Saskatchewan

Regina city council approves $2M grant program for city businesses

Businesses in Regina will soon be able to apply for grants to help them through the COVID-19 pandemic.
The proposed city budget for 2020 includes a 0.5 per cent tax increase that will be dedicated to a Recreation Infrastructure Program. This is anticipated to generate $7 million by 2024 — when the program ends. (Kirk Fraser/CBC)

Businesses in Regina will soon be able to apply for grants to help them through the COVID-19 pandemic. 

City council voted unanimously in favour of this granting program, which will provide relief for struggling businesses in the city—particularly as they face new challenges while the province reopens. 

The grants, which will range from $1000 to $25,000, will come from the city's general reserve fund. The city administration said the money cannot be used to pay salaries, but could go toward creating new jobs. Applicants will be assessed by a city-organized committee composed of people knowledgeable about the business sector. 

Starting in early August, a set number of grants will be available every week, so businesses won't need to hurry to apply—they can put their names forward if and when they need to. 

"As businesses continue to open and see where their needs are, there's no need for them to … rush," said the city's executive director of financial strategy and sustainability Barry Lacey. 

Any business or organization that operates out of a non-residential property within the city limits will be eligible to apply. 

At the same meeting, City Council also voted in favour of:

  • A ban on plastic bags, to come into effect in August of next year

  • A temporary moratorium on new cannabis shops in the city

  • A bylaw to make it easier for city residents to vote by mail

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