On December 22, 2021, the province announced the COVID-19 Closure Relief Grant (the "Grant") to support businesses that were fully closed during the latest round of pandemic restrictions. Eligible businesses can apply for a one-time Grant in an amount ranging from $1,000 to $10,000.
Applications for the Grant opened on January 12, 2022 and will stay open until February 28, 2022, or until all funding is committed.
This bulletin covers:
1. who is eligible;
2. requirements for applying; and
3. available funding.
Who is Eligible?
Eligible businesses must meet the following criteria:
- the business had to fully close to comply with the December 22, 2021 Provincial Health Officer orders (the "Orders"). Businesses impacted by the closure include bars, nightclubs, dance studios and gyms; and
- if the business had multiple locations closed as a result of the Orders, each location is eligible for the Grant.
Not-for-profit organizations and businesses that support or provide services for closed businesses are not eligible for the Grant.
Eligible businesses will be asked to confirm that the business has:
- fully complied and will continue to comply with the Orders and other orders by the Provincial Health Officer;
- registered as a B.C. business as of November 1, 2021;
- majority ownership in B.C.;
- located in and conducting business in B.C.;
- paid taxes in B.C. and are up to date with payments.
For previous applicants that have received either a Small and Medium-Sized Business Recovery or Circuit Breaker Business Relief Grant, the applicant will be asked to confirm their application and may not need to upload further documents.
New applicants will be asked to verify their business information by uploading one of the following documents from 2020 and onwards:
- Income tax notice of assessment
- Business licence
- Statement of business registration
- Liquor licence
- Insurance policy
- Lease agreement
Businesses will also need to provide their direct deposit information to receive funding.
The Grant is fully funded and will not need to be paid back unless the funds are improperly used or the business fails to follow the Orders. The Grant can be used to cover expenses such as rent, insurance, employee wages, maintenance and utilities. However, personal expenses, payments to family members, bonuses, dividends, debt payments, and payments related to illegal activities are not covered by the Grant.
The available funding is determined by the number of B.C. employees and contracted staff of the business at the time of closure:
|Number of Employees or Contracted Staff||Available Grant|
|1 to 4||$2,000|
|5 to 99||$5,000|
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.