'These grants will help them cover expenses involved in reopening and allow them to build a stronger digital presence'
The federal government is investing $12 million in the Canada United Small Business Relief Fund to help small business owners make safety improvements.
The Canada United Small Business Relief Fund, which is managed by the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC), is supporting Canadian businesses across different sectors and industries with grants of up to $5,000.
“The support announced today is yet another lifeline for resilient small businesses across Canada. These grants will help them cover expenses involved in reopening and allow them to build a stronger digital presence,” said Mary Ng, minister of small business, export promotion and international trade. “As we’ve said from the very beginning of this pandemic, we will always be there for small businesses and the millions of hard-working Canadians they employ.”
The fund will cover the costs of personal protective equipment, make physical modifications to their businesses to meet local health and safety requirements, and enhance their digital or e-commerce capabilities. This is especially important as we enter the second wave of the pandemic, according to the government.
Starting on Oct. 26, small businesses can apply online through the Ontario Chamber of Commerce for the next wave of Canada United Small Business Relief Fund grants.
Applications are open to small businesses across sectors and industries in every part of the country that have between $150,000 and $3 million in annual sales; have up to 75 employees; are registered in Canada; and would use the grant to cover the costs of personal protective equipment, make physical modifications to their businesses to meet local health and safety requirements, and enhance their digital or e-commerce capabilities.
“Small businesses are cornerstones of our local economies and key to thriving communities, creating jobs, driving innovation and generating wealth for Canadians. Local businesses have always been there for us and now need our support more than ever,” said Rocco Rossi, president and CEO of OCC. “A sincere thanks to Minister Ng and the federal government for critical support to small businesses when they need it most. Along with chambers of commerce and boards of trade across the country, we’re proud to support small businesses through the Canada United Small Business Relief Fund, helping them with their recovery efforts as a result of COVID-19.”
In July, the federal government established the Essential Services Contingency Reserve, to which essential service organizations can apply for temporary, urgent access to personal protective equipment (PPE) and other critical supplies.