MARYSTOWN, N.L. —
The first thing Nora Gaulton is going to do with the money she won from a national competition is buy a new chair.
The hairstylist and owner of Fewer’s Hair Salon of Marystown, has been using the same chair for her customers for over 30 years.
“In the past, every time I bought a new chair for the salon I’d give it to an employee. So now I’ll finally get a new chair for myself,” she told SaltWire the day she learned she had won a $10,000 grant from the Canadian Business Resilience Network Small Business Relief Fund.
Gaulton is one of 62 businesses across Canada, and the only one from Newfoundland and Labrador, to receive an award from that fund.
The fund was managed by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and made possible through the generosity of Salesforce (NYSE:CRM). The funding was designed to help small businesses across the country stay afloat and support their recovery efforts, paying salaries, retrofitting their workplaces and acquiring technology to adapt their business model.
“Reviewing the applications was inspiring as it was heartbreaking, with so many deserving businesses to choose from. Alongside our heartfelt congratulations to the recipients, we sincerely wish we could have helped all the applicants. But today is a happy waypoint, not an end point, and we won’t stop finding new ways to help Canada’s businesses reopen and recover. We’re with you every step of the way,” said Perrin Beatty, President and CEO, Canadian Chamber in a press release.
Applicants had to demonstrate how their business will use the grant to change or innovate, how the change or innovation will sustain their business’s recovery and allow it to prosper, and how the grant will support the role their business plays in their community.
Gaulton told SaltWire the $10,000 is very helpful in a very trying time for the business.
“It’s the first time I’ve ever won anything like that and it came at a time when it’s certainly been difficult,” she said.
“It has been incredible to see the resilience and innovation coming from Canada’s small business owners over the last few months. We know it hasn’t been easy, and are thrilled that we could help,” said Margaret Stuart, Canada Country Manager, Salesforce.
During the shut-down due to COVID-19 Gaulton said she still had to pay rent, phone bills and Interact fees.
The money she received from the Canadian Emergency Relief Benefit (CERB) went straight to paying those business expenses, she said.
“Out of that $2,000 a month that I got, I ended up with just $178 for myself after paying those bills.”
“And to reopen we had to invest in a lot of sanitizing products, masks and disinfectants,” she said.
She also had to hire an extra staffer, someone to help with clean-up and disinfecting in the salon, to allow for a more efficient operation and flow of customers through the salon.
The $10,000 grant will help cover some of those extra costs and, of course, buy that new chair.
Six other businesses from Atlantic Canada were also chosen for $10,000 awards.
They included: Biscuit General Store, Cabot Shores Wilderness Resort and Sonic Concerts of Nova Scotia, and Hotel Paulin, MoCo Downtown and Rouge Coffee Company of New Brunswick.