Last updated March 30, 2021
WorkSafeBC Industry Guidelines:
WorkSafeBC provides detailed information on guidelines for specific sectors in Phase 2 & 3 of BC's Restart Plan. View the guidelines here.
Government of BC:
Province Announces Circuit Breaker Business Relief Grant
The Chamber network made it clear to the Province that the short notice on the sweeping new restrictions they brought in just before Easter caused chaos and harm to our economy. It has put greater stress on thousands of small businesses that are already facing immense challenges. As the voice of business, the Province listened to the Chamber network and responded quickly with the Circuit Breaker Business Relief Grant which is meant to help those hardest hit but the latest restrictions. This emergency grant program provides grants of $1,000 to $10,000 to hospitality and fitness businesses impacted by the March 30, 2021 PHO orders. Grants are available until June 4, 2021 or until funds are fully expended, whichever comes first. READ MORE.
Province Hikes Fines to Further Enforce COVID-19 Public Safety
Fines for promoting and attending gatherings that contravene the provincial health officer’s (PHO) order just got more expensive. Effective immediately, an amendment to the Violation Ticket Administration and Fine Regulation raises the fine for promoting and for attending a non-compliant gathering or event from $230 to $575. The current fine for those who organize or host a prohibited event remains the same at $2,300. READ MORE
Open for Applications: Small and Medium-Sized Business Recovery Grant Program
*UPDATE* In response to a high number of applications, the B.C. government is investing an additional $30 million in the Launch Online Grant program. The Launch Online Grant program provides up to $7,500 to businesses to help build or expand an e-commerce site to reach more customers and to sustain and grow their business. These changes will help approximately 4,000 more businesses market their products and services online. APPLY NOW.
Updated PHO Public Order: Gatherings and Events
An updated version of the public order for Gatherings and Events was released on March 18, 2021 by the Public Health Officer. READ MORE
Sale and Delivery of Packaged Liquor now Permanent in BC
BC Takes Next Steps in COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout Plan
BC Extends Province Wide Restrictions
Expanded Eligibility Criteria for BC's Small Business Recovery Grant
Reminder to Renew for Those with Temporary Layoff Variances
Through the summer, many employers requested temporary four month variances to the COVID-19 Emergency Layoff period. Many of these variances will expire at the end of December. If your business wishes to seek a further renewal to a later date or explore your options, you must follow the online process before your variance expires. Renewals are considered on a case-by-case basis. LEARN MORE
Provincial Government Announces Support for Tourism Sector Recovery
On December 8, the provincial government announced further details on how $53 million in supports, outlined in StrongerBC: B.C.’s Economic Recovery Plan, will create jobs and spur economic development for tourism businesses. READ MORE
BC Government Launches COVID-19 Local Business Posters
Re-engage customers, increase confidence, and encourage repeat business by displaying a COVID-19 Local Business Poster and promote your business's compliance with health and workplace guidelines. These posters serve as a uniform symbol for customers that a business has committed to creating and sharing their COVID-19 Safety Plan. The poster will highlight each business’ core commitments to ensuring the safety of their guests and employees and to following the Public Health Orders (PHO) LEARN MORE
BC's Public Health Officer Announces Amended Protocols for Gatherings & Events
Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry has released a new public order for Gatherings and Events. Some of the changes in the new Gatherings and Events order include, but are not limited to: a confirmation of the oral order limiting social gatherings in private residences to 6 plus occupants of the residence; clarification that preceding or following the event, all attendees must disperse, and changes the requirement for one-hour cleaning between events to become outcome oriented. The full orders have now been posted on the BC PHO Website.
Household Gatherings Limited; Masks Now Expected in Indoor Public Spaces
A new public health order from Dr. Bonnie Henry now limits gatherings in private households to members of a household plus their 'safe six'. This is a province-wide order that applies to all homes for all occasions. The Provincial Health Officer also indicated that non-medical masks are now an expectation in all indoor public spaces, as cases continue to rise in the province. As part of this, businesses are asked to review their COVID-19 safety plans with this in mind. For more information on how to build or update your Workplace Safety Plan visit WorkSafeBC HERE.
BC Introduces New Recovery Programs and Grants, Applications are Open
BC's Restart Funding Supports Reliable Public Transit Services
People throughout BC will continue to have safe, reliable and affordable public transportation options, with federal and provincial confirmation that TransLink, BC Transit and BC Ferries will share more than $1 billion under the federal/provincial Safe Restart Agreement announced earlier this summer, cost-shared 50-50 by both governments. This will protect service levels across the province and ensure services remain affordable as part of BC’s Restart Plan. Learn More.
Province of BC Introduces New Measures to Enforce COVID-19 Safety
Police and other provincial enforcement officers are being given the ability to issue $2,000 violation tickets for owners or organizers contravening the provincial health officer’s (PHO) orders on gatherings and events.They will also be able to issue $200 violation tickets to individuals not following the direction of police or enforcement staff at events or who refuse to comply with requests to follow PHO orders or safe operating procedures, or who respond with abusive behaviour. Learn More here.
Applications are Open: New Infrastructure Program for Arts & Culture Sector
Province Expands Measures to Support Restaurant, Tourism Industries
The Province has approved a temporary wholesale pricing model that will allow liquor licensees to purchase beer, wine and spirits at reduced cost. This measure will provide much-needed financial support for businesses like restaurants, bars and tourism operators with liquor licences. It will be in place from the end of July 2020 until March 31, 2021, when the program will be reviewed. Read the full release here.
BC Strengthens Federal Commercial Rent Program (CECRA)
B.C. businesses eligible for rent support from the federal government will be protected from evictions as the B.C. government issues a new order under the Emergency Program Act (EPA), when eligible landlords do not apply for the CECRA. Read the full release here.
BC Announces Restart Plan to Phase Toward a New Normal
BC’s Restart Plan lays out a series of steps to protect people and ensure that the province can come back from COVID-19 stronger than before. To learn more about the new phased approach to re-opening, and what this means for your business, download the full plan here.
BC Emergency Benefit for Workers
Employees may now apply for the B.C. Emergency Benefit for Workers, a tax-free, one time $1,000 payment for B.C. residents whose ability to work has been affected due to COVID-19. To apply, visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/employment-business/covid-19-financial-supports/emergency-benefit-workers
BC Government Newsroom Updates
For more information on BC Government updates from the newsroom, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/
BC Government Supports & Resources for Businesses
If you are looking for more information regarding changes to taxes, wage support, and other business relates support and resources, please visit: