The website is now active for small businesses needing help in applying for federal and provincial COVID-19 assistance.

The COVID-19 Professional Services Grant Program is being funded through Cochrane Economic Development to provide successful applicants with up to $500 to help cover the cost of professional assistance in making application.

That may sound odd, but the reality is navigating these grant programs can be difficult without the proper expertise.

"All the programs are tied to finances, so if your finances have dropped by 30 or 40 or 20 per cent, that's where the accountant comes in, and the forms and stuff that's involved in this are remarkably tough," says Kelly Carson, executive director of the Cochrane and District Chamber of Commerce.

The chamber is managing the program on behalf of the town. Businesses don't have to be a member of the chamber, but they do have to be a Cochrane-based business and hold a valid Cochrane business licence.

In contrast to the COVID relief programs, applying for a Cochrane professional services grant is quite simple. 

"It's a short form to say what they're going to do with it," explains Carson. "They submit it and are then well on their way. We'll contact them and outline the discussion points that they need to go over with their professional person."

Carson says the feedback has been tremendous.

For more information or to make an application go here.