OCTOBER 21, 2020
For Immediate Release
Government of Canada announced an investment of $12 million to support the Canada United Small Business Relief Fund
(Milton – October 20, 2020) – Small businesses are at the heart of Canadian communities. They are critical in helping Canada turn the corner on COVID-19 and their success is essential to Canada’s economic strength. Created and launched by RBC, Canada United is a national movement to support local businesses in communities across the country. Today, during Small Business Week, the Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade, announced an investment of $12 million to support the Canada United Small Business Relief Fund.
The pandemic has created substantial uncertainty for small businesses. They are facing mounting losses, increased costs to reopen and shaky consumer confidence. As part of the Canada United movement, RBC brought together more than 70 of Canada’s leading brands, the national Chamber of Commerce network and business associations to rally Canadians to “show local some love” by buying, dining and shopping local. Meanwhile, more than 40 municipalities across Canada made official proclamations in honour of the Canada United Weekend, which took place over the weekend of August 28 – 30.
“Small businesses are cornerstones of our local economies and key to thriving communities—creating jobs, driving innovation, and generating wealth for Canadians. Local businesses have always been there for us and now need our support now more than ever. A sincere thanks to Minister Ng and the federal government for providing critical support to small businesses when they need it most,” said Rocco Rossi, President and CEO of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce.
The actions of Canadians during the campaign helped establish the Canada United Small Business Relief Fund to help small businesses offset the cost of expenses required to reopen safely or adopt digital technologies to move more of their business online.
“While the pandemic has undoubtedly challenged us in many ways, it’s also highlighted Canadians’ unwavering commitment to supporting one another during difficult times,” said Neil McLaughlin, Group Head, Personal & Commercial Banking, RBC. “We are incredibly grateful for the ways Canadians have supported their local businesses when they really needed it, and for the commitment of our partners who helped bring Canada United to life. And, now, with the Federal Government’s support, we are confident that the Small Business Relief Fund will make a significant difference in helping businesses prepare for the road ahead.”
Through the Canada United Small Business Relief Fund, grants up to $5,000 are available to small businesses so they can cover the costs of PPE as well as physical modifications and digital enhancements to their businesses to meet local health and safety requirements. The grant can also be used to help firms with the cost of Personal Protection Equipment and enhance their e-commerce capabilities so they can do more business online. Canadian small businesses can learn more and apply for the grant online.
“Along with chambers of commerce and boards of trade across the country, we’re proud to support small businesses through the Canada United Small Business Relief Fund, helping small businesses with their recovery efforts as a result of COVID-19,” added President & CEO, Carla Y. Nell.
The new application window will for the Canada United Small Business Relief Fund will be open on Monday, October 26, 2020. Click here to learn more about Canada United.
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“The Canada United Small Business Relief Fund is helping our small businesses offset the cost required to reopen safely or adopt digital technologies to move more of their business online at a time when they need it most. Chambers of commerce and boards of trade from coast, to coast, to coast have come together to start the Canada United movement, to show local businesses all the support they deserve.” — Perrin Beatty, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce
“By teaming up with the Canada United campaign, our government is able to give yet another lifeline for small businesses during Small Business Week. On the road to economic recovery, we will continue to do whatever it takes to support small businesses and entrepreneurs in every corner of the country.” — The Honourable Mary Ng, Canada’s Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade
About the Ontario Chamber of Commerce
For more than a century, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) has been the non-partisan, indispensable partner of Ontario business. The OCC’s mission is to support economic growth in Ontario by defending business priorities at Queen’s Park on behalf of its network’s diverse 60,000 members.
Royal Bank of Canada is a global financial institution with a purpose-driven, principles-led approach to delivering leading performance. Our success comes from the 84,000+ employees who bring our vision, values and strategy to life so we can help our clients thrive and communities prosper. As Canada’s biggest bank, and one of the largest in the world based on market capitalization, we have a diversified business model with a focus on innovation and providing exceptional experiences to our 17 million clients in Canada, the U.S. and 34 other countries. Learn more at rbc.com.
We are proud to support a broad range of community initiatives through donations, community investments and employee volunteer activities. See how at rbc.com/community-social-impact.
Strategic Communications Coordinator
Burlington Chamber of Commerce
Chamber and Partners Kick Off Small Business Week Conversation About Digital and Skills Access
(Burlington – October 15, 2020) – The pandemic has highlighted challenges for small businesses: their access to digital technologies and skills. In advance of Small Business Week 2020, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, the Burlington Chamber of Commerce, and partners are kicking off a vital conversation today about these gaps with the launch of their report, Small and Medium-Sized Employers (SMEs): Skills Gaps and Future Skills. The report is a Skills Next project and a collaboration between the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, Ryerson University’s Diversity Institute, Public Policy Forum, and the Future Skills Centre.
“We are deeply concerned about the impacts the COVID-19 crisis is having on small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), charities, and not-for-profit organizations in Ontario,” said President & CEO, Carla Y. Nell. “They are the backbone of the Canadian economy, accounting for more than 90 percent of jobs in the private sector. Yet they face critical labour shortages, skill mismatches, and challenges related to broadband internet access that threaten their competitiveness.”
“Broadband is a basic infrastructure requirement in today’s economy, but the ongoing pandemic has made it even more essential to public health and economic resilience,” added Ashley Challinor, Vice President, Policy, Ontario Chamber of Commerce. “For businesses and workers, particularly those practicing physical distancing, connectivity is necessary to ensure they can remain productive by using digital tools such as video conferencing. Without adequate access, those in rural and remote regions will be vulnerable to additional layoffs and business closures.”
Canadian Small Business Week takes place during the third week of October every year. This year, the celebration will occur October 18-24, 2020. Over the course of Small Business Week, the OCC and the Burlington Chamber of Commerce will be participating in the “Small Business: Too Big To Ignore” campaign across the province, actively engaging small businesses in discussions about the top obstacles impeding their growth and the ways in which these challenges can be overcome.
Read the Skills Next project report: Small and Medium-Sized Employers (SMEs): Skills Gaps and Future Skills, Skills Next is funded by the Government of Canada’s Future Skills Program.
Strategic Communications Coordinator
Burlington Safe Restart Program to provide eligible small businesses with grants of up to $2500 to purchase PPE equipment and/or renovate their physical space to adhere to reopening guidelines
September 29, 2020 – Burlington, ON – Team Burlington (Burlington Economic Development, Burlington Chamber of Commerce, Burlington Downtown Business Association, Aldershot Village BIA and Tourism Burlington), has teamed up with the City of Burlington and POST Promise to deliver an innovative new program to provide financial support to Burlington’s small business community during COVID-19. A direct outcome of the Burlington Economic Recovery Network (BERN) also led by Team Burlington, the one-time grant of up to $2500 can be used towards related COVID-19 costs such as purchasing PPE, renovating a physical space to adhere to public health guidelines, purchasing of signage and/or barriers, and much more.
Carla Y. Nell, President and CEO of the Burlington Chamber of Commerce offered a statement on behalf of the Team Burlington organizations. “As a result of COVID-19, public-facing businesses such as food services and retail stores have seen a decline in revenues anywhere from 60-70%. These businesses are under tremendous pressure to adapt their physical spaces to adhere to reopening guidelines. Through speaking with stakeholders, it became clear that the City could support in restarting the economy and rebuilding consumer and employee trust by offering financial support to adapt to the reopening guidelines laid out by the province.” She continued, “We are very proud that Burlington is the first municipality we know of to launch a program of this kind and to be taking actionable steps toward helping businesses reopen safely and effectively.”
The Burlington Safe Restart Program is also proud to be partnering with POST Promise, a private-sector initiative, in collaboration with various levels of government, designed to help Canadians confidently and safely visit public spaces and the workplace. Businesses who apply for the Burlington Safe Restart grant are required to make the POST Promise, which provides education and training on how to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“The POST Promise is honoured to be a part of the City of Burlington’s Safe Restart Program, and Team Burlington’s efforts to support local businesses during this challenging time,” said Laura Hearn, President & Executive Director of the POST Promise. “This initiative not only provides businesses with the tools they need to keep their customers and employees safe but is also critical to rebuilding consumer confidence and supporting our economy. I applaud all businesses who have already made the POST Promise and encourage all others to learn more at postpromise.com.”
Grant recipients will be able to display Burlington Safe Restart signage as well as the POST Promise logo in their storefront window, demonstrating their commitment to doing their part to protect the public’s health during COVID-19.
“The Burlington Safe Restart Program grant is another way to support our local businesses in adapting, as well as helping to increase consumer confidence in participating in the economy again – that, in turn, will hopefully help the public feel more comfortable in visiting their favourite local shops,” said Burlington Mayor Marianne Meed Ward. “Businesses are already putting in safety and health protocols, and that’s good to see. Connecting the grant to the POST Promise is also a great idea because it’s a simple and visible way for businesses to let their customers know the steps they are taking. Once people start seeing the same logo at many businesses — and you’ll also see it at City Hall — it’ll start creating confidence again in participating in the economy. I want to thank the Burlington Economic Recovery Network and Team Burlington for spearheading and supporting these initiatives and encouraging businesses to participate.”
The Burlington Safe Restart program will be accepting applications from eligible businesses from September 29 to October 13. More information on the program including eligibility requirements and the application form can be found at www.investburlington.ca/covid19.
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Manager, Marketing and Attraction
Burlington Economic Development
(Burlington) – June 29, 2020 – The Canadian Chamber of Commerce announced 62 $10,000 grant recipients from its Canadian Business Resilience Network Small Business Relief Fund today, including Supreme Cheerleading Inc., located in Burlington, Ontario.
“We are delighted to see a hard-working and dedicated Chamber member receive this $10,000 grant from the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and Salesforce. Owners Tracey Page and Vicki Seguire are active members of the Burlington community and among our membership. Supreme Cheerleading Inc. have adapted to the challenges that have been brought on by COVID-19 by offering virtual training options for their Supreme Cheerleaders at the onset of the outbreak. We are excited to see how they will continue to innovate over the next few months and beyond the pandemic.” said President & CEO, Carla Y. Nell.
More than 1100 small businesses across Canada applied for the 62 grants available. The lucky recipients were those that best demonstrated their financial strain, how the business will use the grant to change or innovate, how the change or innovation will sustain the business’s recovery and allow it to prosper, and how the grant will support the role each business plays in their community.
The fund was managed by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and made possible through the generosity of Salesforce (NYSE:CRM). The funding was designed to help small businesses across the country stay afloat and support their recovery efforts, paying salaries, retrofitting their workplaces and acquiring technology to adapt their business model. Salesforce has also provided grants to small businesses in Canada, the U.S., the U.K. and Australia, in addition to providing other resources.
“Reviewing the applications was both heartbreaking and inspiring, We saw how seriously small businesses across Canada have been hurt by the pandemic, but we also saw how determined these entrepreneurs are to preserve their employees’ jobs and to serve their customers and their communities. Today is a happy waypoint, not an endpoint, and we won’t stop finding new ways to help Canada’s businesses reopen and recover. We’ll be with them every step of the way,” said Perrin Beatty, President and CEO, Canadian Chamber.
“It has been incredible to see the resilience coming from Canada’s small business owners over the last few months. We know it hasn’t been easy,” said Margaret Stuart, Canada Country Manager, Salesforce. “The applicants have further demonstrated what we at Salesforce already knew to be true – that Canada is rich with innovation and entrepreneurial talent. We’re hopeful that these grants will provide essential support to small business owners as they return to work.”
A complete list of the winners can be found here.
For more information, please contact:
Canadian Chamber of Commerce
Burlington Chamber of Commerce