COVID-19 Business Supports

Below you will find information, news and resources for supporting your practice and clinic and assist with business continuity planning during the COVID-19 pandemic.

On this page:

Click the links to jump to your desired section.

Please be advised: Alberta Health Services is the primary source for COVID-19 information and hosts clinical resources for all providers, including those in primary care. Visit Ahs.ca/covid for resources.

The Alberta Health website is also a great resource, which includes official updates from the Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, and actions being taken to protect the health of Albertans.

Provincial Government

Critical Workers Benefit

The Critical Workers Benefit will provide a one-time payment of $1,200 to eligible Albertans in recognition of their hard work to provide Albertans with the care and critical services they need. The benefit will be distributed to up to 380,000 workers in the health-care, social services, education and private sectors. The eligibility period is within a 16 week period from October 12, 2020 to January 31, 2021. Employers must apply on behalf of their eligible employees by Friday March 19, 2021.


Emergency Measures

In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Alberta government announced a number of emergency measures to support Albertans affected by the pandemic. MD Financial Management has rounded up the new measures and continues to update as things change or new measures are added.


Small and Medium Enterprise Relaunch Grant - Updated January 2021

As part of its provincial relaunch strategy the Alberta government has made available a small grant for small to medium businesses, which also applies to physician corporations.

Eligible corporations may apply for 15% of their pre-COVID-19 revenue, up to an initial maximum of $5,000. Those in regions affected by health orders from November 2020 and later requiring a decrease in operations may also apply for additional funding up to $15,000.

To qualify the applicant needs to enter revenue information from a specific month(s) in 2019 and 2020 to show a 50% decrease (e.g., compare March 2019 to March 2020, etc.).

January 2021 - Updated Second payment now available

If the entity did not apply or receive the first payment in the earlier application round, then it can now apply for both the first and second payment together.

Revenue reduction now only needs to be 30% instead of 50%. If entity did not qualify before due to this threshold, it can now apply based on the lower threshold.

For more information, view the support documents to provide further context to determine whether your practice qualifies and helps set you up for a successful application:


Federal Government

The federal government has announced significant economic measures to support Canadians affected financially by the COVID-19 outbreak. The country’s six largest banks have also committed to helping Canadians get through these extraordinary times.

View a roundup of the new measures, organized by their relevance to medical students and residents, practising physicians, retired physicians, and family members. MD continues to update these measures as things change or new measures are added.

If it becomes necessary to temporarily lay off staff, the federal government announced that they will waive the one-week waiting period for people who are in quarantine or have been directed to self-isolate and are claiming for Employment Insurance (EI) sickness benefits. The federal government will also introduce enhancements to the Work-Sharing Program to help employers and their workers who are experiencing a downturn in business due to COVID-19. They are exploring additional measures to support other affected Canadians, including income support for those that are not eligible for EI sickness benefits. For more information, please visit the Government of Canada website.

Calculate your wage subsidy

When applying for the Canada Employment Wage Subsidy, you will be asked to enter amounts such as the number of eligible employees and gross payroll. You can use the calculator tool in preparation to help estimate the amount of your wage subsidy.

Before calculating your subsidy, make sure you are eligible to apply. After applying, your claim will be subject to verification.


CMPA

During the crisis you may be asked to join the emergency response effort. This may necessitate work in a different clinical setting (e.g., emergency department) or in a different province where the need is greater. Please click to learn more about your CMPA protection during this COVID-19 pandemic.

Visit the CMPA COVID-19 Hub for the latest information, advice and support related to medical-legal protection during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Business Continuity

Please see the following Quick Guide to Business Continuity Planning for Physicians (PDF).

Note: The template for this document was created by the Ontario Medical Association and the AMA would like to thank the OMA for sharing this helpful physician resource.


COVID-19 Related Tips for Employers

(As prepared by legal firm, McLennan Ross)

Note: This document contains a condensed and full version of FAQ’s put together by the legal firm, McLennan Ross. The FAQs are for employers and are meant to be a guideline only. For more specific advice that is directly applicable to your circumstance, please consider consulting with legal counsel.


Guide for COVID-19 Relief for PCNs and Clinics

(As prepared by legal firm, McLennan Ross)

Guide Updated January 18, 2021

This guide provides an overview of both federal and provincial programs available which may be of assistance to Primary Care Networks and clinics. Note, however, that the information by the government is regularly changing. This guide only aims to provide information up to January 18, 2021. McLennan Ross will be providing updated information on their dedicated COVID-19 web page


Coaching through COVID-19

Prepared by the AMA, this self-service learning resource tool provides tips and ideas on how to navigate or address staff concerns during the COVID-19 pandemic. With this resource, you can expect to: 

  • Improve skills in conducting challenging conversations in order to increase likelihood of achieving successful, shared outcomes and improved results.
  • Learn tips for clinic owners to work effectively during times of uncertainty/change such as with the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Develop skills in achieving commitment and buy-in rather than “compliance” from others.
  • Learn tips and lifelong skills that can help in managing clinic staff.

Financial Supports

Scotiabank

Exclusive Banking Support: Under the exclusive Health care+ Physician Banking Program, physicians can now borrow at prime (now 2.45%) minus 0.25% (2.20% total borrowing cost) on their home equity lines of credit and also on unsecured personal lines of credit of up to $400,000. Full details are available on the Scotiabank Health care+ website.

Dedicated contact line for banking: Scotiabank announced effective April 13, physicians, nurses, paramedics and other healthcare personnel began to receive front-of-the-line service. Frontline medical staff will be prioritized by contact centre to ensure they receive the dedicated service they deserve.

MD Financial Management

MD Financial Management continues to update content its dedicated COVID-19 page. Some highlights include:

  • Cash-flow planning article that includes practical tips and specifics.
  • A new interactive tool for members to find out which measures they could qualify for in 30 seconds or less.
  • Tools and resources for managing your finances; information about market volatility; support for your practice; information for students and residents; frequently asked questions; support for those at home; and support for your mental health.

The AMA advances patient-centered, quality care by advocating for and supporting physician leadership and wellness.