Note: Applications are no longer being accepted among most provinces, including British Columbia, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and Ontario. Applications remain open for all other provinces and territories.
The Government of Canada announced an investment of $12 million to support the Canada United Small Business Relief Fund. Small businesses are at the heart of our communities. Created by RBC, Canada United is a movement to support local businesses in communities across the country. The Canada United Small Business Relief Fund (CUSBRF) was established to help small businesses offset the cost of expenses to reopen safely or adopt digital technologies to move more of their business online.
Applications for the grant are open as of October 26, 2020, and successful applicants will receive a relief grant of up to $5,000 intended to support local businesses of all kinds from across the country (from retailers to barbershops to farmers).
The grant can be used for any of the following eligible expenses:
- Purchased Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as masks, face shields, and latex gloves.
- Renovated physical space to adhere to local, Provincial or Federal reopening guidelines.
- Developed or improved e-commerce capabilities for your business.
Ineligible Costs and Expenses
The following costs are ineligible and will not be considered:
- Consulting fees
- Business plans/strategic plans/feasibility studies/strategies, etc.
- Inventory costs
- Employee wages
- Existing operating costs
- Office furniture
- Laptops, headphones, printers, cables, etc.
- Third-party delivery transaction fees
- Renovations not required for social distancing
- Social media advertising, posts, marketing, etc.
- Items purchased for resale
- Recurring subscription fees/services implemented pre-COVID-19
- General cleaning services
Note: Applicants can only apply once for the relief fund.
One application per ownership group. If more than one application is submitted, any subsequent submission after the first time-stamped application will automatically be rejected.
Applicants do not need to be a member of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) to qualify.
- Small to medium-sized (SME) companies from all sectors and all regions of Canada.
- For greater clarity, both For-Profit and Not-For-Profit organizations are eligible to apply but Government organizations, municipalities, charities and the chamber of commerce network are not eligible to apply.
- Be incorporated, or operating as a sole proprietor/partnership, in Canada as of March 1, 2020.
- No more than 75 employees.
- Have minimum annual sales of $150,000 and not more than $3,000,000.
- Have $1,000,000 of commercial general liability insurance (self-reported).
- Not receiving any other contributions from public funds towards the specific activities contained in the funding application. Applicants that received funding from another government source must provide details including the exact amount, source of funds and how the funds contributed to the expenditures noted in the budget section of the application.
- Be in full compliance with all applicable government laws, rules, regulations, guidelines and other legally binding measures (self-declaration).
- Be in operation after September 1, 2020 (grant recipients must sign a declaration included in the approval letter to confirm).
- Must attach all necessary receipts and invoices, accompanied with proof of payment, with the application. Failure to include sufficient expenditure details and accompanying documents will result in an automatic disqualification.
- Must submit the company’s sales tax (GST/HST) registration document or a recent sales tax (GST/HST) filing and one of the following documents:
- Proof of business registration
- Business license
- Articles of incorporation or letters patent
- For partnerships: Articles of incorporation or letters patent for each corporate partner
Documents must show official stamp, logo or other official identifying details from the issuing agency.
Priority applicants for consideration will include businesses owned by Indigenous People, women, visible minorities, LGBTQ2+, and persons with disabilities. Considerations will also be made to ensure the fund is distributed broadly to all regions across the country
How to Submit an Application
All applications and supporting documentation must be completed and submitted online.
- Go to the website here and click on the link related to the province in which your business is located or you can access the application by clicking on the application link located on your participating local or Provincial Chamber of Commerce’s site,
- Read the eligibility criteria and conditions for participation, and
- Click on “APPLY NOW” to access the application.
Complete the form and click the “Submit” button. If the “Submit” button is not active, a required field has not been completed. Please complete the required field(s) and then re-click the submit button.