South Peace News
Alberta’s NDP Opposition is proposing multiple grants to help small businesses reopen in accordance with public health orders.
And, they are also calling on the Jason Kenney government to fix the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance [CECRA] program.
As part of their Smart Relaunch Strategy, the NDP is proposing direct financial support for small businesses in the form of grants and rent relief to protect jobs and provide much-needed stimulus to the economy while keeping Albertans safe.
“We need to be smart about how to reopen our economy and do it in a way that…protects the health of all Albertans,” said NDP Leader Rachel Notley.
“That means financial support for businesses so they have the resources they need to stay afloat and clear guidelines to keep everyone safe. We need to get this right the first time. We simply can’t afford to get it wrong,” she adds.
In addition, the NDP wants the UCP government to renegotiate the terms of CECRA with the federal government or provide rent relief for small businesses that are unable to participate in the program.
CECRA was developed in conjunction with the provinces, but has faced criticism regarding complicated eligibility requirements and landlords refusing to participate in the program.
The NDP cited several examples in a news release.
“”My landlord refuses to participate in the rent subsidy program and I’m powerless to take on a multi-billion dollar company. I am in phase three, so I was first to close and will be the last to open, and the months take a toll,” said Janis Isaman, owner of Body Couture in Calgary.
“Kenney needs to get back to the table to renegotiate this failed program. Small businesses are falling through the cracks, putting their businesses and jobs in jeopardy. If the federal government won’t help, Jason Kenney needs to step in and provide relief,” said Notley.
The NDP is also calling for a 50 per cent reduction for insurance premiums until Dec. 31, relief on utility bills that go beyond just deferrals, and a PPE acquisition plan led by the provincial government.
NDP Smart Relaunch Program
$5,000 Physical business improvements to comply with public health orders.
$5,000 Startup related costs for the retail and services sector.
$10,000 Startup related costs for the hospitality sector.