Last updated: May 26, 2021.
Businesses can apply for grant funding in one of two phases:
- Phase 1: Matching microgrants for businesses adapting to COVID-19. Most microgrants will be $1,000.
- Phase 2: Economic Action Plan Grant: Matching reimbursement grants up to $25,000 that will be assessed against outcomes in the Edmonton Economic Action Plan.
Steps for application
- Read the grant information below
- Check to see if your business is eligible
- Determine what you need funding for and if it fits the application criteria
- Make sure you are able to match the grant funding requested
- Prepare your application answers and all necessary documentation
- Apply by filling out the online form
Individual Business Grant
- The first phase will provide matching microgrants to eligible Edmonton businesses. Most microgrants will be $1,000.
- You must have access to funding to match the amount you've requested. For example, a $1,000 grant application must have a budget of at least $2,000 and you must be able to cover $1,000 of the total budget.
- Grant funds can only be used for the purpose outlined in the grant application. Please see the FAQ below for a list of eligible costs.
- You are required to submit receipts and invoices to the City within 90 days of the cheque being issued.
- The City may change or clarify the grant criteria at any time to be responsive to the needs of businesses. Updated information will always be found on this webpage.
- Timely access to funds are important. We will do our best to process the applications within two weeks of receiving them.
- Funding to successful applicants will be in the form of a cheque, which will be mailed to the address that you have provided.
- As we have a limited budget, not every application that meets the eligibility criteria will receive a grant. Applications that best meet the intent of the program and the core criteria will be funded. Please see the Evaluation section for more details.
- Funding decisions made by the City are final and cannot be appealed.
The City reserves the right to audit applications and projects that receive funding. You may need to provide additional information to verify the funding was used for the intended purpose outlined in your application.
- Your business must be located in Edmonton
- Your business must have demonstrated revenue decline as a result of COVID-19
- You must have a valid business licence unless the City does not require you to have one. If you are unsure if you need a business licence, please call 311
- Only business owners or an appropriate designated authority, can apply
Applicant name, mailing address, and contact information
Business name, address, website, and business licence number (View this sample business licence to identify where your business licence number is located.)
Information about your business: who does your business serve? What industry does it belong to? (multiple choice)
Has your business experienced a decline in revenue due to COVID-19? (for example, since March 2020) (multiple choice, revenue decline expressed in percentages)?
Business demographic information (multiple choice)
If you receive a grant, what will you use the funding to accomplish, and why is this outcome important? How does this work align with the core criteria listed above? Be specific and concise. Please note that the City will use this description to evaluate your project against the program’s core criteria. (500 words or fewer)
For example, “I will use the funding to help build a website (what) that will help me reach a new market and increase revenues (why). This aligns with Business Transformation because this is a business pivot, Financial Sustainability because this will help increase revenue, and Economic Diversification because this will help make my business more resilient."
How much money do you anticipate spending on the project you described in the previous question, in total, including grant funding (if awarded)? (multiple choice)
Additional Documents Needed
Business Licence number (if applicable) — note, this is issued by the City of Edmonton. This does not include other numerical identifiers such as your GST number or corporate registry number. View this sample business licence to identify where your business licence number is located.
A signed declaration in digital form (please download, sign, and upload the scan or photograph of the declaration). Declarations for Corporations and Sole Proprietors are found at the bottom of this page.
If your business directly supports marginalized groups/communities, please tell us which of these groups your business supports, and how you support them. (maximum 100 words)
Is there anything else you would like to tell us about your project related to the core criteria that will help us evaluate your application? (200 words or fewer)
All applications in an intake period will be evaluated by City staff for completeness, alignment with the program objective and core criteria, and to ensure that the application meets eligibility requirements. Applications should meet at least one grant core criteria.
Core Criteria of the Edmonton Economic Recovery Grant
Will the funds help people return to work or create new positions? For example, funding will provide safety measures or training to allow staff to return to work.
Will the funds be used to help keep the business open? For instance, funding will allow a business to keep operating or re-open sooner than anticipated.
Will the funds counter the impacts of COVID-19 on businesses during the relaunch and recover stages? For instance, funding will support business costs related to social distancing and keeping customers and employees safe.
Will the funds support a project that could unlock funding from other partner organizations to amplify impact? For instance, funding will be supplemented or supported by other businesses or organizations.
Will the funds contribute to diversification of the business? For instance, funding will support adding new products or services, or changing what the business does.
Will the funds used help the business succeed by responding to a changing market? For instance, funding will add online sales, delivery to homes, or marketing/delivering existing products or services in a new way.
Tangible Placemaking Benefits
Will the funds be used to support or contribute to mainstreet vibrancy? For instance, funding will attract people to the street by installing a walk-up counter or a new patio.
Will the funds be used to create a ‘green’ impact, and would they support increased resilience and a low carbon future? For instance, funding will support purchasing biodegradable packaging or installing “green” or “clean” technologies.
Will the funds benefit members of marginalized groups or those disproportionately impacted by COVID-19, such as women, newcomers, people of colour, or people with disabilities?
How Funding Has Been Used - Examples
- Many businesses have used grant funding to obtain the services from other businesses such as marketing, consulting, and construction companies to help them overcome the impacts of COVID-19. This enables them to remain as viable employers in the local economy.
- Some businesses have used grant funding to update their safety protocols. By making a workplace safer, more of their employees were enabled to return to work.
- Several businesses have used the grant funds to replenish merchandise that expired as a result of COVID-19 restrictions.
- Some businesses have opted to purchase custom masks and other personal protective equipment that are consistent with the business' brand to stay safe and increase marketing efforts.
- Many hair and nail salons and other personal service shops have used the funds to add Plexiglass partitions between stations. This protects their customers from the spread of the virus while enabling the business to use more of its stations.
- Grant funds could be used on the purchase and installation of handwashing stations. These could help to make any job site, whether they be construction sites or office towers, more COVID-19 resilient.
- Businesses have been able to leverage funds from this grant to obtain additional funding from other organizations to support larger projects.
- Equipment purchases that allow a business to pivot or access new markets have been supported by the grant. Examples include:
- Large commercial fridges as they increase a restaurant's capacity and allow them to enter the delivery or catering market.
- Manufacturers have found ways to retool or purchase new equipment. This has allowed them to diversify their business and access new revenue streams.
- Virtual connections to classrooms where instructors or students can communicate using screens and Bluetooth speakers.
- Investing in handheld devices has allowed some health care providers to take their services on the road.
- Some businesses have gone mobile - bringing products to the doorstep of their clients. To make this happen, funds have been used to offset the cost of delivery vehicles. This is particularly useful for retailers who carry products that the clients need to try on or try out first before deciding to buy.
- Retailers have embraced online retail, using the funds to improve their hardware and software systems. This has allowed them to pivot their business models to add new revenue streams through e-commerce.
- Several businesses have used the grant to refresh their marketing by: updating websites, expanding marketing efforts (run ads online, in print, etc) and updating product lines. Any of these business pivots would be acceptable ways for a business to launch into a successful Q4 as consumers are preparing for Black Friday and holiday shopping.
- Funding has been used by many to introduce online ordering & delivery services. This has helped restaurants make up for the loss of sit-down capacity.
- We have seen some very innovative responses from educational providers in Edmonton. Grant funds have been used to help create virtual learning environments where students interact using avatars and real-life situations are simulated.
- Educational service providers have used the funds to help with the cost of converting to blended curriculums, where much of the learning is provided in an online environment.
- Salons and spas are also using the funds to purchase a wider variety of take-home products for customers who do not feel comfortable coming in to obtain the services.
- Funding has been used to create outdoor patio spaces that are more conducive to social distancing compared to patrons staying indoors.
- The installation of take-out windows or counters has allowed consumers to be able to walk up and order. This enables the safe return of foot traffic to commercial areas.
- Businesses are using the funds for patio upgrades to create warm, welcoming winter patios. Purchasing items such as heaters, winter-appropriate seating or other things needed to make outdoor commerce more comfortable in the colder months.
- Businesses may also use the grant for security upgrades to protect patio investments, including: improved lighting on the patio, costs associated with securing patio items (locks, etc.), fencing, clear shatter-proof window films, presence of security contractors and security cameras.
- There are several security upgrades that are NOT eligible, such as anti-loitering spikes or sonic loitering deterrents. Please refer to the FAQ to review ineligible items.
- As the demand for delivery and take-out increased, several businesses have used grant funds to secure recyclable and/or compostable packaging and food containers.
- Multiple businesses have expressed the relief provided by the grant funding will enable them to continue to support various community initiatives that support marginalized communities.
Frequently Asked Questions
Eligible costs include: any goods or services your business will purchase to help your business adapt or recover from COVID-19. This can also include costs associated with improved security, such as shatter-proof transparent window films, additional lighting, anti-graffiti paint and exterior security cameras.
The grant cannot be used for rent/lease/mortgage, payroll, membership fees, permit fees, debt reduction, retroactive costs, insurance, and other similar expenses. It also cannot be used for any security upgrades that detract from human-oriented design or urban design principles including: anti-loitering spikes, anti-loitering sonic devices, bars or rolling shutters on windows/doors, or opaque window wraps.
We have a limited budget and are unfortunately unable to support every eligible business that applies. To improve your chances, here are some of the most common reasons why an application is unsuccessful:
- There is no signed declaration. Declarations must be submitted within 24 hours of submitting your application.
- The application form is not completed. All fields are necessary for grant administration unless marked as ‘optional’.
- Grant funding will be used for ineligible costs including:
- rent/lease/mortgage payments;
- payroll or wages, debt reduction, utilities, insurance, or other similar fees.
- using grant funds directly for payroll or wages (using funds on other eligible items that enable workers to return, or new workers to be hired is aligned with the Jobs Core Criteria);
- debt reduction;
- expenses that are borne through regular business operations and are not a result of or response to the COVID-19 pandemic (such as maintenance);
- any retroactive expenses; and
- any security upgrades that detract from human-oriented design or urban design principles including:
- anti-loitering spikes,
- anti-loitering sonic devices,
- bars or rolling shutters on windows/doors, or
- opaque window wraps.
- The description of the grant funding does not clearly link the planned project or expense to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- The description of the grant funding does not provide enough detail of how the funding will be spent. Please be as specific as possible.
- You need a City of Edmonton business licence. Please call 311 for specific business licence assistance.
- Phase 1 refers to the Individual Business Grant stream and the Business Association grant stream
- Phase 2 refers to the Economic Action Plan Grant
Currently, only $1,000 grants are available.
Yes. This will provide flexibility to change an application if business needs change, or if the application did not contain sufficient detail to justify an award decision. Remember, applications need to clearly identify what the grant will be spent on, the outcomes of this, and how this relates to COVID-19.
No. The City’s decision is final, however you can reapply.
Unfortunately due to volume, we are not able to provide feedback on your application.
No. Only costs incurred after receiving the grant count as an eligible matching cost.
Please consult with a tax advisor or accountant.
Yes. You can fill out a separate application for each business.
Grants are limited to one per business
Yes, all businesses who receive an Individual Business microgrant can apply for funding from the Economic Action Plan Grant for a new project.
Applicants who do not require a City business licence can still apply. If the City requires you to have a business licence, you must have one to apply.
Visit edmonton.ca/businesslicences to renew or apply for a business licence.
In order to ensure we target funds to viable businesses, we are requiring businesses to match the City’s contribution. Successful applicants will be required to submit receipts and/or invoices within 90 days to show how the funding was spent.
We will do our best to process the applications within two weeks of receiving them. Cheques will be mailed after applications have been reviewed.
A cheque will be mailed to the address provided in the application, and made payable to the legal name of your business.