Financial assistance application denied for Guelph business hit with 'catastrophic losses'
GUELPH -- A Guelph business owner is struggling to stay afloat after an application for financial assistance from the government was denied.
“We had catastrophic losses for most of the shutdown months, between 20 to 100% per cent, depending on the month,” said Bryan Munn, the owner of Sweet Candy and Ice Cream.
The store owner says business has been cut in half. Munn applied for a small business support grant from the province in January.
“You had to have 20 per cent losses for the year and that was easy for us because we had months where we had 100 per cent loss just from being shut down,” he said.
But weeks went by with no update on the application progress.
“I heard other people had a very easy go of it,” Munn said. “They made their application, they got a cheque and a response within a week sort of thing.”
Munn said after waiting two months for a response, he would call the helpline and somebody would say they are working on it.
On Friday, the business owner found out his application was denied.
“I checked this past Friday and it said not eligible, so devastating, my wife was in tears as this would be really useful for us and what can we do now,” he said.
Munn took to social media to beg the province for help.
“I have no idea why I was switched from being in process to not eligible,” he said. “I only have guesses, did I make a mistake or a typo?”
The social media post caught the attention of Guelph's mayor.
“I told them I would reach out to the associate minister of small business and red tape elimination, who is Prabmeet Singh Sarkaria,” Mayor Cam Guthrie said. “He immediately called me right back and while I was on the phone with him he said why don’t you conference call the owners of the business and the three of us can talk right now."
The Ministry of Economic Development declined an on-camera interview with CTV Kitchener and said they can’t comment on specific businesses, but if a business believes they have made a mistake, to email them.
Munn says the ministry has promised a review of his application.
“The grant would help me pay my bills,” he said. ”I just did my taxes and we have been here seven years and this is the first time I’ve had a loss.”
The business owner has a glimmer of hope as he waits to find out if the application will be approved with the deadline quickly approaching.