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B.C. businesses ordered to shut down due to COVID can apply for relief grant

Click to play video: 'B.C. Government unveils grant program for closed businesses'
B.C. Government unveils grant program for closed businesses
The B.C. Government has unveiled a one-time grant for businesses that have had to close due to the latest Public Health Order. Aaron McArthur reports. – Dec 23, 2021

B.C. businesses mandated to temporarily shut down due to the rise in COVID cases are now eligible to receive a one-time relief grant of up to $10,000.

Called the ‘COVID-19 Closure Relief Grant’ it will supplement federal programs and help businesses alleviate some financial pressure, the provincial government said in a statement.

Businesses ordered fully closed include gyms, fitness and adult dance centres, bars, lounges and nightclubs, and event venues that can no longer hold events.

“We’re all exhausted by COVID-19, but unfortunately COVID-19 is not done with us,” Ravi Kahlon, minister of jobs, economic recovery and innovation said in a press release. “As we have done since the beginning of the pandemic, we are coming together to ensure those hardest hit businesses will receive much-needed support. The COVID-19 Closure Relief Grant will directly help businesses through these difficult times.”

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Click to play video: 'Fitness industry impacted by new COVID restrictions'
Fitness industry impacted by new COVID restrictions

Businesses were ordered to close until at least Jan. 18, 2022 in an effort to stop the rise in COVID cases, particularly the Omicron variant.

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B.C. is seeing a doubling of Omicron every two days, experts said, and in the past two days, a record number of new COVID cases have been recorded — 1,528 cases on Wednesday.

The province said the new relief grants to help businesses will range from $1,000 to $10,000 and will be provided to eligible businesses based on the number of employees.

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Applications for the grant will be available in January 2022.

Click to play video: 'B.C. businesses ordered to shut down due to COVID can apply for relief funds'
B.C. businesses ordered to shut down due to COVID can apply for relief funds

The government said more information on how to apply will be made available over the next few weeks and the application process will be open until the end of February 2022.

Business advisors will be able to support and direct applicants through a dedicated call centre that will be set up in early January by the Province and Small Business BC. Businesses will also be able to email questions to: covid@smallbusinessbc.ca

To be eligible for the COVID-19 Closure Relief Grant, a business is required to:

* confirm it has been fully closed by the provincial health officer’s recent orders;

* new applicants will need to provide direct-deposit information (not needed if business was approved for the Circuit Breaker Business Relief or the Small- and Medium-Sized Business Recovery grants);

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* confirm that it is registered as a B.C. business before Nov. 1, 2021;

* confirm the business is following all public health orders and guidelines;

* produce a business validation document, such as a municipal business licence, liquor licence, notice of assessment or lease agreement; and

* confirm majority ownership and operations and payment of taxes in B.C.

Click to play video: 'COVID-19 restrictions: For small businesses, help can’t come soon enough'
COVID-19 restrictions: For small businesses, help can’t come soon enough

Eligible applicants closed as a result of the provincial health officer orders will receive funding based on number of staff. The breakdown is as follows:

* Businesses with no employees or contracted staff: $1,000

* One to four employees or contracted staff: $2,000

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* Five to 99 employees or contracted staff: $5,000

* 100 or more employees or contracted staff: $10,000.

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