EDMONTON – NEWS – In April, Alberta’s government reopened the Small and Medium Enterprise Relaunch Grant program for a new payment to businesses affected by the April 2021 public health orders.
Extending the application intake enables organizations subsequently affected by the May 2021 health orders to apply for this additional COVID relief funding. The program budget remains at $350 million.
“Alberta businesses have made sacrifices to stop the spike of COVID-19. Your efforts have made a difference, and we know we will soon be able to begin to lift restrictions and allow businesses to operate at full capacity. As more Albertans are vaccinated, I am hopeful that this is the last time we need to extend the SMERG program,” states 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.
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 as business owners see fit.
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 Relaunch Grant Spring 2021 Payment opened 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.
- Organizations may only apply to the current SMERG program once.
- 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.
- 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.