Prov­ince un­veils grant pro­gram for busi­nesses hurt by COVID-19

Small, medium-sized com­pa­nies be­ing of­fered help to off­set re­open­ing costs

Calgary Herald - - CITY + REGION - STEPHANIE BABYCH AN­OTHER 39 CASES OF COVID-19 DE­TECTED With files from Jason Herring sbabych@post­ Twit­ter: @Baby­ch­stephanie

Busi­nesses, co-op­er­a­tives and non-profit or­ga­ni­za­tions fac­ing fi­nan­cial strug­gles due to COVID -19 re­stric­tions will be able to ap­ply for a new pro­vin­cial grant if they meet spe­cific cri­te­ria, ac­cord­ing to a news re­lease Sun­day.

Of­fer­ing up to $5,000 for el­i­gi­ble busi­nesses, the Small and Medium En­ter­prise Re­launch Grant is in­tended to off­set some of the costs as­so­ci­ated with re­open­ing dur­ing the pan­demic. The grant pro­gram is bud­geted to cost the prov­ince $200 mil­lion.

“We con­tinue to hear from small busi­nesses that although they are now fully open, it is not busi­ness as usual — with only 20 per cent mak­ing nor­mal or bet­ter rev­enues for this time of year. This pro­gram will help small busi­nesses in the eco­nomic re­launch phase who are strug­gling to pay for fixed costs such as rent and ad­di­tional new costs like PPE,” An­nie Dor­muth, Al­berta pro­vin­cial af­fairs di­rec­tor, said in a news re­lease.

For a busi­ness to be el­i­gi­ble, it must have ex­pe­ri­enced a rev­enue loss of at least 50 per cent due to COVID -19 re­stric­tions and must em­ploy 500 or fewer em­ploy­ees. A sur­vey con­ducted by the Al­berta Cham­bers of Com­merce found that the af­ford­abil­ity of PPE and san­i­ti­za­tion ma­te­ri­als is a con­cern for 22 per cent of busi­nesses in the prov­ince.

Eco­nomic Devel­op­ment, Trade and Tourism Min­is­ter Tanya Fir said small and medium-sized busi­nesses are job cre­ators and em­ploy hun­dreds of thou­sands of Al­ber­tans.

“They are the back­bone of our econ­omy. That’s why we are tak­ing fur­ther ac­tion to sup­port them as we re­launch our econ­omy and get folks back to work,” said Fir.

The ap­pli­ca­tion process — which can be ac­cessed on­line — starts

Mon­day at 10 a.m. and will re­main open un­til Aug. 31, or four weeks fol­low­ing the start of Stage 3 of Al­berta’s eco­nomic re­launch strat­egy, which­ever comes later.

Al­berta Health Ser­vices de­tected an­other 39 cases of COVID -19 on Sun­day, bring­ing the to­tal of ac­tive cases in the prov­ince to 520.

The prov­ince also re­ported 69 new COVID-19 cases Satur­day, the high­est sin­gle-day jump in cases for the prov­ince in more than a month, since 72 cases were recorded May 16.

There are cur­rently 216 ac­tive cases in the Cal­gary zone, 242 in the Ed­mon­ton zone, 33 in the North zone, 25 in the South zone, three in the Cen­tral zone and one in an un­known lo­ca­tion, ac­cord­ing to Sun­day’s up­date.

A to­tal of 7,322 re­cov­er­ies have been recorded.

Forty-three peo­ple are in hos­pi­tal due to COVID-19, in­clud­ing eight re­quir­ing in­ten­sive care. Al­berta’s death toll sits at 154, with no new deaths re­ported in the prov­ince since Thurs­day.

Mean­while, a pop-up health­care struc­ture do­nated to Cal­gary’s Peter Lougheed Cen­tre in April, in an­tic­i­pa­tion of a spike in COVID -19 ill­nesses, will stay up in case of any fu­ture surges in novel coro­n­avirus cases, ac­cord­ing to AHS.

In fact, the treat­ment space was fit­ted with in­su­la­tion Fri­day that would help keep the struc­ture op­er­a­tional when tem­per­a­tures dip, said Jim Avery, vice-pres­i­dent of Sprung Struc­tures, the com­pany that do­nated the build­ing.

“It was orig­i­nally up on a more tem­po­rary ba­sis, but now it’s in­su­lated and can be used more ef­fec­tively through the win­ter,” Avery said.

AHS said that while COVID-19 hos­pi­tal­iza­tions re­main low, the 6,000-square-foot field hos­pi­tal will also be used for pa­tients with other mal­adies. AHS is able to meet pa­tient de­mands within ex­ist­ing fa­cil­i­ties in the Cal­gary zone, AHS added.


A pop-up health-care struc­ture at the Peter Lougheed Hos­pi­tal will re­main open to guard against any fu­ture surges of the novel coro­n­avirus in the area, ac­cord­ing to Al­berta Health Ser­vices. The treat­ment space was fit­ted with new in­su­la­tion on Fri­day to han­dle po­ten­tial win­ter use.

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