COVID-19 grant: Up to $10,000 available to B.C. businesses impacted by recent public health measures

B.C. businesses impacted by the latest COVID-19 health orders will soon be able to apply for funding of up to $10,000 from the provincial government.

In a news release Thursday, B.C.'s minister of jobs and economic recovery announced the Circuit Breaker Business Relief Grant. A total of $50 million is expected to be handed out to 14,000 restaurants, bars, breweries, wineries, gyms and fitness centres, Ravi Kahlon said.

Those grants could be up to $10,000 and help cover costs like rent, insurance, wages, maintenance and utilities. It could also be used to help cover costs that came up after the latest public health orders announced March 30 prohibited indoor dining and group adult fitness activities.

"We understand how greatly this group of businesses have been, and continue to be, impacted by the pandemic," said Premier John Horgan in a news release.

"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."

The $50 million was set aside from the province's $345 million small and medium-sized business recovery grant program. The amount a business gets will depend on how many employees it has.

The grant is open to any business in B.C. that has been in operation since Feb. 1. The applications are expected to open next week.

“Our commitment to support businesses is unwavering and our work to ensure that they have every opportunity to get past this pandemic will continue,” Kahlon said in the release.

"We have reason to be hopeful and things will soon get better for all of us in British Columbia. In the meantime, our local businesses need us, and we need them."