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Community Futures Extends Financial Relief for Local Small Business

(Fort McMurray, Alberta) – Financial support will continue to be available for rural small and medium-sized businesses and non-profit organizations impacted by COVID-19 until June 30, 2021. Community Futures Wood Buffalo is still accepting loan applications for up to $60,000 as part of the Government of Canada’s Regional Relief and Recovery Fund. These zero-interest, partially forgivable loans are intended to cover the economic impacts of COVID-19 and prepare local small businesses for recovery.

Applications for the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund are open.
We are continuing to help ease financial pressure on small and medium-sized businesses due to COVID-19. If you operate a local business or non-profit organization, you may be eligible for a loan of up to $60,000.
If you haven’t been able to qualify for other federal business support programs – we are here to help.

Apply now using our secure online portal. Your information will be held in a queue until program funds are received from the Federal Government.
You will be notified when your application is being processed. Applications will be accepted until June 30, 2021.

“Many entrepreneurs and business owners had hoped to turn a financial corner in 2021,” said Pamela Ramrup, Executive Director of Community Futures Wood Buffalo. “The reality has proved somewhat different. As a key resource for growing and sustaining rural businesses, we will be there to provide relief funding and continue to deliver ongoing support and advice through the next phases of this recovery.”

About Community Futures in Alberta
Alberta’s 27 Community Futures organizations are independent, locally run and guided by volunteer boards. Each Community Futures office provides flexible and affordable small business loans, business coaching/training services and business development tools for people wanting to start, expand, franchise or sell a rural business. Community Futures is funded by the Government of Canada through Western Economic Diversification Canada and has been supporting rural entrepreneurs for over 30 years.

Relief for businesses now available

 

Application intake for the spring 2021 payment from Alberta’s small business grant is now open.
As announced earlier this month, the Small and Medium Enterprise Relaunch Grant program has been reopened for a new payment to businesses affected by the April 2021 public health orders. 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.”
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. 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 that they can continue to serve customers.
Application intake for the program is open until May 31 with a budget of $350 million.
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.
Quick facts
• Application intake for the Small and Medium Enterprise Launch Spring 2021 Payment opens April 23.
o 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.
o Applications received before the previous program closure on March 31 will continue to be processed.
o 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.
• As of April 22, Alberta’s government has provided more than $527 million to more than 40,400 small businesses through the Small and Medium Enterprise Relaunch Grant.
• Alberta’s government has provided billions of dollars in supports to job creators since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, including:
o Deferring corporate income tax collection for six months, providing $1.5 billion in relief.
o Deferring education property taxes and freezing the rate at 2019 levels.
o Deferring WCB premiums and paying 50 per cent of them for small and medium businesses, saving them $350 million.
o Providing a 90-day deferral for utility payments last spring.
o Banning commercial evictions, rent increases and late fees for commercial tenants.
• Additional supports for businesses are available through the federal government.
Related information
• Small and Medium Enterprise Relaunch Grant

Government of Alberta - Small and Medium Enterprise Relaunch Grant

Government of Alberta - Small and Medium Enterprise Relaunch Grant
A new intake will open in late April. The grant offers financial assistance to Alberta businesses, cooperatives, and non-profit organizations that were ordered to close or curtail operations, and experienced a 30% revenue loss as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Intake will remain open until May 31, 2021.

Learn more: https://www.alberta.ca/sme-relaunch-grant.aspx

Business Link - Digital Economy Program Survey

  

Business Link - Digital Economy Program Survey
Business Link is developing a Digital Economy Program in collaboration with the Government of Alberta to provide small businesses with free training and support to attract business and connect with consumers online. They are requesting input from CF offices and clients to help shape the program. The survey is open until April 23, 2021.
Survey Link: https://survey.zohopublic.com/zs/QIzc4Y

COMMUNITY FUTURES WOOD BUFFALO: BUSINESS SUPPORT FOR THE COMMUNITY'S FUTURE

More COVID recovery aid for Alberta’s small businesses 04.13.2021

Alberta’s government is expanding the small business relaunch grant to put more money in the hands of job creators when they need it to survive the end of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Alberta government is offering small businesses affected by the most recent public health orders another payment of up to $10,000 from the Small and Medium Enterprise Relaunch Grant.
Alberta businesses affected by the latest public health orders will be eligible to apply for another payment in the second half of April. This additional payment will also be available to new businesses that began operating between March 1, 2020 and March 31, 2021, as well as hotels, taxis and ride-sharing services.
“Small businesses have borne the brunt of pandemic restrictions, and have made real sacrifices to protect our health-care system and save lives. That’s why Alberta’s government has already committed over $500 million in support through the Small and Medium Enterprise Relaunch Grant, and it’s why we are expanding that support today.”
Jason Kenney, Premier
“We’ll continue to be there to support small businesses that we’ve asked to make sacrifices to help keep us safe during this pandemic. Alberta’s economy relies on the successful recovery of small businesses and we’ll be there to support them to get to the other side of this pandemic.”
Doug Schweitzer, Minister of Jobs, Economy and Innovation
“We know how difficult this past year has been for small businesses, and this program will provide some much-needed capital to these businesses.”
Martin Long, parliamentary secretary for Small Business and Tourism
“Today’s announcement is welcome news. It is vital for small business survival that proper supports are in place until the economy can fully reopen.”
Annie Dormuth, Alberta provincial affairs director, Canadian Federation of Independent Business
“Not being able to qualify for relief programs was a major frustration we heard from operators who started ventures during the early days of the pandemic. This is a much-needed program to provide some assistance for SMEs that are doing their part to stem the tide of our current pandemic.”
Ken Kobly, president and CEO, Alberta Chambers of Commerce
“Alberta businesses face ongoing uncertainty and require flexible and accessible supports. Extending the relaunch grant provides critical support for businesses, giving them confidence that they can recover and emerge stronger.”
Murray Sigler, interim CEO, Calgary Chamber of Commerce
“This increased funding can’t come soon enough. Businesses have already faced over a year of tremendous revenue shortfalls and they will need continued help.”
Janet M. Riopel, president & CEO, Edmonton Chamber of Commerce
The relaunch grant program has already had nearly 50,000 applicants, with total program costs of more than $500 million. With this latest expansion, small businesses that have qualified for all three rounds will have received as much as $30,000.
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.
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 that they can continue to serve customers.
The program is scheduled to be open for applications until May 31 and is capped at $350 million.
The updated SMERG program will replace the previously announced Enhanced COVID-19 Business Benefit and will provide funding to more businesses facing increased public health measures as announced on April 6.
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.
Quick facts
• Applications for the additional $10,000 payment will open in the second half of April for any organization that meets the eligibility criteria.
o Applications received before the previous program closure on March 31 will continue to be processed.
o Companies that did not apply under the first run of SMERG will not be able to apply for the initial payments – only the new $10,000 payment.
o 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.
• As of April 6, Alberta’s government has provided more than $451 million to more than 39,000 small businesses through the Small and Medium Enterprise Relaunch Grant.
• Alberta’s government has provided billions of dollars in supports to job creators since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, including:
o Deferring corporate income tax collection for six months, providing $1.5 billion in relief.
o Deferring education property taxes and freezing the rate at 2019 levels.
o Deferring WCB premiums and paying 50 per cent of them for small and medium businesses, saving them $350 million.
o Providing a 90-day deferral for utility payments last spring.
o Banning commercial evictions, rent increases and late fees for commercial tenants.
• Additional supports for businesses are available through the federal government.

 

For more informtation: ttps://www.alberta.ca/sme-relaunch-grant.aspx

Easter Wishes

Lemonade Day 2021 - REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN

The foremost objective of Lemonade Day is to empower youth to take ownership of their lives and become productive members of society – the business leaders, social advocates, volunteers, and forward-thinking citizens of tomorrow. Each child that registers is encouraged to attend Lemonade University where they learn the lessons of Lemonade Day, like creating budgets, setting profit-making goals, serving customers, repaying investors, and giving back to the community. Along the way, they acquire skills in goal setting, problem solving, and gain self-esteem critical for future success. They keep all the money they make and are encouraged to spend some, save some and share some. Depending on prevailing COVID-19 restrictions and internet access, youth can access Lemonade Day University using the Lemonade Day App or in person with support of regional volunteers. 

Kids!  Register today!

Join us in our mission to help today's youth become the business leading, social advocated, community volunteers and forward-thinking citizens of tomorrow!  If you are interested in becoming a Lemonade Day ambassador and support the young entrepreneurs in your region, please contact us today!

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Community Futures Wood Buffalo
9912 Franklin Ave
Suite 105
Fort McMurray, AB T9H 2K5

780-791-0330

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Communities Served

Anzac, 
Chard, 
Cheecham, 
Conklin, 
Devenish, 
Draper, 
Fort Chipewyan, 
Fort Fitzgerald, 
Fort MacKay, 
Fort McMurray, 
Gregar, 
Janvier, 
Leismer, 
Lynton, 
Margie, 
Mariana Lake, 
Pingle, 
Quigley, 
Saprae Creek, 
Tar Island, 

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