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The Main Streets Business Support Grant pilot

The Main Streets Business Support Grant pilot

The City has launched a new pilot to test financial support for businesses during planned Main Streets construction

We’re piloting something new to support businesses!


The Main Streets Business Support Grant pilot provides a one-time lump sum payment of $5,000 to eligible businesses affected by planned 2024 City-led construction of Main Streets projects in Marda Loop and Bridgeland. 

Find out more about other business-friendly initiatives The City has been piloting to support businesses leading up to and during construction.

Is your business eligible to apply?

Applications are being accepted for the Main Streets Business Support Grant pilot. Check to confirm your business is eligible to apply.

Have a question or comment?

Eligibility


On March 19, 2024, Council directed Administration to initiate a Main Streets Business Support Grant pilot in 2024 and to report back to Infrastructure and Planning Committee in Q1, 2025 on the outcomes and effectiveness of the pilot.

To qualify for the Main Streets Business Support Grant pilot, businesses must meet all eligibility requirements:

  • Provide in-person retail sales, product rentals or consumer services, which require customers to travel to the site of business to complete the business transaction.
  • Operate with a physical storefront* location within one city block of 2024 planned construction activities for Marda Loop and/or Bridgeland Main Streets projects (see grant eligibility area map).
  • Be licenced by The City of Calgary and possess one or more of the Licence Types identified for the pilot (see listing of eligible business licence types).
  • Be operational at any point during the grant application period, between June 20, 2024, and October 31, 2024.

*Physical storefront includes businesses accessed from a main floor building entrance and includes businesses on upper floors.

Marda Loop Main Streets Construction & Grant Eligibility Area

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Bridgeland Main Streets Construction & Grant Eligibility Area 1

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Bridgeland Main Streets Construction & Grant Eligibility Area 2

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Business Licence types*

Eligible business licence types* identified for the pilot include:

Business type Business type
Alcohol Beverage Sales Liquor store
Amusement Arcade Massage Centre
Auto Body Shop Motor Vehicle Dealer – Premises
Body Rub Centre Motor Vehicle Repair & Service
Cannabis Store Outdoor Patio
Cinema Pawnbroker
Entertainment Establishment Payday Lender
Fabric Cleaning Personal Service
Food Service – Premises Retail Dealer – Premises
Fuel Sales/Storage Secondhand Dealer
Furniture Refinishing Tobacco Retailer
Hotel/Motel Vaping Retailer
Kennel Service/Pet Dealer  

*Business type as defined in Business Licence Bylaw 32M98, Body Rub Licence Bylaw 53M2012 and Massage Licence Bylaw 52M2013

Grant exclusions

  • In the situation where an individual business has two or more eligible Business Licence types, only one grant will be provided.
  • Businesses not required to have one or more of The City of Calgary Business Licences identified for the grant pilot are not eligible.

For more information on eligibility, please visit Eligibility FAQs.

We want to hear from you

The Main Streets Business Support Grant pilot will serve as a tool to learn from and evaluate the effectiveness of providing construction financial support to businesses during planned construction.

Help us to evaluate the application process and grant eligibility

Application process


The grant application period is open. Main Streets Business Support Grant applications will be accepted between June 20, 2024, and October 31, 2024.

Businesses that meet the eligibility requirements may submit their online application at any time during the application period.

Grant application process

To apply for the Main Streets Business Support Grant, the following business information will be needed:

  • Business licence number
  • Business licence type(s)
  • Operating as or trade name
  • Corporation/partnership/sole proprietor name (if applicable)
  • Business location address
  • Business contact information

Apply for the Main Streets Business Support Grant Pilot

Can’t find your business licence number?

This information is located on your business licence that is displayed at your business location. Visit calgary.ca/mybusiness for further information.

Need help applying?

Email cbr@calgary.ca should you have further questions about this program or need assistance applying.

Evaluation process


The Main Street Business Support Grant is being implemented as a pilot in 2024.

The grant pilot will serve as a tool for The City to learn from and evaluate the effectiveness of providing construction financial support and inform a recommendation on potentially formalizing a business support grant for Main Streets infrastructure projects in the future.

Eligible businesses are asked to complete a short survey as part of the application process. The City will seek feedback on topics including but not limited to:

  • Grant administration, eligibility criteria and application process.
  • The way(s) in which businesses used the funding.
  • Assessment of the effectiveness of the grant to help businesses prepare for the potential effects of construction and implement strategies to encourage patronage during construction.
  • Suggestions and ideas for future business support initiatives, including financial support and non-financial supports.

 

Don't meet eligibility requirements?

We want to hear from you too. Complete the survey to help us evaluate the application process, including grant eligibility.

Survey responses will be used to help inform the overall evaluation of the pilot and a recommendation to City Council’s Infrastructure and Planning Committee on potentially formalizing a business support grant for Main Streets infrastructure projects in the future.

There will be an opportunity for general participation in the evaluation process later this year. Please indicate your interest in participating here.

Business-friendly initiatives


We know construction can be disruptive and we are working hard to plan proactively and support local businesses leading up to and during capital project construction.

 

We remain committed to working with affected businesses and are focused on developing business-friendly approaches to help offset the impacts of planned construction on business operations and customer access.

 

The Main Streets Business Support Grant pilot is one of several business-friendly initiatives being piloted in 2024 and is just one piece of the puzzle in supporting businesses leading up to and during the delivery of planned capital projects. 

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Learn more about other business-friendly initiatives The City has been piloting on different infrastructure projects.

Providing wayfinding signage to help customers access shops during construction.

City business-liaisons meeting with Calgarians at community events, to answer questions, hear concerns and share construction plans.

Hosting community office hours to allow business owners and residents to connect with a member of the project team in person.

Partnering with Business Improvement Area to provide signage informing customers about alternative parking availability

Encouraging Calgarians to continue supporting local businesses during construction

Providing bike parking to offset the temporary removal of on-street parking during construction.

Frequently asked questions


General

How is The City supporting businesses to prepare for planned construction?

  • We know how important businesses are to the local economy and we are working hard to plan proactively and support local businesses leading up to and during planned construction.
  • The City has been piloting a variety of approaches aimed at supporting businesses and mitigating construction impacts on business operations and customer access, such as project impact assessments, City business liaisons and City-led business area supports.
  • For 2024, Council directed Administration to pilot the Main Streets Business Support Grant to assist businesses in preparing for construction and implementing their own strategies to offset the impacts of Main Streets construction on business operations and customer access.
  • Find out more about other business-friendly initiatives The City has been piloting to support businesses leading up to and during planned construction.

Eligibility

What businesses are eligible for the Main Streets Business Support Grant pilot?

Businesses eligible for the grant:

  • Operate a physical storefront location within one city block of 2024 planned construction activities for Marda Loop and/or Bridgeland Main Streets projects.
  • Provide in-person retail sales, product rentals or customer services, which require customers to travel to the site of business to complete the business transaction.
  • Are licensed by The City of Calgary and possess one or more of the licence types identified for the pilot.
  • Must be operational at any point during the grant application period.

My business is not required to be licensed by The City of Calgary, should I apply for the grant?

  • To be eligible for the Main Streets Business Support Grant, a business must be licensed by The City of Calgary and possess one or more of the licence types identified for the pilot.
  • You can view an extensive list of eligible business licence types here.

Are new businesses eligible for the grant pilot?

  • The Main Streets Business Support Grant pilot is being piloted in Marda Loop and Bridgeland in 2024.
  • Businesses that meet the eligibility requirements and submit a successful application prior to 11:59p.m. on October 31, 2024, are eligible to apply for the Main Streets Business Support Grant.
  • See maps to confirm your business is located within one block of planned 2024 Main Streets construction activities and within the grant eligibility area.
  • If you are looking to open a new business in a Main Streets area, we encourage you to review the information about business licensing and getting your new business started in Calgary.

Can businesses outside of Marda Loop and Bridgeland Main Streets projects receive the grant?

  • The Main Streets Business Support Grant pilot is only being piloted in Marda Loop and Bridgeland in 2024.
  • Businesses located outside the grant eligibility area defined as within 1 block of 2024 planned construction for Marda Loop and/or Bridgeland Main Streets projects, will not be eligible to receive a Main Streets Business Support grant.

Is The City planning to expand this program to other construction projects?

  • On 2024 March 19, Council directed Administration to initiate a Main Streets Business Support Grant pilot in 2024 and to report back to Infrastructure and Planning Committee in Q1 2025 on the outcomes and effectiveness of the pilot.
  • The grant is funded through the Main Streets capital program and there is no plan or available budget to expand the grant pilot to other planned construction projects or business areas in 2024.
  • The City is using the pilot to test the effectiveness of providing lump-sum financial support to businesses to assist businesses in preparing for construction and implementing their own strategies to offset the impacts of Main Streets construction on business operations and customer access.

Can businesses apply retroactively for the grant pilot?

  • No, this grant pilot is specifically geared for businesses affected by planned Main Streets construction activities in 2024.  Businesses must be operational at any point during the grant application period.

Application process

How do businesses apply to receive the Main Streets Business Support Grant pilot?

  • The grant application period is open, and The City will be accepting grant applications from eligible businesses until October 31, 2024.
  • Eligible businesses may apply for the Main Streets Business Support Grant, using the online grant application.
  • A business owner or authorized representative will need to provide the following information and agree to the terms of the grant application: 
  1. Business licence number
  2. Business licence type(s)
  3. Operating as or trade name
  4. Corporation/partnership/sole proprietor name (if applicable)
  5. Business location address
  6. Business contact information
  • If a business meets all requirements for grant eligibility and the application is complete, a one-time grant payment of $5,000 will be mailed directly to the Business Licence name and address on file with The City.
  • The application process includes a brief evaluation survey. Responses will be used to help inform the overall evaluation of the pilot and a recommendation to City Council’s Infrastructure and Planning Committee on potentially formalizing a business support grant for Main Streets infrastructure projects in the future.

When can businesses apply for the grant?

  • The application period is now open. Main Streets Business Support Grant applications will be accepted until October 31, 2024.
  • Businesses eligible to apply may submit their online application at any time during the application period. 

Where can I find my business licence number?

  • This information is located on your business licence that is displayed at your business location. Visit calgary.ca/mybusiness for further information.

Need help applying for the grant?

  • Email cbr@calgary.ca should you have further questions about this program or need assistance applying.

I did not receive a notice to apply for the Main Streets Business Support Grant pilot, can I still apply?

  • Businesses that are licensed by The City of Calgary and located within the grant eligibility area have been notified by direct mail and invited to apply.
  • If you did not receive a notice to apply, check to confirm your business is eligible to apply
  • If your business meets all the eligibility requirements for the Main Streets Business Support Grant pilot, you may use the online application to apply for the grant.
  • Email cbr@calgary.ca should you have further questions about this program or need assistance applying.

Evaluation process

Is it mandatory for businesses that received grant money to participate in the evaluation process?

  • It is not mandatory for businesses to participate in the evaluation process; however, we strongly encourage all businesses to provide feedback to help The City evaluate the effectiveness of providing construction financial support as one of many ways to support businesses during planned construction.
  • Responses will be used to help inform the overall evaluation of the pilot and a recommendation to City Council’s Infrastructure and Planning Committee on potentially formalizing a business support grant for Main Streets infrastructure projects in the future.

Why is The City evaluating the grant pilot program and process?

  • The grant is being implemented as a pilot program in 2024 and complements other business-friendly construction management practices and initiatives being implemented for different capital projects.  
  • This is the first time that The City of Calgary has administered such a grant, and we anticipate there will be lessons learned throughout the application and administration processes.
  • These lessons and the feedback we gather through the evaluation process will help to inform the overall evaluation of the pilot and a recommendation to City Council’s Infrastructure and Planning Committee on potentially formalizing a business support grant for Main Streets capital infrastructure projects in the future.
  • The pilot program will be evaluated throughout 2024 and Administration will report back to Infrastructure and Planning Committee in Q1 2025 on the outcomes and effectiveness of this type of business support. 

Can ineligible businesses still participate in the evaluation process?

  • Yes, The City wants to hear from all businesses, eligible and ineligible, as we evaluate the grant pilot. 
  • We encourage you to provide your feedback and thoughts on the grant pilot here
  • We will have more opportunities for businesses to provide feedback in our evaluation process later this year, if you would like to participate, please indicate here

Budget

How will this grant pilot impact the overall City budget?

The Main Streets Business Support Grant pilot is funded from the existing Main Streets capital program. This grant pilot will not impact the overall City budget or current property tax rates.  


This information has no legal status and cannot be used as an official interpretation of the various bylaws, codes and regulations currently in effect. The City of Calgary accepts no responsibility to persons relying solely on this information. Web pages are updated periodically. ​

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