City of Calgary updates Calgarians on COVID supports
The City of Calgary is pleased to share how $202 million in multi-government funding has been allocated to help citizens, businesses and city operations through the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This funding was provided at a critical time to ensure we were able to respond quickly to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Mayor Naheed Nenshi. “Our priority has been to ensure the safety of employees and citizens, while ensuring Calgarians have been able to access the services they need, and providing support to citizens, communities and businesses during this difficult time.”
Today, The City is announcing how, through a flexible and rapid management approach, $73 million of non-emergency response funding from the COVID-19 recovery program is being allocated to address community needs, build a foundation to recovery, and ensure The City can respond quickly to changing demands on our services.
The City has focused this funding on four key areas: Coping with COVID, Supporting our Partners During COVID, Preparing for Uncertainty Around COVID and Planning for Life With/After COVID. This includes supporting Calgarians by helping civic and community partners continue to deliver successful support programs that Calgary’s communities value and need.
“The pandemic has elevated the urgency and importance of safe and affordable housing, especially for Calgary's most vulnerable residents,” said Mayor Naheed Nenshi. “Directing $10 million of this investment towards affordable housing will address enhanced accessibility and maintenance, and additional affordable housing options.”
There will also be funds allocated to community associations which serve as the heart of the districts they support.
“When we were directed to close our community centre due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all our programs and many of our services came to an abrupt halt,” said Marjorie Roy, President of Pineridge Community Association. “The City of Calgary's COVID funding has enabled us to keep our operations flowing. Without the funding, we would have likely closed our doors permanently. Receiving this assistance has allowed us to provide limited programming to our community and has provided us with financial stability necessary to survive. The financial assistance will also allow us time to recover when our doors are fully reopened to the new post pandemic world and gives us hope for a better tomorrow for both our association and its community centre post pandemic.”
This funding is the latest effort by The City to ensure support for Calgarians and businesses throughout the pandemic. Previous initiatives include:
- The City issued a credit to the more than 6,000 businesses operating in Calgary's 15 Business Improvement Areas (BIAs) to credit the cost for the BIA levy. This removes the added cost associated with operating a business within a BIAs and help offset financial impacts experienced by local businesses during the pandemic.
- The City waived business license renewals for 2020 and all business license related fees for the next two years. The City also continued to waive taxi and limousine driver license renewal fees and reduce plate license renewal fees by 50 per cent until May 2022, and waived fees for businesses leasing space on Plus 15 commercial easements for 2021.
- Adaptive roadways and patios: providing spaces for citizens to remain active and explore the city while physically distancing to create more safe spaces for pedestrians, cyclists and outdoor patios. In addition, The City waived development permit, license of occupation and temporary permission fees for patios for 2020 and 2021.
- COVID mass vaccination centres: supporting the Provincial distribution of vaccines by funding mass vaccination clinics at the Telus Convention Centre and The Genesis Centre, with the potential to add rapid-flow clinics until September 2021.
- Providing additional revenue to support Calgary homeowners in genuine need as part of The City's Property Tax Assistance Program. Owners experiencing financial hardship may apply for a credit for the annual increase in their property tax. Recognizing the ongoing financial impacts property owners are facing due to COVID-19, Council also approved additional tax relief measures waiving or reducing some of the late payment penalties for 2020 and 2021.
“When the first impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic were felt in Calgary there were many unknowns,” said City Manager David Duckworth. “The City acted quickly to ensure the safety of our employees and support our citizens, businesses and communities. We did this by reducing expenses and adjusting the way we deliver services that Calgarians count on every day. The City was able to help those most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and I’m incredibly proud of our ability to adapt and respond, and we will continue to do so.”
The City is continuing to take action to support Calgarians, businesses and our partners and build our local economy during the pandemic. A flexible and rapid management approach to allocate remaining funds through the continued pandemic will be used to address additional non-emergency needs.
For more details about how we are supporting citizens and businesses through this funding, visit calgary.ca/covidfunding.