Chamber hopeful new funding can help businesses return to normal
Grande Prairie and District Chamber of Commerce head office (Michael Lumsden, mygrandeprairienow.com staff)
The Chair of the Grande Prairie and District Chamber of Commerce is hoping the second influx of funding from the provincial government will keep the forward momentum going as businesses continue to try and climb back to some semblance of normal.
Through the Alberta Jobs Now Program, employers can apply for a grant that covers 25 per cent of an employee’s salary for a 52-week period up to a maximum of $25,000 per employee. Chamber Board Chair Larry Gibson says they’re happy to see the supports continue, and hopes the business, not-for-profit sectors take advantage of it.
“A lot of those not for profits, and small businesses for that matter, have been hard hit, any help they can is beneficial to get people back working, and get their programs back up and running again the way they were pre-pandemic.”
Gibson says while some sectors have begun to look more closely like their old selves, the hospitality sector, in particular, is still struggling to get back on its feet after such a lengthy, unstable period. He says the second phase of funding would be ideal for hospitality business owners and could come in handy as they look to continue to bring back staff in larger numbers.
“Whether they use for directly subsidizing wages, or for training, because that’s a big item for them right now, as they hire people back,” he says.
“There are some positive signs and we are starting to see some light, so we are encouraged by that and we just hope it continues on that positive path.”
The funding for the program comes via $185 million in funding federal governments’ Workforce Development Agreement and $185 million from the provincial coffers.