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.
Over $14 Million has been contributed by the Federal Government, RBC, and Canada United partners to support recovery efforts due to COVID-19. Now able to extend relief grants to more small businesses and restart accepting grant applications from small businesses across all Provinces for expenses incurred no earlier than March 15, 2020.
The CUSBRF will be managed by the Ontario Chamber of Commerce on behalf of the national Chamber network in support of other chambers and partners to help small Canadian businesses with their recovery efforts as a result of COVID-19.
Successful applicants will receive a relief grant of up to $5,000. We intend to support local businesses of all kinds from across the country (from retailers to barbershops to farmers).
- 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 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 issuing agency. Priority applicants for consideration will include businesses owned by Indigenous People, women, visible minorities, LGBTQ2+, and persons with disabilities.
Eligible Activities and Costs
There are three categories of purchases that are eligible for reimbursement under the program – see
below for examples:
- Purchase of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
- Renovation of space to adhere to re-opening guidelines
- Enhancement of website/ developing e-commerce capability
Eligible expenses directly related to the above categories are permitted provided that purchases were made no earlier than March 15, 2020.
All eligible expenses must be incremental and a direct result of adjusting operations for COVID-19 safety guidelines. Normal or usual ongoing business costs are not eligible. All expenses are subject to the program administrators’ discretion.