Supports for Alberta’s small businesses

Provincial Press Release November 23, 20202 @ 3:41 published at 3:50pm

Alberta’s government is providing more financial support to the Alberta job creators hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In light of additional temporary health measures announced November 12, the Government of Alberta is ensuring affected small and medium-sized businesses receive additional support through the opportunity to apply for a second payment from the Small and Medium Enterprise Relaunch Grant.

This second payment will be available to businesses operating in areas on the provincial watch list where new health restrictions – like the temporary closure of indoor group fitness classes and team sports – have been implemented.

Additionally, job creators that have experienced a 40 per cent revenue loss due to the COVID-19 pandemic will qualify for the grant, lowering the threshold from the existing 50 per cent revenue loss requirement. This 40 per cent threshold will be available to impacted businesses retroactive to March.

“Small and medium-sized businesses are the backbone of Alberta’s economy. From the beginning of the pandemic, the government has been supporting job creators that have suffered the unfortunate impacts of COVID-19. We will continue to work with them to ensure they can continue operating and play an important part of our economic recovery.” Doug Schweitzer, Minister of Jobs, Economy and Innovation

“The Fitness Industry Council of Canada, and our member studios, gyms and recreation centres, look to work in partnership with the government to curate safe and effective exercise experiences for Albertans. There have been many added costs to running a facility, most notably those associated with cleaning and sanitization. We welcome this additional funding source for those businesses that have had to temporarily close and look forward to working alongside Alberta Health Services to ensure that our facilities are as safe as possible.” Scott Wildeman, president, Fitness Industry Council of Canada

Businesses, cooperatives and non-profits across sectors have received funding, with the majority of applications coming from job creators in the retail, personal services, accommodation and food services, and health-care and social assistance sectors. The Small and Medium Enterprise Relaunch Grant offers financial assistance to Alberta businesses, cooperatives and non-profit organizations with fewer than 500 employees that faced restrictions or closures from public health orders, and experienced a revenue loss of at least 40 per cent due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Job creators that meet the program’s eligibility criteria can apply for 15 per cent of their pre-COVID-19 monthly revenue, up to a maximum of $5,000 in funding, which can offset the costs they are facing as they relaunch their businesses. 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.

The program launched at the end of June with a budget of up to $200 million. Full program details, including eligibility criteria and how to apply, are outlined on the program web page. Applications 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.

Quick facts

  • The Small and Medium Enterprise Relaunch Grant will be implemented in two phases:

  • Phase one: Any company that meets the 40 per cent threshold will be able to apply for the grant by end of day November 24.

  • Phase two: Companies that wish to apply for a second round of funding will be able to do so within the coming weeks. More detailed information on phase two timing will be available this week.

  • Due to technical limitations, businesses that meet new eligibility requirements and submit an application may initially receive a rejection notification as the system is updated. System updates ensure the same high level of service and quick turnaround. All eligible businesses will receive funding regardless of initial notification.

  • Thousands of Alberta businesses will be eligible to access funding due to the expanded guidelines.

  • On Nov. 13, Alberta’s government implemented additional health measures to help protect hospitals, keep schools and businesses open, and protect vulnerable Albertans.

  • All restaurants, bars, lounges and pubs in regions under enhanced status must cease liquor sales by 10 p.m. and close by 11 p.m. The restriction will remain in place until Nov. 27.

  • There is a two-week ban on indoor group fitness classes, team sport activities and group performance activities in Edmonton and surrounding areas, Calgary and surrounding areas, Grande Prairie, Fort McMurray, Red Deer and Lethbridge.

  • Additional health measures were implemented in all regions under an enhanced status. These measures will be in place until further notice:

  • Maximum attendance of 50 at wedding or funeral ceremonies.

  • It is recommended all faith-based activities limit attendance to one-third capacity per service.

  • Residents should not hold social gatherings within their homes and should not plan social gatherings outside their community.

  • It is recommended employers in office settings implement measures to reduce the number of employees in the workplace at one time.

  • All existing guidance and legal orders remain in place in all areas.

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