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B.C. announces $50M in COVID relief funding for businesses

Last Updated Apr 8, 2021 at 6:19 pm PDT

Summary

Jobs Minister Ravi Kahlon says 14,000 businesses can apply for a one-time grant

Businesses can receive between $1,000 and $10,000

Greater Vancouver Board of Trade welcomes funding, says it acknowledges impact of closures

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – After re-implementing tough COVID-19 restrictions, the province is giving businesses access to some money to help ease the blow.

The jobs minister has announced $50 million in relief funding for businesses that have been affected by the rules. Ravi Kahlon says 14,000 businesses can apply for a one-time grant.

He says businesses need to prove they were impacted by the March 30 provincial health order and are eligible to receive between $1,000 and $10,000 in funding. The majority of eligible businesses will receive a grant of about $5,000.

The “Circuit Breaker Business Relief Grant,” so named after the province’s latest measures, is meant to help businesses with expenses like rent, insurance, wages, and utilities. The province also says the grant can be used to help cover “unexpected costs” due to the recently announced measures, such as the purchase of perishable goods.

Businesses of any size that have been in operation since Feb. 1 can apply. Applications are expected to open next week.

Board of trade pleased, wants to be part of talks ahead of any future restrictions

The Greater Vancouver Board of Trade is welcoming the funding.

In a statement, the board says “it acknowledges the impact of the closures and lost income for entrepreneurs.”

The organization says the business community would want to be part of discussions, should the province consider bringing in additional restrictions in the future.

“We encourage them to work closely with the business community and ensure clear criteria are established so businesses have the opportunity to plan ahead and understand how they will be impacted. While vaccines continue to roll out across the province, the rise of variants and hospitalizations suggest the end of the pandemic is not as near as we’d hoped. It is more important than ever that the government and business community work together to address the economic impacts of COVID-19 and rebuild a competitive and resilient province.”