COVID-19 Response Plan - BC Government - Support for Canadians

COVID-19 Response Plan - BC Government - Support for Canadians

Synopsis
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COVID-19 Response Plan
BC Government – Support for Canadians
Last updated July 21, 2021, 4:00 pm MST

Insight
Insight

BC Support for Businesses

BC Small and Medium Sized Business Recovery Grant

Eligibility

  • Unincorporated businesses (including sole proprietorships and partnerships) and incorporated businesses with a minimum 30% revenue loss from March 2020 to now when compared to the same one-month period in 2019
  • Not-for-profit organizations are not eligible

Benefit

  • Grants of $10,000 to $30,000 are available; additional $5,000 to $15,000 grant is available to eligible tourism-related businesses
  • Program runs until August 31, 2021, or until funds are fully expended, whichever comes first

Action Needed

  • Businesses need to complete online application and upload financial documents
  • If you applied to the program prior to March 4, 2021, you do not need to resubmit application

Circuit Breaker Business Relief Grant

Eligibility

  • Hotels, motels and other BC owned short-term accommodation providers affected by March 31, 2021 orders to restrict gatherings and the April 23, 2021 emergency order to restrict travel are eligible to apply
  • Fitness businesses also eligible to apply

Benefit

  • Grants of $2,000 to $20,000 available until June 4, 2021, or until funds are fully expended, whichever comes first
  • Grants do not need to be repaid and are based on number of employees

Action Needed

  • Online applications opened April 12, 2021
  • Program updates begin April 26 (if applied to program before April 26, 2021, do not need to reapply)

Launch Online Grant Program

Eligibility

  • Eligible BC-registered businesses must have generated sales of more than $30,000 in the past year (in 2019, or in the year preceding the application) and does not currently have an online store or booking system, or has an online store or booking system with limited features

Benefit

  • The program funds up to 75% of eligible expenses for launching or upgrading an online store or booking system up to a maximum of $7,500 per business

Action Needed

  • Program is based on first-come, first-served basis, until September 30, 2021, or until all funds distributed
  • Apply online

PST Rebate on Select Machinery & Equipment

Eligibility

  • Program allows eligible businesses to apply for a rebate of 100% of PST paid between September 17, 2020 and September 30, 2021 on select machinery and equipment
  • All incorporated businesses except for the following:
    • Crown corporations
    • Local government operations
    • Charities and non-profit corporations, except incorporated businesses wholly or partly owned by charities and non-profit corporations
    • Schools, school boards and universities
    • Hospitals
  • Regional health boards and community health councils

Benefit

  • Eligible property must be:
    • included in the definition of capital cost allowances classes 8, 10, 12, 16, 43, 43.1, 43.2, 46, 50, 53, 54 and 55
    • obtained substantially for purpose of gaining or producing income, and
    • not excluded (per backgrounder)
  • software and goods, other than goods obtained by lease, must be capital assets for rebate to apply

Action Needed


BC Increased Employment Incentive

Eligibility

All private sector BC employers, including most charities and non-profits, who increase their BC remuneration by creating new jobs or increasing pay of existing low- or medium-income employees over last quarter (October to December) of 2020

Benefit

Tax credit is calculated at 15% of amount that employer’s qualifying BC remuneration exceeds the employer’s base BC remuneration

Action Needed

  • Application period will begin March 2021
  • Employers required to register for incentive through the eTaxBC system
  • For more information, see backgrounder

Major Anchor Attractions Program

Eligibility

  • Available to major anchor attractions and tour bus companies that service tourism attractions
  • For more information on eligibility, see here

Benefit

  • Program will provide grants totalling up to $50 million, depending on uptake; grant amount for each organization is based on a formula and can only be used to cover costs essential to operation

Action Needed

  • To apply, email [email protected] to ask for application package. Applications due June 7, 2021 by 1pm

WorkSafeBC Premium Relief

Eligibility

  • Employers approved to receive the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy

Benefit

  • Premiums waived for furloughed workers (employees on leave with full or partial pay)

Action Needed

  • Retroactive to March 15, 2020, and continued for duration of CEWS

School Taxes (closed)

Eligibility

  • Commercial property (Classes 4, 5 and 6) owners and tenants on triple-net leases

Benefit

  • School tax rates will be reduced by 50% for 2020 tax year

Action Needed

  • No action required

BC Hydro COVID-19 Relief (closed)

Eligibility

  • Small businesses closed due to COVID-19 may be eligible for Relief Fund
  • Customers experiencing financial hardship but not eligible for Relief Fund may be eligible for Customer Assistance Program

Benefit

  • Relief Fund allows eligible small businesses up to three months of electricity charges waived
  • Customer Assistance Program provides interest-free bill deferrals and payment plans

Action Needed


Fortis BC COVID-19 Customer Recovery Fund (closed)

Eligibility

  • Small businesses experiencing income loss or closure due to COVID-19 may be eligible

Benefit

  • Option to receive bill credits to offset charges or to defer bill payments from April 1, 2020 to June 30, 2020
  • Both options may be available depending on situation

Action Needed


BC Liquor License Renewal Fee Deferral (closed)

Eligibility

  • Businesses with liquor licenses expiring between March 31 and June 30, 2020 (excluding licensee retails stores, special wine stores and wine stores with wine on shelf in grocery stores)

Benefit

  • Temporary extension for liquor licenses expiring between March 31 and June 30, 2020; license renewal application and fees are deferred until September 30, 2020

Action Needed

BC Support For Individuals

BC Recovery Benefit

Eligibility

  • Individuals who were residents of BC on December 18. 2020, and:
    • were at least 19 years old on that date
    • Filed a 2019 Canadian personal income tax return (benefit eligibility based on net income from 2019 T1)
    • Have a valid SIN, individual tax number or temporary tax number
  • If applying for the family benefit, the spouse or common-law partner must also meet eligibility criteria

Benefit

  • One-time direct deposit payment for eligible families, single parents or individuals
  • $1,000 for eligible families and single parents with net income up to $125,000; reduced amount for those with net income up to $175,000
  • $500 for eligible individuals with net income up to $62,500; reduced amount for those with net income up to $87.500

Benefit

  • One-time payment of $1,000
  • Applications commence May 1, 2020 and end on December 2, 2020

Action Needed

  • Applications accepted online, over the phone (1-833-882-0020) or at a Service BC computer terminal
  • Applications open until June 30, 2021
  • If applying as a family, submit only one application

Emergency Benefit for Workers (closed – program has ended)

Eligibility

  • British Columbians who are eligible for Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) as a result of COVID-19 impact

Benefit

  • Must be BC resident as of March 15, 2020 and must file 2019 BC income tax return

Benefit

  • One-time payment of $1,000
  • Applications commence May 1, 2020 and end on December 2, 2020

Action Needed


Enhanced Climate Action Tax Credit

Eligibility

  • British Columbians who:
    • Are 19 years of age or older,
    • Have a spouse or common-law partner, or
    • Are a parent residing with their child

Benefit

  • One-time enhanced July 2020 payment is:
  • Up to $218 (an increase of up to $174.50 from the regular tax credit amount) for you, your spouse or common-law partner, or your first child in a single parent family
  • Up to $64 (an increase of up to $51.25 from the regular tax credit amount), for each additional child
  • Subject to income threshold limit

Action Needed

  • File 2019 personal income tax return
  • More details on BCCATC available:

BC Hydro COVID-19 Relief (closed)

Eligibility

  • Residential customers not working due to COVID-19 may be eligible for Relief Fund
  • For customers facing temporary financial hardship and possible disconnection of service due to job loss, illness, or loss of family member may be eligible for Customer Crisis Fund
  • Customers experiencing financial hardship but not eligible for Relief Fund may be eligible for Customer Assistance Program

Benefit

  • Relief Fund allows eligible residential customers to receive three months of free credit on BC Hydro bill
  • Customer Crisis Fund provides a grant towards overdue balances (maximum grant for electricity is $600; maximum grant for natural gas is $500)

Action Needed


Fortis BC COVID-19 Customer Recovery Fund (closed)

Eligibility

  • Residential customers experiencing loss of employment, livelihood or voluntary leave due to COVID-19

Benefit

  • Bills automatically deferred, from April 1 to June 30, 2020
  • Deferred payments not subject to interest and penalties

Action Needed


BC Access Grant

Eligibility

  • Low- and middle-income students enrolled in full- and part-time undergraduate programs
  • Students must be studying at a BC public post-secondary institution and be eligible to apply for and receive a student loan to access the grant

Benefit

  • Grant maximums are
    • Up to $4,000 a year for students enrolled in programs less than 2 years in length
    • Up to $1,000 a year for students enrolled in programs 2 years in length or longer
    • Up to $1,000 a year for students studying part-time

Action Needed

  • No action required; students applying for student aid for programs at BC public post-secondary institutions starting in September 2020 will be automatically assessed for the grant

ICBC (BC Public Auto insurance) COVID-19 rebates

Eligibility

  • Most ICBC customers with an active policy from April 1, 2020 to September 30, 2020

Benefit

  • Customers will receive a one-time rebate averaging $190; amount is based on a portion of what was paid for coverage and is per vehicle owned, per policy during the eligible period
  • ICBC will begin mailing cheques in mid-March 2021; rebate is separate from the Enhanced Care refunds customers will start to receive in May 2021

Action Needed


ICBC payment deferral

Eligibility

  • Residential and commercial customers currently on a monthly Autoplan payment
  • Businesses with commercial and fleet vehicles 

Benefit

  • Customers can defer their payments for up to 90 days with no penalty

Action Needed


BC Temporary Rental Supplement (closed)

Eligibility

  • Individual tenants (eligible low- and moderate-income renters)

Benefit

  • Provides up to $500 per month of rental support; amount is paid directly to landlords

Action Needed

Federal Support for Canadians

  • For our summary of the Federal support programs for businesses and individuals, please visit HERE

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