New relief grant for small businesses.
Written By: Anjali Dilawri, CPA, CA
LoganKatz Chartered Professional Accountants
The federal government is investing $12 million into the Canada United Small Business Relief Fund (CUSBRF), to support small businesses through the coronavirus pandemic. The CUSBRF provides eligible small businesses with relief grants of up to $5,000, to be used for pandemic recovery efforts. The grant provides a reimbursement of costs incurred in order to allow a safe reopening and the adoption of digital technologies, in relation to COVID-19.
The CUSBRF is part of the #CanadaUnited nationwide campaign, which encourages Canadians to support local businesses by buying, dining and shopping local. The CUSBRF will be managed by the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, on behalf of the national Chamber network in support of other chambers and partners. Applicants for the relief grant do not need to be members of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC).
Qualifying entities include small to medium-sized (SME) companies from any sector and from all regions of Canada who meet the eligibility criteria. Both for-profit and not-for-profit organizations are eligible to apply, although government organizations, municipalities, charities and the chamber of commerce network are not eligible. Considerations will be made to ensure the fund is distributed broadly, to all Canadian regions. Priority applicants for consideration will include businesses owned by Indigenous Peoples, women, visible minorities, LGBTQ2+ and persons with disabilities.
Expenses eligible for reimbursement fall under the following 3 categories:
- Purchasing personal protective equipment such as masks, face shields and latex gloves
- Renovating physical spaces to adhere to local, provincial or federal reopening guidelines
- Developing or improving e-commerce capabilities for your business (including enhancements of websites)
For more information on eligible and ineligible expenses, click here.
Eligible expenses directly related to the above categories are permitted provided that purchases were made no earlier than March 15, 2020. All eligible expenses must be incremental and a direct result of adjusting operations for pandemic safety guidelines. Normal or usual ongoing business costs are not eligible.
Eligibility Criteria Include:
- Must be incorporated, or operating as a sole proprietor/partnership in Canada, as of March 1, 2020
- Must have less than 75 employees
- Annual sales are at minimum $150,000 and not more than $3,000,000
- Must have $1,000,000 of commercial general liability insurance
- Must not be receiving other contributions from public funds toward the specific activities contained in the application
- Must be in full compliance with all applicable government laws, rules, regulations and guidelines
- Must be in operation after September 1, 2020
The new application window will open on Monday, October 26, 2020. Applications can be submitted at the following website, by clicking on the link related to the province in which your business is located. The application can be accessed by clicking on the application link located on your participating local or provincial Chamber of Commerce site. Only one application per ownership group can be submitted.
Applicants will be required to describe the reason they are applying to the program and explain the impact COVID-19 has had on operations, including the possible economic hardship, temporary closure, etc. Further, applicants must attach all necessary receipts and invoices, accompanied with proof of payment to their application. Applicants must also submit the company’s sales tax (GST/HST) registration document or a recent sales tax (GST/HST) filing and one of the following documents:
- Proof of business registration
- Business license
- Articles of incorporation or letters patent
For partnerships: articles of incorporation or letters patent for each corporate partner.
These documents must show official stamp, logo or other official identifying details from the issuing agency.
To get ahead of the curve, see the program guidelines and the pre-application check-list.
This article has been written in general terms to provide broad guidance only. It should not be relied upon to cover specific situations and you should not act upon the information contained herein without obtaining specific professional advice. Please contact our office to discuss this information in the context of your specific circumstances. We accept no responsibility for any loss or damage resulting from your reliance on the information in this article.
Anjali Dilawri, CPA, CA
613-228-8282 x 122
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