COVID-19 has adversely affected all businesses, especially retail and eating establishments which have had to introduce barriers at cash registers, hand-sanitizing stations and staff employees in PPE just to carry on daily operations, along with changes to websites to include delivery options.
The federal government has just introduced the $12 million Canada United Business Relief Fund to help offset some of the costs that small businesses are facing as a result of COVID-19. The fund opened on Oct. 26, 2020, and funds will be distributed on first-come first-serve basis. Funding is up to $5,000 per business and a decision on applications will be made within 40 days after being received. Be sure in get your application in soon refund the funds are all gone.
In order to qualify for funding companies must meet the following criteria:
Priority applicants for consideration will include businesses owned by Indigenous People, women, visible minorities, LGBTQ2+, and persons with disabilities. Consideration will also be made to ensure the fund is distributed broadly to all regions across the country.
There are three categories of purchases that are eligible for reimbursement under the program:
Eligible expenses directly related to the above categories are permitted provided that purchases were made no earlier than March 15, 2020.
Purchase of personal protective equipment (PPE)
Purchase of personal protective equipment may include equipment purchased to ensure operations are safe for both customers and employees. Eligible equipment costs are incremental costs associated with additional precautions for COVID-19, not normal ongoing business costs. This may include:
Renovation of space to adhere to re-opening guidelines
Renovation of space includes alterations specifically related to COVID-19 that are temporary or permanent, made to the applicant’s business to reduce the risk to customers or staff. These renovations can include:
Enhancement of website
Expenses relating to the enhancement of your business’s website may include:
Expenses can include:
Ineligible costs and expenses
The following costs are ineligible and will not be considered:
To apply for the Canada United Business Relief Fund go to https://occ.ca/canada-united-small-business-relief-fund/ and click on the link to access the application.
Bonny Koabel, CPA, CGA, is president of AKR Consulting Canada, a Mississauga, Ont., firm specializing in government grants, rebates, refunds, subsidies and tax cCredits.
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