The Ministry of Jobs, Economic Development and Competitiveness has launched a new program which will provide funding to small and medium sized businesses who have been seriously affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

‘The Small and Medium-Sized Business Recovery Grant’ is part of the province’s ‘Stronger BC for Everyone: BC’s Economic Recovery Plan’.

The grant program will invest up to $300 million to the hardest hit businesses in BC who have experienced a decline in revenue since Mar. 10, 2020. It is estimated that the program will help 15,000 businesses and support more than 50,000 jobs.

In order to qualify for grants of $10,000 to $30,000 applicants must meet certain criteria. This includes:

– Must be a BC based business

– Must employ between two and 149 BC residents

– Must demonstrate you have been in business for three years

– Must have experienced initial COVID related revenue reduction of at least 70% during March and April and have continued losses of more than 50% of their pre-COVID revenues

An additional $5000 – $10,000 top up will be available for hospitality and tourism businesses who can demonstrate that a significant portion of their revenue comes from visitors outside of BC.

The application and approval process will take place in five steps.

– Step 1 – Businesses apply for funding and provide information to demonstrate that they meet the eligibility criteria

– Step 2 – As part of the grant intake process, eligible businesses will be provided with professional services valued at up to $2,000?per business?to help assess their situation and develop a recovery plan?that will describe a realistic path to remaining solvent until?COVID-19 is behind us.??

– Step 3 – Once a recovery plan is developed, submitted and approved, funding is provided to the business to implement the actions outlined in their recovery plan

– Step 4 – Businesses must provide regular updates that account for the spending and status of their recovery efforts supported by the grant funding

– Step 5 – All businesses must agree to participate in a third-party audit at the end of the program

Locally, Community Futures is willing to assist eligible businesses with any questions or queries regarding the program.