New Brunswick

N.B. small business recovery grant program extended, amount increased

New Brunswick is extending the province's small business recovery grant program and increasing the amount businesses can receive, Premier Blaine Higgs announced Thursday.

Eligible business can now receive up to $10,000, which is double the previous amount

New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs says the province will expedite the approval process, with an aim to have all applications assessed within three to four days. (CBC News)

New Brunswick is extending the province's small business recovery grant program and increasing the amount businesses can receive, Premier Blaine Higgs announced Thursday.

The news comes as New Brunswick enters Phase 3 on Friday at 11:59 p.m., AT. Level 3 restrictions include limiting restaurants to drive-thru, takeout and deliveries only. Gyms, salons, spas and entertainment centres are closed.

Eligible businesses will now receive grants as high as $10,000 through the program, which is double the previous offering.

"While some businesses will be able to continue to operate, the increased restrictions will greatly impact others," said Higgs at a press conference Thursday.

"That is why we're taking steps to ensure help is available for those who need it most."

Restaurants — excluding quick-service and drive-thru businesses — caterers, drinking establishments, retail stores, gyms and fitness facilities, hair salons, spas and entertainment centres will be eligible for the grant program.

The program wasn't previously open to all retail businesses.

Businesses will need to prove they employ between two and 99 full-time equivalent staff and have experienced a decline in revenues of 20 per cent or more from the same month in 2019 or 2020.

They must also have been impacted by increased Public Health measures.

Higgs said the grant will cover impacts experienced by businesses between Dec. 13, 2021, and March 31, 2022.

As of Jan. 24, applications will be accepted. The deadline is Feb. 28.

Businesses are also eligible for a one-time subsidy of $300 to cover any accounting or bookkeeping fees required for the application process.

Higgs said the province will expedite the approval process, with an aim to have all applications assessed within three to four days.

"Businesses impacted will see immediate relief," he said.

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