REGINA -- The province of Saskatchewan is introducing an Emergency Support Program for small businesses.

The Saskatchewan Small Business Emergency Payment (SSBEP) is a $50 million program designed to provide support for small and medium sized businesses that have been impacted by COVID-19.

The next provincial update will take place at 2:15 p.m., and will be streamed live at and

“We have heard from our business community and understand the unprecedented challenges that they are facing,” Premier Scott Moe said. “Our government is providing critical support for businesses that have had to fully or partially close their doors to protect public health and reduce the spread of COVID-19. This is a significant first step in our economic recovery efforts and we are committed to continuing to work with businesses through this uncertain time.”

The program offers a one time grant to businesses ordered to close by public health. The grant is based on 15 per cent of the businesses monthly revenue up to $5,000.

The province says that businesses communicated that current acute cash flow issues are causing pressure, such as rent and lease payment. The SSBEP is meant to address this.

To qualify, businesses must have been operational by Feb 29, have ceased or slowed operations due to COVID-19 and have fewer than 500 employees.

The Government of Saskatchewan will request that the federal government exempt this grant from business income taxes.