Eligibility of Small Business Recovery Grant program expanded to include non-essential retail in lockdown zones and tourism operators

FREDERICTON (GNB) – Changes have been made to the Small Business Recovery Grant program to expand its eligibility and improve access for sectors impacted by changing Public Health measures and restrictions.

In early February, the provincial government, through Opportunities NB, introduced a non-repayable grant of up to $5,000 to help owners of businesses cope with the impact of COVID-19. The program was originally open to small businesses located in zones that faced elevated Public Health measures (Orange, Red or Lockdown) for at least one week between Oct. 10, 2020, and March 31, 2021.

Under the new expanded criteria, tourism operators are now eligible within all zones in the province. Non-essential retail businesses are eligible if they were in a zone that experienced a lockdown.

“As New Brunswick continues to respond to COVID-19, we know that Public Health restrictions are creating real challenges for our small businesses,” said Economic Development and Small Business Minister Arlene Dunn, who is also minister responsible for Opportunities NB. “Recent Public Health restrictions in Zone 4 indicated that certain retail operations were required to close entirely. We also know that tourism operators around the province have faced very difficult conditions due to travel advisories and closed borders. We are pleased to offer the additional enhancements made to the program.”

Enhancements to the program include extending eligibility to:

  • non-essential retail in Lockdown zones. This is defined as retailers that were forced to close due to Public Health measures and restrictions, as defined by the state of emergency mandatory order.
  • tourism operators which is defined as businesses in one of the following categories: Accommodations, Outdoor Adventure Businesses, Festivals and Events, Tourism Recreational Facilities, Receptive Tour Operators and Outfitter Services.

For further details regarding eligibility for each of these categories, consult the FAQs on Opportunities NB’s website or contact their Business Navigators. To support businesses throughout the application process, the Business Navigators are available and can be reached at nav@navnb.ca or by calling 1-833-799-7966.

“Our government remains responsive and committed to addressing the needs of our business community,” said Tourism, Heritage and Culture Minister Tammy Scott-Wallace. “By expanding eligibility, we have broadened the program to ensure it continues to benefit our most vulnerable businesses, including tourism operators. This support will give them greater potential to get beyond the challenges associated with COVID-19.”

“By making the appropriate changes to the recovery grant for small businesses, it is clear that our provincial government is listening to the pleas of our industry,” said Carol Alderdice, president and CEO of the Tourism Industry Association of New Brunswick. “We will continue working with our government officials on solutions and support for our tourism operators as we all try to survive this pandemic.”

Prior to applying, businesses are encouraged to review eligibility requirements, FAQs, and the Application Checklist to ensure they have the information and documents they need to apply.

Media Contact(s):

Autumn Lawrence, communications, Opportunities NB, 506-461-9024, autumn.lawrence@onbcanada.ca.