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: January 15, 2021

On this page:

Support for individuals and families

Provincial

BC Recovery Benefit

The BC Recovery Benefit is a one-time direct deposit payment for eligible families, single parents or individuals. 
 

  • $1,000 for families and single parents with incomes under $125,000. Families earning up to $175,000 will qualify for a reduced benefit amount. Single-parent families also qualify for these benefit amounts
  • $500 for eligible individuals earning up to $62,500. Individuals earning up to $87,500 will qualify for a reduced benefit amount 

Eligibility

Adult B.C. residents and families

Apply for the benefit

 


Service BC online options 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, people may wish to access more services online instead of in person. Through Service BC, people can set up a representation of their BC Services Card on their mobile device by following a few simple steps.

Once the mobile BC Services card is set up, it can be used to access a variety of online government services, without people having to appear in person or verify their identity again. 

Access the Health Gateway through the mobile card. It can be used to quickly and easily find the results of COVID-19 testing.

People can now make an appointment online before visiting Service BC. People can also call their nearest Service BC location.

Eligibility

All British Columbians and B.C. residents

Set up your mobile BC Services Card

Book a Service BC Appointment

People can get help and access government services through Service BC’s provincial contact centre from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Pacific time), Monday to Friday (except statutory holidays):


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

Businesses with commercial and fleet vehicles

Apply for ICBC payment deferral online

Learn more about COVID-19 and ICBC services


BC Hydro bill payment support

Residential customers experiencing a temporary financial crisis who have fallen behind on their bill payments may be eligible for a grant of up to $600 from BC Hydro's Customer Crisis Fund.

BC Hydro encourages anyone struggling to pay their bill to reach out to its customer support team to set up a flexible, catch-up payment plan.

Visit the BC Hydro Customer Updates page for details on what bill payment relief and grants may be available.

Eligibility

British Columbians who are customers of BC Hydro

Set up a payment plan online through MyHydro or by calling 1-800-224-9376

 

Federal

Crisis texting service for kids of CAF families

The COVID-19 pandemic is a stressful event for individuals and families. Children and youth from 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, youth and young adults from Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) families

See more details on the Crisis Text Line


Provincial 

Child care referrals

Many parents are now returning to work and once again require child care. If your child care provider does not have available space, you can use the online Child Care Referral Service or contact your local child Care Resource and Referral Centre to find local child care options..

Eligibility

Parents who need child care for children aged infant to 12 years old

Learn more about the Child Care Referral Service


Wellness and mental health programs 

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.

Eligibility

Students, parents and educators

Find free and low-cost mental health supports


COVID-19 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 past their 19th birthday, until March 31, 2021.

As well, youth in the Independent Living Agreements and Youth Agreements programs will continue to receive financial support past their 19th birthday, until March 31, 2021.

The Agreements with Young Adults (AYA) program offers access to mental health supports, including cultural healing and wellness. The program also offers life skills programs for eligible young adults from the age of 19 up until their 27th birthday. More flexible criteria for accessing these programs will be in place until September 30, 2021.

Eligibility

Youth in care or foster care and young adults who have “aged out" of care

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

Learn more about COVID-19-related supports for youth in care or in the AYA program

Learn more about 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

Learn how the Kids Help phone line can help or reach a professional counsellor 24/7 by calling 1-800-668-6868

Learn more about mental health supports


Family Caregivers of B.C.

Family Caregivers of B.C. supports people who are caring for elderly loved ones, family or friends. Services include

  • 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 Virtual Doctor of the Day

First Nations Virtual Doctor of the Day enables Indigenous people 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 

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

Contact the FNFA for more details


Indigenous Community Support Fund

The Indigenous Community Support Fund provides funding for:

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

Funding will be distributed in two ways: both directly to First Nations, Inuit and Métis leadership and through a needs-based application process.

Eligibility

First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities

Learn more about the Indigenous Community Support Fund


Indigenous communities' public health needs and preparedness

Funding for an Indigenous public health COVID-19 response will help communities:

  • Update and activate pandemic plans
  • Increase public health and primary health care capacity to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Align response efforts with medical health officer recommendations
  • Address immediate short term needs

Eligibility

Indigenous communities

Learn more about how to access public health supports


Provincial

Indigenous students financial assistance

Friendship centres throughout B.C. provide many essential services for Indigenous peoples, including child care, counselling, food and shelter.

One-time COVID-19 relief funding of $7.8 million that will help friendship centres continue to assist individuals, young families, single parents, youth and Elders through a mix of in-person and online services. Announced December 11, 2020.

 

Federal 

Canada Recovery Benefit

The Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) provides $500 per week for up to 26 weeks to workers who are self-employed or are not eligible for EI and who still require income support. This benefit supports people who have stopped working due to COVID-19 or whose income has dropped by 50% or more.

Eligibility

Workers who

  • Have earned at least $5,000 (before deductions) in 2019, 2020 or in the 12 months prior to applying
  • Are available and looking for work and must accept work when it is reasonable to do so
  • Have not received, for the same period, more than one recovery benefit, Employment Insurance benefit or workers’ compensation benefit

Apply online through the Canada Revenue Agency My Account portal or by calling toll free: 1-800-959-2019 or 1-800-959-2041

Learn more about the CRB 


Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit

The Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB) provides $500 per week for up to 26 weeks per household for eligible people unable to work because they must care for a child under 12 years old or other family member requiring supervised care, who is unable to attend their school or regular care facility due to COVID-19.

Eligibility

Workers who

  • Have earned at least $5,000 (before deductions) in 2019, 2020 or in the 12 months prior to applying
  • Have not received, for the same period, more than one recovery benefit, Employment Insurance benefit or workers’ compensation benefit

Learn more about the CRCB


Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit

The Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) provides $500 per week for up to two weeks, for workers who are sick or must self-isolate for reasons related to COVID-19, or have underlying conditions that would make them more susceptible to COVID-19.

Eligibility

Workers who

  • Have earned at least $5,000 (before deductions) in 2019, 2020 or in the 12 months prior to applying
  • Have not received, for the same period, more than one recovery benefit, Employment Insurance benefit or workers’ compensation benefit

Learn more about the CRSB


Flexible and accessible employment insurance

On September 27, 2020, the federal government transitioned from the CERB to a flexible and more accessible EI program.

EI is now available to those who would not have qualified for EI in the past. Canadians receiving EI are eligible for a taxable benefit at a rate of at least $500 per week, or $300 per week for extended parental benefits.

Canadians claiming EI benefits for job loss would be eligible for at least 26 weeks. Returning to the EI program will allow claimants to benefit from the Working While on Claim rules. These rules allow claimants to keep receiving part of their EI benefits and all their earnings from work.

Eligibility

The majority of Canadians still receiving the CERB through Service Canada who are eligible for EI will be automatically transitioned. Service Canada will contact all EI clients to confirm whether they need to apply or are being transitioned automatically.

Verify the status of your claim through your My Service Canada Account.

 

Federal

Supports for women and children fleeing violence

These are stressful and unprecedented times and the social impacts are being felt in our communities. Federal supports for women and children fleeing violence include shelters and organizations serving survivors of sexual assault and other gender-based violence.

More details

If you are in immediate danger

  • Call 911 and ask for the police, or call your community police
  • Call VictimLink BC at 1-800-563-0808
  • Use the list below to find a transition house or safe home near you

See BC Housing's list of safe, supportive houses available 24/7 across B.C.

Learn more about the Women's Transition Housing and Supports Program

Visit the Ending Violence Association of BC to find supports in your region


Provincial

Food banks

Local food banks continue to respond to the impacts of COVID-19 in their communities. Provincial funding for Food Banks British Columbia supports immediate needs to buy and distribute food, pay employees and cover essential costs.


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.

 

 

Renters, homeowners and landlords

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

Rent increase freeze

Effective immediately, the Province is extending the freeze on rent increases until July 10, 2021, under the powers of the Emergency Program Act and COVID-19 Related Measures Act.

Increases set to happen on December 1, 2020, are cancelled, along with all pending increases through to July. 

Eligibility

People who are renters, landlords

If you have questions, please contact the residential Tenancy Branch at 1-800-665-8779 or by email.

Learn more about the rent increase freeze


Protections for renters

Government put in place a repayment framework to give renters until summer 2021 to gradually pay back any unpaid rent while staying in their homes. Renters cannot be evicted for any rent unpaid between March 8, 2020 and August 17, 2020, unless they miss a payment on their repayment plan.

The following tenancy laws are currently in place:

  • Landlords with existing orders for eviction can take tenants 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

Self-isolation spaces

BC Housing is working with regional health authorities, municipal partners and non-profit shelter and housing providers to develop community-based response plans to the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes identifying locations where vulnerable individuals, including those who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness, would be able to recover and self-isolate.

As of Nov. 2, 2020, over 3,000 spaces have been secured at sites throughout B.C. to help people maintain physical distance.

Eligibility

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

Access to designated spaces is by referral only. You can get a referral through your local health authority or BC Housing. Health authorities will identify people who require self-isolation and BC Housing will work with the health authorities and the operators to make these spaces available.

See more details about self-isolation spaces

 

 

Federal

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

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 provincewide 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

If you are senior looking for help with non-medical essentials, dial 211

Learn more about bc211

 

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

 

 

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 three days of unpaid, job-protected leave each year.

 

 

Support for businesses, organizations and industry

Federal

Canada Emergency Business Account 

The Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) provides interest-free loans of up to $60,000 to eligible small businesses and not-for-profits to help cover their operating costs during a period where their revenues have been temporarily reduced.

As of December 4, 2020, eligible businesses facing financial hardship due to COVID-19 may access an expanded CEBA loan of up to $20,000, on top of the initial $40,000 that was available to small businesses.

Repaying the loan on or before December 31, 2022 will result in loan forgiveness of up to $20,000.

The application deadline for the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) has been extended to March 31, 2021.


As of October 26, 2020, eligible Canadian businesses that currently operate through a personal bank account are able to apply for CEBA.

Eligibility

Review eligibility requirements and apply

Call 1-888-324-4201 if you have already applied and have questions


Business credit availability 

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 (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 operating credit and cash flow term loans of up to $6.25 million to small- and medium-sized 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 Mid-Market Financing Program guarantees 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 and $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 sized enterprises 

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

Learn more about Community Futures


Regional Relief and Recovery Fund

The Regional Relief and Recovery Fund is 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 Futures 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 than $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 that are not 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 provides bridge financing to Canada’s largest employers, whose operational needs during the pandemic are not being met through conventional financing.

Eligibility

Large Canadian employers that

  • 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


National Resource Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program

The National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC IRAP) provides assistance to innovative, early-stage companies that are unable to access other COVID-19 business supports.

The program 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

Learn more about the NRC IRAP

Call toll-free 1-877-994-4727


Provincial

COVID-19 Resilience Infrastructure Stream (CVRIS)

Support projects that focus on retrofits, rehabilitation and upgrades to existing local government and Indigenous community buildings, COVID-19 response infrastructure, active transportation and disaster mitigation.

Eligibility

Local governments, Indigenous communities and not-for profit organizations are encouraged to submit applications through the ICIP.

Not-for-profit organizations are eligible to apply only for projects administered by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs.


Small and Medium Sized Business Recovery Grant

Provides grants of $10,000 to $30,000 to support B.C. businesses that employ between two and 149 B.C. residents and have experienced declines in revenue since March 2020.

On December 21, adjustments were made to the program, including a streamlined application process and simplified criteria.

The criteria has been expanded from a minimum revenue drop of 50% to a drop of 30%.

Tourism-related businesses can qualify to receive up to $15,000 in additional grants if they meet all the base grant eligibility criteria and the tourism grant top-up eligibility criteria.

The program runs until March 31, 2021 or until funding is fully allocated.

Eligibility

B.C. businesses


If you applied to the program prior to December 18, 2020: 

  • You do not need to resubmit an application 
  • Applications received prior to changes will be reviewed under updated program criteria and grant amounts
  • Businesses that have already been approved for funding are not affected by these changes but, are eligible for updated grant amounts

Learn more about the Small and Medium-Sized Business Recovery Grant

 

Federal

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

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

  • 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


Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy

The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy has been extended until June 2021, which will continue to protect jobs by helping employers keep employees on the payroll and re-hire workers.

The maximum wage subsidy rate has been raised to 75% from Sunday, December 20, 2020, until March 13, 2021.

Eligibility

Apply online for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy or call 1-833-966-2099 Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. local time) to speak with an agent.

Use the CEWS calculator to find out how much your wage subsidy may be.

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) launched the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy Registry to identify which employers are using the wage subsidy to support jobs.


Work-Sharing Program extension

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

Eligibility

Workers who agree to reduce their normal working hours because of developments beyond the control of their employers

Learn more about the Work-Sharing Program

 

Federal

Emergency rent subsidy

Provides benefits directly to qualifying renters and property owners, without requiring the participation of landlords. The subsidy is administered by the Canada Revenue Agency and provides support directly to tenants.

The rent subsidy supports businesses, charities and non-profits that have suffered a revenue drop by providing support up to a maximum of 65% of eligible expenses until December 19, 2020. Claims can be made retroactively to September 27, 2020.

Eligibility

Eligible expenses for a location for a qualifying period include commercial rent, property taxes (including school taxes and municipal taxes), property insurance, and interest on commercial mortgages (subject to limits) for a qualifying property, less any subleasing revenues.

Apply for the subsidy


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.
  • Businesses with commercial and fleet vehicles

Apply for ICBC payment deferral online

 

Federal

Lockdown support for businesses facing significant public health restrictions

Under the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS), Lockdown Support provides an 25% top-up for qualifying organizations that must shut their doors or significantly restrict their activities under a public health order issued under the laws of Canada, a province or territory (including orders made by a municipality or regional health authority under one of those laws).

Combined with the CERS, hard-hit businesses subject to a lockdown could receive rent support of up to 90%. Lockdown Support will be available retroactive to September 27, 2020, until June 2021, during periods when businesses are facing eligible public health restrictions. 

Qualifying circumstances may include

  • Restrictions on indoor dining
  • Closure of bars
  • Closure of fitness centres
  • Closure of retail stores
  • Restrictions on types of personal services
  • Other closures of certain indoor activities
  • Closure in relation to a COVID-19 outbreak on the premises

CanExport SMEs program

With international travel restricted due to COVID19, the CanExport SMEs program helps small businesses

  • Develop and expand their e-commerce presence by covering partial costs associated with online sales and digital strategy consulting
  • Attend virtual trade shows and other business-to-business events
  • Navigate new COVID-19-related trade barriers by helping pay for new international market certifications and requirements

Eligibility

Small- and medium-sized business owners and entrepreneurs

Apply for the CanExport SMEs program funding


Provincial

Community Gaming Grants

Community Gaming Grants (CGG) support the delivery of programs and services that meet community needs, including funding for minor capital projects and acquisitions.

Grant applications for the human and social services sector, 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
  • An increase to 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

Eligibility

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

Review eligibility and apply

Learn more about capital project grants

 

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


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 through the COVID-19 pandemic and recovery.


Provincial payment deferrals

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

Support for mandatory isolation of temporary foreign workers

Farmers, fish harvesters and all food production and processing employers will receive $1,500 for each temporary foreign worker to ensure that mandatory 14-day isolation period requirements are fully met.

The 2021 program year will begin on January 1, 2021. Details and application forms for the 2021 program year will be available in the coming weeks.


Canadian Fish and Seafood Opportunities Fund 

The Canadian Fish and Seafood Opportunities Fund 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

Review fund details and get ready to apply


Loan deferrals and financing 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

Contact your local office or call 1-888-332-3301 


Local food infrastructure fund, COVID-19 fund

The Local Food Infrastructure Fund aims to strengthen food support organizations and to help improve access to safe and nutritious food for Canadians at risk. 

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

Eligibility

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

Apply to the Local Food Infrastructure Fund


Provincial

Agritech Grant

The Agritech Grant program is open to B.C.-based agritech and agriculture businesses, as well as international agritech companies that are partnered with B.C.-based businesses.

Agritech is the application of technology to improve the farming and food-production process.

Eligible companies can receive grants of up to $500,000. 

Eligibility

An agritech or agriculture company must operate and pay taxes in B.C., employ at least 10 B.C. residents and raise at least 25% of the funding from another source.

Applications close on Feb. 12, 2021, with successful applicants notified in early March 2021.

See Agritech Grant eligibility details and apply

 


B.C. Agri-Business Planning Program

Agriculture, seafood and food processing businesses in B.C. that have had their revenues decrease by at least 30% as a result of COVID-19 may be eligible for up to $5,000 in business planning services and coaching from a qualified business consultant for individuals, and up to $20,000 for groups, to develop an immediate and long-term recovery plan.

Eligibility

Agriculture, seafood and food processing businesses

Applications will reopen in April 2021.

Learn more about the B.C. Agri-Business Planning Program

 


 

Federal 

Short-term compensation fund for Canadian audiovisual productions

A temporary measure administered by Telefilm Canada that fills the void left by the lack of insurance coverage for filming interruptions and production shutdowns due to COVID-19.

The fund will make as much as $50 million available for the industry.

Eligibility

Canadian audiovisual productions

View program guidelines 


Canada Council for the Arts advance funding

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

Eligibility

Core-funded organizations

View funding details


Provincial

BC Arts Council’s Pivot for Individuals program

Artists can apply for a grant to learn new skills or adapt their practices such as modifying a dance piece for a smaller audience or learning new skills, like video editing.

Applications are open until February 16, 2021. The BC Arts Council will adjudicate and award the grants in early spring 2021.

Eligibility

The program is available to professional artists and cultural workers, including:

  • Dancers and choreographers
  • Visual artists
  • Writers
  • Actors
  • Musicians
  • Multi-media artists
  • Arts administrators

Apply now


Domestic Motion Picture Fund

The Domestic Motion Picture Fund will support

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

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

Eligibility

B.C. production companies 

Find out more about the Domestic Motion Picture Fund


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.

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

Eligibility

B.C. music industry

Apply now


Expanded Arts and Culture Resilience Supplement

One-time funding program for B.C. arts and culture organizations facing financial impacts due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The supplement helps existing BC Arts Council clients pay for operating costs. For example, rent, utilities, and to rehire people in the sector, such as artists, theatre technicians, production designers or arts administrators.

Applications are open until January 29, 2021.

Eligibility

Existing BC Arts Council (operating assistance) clients, eligible project clients

Apply now


Showcase BC grant program

The 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.

Eligibility

B.C. artists who have previously submitted complete and eligible applications to

Learn more about the Showcase BC Grant Program

 

Provincial

Local tourism infrastructure investment

$53 million provincial investment through StrongerBC: B.C.’s Economic Recovery Plan to create jobs and grow economic development for tourism businesses. This includes:

  • Support for tourism-dependent municipalities to build, adapt and diversify their tourism infrastructure
  • Identifying projects to create jobs and attract new businesses
  • Developing local tourism experiences, infrastructure and services

BC Economic Development Association  

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


Columbia Basin Trust COVID-19 supports and funding

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.


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

Vancouver Economic Commission information and business resources, including economic impact surveys and resources for businesess and workers.


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 and other programs.


British Columbia Tourism Resiliency Network

One-on-one support for tourism businesses to navigate the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, adapt and work towards eventual recovery. The BC Tourism Resiliency Network is led by the Regional Tourism Secretariat. 

Register for the program to access one-on-one meetings with program advisors, webinars and other resources.

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

Visit the Public Services Procurement website for more information or to apply


Personal protective equipment supply hub

The hub connects Canadian organizations with federal, provincial, territorial and other resources and information about buying and selling personal protective equipment (PPE). Buyers will find PPE supplier lists, in addition to consumer guidance to help plan their PPE purchases.

Eligibility

Organizations that sell and buy PPE during the COVID-19 pandemic

Learn more about 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 that can donate or supply products

Businesses that wish to purchase supplies

Submit donation or request PPE supplies


Small Business BC personal protective equipment marketplace

Connects businesses with suppliers of non-medical safety equipment.

PPE suppliers can submit a request to be listed as a vendor in the Non-Medical PPE Marketplace.

Eligibility

Non-medical PPE suppliers

Businesses looking for PPE

Search for a PPE supplier or add your listing to the marketplace

 

Provincial

Food delivery services price cap

An Emergency Program Act (EPA) order has been created to place a temporary cap of fees charged to restaurants from food delivery companies to 15%.

An additional cap of 5% is also included for other related fees associated with use of the service, such as online ordering and processing fees. This will ensure that companies cannot shift their delivery costs to other fees.

Eligibility

The EPA order, which was made on Dec. 22, 2020, will be in place until three months after the Provincial State of Emergency is lifted.

Extension of service area expansions, such as patios

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.

TESA authorizations have been extended to October 31, 2021.

Eligibility

No application is required to extend an existing TESA

View the updated LCRB policy directives

Apply for a new TESA


Temporary wholesale pricing model for 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.

Normally, 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.

The temporary wholesale pricing model is in place from July 20, 2020 to March 31, 2021 – at which time the program will be reviewed.

Eligibility

All liquor licensees in British Columbia


Liquor licensing changes – direct delivery

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

Eligibility

Restaurant owners

See more details about liquor licensing


Liquor licensing changes – hand sanitizer and sanitizer production

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

Eligibility

Brewery, winery and distillery licensees

See more details about liquor licensing

 

 

Rural, remote and Indigenous communities

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 that are not eligible for existing business support measures.

A stimulus development fund 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 of up to $25,000.

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 provides 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

Learn more about financial supports for Indigenous businesses

 

 

Provincial

Tourism Relief Funding Stream

The Province has responded to three of the priority recommendations in the B.C. Tourism Task Force final report and has created a dedicated relief funding stream to support B.C.’s tourism sector.

The Province has allocated $100 million in relief funding for B.C.’s tourism sector.

In addition, the Province is also allocating $5 million to Indigenous Tourism BC to administer relief grant funding targeted for Indigenous businesses.

Eligibility

The $100-million dedicated relief funding for the tourism sector will be delivered through the existing Small and Medium-Sized Business Recovery Grant program.