial solution is through deferred corporate tax payments.

Corporate income tax changes

Beginning March 19, 2020, corporate income tax balances and instalment payments can be deferred until August 31, 2020.

Presumably this will be adjusted to September 1, 2020 to match the date of the federal deferrals.

It’s estimated this measure will provide Alberta businesses with access to $1.5 billion to help them with their short-term cash flow challenges.

Access to credit

Personal customers of ATB Financial can apply to have their loans, lines of credit and mortgage payments deferred for up to six months.

Small business customers of ATB Financial can apply for deferrals on loans and lines of credit, but can also apply for additional working capital offerings.

Other businesses and agriculture customers should contact ATB Financial as some solutions are being considered for them as well.

For provincially regulated credit unions, personal and business members will be offered various financial relief solutions to ease their burdens on a case-by-case basis.

More information on COVID-19

Canadian government announces aid package

What your small business needs to know about COVID-19

Disclaimer: The material above is provided for educational and informational purposes only.