COVID-19 has had a huge impact on all aspects of our lives, and I know it has been especially hard on our local businesses. We’re working to make life easier for families and providing targeted financial support for some of the hardest hit businesses through programs like the BC Recovery Benefit and the Small and Medium Sized Business Recovery Grant.
The revamped Small and Medium Sized Business Recovery Grant program provides grants — yes, you read that correctly, grants, not loans — of $10,000 to $30,000 for businesses that have been negatively impacted by COVID-19. An additional $5,000 to $15,000 grant is available to eligible tourism-related businesses.
This program launched in October but was recently streamlined after receiving feedback from stakeholders. Key changes include:
• Sole proprietors with fixed costs are now eligible.
• The length of time a business needs to have been in operation prior to the pandemic was reduced from three years to 18 months.
• If you are a bookkeeper or accountant, the province will pay you to support businesses through the application process.
• The total amount of funding was increased to $345 million from $300 million, which includes a $100 million envelope for the tourism sector and a top-up of up to $15,000 for tourism businesses.
Businesses that have already submitted applications do not have to reapply, and their applications will be automatically reviewed under the revised criteria.
This program runs until March 31, or until all the funds are fully allocated, whichever comes first. If you think you may qualify, don’t delay in applying. Find more information and apply online at www.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/economic-recovery/business-recovery-grant.
Additionally, we recently announced a new grant to provide up to $7,500 for businesses to build or strengthen their online store. Find more information and apply online at www.launchonline.ca
B.C. entered the pandemic as an economic leader in Canada, and we are committed to supporting small businesses as they reopen, adapt, hire, and grow. I want to thank all business owners and employees for their hard work and perseverance through these difficult times.
In December, our government rolled out the BC Recovery Benefit, a one-time payment that is expected to help over 90per cent of British Columbians. Through the benefit, families with incomes under $125,000 can receive $1,000 and families earning up to $175,000 will qualify on a sliding scale. Individuals earning less than $62,500 can receive $500, and those earning up to $87,500 will qualify on a sliding scale.
As of the beginning of February, over 1.8 million people had been approved for the benefit, but I know there have been bumps in the application process for some. Please contact my office if you have applied and are still waiting to receive the benefit by calling 250-354-5944 or emailing Brittny.Anderson.MLA@leg.bc.ca.
Our government is committed to supporting individuals and businesses through the pandemic. Programs like the BC Recovery Benefit and the Business Grant program are just two examples of the many ways our government is putting people first.
Brittny Anderson is the MLA for Nelson-Creston