B.C. offers COVID-affected businesses one-time grants of up to $10,000

B.C. offers COVID-affected businesses one-time grants of up to $10,000

The B.C. government has implemented a grant for businesses that have been closed by the most recent COVID-19 restrictions.

Ravi Kahlon, minister of jobs, economic recovery and innovation, announced the COVID-19 Closure Relief Grant which will provide between $1,000 and $10,000 for businesses required to close.

“We’re all exhausted by COVID-19, but unfortunately COVID-19 is not done with us,” Kahlon said.

“As we have done since the beginning of the pandemic, we are coming together to ensure those hardest hit businesses will receive much-needed support. The COVID-19 Closure Relief Grant will directly help businesses through these difficult times. I encourage everyone in B.C. to support impacted local businesses, including businesses that have been forced to close by buying gift cards and memberships for future use.”

READ MORE: B.C. limits six people per table at restaurants, closes gyms as more COVID-19 restrictions roll out

Applications for the grant will open in January 2022.

Businesses that are eligible for the grant include gyms, fitness, dance centres, bars, lounges, nightclubs, and event venues that can no longer hold events.

The amount a business is eligible to receive is determined by the number of employees.

Table showing the breakdown of money given to businesses in the grant. No employees the business is eligible for $1,000, 1-4 employees is $2,000, 5-99 is $5,000, 100+ is $10,000

In previous waves of the pandemic, the province made grants available up to $20,000 and Kahlon said the amount this time is less due to the shorter expected closure.

“The previous circuit breaker grant was two months and that’s why it was up to 20,” Kahlon said. “This is a month closure, so this Closure Relief Grant that we’re launching today can provide businesses up to $10,000.”

The federal government has implemented relief grants for businesses that have to reduce capacity or for workers impacted by the closures or capacity reduction. Kahlon said this grant is in addition to those.

READ MORE: Federal government expands aid to workers, businesses hit by Omicron restrictions

Mike Farnworth, minister of public safety and solicitor general said the restrictions are in place to avoid putting an extra burden on the health care system.

“These closures are not something that anyone wants before the holidays. But the reality is we are faced with having to make these restrictions to protect each other and our hospitals.”

This is a developing story, it will be updated as more details become available.

Laura BroughamLaura Brougham

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