Financial Support for Small Businesses, Non-Profits and Artists
During this year’s budget deliberations, Council made a decision to draw $1M from the City’s reserve funds to help small businesses, non-profits and artists who have been hardest hit by the pandemic. The goal of this funding is to address gaps in existing support programs from the provincial and federal governments. For example, businesses that opened just before or after the pandemic don’t qualify for provincial or federal support, even if they’ve been hard hit by the public health restrictions, so our plan is to offer them grants of up to $10K. Other small businesses that have been affected by the pandemic can also apply for a City grant to help cover costs and expenses not covered by other government support programs, like training to develop new skills for their employees, marketing, or costs for new equipment.
An independent committee will review applications, and with combined funding from the City and Kingston EcDev we will be able to help over 100 small local businesses. The City will also offer grants of between $2K and $10K to professional artists, artist collectives and non-profit arts organizations whose creative work and income has been affected by the pandemic. Finally, the City will offer $100K worth of grants to non-profit sports and recreational organizations and provide an additional $100K in funding to help support social service agencies who are on the frontlines helping those who have suffered the most during the pandemic. With these details now finalized, we’re moving quickly to launch a call for applications and get this money out the door as quickly as possible to help those who need it most.