Media Release

September 22, 2020

New funding program unrolled to support businesses struggling with COVID-19

The Town of Smiths Falls is pleased to announce the introduction of a new funding program to offer financial support to businesses struggling with the impacts of COVID-19. Applications for the program will be accepted between Sept. 23 and Oct. 30, 2020.

Offered in partnership with Valley Heartland Community Futures Development Corporation and the Small Business Advisory Centre, the Town of Smiths Falls’ Small Business Support Program will offer access to one-time grants of up to $1,500 to businesses with demonstrable expenses related to COVID-19.

The program was developed in response to feedback gathered through a recent survey initiated by the Town of Smiths Falls, in which 50 per cent of those surveyed expected their business to recover from the impacts of COVID-19, while 37 per cent were unsure. Nearly 70 per cent of respondents indicated they have experienced a significant negative impact from the COVID-19 pandemic on their business.

The program’s intent is to support business working to modify, build capacity or adopt the technological or operational changes needed to restructure their business during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The surveying the Town of Smiths Falls has done has made it clear that businesses in Smiths Falls are suffering from the impacts of COVID-19,” said Jennifer Miller, Manager of Economic Development & Tourism. “Town staff have been working hard to support business where possible, and this new program is one more tool we can use to support our business community.”

Other programs initiated by the Town of Smiths Falls to support businesses through COVID-19 include changes to the CIP program to support COVID-19 modifications; waiving tax and water bill late payment penalties; the PICNIC program; the On the Roll funding; support for the Digital Main Street program; free parking downtown; waiving patio license fees; and lobbying to upper levels of government on behalf of Smiths Falls’ businesses.

Total funding for the Small Business Support program will be $50,000; if maximized the program will be able to support 33 business grants. Expenses covered by the grant can be retroactive to March 17, the beginning of the declared State of Emergency in Ontario, and can include purchases made up to, and including, Nov. 30, 2020.

Funds will be dispersed on a first-come, first-served basis. Grant applications will be accepted beginning 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020 and will be accepted until 4:30 p.m. on Oct. 30, 2020 or until the program funds have been exhausted.

Eligible applicants must:

• Own a business that is situated in, and operating within the Town of Smiths Falls
• Have 20 employees or less
• Demonstrate revenues have fallen due to the COVID-19 pandemic
• Demonstrate a need for funding to cover restructuring or operational costs related to COVID-19
• Have receipts for expenses or letters of engagement and undertakings
• Be in good standing with the Town of Smiths Falls’ accounts (water, taxes, etc.)

Applications are available under Recovery Resources on the Town of Smiths Falls’ COVID-19 Business Resources page on the website (https://www.smithsfalls.ca/public-safety/covid-19-coronavirus/business-resources-copy/).

Completed applications can be submitted to Miller directly at jmiller@smithsfalls.ca. Applicants will be notified within 10 business days of the result of their application. Valley Heartland will provide a flow through service for fund distribution, however granting decisions will be made by Town staff.

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For further information, please contact:

Jennifer Miller
Economic Development & Tourism Manager
Town of Smiths Falls
77 Beckwith St N, Smiths Falls, ON K7A 2B8
613-283-4124 ext. 1107
jmiller@smithsfalls.ca