COVID-19 Provincial and Federal Benefits

British Columbians affected by the COVID-19 pandemic can rely on income supports, tax relief and direct funding for people, businesses and services. 

This compiled list of federal and provincial financial benefits will be updated on an ongoing basis.

Last Updated: May 22, 2020

On this page:

Support for Individuals and Families

Federal 

Special GST/HST Credit Payment

As of April 9, 2020, a special GST/HST credit payment for low- and modest-income families will be made:

  • $400 for individuals
  • Close to $600 for couples

Eligibility

People will get the payment automatically if they normally receive the GST/HST credit.

See more details about the special GST/HST credit


Provincial

B.C. Climate Action Tax Credit

The Province is increasing and expanding the B.C. Climate Action Tax Credit in July 2020.

The one-time enhanced payment is:

  • Up to $218 per adult or first child in a single parent family
  • Up to $64 per additional child

In July 2020, eligible families of four will automatically receive a combined B.C. Climate Action Tax payment up to $564, and eligible individuals will receive a combined B.C. Climate Action Tax payment up to $218.

The enhanced B.C. Climate Action Tax Credit will be paid in July 2020 combined with the federal GST/HST credit payment.

Eligibility

Approximately 86% of British Columbians will see additional support from this enhancement.

People will get the payment automatically if they are eligible when filing their 2019 tax return.

It is very important for people to file their income taxes so they can qualify and receive their benefits as quickly as possible.

The CRA has up-to-date guides on how to file your taxes quickly online

See more details about the B.C. Climate Action Tax Credit

 


ICBC

Payment Deferral

ICBC clients currently on a monthly Autoplan can defer their payments for up to 90 days with no penalty.

Cancellation and Re-Plating Fees

Temporary changes now in effect include:

  • Waiving the $30 fee when you cancel insurance
  • Waiving the $18 plating fee when you choose to reinstate the policy on your vehicle
  • Suspension of insurance for fleet vehicle customers

Driver insurance can be cancelled by getting in touch with your insurance broker.

Eligibility

Payment Deferral

Residential and commercial customers currently on a monthly Autoplan payment.

Deferrals also available to commercial and fleet vehicles.

Apply for ICBC payment deferral online

Cancellation and Re-Plating Fees

Customers will be required to remove the plate from their vehicle while it is not insured and the vehicle must be kept off the road.

Customers who reinsure May 30th or thereafter will be able to re-use their plate. Customers reinsuring prior to that date will be issued a new plate at no charge and at that time are expected to surrender their plate.

See more details about cancellation and re-plating fees


BC Hydro Payment Relief

BC Hydro rates will be reduced by 1% on April 1, 2020.

  • BC Hydro has halted all service disconnections because of non-payment during COVID-19
  • BC Hydro residential customers who are not working because of COVID-19 will receive credits to cover electricity bills – three times their average monthly bill over the past year at their home. The credit does not have to be repaid
  • BC Hydro customers can defer bill payments or arrange for flexible payment plans with no penalty
  • Customers who are dealing with job loss, illness or loss of wages due to COVID-19 can use BC Hydro’s Customer Crisis Fund grant program for up to $600

Eligibility

British Columbians who are customers of BC Hydro.

Apply for BC Hydro payment relief online


Private

FortisBC Customer Recovery Fund

Residential FortisBC customers can sign up for the COVID-19 Customer Recovery Fund to automatically have their bills deferred from April 1 to June 30, 2020.

  • A repayment schedule, free of interest or additional fees, will be set up and payments can be spread over a full year

Eligibility

FortisBC customers

Apply for the Customer Recovery Fund

Federal

Canada Child Benefit

A temporary increase to the Canada Child Benefit (CCB) will provide up to an extra $300 per child

This benefit will be delivered as part of the scheduled CCB payment in May.

Eligibility

People who already receive the CCB do not need to re-apply.

See more details about the Canada Child Benefit


Crisis Texting Service for Kids of CAF Families

Children and youth of military families across Canada can access a 24/7 confidential, free texting service for mental health and wellbeing support in both English and French.

Eligibility

Children and youth of Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members

See more details on the Crisis Text Line


Provincial 

Child Care for Essential Service Workers

As of March 31, 2020, the Province is matching essential service workers with child care in their communities.

Child Care Resource Referral Centres in 38 B.C. communities are community-based hubs reaching out to essential service workers in their area.

Eligibility

All B.C. essential service workers with children under the age of five.

Review the list of essential services in B.C.

Request temporary emergency child care


CYSN Emergency Relief Support Fund

Eligible B.C. families with children with special needs can access the Emergency Relief Support Fund, which provides $225 per month for the next three months (April-June 2020). The emergency funding will support 50% more of the eligible families that are currently awaiting services.

  • Families with children in care on a special needs agreement or a voluntary care agreement will not have to make monthly maintenance payments for the duration of the pandemic period
  • Supported Child Development and Aboriginal Supported Child Development programs will be able to extend extra staffing during school hours to help with the reduced availability of school-based services
  • Eligibility and access to At Home Program medical benefits will be relaxed, and any families receiving benefits will continue to do so without the need for a reassessment during the pandemic period
  • Parameters on services purchased with Autism Funding will be expanded, allowing families to use up to 35% of funding to purchase equipment and items that assist in home learning and virtual instructional approaches
  • Families may direct their child’s Autism Funding to access family counselling and therapy services with a qualified provider

Eligibility

B.C. families with children with special needs

Review eligibility and access the Emergency Relief Support Fund


Supports for Youth in Care and in the AYA Program

Youth currently living in foster care, contracted residential agencies or with relatives through the extended family program will be able to stay there.

  • Social workers are modifying agreements to allow youth and caregivers to extend their current living arrangements once a youth reaches 19
  • Additional efforts to locate young adults who have recently aged out of care to connect them to other lines of available support, like the B.C. Emergency Benefit for Workers and the Canada Emergency Response Benefit
  • Youth who are nearing the end of an Independent Living or Youth agreement will be given options allowing them to continue receiving monthly living expenses past their 19th birthday. Social workers are contacting youth to guide them through this process
  • Young adults between the ages of 19 and 27 who are enrolled in the Agreements with Young Adults (AYA) program will continue to receive financial support despite school closures and other training program interruptions caused by the current pandemic
  • These young adults may also be eligible to receive an extension of AYA support beyond the current maximum of 48 months

Eligibility

Youth in care, foster care, young adults who have “aged out.”

See more details about supports for youth in care or in the AYA program


Kids Help Phone Line

Young people can call the Kids Help phone line to access the mental health support they need during this difficult time.


Family Caregivers of B.C.

Funding for Family Caregivers of B.C. is doubled to $1 million to support people who are caring for elderly loved ones, family or friends.

Increased support includes:

  • Toll-free support line hours
  • Virtual connections to bring caregivers together
  • Emotional supports
  • Health care navigation

 

Federal

Indigenous Community Support Fund

$380 million for a new distinctions-based Indigenous Community Support Fund to address immediate needs in First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Nation communities.

Funds could be used for measures including, but not limited to:

  • Support for Elders and vulnerable community members
  • Measures to address food insecurity
  • Educational and other support for children
  • Mental health assistance and emergency response services
  • Preparedness measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19

Supporting Indigenous Communities Public Health Needs & Preparedness

$100 million to support a range of federal health measures, including support for preparedness in First Nation and Inuit communities. These funds will:

  • Respond to identified needs to update and activate pandemic plans
  • Support an effective allocation of public health and primary health care capacity to respond to the COIVD-19 outbreak
  • Align response efforts with scientific evidence as determined by a medical officer of health
  • Address immediate needs in the short term

Eligibility

Indigenous communities

See more details about the funds

 


Provincial

Indigenous Students Financial Assistance

Under an existing program, Indigenous students attending B.C.’s 25 public post-secondary institutions can request for financial assistance from their school’s Indigenous student services


First Nations Health Authority Funding

In partnership between the First Nations Health Authority, Northern Health and Provincial Services Authority, a new collaborative framework has been developed to support communities and meet their unique needs, including:

  • Improved medical transportation options to larger centres, including 6 additional ambulances in Northern Health and 7 aircraft and helicopters for medical transport
  • Access to Virtual Doctor of the Day, which connects First Nations members and their families in remote communities to a doctor or nurse practitioner using videoconferencing
  • Faster COVID-19 testing methods, including GeneXpert test kits in First Nations Health Authority, Norther Health, Interior Health, Vancouver Coastal Health and Fraser Health

 

Federal 

Canada Emergency Response Benefit

For people who have lost income because of COVID-19, the Canada Emergency Response Benefit will provide a taxable benefit of $2,000 every 4 weeks for up to 16 weeks to eligible workers.

Applications opened April 6, 2020.

Eligibility

  • Reside in Canada
  • Be at least 15 years old
  • Have stopped working because of COVID-19 (not voluntarily quit)
  • Income of at least $5,000 in 2019 or in the 12 months prior to the date of application
  • Be, or expect to be, without employment or self-employment income for at least 14 consecutive days in the initial four-week period
  • For future benefit periods, expect to have no employment income

Apply for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit


Employment Insurance

Regular Employment Insurance (EI) benefits are available.

The EI sickness benefit wait period and medical note requirement are waived.

Eligibility

Canadian workers who qualify for EI

Apply for EI


Provincial

B.C. Emergency Benefit for Workers

B.C. Emergency Benefit for Workers provides a one-time, tax-free payment of $1,000 to B.C. residents whose ability to work has been affected by COVID-19.

Eligibility

  • Have been a resident of British Columbia on March 15, 2020
  • Meet the eligibility requirements for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)
  • Have been approved for the CERB, even if you haven’t received a federal benefit payment yet
  • Be at least 15 years old on the date you apply
  • Have filed, or agree to file, a 2019 B.C. income tax return
  • Not be receiving provincial income assistance or disability assistance

Apply for the B.C. Emergency Benefit for Workers

 

Federal

Funding for Community Support Organizations

Increased funding for the following:

  • $157.5 million for homeless shelters
  • $100 million for food banks and local food organizations
  • $50 million for women and sexual assault shelters
  • $40 million to Women and Gender Equality Canada, up to $30 million of which will address immediate needs of shelters and sexual assault centres

Provincial

COVID-19 Crisis Supplement

Everyone receiving Income Assistance (IA) and Disability Assistance (DA) who is not receiving Employment Insurance (EI) or the emergency federal support program will automatically receive a $300 COVID-19 crisis supplement on their cheques for the next three months, starting in April 2020.

  • This includes people receiving the B.C. Senior’s Supplement

Those who receive IA or DA who are eligible for EI or the new Canada Emergency Response Benefit will automatically receive a $300 COVID-19 crisis supplement in April 2020.

  • For May and June 2020, earnings received through federal EI, including the $2,000 Canada Emergency Response Benefit, are exempt

Because BC Transit and TransLink have temporarily suspended fares province-wide, people using the B.C. Bus Program will see the $52 transportation supplement added to their monthly cheques for the duration of the fare suspension.

Eligibility

People who receive income or disability assistance from the Province.

See more details about the COVID-19 crisis supplement


Food Bank Funding

$3-million emergency grant to Food Banks British Columbia to support immediate needs to buy and distribute food, pay employees and cover essential costs.

Eligibility

People who rely on food banks

Find a local food bank


More Spaces for People Leaving Violence

In addition to more than 100 transition houses and safe homes that the Province funds on an ongoing basis, nearly 300 additional spaces in communities throughout B.C. have been secured for people leaving violent or unstable situations.

Eligibility

Women and children experiencing violence

See more details on transition houses and safe homes

 

Provincial

Transit Fare Relief

As of March 20, 2020, TransLink and BC Transit suspended fares on all its buses.

  • Passengers are asked to board buses using the rear doors, and accessible  boarding continues to be available through the front door

As of March 25, 2020, HandyDart, operated by TransLink, stopped collecting fares.

TransLink’s scheduled fare increase for July 1, 2020, has been postponed indefinitely.

Eligibility

All passengers who use TransLink or BC Transit


BC Ferries Service Change

BC Ferries recommends all customers avoid non-essential travel and has reduced sailings on all major routes, including passage from Metro-Vancouver to Vancouver Island and Metro-Vancouver to Sunshine Coast.


Inland Ferries Service Change

Effective immediately, passengers boarding inland ferries must comply with the following changes:

  • All inland ferry passengers travelling by vehicle must remain in their vehicles for the duration of the trip
  • All passenger amenities aboard the ferry are closed until further notice to limit interaction amongst passengers
  • Walk-on passengers, cyclists and motorcyclists must remain inside designated zones while in the terminal and while aboard the ferry
  • Walk-on passengers, cyclists and motorcyclists with symptoms of COVID-19 are not permitted aboard the inland ferries

 

Federal

Mortgage Payment Deferral

Homeowners can contact their bank to apply for six months of mortgage payment deferral.

Eligibility

People with mortgages

See more details about mortgage payment deferral


Provincial

Protections for Renters

The Province put a stop to all new and existing evictions, except for in extraordinary circumstances.

All new annual rent increases are frozen during the state of emergency.

Eligibility

People who are renters, landlords

Learn more about protections for renters


Rental Supplement

A new temporary rental supplement of up to $500 per month for eligible households with dependents and up to $300 per month for eligible households with no dependents is now available from BC Housing.

The rental supplement is available for April, May and June 2020 on a per-household basis. 


Renters in some parts of B.C. can receive emergency help for rent payments and one-time interest-free loans through the BC Rent Bank.

Eligibility

To receive the rental supplement, you must meet all of the following criteria:

  • Receiving or eligible for Employment Insurance, the Canada Emergency Response Benefit or experiencing a 25% reduction in monthly employment income as a result of COVID-19
  • 2019 household income of less than $74,150 for households with no dependents and $113,040 for households with dependents
  • Paying more than 30% of current/reduced gross monthly income towards rent
  • Not receiving any other rent subsidy from any level of government, including subsidized housing or rent supplements, such as Shelter Aid for Elderly Renters (SAFER) or the Rental Assistance Program (RAP)

Apply for the rent supplement through BC Housing


COVID-19 and Tenancies

Landlords cannot access rental units without the consent of the tenant, except in exceptional cases.

Landlords can restrict the use of common areas to prevent the transmission of COVID-19

Eligibility

People who are landlords

See more details about COVID-19 and tenancies


Self-Isolation Spaces

Nearly 2,000 spaces have been secured at sites throughout B.C.’s health regions to help people self-isolate.

Eligibility

People experiencing homelessness, people without safe spaces to self-isolate and youth

See more details about self-isolation spaces

 

 

Federal

One-Time Tax-Free Payment

A one-time tax-free payment of $300 for seniors eligible for the Old Age Security (OAS) pension, with an additional $200 for seniors eligible for the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS).

Eligibility

Canadian seniors

No application required


Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) and Allowance Payments Extension

Temporarily extension of GIS and allowance payments if seniors’ 2019 income information has not been assessed.

Eligibility

Canadian seniors

To avoid an interruption in benefits, seniors are encouraged to submit their 2019 income information as soon as possible and no later than by October 1, 2020.


United Way Funding

$9 million in funding has gone to United Way to help seniors stay in their homes, safely, and have access to grocery and pharmacy delivery.

Eligibility

Canadian seniors

Access United Way Support


RRIF Withdrawal Minimum

The required minimum withdrawal from Registered Retirement Income Funds (RRIFs) has been reduced by 25% for 2020.

Eligibility

Canadian seniors

See more details about RRIF withdrawals


Provincial

BC Senior's Crisis Supplement

A $300 supplement for April, May and June 2020 for eligible seniors.

Eligibility

B.C. seniors who receive the BC Senior's Supplement

No application required

See more details about the BC Senior's Supplement


United Way Funding

$50 million in funding has gone to United Way to bolster seniors’ supports in British Columbia, including services that help seniors stay in their homes, safely.

Eligibility

B.C. seniors

Access United Way Support


bc211 Funding

More funding has been given to bc211, a province-wide information and referral service that matches seniors with volunteers who can help with basic needs, including grocery shopping and pharmacy drop-offs.

Eligibility

B.C. seniors

Access bc211

 

 

Students & Recent Graduates

Federal

Canada Emergency Student Benefit

The Canada Emergency Student Benefit provides emergency financial relief to students and recent graduates who are unable to work, or unable to find work, due to reasons related to COVID-19.

The benefit will provide $1,250 a month for eligible students or $2,000 a month for eligible students with dependents or disabilities from May to August 2020.

It is also available for those who are working but not making more than $1,000 (before taxes) over the four-week period for which they are applying.

Starting on May 15, 2020, eligible students will be able to apply for the Canada Emergency Student Benefit online through their CRA My Account or by phone through CRA’s automated toll-free line at 1-800-959-2019 or 1-800-959-2041

Eligibility

Students who are Canadian citizens or permanent residents, and who are enrolled in a post-secondary education program leading to a degree, diploma, or certificate; or who ended their studies no earlier than December 2019. 

For high school students and those working towards the equivalent of a high school diploma, the CESB will be available between:

  • May and August 2020 if they receive a high school diploma or equivalent before May 10, 2020
  • June and August 2020 if they receive a high school diploma or equivalent between May 10, 2020 and June 6, 2020
  • July and August 2020 if they receive, or are to receive, a high school diploma or equivalent between June 2020 and December 2020

Apply online starting May 15

See more details about the Canada Emergency Student Benefit


Federal Student Loan Repayment Freeze

Starting March 30, 2020, all federal student loan repayments are automatically frozen and interest free until Sept. 30, 2020.

Eligibility

  • People with outstanding federal student loans
  • People do not need to apply for deferral
  • They do need to stop their automatic online or credit card payments

Learn more about the freeze to federal student loan repayments


Canada Summer Jobs Program

Temporary changes have been made to the Canada Summer Jobs program to help employers hire summer staff and provide young Canadians with access to jobs. Changes include:

  • An increase to the wage subsidy so private and public sector employers can receive up to 100 per cent of the provincial or territorial minimum hourly wage for each employee
  • An extension to the end date for employment to February 28, 2021
  • Allowing employers to adapt their projects and job activities to support essential services
  • Allowing employers to hire staff on a part-time basis

Support for Student Researchers and Post-Doctoral Fellows

$291.6 million to support student researchers and post-doctoral fellows through the federal granting councils.

A one-semester extension for eligible students whose research scholarships or fellowships end between March and August 2020 and who intend to continue their studies.

A three-month extension in funding for holders of federal research grants to support eligible trainees and staff paid out of these awards.


Supporting International Students Working in an Essential Service

Temporary removal of restriction that allows international students to work only a maximum of 20 hours per week while classes are in session, provided they are working in an essential service or function, such as health care, critical infrastructure, or the supply of food or other critical goods.

This temporary rule change will be in place until August 31, 2020.

Eligibility

Students working in an essential service or function.

Review list of federal essential services


Student Work Placement Program

$80 million for the Student Work Placement Program to support up to 20,000 post-secondary students across Canada to obtain paid work experience related to their field of study.

Eligibility

To participate in a student work placement you must:

  • Be registered in a post-secondary program that includes work placements
  • Be a Canadian citizen, permanent resident or person with refugee protection given under the law
  • Be legally able to work in Canada according to the laws and regulations of the province or territory where you live

Learn more about the Student Work Placement Program


Provincial

B.C. Student Loan Repayment Freeze

Starting March 30, 2020, all B.C. student loan repayments are automatically frozen until Sept. 30, 2020.

Eligibility

  • People with outstanding B.C. student loans
  • People do not need to apply for deferral
  • They do need to stop their automatic online or credit card payments

Learn more about the changes that StudentAidBC is making to support students


Keep Learning BC

The Province has launched Keep Learning BC so that kids can continue their education online.

Families can find ideas for everyday educational activities, links to free learning resources and information on how to help children learn.

 

 

Provincial

Job-Protected Leave

The Employment Standards Act has changed so workers can take unpaid, job-protected leave if they are unable to work because of COVID-19, retroactive to Jan. 27, 2020.

Workers now have 3 days of unpaid, job-protected leave each year.


Liability of Essential Services Workers

Workers who provide essential services cannot be held liable for damages caused by exposure to COVID-19 if they comply with orders from the provincial health officer and other authorities.


B.C. COVID-19 Temporary Pandemic Pay

Temporary pandemic pay supports health, social services and corrections employees delivering in-person, front-line care during the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes employees delivering a range of health and social services to people most vulnerable to COVID-19, where maintaining physical distancing is difficult or impossible.

Eligibility

Front-line health, social service and corrections employees

See more details about the temporary pandemic pay

 

 

Support for Businesses, Organizations and Industry

Federal

Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility

The Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility (LEEFF) program will provide bridge financing to Canada’s largest employers, whose needs during the pandemic are not being met through conventional financing, in order to keep their operations going during the pandemic.

Eligibility

LEEFF is open to large Canadian employers who meet the following criteria:

  • Have a significant impact on Canada’s economy, as demonstrated by having significant operations in Canada or supporting a significant workforce in Canada
  • Can generally demonstrate approximately $300 million or more in annual revenues
  • Require a minimum loan size of about $60 million

Review eligibility requirements and apply


Canada Emergency Business Account 

The Canada Emergency Business Account provides interest-free loans of up to $40,000 to eligible small businesses and not-for-profits to help cover their operating costs during a period where their revenues have been temporarily reduced.

Repaying the loan on or before December 31, 2022 will result in loan forgiveness of 25% (up to $10,000).

Eligibility

Small businesses, not-for-profits and organizations must demonstrate they paid between $20,000 to $1.5 million in total payroll in 2019.

As of May 19, 2020, an expanded eligibility criteria allows more Canadian small businesses to qualify, including sole-proprietors receiving income directly from their businesses, businesses that rely on contractors, and family-owned corporations that pay employees through dividends rather than payroll.

Review eligibility requirements and get ready to apply

 


Business Credit Availability Program

The Business Credit Availability Program is available at various financial institutions and credit unions to support businesses in all sectors and regions to obtain financing.

For Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises:

The Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) is working with financial institutions to co-lend term loans to small and medium enterprises, for their operational cash flow requirements. The program offers differing maximum finance amounts based on business revenues. Eligibility has been extended to all legal businesses, including cannabis businesses and those in the hospitality sector operating bars and lounges.

Export Development Canada (EDC) is working with financial institutions to issue new operating credit and cash flow term loans of up to $6.25 million to small and medium enterprises. Support is available to both exporting and non-exporting companies.

For Mid-Sized Companies with Larger Financing Needs:

BDC’s Mid-Market Financing Program
Provides commercial loans ranging between $12.5 million and $60 million to medium-sized businesses whose credit needs exceed what is already available through the BCAP and other measures. BDC anticipates that qualifying companies will have annual revenues in excess of approximately $100 million. More details will be made available soon.

EDC’s Mid-Market Guarantee and Financing Program
EDC is working with financial institutions to guarantee 75% of new operating credit and cash-flow loans – ranging in size from $16.75 million to a maximum of $80 million to companies with revenues of between $50 million to $300 million. These expanded guarantees are available to exporters, international investors and businesses that sell their products or services within Canada. More details will be made available soon.

Eligibility

Small and medium enterprises should work with their current financial institutions.

Information will be available soon for mid-sized companies. 

See more details about the Business Credit Availability Program


Communities Futures Emergency Loan Program

Interest-free loans of up to $40,000, with up to $10,000 forgivable if repaid before December 31, 2022, to small and medium size businesses in rural communities.

Eligibility

Businesses must be ineligible for other federal support programs such as the CEBA and BCAP, established before March 1, 2020, and be a sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, social enterprise, or other similar organization. 

Contact your Regional Development Agency for help

Learn more about the Communities Future Network


Industrial Research Assistance Program

Assistance provided to innovative, early-stage companies that are unable to access other COVID-19 business supports through the Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP).

IRAP provides advice, connections, and funding to help Canadian small and medium-sized businesses increase their innovation capacity and take ideas to market.

Eligibility

Small and medium-sized businesses

Apply for IRAP


Financial Support for Indigenous Businesses

Supports available to help small and medium-sized Indigenous businesses, and to support Aboriginal financial institutions that offer financing to these businesses.

The funding will allow for short-term, interest-free loans and non-repayable contributions through Aboriginal Financial Institutions, which offer financing and business support services to First Nations, Inuit, and Métis businesses.

Financial support for Indigenous businesses will be provided through Aboriginal Financial Institutions, and administered by the National Aboriginal Capital Corporations Association and the Métis capital corporations in partnership with Indigenous Services Canada.

Eligibility

Small and medium-sized Indigenous businesses

See more details about financial supports that are available


Regional Relief and Recovery Fund

The Regional Relief and Recovery Fund is specifically targeted toward businesses and organizations that may require additional help to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic but have been unable to access existing support measures.

Applications are assessed as they are received, with funding subject to availability.

Two loan options are available to qualifying businesses:

Funding requests up to $40,000

  • Interest-free loans of up to $40,000, with up to $10,000 forgivable if repaid before December 31, 2020

Funding requests over $40,000

  • Interest-free loans of up to $1 million, with no scheduled monthly repayments required until after December 31, 2022

Eligibility

Businesses interested in receiving support through this initiative can apply for the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund through their local Regional Development Agency.

Sole proprietorships and not-for profits are not eligible.  

See more details about the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund

 

Federal

The Mandatory Isolation Support for Temporary Foreign Workers Program

The Mandatory Isolation Support for Temporary Foreign Workers Program (MISTFWP) provides support of $1,500 for each temporary foreign worker, to employers or those working with them to ensure requirements are fully met. The funding is conditional on employers not being found in violation of the mandatory isolation.

Anexemption was granted for temporary foreign workers from travel restrictions to Canada, along with other foreigners with student and work visas, provided they adhere to a strict 14-day isolation protocol upon arrival.

Eligibility

Canadian employers in the farming, fish harvesting, and food production and processing sectors.

Eligible activities are of the following nature and type:

  • Wages and benefits of the temporary foreign workers during the mandatory 14-day isolation period
  • Off site accommodations during the mandatory 14-day isolation period
  • Transportation to and from off site accommodations required during the mandatory 14-day isolation period
  • Food or a food allowance during the mandatory 14-day isolation period
  • Health and safety supplies such as gloves, masks, hand sanitizer, disinfectant cleaners and soaps required for the mandatory 14-day isolation period
  • Other incremental costs directly associated to the 14 day mandatory isolation period imposed on temporary foreign workers under the Quarantine Act

Apply for the MISTFWP


Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy

The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy provides eligible businesses with 75% of the wages normally earned by employees, up to a maximum of $847 per employee per week.

The program is in place for 12 weeks, from March 15 to June 6, 2020. 

The program has been extended by an additional 12 weeks to August 29, 2020.

Beginning April 27, 2020, certain financial institutions will offer CRA direct deposit online enrolment for business payroll accounts through their websites, helping businesses get their payments quickly and securely.

Organizations that do not qualify for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy may continue to qualify for the previously announced wage subsidy of 10% of remuneration paid from March 18, 2020, to before June 20, 2020, up to a maximum subsidy of $1,375 per employee and $25,000 per employer.

Eligibility

  • Be an eligible employer
  • Experienced an eligible reduction in gross revenue, at least 15% in March and 30% in April and May, when compared to the same months in 2019 or compared to the average of January and February 2020
  • Had a CRA payroll account on March 15, 2020
  • The program’s availability is extended to additional groups, including partnerships with one or more non-eligible members, Indigenous government-owned businesses, Registered Canadian Amateur Athletic Associations, registered journalism organizations, and non-public educational and training institutions

Apply for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy


Work-Sharing Program Extension

The Work-Sharing program has been extended from 38 weeks to 76 weeks.

Eligibility

The program is offered to workers who agree to reduce their normal working hours because of developments beyond the control of their employers.

See more details about the Work-Sharing program


Canada Summer Jobs Program

Temporary changes have been made to the Canada Summer Jobs program to help employers hire summer staff and provide young Canadians with access to jobs. Changes include:

  • An increase to the wage subsidy so private and public sector employers can receive up to 100 per cent of the provincial or territorial minimum hourly wage for each employee
  • An extension to the end date for employment to February 28, 2021
  • Allowing employers to adapt their projects and job activities to support essential services
  • Allowing employers to hire staff on a part-time basis

Eligibility

Employers and young Canadians

Review changes to the Canada Summer Jobs program

 

Federal

Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance Program

The program will provide forgivable loans to qualifying commercial property owners to cover 50% of three monthly rent payments that are payable by eligible small business tenants who are experiencing financial hardship during April, May, and June.

The loans will be forgiven if the mortgaged property owner agrees to reduce the small business tenants’ rent by at least 75% under a rent forgiveness agreement, which will include a term not to evict the tenant while the agreement is in place. The small business tenant would cover the remainder, up to 25% of the rent.

Eligibility

Commercial property owners and small business tenants

Review eligibility and get ready to apply for the Canada Emergency Rent Assistance Program

Applications open May 25, 2020. Application documents can be accessed now. 


Provincial

ICBC Payment Deferral

ICBC clients currently on a monthly Autoplan can defer their payments for up to 90 days with no penalty.

Eligibility

Residential and commercial customers currently on a monthly Autoplan payment.

Deferrals also available to commercial and fleet vehicles.

Apply for ICBC payment deferral online


BC Hydro Payment Relief

BC Hydro rates will be reduced by 1% on April 1, 2020.

Small businesses can have their power bills forgiven for 3 months (April to June 2020).

Major industries, like pulp and paper mills and mines, can defer 50% of their bill payments for three months.

Eligibility

Businesses who are customers of BC Hydro

Apply for BC Hydro payment relief online


Private

FortisBC Customer Recovery Fund

  • For small businesses that have been forced to close, FortisBC will issue bill credits to offset any charges to their account while they’ve been unable to continue operating their business as usual
  • Businesses still open, but facing a slowdown in revenue, will not receive bill credits but can sign up for the COVID-19 Customer Recovery Fund to automatically have their bills deferred from April 1 to June 30, 2020
    • A repayment schedule, free of interest or additional fees, will be set up and payments can be spread over a full year

Eligibility

FortisBC customers

Apply for the Customer Recovery Fund

 

Federal 

Federal Payment Deferrals

Businesses can defer paying GST/HST remittances and customs duties until June 30, 2020.

Personal income tax filings and payment are deferred to June 1, 2020 and Aug. 31, 2020.

Eligibility

Canadian businesses

See more details about federal payment deferrals


Provincial

Provincial Payment Deferrals

Businesses with a payroll over $500,000 can defer their employer health tax payments until Sept. 30, 2020. Businesses with a payroll under $500,000 are already exempt.

Payments for provincial sales tax (PST), hotel tax, carbon tax, motor fuel tax and tobacco tax are deferred to Sept. 30, 2020.

The scheduled increase to the carbon tax rate, and the application of PST to e-commerce transactions and sweetened carbonated drinks, are delayed until further notice.

 

Federal

Emergency Community Support Fund

Charities and non-profit organizations requiring financial assistance to address the pandemic can now apply for the Emergency Community Support Fund.

The Government of Canada is working with the United Way Centraide Canada, the Canadian Red Cross and the Community Foundations of Canada to distribute the Emergency Community Support Fund.

These partners will disburse funds to local community-based organizations working with vulnerable populations, including seniors, persons with disabilities, members of LGBTQ2 communities, veterans, newcomers, women, children and youth, and members of Indigenous communities and racialized communities, such as Black Canadians.

Eligibility

Charities and non-profit organizations

Review eligibility and apply now


Provincial

Economic Recovery Planning

$1.5 billion in provincial funding will support economic stimulus once the pandemic has passed.

The B.C. government is working in partnership with a new Economic Recovery Task Force to develop B.C.’s long-term plan for economic recovery.

 

Federal

Supports for Agri-food Businesses and Farmers

$5 billion for more lending capacity and six months' deferral for loan repayment for agri-food businesses and farmers.

Eligibility

Canadian farmers and agricultural businesses

See more details about supports for agri-food businesses and farmers


Canadian Seafood Stabilization Fund

The fund will help businesses:

  • Access short-term financing to pay for maintenance and inventory costs
  • Add storage capacity for unsold product
  • Comply with new health and safety measures for workers
  • Support new manufacturing/automated technologies to improve productivity and quality of finished seafood products
  • Adapt products to respond to changing requirements and new market demands

Eligibility

Fish and seafood processing businesses

See more details on the Canadian Seafood Stabilization Fund


Provincial

BCAFM Funding

The British Columbia Association of Farmers’ Markets (BCAFM) member farmers markets are eligible to receive funding to help transition to an online market platform so they can continue selling their food products to customers in their communities.

The B.C. government is providing $55,000 to the BCAFM to cover fees for individual farmers markets to join the online platform and set up their digital market store presence.


Support for Animal Care Facilities

Funding is available for animal hygiene, habitat upkeep, veterinarian care, limited transportation, and repairs to equipment required to ensure the welfare of the animals in care.

Eligibility

B.C. shelters, animal refuges, aquariums and rehabilitation centres that lack the revenue to ensure animals in their care will not be in distress are eligible to apply for funding.

To inquire about funding eligibility, email: BRMB.General.Inquiries@gov.bc.ca

 


Buy BC e-Commerce Funding

Qualifying B.C. farmers and food and beverage processors of all sizes can apply for up to $5,000 to support their Buy BC e-commerce activities.

The program provides financial support to access and develop websites that accommodate online sales and helps cover the costs of marketing and shipping products to consumers throughout the province.

More Details

Online applications are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis, from May 15 to May 29.

Get more information and the application at BuyBC


 Federal & Provincial

B.C. Agri-Business Planning Program

B.C. agriculture, seafood and food processing business owners are encouraged to apply if their revenues have decreased by at least 30% as a result of COVID-19.

The funding available includes up to $5,000 in business planning services and coaching for individuals, and up to $20,000 for groups, from a qualified business consultant, to develop an immediate and long-term recovery plan.

Eligibility

For eligibility details visit the B.C. Agri-Business Planning Program website

 

 

Federal 

Canada Council for the Arts Advance Funding

Canada Council for the Arts is providing $60 million in advance funding to core funded organizations.


Canada Book Fund and Canada Periodical Fund

Canadian Heritage is simplifying the 2020/21 funding requests process for the Canada Book Fund and Canada Periodical Fund to reduce the time it takes to process files.

Eligibility

Eligible beneficiaries will be able to access financial assistance faster.

Apply for funding


Provincial

Arts and Culture Resilience Supplement

BC Arts Council Arts and Culture Resilience Supplement provides existing operating assistance clients and eligible project clients with up to $15,000.

Eligibility

Existing (operating assistance) clients, eligible project clients

See more details about BC Arts Council programs


BC Arts Council Client Funding

BC Arts Council is advancing 50% of 2020/21 funding to clients.

Eligibility

Existing operating assistance clients

See more details about BC Arts Council programs


Creative BC Claims

Existing Creative BC clients can continue to make claims in final reports for cancelled activities and travel.

Eligibility

Existing Creative BC clients

Make a Creative BC claim


Showcase BC Grant Program

The new Showcase BC music funding program offers one-time micro-grants of $500 to emerging artists and $2,000 to established artists for livestreaming, songwriting and professional development.

British Columbians can access all the grant performances for free through the Showcase BC website and get information on new livestream events by following the hashtag #ShowcaseBC on Twitter.

Eligibility

BC artists who have previously submitted complete and eligible applications to:

No application is required. 

Learn more about the Showcase BC Grant Program

 

 

Provincial

Temporary Emergency Funding

Licensed child care providers staying open can receive funding to keep operations going.

  • These centres are eligible to receive seven times their average monthly funding from government
  • This is expected to cover approximately 75% of a group facility’s average monthly operating expenses
  • Licensed child care providers can continue to receive Child Care Fee Reduction Initiative payments and continue to receive Early Childhood Educator wage enhancements for staff

Licensed child care providers who close will be eligible to receive two times their average monthly government funding.

  • This is expected to cover approximately 20% of an average group facility's monthly operating expenses

Eligibility

Licensed group child care providers and smaller home-based child care providers are eligible for temporary emergency funding to keep operations going or maintain their business while closed.

Apply for temporary emergency funding

 

Provincial

Stumpage Fee Deferral

Stumpage fees are deferred for three months.

Eligibility

The deferral with interest is available to Tree Farm Licence, Replaceable Forest Licence and First Nations’ Woodlands Licence holders who are in good financial standing with the Province. They must be following through on their reforesting obligations.

Review stumpage information

 

 

Property Owners & Landlords

Provincial

Tenancy Changes

Landlords cannot access rental units without the consent of the tenant, except in exceptional cases.

Landlords can restrict the use of common areas to prevent the transmission of COVID-19.

Eligibility

People who are landlords

See more details about COVID-19 and tenancies


School Tax Reduction

School tax rates for commercial properties are reduced for the 2020 tax year.

On April 16, 2020, the school property tax was lowered again and classes 7 and 8 are now included. Overall, the commercial property tax bill for most businesses will be reduced by 25% on average.

Late payment penalties for classes 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 are postponed to October 1, 2020. 

Eligibility

Automatic reduction

No application required

 

Federal

Independent Advisory Board on Eligibility for Journalism Tax Measures

The Independent Advisory Board on Eligibility for Journalism Tax Measures is now in place.

Canadian Heritage is working to establish a simplified process for submitting and processing 2020/21 funding requests for the Canada Book Fund and Canada Periodical Fund.

 

Provincial

Liquor Licensing Changes

Restaurants are temporarily allowed to deliver liquor products alongside the purchase of a meal.

Breweries, wineries and distillers are now authorized to use their establishments to manufacture alcohol-based hand sanitizer to sell or donate.

Eligibility

All British Columbians

See more details about liquor licensing


Liquor Licensess Fee Extension & Deferral

Temporary extension for liquor licences expiring between March 31, 2020 and June 30, 2020.

  • Extended licences must still be renewed prior to their new expiry dates
  • Renewal fees will be deferred until Sept. 30, 2020, and will continue to be calculated in accordance with the Liquor Control and Licensing Regulation

Eligibility

Extensions will be applicable to most liquor licences, with the exceptions of licensee retail stores, special wine stores and wine stores with wine on shelf in grocery stores.

Eligible licensees whose licences fall within March 31, 2020 and June 30, 2020 and who find themselves in financial need, may ask for support by emailing a request to LCRB_COVID19@gov.bc.ca.

 

 

Provincial

Connecting B.C. Internet Funding 

Internet service providers throughout the province can apply for grants of up to $50,000 – or 90% of their expenses – to cover the cost of equipment, including antennas, electronics or other types of devices that relate to the performance or range of their network.

Grants will be funded through the existing Connecting British Columbia program.

Submissions will be reviewed on a first-come-first-served basis, with funding decisions made within three to five business days.

Internet service providers must complete their projects by June 30, 2020.

Eligibility

Rural, remote and indigenous communities

Applications are now being accepted by Northern Development Initiative

Download application form

See more details about Connecting B.C.

 

 

Federal

Emergency Support Fund for Cultural, Heritage and Sport Organizations

$500 million Emergency Support Fund has been established as a temporary relief measure to help alleviate the financial pressures of cultural, heritage and sport organizations facing.

Eligibility

Cultural, heritage and sport organizations

Review eligibility details


Provincial

viaSport Funding

viaSport is advancing 50% of 2020/21 funding to existing clients.

Eligibility

Existing operating assistance clients

See more details about viaSport

 

Federal

Support for Airports

Ground lease rents from March 2020 through to December 2020 for the 21 airport authorities that pay rent to the federal government have been waived. 

Eligibility

Airport authorities

See more details about supports for airports