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Alberta government launches grant to help small businesses with relaunch, PPE costs

Alberta restaurants still struggling despite being allowed to open
(June 11) While customers are now allowed to dine-in at Alberta restaurants, but even as restrictions continue to relax, restaurants are having a hard time attracting business.

The Alberta government has launched a new program to help fund small- and medium-sized businesses in the province as they relaunch following COVID-19 shutdowns.

Starting June 29, businesses can apply for the Small and Medium Enterprise Relaunch Grant, which will give them up to $5,000 to offset costs due to the pandemic.

The costs include extra cleaning supplies, physical barriers, personal protective equipment, as well as rent, wages and inventory.

Businesses must have 500 or fewer employees to be eligible for the grant.

“We continue to hear from small businesses that although they are now fully open, it is not business as usual — with only 20 per cent making normal or better revenues for this time of year,” Annie Dormuth, the Alberta affairs director with the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, said in a news release.

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“This program will help small businesses in the economic relaunch phase who are struggling to pay for fixed costs such as rent and additional new costs like PPE.”

Read more: Alberta’s unemployment rate spiked to 15.5% in May, remains among highest in Canada

Businesses in Alberta must follow a series of government-set guidelines as they reopen in the province.

Alberta business operators need to ensure measures are in place to reduce COVID-19 risks
Alberta business operators need to ensure measures are in place to reduce COVID-19 risks

The government has budgeted $200 million for the new business grant.

“Small- and medium-sized businesses are job creators,” said Tanya Fir, Alberta’s minister of economic development, trade and tourism. “They employ hundreds of thousands of Albertans and are the backbone of our economy. That’s why we are taking further action to support them as we relaunch our economy and get folks back to work.”

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Read more: Kenney says ambitious, long-term Alberta economy reboot plan coming Monday

Applications for the grant will open up Monday morning at 10 a.m. online.

The program will remain open for businesses to apply until Aug. 31, or for four weeks after Stage 3 of the provincial relaunch is implemented — whichever is later.

During the first week of applications, specific days have been assigned for regions of the province.

  • June 29: North
  • June 30: South
  • July 1: Urban
  • July 2: Calgary
  • July 3: Edmonton
  • July 4 and onwards: open to all areas

More details, including a region map, are available in the grant program guidelines. 

The application portal will launch Monday at alberta.ca