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For many businesses, 2020 has been a difficult year; the COVID-19 pandemic and the associated public health orders designed to slow the spread of the virus have resulted in increased costs, lower sales, and reduced earnings. We know that businesses – especially small businesses – are an essential part of our communities. That’s why Alberta’s government is making it easier for business owners to access the programs they need to get through this trying time. Whether it’s financial grants or access to vital information, supports to help protect businesses and their owners are readily available.
Small and Medium Enterprise Relaunch Grant (SMERG)
The Ministry of Jobs, Economy and Innovation created the Small and Medium Enterprise Relaunch Grant to ease relaunch costs associated with the pandemic. Small businesses have asked for a simpler and faster way to get funding. In response, the ministry has designed an online application package that is easy to complete and aims to process applications and issue payments within 10 business days.
Eligible organizations can apply for 15% of their pre-COVID-19 monthly revenue, up to a maximum of $5,000 in funding.
Alberta Biz Connect
As information about COVID-19 continues to change, small businesses need one window to get important information and updates on how to reopen and resume operations safely. Alberta Biz Connect provides tailored up-to date information to help small businesses comply with public health requirements, access supports, and find answers to questions.
To date, Alberta Biz Connect has responded to over 8,000 inquiries, helping businesses get easy and timely access to critical information and supports.
Cutting red tape at Alberta Innovates
Alberta Innovates (AI) helps grow research and innovation across Alberta by providing funding, advice, and expertise to aspiring tech entrepreneurs.
AI has received feedback from entrepreneurs on the process of accessing supports, and they have responded by creating a more streamlined application and reporting process that will result in quicker access to the supports entrepreneurs need to grow our technology sector and create jobs.
Through the use of a common suite of questions for all applications and reporting templates, accessing a broad spectrum of supports has never been easier and more efficient. Approximately 82% of applicants are highly satisfied with the new application process, with more than 50% of those applicants rating their experience as excellent. Comments from applicants have identified the system to be user-friendly, easy to navigate, and a significant improvement relative to AI’s previous application processes.
Doug Schweitzer served as Minister of Jobs, Economy and Innovation from August 25, 2020 to August 5, 2022.