More than $300M in provincial grant funding handed out to businesses affected by lockdown: Biz groups call for more aid

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According to its website, the grant program aims to process applications and issue payments within 10 days of submission. Brattinga said the government added additional staff in January to help meet demand, and currently more than 75 per cent of applications are paid within that time frame.

However, Dormuth said she has heard isolated reports from frustrated businesses who say their applications have taken much longer to process.

NDP opposition critic for economic development Deron Bilous said he has also heard complaints from businesses who say they still haven’t received any money, weeks after applying.

“Some businesses are saying the access to the supports have been extremely slow-moving, and their costs have not stopped. You look at commercial rent, utilities, overhead costs, those have continued to mount month after month,” Bilous said.

Bilous said the NDP continues to call on the government to offer more aid to pandemic-affected businesses, in the form of utility deferrals and deferrals on commercial rents.

“They need far more support,” Bilous said. “We know many businesses have been absolutely devastated.”

The Alberta Hospitality Association is also calling for more support to help restaurant and bar owners. It is calling for provincial grants to ensure 100-per-cent rebates on property tax and utility costs retroactive to December, when the latest lockdown went into effect.

“Please present to your caucus our ask as an industry for additional financial support that would mirror what has been executed in Ontario that has helped immensely in keeping their hospitality industry alive,” Alberta Hospitality Association president Ernie Tsu wrote in an email to Calgary-Fish Creek MLA Richard Gotfried on Tuesday.

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