Chair of the Grande Prairie and District Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors Larry Gibson says the new provincial enterprise relaunch grant will only be a band-aid solution if businesses aren’t able to get back on their feet quickly.
“It all depends, I guess, on how quickly we can get the vaccines, how quickly we can lift these restrictions and get our businesses back open,” he says. “If this is a long, drawn-out affair and process then it’s probably not going to be enough for some of those businesses.”
Starting early the week of December 14th, job creators and business owners will be able to begin applying for a much larger provincial enterprise relaunch grant than was previously available. As more provincial public health restrictions begin to take effect and many, especially local, businesses are once again temporarily required to close their doors, the province has responded by making it easier to access more funding for said businesses to stay afloat.
The grant is now available to businesses that have lost at least 30 per cent of their revenue. Previously, it was only available if 40 per cent losses or more were experienced. Businesses may apply to receive 15 per cent of their pre COVID-19 monthly income up to $5,000 as a first payment, and up to $15,000 as a second payment.
Gibson says the community has been voicing concerns over whether many would survive another lockdown, so the supplemented income for the province comes as a much-needed weight off their shoulders.
“The one thing we heard loud and clear from our business community is that we cannot afford another lockdown. Having this at least in place now, it’s certainly a relief for them.”
“Having this available, it’s hopefully going to be enough to get [businesses] through and if not, we’re going to have to make sure our governments are well aware that businesses are going to need more supports,” he says.
The 30 per cent threshold will be available to impacted businesses retroactive to March. Businesses remaining open and operational have also been restricted to 15 per cent of their fire code occupancy at any one time, to a minimum of five customers permitted inside.