Com­mu­nity Fu­tures in south­east Al­berta de­liv­er­ing RRRF help to small/medium busi­nesses

Prairie Post (East Edition) - - NEWS - By Ryan Dahlman

Some small and medium sized busi­nesses which have un­der­gone fi­nan­cial strife dur­ing the pan­demic have turned to gov­ern­ment for help.

How­ever, for some, the Canada Emer­gency Business Ac­count (CEBA) or Business Credit Avail­abil­ity Pro­gram (BCAP) haven’t helped these busi­nesses have not fit the cri­te­ria. How­ever, it changed May 13 as now ru­ral busi­nesses will be able to ap­ply for loans of up to $40,000 from the $95.7 mil­lion ear­marked for Western Canada through the Gov­ern­ment of Canada’s Re­gional Re­lief and Re­cov­ery Fund (RRRF). The 90 Com­mu­nity Fu­tures or­ga­ni­za­tions in Western Canada in­clud­ing those in Al­berta, Saskatchew­an and Man­i­toba will ad­min­is­ter this pro­gram on be­half of Western Eco­nomic Di­ver­si­fi­ca­tion Canada. Those busi­nesses which qual­ify in­clude:

• Small and Medium-Sized En­ter­prises (SMEs) lo­cated in non-metropoli­tan re­gions (all ar­eas served by

Com­mu­nity Fu­tures or­ga­ni­za­tions).

• The SME must at­test to their in­el­i­gi­bil­ity for other fed­eral COVID-19 sup­port pro­gram­ming such as the Canada Emer­gency Business Ac­count (CEBA) or the Business Credit Avail­abil­ity Pro­gram (BCAP)

• The small business must have been vi­able and not ex­pe­ri­enc­ing any liq­uid­ity or other fi­nan­cial dif­fi­cul­ties as of March 1, 2020.

• The small business must have ex­pe­ri­enced a ma­te­rial ad­verse ef­fect on business op­er­a­tions on or af­ter March 1, 2020 as a re­sult of the COVID-19 pan­demic.

• Business es­tab­lished be­fore March 1, 2020.

• Be a sole pro­pri­etor­ship, part­ner­ship (ex­cept pro­fes­sional ser­vices), cor­po­ra­tion, so­cial en­ter­prise, or other sim­i­lar or­ga­ni­za­tion.

• Op­er­at­ing ex­penses, pay­roll and other non-de­ferrable ex­penses which sus­tain business con­ti­nu­ity.

Ac­cord­ing to a re­lease, some loan high­lights in­clude: no in­ter­est ac­crual or prin­ci­pal pay­ments through De­cem­ber 31, 2022; if 75% of loan is re­paid by De­cem­ber 31, 2022, the re­main­der of the loan is for­given; blended prin­ci­pal and in­ter­est pay­ments be­gin­ning Jan­uary 1, 2023. Loans must be re­paid by De­cem­ber 31, 2025 and no pre­pay­ment penal­ties.

The RRRF is be­ing set at $962 mil­lion na­tion­ally in­clud­ing $304.2 mil­lion for Western Canada.

It is good news for busi­nesses try­ing for sta­tus quo.

For Sean Blewett, Gen­eral Man­ager at Com­mu­nity Fu­tures En­tre-Corp, it has been a busy time, even though it has not be the nor­mal business as usual. Through his Medicine Hat of­fice, com­mu­ni­ties served are in Cy­press County, County of Newell, County of 40 Mile and Red­cliff. They have been busy.

“Through this pan­demic our of­fice has seen a sig­nif­i­cant in­crease in ser­vices to as­sist busi­nesses in nav­i­gat­ing through this dif­fi­cult time,” ex­plained Blewett. “This in­cludes one on one business ad­vi­sory via phone or video chat, in­for­ma­tion shar­ing, on­line train­ing.”

Blewett also noted there are are also “fo­cused im­me­di­ate needs” such as gov­ern­ment sup­ports, hu­man re­sources, Oc­cu­pa­tional Health and Safety; men­tal health sup­ports; piv­ot­ing their busi­nesses, so­cial me­dia mar­ket­ing and other rel­e­vant ses­sions. These ses­sions can be found on Com­mu­nity Fu­ture’s web­site at http://en­tre-corp.al­ber­tacf.com/cur­rentevents as well as daily ses­sion’s on the Face­book page - YXH Business Sup­ports.

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