Victoria:  The Province is adding millions in additional funding to keep the Small and Medium Sized Business Recovery Grant operating until the expected start of Step 3 of BC’s Restart plan on July 1, 2021.

The program has been providing relief to thousands of B.C. businesses impacted by the pandemic.

“The Small and Medium Sized Business Recovery Grant program has had tremendous uptake and helped thousands of B.C. businesses position themselves for a strong recovery as we embark on BC’s Restart plan,” said Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation. “We built this grant program for the business community. Its success is directly attributed to the input businesses shared that allowed us to reshape the program along the way. My gratitude goes to everyone who helped make this program a success for businesses throughout the province.”

To date, the business recovery grant program has committed $290 million to support businesses impacted by the pandemic. After applications close on July 2, 2021, the total investment of the Small and Medium Sized Business Recovery Grant program is expected to reach $430 million. This funding will support more than 20,000 B.C. businesses and 260,000 employees over the course of the pandemic and beyond.

As of June 3, 2021, more than 10,000 grants have been awarded to B.C. businesses. Over 41% of these grants have been awarded to tourism-related businesses.

“Over 4,100 tourism operators have accessed the grant and received funds from the $100 million for tourism-specific funding. This additional support was a call to action from the Tourism Task Force to provide relief to people and businesses that were struggling,” said Melanie Mark, Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport. “I encourage any tourism businesses that haven’t accessed the grant to see if they are eligible.”

The Circuit Breaker Business Relief Grant is delivering over $130 million to hospitality and accommodation businesses impacted by the recently lifted health orders. The Circuit Breaker Business Relief Grant will close on June 4, 2021.

Combined, these two grant programs provide approximately $560 million in relief to businesses hit hard during the pandemic.

“It is an honour for Small Business BC to be involved in this program, and we appreciate the graciousness of all the businesses we worked with,” said Tom Conway, CEO, Small Business BC. “We are also grateful for the B.C. government’s willingness to adjust this program to meet the needs of businesses. This is precisely the type of response that will help businesses turn the corner past these challenging times.”

Eligible businesses interested in applying for the grant are encouraged to apply right away. All businesses that apply, including businesses in the application process, must submit all final documentation and details prior to the July 2, 2021, deadline. Outstanding grants and related service-provider claims will continue to be processed as soon as possible after the application period closes.

“Receiving this grant money from the B.C. government was empowering because it gave me the funding I needed to move forward with the recovery plan I built during the application process,” said Leanna Carlson, owner, Carlson Pottery in Prince George. “The grant money I received not only benefits my business, it has a ripple effect on the community and makes people optimistic that the local economy is starting to rebuild.”

Many programs that provide ongoing supports for businesses remain in place as the economy continues to reopen. This includes federal programs, such as the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy and the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy, as well as provincial programs, such as the Increased Employment Incentive and the COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave reimbursement program.

The Small and Medium Sized Business Recovery Grant program is part of StrongerBC: BC’s Economic Recovery Plan. This plan is one of the ways government is working to support businesses impacted by the pandemic, while the province builds toward a more innovative, sustainable and inclusive economic future.

Quick Facts:

* The Small and Medium Sized Business Recovery Grant program provides fully funded grants to eligible businesses that employ up to 149 B.C. residents.

* Grants of $10,000 to a maximum of $30,000 are available with up to an additional $5,000 to $15,000 available to tourism-related businesses.

* As part of the application process, an applicant is required to develop a business recovery plan.

* Approved professional service providers are available to help with the application process, including recovery plan support, up to $2,000 per small or medium-sized business. This amount is paid directly to the provider.