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

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

BC Takes Next Steps in COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout Plan

British Columbians are a step closer to receiving their COVID-19 immunizations, with additional details and timelines released for the largest and most complex immunization plan to ever roll out in BC. The plan will see approximately 7.4 million doses of vaccine overall administered to every British Columbian who is eligible to receive it between April and the end of September. READ MORE. 

BC Extends Province Wide Restrictions

The provincial government has announced that province-wide restrictions that came into effect on November 19, 2020 will now be extended until February 5, 2021 at midnight. These restrictions include, but are not limited to: a suspension on all events and social gatherings, no social gatherings of any size at your residence with anyone other than your household or core bubble, and a requirement to wear masks in indoor public settings. LEARN MORE. View the province-wide restrictions HERE.

Expanded Eligibility Criteria for BC's Small Business Recovery Grant

Eligibility criteria for the Small Business Recovery Grant changed as of December 18, 2020. The revised application process and eligibility criteria are now in place, and available online. In addition to changing the required minimum revenue drop of 50% to a drop of 30%, the new criteria also reduces the previous three-year operation requirement to 18 months. If you applied to the program prior to December 18, 2020, you do not need to resubmit an application as applications received prior to changes will be reviewed under updated program criteria and grant amounts. APPLY ONLINE

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

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. 

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

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: 
https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/employment-business/business/small-business/resources/covid-19-supports