The federal government will make a $12 million investment in Canada’s small businesses relief fund.
Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion, and International Trade, announced the creation of the Canada United Small Business Relief Fund at a press conference.
Canada United is a national fundraising campaign that will support Canadian businesses across different sectors and industries with grants of up to $5,000, according to a release.
It was created by the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), private sector partners, and provincial and territorial chambers of commerce, including the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC), which will manage the fund.
“Choosing to go out and start and run your own small business takes hard work at the very best of times. Doing so in a global pandemic is an extraordinary challenge,” said Ng. “Small business owners have demonstrated incredible resilience amid COVID-19.”
The grants will help thousands of small business owners across Canada enhance their digital or e-commerce capabilities, make physical modifications to their businesses in accordance with local health and safety requirements, and purchase personal protective equipment to keep their staff and customers safe, according to the release.
Small business have been among the hardest hit during the pandemic. As the second wave takes hold across the country, they will face further losses, says the release. Their success is critical as the country recovers from the pandemic.
“Local businesses have always been there for us and now need our support more than ever,” said Rocco Rossi, President and CEO of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, in the release. “Small businesses are cornerstones of our local economies and key to thriving communities, creating jobs, driving innovation, and generating wealth for Canadians,”
The Canada United Small Business Relief Fund builds on the government’s past coronavirus emergency programs for small businesses, including the expanded Canada Emergency Business Account, the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy, and the new Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy, according to the release.
Grant applications for the fund open on October 26 and are available to businesses that have between $150,000 and $3 million in annual sales, or fewer than 75 employees.
“The support announced today is yet another lifeline for resilient small businesses across Canada,” said Ng. “As we’ve said from the very beginning of this pandemic, we will always be there for small businesses and the millions of hard-working Canadians they employ.”