As BC businesses continue to feel the financial strain of COVID-19 nearly two years into the pandemic and more restrictions are imposed to curb the spread of the latest wave of the virus, some new relief measures have been introduced.
In a recent newsletter, Tourism Revelstoke listed the current programs available to local business owners.
The province has introduced the COVID-19 Closure Relief Grant to help businesses that have been mandated to temporarily shut down through public health orders. The grant will supplement federal support programs and is meant to provide further funding to lessen the pressures brought on by continuing closures.
Eligible businesses could receive grants of between $1,000 and $10,000, with the amount depending on number of employees. The grant program follows a similar formula to the previous Circuit Breaker Relief Grant from the spring of 2021.
Applications for the grant will open on the provincial government’s website later this month and will remain open until the end of February.
The federal government is continuing to offer rent and property expense support for businesses through several programs: the Tourism and Hospitality Recovery Program, Hardest-Hit Business Recovery Program, and Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy.
Businesses, charities or non-profits that have been affected by the pandemic may be eligible for a wage subsidy, rent subsidy, or both through the Tourism and Hospitality Recovery Program if they are part of the tourism, hospitality, arts, entertainment, or recreation sectors, or affected by a qualifying public health restriction.
Businesses that don’t qualify for the Tourism and Hospitality Recovery Program may be eligible for the Hardest-Hit Business Recovery Program as long as they have had a 12-month average revenue drop from March 2020 to February 2021 of at least 50 per cent and a claim period revenue drop of at least 50 per cent.
The Canada Recovery Hiring Program is a subsidy meant to cover part of a business’s wages as they hire new employees and increase existing employees’ wages or hours.