As announced earlier this month, the Small and Medium Enterprise Relaunch Grant program has been reopened for a new payment to businesses affected by the April 2021 public health orders. Eligible organizations can now apply for this additional COVID relief funding.
“We have to be there to help small businesses in Alberta get to the other side of this pandemic. With the expansion of the relaunch grant, we are helping small businesses make it through the third wave of COVID-19. We know the past year has not been easy and are grateful for what all small businesses in Alberta have done to help protect the lives of Albertans in their communities.”
Doug Schweitzer, Minister of Jobs, Economy and Innovation
The Small and Medium Enterprise Relaunch Grant (SMERG) offers financial assistance to Alberta businesses, cooperatives and non-profit organizations with fewer than 500 employees that have faced restrictions or closures due to COVID-related public health orders, and have experienced revenue losses of at least 30 per cent. Hotels, taxis and ride-sharing services are also now eligible for this payment.
Eligible organizations will receive a payment of up to $10,000, which follows the previous intake that provided up to $20,000. Funds can be used to:
- Cover costs of items that help prevent the spread of COVID-19, such as personal protective equipment and cleaning supplies.
- Pay rent, employee wages or replace inventory.
- Help businesses expand their online presence or e-commerce opportunities so that they can continue to serve customers.
Application intake for the program is open until May 31 with a budget of $350 million.
Alberta’s government is responding to the COVID-19 pandemic by protecting lives and livelihoods with precise measures to bend the curve, sustain small businesses and protect Alberta’s health-care system.
- Application intake for the Small and Medium Enterprise Launch Spring 2021 Payment opens April 23.
- Organizations that did not apply under the previous run of SMERG will not be able to apply for the prior payments – only the new $10,000 payment.
- Applications received before the previous program closure on March 31 will continue to be processed.
- Money received under SMERG does not need to be repaid.
- Small and medium enterprises are an important part of Alberta’s economy, accounting for more than 99 per cent of all businesses and nearly 55 per cent of all employment.
- As of April 22, Alberta’s government has provided more than $527 million to more than 40,400 small businesses through the Small and Medium Enterprise Relaunch Grant.
- Alberta’s government has provided billions of dollars in supports to job creators since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, including:
- Deferring corporate income tax collection for six months, providing $1.5 billion in relief.
- Deferring education property taxes and freezing the rate at 2019 levels.
- Deferring WCB premiums and paying 50 per cent of them for small and medium businesses, saving them $350 million.
- Providing a 90-day deferral for utility payments last spring.
- Banning commercial evictions, rent increases and late fees for commercial tenants.
- Additional supports for businesses are available through the federal government.