The Government of B.C. has announced that it is extending the COVID-19 Closure Relief Grant and doubling supports for eligible businesses that have been ordered closed.
The news of the grant extension comes a day after Dr. Bonnie Henry announced that restrictions on bars, night clubs and events would continue to remain in place until February 16 — a time when the government will reassess the COVID-19 landscape in B.C.
The Province says that businesses that were directed to remain temporarily closed with the most recent orders are now eligible for up to $20,000 in total funding, based on staffing levels at the time of closure.
Eligible businesses for the COVID-19 Closure Relief Grant include bars, nightclubs and lounges that do not serve full meals and event venues that had to close due to cancellations.
“It’s fair to say that the Omicron variant has created new challenges for all of us, but our government’s commitment to support people and businesses through this latest COVID-19 wave is unwavering,” said Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation.
“While we are encouraged to see that many fitness activities will now be able to take place in a safe, controlled environment, we know there are still sectors directly impacted by these public health measures. Our government will continue to support these businesses, as we have in the past. Together, we can move closer to putting this pandemic behind us.”
The government notes that any business that has already applied for grants does not need to reapply.
Applications for the COVID-19 Closure Relief Grant can be found online here.
The $4-million extension of the original $10-million grant program complements existing federal government programs, including the Local Lockdown Program and the Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit.
The Local Lockdown Program provides wage and commercial rent support for businesses and other organizations, regardless of their sector, that have been affected by regional provincial health officer orders. The Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit provides $300 a week in income support to eligible workers who are directly affected by a COVID-19 related public health order and have lost 50 per cent or more of their income.