Small Business Grants to help with the “New Normal”.
The new normal. For the better part of 2020, the global community was shaken when the novel coronavirus came to light. Not only did it impact people all over the world, for most businesses came to a halt. Large to small businesses scrambled to figure out how to adapt and have been left to wonder what the future holds.
The Canadian government quickly took action, creating response plans to support businesses through this unprecedented time. In April, the Canadian government announced additional support to small businesses by prolonging the Canadian Emergency Business Account (CEBA) and introducing Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) for small businesses.
Outside of government assistance, business owners and the communities surrounding them came together and created solutions to make it through this tough time and adapt to a new normal. Below is a look at grants and initiatives that provinces and cities have made available to help small businesses remain stable and possibly grow during this time.
The province’s relaunch strategy was developed to maintain the safety guidelines put in place during the pandemic, while gradually opening businesses in set stages. Albertans are encouraged to support local businesses.
Here’s a list of Alberta’s small business grants
- The City of Edmonton created economic recovery grants and initiatives to help small businesses. Businesses can apply for grant funding in one of two ways, individual small business grants & organization grants.These grants are intended to help support the businesses short term needs and long term recovery.
- “The Industry Support Grant Program” is an optimal grant for businesses in the Edmonton area that’s provided by the Edmonton Screen Industries Office (ESIO). Initially launched in 2017 the grant provides support to businesses in need of businesses consultations, training, software & equipment, marketing, and network costs. The ESIO also offers an ongoing Edmonton Screen Media Fund which is available to digital media organizations at any project stage or venture.
Alongside the digital efforts being implemented throughout Alberta, agencies around the province are banding together to help out in any way possible for organizations both big and small. Lift Interactive in partnership with the Jim Pattison Broadcast Group (JPBG) created a platform that offers smarter and more streamlined digital marketing solutions. Welcome to Nimble. Nimble helps organizations better understand their business and their customers, unleashing the best way to engage with their audience. The Nimble process is ever growing to better serve clients throughout Western Canada and beyond.
Over on the west coast British Columbia created recovery plans that make digital marketing and e-commerce support available to help businesses improve their digital marketing capabilities and sell their products online to a wider audience of customers.
- In partnership with Vancouver’s Business Improvement Associations, the Vancouver “Open With Care” Program was established. The program is aimed to provide businesses with the resources needed to promote shopping locally and assist them to help market to customers about new protocols for visiting their shops, restaurants and other businesses. With safety in mind.
- Innovate BC and the BC Acceleration Network are also expanding the Digital Economic Response (DER3) program across the province. This program helps businesses transition into the digital economy or wanting to expand their digital footprint.
The provincial government created the SSBEP program which provides a one-time grant for small and medium-sized businesses directly affected by public health orders related to COVID-19. Grants are paid based on 15% of a business’ monthly sales revenue, to a maximum of $5,000.
To be eligible for the SSBEP, a business must:
- have been fully operational on February 29, 2020;
- have ceased or curtailed operations as a result of the COVID-19 public health order;
- have less than 500 employees; and
- commit to reopen business operations following the cancellation of the COVID-19 public health order.
Provincial leaders in Manitoba created the $120 million Manitoba Gap Protection Program (MGPP). What this grant does is that it provides a one-time $6,000 non-interest forgivable loan to all eligible small & medium-sized business within the province.
Nationwide small business grants and digital services are also available to small businesses. Organizations such as Shopify have partnered with the Federal government with their “Go Digital Canada” initiative to help small businesses bring their operations online with an extended 90-day trial to their e-commerce platform and access to a suite of resources to build an online store.
During this unprecedented time it’s important to support local businesses and the community as much as possible. Having these grants in place, helps small businesses stay open and have a safe relaunch. For more information please contact your local & provincial governments to stay updated on current grants and initiatives for local businesses.