Provincial Press release February 4, 2021 @ 9:01am published at 9:24am
New businesses and unregistered sole proprietors can now apply for Alberta’s small business relaunch grant
Expansions to the Small and Medium Enterprise Relaunch Grant program announced in January are now included on the Government of Alberta’s application portal. New businesses that began operating between March and October 2020, as well as unregistered sole proprietors, can now apply for COVID relief funding.
“Even during the pandemic, Alberta saw around 10,000 new businesses open across the province in 2020. These new businesses were started by Albertans who had the entrepreneurial spirit and confidence to bet on Alberta. Enterpreneurs, whether new or experienced, need to know that Alberta’s government is here to support them.” Doug Schweitzer, Minister of Jobs, Economy and Innovation
“We appreciate the government expanding access to the SME relaunch grant for sole proprietors and new businesses that started operations in 2020. Access to the grant for new businesses will help, considering they have largely been unable to access the federal support programs. With restrictions continuing and small businesses struggling, support programs will need to be extended and expanded in order to avoid widespread business closures across the province.” Annie Dormuth, Alberta provincial affairs director, Canadian Federation of Independent Business
The Small and Medium Enterprise Relaunch Grant offers financial assistance to Alberta businesses, cooperatives and non-profit organizations with fewer than 500 employees that have faced restrictions or closures due to COVID-related public health orders, and have experienced revenue losses of at least 30 per cent.
Businesses can use the funding as they see fit to offset the costs they are facing as they relaunch their businesses. This includes the costs of items that help prevent the spread of COVID-19, such as personal protective equipment and cleaning supplies, as well as rent, employee wages or replacing inventory. The funds can also be used to help businesses expand their online presence or e-commerce opportunities so that they can continue to serve customers. These grants do not need to be repaid.
The program launched at the end of June 2020, and the government has committed $500 million to the grants. More details are on the program web page. Application intake will be open until March 31, 2021, unless otherwise communicated.
Alberta’s Recovery Plan is a bold, ambitious long-term strategy to build, diversify, and create tens of thousands of jobs now. By building schools, roads and other core infrastructure we are benefiting our communities. By diversifying our economy and attracting investment with Canada’s most competitive tax environment, we are putting Alberta on a path for a generation of growth.
As of Feb. 1, Alberta’s government has provided more than $327 million to more than 47,000 businesses.
Small and medium entreprises are an important part of Alberta’s economy, accounting for more than 99 per cent of all businesses and almost 55 per cent of all employment.
Additional supports for businesses are available through the federal government.