The Counter restaurant is closed for indoor dining, Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2020, in New York. A ban on indoor dining at New York City restaurants was enacted Monday by officials trying to slow the resurgence of the coronavirus. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

NDP calling for supports for small businesses in Alberta

Alberta’s NDP, the owners of new small businesses and sole proprietors are calling on the UCP government to provide critical supports to help them survive the COVID-19 pandemic.

New small businesses that opened after February do not qualify for the Provincial Small and Medium Enterprise Relaunch Grant, or the Federal Canadian Rent Subsidy and Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy because they do not have past revenue statements to prove a drop in earnings, the NDP government says. Any business that began operations in March or later are not eligible.

“These small businesses have been operating for months without support” said NDP MLA Rod Loyola, who has been consulting with businesses as part of the initiative. “Jason Kenney’s mismanagement of the COVID-19 has caused them to be heavily restricted or even shut down. This government had months to develop supports for new businesses but they still have not received a penny.”

“Most of these new small businesses did not choose to open up during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Loyola continued. “These owners have been planning to open for months before COVID-19 hit Alberta. Now they are struggling to stay afloat and they haven’t even been given a chance to get out of the starting gate and succeed in Alberta.”

The Alberta NDP is calling on the UCP government to provide financial support for new small businesses by implementing the following:

Immediately allow new businesses access to the full $20,000 dollars available through the Small and Medium Sized Business Relaunch Grant.

Create rent subsidy and wage subsidy programs for new businesses who do not qualify for federal support because they do not have the past revenue requirements.

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