Alberta expands relaunch grant program to new businesses
By Government of Alberta
By Government of Alberta
Alberta announced expansions to the Small and Medium Enterprise Relaunch Grant program in January that are now included on the provincial government’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. Entrepreneurs, whether new or experienced, need to know that Alberta’s government is here to support them,” says Doug Schweitzer, Minister of Jobs, Economy and Innovation.
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.
“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,” says Annie Dormuth, Alberta provincial affairs director, Canadian Federation of Independent Business
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.
The program offers the following:
- Up to $20,000 in funding for organizations established before February 29, 2020, including unregistered sole proprietors.
- Up to $15,000 in funding for new organizations which began operations between March 1 and October 31 2020, including unregistered sole proprietors.
Businesses, cooperatives and non-profits can use these funds as they see fit to help offset a portion of the impact of new public health measures or their relaunch costs, such as implementing measures to minimize the risk of virus transmission, which could include:
- physical barriers
- purchasing personal protective equipment and disinfecting supplies
- paying rent and employee wages
- replacing inventory and more
Small and medium enterprises 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. As of Feb. 1, Alberta’s government has provided more than $327 million to more than 47,000 businesses.