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B.C. pledges $50 million to support restaurants, gyms affected by latest COVID-19 orders

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British Columbia is offering small business grants up to $10,000 for companies affected by restrictions imposed to stop the spread of COVID-19. Businesses will be able to apply starting the week of April 12 for grants to cover salaries, rent, utilities or other costs – Apr 8, 2021

The B.C. government is providing $50 million in financial relief for more than 14,000 restaurants, bars, breweries, wineries, gyms and fitness centres impacted by provincial health orders recently announced to combat COVID-19.

The Circuit Breaker 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 be used to cover unexpected costs that resulted from the restrictions, including the purchase of perishable goods.

The majority of eligible businesses will receive a grant of $5,000.

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On March 29, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry banned in-person dining except for patios and restricted in-person group fitness activities until April 19, though it could be extended if cases don’t decline.

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“We understand how greatly this group of businesses have been, and continues to be, impacted by the pandemic,” Premier John Horgan said Thursday.

“This grant will provide the funds these businesses need to help them through this extraordinary time. As a community, we have come so far together in this fight against COVID-19. Let’s stay the course and we will get through this together.”

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To be eligible, a business is required to confirm it has been affected by the recent provincial health orders and confirm majority ownership and operations and payment of taxes in B.C.

Applications are expected to open the week of April 12 and will close on June 4 or until all funds are dispersed.

The province is not providing any additional support to people who have lost work due to the orders.

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The province has amended some of the health measures announced March 29.

Originally, restaurants were only allowed to operate a patio if they had full food service. But that was changed after concerns were raised by owners of breweries, cafes and wineries.

“B.C. craft brewers appreciate the quick action by government last week to address our concerns and ensure tasting rooms can continue offering safe patio service. We welcome this additional support as our 200-plus members across B.C. navigate the difficult weeks ahead,” British Columbia Craft Brewers Guild executive director Ken Beattie said.

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