Government helping mid-size businesses

Flood 2013: Assistance to companies with 15 to 20 employees

By: Bruce Campbell

  |  Posted: Wednesday, Aug 14, 2013 10:03 am

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The little guy is getting a helping hand for flood relief.

Alberta Finance Minister Doug Horner announced a Small Business Rebuilding program for businesses with between 20 to 50 full-time equivalent employees that were financially hit by the June 20 flood.

The announcement comes on the heels of the Province’s proposal to provide assistance to businesses with up to 20 employees as well as the Hand-up program which provides low interest loans and rebates for flood affected areas.

It was welcomed news to Lynette McCracken, High River and District Chamber of Commerce general manager.

“What the Alberta chambers of commerce were definitely hoping for is to expand the program to 50 employees — which they did,” McCracken said. “In High River, we do have, on my membership left, nine to 10 businesses that fit into that criteria and we wanted to make sure they fit into that criteria. We wanted to ensure they weren’t being left out of the program.”

She estimates there are approximately 10 businesses, which are members of the High River chamber which would fall in the 20-plus category.

“Small business are the lifeblood of our community and play a tremendous role in our economy,” Horner said. “There is no denying it will be a long time before it will be business as usual… This calls for swift action. That is why from the very beginning, we have acted quickly to help those affected.”

Horner said the government will try to get the money in the hands of business owners as soon as possible.

In order for a business to be eligible it must not only meet the 20 to 50 full-time equipment criteria, but also must have gross revenues of less than $15-million a year.

It must also have been operating in the flood zone at a valid address included in the damage assessment mapping and suffered direct damage from the flood.

David Jackson, of Country Chrysler in High River, said the car dealership suffered minor damage as a result of the flood and he doesn’t believe it will be applying for government assistance.

“We had limited damage on the lot, but that will be covered by insurance,” Jackson said. “I am glad the assistance is there, but I don’t think we need to apply.”

He said as a member of the chamber and the High River business community he’s glad to see assistance available.

“We need to see more businesses opening,” he said.

McCracken added more businesses are opening each day. The Charles Clark Medical Centre opened on Friday, which includes Colossi’s Coffee Shop.

To download an application for the Small Business Rebuilding Program go to www.alberta.ca


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