Next Step Small Business Support Program
The Next Step Small Business Support Program will provide select local businesses with access to complimentary one-time professional services of up to $1,500 for new projects or initiatives that will aid in business recovery, operation adjustments and/or establishment of new revenue streams. Through funding provided to the Small Business COVID Recovery Network from the Ontario Government under the Ontario Together Fund initiative, the Next Step Small Business Support Program was developed to assist small businesses in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.
WHO CAN APPLY?
Eligible applicants must be:
- 18 years of age or over
- Not a student and not returning to school
- Full-time for profit business registered as a sole proprietor, partnership or corporation
- Business operating in Greater Sudbury, Espanola and/or Manitoulin Island area
- Business registered prior to March 1, 2020
- Business with 0-99 employees
- Business must have been negatively impacted by COVID-19
The Next Step Small Business Support Program will provide local businesses with access to complimentary one-time professional services of up to $1,500 for new projects or initiatives that will aid in business recovery, operation adjustments and/or establishment of new revenue streams.
Professional services will be accessed through a direct payment to pre-selected third party consultants and may include:
- Digital Marketing Experts to update and modernize a website and/or adopt e-commerce platforms for selling products/services
- Marketing Consultants to identify pivot points in marketing strategies
- Accountants to assist in applying for government assistance programs for small business
- Architects/Engineers to redesign a space to safely and productively operate with health measures in place as well as post pandemic
Program support may not be used to cover ongoing activities such as monthly accounting fees. Approved applicants must work with the service provider to develop a project plan which must be approved by the Regional Business Centre to ensure cost eligibility. Services must be rendered between May 17, 2021 and August 31, 2021. Fees for services must be paid by September 12, 2021.
Applications will be reviewed by the Program Evaluation Committee, and limited funding is available for the program. Not all projects meeting the criteria will necessarily be selected to receive funded professional services.
APPLICATIONS & TIMELINE
- Applications are open from April 8 to May 2, 2021.
- Review of applications from May 3 to May 7, 2021.
- Notification of successful application from May 10 to May 14, 2021.
- Professional services rendered to successful applicants from May 15th to August 31, 2021