Last updated November 9, 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:
BC Extends Indoor Mask Mandate
British Columbia’s provincial health officer has extended the mask mandate that requires masks be worn in all indoor public spaces throughout BC. The previous order, which was set to expire on Oct. 31, 2021, has been extended indefinitely to continue to slow the transmission of COVID-19. Masks are required in all public indoor settings for all people five and older, regardless of vaccination status. READ MORE
Single-Serve Liquor A Go with Takeout, Delivery
Grabbing a packaged single glass of wine or draft beer with takeout, or having it delivered with a meal when ordering in, is now possible as BC opens another revenue-generating option for licensed restaurants and pubs. Effective Friday, Oct. 29 BC’s liquor-and food-primary liquor licensees are permitted to package and sell unmixed drinks for takeout or delivery with the purchase of a meal, such as a glass of wine, cider or draft beer, or an unmixed ounce of a spirit. READ MORE
Province Extends Order Capping Fees Charged by Food Delivery Services
The food delivery service fee cap is being extended under the COVID-19 Related Measures Act. The order will continue to cap fees charged to restaurants from food delivery companies at 15%. An additional cap of 5% will also be extended for other related fees associated with use of the service, such as online ordering and processing fees. The revised order is set to expire on Dec. 31, 2021, at which point it will be reviewed, taking into account the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. READ MORE
Vaccine Card with QR code now Only Way to Enter Some Businesses
The BC Vaccine Card is now the only acceptable proof of vaccination for British Columbians to enjoy certain businesses and recreational events. The transition period, which allowed people to present their paper record of immunization received at the time of their vaccination appointment, ended on Sept. 26. The Vaccine Card requirement is applied in certain discretionary settings, including most restaurants and indoor events, through provincial health officer orders. The Province says this requirement helps ensure that businesses can stay open and people can feel safe in these settings, while continuing to increase vaccinations throughout the province. People can get their BC Vaccine Card online at gov.bc.ca/vaccinecard
Proof of Vaccination: Information for Businesses where PoV will be required
The Province provided more details on their plans on Tuesday and unveiled the provincial link
where digital Vaccine Cards can now be downloaded and where the Vaccine Verifier App
can be downloaded.
Province Lifts Some Regional Restrictions
Interior Health has moved to roll back some of the regional restrictions that were put in place following the COVID outbreak in the central Okanagan. The Province noted this change on Monday saying the regional restrictions can be lifted with the vaccine card verification system coming into play. This includes eliminating the early cut off (10pm) of liquor sales at restaurants. Click on the link below to see what the new restrictions look like. VIEW THE UPDATE FROM INTERIOR HEALTH
Updated Health Orders for Food & Liquor Serving Premises & Gatherings & Events
Proof of Vaccination: Information for Businesses where PoV will be required The Province provided more details on their plans on September 13 and unveiled the provincial link where digital Vaccine Cards can now be downloaded and where the Vaccine Verifier App can be downloaded (though not until next week as it appears more time is needed).
Reminder: Mask Mandate to Reduce Transmission, Protect People in Public Spaces
As of Wednesday, August 25, masks must be worn in all indoor public spaces throughout B.C. to help slow the transmission of COVID-19 as B.C. prepares for the fall and respiratory illness season.
A new order from the provincial health officer requires people 12 and older to wear masks in indoor public settings, regardless of vaccination status.
BC Launches New Fund for Community Events
The Province is accepting applications to support B.C.-based events through the new Fairs, Festivals and Events Recovery Fund.The Government of BC is providing up to $12.9 million in one-time grants to eligible event organizers to support their efforts to resume safely. Grant amounts for each event will be up to 20% of the total event budget, to a maximum of $250,000 per application.
Eligible events include sport, arts and culture events, community celebrations, agricultural fairs, rodeos and exhibitions. Applications submitted by organizations will be required to demonstrate local or regional support and show the economic and social benefits for the community. READ MORE
BC Government Liquor Changes
On July 13, the provincial government announced a major liquor policy change. Private liquor retailers can now sell to Special Event Permit holders, something the Chamber network has been supportive of. This change changes the previous policy of forcing consumers to purchase only from government’s BC Liquor Stores while also introducing a new revenue stream for private liquor retailers. READ MORE
COVID-19 Paid Sick-Leave Reimbursement Program
If your workplace does not have an existing sick leave program, you can apply to be reimbursed by the Province for up to three days of wages paid to workers for COVID-19 related sick leave. The reimbursement program is available for sick leave taken from May 20 until the program ends on Dec. 31, 2021. The application for employers to apply for the BC government’s COVID-19 Sick-Leave Reimbursement Program will be available on WorkSafeBC’s online services portal mid-June. READ MORE
Province Announces New Grant for Tourism
The province launched a $50 million grant program last week that is aimed at helping B.C.'s major anchor tourist attractions and tour bus companies weather COVID-19 though some in the industry say its not enough while others raise concern about those attractions that don’t qualify. The Premier and Tourism Minister Melanie Mark made the announcement as tourism operators try to anticipate what their normally busy summer season might look like this year.
Restrictions on travel and gatherings brought in under the province's emergency COVID-19 "circuit breaker" plan last month expired at midnight last night (May 24). The Premier is expected to announce more details today on reopening the province. READ THE RELEASE
Province Introduces Sick Leave Benefit Legislation
The BC Government has introduced legislation aimed at providing workers access to paid sick leave. In a release earlier today the province noted that in the short term businesses will be required to pay three days of sick leave to employees impacted by COVID though those businesses will be reimbursed by the province. The legislation also calls for the establishment of a permanent program to be in place by Jan 1, 2022. READ MORE.
$500-Million Investment Fund Paves Way for a StrongerBC
A first-of-its-kind $500-million strategic investment fund will provide BC-based businesses with capital to position the province as a front-runner in the post-pandemic economy. The BC government has introduced legislation to support the operations of InBC Investment Corp. (InBC), a new $500-million strategic investment fund. Developed in consultation with the business and investment sectors. READ MORE.
Accelerating Manufacturing, Scale-Up Grant Program
The goal of the Scale-Up Grant program is to support small and medium-sized businesses in British Columbia to accelerate innovative capacity in the manufacturing sector, strengthen critical provincial supply chains, and create new, sustainable economic opportunities for businesses. Applications will be accepted until May 31, 2021. READ MORE.
The deadlines for Launch Online and the Small and Medium Sized Business Recovery Grant are September 30 and August 31, respectively. So buckle up and get granting!
1. Launch Online. This one was created to help BC entrepreneurs move their businesses online. You were likely on your way there anyway (right?!).
2. Small and Medium Sized Business Recovery Grant. You guessed it: this one’s for businesses with less than 149 employees. It’s designed to help you stay afloat while you navigate this wild storm.
Province Increases Funding & Expands Eligibility for Circuit Breaker Relief Grant
The province is adding an additional $75 million to the Business Relief Grant it created in early April after the most recent restrictions took effect. This brings the amount available for those hard-hit businesses to more than $125 million. Eligible businesses will receive up to $20,000 to help with expenses like wages, rent, maintenance, and utilities. Applications will be accepted until June 4th or when the funds are disbursed. The Circuit Breaker Business Relief Fund adjustments will also help accommodation providers who are being asked to limit reservations as a means to support the emergency order to restrict travel. 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
Sale and Delivery of Packaged Liquor now Permanent in BC
Before the pandemic, food and liquor primary licensees (e.g., restaurants and pubs) were authorized to sell liquor only for consumption in their establishments unless they had a special endorsement on their license. The temporary authorization allowing liquor-primary and food-primary licensees to sell and deliver sealed, packaged liquor products alongside the purchase of a meal for off-site consumption is now permanent. READ 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 Introduces New Recovery Programs and Grants, Applications are Open
The Province of BC has announced new recovery programs and grants that are now open, and ready to receive applications.These programs include The Community Economic Recovery Infrastructure Program (CERIP), Small and Medium-Sized Business Recovery Grants, and the Community Workforce Response Grant Program. Learn More.
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.
Applications are Open: New Infrastructure Program for Arts & Culture Sector
To help improve spaces for artists and cultural activities, arts and culture organizations can now get support through the new $2 Million Arts Infrastructure Program. The BC Arts Council will administer the program. Arts and cultural organizations, including Indigenous groups, will be eligible for up to $75,000 to improve arts and culture spaces or $40,000 to buy special equipment to support art programming. Applications will be open from Monday, August 17 to October 19. Learn More & Apply Here.
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: