Small businesses are the heart of Canadian communities and the backbone of Canada’s economy. Canadians everywhere have been supporting their local businesses throughout COVID-19, from ordering take-out to buying gift cards.
Civicminded organizations with the resources and means are also pitching in. Today, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, Canada’s leading and most representative business association, announced a new program, the Canadian Business Resilience Network Small Business Relief Fund, to provide small Canadian businesses from coast to coast to coast with $10,000 grants to help their recovery efforts during these unprecedented times.
The applications that best demonstrate how the funds will help the businesses, their employees and their communities will receive the funding. The initiative, through the generosity of Salesforce will help 62 small Canadian businesses recover and support their resilience, for a total of $620,000 in funds. Businesses can use the $10,000 grants to support their recovery efforts, including paying salaries, acquiring safety and personal protective equipment for staff, replenishing materials or paying for the measures required to adapt business models to the economic impacts of COVID-19, among other key priorities.
“During the COVID-19 crisis, the Canadian Chamber’s mission is to help as many businesses as possible stay afloat and remain open. Small business owners put everything they have into their businesses, and these grants will help give a little bit back to them. Good people coming together is how Canadians have managed this crisis, and the Canadian Chamber and Salesforce are following their lead, one business at a time,” said Perrin Beatty, President and CEO, Canadian Chamber of Commerce.
“We care deeply about the challenges small businesses across Canada are facing as a result of the pandemic and recognize that they have been hit especially hard,” said Margaret Stuart, Canada Country Manager, Salesforce. “With this initiative, our focus is supporting the resilience of Canadian small businesses owners and helping them recover. Small businesses are some of Canada’s most innovative and hardworking communities, and it is our priority to help them get back to work safely and prepare for Canada’s next normal.”
“Small business owners and entrepreneurs are innovative and resilient. To support the businesses who make our communities strong, our government has taken decisive action to help them keep their costs low, keep their teams together, and keep up with their operational expenses,” said Mary Ng, the Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade. “With the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and Salesforce stepping up, even more small business owners are going to get the help they need at this critical time. We’re all in this together, and we’re going to be here for small businesses every step of the way.”
The grant will be targeted at small, for-profit businesses that have been operating for several years and are now experiencing challenges because of COVID-19. The application period will open on June 1, 2020 on the CBRN website and will close on June 12, 2020. The successful applicants will be announced in late June to early July 2020, with the funds being transferred to the successful applicants shortly thereafter.
The announcement comes on the heels of a global announcement by Salesforce to distribute a total of $5 million USD dollars to small business owners internationally. The Canadian Chamber of Commerce established the Canadian Business Resilience Network (CBRN) in partnership with the Government of Canada to help the business community prepare, persevere and, ultimately, prosper in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The CBRN is a coordinated, business-led, inclusive campaign that will focus on providing businesses the tools they need to mitigate the impact of the pandemic on them, our economy and communities across the country. Its goal is also to help businesses emerge from this crisis and drive Canada’s economic recovery.
About Salesforce – Salesforce is the global leader in Customer Relationship Management (CRM), bringing companies closer to their customers in the digital age. Founded in 1999, Salesforce enables companies of every size and industry to take advantage of powerful technologies—cloud, mobile, social, internet of things, artificial intelligence, voice and blockchain—to create a 360-degree view of their customers.
About the Canadian Chamber of Commerce – Because Business Matters. The Canadian Chamber of Commerce helps build the businesses that support our families, our communities and our country. We do this by influencing government policy, by providing essential business services and by connecting businesses to information they can use, to opportunities for growth and to a network of local chambers, businesses, decisionmakers and peers from across the country, in every sector of the economy and at all levels of government, as well as internationally. We are unapologetic in our support for business and the vital role it plays in building and sustaining our great nation.