Even though things are slowly re-opening, so many of our businesses have incurred an unmanageable amount of debt throughout the lockdowns. The stories that we are hearing are heartbreaking! The hardest hit sectors of hospitality, travel and tourism, recreation, personal services, and the arts have incurred an average of $170,000 in debt, with the average gym losing more than $20,000 per month according to an industry survey. The debt load has left many small businesses in a precarious financial situation that could lead to a wave of closures. We realize that the money we will be able to provide at the end of the fundraiser may not save everyone or even anyone, but it will show that we as a Community cared enough to try.
In your mind, imagine our local community. Think about the reasons you moved here, or perhaps you've been here all along. Now imagine Chestermere without any small businesses. Instantly, the area loses everything that makes it unique and brings charm.
Small businesses provide character and individuality to a community. It is neighbours helping neighbours ― friends helping friends and families helping families. However, small businesses are more than that. They benefit Chestermere in many concrete, quantifiable ways.
These businesses are the backbone of our Community and they are suffering from another forced shutdown and increased restrictions. There was no additional government funding announced with this latest lockdown to assist business owners. This is why we are asking for your help.
Michelle Eldjarnson and I are long-time Chestermere residents who have watched the community grow from a couple of thousand people to where we are today. Both of us are very active in the Community. Michelle is a local realtor who started the ReMax Key Brokerage Firm in Chestermere last year. She is the former president of the Chamber of Commerce and sits on the Chestermere Economic Development Advisory Committee. Small business is a priority for her and when I approached her with this idea, she jumped on it!
I owned a business called Gramma's Attic for 14 years through the SARS crisis and Mad Cow disease. I can empathize with the small business owners we are trying to help as I spent many a night crying over where the next dollar was coming from. I have managed the Yacht Club in Chestermere for over 8 years and am in my third year as President of the Chestermere Food Bank. I am an avid volunteer and sit on various committees and coalitions throughout the City.
We are raising money that will be distributed to qualifying businesses to assist with their non-deferrable expenses so that they will be able to re-open when the lockdown is over. We have lost so many businesses so far; let's not lose anymore!
To be eligible, Chestermere businesses or non-profit organizations must meet the following criteria:
As of March 31, 2021 a business is eligible if they are:
- corporation registered under the Business Corporations Act (Alberta)
- partnership or sole proprietor registered under the Partnership Act (Alberta)
- unregistered sole proprietor with sufficient documentation to demonstrate the existence of the organization's operation
- corporation incorporated under a special act or a private act of the Alberta legislature
- non-profit registered under a special act or private act of the Alberta legislature
- non-profit registered under part 9 of the Companies Act (Alberta)
- society registered under the Societies Act (Alberta) or Agricultural Societies Act (Alberta)
*Be carrying on business or operations or were eligible to carry on business or operations in Alberta as of March 31, 2021.
*Have been required to temporarily close or curtail operation due to April 2021 COVID-19 public health orders and be able to detail how the pandemic has affected your business.
*Have experienced a reduction in revenue of at least 30% as a result of the COVID-19 public health orders.
*Are open or plan to reopen as public health orders are lifted.
All applications will be reviewed by a Committee consisting of Laurie Dunn, Michelle Eldjarnson, Shannon Dean, and Alex Halat.
The deadline for donations is June 25. Funds will be disbursed by June 30.
Thank you for your support!
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