Today, the provincial government announced that it will provide more than $50 million to help the 14,000 restaurants, bars, breweries, wineries, gyms and fitness centres affected by the March 30, 2021, provincial health orders. The new Circuit Breaker Business Relief Grant will provide affected businesses with up to $10,000 in one-time funding to help with expenses like rent, insurance, employee wages, maintenance and utilities. The grant can also help cover unexpected costs that resulted from the restrictions, such as the purchase of perishable goods.
In response, the BC Chamber of Commerce President and CEO, Fiona Famulak, released the following statement:
“We applaud the B.C. government’s quick action to provide additional financial support to the many businesses impacted by the COVID-19 circuit breaker measures that came into effect on March 30, 2021. Those measures have had a devastating impact on businesses across the province. Today’s announcement of the Circuit Breaker Business Relief Grant signals that government heard our Network’s feedback, understands the impact felt by businesses in the last 10 days, and the need to respond quickly.
We are particularly encouraged to learn that the criteria and roll-out process associated with the grant will help to ensure:
- both established and start-up businesses have the financial support they need;
- funds are accessed easily and quickly; and
- business owners can apply the funds as they see fit.
Today’s announcement is a win for business and demonstrates what can be achieved when private and public sectors adopt a collaborative approach to problem-solving.
That said, we know that businesses need more help and that our advocacy efforts are not done. We will therefore continue to listen to businesses’ feedback through our most recent BCMindReader.com COVID-19 Pulse Check Survey and share the insights with government so that they are informed and can take steps to respond effectively and in a timely manner.”
As noted above, to ensure affected businesses can access funds easily and quickly, the Circuit Breaker Business Relief Grant has a streamlined application process. Applications for the Circuit Breaker Business Relief Grant are expected to open the week of April 12, 2021.