By Stan Ashbee
Sunny South News
As announced earlier this month, the Small and Medium Enterprise Relaunch Grant (SMERG) program has been re-opened for a new payment to businesses affected by the April 2021 public health orders, according to a recent media release. 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,” stated Doug Schweitzer, minister of Jobs, Economy and Innovation – in the media release.
It was noted SMERG offers financial assistance to Alberta businesses, co-operatives 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 they can continue to serve customers.
Application intake for the program is open until May 31 with a budget of $350 million.
Organizations that did not apply under the previous run of SMERG will not be able to apply for the prior payments, it was noted – 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.