FREDERICTON (GNB) – Opportunities NB is launching a third phase of the New Brunswick Small Business Recovery Grant program, extending until the end of February 2022.

Phase 3 of the program includes enhanced eligibility for businesses impacted by recent pandemic measures. Businesses that accessed the grant under the first phases remain eligible to apply for the full amount available under Phase 3 – $10,000 – which applies to the reduction of sales incurred beginning December 2021.

“The business community has been incredibly resilient throughout the unpredictable COVID-19 reality in the province,” said Minister responsible for Economic Development and Small Business Arlene Dunn, who is also minister responsible for Opportunities NB. “I am proud that the newest phase of the Small Business Recovery Grant program will allow us to continue supporting businesses that have been severely impacted over the last several months.”

In alignment with New Brunswick’s COVID-19 Winter Plan, eligible businesses include restaurants (excluding quick-service restaurants with drive-thru options), caterers, and drinking establishments, retail stores, gyms and fitness facilities, personal services (barbers, hair stylists and spas), and entertainment centres. This phase of the program has also been enhanced to now include all retail.

In order to meet eligibility criteria for Phase 3, small businesses, employing between two and 99 full-time equivalent employees, must submit:

·         their number of employees;

·         evidence of revenue decreases of 20 per cent or more compared to the same month in 2019/2020, or 10 per cent or more compared to previous year if they are a new business in operation started after Dec. 1, 2020; and/or

·         evidence that they were subject to elevated Public Health measures (such as modified Level 1, Level 2, Level 3 or Lockdown) for at least one week and/or that their level of activity has been significantly reduced due to reductions in travel into their Public Health Zone from Dec. 13, 2021, until Feb. 28, 2022.

Funding will take the form of a maximum payment of up to $10,000 per business. Included in the one-time payment, applicants may receive up to $300 for supplementary work provided by additional accounting or bookkeeping staff required to assist with the preparation of an application, provided they can demonstrate evidence of additional costs incurred.

“It is clear that while COVID-19 evolves, we must evolve with it,” said Dunn. “We will continue to listen to and work with the business community to consider best practices and address the implementation of long-term sustainable solutions as we move forward.”

Applications can be made online through the Opportunities NB website beginning on Jan. 24 and will be accepted for the period ending Feb. 28.

More information, including application requirements, can be found by contacting Opportunities NB’s Business Navigators by email (nav@navnb.ca) or phone (1-833-799-7966).