Calgary

City council approves over $15M for reopening grant program to support Calgary restaurants, gyms

City council voted unanimously to approve more than $15 million for a COVID-19 relief package for certain types of Calgary businesses on Tuesday.

Motels and hotels given property tax deferral until 2022

Restaurants, pubs and bars will be able to apply for a reopening grant program to receive $2,500. (Dave Gilson/CBC)

City council voted unanimously to approve more than $15 million for a COVID-19 relief package for certain types of Calgary businesses on Tuesday.

Under the relief package, motels and hotels have been given a property tax deferral for this year through to the end of 2022.

Meanwhile, restaurants, pubs and bars will be able to apply for a reopening grant program to receive $2,500.

Additionally, the city will make larger grants available to fitness facilities, live music venues and nightclubs that have been largely closed during the pandemic.

"The city has done a lot of work on assisting businesses through COVID," Mayor Naheed Nenshi said Tuesday, and referred to measures like waiving business licensing fees and special programs for taxi drivers.

"But what we have heard is that for certain sectors, they were really badly hit. And so we looked at businesses that have been closed during COVID, and have never come back at full capacity."

Business owners with multiple establishments in Calgary will be able to apply for funding for each one.

Applications will be accepted from July 2 and Aug. 10 — or until all of the funding is allocated — and must present a copy of their business licence.

"When the Government of Alberta announced their Open for Summer plan on May 26, we knew that certain business sectors in particular would need quick support to be able to reopen and begin to thrive again," city manager David Duckworth said in a press release Tuesday.

"We were considering other options for targeted relief, but as we've done many times since COVID-19 began, city staff from across departments came together quickly to put forward to council what would most help business owners with the allocated funding."

The program will be available on calgary.ca/business.

With files from Scott Dippel

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