Over the past year there have been many important benefit and assistance programs rolled out by the federal government to help individuals and businesses overcome the financial impacts of the pandemic. The Alberta provincial government has also taken action to support individuals and businesses, and has introduced several programs to benefit Alberta residents impacted by COVID-19. The following are a few of the most important Alberta COVID related benefits available, and information on how those eligible can apply.
Critical Worker Benefit
Through the Critical Worker Benefit, the Government of Alberta will distribute up to $465 million in funding to eligible workers. This includes up to $118 million in provincial funds, in addition to $347 million from the federal government’s benefit program for low-wage critical workers.
Eligible workers in the health care, social services, education and private sectors will receive a $1,200 benefit distributed through their employers.
Private sector employers have until Friday, March 19, 2021 to apply for the benefit on behalf of their eligible employees.
For more details on eligibility and how to apply visit https://www.alberta.ca/critical-worker-benefit.aspx
Working Parents Benefit
To support working parents who need and have paid for child care so they can continue working during the pandemic, the Alberta government is providing the Working Parents Benefit, a one-time payment of $561 per child. Families can apply starting March 1, 2021 and application intake will remain open until March 31, 2021.
For more details on eligibility and how to apply visit https://www.alberta.ca/working-parents-benefit.aspx
Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) Relaunch Grant
This grant is offers financial assistance to Alberta businesses, cooperatives, and non-profit organizations that were ordered to close or curtail operations, and that experienced a revenue reduction of at least 30%, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The first phase of this program allows eligible organizations to apply for a grant of 15% of their pre-COVID-19 monthly revenue, up to a maximum of $5,000 in funding which can offset the costs they are facing as they relaunch their businesses.
Organizations may be eligible if they experienced a 30% revenue reduction in April or May 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic (as compared to April 2019, May 2019, or February 2020).
In January 2021 the Alberta government announced details for the second phase of the Alberta SME Relaunch Grant and applications for this second payment are now open. This second payment is available to businesses, cooperatives and non-profits that were required to curtail operations as a result of new public health orders in effect from November 6, 2020 and later.
The second payment is 3 times the amount of the approved first payment, up to a maximum of $15,000.
Availability for the second SME Relaunch Grant payment has also been expanded to include businesses that began operations between March 1 and October 31, 2020, including unregistered sole-proprietors. Grant funding amounts are calculated based on 15% of the eligible organization’s monthly revenue from any month between March and October 2020. This amount is multiplied 3 times up to a maximum of $15,000 per business, cooperative or non-profit.
- Each applicant will receive one payment representing 3 times 15% of one month’s worth of revenue up to a maximum of $15,000.
- Applicants can choose any month between November or December 2020 to maximize their benefit payment.
New organizations that commenced operations between March 1, 2020 and October 31, 2020, must demonstrate a revenue reduction of at least 30% in November or December 2020 in comparison to any month between March and October 2020.
Seasonal businesses that only operate for part of the year may use their average monthly sales revenue for the full months they were in operation during 2019.
Applications for this grant will be open until March 31, 2021 unless otherwise communicated.
For additional information including further eligibility criteria and how to apply, visit https://www.alberta.ca/sme-relaunch-grant.aspx
The information in this publication is current as of March 6, 2021.
This publication has been carefully prepared, but it has been written in general terms and should be seen as broad guidance only. The publication cannot be relied upon to cover specific situations and you should not act, or refrain from acting, upon the information contained therein without obtaining specific professional advice. Please contact Gregory, Harriman & Associates LLP to discuss these matters in the context of your particular circumstances. Gregory, Harriman & Associates LLP, its partners, employees and agents do not accept or assume any liability or duty of care for any loss arising from any action taken or not taken by anyone in reliance on the information in this publication or for any decision based on it.