$2M available for second phase of economic recovery grant

By Mack Male

More than $2 million is available for the second phase of the Edmonton Economic Recovery Grant (EERG).

City council's executive committee will review the plan for phase 2 on April 26. If approved by city council, the City of Edmonton would offer a new Action Plan Grant starting in June.

The Action Plan Grant would offer up to $25,000 in matching funds for projects that align with one or more of 12 actions identified in the Edmonton Economic Action Plan. Examples of eligible projects identified by the City of Edmonton include "a business plan to launch a service or goods-based product in parks or public space" and the "development of strategies to support the green economy."

Organizations that received funding in the first phase may be funded again for new projects. Applications will be evaluated on an ongoing, first-come-first-served basis.

Extended patios

Small businesses largely used the grants in the first phase of the Edmonton Economic Recovery Grant program for PPE and cleaning.

During the first phase of the EERG program, a total of 1,082 businesses accessed $1,000 microgrants. The remaining $480,000 left in the microgrants budget is expected to be allocated before Q4 2021. The City of Edmonton also committed $697,428 through the business association stream and $930,000 in business improvement area levy rebates.

According to survey results included in the report, 82% of businesses indicated the microgrant helped keep their businesses operational, with 29% calling the grant essential. Nearly two-thirds of businesses said they used the grant for PPE and/or cleaning.