The provincial government has announced a $50 million relief program to help businesses affected by BC’s three-week “circuit breaker” emergency restrictions.
The program is called the Circuit Breaker Business Relief Grant. The province says that the initiative will help 14,000 businesses that were hurt by the most recent health orders. This includes restaurants, bars, breweries, wineries, gyms, and fitness centres.
Eligible businesses will receive a one-time fund of up to $10,000 to help cover expenses such as rent, insurance, employee wages, maintenance, and utilities. The money can also be used to cover unexpected costs like perishable goods.
“We understand how greatly this group of businesses have been, and continue to be, impacted by the pandemic,” Premier John Horgan says in an emailed statement.
“This grant will provide the funds these businesses need to help them through this extraordinary time. As a community, we have come so far together in this fight against COVID-19. Let’s stay the course, and we will get through this together.”
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The money being used for this program is being pulled from BC’s $345 million Small and Medium Sized Business Recovery Grant Program. The individual amount a business receives will be based on the number of employees.
The province announced its “circuit breaker” restrictions at the end of March. The three-week restrictions are in place until April 19, 2021. Restrictions include a suspension on indoor dining, pausing indoor, adult group fitness activities, and suspending indoor religious services. Whistler Blackcomb Ski Resort was also instructed to shut down.
The program is open to eligible businesses of any size that have been in operation since February 1, 2021. More information on the grant program, including applications and eligibility, can be found online.