Photo provided by Restaurants Canada, (Facebook)
The B.C. government is adding more than $75 million to the Circuit Breaker Business Relief Grant.
This brings the amount available to over $125 million, for businesses hit hardest by the March 31st provincial health orders.
The orders banning indoor dining and indoor adult group fitness will remain in place until May 25th.
The grant remains open to roughly 14,000 restaurants, bars, breweries, wineries, gyms, and fitness facilities.
It’s now also open to the more than 5,300 hotels, motels, and other short-term accommodations impacted by the April 23 emergency order to restrict travel between B.C.’s regional zones.
With this funding in place, the province says almost 20,000 businesses can apply for relief through the grant.
“For many B.C. businesses, the next few weeks will be some of the toughest since the pandemic began,” said Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation. “These additional funds will help businesses cover costs like rent and employee wages to help them through this difficult stretch. We hope for better days ahead for B.C. businesses and to be able to have the kind of summer we all want.”
The province says that with the increased funding, the grant will provide a total investment of $100 million “to continue to support the restaurants, bars, breweries, wineries, gyms and fitness facilities impacted by the extended provincial health officer’s orders.”
“Businesses have been through a lot over the past year, and we want them to know that while they are doing their part to help keep everyone safe, we’ll continue to be there for them with financial support to carry them through,” said finance minister Selina Robinson.
“With another $75 million in relief grants available and expanded eligibility criteria to include accommodation providers, this latest round of funding will support businesses through this difficult period.”
The grant has been clarified to include high-intensity fitness facilities that were partially or fully closed as a result of the provincial health officer’s orders issued in November 2020 and updated on March 31st of this year.
Almost $25 million is available to the hotels, motels and other B.C.-owned short-term accommodation providers affected by the recent travel restrictions.
“People in the tourism and hospitality sectors are facing significant challenges as their businesses and livelihood continue to be under extreme pressure from COVID-19,” said Melanie Mark, Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport.
“We are providing these supports to ensure these businesses can not only continue to create jobs and drive local economies but also to protect this province’s legacy as a world-renowned destination when it’s safe to welcome visitors back to B.C.”
With the increased funding, eligible businesses will receive up to $20,000 to help with expenses like employee wages, rent, maintenance, and utilities. The individual amount a business received will be based on the number of employees.
Businesses that previously applied for, or received the grant that opened on April 12th, do not need to apply again. They will automatically receive the additional funding.
Applications will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis, and applicants are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.
Applications will be accepted until June 4th, or when the funds are disbursed.
You can find out more about the grant, including the application process and eligibility, by clicking here.