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Small business owners continue waiting for pandemic relief promised by B.C. government

Last Updated Oct 7, 2020 at 9:08 am PDT

(BrianAJackson/iStock) (BrianAJackson/iStock)

Small business owners calling for a break on licensing fees and Hydro

One restaurant owner says funding promised before this month's snap election was called hasn't shown up yet

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — Small business owners who are waiting on pandemic grants to materialize are wondering how much longer they can afford to hold on.

Funding relief promised by the province — before this month’s snap election was called — could still be several weeks away. And that may be too late for restaurant owners like Ian Baillie.

“There’s a perception, maybe, amongst the general public that small business owners are rich and they’ll be fine and no worries, but really at the end of the day, you hire people, you employ people, you work hard and then, at the end of the year, you hope you have something to kind of live on.”

He says his restaurant in Sicamous, G&G Kitchen and Tap had a fairly good summer, but he’s worried about what happens as business slows down heading into the fall.

“There’s been a little bit of provincial support. The wholesale pricing of liquor -or discount- has helped, but in terms of when you take a look at the major programs –the wage subsidy, the commercial rent, the $40,000 loan– this has all be been federally driven.”

As BC NDP leader John Horgan unveiled the party’s new platform, without mentioning small business plans, Baillie tells NEWS 1130 he is calling for a break on licensing fees and Hydro for “some relief.”

“Those bills will be there. You still need employees, even if your business is down 50 per cent to stay open. Will you be there after all this is said and done. The cries from business isn’t so much about help enrich us because that’s totally off the table in 2020. It’s literally a survival mechanism.”

When it’s fully-staffed, Baillie says his restaurant has at least 25 employees, but during the lockdown earlier this year, they had only one employee helping prepare and deliver take-out orders.