BC businesses can get up to $10,000 from new COVID-19 Closure Relief Grant

Dec 23 2021, 6:23 pm

The BC government announced Thursday that businesses ordered closed by the latest COVID-19 restrictions will be eligible for relief funding.

The new COVID-19 Closure Relief Grant program will give select businesses between $1,000 and $10,000 that they don’t need to pay back.

The application portal will be ready in January.

Minister of Jobs, Economic Recovery, and Innovation Ravi Khalon said the total cost of the program is estimated to be $10 million.

“I know for those operating gyms, bars, nightclubs, and banquet halls, this is going to be a very challenging time of the year,” he said during a news conference Thursday.

Businesses that receive the grant can use the money to pay expenses while they’re closed — including employee wages, rent, maintenance fees, utilities, and insurance.

The funding follows a similar formula to the Circuit Breaker Relief Grant that was brought in during the spring 2021 closures. Businesses that are already in the provincial government’s system because they previously sought relief money will have their applications streamlined, Khalon said.

Here’s how much money a business could be eligible for:

  • Businesses with no employees or contracted staff: $1,000
  • One to four employees: $2,000
  • Five to 99 employees: $5,000
  • 100 or more employees: $10,000

Khalon confirmed BC is not offering employees any new support and encouraged them to rely on federal government relief funding announced this week.

On Tuesday, BC announced stricter new COVID-19 restrictions ahead of the holidays. All gyms, fitness centres, and dance studios were ordered closed, as were bars, nightclubs, and banquet halls.

For seated events, capacity was reduced by 50% regardless of the size of the venue. Indoor organized gatherings including weddings, receptions, and celebratory events are also prohibited until January 18.

Megan DevlinMegan Devlin

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