For the Lakeside Leader
Alberta’s NDP Opposition is proposing grants to help small businesses re-open in accordance with public health orders.
The Opposition are also calling on the Jason Kenney government to fix the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) program.
As part of its Smart Re-launch Strategy, the Opposition is proposing direct financial support for small businesses in the form of grants and rent relief, to protect jobs and provide much-need stimulus to the economy, while keeping Albertans safe.
“We need to be smart about how to re-open our economy and do it in a way that protects the health of all Albertans,” says NDP Leader Rachel Notley.
“That means financial support for businesses so they have the resources they need to stay afloat and clear guidelines to keep everyone safe. We need to get this right the first time. We simply can’t afford to get it wrong.”
The NDP also wants the government to renegotiate the terms of CECRA with the federal government, or provide rent relief for small businesses that are unable to participate in the program.
CECRA was developed in conjunction with the provinces, but has faced criticism for complicated eligibility requirements and landlords refusing to participate.
The NDP cited several examples in a news release.
The NDP is also calling for – a 50 per cent reduction of insurance premiums until Dec. 31, of this year; relief on utility bills that go beyond deferrals; and an acquisition plan for personal protective equipment led by the provincial government.