The B.C. government is providing up to $10,000 in support to businesses that were ordered to close earlier this week, such as gyms, bars and some events venues.
On Tuesday, the provincial government announced tighter restrictions, in an attempt to curb the spread of the Omicron variant of COVID-19.
According to B.C. officials, the COVID-19 Closure Relief Grant will supplement federal support programs to help businesses lift some financial pressures.
“We’re all exhausted by COVID-19, but unfortunately COVID-19 is not done with us,” said Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation. “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.”
Funding can be used to pay for expenses such as rent, employee wages, insurance, maintenance and utilities.
More: B.C. government implements further restrictions (Dec. 21, 2021)
The relief grant will give businesses between $1,000 and $10,000 and follow a similar formula as the Circuit Breaker Relief Grant, which was used last spring.
The amount of money each business will be eligible for will depend on how many employees a business has, with $1,000 available for those with no employees, up to $10,000 for businesses with 100 workers or more.
To be eligible, businesses must prove that they are fully closed from the provincial health orders, and must be registered as a business before November 1st, along with other qualifications.
Applications for the grant will begin in January 2022, with more information on the process to come in the next few weeks.