Canada United

Canada United

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About Canada United

The #CanadaUnited campaign is a nationwide small and local business campaign encouraging Canadians to buy local.

RBC, Corporate Canada, Business Associations and Major Media Partners have teamed up to start a movement, Canada United, where everyday Canadians and large businesses come together in support of small and local businesses. The movement will start with a #CanadaUnited campaign where Canadians are asked to complete micro-actions (likes, views, etc.) in support of small and local businesses on social media. In short, Canada United encourages action from everyday Canadians and Corporate Canada and kickstarts the recovery of local economies and small businesses.

Learn more at GoCanadaUnited.ca.

Canada United is offering small business relief grants of up to $5,000 to help small Canadian businesses with recovery efforts as a result of COVID-19. The grant funds will grow over the next several weeks as every video watched and social post liked from Canada United will result in a 5 cent contribution from RBC. Funds can be used for PPE, renovations, or e-commerce capabilities.

To determine if you’re eligible to apply for a relief grant or learn more about this program, visit https://occ.ca/canada-united-small-business-relief-fund/.

Conditions apply.

Eligible Applicants

  • One application per ownership group
  • Applicants do not need to be a member of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) to qualify
  • Small to medium-sized (SME) companies from all sectors and all regions in Canada
  • For greater clarity, both For-Profit and Not-For-Profit organizations are eligible to apply but Government organizations, municipalities, charities, and the chamber of commerce network are not eligible to apply
  • Be incorporated, or operating as a sole proprietor, in Canada as of March 1, 2020
  • No more than 75 employees
  • Have minimum annual sales of $200,00 and not more than $3,000,000
  • Have $1,000,000 of commercial general liability insurance
  • Not receiving any other contributions from public funds towards the specific activities contained in the funding application
  • Be in full compliance with all applicable government laws, rules, regulations, guidelines, and other legally binding measures (Laws)
  • Be in operation after September 1, 2020 (grant recipients must sign a declaration included in the approval letter to confirm)
  • Must attach all necessary invoices and receipts with the application. Failure to do so will result in automatic disqualification
  • Must submit one of the following documents (dates prior to March 1, 2020):
    • Proof of business registration
    • Sales tax (GST/HST) registration
    • Recent sales tax (GST/HST) filing

Priority applicants for consideration will include businesses owned by Indigenous People, women, visible minorities, LGBTQ2+, and person with disabilities. Considerations will also be made to ensure the fund is distributed broadly to all regions across the country.

Eligible Activities & Costs

The maximum amount available per application is $5,000. There are three categories of purchases that are eligible for reimbursement under the program:

  • Purchase of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) – masks, face shields, latex gloves, etc.
  • Renovation of space to adhere to re-opening guidelines (as described below)
  • Enhancement of website/E-commerce capability

Renovations of space includes any alterations, temporary or permanent, made to the applicant’s business specifically to reduce the risk of customers or staff contracting the novel coronavirus, referred to as COVID-19. These renovations can include:

  • The building or purchase of physical barriers
  • The creation of signage or floor markers
  • The building or purchase of sanitizing stations
  • The building or purchase of materials used to create a structure to facilitate curbside pickup or contactless payment, or to otherwise move aspects of the business outside
  • The alteration of a building’s windows and doors
  • The installation of touchless devices such as doors or waste containers
  • Third party labour costs associated with any of the above provided there is no conflict of interest with such third party

Eligible expenses directly related to the above categories are permitted provided that purchases were made no earlier than March 15, 2020.

Submitting an Application

All applications and supporting documentation must be completed and submitted online. Steps:

  1. Go to our website at: https://occ.ca/canada-united-small-business-relief-fund/ and click on the link related to the province in which your business is located or you can access the application by clicking on the application link located on your participating local or Provincial Chamber of Commerce’s site.
  2. Read the eligibility criteria and conditions for participation
  3. Click on “APPLY NOW” to access the application
  4. Complete the form and click the “Submit” button. If the “Submit” button is not active, a required field has not been completed. Please complete the required field(s) and then re-click the submit button.

Application Frequency

Applicants are only permitted to submit one application under the program. The program will establish specific intake periods and will be limited to a predetermined number of applications. Each intake period will be open until the predetermined number of applications are received.

Conditions of Participation for all Eligible Applications

  • Application forms must include all required information and be signed/endorsed by a senior officer or senior manager of the applicant company certifying that the information is accurate and verifiable
  • Application forms will become the property of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce
  • Contact information (mailing address, telephone and fax numbers, as well as e-mail and website addresses) will be included in the OCC client management system for correspondence purposes. Applicants agree that the OCC shall have the right to make available and/or to publish, in print or electronically, certain analyses, reports or studies that are based upon aggregate data which is derived from information contained in the application forms and results achieved for those applications that are funded. At the OCC’s discretion, these studies and aggregated data may be released to selected groups including government entities or to the public at large
  • Applicants agree that their names and level of funding, if approved, may be published. In addition, recipients agree to participate in marketing and communications activities that profile business success stories and will provide a consent and release to Royal Bank of Canada relating to such activities.
  • Once received by the OCC, all applications will be at all times the property of the OCC and none will be returned. The OCC will not be responsible for applicants that are lost, misdirected, or delayed
  • Funding decisions are based on the timelines and quality of applications. Applicants meeting all eligibility criteria will not automatically receive funding
  • At the point of application submission, applicants are required to agree to the Terms and Conditions. Applicants approved for funding are required to enter into an agreement and abide by the conditions outlined in the Terms and Conditions.

Evaluation Criteria for All Eligible Applicants

Funding decisions will be subject to a 30-business day turnaround time provided the application is complete when submitted and all requirements have been met. Incomplete applications will not be processed. Applications will be assessed using the following criteria:

  • Eligibility of applicant;
  • Eligibility of activities and expenditures for funding;
  • Completeness of the application;
  • Time the application is received;
  • Ensuring a broad number of priority sectors and regions of Canada benefit from the program

Payment Terms and Reporting Requirements

This is a reimbursement grant and so the applicant must have completed all activities directly related to the eligible expenses noted in the application prior to applying for the grant. All required documents must be attached when submitting the application. Applicants failing to submit proper documents (eg. receipts and invoices) will be disqualified.

Eligible expenses are those expenses that have been directly incurred by the applicant no earlier than March 15, 2020 and must be supported by a valid proof of purchase, which must include the following:

  1. Either a cashier’s receipt or an official invoice marked “paid.” These invoices must be provided by the company the applicant purchased items or services from (Note: we cannot accept internal accounting documents);
  2. It must clearly show the name of the item, the cost of the item, the quantity and the purchase date; and
  3. It must be legible and submitted in their JPG or PDF format. Please have your documents scanned and ready before applying.

Approved applicants will only receive one payment. The total payment will not exceed the amount stipulated in the approval letter. Payments will be made within 30 business days of receipt of banking information and the signed approval letter.

Thinking of applying to the Canadian United Small Business Relief Fund (CUSBRF) Program?

To help you apply we have put together a check list of all the documents and information you will need to properly apply. Please note that failing to provide us with this information might result in your application being rejected so it is very important you read this document carefully. Please do not start an application unless you have all the information noted below readily available.

We would like to know a little bit about your company and so you’ll need to provide the following information:

  1. Your Operating Name. Your operating name is the name you use in your day-to-day activities and to advertise your business.
  2. Your Legal Entity Name. If you registered your business under a different name, we need to know the name you registered under. This includes numbered corporations.
  3. Your Number of employees. These include full and part time as well as contract employees.
  4. Your Annual sales or revenue for Fiscal year 2019.
  5. Your BN Number. A business number is a nine-digit number the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) assigns your business or non-profit as a tax ID. It is unique to your organization and is used when dealing with the federal government and certain provincial governments.
  6. If you are registered for GST/HST we will need your GST/HST number. If you need to verify your GST/HST number please visit: https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/e-services/e-services-businesses/confirming-a-gst-hst-account-number.html.
  7. Your Date of incorporation or business registration.
  8. If your business has a head office, we will need the full address of your company’s head office.
  9. Verify your business has $1,000,000 of commercial general liability insurance. This insurance certificate must be valid until March 31st, 2021.
  10. If your business is receiving other public funds that are being used to support the activities outlined in your application? If so, we need to know about it, please have the details of the additional funding ready.

The Canada United Program is a reimbursement program, we can only cover expenses already incurred by your company on or after March 15, 2020. To verify these expenses, we will need the following information:

  1. What eligible expenses are you submitting for reimbursement? You will be required to provide us with an itemized list of all items. Before starting the application process make a list of all the items or services you purchased as well as the dates they were purchased.
  2. To verify that you have purchased these items we are asking that you provide us with proof of purchase in the form of either a cashier’s receipt or an official invoice marked “paid.” These invoices must be provided by the company you purchased items or services from. Note:we cannot accept internal accounting documents.
  3. Proof of purchase must clearly show the name of the item, the cost of the item, the quantity of the item and the date of purchase.
  4. The proof of purchase documents must be legible and submitted in either JPG or PDF format. Please have your documents scanned and ready before applying.

Canada United Program Application: Questions & Answers

Q: I am a franchisee can I apply to the program?

A: Yes, individual franchisee owners can apply.

Q: I am receiving other COVID-19 related government funding to support my business (CEWS, CECRA, CEBA and TWSE). Can I still apply to the program?

A: Yes, a company can be receiving other COVID-19 related funding if those funds have not been used to purchase items or services included in your Canada United application.

Q: Can I purchase a computer or other digital hardware to help with e-commerce?

A: No, the program does not cover the cost of electronic hardware.

Q: What counts as proof of payment?

A: The Canada United team does a thorough accounting of each application. We can only accept certain documents as proof of payment. These documents are limited to an itemized cashier’s receipt and a paid invoice. We cannot accept internal accounting documents as proof of payment. All documents must include:

  1. The date of purchase
  2. Quantity of items purchased
  3. Cost of item

Q: Can I submit a partially paid invoice?

A: No, all payments must be paid in full.

Q: What counts as an eligible renovation?

A: Renovations are defined as any alterations, temporary or permanent, made to your business specifically to reduce the risk of customers or staff contracting the novel coronavirus, referred to as COVID-19. These can include:
  • The building or purchase of physical barriers
  • The creation of signage or floor markers
  • The building or purchase of sanitizing stations
  • The building or purchase of materials used to create a structure to facilitate curbside pickup or contactless payment, or to otherwise move aspects of your business outside
  • The alteration of a building’s windows and doors
  • The installation of touchless devices such as doors or waste containers
  • Third party labour costs associated with any of the above, provided there is no conflict of interest with such third party

Q: How will I be notified if I have been approved or declined for funding?

A: Within 30business days of submitting your application you will receive an email to the email address provided in your application. Please ensure you check you junk and spam folders for our response.

Q: For what period do I provide annual sales/ revenue information?

A: Past fiscal year

Q: If I am a sole proprietor can I apply?

A: Yes, sole proprietorships are eligible to apply.

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