Sask. extends small business relief program through January

·2 min read

The Saskatchewan government has extended its temporary relief program for small businesses affected by pandemic restrictions.

The Saskatchewan Small Business Emergency Payment (SSBEP) program was launched in April and renewed in December for the period of Dec. 1 to Dec. 31. It aims to provide support to small businesses that temporarily closed or were forced to substantially curtail their operations due to COVID-19.

On Friday, the government announced it was extending SSBEP through January.

"Small and medium-sized businesses in the province continue to face challenges due to the global COVID-19 pandemic," said Minister of Trade and Export Development Jeremy Harrison.

The government said it provided $5.9 million to 1,521 applicants for the month of December.

It said enhanced restrictions introduced in December mean businesses can now apply for December and/or January payment until March 2, 2021.

Businesses that qualified for December do not have to reapply and will be contacted. All applicants are eligible for $5,000 per month in support.

Eligible applicants must prove the following:

  • They are a small or medium business that employs less than 500 people.

  • They are permanently established in Saskatchewan and allocate a portion of their income to the province.

  • They were operating as of Oct. 31, 2020, or were eligible to operate if it were a seasonal business.

  • They are subject to public health orders that affect operations between Dec. 1 and Dec. 31.

  • They experienced a loss of sales revenue.

  • They plan to reopen when public health restrictions are lifted.

The government said businesses that have received fines for breaking public health orders are not eligible for any relief or support programs.

The province also highlighted other programs available to business, including the Strong Recovery Adaptation Rebate (SRAR) which provides assistance for small business forced to adapt to COVID-19, either physically or by changing their business or model.

The Re-Open Saskatchewan Training Subsidy (RSTS) is also accepting applications with a deadline of March 31, 2021.