COVID-19 Provincial and Federal Benefits

British Columbians affected by the COVID-19 pandemic are able to access income supports, tax relief and direct funding for people, businesses and services. 

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

Last updated: September 18, 2020

On this page:

Support for Individuals & Families

Federal 

Canada Revenue Agency Payment Deadline Extension

The CRA is extending the payment due date for current year individual, corporate, and trust income tax returns, including installment payments, from September 1, 2020, to September 30, 2020.

Penalties and interest will not be charged if payments are made by the extended deadline of September 30, 2020. This includes the late-filing penalty as long as the return is filed by September 30, 2020.

Eligibility

British Columbians who pay federal income tax.


Special GST/HST Credit Payment

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

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

Eligibility

British Columbians received payment automatically if they normally receive the GST/HST credit.

See more details about the special GST/HST credit


Provincial

Fall Pandemic Plan

The Province is investing $1.6 billion in a fall and winter preparedness plan that will significantly build upon and strengthen measures that respond to the health-care requirements of COVID-19. 

The plan provides new support to seniors in long-term care homes and assisted-living facilities by ensuring more British Columbians than ever before can get a flu shot, and by reducing the chance for transmission of COVID-19 in B.C. hospitals. 

The Government of B.C. is dedicating $44.1 million to launch the Health Career Access Program and recruit an estimated 7,000 health-care workers in long-term care homes and assisted-living facilities throughout the province. 

To further protect vulnerable British Columbians, the Province is providing $374 million to bolster public health measures, including significantly building out the fall flu immunization campaign. 

The Government of B.C. is also dedicating $42.3 million to ease the pressures off B.C. hospitals and reduce the chance of COVID-19 transmission in the hospitals. 


BC Parks - Free Day Pass

Visitors now require a free day-use pass to access specific areas in six provincial parks.

The day-use passes are part of a pilot program to manage the number of visitors in popular parks and provide opportunities for physical distancing in congested areas.

Eligibility

Further details about the passes required in each park, along with detailed information about BC Parks response to COVID-19 and which parks remain closed, can be found at the BC Parks website.


Service BC online options with Verify by Video

The BC Services Card Verify by Video service allows people to launch a live video call with a Service BC representative within the BC Services Card mobile app.

People can use the "Send Video" function within the BC Services Card app on their iPhone, iPad, Android phone or tablet to send Service BC a photo and a short video of themselves at any time, day or night.

A Service BC representative reviews and verifies the person’s identity and activates their mobile BC Services Card for online use within just a few hours,  eliminating the need to visit a Service BC Centre for in-person identity verification. 

Eligibility

The Verify by Video service is available through the BC Services Card mobile app.


B.C. Climate Action Tax Credit

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

The enhanced B.C. Climate Action Tax Credit was combined with the federal GST/HST credit payment.

Eligibility

British Columbians received the Climate Action Tax Credit along with their federal GST/HST returns. 

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

Other temporary changes included:

  • Waiving the $30 fee if insurance was cancelled
  • Waiving the $18 plating fee
  • Suspension of insurance for fleet vehicle customers

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.

Some of the supports that have been offered through BCHydro include:

  • Halted all service disconnections because of non-payment during COVID-19
  • Residential customers who are not working because of COVID-19 received 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
  • Customers were able to 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


Private

FortisBC Customer Recovery Fund

Residential FortisBC customers were able 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

This support was offered from April 1 to June 30, 2020.

Federal

Safe Return to Class Fund

$2 billion for provinces and territories to support adapted learning spaces, improved air ventilation, increased hand sanitation and hygiene, personal protective equipment and cleaning supplies. 

British Columbia will receive $242.36 million of funding which will be provided in two installments: the first in Fall 2020 and the second in early 2021.

An additional $112 million in funding for First Nations will support community measures to ensure a safe return to school on reserves.

Eligibility

The funding will be allocated based on the number of children aged between 4 and 18 years old.


Canada Child Benefit

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

Eligibility

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

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 

Funding for school health and safety measures

To support the Government of B.C.’s COVID-19 response for K-12 education, the federal government is providing $242.4 million in one-time funding for the 2020-21 school year, with the first half of the payment expected to be received in September.

Funding will support school districts to hire and train more teachers and support staff for remote learning; purchase additional software licences, electronic course materials and textbooks; purchase computers or tablets; and create Wi-Fi hubs and internet access in remote and Indigenous communities.


Funding for mental health programs supports safe return to school

The Province is boosting funds immediately for school-based wellness programs and supports by $2 million, topping up the $8.8-million investment over three years that was announced in September 2019.

Free and low-cost counselling services are available online, by video and phone through programs such as BounceBack, Living Life to the Full, Here2Talk, Foundry's virtual services and more, for anyone who needs someone to talk to.


Child Care for Essential Service Workers

At the end of March 2020, the Province began matching essential service workers with child care in their communities. 

This work was done through Child Care Resource Referral Centres in 38 B.C. communities. 

Eligibility

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


CYSN Emergency Relief Support Fund

A final round of the short-term Emergency Relief Support fund for children and youth with special needs and their families will provide a direct payment of $225 per month for up to three months to assist eligible families.

This will be available from July 1 to September 30, 2020.

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 modified agreements to allow youth and caregivers to extend their current living arrangements once a youth reaches 19.

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.

Any "paused" AYA time during the pandemic, or the inability for a youth to find employment because of COVID-19 during a natural program break, will not count toward the maximum 48-month program duration or age limit of 27.

Eligibility

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

Independent living and youth agreements will be extended, and participants in the Agreements with Young Adults (AYA) program can continue to receive funding.

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.

Eligibility

Young people in British Columbia

See more details on youth mental health support


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

Eligibility

Caregivers in British Columbia

Access Family Caregivers of B.C. services

 

Federal

First Nations Doctor of the Day

Program enables members of BC First Nations with limited or no access to their own doctors to make virtual appointments. 

  • If you do not have a doctor of your own, or have lost access due to the COVID-19 pandemic, call 1-855-344-3800 to book an appointment
  • Medical Office Assistants are available to help you seven da​ys per week from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm

Eligibility

Indigenous people in B.C. and their family members

See more about Virtual Doctor of the Day


First Nations Finance Authority Funding Announcement

First Nations with existing loans under the First Nations Finance Authority (FNFA) will receive interest payment relief as a result of a $17.1 million support from the Government of Canada.

This funding will directly help First Nations to maintain financial stability and lessen the economic impacts of COVID-19, as well as allocate financial resources to other critical needs during this crisis. 

Eligibility

First Nations with existing loans under the FNFA

Eligible First Nations can contact the FNFA for more details


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

On August 12, an additional $305 million was added to the fund to support Indigenous peoples during the COVID-19 pandemic.

It will be distributed through a combination of allocations directly to First Nations, Inuit and Métis leadership, and needs-based funding, which will be application driven.


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


Support for the ongoing public health response to COVID-19 in Indigenous Communities 

$285.1 million to support the ongoing public health response to COVID-19 in Indigenous communities.

The investment will fund community-led responses to the pandemic, and provide targeted increases in primary health care resources for First Nations communities. 

Eligibility

Indigenous communities

See more details about the funding


Supplementary funding for the On-Reserve Income Assistance Program

$270 million to supplement program to address increased demand, which helps individuals and families meet their essential living expenses.

Also helps hire additional staff to better serve First Nations communities and connect individuals to other government programs.

Eligibility

Indigenous communities

See more details about the funding


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
  • 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 (CERB) provides a taxable benefit of $2,000 every 4 weeks.

The federal government has extended CERB to an additional four weeks to a maximum of 28 weeks.

The CERB will transition to a simplified Employment Insurance (EI) program, effective September 27, 2020, to provide income support to those who remain unable to work and are eligible, and introducing a new suite of temporary and taxable recovery benefits to further support workers.

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

Payments started to be issued in May 2020 but continue to be issued. You can apply through October 2020.

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


BC Hydro Payment Relief

To support people going through financial hardship, customers had the opportunity to apply to have their power bills forgiven for 3 months.

Eligibility

The fund was available from April 1 to June 30, 2020 and provided eligible residential customers with three months of financial relief on their BC Hydro bill. The program is now closed.

 

Federal

One-time $600 payment to recipients of federal disability benefits

Individuals receiving federal disability benefits including Canada Pension Plan benefits, disability supports provided by Veterans Affairs Canada and disability tax credit certificate holders are eligible.

This federal benefit payment will be fully exempt for people currently receiving provincial assistance.

This one-time payment  is in addition to the previously announced exemptions for people on income and disability assistance who may be receiving the Canada Emergency Response Benefit or Canada Emergency Student Benefit. The exemptions remain in effect for the duration of these federal programs.


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 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.

  • Earnings received through federal EI, including the $2,000 Canada Emergency Response Benefit, are exempt for the duration of the CERB program

The COVID-19 Crisis Supplement is extended for an additional four months for those who are not receiving federal benefits like the Canada Emergency Response Benefit.

  • The temporary $300 crisis supplement will continue to be automatically applied to cheques distributed Sept. 23, Oct. 21, Nov. 18 and Dec. 16

This supplement will also continue to be provided to low-income seniors receiving the B.C. Senior’s Supplement and income assistance and disability recipients residing in special care facilities.

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

 

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 following tenancy laws are currently in place:

  • Landlords with existing orders for eviction can take them to the courts for enforcement and can enforce a writ order effective immediately
  • Landlords can enter a rental suite with 24-hour notice and do not need the tenant’s consent. They are expected to follow health guidelines like physical distancing, cleaning and wearing masks when appropriate
  • Personal service of documents have resumed

Government put in place a repayment framework to give renters until next summer to gradually pay back any unpaid rent while staying in their homes. Renters cannot be evicted for any unpaid rent between March 8–August 17 unless they miss a payment on their repayment plan..


Temporary Rental Supplement

The Temporary Rental Supplement (TRS) provided up to $500 per month for eligible households with dependents and up to $300 per month for eligible households with no dependents.

The rental supplement was available for April, May, June, July and August 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

This support is no longer available.

Government put in place a repayment framework to give renters until next summer to gradually pay back any unpaid rent while staying in their homes. Renters cannot be evicted for any unpaid rent between March 18–August 17 unless they miss a payment on their repayment plan.

Download the repayment plan template


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

1,000 new projects in support of seniors impacted by COVID-19

1,000 new projects delivered by community organizations across the country to support seniors during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

These projects are funded through an investment of $20 million in funding through the New Horizons for Seniors Program (NHSP).

Organizations will receive up to $25,000 in funding to offer immediate COVID-19 relief or recovery activities to seniors. The projects will include activities such as:

  • promoting computer literacy and virtual activities, such as exercise classes, among seniors;
  • supporting the delivery of food and medication or personalized monitoring of seniors by phone or by videoconference;
  • assisting seniors with essential activities, such as visits to the doctor;
  • hiring staff to replace a loss of volunteerism capacity due to the outbreak;
  • providing information to seniors regarding how to care for themselves in light of experiences relating to the pandemic; and
  • providing training on disease prevention and use of personal protective equipment.

Eligibility

Projects were selected based on equitable distribution of funding across the country, after consideration of active projects taking place in communities. Projects focusing on vulnerable populations or serving rural and remote communities were prioritized.


One-Time Tax-Free Payment of the Old Age Security (OAS) pension and the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS)

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) was issued the first week of July 2020. Allowance recipients also received $500.

Eligibility

This payment was issued during the week of July 6, 2020.


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

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.


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, June, July, August, September, October, November and December 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 Student Services Grant (CSSG)

Supports post-secondary students and recent graduates as they volunteer to serve in their communities’ COVID-19 response.

The CSSG provides volunteers with a one-time payment of between $1,000 and $5,000 based on the number of hours they serve.

Eligibility

Post-secondary students and recent graduates

Find a placement


New Jobs for Youth with Natural Resources Canada’s Science and Technology Internship Program

$15.8 million to create green jobs and training opportunities for Canadian youth in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) in the energy, forestry, mining, earth sciences and clean technology sectors. The funding is part of the $9-billion Government of Canada COVID-19 response for students announced by the Prime Minister on April 22, 2020.

Organizations will provide 500 green job internships, ranging from six to 12 months in length, for youth to gain experience and explore careers in the natural resources sectors.

Eligibility

Canadian workers aged 15 to 30

Apply for the program


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.

Students can 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. 

Apply online

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 September 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 repayment


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 is 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 September 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

BC Ferries Medically-Assured Loading

BC Ferries can implement all procedures necessary to provide priority medical-assured loading on the first available vessel for any individual, their vehicle and an escort.

Eligibility

To access priority loading for medical treatment, passengers must: 


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

 

 

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 January 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. 

Eligibility

The 16-week eligibility period for program ended on July 4, 2020.  Efforts are now underway for the next stage required to process the temporary pay for employees. 

Review details about temporary pandemic pay

 

 

Support for Businesses, Organizations & Industry

Federal

Canada Emergency Business Account 

The Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) 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).

The application deadline for the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) has been extended to October 31, 2020.


Business Credit Availability Program

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

The Business Credit Availability Program is comprised of BDC’s Co-lending Program for SMEs, and its Mid Market Financing Program, and EDC’s Loan Guarantee for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs), as well as its Mid-Market Guarantee and Financing Program which will be launching soon.

The Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) has been extended to June 2021.

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. 

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. 

Eligibility

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

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. 

Learn more about Community Future


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.

Three loan options are available to qualifying businesses:

Businesses outside the Community Future network

  • Interest-free loans of up to $40,000, with up to $10,000 forgivable if repaid before December 31, 2020
  • Offered through Western Economic Diversification Canada
  • Sole proprietorships and not-for-profits are not eligible

Businesses requesting more then $40,000

  • Interest-free loans of up to $1 million, with no scheduled monthly repayments required until after December 31, 2022
  • Offered through Western Economic Diversification Canada
  • Sole proprietorships and not-for-profits are not eligible

Women-run businesses

  • Interest-free loans of up to $40,000, with up to $10,000 forgivable if repaid before December 31, 2020
  • Offered through the Women's Enterprise Centre

Eligibility

Businesses interested in receiving support through this initiative must not be eligible for other federal supports such as the Canada Emergency Business Account.


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


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

 

Federal

Temporary measures under Part III of the Canada Labour Code – Extension of lay-off periods

The federal government has announced changes to extend time periods for temporary layoffs to allow employers more time to recall laid-off employees.

The amendments, which are set out in the Canada Labour Standards Regulations, temporarily extend these time periods by up to six months:

  • For employees laid off prior to March 31, 2020, the time period is extended by six months or to December 30, 2020, whichever occurs first
  • For employees laid off between March 31, 2020, and September 30, 2020, the time period is extended until December 30, 2020, unless a later recall date was provided in a written notice at the time of the layoff

Eligibility

These changes came into effect on June 22, 2020.


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.

An exemption 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.

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 began on March 15, 2020 and has been extended by an additional 12 weeks to August 29, 2020.

Program changes as of August 17 include: 

  • The extension of the CEWS, including redesigned program details, until November 21, 2020
  • Increased eligibility, meaning that all eligible employers who've experienced a revenue drop can now qualify for a base subsidy. The subsidy amount is based on the revenue drop
  • Employers who are especially hard-hit can qualify for a top-up of up to 25%
  • Provide certainty for employers that have already made business decisions for July and August, by ensuring they will not receive a subsidy rate lower than they would have under the previous rules

For persons with disabilities, the one-time payment of $600 has been extended to include persons with disabilities who are beneficiaries as of June 1, 2020 of Canada Pension Plan Disability benefits, or one of the disability supports provided by Veterans Affairs Canada.

Eligibility

Apply for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy

Review extension details

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA)'s updated CEWS calculator can help small and large employers alike, by guiding them through a step-by-step process to prepare their applications and giving them a preview of the subsidy they may qualify for, based on the information they enter. 

The CRA’s dedicated CEWS number is 1-833-966-2099, and offers access to agents who can provide information about eligibility requirements, calculating the CEWS, or how to apply. 

The line operates from Monday to Friday, 9:00 am to 9:00 pm local time.

 


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


Provincial

Temporary layoffs provisions

The extension to the temporary layoff period expired on August 30, 2020. 

In the event a further extension is required, employers and employees can together apply to the Employment Standards Branch for a variance to extend a temporary layoff due to COVID-19.

Federal

Solvency Special Payment Relief Regulations

Temporary relief to sponsors of federally regulated, defined benefit pension plans.

Under the regulations, until December 30, 2020, federally regulated defined benefit pension plan sponsors are not required to make solvency special payments. The regulations also provide accommodations for solvency special payments made since April 1, 2020.

Eligibility

Plan sponsors whose pension plans have a solvency deficiency, and are normally required to make monthly payments to fund the deficiency and/or address their obligations through the use of letters of credit.

Review eligibility of the Solvency Special Payment Relief Regulations


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 were reduced by 1% on April 1, 2020.

Small businesses had the opportunity to apply to 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 six months, to the end of August 2020.

The deferred amounts will be repaid over a future nine-month period and are subject to interest.

Eligibility

The COVID-19 Relief Fund program closed June 30, 2020. Applications are no longer accepted.


Private

FortisBC Customer Recovery Fund

For small businesses that were forced to close, FortisBC issued bill credits to offset any charges to their account. 

Businesses still open, but facing a slowdown in revenue, did not receive bill credits but could sign up for the COVID-19 Customer Recovery Fund to automatically have their bills deferred from April 1 to June 30, 2020.

Eligibility

The fund was available from April 1 to June 30, 2020 and is no longer available.

 

Federal 

Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance Program

The Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) program offers forgivable loans to qualifying commercial property owners.

  • Previously approved applicants can opt in for the July, August and September extensions. New applicants will have the choice of applying for the three-month initial period, four months, five months or six months
  • Loans will be forgiven if the mortgaged property owner reduces 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
  • If you have already qualified CECRA, you will be able to apply for another month of support if you have experienced at least a 70 percent revenue decline in the months of April, May and June. You will still qualify even if your revenues have improved in July, August and or September

CECRA has been extended to the end of September. This will be the final extension of this program.

Eligibility

Commercial property owners and small business tenants 

Review eligibility and apply for the Canada Emergency Rent Assistance Program


Provincial

Rent Relief for Outdoor Adventure Operators

Commercial operators holding Land Act tenures and Park Act permits  may qualify to have the annual base rent they pay to the government waived for one year.

This rent forgiveness is aimed at commercial recreation operators whose primary purpose is outdoor recreation activities, with ancillary uses related to transportation, accommodation or food and beverage.

Eligibility

Eligible holders of commercial recreation tenures and park-use permits (under the Land Act and Park Act) will have one year of annual base rent (owed to the provincial government) waived for invoice due dates between May 1, 2020, and April 30, 2021.

Tenure and permit holders who are eligible for rent forgiveness will receive a notification letter.


B.C.’s Order under the Emergency Program Act strengthens Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance Program (CECRA)

Eligible businesses whose landlords choose not to apply for the federal CECRA program will be protected from evictions due to unpaid rent payments through to the end of September 2020, as determined by the federal program timelines.

The Emergency Program Act (EPA) order restricts the termination of lease agreements and the repossession of goods and property.

Eligibility

Commercial tenants that

  • Have seen a 70% reduction in their revenue
  • Have rent under $50,000 a month
  • Generate no more than $20 million in gross annual revenues

Apply for the Canada Emergency Rent Assistance Program

Federal

Canada Healthy Communities Initiative

Provides up to $31 million in existing federal funding to support communities as they deploy innovative new ways to adapt spaces and services to respond to immediate and ongoing needs arising from COVID-19 over the next two years.

The initiative will support projects under three main themes:

  • Creating safe and vibrant public spaces
  • Improving mobility options
  • Digital solutions

Eligibility

Helps local governments and community partners as they adapt to local economic, health and social challenges.

Get more information on the Canada Healthy Communities Initiative


Safe Restart Agreement

New federal funding will address seven priority areas:

  • Enhanced capacity for testing, contact tracing, and data management and information sharing to mitigate future outbreaks
  • Investments in health care to respond to the pandemic, including support for Canadians experiencing challenges with substance use, mental health or homelessness
  • Support for vulnerable Canadians – including those in long-term care, home care and palliative care – who are at risk of more severe cases of COVID-19
  • Funding to secure a reliable source of personal protective equipment and to recover some of the costs from previous investments made by provincial and territorial governments
  • Support to ensure that safe and sufficient child-care spaces are available to support parents' gradual return to work
  • Joint funding with the provinces and territories to support municipalities on the front lines of restarting the economy, including by putting in place precautions for public spaces and essential services to reduce the spread of the virus, as well as a dedicated stream of funding for public transit
  • A temporary income support program that will provide workers who do not have paid sick leave with access to 10 days of paid sick leave related to COVID-19

Eligibility

Not applicable.

See more Safe Restart Agreement details


Canada Infrastructure Program

Program has been adjusted so that provinces and territories can use federal funding to act quickly on a wider range of more pandemic-resilient infrastructure projects.

This could include retrofitting schools, upgrading hospitals and long-term care homes to deal with social distancing requirements, building new parks, cycling and walking paths or disaster mitigation projects that protect against floods and fires.

Eligibility

Changes are designed as short-term measures to address the current situation with flexibility.


Modernization of Enabling Accessibility Fund (EAF)

Provides funding for projects that make Canadian communities and workplaces more accessible for persons with disabilities. EAF aims to create more opportunities for persons with disabilities to take part in community activities, programs and services, or to access employment.

The call for proposals for the EAF small projects component provides funding to organizations for small-scale construction, renovation or retrofit projects that enable persons with disabilities to live and work in more inclusive and accessible communities.

Eligibility

The following organizations are eligible:

  • Not-for-profit 
  • Business
  • Small municipality
  • Indigenous organization (including band councils, tribal councils and self-government entities)
  • Territorial government

Apply for the Enabling Accessibility Fund


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. 

Eligibility

Charities and non-profit organizations

Review eligibility and apply now


Business Resilience Service Hotline

A four-week hotline service was created to help entrepreneurs and small business owners in need of financial planning advice, particularly those who may not have access to an accountant. The service was also open to not-for-profit organizations and charities.

Eligibility

The service hotline is no longer operational.

 


Provincial

B.C.'s Economic Recovery Plan

The plan outlines the latest steps the government is taking to help people, businesses and communities recover and come out of COVID-19 stronger and better prepared.

B.C.'s total provincial response to the COVID-19 pandemic exceeds $8.25 billion.


Funding Support for Community Social Service Sector

One-time funding of  $10 million to assist community social services sector organizations build capacity, support recruitment and retention and improve occupational health and safety training programs for staff.

This funding also supports Indigenous agencies and Indigenous staff in foundational training and development opportunities and occupational health and safety.

Eligibility

Agencies and organizations across the sector

Learn about the social services sector roundtable 


Community Gaming Grants

Community Gaming Grants (CGG) specifically fund programs or services as well as minor capital projects and capital acquisitions related to program delivery.

Applications for the human and social services sector of CGGs, which includes food banks, shelters, domestic violence supports, hospice, counselling services and others, opened in mid-June 2020.

Other changes to the CGG program provide:

  • Flexibility in requirements
  • Ability to include new programs in an application to respond to COVID-19 specific needs
  • Guidance on how to apply for grants given current uncertainty about whether programs such as annual fairs may be postponed or cancelled

Capital Grants

  • Increasing the amount the Province covers from 50% to 80% of the total cost of eligible capital projects directly related to COVID-19, up to a maximum of $250,000
  • Learn more about capital grants

Eligibility

Not-for-profit organizations providing programs or services of direct benefit to the broader community

Review eligibility information and apply


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 

Federal Payment Deferrals

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

Eligibility

This support is no longer available.

See more details about federal supports and payment deferrals


Provincial

PST Rebate on Select Machinery and Equipment

Temporary provincial sales tax (PST) program to help corporations recover from the financial impacts of COVID-19.

The program acts like a refund but is separate from the existing PST Refund process. Under this temporary program, corporations can apply to receive an amount equal to the PST they paid between Sept. 17, 2020 and Sept. 30, 2021 on qualifying machinery and equipment.

Eligibility

Qualifying businesses can apply online starting April 1, 2021.

Find more details on eligibility and how to apply


Increased Employment Incentive

As part of B.C.’s economic recovery plan, the B.C. Increased Employment Incentive is a refundable tax credit for employers that encourages the creation of new jobs for B.C. workers or increases in payroll for existing low- or medium-income employees.

The tax credit is calculated at 15% of the amount by which the employer’s qualifying B.C. remuneration exceeds the employer’s base remuneration.

Eligibility

All private sector employers —including most charities and non-profits—that create new jobs or increase their pay of their existing low- or medium-income employees over the last quarter (October to December) of 2020. 

Online applications start in March 2021.

Find details on how to apply


Province confirms tax measure implementation dates, deferral deadlines for businesses

The Province is delaying implementation dates to April 2021 for changes to provincial sales tax (PST) deadlines and B.C.'s carbon tax to help businesses and families through the COVID-19 pandemic and recovery.


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.


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. 

Commercial renters with triple-net leases are expected to receive the benefit from this measure. 

Eligibility

Automatic reduction

No application required

Federal

Surplus Food Rescue Program

This $50 million initiative supports Canada's food system, food processors, and food producers and distributors to help ensure food is available for all Canadians.

Funding will be be used to help manage and redirect food surpluses to organizations addressing food insecurity and to ensure that these surplus products are not wasted.


Canadian Fish and Seafood Opportunities Fund Reopened

The Canadian Fish and Seafood Opportunities Fund (CFSOF) has been reopened to support the industry in accessing new consumer markets in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The $42.85 million Canadian Fish and Seafood Opportunities Fund enables the Government of Canada and provincial and territorial partners to support industries’ priority projects and help people working in the fish and seafood sector by creating jobs and developing more opportunities for products.

Eligibility

In general, not-for-profit industry organizations operating on a national or sector-wide basis may apply.

Review fund details and get ready to apply


Emergency Processing Fund

$77.5 million to incentivize strategic investments to maintain and increase domestic food production and processing critical to Canada’s food supply. Food processors can receive up to $5 million, per recipient, to help enhance worker health and safety and for domestic food processing.

The Emergency Processing Fund will offer:

  • Emergency COVID Response - Funding to help companies implement changes to safeguard the health and safety of workers, their families, and communities
  • Strategic Investments - Funding to help companies improve, automate and modernize facilities to increase food supply capacity.

Financing Products through Farm Credit Canada

Through an additional $5 billion received from the Federal government, Farm Credit Canada (FCC) is offering loan payment deferrals and other financing products to the agriculture and food industry.

FCC has put in place:

  • A deferral of principal and interest payments up to six months for existing loans

or

  • A deferral of principal payments up to 12 months

Eligibility

Producers, agribusinesses and food processors

Review eligibility requirements

For more information on these options or on how FCC can help improve your financial position, please contact your local office or the Customer Service Centre at 1-888-332-3301 for further details. 

Please note: FCC is a lending organization. Normal lending due diligence will be taken on all applications.


Local Food Infrastructure Fund, COVID-19 Fund

Fund aims to strengthen food support organizations and to help improve access to safe and nutritious food for Canadians at risk. The program’s goal is to reduce food insecurity by establishing and/or strengthening local food networks in the medium to longer term.

Eligibility

Proposals under the program will support small and large community-led projects at facilities such as urban gardens, community kitchens, food banks, and greenhouses.

Eligible applicants:

  • Community or charitable organizations
  • Indigenous groups
  • Not-for-profit co-operatives

Apply for the Local Food Infrastructure Fund


Canadian Seafood Stabilization Fund

Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) is working with the Investment Agriculture Foundation, a local not-for-profit, to deliver in British Columbia. WD has been allocated more than $9 million in funding from Fisheries and Oceans Canada to support fish, seafood and aquaculture processors across Western Canada.

Eligible fish and seafood processors could apply for help with COVID-19 related costs incurred after March 15, 2020.

Eligibility

The Investment Agriculture Foundation (IAF) accepted applications from June 22 to July 13, 2020.

The application window for the Canadian Seafood Stabilization Fund is now closed. The IAF team is currently reviewing all of the applications received and funding decisions will be communicated as soon as possible. 


Youth Employment and Skills Program

The federal government has enhanced the Youth Employment and Skills Program and funded up to 700 new positions for youth in the agriculture industry.

The program provide agriculture employers up to 50 per cent of the cost of hiring a Canadian youth up to $14,000. Indigenous applicants and those applicants hiring a youth facing barriers are eligible for funding of up to 80 per cent of their costs.

Employers may apply for this funding retroactive to April 1, 2020, with projects to be completed by March 31, 2021.

Eligibility

Producers, agri-businesses, industry associations, provincial and territorial governments, Indigenous organizations and research facilities are eligible.

Application forms are available through the Youth Employment and Skills Program.

For more information, email aafc.yesp-pecj.aac@canada.ca or call 1-866-452-5558.


Fish Harvester Benefit and Grant Program 

Program helps to ensure that Canada’s fish harvesters receive the financial support they need and prepare the sector for a strong recovery in the long-term.

Eligibility

The application period will be open from August 24 through to September 21, 2020.

Harvesters interested in applying should go to the Fisheries and Oceans Canada website. This site provides details about the program including guidance on eligibility and what documentation is required to complete the application process.


Provincial

AgSafe Courses For Temporary Foreign Workers and Campsites Available  

The B.C. government provided funding to local governments to help set up designated campsite accommodations and ensure they meet health and safety requirements as outlined by the provincial health officer. 

All seasonal fruit pickers also need to take a new online COVID-19 awareness course through AgSafe, an independent association representing B.C. farm employer and worker organizations. 

Eligibility

All seasonal fruit pickers

Access AgSafe Courses


B.C. Farm, Fish and Food Job Connector

The new online resource showcases current job vacancies throughout the province, including:

  • Crop and seafood harvesters
  • Food processing and farm workers
  • Agrologists
  • Large machinery operators
  • Marketing specialists

The site also has sector-specific information and guidance to support businesses as they adapt recruitment and human resource management in response to COVID-19.

Eligibility

Farmers, seafood businesses and food processors looking for work and guidance on COVID-19 matters

Visit B.C Farm, Fish and Food Job Connector to access the resources


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 provided $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.

Eligibility

B.C. farmers


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

The B.C. government is providing an additional $250,000 to support industry-led Buy BC activities focused on e-commerce, for a total of $550,000 under the Buy BC Partnership Program.

The program provides financial support for farmers and food and beverage processors to access and develop websites that help online sales.

More Details

Additional funding will help fund applications that came in after the program was fully subscribed on May 15, 2020. No new applications will be accepted.

See more details about Buy BC e-Commerce Funding


 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 

COVID-19 Emergency Support Fund for Heritage Organizations – Museums Assistance Program (MAP)

The program provides financial assistance to organizations in order to allow them to continue to care for their heritage collections under these exceptional circumstances so that they remain accessible to Canadians.

Eligibility

Application deadline was September 1, 2020. 

This support is no longer available.


Canada Council for the Arts Advance Funding

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


Provincial

New Domestic Motion Picture Fund

The Domestic Motion Picture Fund will support:

  • Development activities such as research, concept development and scriptwriting; and
  • Production costs such as hiring crew, renting equipment and securing locations.

The fund will help local production companies attract investment and leverage federal funding.

Eligibility

B.C. production companies can apply for support to turn their ideas into finished products, such as feature films, TV shows, series, documentaries and animated content.

Creative BC will administer the fund as part of Reel Focus BC, a suite of supports available to the domestic production sector.

Find out more about the Domestic Motion Picture Fund


Arts Infrastructure Program

New program that helps the arts and culture sector enhance existing spaces for artists and cultural activities.

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.

Eligibility

The BC Arts Council will administer the program.

Applications are open from Monday, August 17 to October 19, 2020.

Apply for a grant through the Arts Infrastructure Program


Amplify BC

$7.5 million to help B.C.’s music industry continue to create and operate during the pandemic through Creative BC for Amplify BC.

Eligibility

The suite of programs will focus on relief, recovery and renewal for B.C. artists, live music presenters and music companies in four areas:

  • Industry initiatives: supporting the development of B.C.’s music industry, including up-and-coming talent, training, business development, export and research
  • Career development: focusing on emerging and established artists
  • Live music: providing support for B.C.-based live music events and the businesses that run them
  • Music company development: focusing on innovation and supporting the sustainability of B.C.’s music companies

Apply now


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

After advancing 50% of operating funding immediately in April, the BC Arts Council is distributing the remaining 50% to organizations this July. Combined, organizations throughout the province will receive more than $15 million total to help give them certainty and flexibility as they budget for the year.

Eligibility

Existing operating assistance clients


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:

Learn more about the Showcase BC Grant Program

 

Provincial

Temporary Emergency Funding

Temporary Emergency Funding (TEF) will remain in place until August 31, 2020.

In addition to all unchanged requirements noted below, during the months of July and August providers are required to use any surplus TEF as a temporary wage enhancement or other non-monetary compensation, such as training towards ECE re-certification, for Early Childhood Educators in order to support and acknowledge their ongoing hard work.

As of September 1, 2020 all providers in receipt of TEF will revert to their regular CCOF Base 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

Youth Community Partnership program - Build Back Better

Communities can apply to fund a community-service project of their choosing – like trail building, beach clean-up or invasive species removal, upgrading local parks or working for a local charity.

In turn, communities provide skills and work experience to young people who are unemployed, between 15-29 years of age, through the project. 

Applicants can receive grants of up to $10,000 per youth for projects running up to 16 weeks. The youth then receive a training stipend of up to $2,000 per four-week period (to a maximum of $8,000) for work between June and October 31, 2020.

Eligibility

Local governments, non-profit community and environmental organizations, employer associations, chambers of commerce and Indigenous communities are encouraged to apply.

Visit WorkBC to learn more about this provincial Youth Community Partnership program.

Learn more about the federal Canada Student Service Grant.


BC Economic Development Association (BCEDA) 

Access resources for businesses, economic developers and local leaders impacted by COVID-19. Includes the BCEDA #COVID19 Resources for BC Businesses Guide.

This shareable, live document is being continually updated with the most relevant information, tools and resources for the BC business community. 


Columbia Basin Trust COVID-19 Supports and Funding

Columbia Basin has created resources for communities and partners to support the region during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Community Futures BC

Business-related resources and supports for rural small businesses, including how to move businesses online.


Indigenous Business and Investment Council COVID-19 Indigenous Business Survey 

The Indigenous Business and Investment Council COVID-19 Indigenous Business Survey was conducted April 22 to 29, 2020, six to seven weeks into implementation of social distancing directives from the PHO.


Business Improvement Areas of BC (BIABC) COVID-19 Information

Consolidated resource, listing advocacy efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic, BIABC Member Meetings and Webinars, and economic and health information.


Vancouver Economic Commission (VEC) COVID-19 Business Resources

As the COVID-19 situation continues to unfold, VEW continues to work on improving the resilience of Vancouver’s diverse, low-carbon economy by:

  • Sharing relevant information and resources with the business community
  • Working with strategic partners to understand impacts to business
  • Working together to develop a Vancouver-centric economic recovery strategy
  • Access VEC COVID-19 business resources

Island Coastal Economic Trust

Offering Rapid Response Capital and Business Programs including the Small Capital Restart Funding Program.


Northern Development Initiative Trust 

Offering the Small Business Recovery (SBR) Consulting Rebate program and the Regional Business Liaison program.


British Columbia Tourism Resiliency Network

The network provides B.C. tourism businesses with one-on-one support to navigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, adapt and work towards eventual recovery.

Working together across the province, the BC Regional Tourism Secretariat leads the BC Tourism Resiliency Network. 

Registrants can access one-on-one meetings with program advisors, webinars, and other resourcesRegister for the program.

Provincial

Forestry Changes Postponed

Changes to the Manufactured Forest Products Regulation (MFPR) and the Coast-wide implementation of the variable fee-in-lieu of manufacture on log exports that were scheduled to come into force on July 1,2020, are now postponed until Sept. 30, 2020, and December 2020.

Delaying the MFPR and fee-in-lieu provides B.C. forest companies with more time to prepare for and adjust their business models to the upcoming regulatory changes.

Eligibility

Forestry companies and communities

No application required


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

 

Federal

Essential Services Contingency Reserve

Essential service organizations can apply for temporary, urgent access to personal protective equipment (PPE) and other critical supplies including, KN95 respirators, surgical masks, non-medical cloth and disposable masks, gowns, face shields, hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes and gloves.

Eligibility

Organizations identified as essential service providers, as defined by Public Safety Canada, are eligible to apply to access the Contingency Reserve.

For more information on the Essential Services Contingency Reserve and to access the application form, visit the Public Services Procurement website.


Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Supply Hub

The hub connects Canadian organizations with federal, provincial, territorial and other resources and information about PPE, including consumer guidance. Buyers will find PPE supplier lists, in addition to guidance to help plan their PPE purchases.

Eligibility

Organizations that sell and buy personal protective equipment (PPE) during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. 

Access the PPE Supply Hub


Provincial

Supply Products and Services to Support B.C.’s COVID-19 Response

The COVID-19 Supply Hub is an online platform built to co-ordinate, source and expedite medical supplies and personal protective equipment (PPE) for provincial health authorities to support front-line health workers fighting COVID-19.

Eligibility

Businesses who can donate or supply products

Review list of required PPE and submit an offer


Small Business BC Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Marketplace

Connects businesses with suppliers of non-medical safety equipment.

PPE suppliers interested in being listed as a vendor in the non-medical PPE Marketplace are able to submit a request to be part of the marketplace.

Eligibility

Non-medical PPE suppliers can list their services on the PPE Marketplace to help supply other businesses with the safety equipment they need to operate.

Access the Marketplace

 

Provincial

Service area expansions, such as patios, extended to Oct. 31, 2021

In May, 2020, the Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch (LCRB) began permitting food-primary, liquor-primary and manufacturer licensees, such as wineries, breweries and distilleries, to apply for a Temporary Expanded Service Area (TESA) authorization through an expedited, no fee, online process.

All TESA authorizations were originally set to expire on Oct. 31, 2020; however, the Province has made amendments allowing for their extension to Oct. 31, 2021.


Direct Delivery changes benefit liquor manufacturers

The Province is temporarily authorizing liquor manufacturers to deliver products directly to individual consumers from their registered off-site storage facilities, in addition to their on-site stores.

This temporary change helps manufacturers reduce their inventory by allowing them to sell to individual consumers.

Eligibility

This temporary measure will expire on Oct. 31, 2020, and no extension will be considered.

Review the liquor and cannabis policy directive


Temporary wholesale pricing model allows liquor licensees to purchase beer, wine and spirits at reduced cost

Provides financial support for businesses like restaurants, bars and tourism operators with liquor licences. It is in place from July 20, 2020 until March 31, 2021, when the program will be reviewed.

Currently, hospitality licensees, including restaurants, bars and pubs pay full retail price – wholesale price, plus a retail markup set by the Liquor Distribution Branch (LDB) – on all liquor purchases. The new model will have licensees pay only the wholesale price of the products they order.

Eligibility

All liquor licensees in British Columbia


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

 

Federal

Support for Indigenous businesses and the Indigenous tourism industry

$133 million in funding to support Indigenous business through the pandemic and into recovery. Of these additional funds, $117 million will reach community-owned First Nation, Inuit and Métis businesses including microbusinesses, who are not eligible for existing business support measures.

A stimulus development fund will bolster the Indigenous tourism industry, this will provide $16 million in support. The Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada will administer the fund to businesses across the country that have lost revenue due to COVID-19.

These will be in the form of non-repayable grants up to $25,000 for Indigenous tourism businesses.

Eligibility

Indigenous businesses and the Indigenous tourism sector across British Columbia

Review funding details


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 allows 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.

Eligibility

Small and medium-sized Indigenous businesses

See more details about financial supports that are available


Provincial

Connecting B.C. Internet Funding 

Internet service providers throughout the province were able to  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.

Eligibility

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

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


Ministerial Order Protects Amateur Sport Organizations and Representations from COVID-19

Protects amateur sport organizations and their representatives from damages resulting, directly or indirectly, from COVID-19 for amateur sports. 

Liability protection is in place as long as they follow applicable guidance, such as viaSport’s Return to Sport protocols and public-health guidance on how to prevent the spread of the virus.

Eligibility

B.C. sports teams, players, organizations and representatives

viaSport Return to Sport Guidelines

 

Federal

New Measures Support Essential Air Access to Remote Communities

The Government of Canada is working with partners, including provincial and territorial governments, Indigenous partners and the air industry, to address the unique needs during the pandemic.

New measures to support essential air access to remote communities include:

  • Seeking bilateral agreements with provinces and territories to ensure continuity of service for at least six months.
  • Establishing a $75-million funding program for the federal contribution for the first six months and maintaining these essential services through an investment of up to $174 million over 18 months, if needed.

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