by Stephen Dafoe
The Alberta government is offering up to $10,000 from the Small and Medium Enterprise Relaunch Grant to small businesses affected by the most recent public health orders. Those businesses can apply for another payment in the second half of April. This additional payment will also be available to new businesses that began operating between March 1, 2020 and March 31, 2021, as well as hotels, taxis and ride-sharing services.
“Small businesses have borne the brunt of pandemic restrictions, and have made real sacrifices to protect our healthcare system and save lives,” said Premier Jason Kenney in a media release Tuesday.
In the same press release, Minister of Jobs, Economy and Innovation Doug Schweitzer said the province will “continue to be there to support small businesses” the government has asked to make sacrifices to keep Albertans safe during the pandemic. “Alberta’s economy relies on the successful recovery of small businesses and we’ll be there to support them to get to the other side of this pandemic.”
Restaurants and gyms were closed when the province moved back to Step 1. Some Alberta restaurants and gyms have stayed open despite the requirements.
Business lobby group The Canadian Federation of Independent Business’ Alberta Provincial Affairs Director Annie Dormuth is included in the same Tuesday presser saying it was welcome news.
“Today’s announcement is welcome news,’ she said. “It is vital for small business survival that proper supports are in place until the economy can fully reopen.”
According to the government presser, the funds can be used to:
- Cover costs of items that help prevent the spread of COVID-19, such as personal protective equipment and cleaning supplies.
- Pay rent, employee wages or replace inventory.
- Help businesses expand their online presence or e-commerce opportunities so that they can continue to serve customers.
The program is scheduled to be open for applications until May 31 and is capped at $350 million. Those wanting to apply can do so on the Small and Medium Enterprise Relaunch Grant website.