Latest news

The Small Medium Enterprise Relaunch Grant - AVAILABLE NOW

The Small and Medium Enterprise Relaunch Grant offers financial assistance to Alberta businesses, cooperatives, and non-profit organizations that were ordered to close or curtail operations, and that experienced a revenue reduction of at least 30%, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The program offers 2 payments to eligible applicants, with up to $20,000 in available funding per eligible application. Businesses, cooperatives and non-profits can use these funds as they see fit to help offset a portion of the impact of new public health measures or their relaunch costs, such as implementing measures to minimize the risk of virus transmission, which could include:

• physical barriers
• purchasing personal protective equipment and disinfecting supplies
• paying rent and employee wages
• replacing inventory and more

For further information access the Small and Medium Enterprise Relaunch Grant program guidelines at https://open.alberta.ca/publications/sme-relaunch-grant-guidelines.

For full information visit https://www.alberta.ca/sme-relaunch-grant.aspx.

The Alberta Government is also expanding its Small and Medium Enterprise Relaunch Grant program to help businesses weather the impacts of the new COVID-19 restrictions.
Alberta Government News Release

• Starting early the week of December 14, SMEs will be able to apply for a second payment through the Small and Medium Enterprise Relaunch Grant program.
• Businesses may qualify for up to 15 per cent of their pre-COVID-19 monthly revenue.
• The second payment is up to a maximum of $15,000 in funding – three times the original grant amount – with a total of $20,000 in potential funding available for each business.
• The eligibility criteria will also be reduced, from a requirement to show a 40 per cent drop in revenues due to COVID-19 closures to 30 per cent.

To learn more, see relauch grant


 

Small and Medium Enterprise Relaunch Grant - MEDIA RELEASE

For immediate release – November 23, 2020

Supports for Alberta’s small businesses

Alberta’s government is providing more financial support to the Alberta job creators hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In light of additional temporary health measures announced November 12, the Government of Alberta is ensuring affected small and medium-sized businesses receive additional support through the opportunity to apply for a second payment from the Small and Medium Enterprise Relaunch Grant.

This second payment will be available to businesses operating in areas on the provincial watch list where new health restrictions – like the temporary closure of indoor group fitness classes and team sports – have been implemented.

Additionally, job creators that have experienced a 40 per cent revenue loss due to the COVID-19 pandemic will qualify for the grant, lowering the threshold from the existing 50 per cent revenue loss requirement. This 40 per cent threshold will be available to impacted businesses retroactive to March.

“Small and medium-sized businesses are the backbone of Alberta’s economy. From the beginning of the pandemic, the government has been supporting job creators that have suffered the unfortunate impacts of COVID-19. We will continue to work with them to ensure they can continue operating and play an important part of our economic recovery.” Doug Schweitzer, Minister of Jobs, Economy and Innovation

“The Fitness Industry Council of Canada, and our member studios, gyms and recreation centres, look to work in partnership with the government to curate safe and effective exercise experiences for Albertans. There have been many added costs to running a facility, most notably those associated with cleaning and sanitization. We welcome this additional funding source for those businesses that have had to temporarily close and look forward to working alongside Alberta Health Services to ensure that our facilities are as safe as possible.” Scott Wildeman, president, Fitness Industry Council of Canada

Businesses, cooperatives and non-profits across sectors have received funding, with the majority of applications coming from job creators in the retail, personal services, accommodation and food services, and health-care and social assistance sectors.

The Small and Medium Enterprise Relaunch Grant offers financial assistance to Alberta businesses, cooperatives and non-profit organizations with fewer than 500 employees that faced restrictions or closures from public health orders, and experienced a revenue loss of at least 40 per cent due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Job creators that meet the program’s eligibility criteria can apply for 15 per cent of their pre-COVID-19 monthly revenue, up to a maximum of $5,000 in funding, which can offset the costs they are facing as they relaunch their businesses. This includes the costs of implementing measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, such as physical barriers, PPE and cleaning supplies, as well as rent, employee wages, replacing inventory and more.

The program launched at the end of June with a budget of up to $200 million. Full program details, including eligibility criteria and how to apply, are outlined on the program web page. Applications will be open until March 31, 2021, unless otherwise communicated.

Alberta’s Recovery Plan is a bold, ambitious long-term strategy to build, diversify, and create tens of thousands of jobs now. By building schools, roads and other core infrastructure we are benefiting our communities. By diversifying our economy and attracting investment with Canada’s most competitive tax environment, we are putting Alberta on a path for a generation of growth.

Quick facts:

• The Small and Medium Enterprise Relaunch Grant will be implemented in two phases:
            o Phase one: Any company that meets the 40 per cent threshold will be able to apply for the grant by end of day November 24.
            o Phase two: Companies that wish to apply for a second round of funding will be able to do so within the coming weeks. More detailed information on phase two timing will be available this week. 

• Due to technical limitations, businesses that meet new eligibility requirements and submit an application may initially receive a rejection notification as the system is updated. System updates ensure the same high level of              service and quick turnaround. All eligible businesses will receive funding regardless of initial notification.
         o Thousands of Alberta businesses will be eligible to access funding due to the expanded guidelines.  

• On Nov. 13, Alberta’s government implemented additional health measures to help protect hospitals, keep schools and businesses open, and protect vulnerable Albertans.
        o All restaurants, bars, lounges and pubs in regions under enhanced status must cease liquor sales by 10 p.m. and close by 11 p.m. The restriction will remain in place until Nov. 27.
        o There is a two-week ban on indoor group fitness classes, team sport activities and group performance activities in Edmonton and surrounding areas, Calgary and surrounding areas, Grande Prairie, Fort McMurray, Red                   Deer and Lethbridge.

• Additional health measures were implemented in all regions under an enhanced status. These measures will be in place until further notice:
        o Maximum attendance of 50 at wedding or funeral ceremonies.
        o It is recommended all faith-based activities limit attendance to one-third capacity per service.
        o Residents should not hold social gatherings within their homes and should not plan social gatherings outside their community.
        o It is recommended employers in office settings implement measures to reduce the number of employees in the workplace at one time.

• All existing guidance and legal orders remain in place in all areas.

Coaching and Professional Services Program - MEDIA RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 2, 2020

Community Futures Wood Buffalo delivers Business Support Program for rural Businesses

Fort McMurray, AB 

Community Futures Wood Buffalo is playing an instrumental role in supporting many businesses in the Fort McMurray area by developing and delivering a Coaching and Professional Services Program for businesses affected by COVID-19, the 2020 Spring Flood, and other economic challenges in the community. 

This program will provide one-on-one business support and access to services by professionals that can provide strategic advice and help businesses develop actionable plans to improve their overall business viability. 

Community Futures Wood Buffalo has partnered with Elite Business Solutions, a Fort McMurray company that will help guide, create, and expand local businesses with the support of professional service providers.

The program is supported in part by the Government of Canada through Western Economic Diversification Canada, as part of the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund.

Quotes:

“We are extremely pleased to partner with the Government of Canada to support businesses having access to professional services. Many businesses in our local community need access to professional service providers who will be able to work hand-in-hand with them to support their long-term viability. Since the 2016 Horse Wildfire, Fort McMurray businesses have been through significant hardship, and this is a welcomed initiative in supporting local area businesses in our region.”- Jason Vargo, Chairperson of the Board for Community Futures Wood Buffalo

“This program will definitely strengthen our businesses, and bring economic vitality back into our community.”- Pamela Ramrup, Executive Director for Community Futures Wood Buffalo

“I know that small businesses have been hit hard due to COVID-19, and this is especially the case for many businesses in the Fort McMurray region that are still dealing with the aftermath of the 2016 wildfire and the 2020 floods. The federal government and our partners are working to ensure small and medium-sized businesses remain at the heart of our economy. This collaboration between Western Economic Diversification Canada and Community Futures Wood Buffalo is one example of how we’re taking action on the ground to provide business owners with the support, resources, and services they need to not just survive, but thrive.”- The Honourable Mélanie Joly, MP for Ahuntsic-Cartierville, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, and Minister responsible for Western Economic Diversification Canada

“Congratulations to Community Futures Wood Buffalo for delivering this important service to Fort McMurray Wood Buffalo’s businesses. And thanks to Western Economic Diversification Canada for recognizing the compelling need for our region. When we consider the impact of the pandemic and recent flood, this program is timely and important.” - Kevin Weidlich, President & CEO, Wood Buffalo Economic Development Corporation

MEDIA RELEASE

Media contact: Pamela Ramrup
Executive Director, Community Futures Wood Buffalo
Tel: (780) 791-0330
Email: cfwbmanager [at] albertacf.com
 

Small and Medium Enterprise Relaunch Grant

Funding for small- and medium-sized businesses, co-ops and non-profits impacted by COVID-19 to offset a portion of their relaunch costs

The Small and Medium Enterprise Relaunch Grant offers financial assistance to Alberta businesses, cooperatives, and non-profit organizations that were ordered to close or curtail operations, and that experienced a revenue reduction of at least 50%, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Eligible organizations can apply for 15% of their pre-COVID-19 monthly revenue, up to a maximum of $5,000 in funding.

Businesses, cooperatives and non-profits can use these funds as they see fit to help offset a portion of their relaunch costs, such as implementing measures to minimize the risk of virus transmission, which could include:

  • physical barriers
  • purchasing personal protective equipment and disinfecting supplies
  • paying rent and employee wages
  • replacing inventory and more

For more information, please refer the Government of Alberta website

Downtown Revitalization Incentives Program

The Municipality has developed the Downtown Revitalization Incentives Program to help property and business owners improve their premises, attract new customers and tenants, and make the choice to stay downtown.

Incentives encourage investment that might not otherwise happen. Incentives can be used to promote specific types of development and improvements in an area. In Fort McMurray’s downtown, incentives are being offered with the aim of:

  • Retaining existing businesses and helping attract new types of business that will increase pedestrian presence on the streets.
  • Introducing new features and amenities that create interest and vibrancy, helping transform the downtown core into a place people want to spend time.
  • Improving the aesthetic qualities within the downtown.

The program offers 50 per cent matching reimbursement grants to help property owners and businesses operators:

  • Improve building exteriors or façades (up to $75,000 or $100,000, depending on the building type).
  • Upgrade or rehabilitate the interiors of existing commercial buildings (up to $50,000).
  • Construct new patios or upgrade existing patios (up to $10,000).
  • Install beautification projects (up to $5,000) and murals (up to $30,000).

The deadline for applications is Dec. 31, 2020.

 

 

Disaster Recovery Funding Available - NEW

If you live in Fort McMurray-Wood Buffalo, and your home, business or property was damaged by overland flooding in April and May of 2020, you may be eligible for the Disaster Recovery Program. This provincial program provides funding for uninsurable property damage, loss and other expenses incurred as the result of a natural disaster.

A program application centre will be opening in Fort McMurray, where disaster recovery program experts will be available to guide you through the application process.

Deadline to apply is September 6, 2020

FOR MORE INFORMATION, refer to the Alberta Government website, call 1-888-671-1111 or email drp.info [at] gov.ab.ca

Wood Buffalo Business Support Organizations Present the Region's Business & Economic Recovery Plan

MEDIA RELEASE
For Immediate Release – July 14, 2020

Wood Buffalo Business Support Organizations Present the Region’s Business & Economic Recovery Plan

Fort McMurray, AB – Key regional business support organizations have partnered to create the Wood Buffalo 2020 Business & Economic Recovery Plan (the “Plan). The partner organizations of the Plan are as follows:

Community Futures Wood Buffalo (CFWB)
Fort McMurray Chamber of Commerce (FMCoC)
Fort McMurray Construction Association (FMCA)
Northeastern Alberta Aboriginal Business Association (NAABA)
Wood Buffalo Economic Development Corporation (WBEDC)

Based on the expertise and recommendations from the Business Recovery Task Force (the “Task Force”), various stakeholder discussions and multi-sector engagement with the business community, the Plan outlines key strategies and actions to support business and economic recovery.

“This community-led Plan is critical for the future sustainability of our region,” says Nick Sanders, Task Force member and Interim Executive Director of the Fort McMurray Chamber of Commerce. “It will help support the immediate response required, recovery efforts and long-term resiliency of Wood Buffalo.”

The Plan outlines the immediate, short-term and long-term programs and business supports as well as the recommended actions each partner organization will deliver.

“The accountability and commitment from each partner organization is important to the Plan’s success,” says Michelle Toner, Task Force member and Executive Director of the Northeastern Alberta Aboriginal Business Association. “Assigning the Plan’s actions gives each of our organizations a way to support recovery.”

The Plan will be presented to the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo (RMWB) Council as information today, July 14, 2020. The Plan will be available on https://wbcentral.biz/knowledge-base/wood-buffalo-2020-business-economic... today at 4:00 P.M.

“This Plan is truly a collaborative approach specific to the business community,” says Kevin Weidlich, Task Force Chair and CEO & President of the Wood Buffalo Economic Development Corporation. “Full recovery will take the whole community continuing to work together and supporting local businesses.”

The Plan’s budget will be presented to Council once all joint funding proposals have received a response.

-30-

 

About the Business Recovery Task Force:
The Business Recovery Task Force was established by Wood Buffalo Economic Development Corporation, with the support of the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo Mayor and Council. The Business Recovery Task Force (the “Task Force”) mandate is to research and recommend immediate and post-emergency supports for both COVID-19 and the Flood. The Task Force is comprised of business leaders and organizations that represent the most impacted sectors in the Wood Buffalo region. A list of the Main Committee Task Force members can be found here.

###



Media Contacts:


Pamela Ramrup
Executive Director
Community Futures Wood Buffalo
(780) 791-0330
cfwbmanager [at] albertacf.com

Nick Sanders
Executive Director
Fort McMurray Chamber of Commerce
(780) 743-3100
ed [at] fortmcmurraychamber.ca

Keith Plowman
President
Fort McMurray Construction Association
(780) 370-8450
keith [at] kplowman.ca

Small and Medium Enterprise Relaunch Grant

Overview

The Small and Medium Enterprise Relaunch Grant offers financial assistance to Alberta businesses, cooperatives, and non-profit organizations that were ordered to close or curtail operations, and that experienced a revenue reduction of at least 50 per cent, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Eligible organizations can apply for 15% of their pre-COVID-19 revenue, up to a maximum of $5,000 in funding.

Businesses, cooperatives and non-profits can use these funds as they see fit to help offset a portion of their relaunch costs, such as implementing measures to minimize the risk of virus transmission, which could include: physical barriers, purchasing personal protective equipment and disinfecting supplies, paying rent and employee wages, replacing inventory and more.

Funding

The Government of Alberta has committed up to $200 million in funding for the program.

Grant funding amounts are calculated based on 15% of the eligible organization’s pre-COVID-19 monthly revenue up to a maximum of $5,000 per business, cooperative or non-profit organization.

Eligibility

Businesses, cooperatives and non-profit organizations that were ordered to close or curtail operations as a result of public health orders issued by Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health may be eligible.

Applicants will be required to demonstrate a revenue reduction of at least 50% in April and/or May 2020 as a result of public health orders.

To be eligible, an Alberta business, cooperative or non-profit organization must meet all of the following criteria.

Be one of the following legal entities:
corporation registered under the Business Corporations Act (Alberta)
partnership registered under the Partnership Act (Alberta)
sole proprietor with a trade name registered under the Partnership Act (Alberta)
corporation incorporated under a special act or a private act of the Alberta legislature
non-profit registered under a special act or a private act of the Alberta legislature
non-profit registered under part 9 of the Companies Act (Alberta)
society registered under the Societies Act (Alberta) or Agricultural Societies Act (Alberta)
cooperative registered under the Cooperatives Act (Alberta)
Maintain a permanent establishment (as defined in Appendix I of the Small and Medium Enterprise Relaunch Grant program guidelines) in Alberta and be established (and in good standing) under at least one of the above acts/legislation.
Be carrying on business/operations or were eligible to carry on business/operations in Alberta on February 29, 2020.

Have less than 500 employees (full time, part-time and contract combined):

Seasonal businesses may use the number of employees from the year prior to when the COVID-19 public health orders were introduced, or the average number of employees over the 3 years prior to the COVID-19 public health orders introduced.
Have been ordered to temporarily close or curtail operations through a COVID-19 public health order. See COVID-19 orders and legislation for more information.
Have experienced a reduction in revenue of at least 50% in April and/or May 2020 in comparison to April 2019, May 2019 or February 2020 as a result of the public health orders.
Seasonal businesses that only operate for part of the year may use their average monthly sales revenue for the full months they were in operation during 2019.
Are open or plan to reopen as public health orders are lifted through Alberta’s phased relaunch.
Have not received any payments, grants or amounts from any other sources.

All applications must be submitted through the online application portal. Find detailed information and the Alberta Government application portal here.

 

Pages

? Top

Get in Touch

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

780-791-0330

Our newsletter

Submit your email address to receive periodic updates.

Message Us

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, 

Share

Facebook icon
Twitter icon
Google icon
Pinterest icon
LinkedIn icon
e-mail icon