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Increased funding, expanded eligibility to help almost 20,000 businesses

Increased funding, expanded eligibility to help almost 20,000 businesses

April 26, 2021 at 1:23 pm  BC, News, Politics

The B.C. government is adding more than $75 million to the Circuit Breaker Business Relief Grant, bringing the amount available for hard-hit B.C. businesses to more than $125 million.

The grant remains open to the 14,000 restaurants, bars, breweries, wineries, gyms and fitness facilities impacted by the March 31, 2021, provincial health officer’s orders. The orders remain in place until May 25.

The grant is now also open to the more than 5,300 hotels, motels and other short-term accommodations impacted by the April 23 emergency order to restrict travel between B.C.’s regional zones.

With this funding in place, almost 20,000 businesses can apply for relief through the Circuit Breaker Business Relief Grant.

“For many B.C. businesses, the next few weeks will be some of the toughest since the pandemic began,” said Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation. “These additional funds will help businesses cover costs like rent and employee wages to help them through this difficult stretch. We hope for better days ahead for B.C. businesses and to be able to have the kind of summer we all want.” 

With the increased funding, the Circuit Breaker Business Relief Grant will provide a total investment of $100 million to continue to support the restaurants, bars, breweries, wineries, gyms and fitness facilities impacted by the extended provincial health officer’s orders.

“Businesses have been through a lot over the past year, and we want them to know that while they are doing their part to help keep everyone safe, we’ll continue to be there for them with financial support to carry them through,” said Selina Robinson, Minister of Finance. “With another $75 million in relief grants available and an expanded eligibility criteria to include accommodation providers, this latest round of funding will support businesses through this difficult period.” 

The grant has been clarified to include high-intensity fitness facilities that were partially or fully closed as a result of the provincial health officer’s orders issued in November 2020 and updated on March 31, 2021.

Almost $25 million is available to the hotels, motels and other B.C. owned short-term accommodation providers affected by the recent travel restrictions.

“People in the tourism and hospitality sectors are facing significant challenges as their businesses and livelihood continue to be under extreme pressure from COVID-19,” said Melanie Mark, Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport. “We are providing these supports to ensure these businesses can not only continue to create jobs and drive local economies, but also to protect this province’s legacy as a world-renowned destination when it’s safe to welcome visitors back to B.C.”

With the increased funding, eligible businesses will receive up to $20,000 to help with expenses like employee wages, rent, maintenance and utilities. The individual amount a business received will be based on the number of employees.

Businesses that previously applied for, or received the grant that opened on April 12, 2021, do not need to apply again. They will automatically receive the additional funding.

Applications will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis, and applicants are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. Applications will be accepted until June 4, 2021, or when the funds are disbursed.

The Circuit Breaker Business Relief Grant is one of the ways the B.C. government is continuing to support businesses that have been impacted by the pandemic, while building towards a more innovative, sustainable and inclusive economic future.

Learn More:

For more information on the Circuit Breaker Business Relief Grant, including the application process and eligibility, visit: www.gov.bc.ca/business-relief

For more information on the Small and Medium Sized Business Recovery Grant program, including the application process and eligibility, visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/economic-recovery/business-recovery-grant

For more information on StrongerBC, visit: https://strongerbc.gov.bc.ca/

A backgrounder follows.

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