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A few packages designed to assist Calgary small companies open bodily companies on-line – Calgary

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The City of Calgary has taken some new initiatives to help small businesses in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic.

“That’s really the plan – to find out how to more easily start new businesses and grow existing businesses in the post-pandemic world,” said Mayor Naheed Nenshi.

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On Monday, the city council voted in favor of a pilot program aimed at streamlining the approval process for permits for small businesses looking to open stationary locations in three neighborhoods.

And on Tuesday morning, the city announced grants to help 400 small businesses and artists set up online stores through ShopHere, a digital Main Street program with Google.

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International Avenue, Montgomery, and part of Sunalta will be part of the one-year rationalization pilot. A similar pilot project was started in the Center City Enterprise Area in July 2017, which enabled applications to change the use, exterior works and additions of less than 1,000 square meters in order to get some exemptions from regular processes.

This pilot lasted two years, saving an average of 15 days per application and $ 104,868 in development permit fees.

“That was hugely successful in the city center,” said Nenshi. “And so we thought, ‘Well, why not expand this to other parts of the city?’

The new pilot would only apply to changes in use and development permits for external changes.

Some types of businesses, including liquor stores and payday loans, are not allowed to be part of the pilot.

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The mayor said businesses were able to open on International Avenue BRZ during the pandemic and said some are “really doing well”.

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“At the same time, these are small businesses that often belong to new Canadians. And why not save some money and spare them trouble as they move forward? “

Bricks and mortar online

The City of Calgary is working with Toronto to help existing small businesses and artists sell their wares online through the ShopHere program.

Calgary is offering 400 companies grants to register between February 1st and March 31st. Approved companies can get help registering a domain, setting up an online store and marketing online through existing online platforms such as Shopify, Ebay, the Canadian Internet Registration Authority. Facebook, Google and Mastercard.

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“Being digital can increase a company’s resilience in a crisis where it has to close its doors,” Sonya Sharp, director of business and local economics, said in a statement.

“To be competitive, they had to venture into online and e-commerce. It is important for companies to have this option in order to stay in business and stay competitive.”

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This is the second phase of ShopHere in Calgary. In the first phase, 45 companies are opening websites, and more are in the works.

Andy Fennell, owner of the Gravity Espresso and Wine Bar, participated in the first phase.

“It was very helpful with the pandemic with some extra income before Christmas. I am very grateful that we made it, ”said Fennell in a statement.

In an interview with Global News, Fennell said the program helped him do something he couldn’t before – set up a virtual storefront.

“Although I’ve thought about it in the past, I’ve never really had the money to do something like this,” Fennell told Global News.

“It prepares us well when we come out of the pandemic. Plus, it’s a significant part of the revenue we’re bringing in right now.

“With the lock we are currently down to around 20 percent of our pre-COVID levels.”

According to Fennell, around 30 percent of sales come from the restaurant’s website.

According to the ShopHere website, the process takes anywhere from two to six weeks.

Grants are awarded based on availability by logging into their website.

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–With files from Jaqueline Wilson, Global News

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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