City reserves would provide $60 million dollars to help small business survive the downturn.

City council has passed a motion to study the idea further. The funds would come from the city’s reserve fund, which currently has $440 million in it.

The amount that would go to each qualifying business would not be huge, perhaps in the range of $2500 in each of the next two years.

“I'm not saying we have a bottomless pit of money,” said Councillor Evan Woolley, who worked with the Chamber of Commerce to bring forward the tax break idea. “This proposal would by no means be firing all of our bullets. This would be a very small percentage of the overall fund which again that fund last year grew by $75 million, this is a significant amount of money this fund is in a very, very healthy position.”

The study is no guarantee that the plan will go forward. Other councillors debated whether the plan should be offered to all Calgarians instead of just businesses, while others are concerned about the accountability businesses would have to show to get the funds.

The motion will be debated again next Tuesday, February 1, 2016.