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COVID-19 Closure Relief Grant funds doubled for eligible businesses

By Richmond Sentinel

Published 10:22 PST, Wed January 19, 2022

The province is extending the COVID-19 Closure Relief Grant and doubling supports for eligible businesses that have been ordered to remain temporarily closed through public health measures until Feb. 16.

"It's fair to say that the Omicron variant has created new challenges for all of us, but our government's commitment to support people and businesses through this latest COVID-19 wave is unwavering," said Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation. "While we are encouraged to see that many fitness activities will now be able to take place in a safe, controlled environment, we know there are still sectors directly impacted by these public health measures."

Businesses that were directed to remain temporarily closed on Jan. 18 through public health orders are now eligible for up to $20,000 in total funding, based on staffing levels at the time of closure.

Eligible businesses include bars, nightclubs and lounges that do not serve full meals; and event venues that had to close due to cancellations.

Eligible fitness facilities that were ordered closed on Dec. 22, 2021, but can now reopen, will receive the original four-week temporary-closure grant of up to $10,000 based on staffing levels at the time of closure.

Businesses that have applied for a COVID-19 Closure Relief Grant do not need to reapply. 

The $4-million extension of the original $10-million grant program complements existing federal government programs, including the Local Lockdown Program and the Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit.

The Local Lockdown Program provides wage and commercial rent support for businesses and other organizations, regardless of their sector, that have been affected by regional provincial health officer orders. This program is a way businesses, charities and non-profit organizations can receive up to 75 per cent in wage and rent support. The Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit provides $300 a week in income support to eligible workers who are directly affected by a COVID-19 related public health order and have lost 50 per cent or more of their income.

On Jan. 7, B.C.'s public health officer ordered all businesses to reactivate their COVID-19 safety plans to help keep employees and communities safe during the rapid spread of cases related to the COVID-19 Omicron variant.

Applications will be accepted until Feb. 28 at 11:59 p.m. (Pacific time). For more information on the COVID-19 Closure Relief Grant, including the application process and eligibility, click here.

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