I am writing to you today to share some important changes to the B.C. Recovery Grant Program which was originally launched in October. As you may be aware this program provides non-repayable grants to small and medium sized businesses in B.C. who have lost revenue due to the current COVID pandemic. There is a total of $345 million in funding available and the funds are distributed on a first come first serve basis. As of this week approximately 30% of the funding has already be distributed.
I want to ensure that businesses in our community are taking advantage of this program and would like to request your assistance in sharing this information with businesses in our community.
Since launching BC’s Small- and Medium- Sized Recovery Grant program in October, we have heard from the small business community that the program could be enhanced to help more businesses. Our government listened to that feedback, and I am happy to tell you that we have made a number of changes to the program that will help more businesses get help more quickly.
Overall, the changes have simplified the application process and streamline criteria. Businesses that have already submitted applications do not have to reapply, and their applications will be reviewed under the revised criteria. Key changes include:
- Lowering the requirement for the amount of time a business had to have been in operation from three years to 18 months.
- Removing the requirement to list a number of remittance accounts such as GST, PST, and WorkSafeBC registration numbers.
- Extended the grants to sole proprietors with fixed costs.
- Expanding the revenue requirements to include businesses that continue to earn 30 percent or less in revenue.
- Streamlining the required recovery plan to a two-page form.
- Increasing the total amount of funding to $345M from $300M, which includes a $100M envelope for the tourism sector and a top up of up to $15,000 for tourism businesses.
The program is already providing targeted financial support for some of the hardest hit businesses in BC. The program runs until March 31st, 2021, or until the funds are fully allocated, whichever comes first. More information, including the online application, can be found online at www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/economic-recovery/business-recovery-grant. I am also attaching a fact sheet for your reference.
B.C. entered the pandemic as an economic leader in Canada, and we are committed to supporting small businesses to reopen, adapt, hire, and grow. I thank you for your hard work and dedication in these difficult times and I hope this program will be of benefit to businesses in our community who have suffered due to COVID-19.
Doug Routley MLA Nanaimo-North Cowichan
Nanaimo | Unit 112- 50 Tenth Street (Southgate Plaza) |P. 250.716.5221 | F. 250.716.5222
Ladysmith | #1-16 High Street | P. 250.245.9375 | F. 250.245.8164