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The Chamber's quarterly policy newsletter

From the CEO's desk

To our community:

As we have begun to relaunch here in Alberta and adapt to our new realities, I have often found myself thinking: what a great time to anchor back into humanity and that together we are going to get through this.

Over the last few weeks and months, our team has spoken to so many of you to check in and learn about your needs are through the COVID-19 pandemic and our economic re-launch. We continue to advocate for you at all levels of government. Our focus remains on ensuring stability in the short term, resiliency as we move forward, and finding a winning strategy in the long term as we recover. Over the past few months:

  1. The Government of Alberta launched Alberta Biz Connect to address concerns we raised around guidelines for business during re-launch.
  2. We called on City Council to defer property taxes until September 30, 2020 and they did.
  3. Federally, we called for and received an extension to the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy, and we continue to call for a direct avenue for tenants to apply for commercial rent assistance.

To provide additional support, we’ve also launched our Powering Up Toolkit – a one stop shop chalked full of resources to help you re-open safely.

We have also been reflecting on the last few months, and what the future may hold. How have the experiences of COVID-19 differed for some of us? Where was our economy in Calgary before the COVID-19 pandemic, how did it impact us, and where do we go from here? I invite you to read this edition of Influence, which start to explore these questions.

We know that the COVID-19 pandemic has touched many facets of our life. Our economic long-term recovery and the future opportunities for our children depend on the creativity and determination of entrepreneurial Calgarians and the innovative thinkers in our city – I continue to believe that, and I still know we’re up to the task. As we continue to adjust to our new normal, let’s hold strongly to that creativity and determination.

COVID-19 is also a mental health pandemic as much as it is a physical health one, and its impacts will be felt even after we have treatment or a vaccine. As we recover, we must ensure that no one is suffering in silence, that everyone feels supported, and there is ease of access to critical mental health resources. Staying connected and practicing empathy can save a life and will allow us to become more resilient as a community.

As always, continue to stay safe, be kind, and to reach out if you need – as we have been for almost 130 years, we’re #Here4YYC.

Yours sincerely,

Dr. Sandip Lalli

President & CEO

Calgary Chamber of Commerce

June 2020

In this issue

Dive Deeper

The gendered impact of COVID-19

Increasingly, new evidence is beginning to show that the impact of COVID-19 differs based on gender. Because of this, academics and advocates are growing louder in their calls to place gendered considerations at the heart of our recovery strategy. We dive deeper to understand how COVID-19 looks different depending on gender, and the calls to action that advocates say would lead to better solutions for all of us.

Dive deeper

Interview with Dr. Terry Rock

Innovation in Calgary

Dr. Terry Rock is President & CEO of Platform Calgary and passionate promoter of Calgary’s potential as one of the world’s most dynamic cities. Dr. Rock was gracious enough to sit down with us (virtually) to discuss the current state of innovation in Calgary and how we move towards a more innovative future together by making Calgary a destination for innovative business.

Our interview

Letter to Premier Kenney and Minister Fir

Advocating for internal trade

As a member of the Canadian Global Cities Council, we wrote to both Premier Jason Kenney and Minister Tanya Fir about how while we must remain steadfast in our commitment to open international trade, now is the time to strengthen east-west trade corridors within Canada and ensure that the elimination of interprovincial trade barriers is part of our economic recovery plan.

Our letter


Impact of COVID-19 on Calgary business

A visual exploration of the key highlights from Statistics Canada’s Canadian Survey on Business Conditions. Learn about how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the Calgary businesses that were surveyed.

Learn more
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