City approves more supports for Calgary's business community
Today, City Council approved another $15.9 million in a growing list of municipal supports for Calgary’s business community. The package provides targeted financial support to business owners as they look to re-open, in sectors impacted most by the pandemic.
The City is supporting restaurants, pubs, bars, fitness centres, and entertainment establishments, including nightclubs and live music venues, in their reopening efforts through a grant, as well as hotel and motel property owners through a 2021 tax deferral program.
“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 re-open and begin to thrive again,” says City Manager David Duckworth. “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.”
Property taxes for hotels and motels will be deferred without penalties until Dec. 31, 2022. Calgary hotels have experienced the lowest occupancy rates of hotels in any major market in Canada in the first part of 2021.
“On behalf of Calgary’s hotels, especially the almost 50% that are family-owned businesses in in our great city, we appreciate the efforts of City Council and City management to allow hotel and motel property owners who have been unable to pay their 2021 property taxes to be considered for a deferral of 2021 property taxes by this new program, without penalties, to December 31, 2022,” says Sol Zia, Executive Director of the Calgary Hotel Association. “Since the onset of the pandemic, our local hotels have been functionally closed to most of their usual business and the lost revenue is almost $270 million. Tourism has been the hardest hit industry in this time of public health emergency and our near empty hotels stand as the monument to the loss of travel and tourism. This program is a direct result of the formation and action of The City’s Business Sector Task Force and without it, and their vigorous support of businesses, across Calgary many more doors would, or could, be closed.”
The business community, through Administration’s Business Sector Task Force, provided input on these options for relief, and continues to support opportunities for businesses to thrive.
“We consulted members of the Business Sector Task Force, who emphasized that financial supports are the most impactful for business owners,” says Sonya Sharp, Leader, Business and Local Economy. “It’s so important that we listen to our business community and find solutions that they agree are meaningful. Without their input, this would not have come to fruition.”
City of Calgary Reopening Grant
To be eligible for the grant, the applicant must be a business owner with a licensed business located within the City of Calgary limits, and must follow the criteria and application process. This will confirm that grant resources are used efficiently and effectively to support businesses that have been significantly impacted by the pandemic, specifically, restaurants, pubs, bars, entertainment establishments (including nightclubs and live music venues) and fitness centres.
The City will start accepting applications for the grant program on July 2, 2021 and it will remain open until August 10, 2021 or until funds are exhausted (whichever is sooner). Grant funds will be distributed on a first come, first served basis. Business owners with multiple Calgary permanent physical establishments are eligible to apply for funding for each establishment. This includes scenarios where a business owner has more than one location or chapter or branch, to a maximum of three.