Province offers $5,000 in funding to businesses, co-ops and non-profits to get Albertans back to work

Starting June 29, eligible small- and medium-sized businesses, co-ops and non-profits can apply for up to $5,000 in funding so they can open their doors and get Albertans back to work.

The Small and Medium Enterprise Relaunch Grant offers financial assistance to Alberta businesses, cooperatives, and non-profit organizations that faced restrictions or closures from public health orders, and experienced a revenue loss of at least 50 per cent due to the COVID-19

“Small- and medium-sized businesses are job creators. They employ hundreds of thousands of Albertans and are the backbone of our economy, said Tanya Fir, Minister of Economic Development, Trade and Tourism.

“That’s why we are taking further action to support them as we relaunch our economy and get folks back to work. This builds on Alberta’s nation-leading support for job creators, and will help businesses, cooperatives and non-profits get Albertans working and our economy back on track.”

This relief for businesses and non-profits can be used to offset the costs they are facing as they reopen their doors. This includes the costs of implementing measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, such as physical barriers, PPE and cleaning supplies, as well as rent, employee wages, replacing inventory and more.

Done Philip, owner, PDS Restaurant in Brooks, said prior to COVID-19, their Thursday buffet was their busiest day and they will use the funds to make the buffet work post-COVID-19.

“With the help of the funding, we plan to purchase equipment to turn our self-serve buffet into a closed buffet so we can continue to offer this experience to our guests, just with adjustments to serving style.”

An Alberta Chambers of Commerce survey conducted in May found that affordability of PPE and sanitization materials is an issue for 22 per cent of businesses.

Peter and Kamal Sandhu, owners, Care Edmonton Inc., and Care Beauty Spa & Hair Inc. in Edmonton, said they will use the money to purchase PPE “for our staff and facilities to ensure our customers feel safe when they come back to our businesses.”

To be eligible, small- and medium-sized businesses, cooperatives and non-profits must have 500 or fewer employees.

The program has a budget of $200 million.

Application intake will open at 10 a.m. on June 29, and remain open until Aug. 31, or for four weeks following the start of stage three of Alberta’s Relaunch Strategy – whichever is later.

To manage the expected volume of applications, during the first week of application intake (June 29 to July 3), a specific application day has been designated for specific regions of the province. During this time, applicants are encouraged to apply on the application day that is specified for their region. Beginning July 4, businesses, cooperatives and non-profits from all regions may apply at any time until application intake closes.

Full program details, including additional eligibility criteria, application days by region, and how to apply, are outlined in the program guidelines.

A program web page and online application portal will launch on alberta.ca when application intake opens at 10 a.m. on June 29.

-sarah.murphy@albertapressleader.ca

Sarah Murphy/Alberta Press Leader

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