Ponoka town council has approved a new $50,000 Hardship Grant that offers financial assistance to Ponoka businesses whose bottom lines are being hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The hardship grant is intended to help Ponoka businesses that have suffered significant financial losses due to COVID-19 impacts such as:
- Full or partial closure of their business due to a public health order
- Permanent or temporary layoff of employees
- Reduced business hours
- Decreased revenue
“It’s all about doing everything we can to help our local businesses that are struggling right now due to COVID-19,” said Ponoka Mayor Rick Bonnett.
“Local businesses are the economic engine that drive our local economy by generating jobs and economic growth in our community. The town wants to help these businesses that are struggling most during the pandemic to help reduce some of the financial stress they are experiencing and hopefully help them to survive the financial impacts of COVID-19.”
A total of $50,000 has been allocated to the hardship grant through the Municipal Operating Support Transfer (MOST) grant, which is being provided to municipalities by the provincial and federal governments to help offset lost revenue and fiscal challenges due to COVID-19.
The $50,000 will be shared among eligible in-Town businesses that apply for the Hardship Grant.
Eligible businesses must physically reside and operate in the Town of Ponoka, hold a 2020 town business licence and plan to have a 2021 town business licence, or they must be exempt from requiring a business licence from the town.
Eligible businesses must also have been significantly impacted financially by COVID-19.
The grant funding will be allocated by business licence type, based on the percentage of 2020 business licences in each category. For example, 62 per cent of 2020 town business licences are commercial, in-town business licences, so 62 per cent of the grant funding will be allocated to eligible businesses that apply for the grant in that category.
Other business licence categories that qualify for the program include automotive in-town, home office, home business and trade in-Town.
How to apply
Application forms for the one-time-per-business Hardship Grant are posted on the town website at www.ponoka.ca. Paper copies can be mailed out upon request by phoning 403-783-0127.
With the town office temporarily closed to public access, completed application forms can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or mailed to: Town of Ponoka 200, 5604 50 St., Ponoka, AB, T4J 1G5.
Ponoka businesses can apply for the Hardship Grant until Jan. 31, 2021.
– Submitted by Town of Ponoka