Province extends Small Business Emergency Payment program

The Government of Saskatchewan announced a further extension to the Saskatchewan Small Business Emergency Payment (SSBEP) program. The program was originally launched in April 2020 as a response to the COVID-19 restrictions on the business community, then renewed in December 2020. With this extension, businesses will be eligible for an additional payment for January 2021.

“Small and medium-sized businesses in the province continue to face challenges due to the global COVID-19 pandemic,” Trade and Export Development Minister Jeremy Harrison said. “Our government believes support for businesses is vital, and the extension of this program for the month of January 2021, as well as the other programs available, will help as we continue to move through this challenging period and toward economic recovery.”

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Business restrictions in public health orders have been expanded since the SSBEP program was renewed in December and businesses are encouraged to re-evaluate their eligibility for both the December and January payments.

The SSBEP program has provided $5.9 million in assistance to 1,521 applicants for the December period. With the public health order extended, more businesses in the province have been impacted. This phase of the program will accept applications for the December and/or January payment until March 2, 2021.

Applicants will be eligible for up to $5,000 per month in funding, and those who qualified for the December intake of the SSBEP will not have to re-apply for January. However, businesses will be contacted to attest that they remain eligible for the January payment.

Businesses that have been fined for non-compliance with public health orders will not be eligible to receive support under these programs.

For more information on the SSBEP program, businesses can visit www.saskatchewan.ca/small-business-emergency-payment, call 1-800-667-6102, or email ssbep@gov.sk.ca.

Saskatchewan businesses are also reminded about other support programs available.

The Strong Recovery Adaptation Rebate (SRAR) reimburses eligible small businesses for investments made to adapt their business to operate during the COVID-19 pandemic. Financial assistance includes a payment of up to $5,000 for 50 per cent of total eligible business-adaptation investments made by the applicant prior to February 28, 2021.

Eligible expenditures include establishing physical barriers or reconfiguring space to operate safely, providing services through digital tools, providing different services or products, and shifting to delivery or curb-side services. The application deadline is March 31, 2021. For more information on the SRAR, businesses can visit www.saskatchewan.ca/strong-recovery-adaptation-rebate, email srar@gov.sk.ca or call 1-844-800-8688.

The Re-Open Saskatchewan Training Subsidy (RSTS) is currently accepting applications. This temporary training subsidy provides businesses with financial support to train employees as they adjust to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The RSTS reimburses eligible private-sector employers 100 per cent of employee training costs up to a maximum of $10,000 per business, which will help employers adapt to the impacts of the pandemic and safely align business activities with the re-opening of Saskatchewan's economy. The application deadline has been extended to March 31, 2021. For more information on the RSTS, businesses can visit www.saskatchewan.ca/training-subsidy, call 306-964-1005 for Saskatoon and area, or 306-787-4677 for Regina and area, or email cansaskjobgrant@gov.sk.ca.

For more information on all of the provincial government support for business, as well as information on federal government programs, businesses can visit https://www.saskatchewan.ca/covid19-businesses.