B.C. sweetens pot of money available to businesses affected by pandemic restrictions

·1 min read
The steam clock in Vancouver's Gastown is usually a busy tourist destination, but pandemic restrictions have halted most recreational travel. (Ben Nelms/CBC - image credit)
The steam clock in Vancouver's Gastown is usually a busy tourist destination, but pandemic restrictions have halted most recreational travel. (Ben Nelms/CBC - image credit)

The province has expanded eligibility and injected another $75 million into the grant program aimed at helping businesses whose bottom line has been affected by pandemic restrictions.

The Circuit Breaker Business Relief Grant now has $125 million in total to dispense, with $25 million of that newly earmarked for hotels, motels and other B.C.-owned short-term accommodation businesses.

The new funds are being made available after the province introduced emergency orders aimed at curbing recreational and non-essential travel within B.C. last week. The orders are in place until May 25.

Grant eligibility has also been updated to include high-intensity fitness facilities affected by public health orders first introduced in November 2020.

The government says the program is open to approximately 20,000 B.C. businesses, including restaurants, bars, breweries, wineries, gyms and fitness facilities.

Eligible businesses can receive a maximum of $20,000 to offset expenses like employee wages, rent, maintenance and utilities. The grant each individual business receives is based on the number of employees.

Applications are being accepted until June 4, or until funds run out.