Tami Hoeppner of The Wellness Clinic recalled the confusion their small business faced when COVID-19 precautions changed their world.
“We had a pretty awful year,” Hoeppner said.
“We had to close initially for 84 days and then there was confusion about whether we should be deemed a personal service or an essential service.”
At first, customers were unsure if they were open again. The Wellness Clinic applied for and received a matching grant from the City of Edmonton. With it, the Patricia Heights-based business hired a marketing company to launch a small social media campaign to let customers know that, yes, they were still open for business.
Michael Thomas, owner of SolarNinjas Energy Solutions, recalled how the pandemic meant an unbudgeted need to pay for supplies to help keep staff and customers safe, even as economic uncertainty meant many of the company’s large contracts were cancelled or suspended.
Thomas used his Edmonton Economic Recovery Grant to stock up on safety supplies, including hand sanitizer and masks for his Downtown-based business.
“The grant was nice,” Thomas said. “It came at the right time. It made us feel confident that the City wants us to be safe. The City wants us to be smart. And the City wants us to work in better ways.”
Grant still available
The Wellness Clinic and SolarNinjas Energy Solutions are two of the close to 1,500 Economic Recovery Grants supplied by the City of Edmonton.
“The pandemic has been particularly challenging for small businesses in Edmonton, many of which continue to work hard to stay afloat and to keep their staff and customers safe during the long months of restrictions and health orders,” said Jeff Chase, who is the Branch Manager of Economic Investment Services at the City of Edmonton.
The recovery grant—developed to get into the hands of business owners quickly—is still available. Apply here for the Edmonton Economic Recovery Grant.
The grant provides up to $2,000 for local businesses to help offset some of the economic impacts of COVID-19, including covering the costs associated with the Province of Alberta’s Restriction Exemption Program.
Applications are approved on a first-come, first-served basis. Visit Economic Recovery Grant for more information.
Editor’s notes: the pic at the top of the page shows The Wellness Clinic on October 19, 2021. October 18-22 is Small Business Week in Edmonton. It’s a good time to remember the vital impact small business has on the local economy and why it’s important to support small business in Edmonton. Please consider shopping local and safely dropping into some of your favourite local stores.