Before the COVID-19 pandemic, there is no doubt that the economic outlook of Alberta has been bleak, to begin with, especially with the decline of the oil business in the province. With COVID-19 restrictions forcing businesses to close temporarily, pivot their business model, or work at a limited capacity this has taken a hit, especially to small businesses. Small businesses are an important part of the economy and need help now more than ever.
In Alberta, there are two grants available to help businesses affected by COVID-19. Grants do not have to be paid back as long as the business fulfills the grant’s requirements. These grants can be beneficial to really help transform businesses to better adapt to digital platforms because consumers are more reliant on technology as COVID progresses. This is important as consumers nowadays expect more from what a business offers. The grants available are the provincial Small and Medium Enterprise Relaunch Grant and the Edmonton Municipal Individual Business Grant.
This grant is offered by the Government of Alberta to help mitigate the effects of COVID-19 on the economy. It is for Alberta businesses, cooperatives, and non-profit organizations that have less than 500 employees. The number of employees is the sum of people in full-time, part-time and contract employment. For seasonal businesses, you can use the number of employees the year prior to COVID measures or the average number of employees in the past 3 years prior to COVID measures. Initially, there was only one payment administered for this grant, but in December 2020, they updated their terms to include a second payment. Those who initially applied for the first payment are able to apply for the second payment as long as they fit the criteria for it. As for those who had not applied yet for the first payment, they can now use one application to apply for both.
The first payment grants businesses 15% of their month’s pre-COVID revenue up to a maximum payment of $5,000. To qualify for the first payment a business must demonstrate that as a result of COVID-19 restrictions it had at least a 30% reduction in revenue in April or May 2020 in comparison to the same month in 2019 or February 2020. As for businesses that run on a seasonal basis, they would have to use the average monthly sales revenue in the months they were in full operation.
So, if your business earned a sales revenue of $3,000 in May 2020 and in May 2019, your business earned a revenue of $10,000. Your business would be eligible for the grant since the reduction on your pre-COVID revenue is more than 30%. This could amount to a grant payment of $1,500 ($10,000 x 15%) which is 15% of your pre-COVID revenue of $10,000.
As for the second payment, it offers businesses a payment of 3 times the amount approved in the first payment up to a maximum of $15,000. To be eligible a business must have been affected by the new health measures on November 26, 2020, and subsequent measures thereafter. As a result of these measures, the business must have had to decrease its operations.
Continuing with the example earlier. If you received the first payment of $1,500, then you could claim $4,500 ($1,500 x 3) in the second payment.
Applications for this grant are open until March 31, 2021, or it will otherwise be announced, but head over to the Small and Medium Enterprise Relaunch Grant page to learn more about the grant in detail and how to apply here.
The city of Edmonton offers a municipal grant that is available for businesses located in Edmonton. It is part of the Edmonton Economic Recovery Grant program. This grant has 2 payments called Phase 1 and Phase 2. Currently, Phase 1 is the only one available and Phase 2 is in progress. A business can only receive one payment of the two from this grant. Phase 1 provides matching microgrants which would at most be $1,000. To gain this grant the business must be able to match the amount requested. For instance, if a business requested $500. The business would have to have access to funding of $1,000 to match the requested amount and at least be able to cover $500 of it.
To be eligible for this grant a business must prove that as a result of COVID-19 that it experienced a decrease in revenue. Additionally, the business would have to have a valid business license unless it is not required by the city of Edmonton. To check if your business requires a business license or not, you can call 311.
To find out more about the conditions of the grant, get updates on Phase 2 and how to apply, click here.
No matter what your business is going through, there is help available. We provide services to help small businesses nurture their ideas whether it may be website development, a digital marketing strategy, app development, or the general internet of things, we can help. So, put your grant to good use, and let us help turn your business from good to great. Contact us and let’s chat.
We can get through this together Alberta.