The effect COVID-19 is having on small business owners in British Columbia is no laughing matter. According to the Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses (CFIB), in early 2021 nearly one in six small businesses across Canada were seriously considering closing their doors forever. Even more alarming, 70% of enterprises feel financial aid from the government is necessary to remain operational for the rest of the year.
If you’re a small business owner in BC struggling to stay afloat amidst the COVID-19 restrictions, we have information that may help. We’re sharing details on the latest provincial grants designed to help small businesses during the pandemic.
COVID-19 Support For BC Small Businesses: Provincial Grants
Small and Medium Sized Business Recovery Grant
The program runs until August 31, 2021.
The BC provincial government has created a grant program designed to help small and medium sized businesses survive and recover from the pandemic. The value of these business support grants is between $10,000 and $30,000 for eligible small businesses who apply. There may be an additional $5,000 – $15,000 available from this provincial program for companies within the tourism industry.
Eligibility criteria for the Small and Medium Sized Business Recovery Grant include:
- Small business with 1 – 149 employees operating primarily in British Columbia.
- Have been impacted by COVID-19. Must have documentation showing a 30% loss in revenue after March 2020.
- Have been operational for at least 18 months.
- Have a recovery plan prepared that outlines how the grant money will aid the recovery process.
- Deadline for application: August 31, 2021
Launch Online Grant Program
Applications open until September 31, 2021, or until funds are depleted.
The BC government’s Launch Online Grant program is to help businesses affected by the pandemic by setting up an e-commerce website for their business. This grant will enable companies to reach new markets, attract local customers, and provide an online platform to conduct their business.
Details of BC’s Launch Online Grant include:
- Businesses must hire BC-based companies for the development of their online store.
- Up to 75% of expenses will be paid, to a maximum of $7,500.
- Be able to start and finish creating an online business within 12 weeks.
- Earned a minimum of $30,000 in the year prior to 2020.
- Available to small businesses
Find more information about the Launch Online Grant Program here.
Circuit Breaker Business Relief Program
Grants available until June 4, 2021, or when funds are fully expended.
A “circuit breaker” approach was taken in March of 2021 by the BC government to curb the spread of COVID-19. This meant many businesses were forced to close their doors under new public health orders.
The Circuit Breaker Business Relief grant was then created to support businesses in the hospitality, fitness, and accommodation industries impacted by the circuit breaker measures.
How the Circuit Breaker Grant Works
Businesses in the following sectors are eligible to apply:
Eligible businesses affected by public health orders declared on March 31 and April 23 of 2021 can apply for a grant between $2,000 and $20,000.
Businesses must have been in operation and registered as of February 1, 2021.
COVID-19 Provincial Grants for Small Businesses: The Application Process
Having the option to inject potentially thousands of dollars into a struggling business shouldn’t be derailed by a poor understanding of the application process. Each grant application should be carefully considered and given its due consideration to prevent minor errors from causing an application to be rejected.
Each grant application is different and needs to be prepared and submitted independently of each other. Being eligible for one grant doesn’t mean a business will automatically be eligible for additional grants.
Get Professional Support for COVID-19 BC Grant Applications
Professional support when applying for a provincial grant is a wise business decision. Hiring a BC-based bookkeeping firm with grant application experience will increase a small business’s ability to prove its eligibility. At the same time, a professional bookkeeper can help with sourcing and securing other funding sources, such as federal grants and income tax breaks.
At Source Online Bookkeeping, we stay informed about provincial and federal COVID-19 measures that affect our client’s business. We also ensure our clients are aware of the current business support grants available to them; we help take the legwork and confusion out of the application process. To find out how we can help your BC-based small business during the pandemic, reach out to our team today.