Kanata North Business Association launches $200,000 COVID-19 fund


Tech hub Kanata North Business Association (KNBA) has established a $200,000 COVID-19 response fund, to offer new relief measures for businesses during the pandemic.

“KNBA cares for its members, and wants to play a role, however small, in easing the strain and burden.”
-Vicki Coughey, KNBA

Through this fund, the organization will provide businesses with commercial rent support as well as a Digital Transformation Grant. Jamie Petten, KNBA president and executive director, told BetaKit this fund represents a “significant portion” of the organization’s annual operating budget. The organization has redirected the majority of its 2020 plans and resources to provide individual businesses with support, resources, and direct investment amid the pandemic.

“KNBA cares for its members, and wants to play a role, however small, in easing the strain and burden,” said KNBA chair Vicki Coughey.

The new Digital Transformation Grant is a non-repayable grant establishedto equip small business owners with immediate cash flow to pivot their business in order to remain operational through COVID-19.

Although the Digital Transformation Grant will assist only a handful of members who are in immediate need, the KNBA is urging other members of the community to join this effort and contribute to the fund. Applications for businesses opened April 16 and will remain open for four weeks. Applications close May 18.

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The KNBA support subcommittee will receive and assess applications on a rolling basis, and the commitment to grant funding to qualifying applicants will be on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Through the fund, the KNBA will also provide qualifying commercial tenants of the Kanata North technology park non-repayable grants totalling $2,500. Commercial rent has emerged as one of the key operating expenses as startups have switched to a work from home format. The federal government last week announced it will provide commercial rent relief.

KNBA has also created a job board and monthly Talent Newsletter to connect job seekers with opportunities. It has also created a #ShopLocal program designed primarily to encourage the Kanata North tech park community to support small businesses in the area.

“As the voice of Canada’s largest technology park, [KNBA is] well-positioned to support small business owners as they make an effective digital transition in order to remain resilient through these challenging times,” said Petten.

Image source Unsplash.

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle is a Vancouver-based writer with 5+ years of experience in communications and journalism and a lifelong passion for telling stories. For over two years, she has reported on all sides of the Canadian startup ecosystem, from landmark venture deals to public policy, telling the stories of the founders putting Canadian tech on the map.

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