Province announces COVID-19 Special Situations Fund
Today, the Province of Prince Edward Island announced additional investments to ensure no Islander is left behind as a result of COVID-19.
“Islanders have come together, finding new ways of helping each other, staying connected and building community spirit during this difficult and uncertain time. We will get through this pandemic the Island way – by taking the necessary precautions, by working together and by looking out for one another.”
- Premier Dennis King
Minister of Transportation, Infrastructure and Energy, Steven Myers announced a $1,000,000 fund for Islanders who may not qualify for existing support programs.
“Working with the federal government, we have implemented programs to support workers and businesses, tenants and landlords, and through our community partners, there are social supports for Islanders. These supports have been substantial and comprehensive,” said Minister Myers. “However, we realize that every Islander has unique needs that may not be covered in the programs rolled out so far and we want to ensure that everyone is supported.”
The COVID-19 Special Situations Fund will provide up to $1,000 to Islanders who have experienced urgent income loss as a result of COVID-19 and are not eligible for other federal and provincial funding support. Islanders are to review the various programs available and if they do not quality they may be eligible for support.
Islanders can call 1-833-533-9333 to apply for support under the fund, which will be available until June 16, 2020.
Social Development and Housing Minister Ernie Hudson provided updates on provincial initiatives to support community needs and also provided more details on the recently announced Temporary Rental Assistance Benefit to help Islanders whose income has been impacted by the pandemic.
The Temporary Rental Assistance Benefit will provide $1,000 per household to help cover the cost of rent for a three month period. Eligible Islanders will receive $500 in the first month they apply and $250 the next two months.
Islanders are eligible for the benefit if they are currently receiving or applying for Employment Insurance or the Canada Emergency Response Benefit due to COVID-19; are a resident of PEI and are not currently receiving rental support from other government or non-government organizations.
Islanders can apply to the Temporary Rental Assistance Benefit by calling 1-877-368-5770 or by visiting the Department of Social Development and Housing website.
To further support community-based resources for Islanders, Minister of Economic Growth, Tourism and Culture announced a new $300,000 partnership with Loblaw Companies Limited to create a Community Champions Initiative.
Community organizations across all 27 provincial electoral districts will receive gift cards which can be used at any Loblaw banner store to support the food-related needs of their populations. The organizations were selected for their experience and the services they are already providing in the community with input by all local MLAs.
“Loblaw colleagues on the Island have always stepped up for our community, and we know that right now our communities need our help,” said Mike Doucette, Vice President, Operations (Atlantic), Loblaw Companies Limited. “We’re proud to partner with the Government of PEI on this new initiative to help get food directly into the hands of vulnerable kids, families, and communities most affected by the pandemic.”
Additionally, Minister MacKay announced the new COVID-19 Business Adaptation Advice Program.
The program will cover the entire cost for businesses and entrepreneurs, up to $2,500, to hire a professional to provide advice and support on how to adapt or recover from the impacts of the pandemic. Professional services may include human resources and financial planning, digital or IT solutions, or even marketing.
“I continue to be amazed by how innovative and resilient our Island business community has been to shift their businesses to reflect the needs and wants of Islanders during this unprecedented time,” said Minister MacKay. “For businesses who are struggling to navigate solutions for their businesses during this time, the provincial government is here to help.”
Minister MacKay also highlighted the province’s partnership with Holland College to provide free online learning opportunities for Islanders. Courses in marketing and social media, human resources, project management and several other fields are available at www.eforcePEI.ca.
Supports for Islanders impacted by financial loss due to COVID-19:
- Emergency Income Relief Fund
- Emergency Working Capital Financing
- Emergency Relief Worker Assistance Program
- Employee Gift Card Program PEI Broadband Fund
- Commercial Lease Rent Deferral Program
- Temporary Rental Assistance Benefit
Supports for the community sector to respond to COVID-19:
- United Way Atlantic Compassion Fund
- Community Champions Fund
Executive Director, Communications and Public Affairs
Office of the Premier