COVID-19 Provincial and Federal Benefits

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

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

Last updated: July 8, 2020

On this page:

Support for Individuals and Families

Federal 

Special GST/HST Credit Payment

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

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

Eligibility

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

See more details about the special GST/HST credit


Provincial

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

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

The one-time enhanced payment is:

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

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

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

Eligibility

Approximately 80% of British Columbians will see additional support from this enhancement.

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

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

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

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

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


ICBC

Payment Deferral

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

Cancellation and Re-Plating Fees

Temporary changes now in effect include:

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

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

Eligibility

Payment Deferral

Residential and commercial customers currently on a monthly Autoplan payment.

Deferrals also available to commercial and fleet vehicles.

Apply for ICBC payment deferral online

Cancellation and Re-Plating Fees

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

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

See more details about cancellation and re-plating fees


BC Hydro Payment Relief

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

  • BC Hydro halted all service disconnections because of non-payment during COVID-19
  • BC Hydro 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
  • BC Hydro 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

FortisBC customers

Federal

Canada Child Benefit

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

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

Eligibility

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

See more details about the Canada Child Benefit


Crisis Texting Service for Kids of CAF Families

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

Eligibility

Children and youth of Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members

See more details on the Crisis Text Line


Provincial 

Child Care for Essential Service Workers

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

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

Eligibility

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

Review the list of essential services in B.C.

Request temporary emergency child care


CYSN Emergency Relief Support Fund

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.

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

Eligibility

B.C. families with children with special needs

Review eligibility and access the Emergency Relief Support Fund


Supports for Youth in Care and in the AYA Program

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

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

Eligibility

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

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

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.

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


Kids Help Phone Line

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


Family Caregivers of B.C.

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

Increased support includes:

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

 

Federal

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. The intent of the program is to enable more First Nations people and their family members to access primary health care closer to home.

The program includes doctors of Indigenous ancestry, and all doctors are trained to follow the principles and practices of cultural safety and humility. 

  • 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

Unique service for First Nations people in B.C. and their family members (including non-status 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. 

The investments will support the stability of the First Nations Fiscal Management Act regime and the FNFA’s credit rating which was recently increased. 

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

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. In case of outbreaks, this funding can be drawn upon to provide surge capacity and additional support for community-based services in First Nations, Inuit, and Métis 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


Supplementary funding to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s Shelter Enhancement Program

$44.8 million over five years to build 12 new shelters, which will help protect and support Indigenous women and girls experiencing and fleeing violence.

Funding will further help build 10 shelters in First Nations communities on reserve across the country, and two in the territories, to support Indigenous women and children.

Eligibility

Indigenous communities, particularly women and girls

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

 

Federal 

Canada Emergency Response Benefit

For people who have lost income because of COVID-19, the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) provides a taxable benefit of $2,000 every 4 weeks.

The federal government has extended CERB by eight weeks, to ensure Canadians have the help they need as they transition back to work. This extension will make the benefit available to eligible workers for up to a total of 24 weeks.

Applications opened April 6, 2020.

Eligibility

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

Apply for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit


Employment Insurance

Regular Employment Insurance (EI) benefits are available.

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

Eligibility

Canadian workers who qualify for EI

Apply for EI


Provincial

B.C. Emergency Benefit for Workers

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

Eligibility

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

Apply for the B.C. Emergency Benefit for Workers

 

Federal

Funding for Community Support Organizations

Increased funding for the following:

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

Provincial

COVID-19 Crisis Supplement

Everyone receiving Income Assistance (IA) and Disability Assistance (DA) who is not receiving Employment Insurance (EI) or the emergency federal support program will automatically receive a $300 COVID-19 crisis supplement on their cheques starting in April 2020 until September 2020 (cheque issued August 26).

  • 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

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.

The Province announced that the have purchased additional properties in Vancouver to provide housing with supports for women.

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

As announced June 19, 2020, the Province is maintaining the moratorium on rent increases and evictions for non-payment of rent. However, other notices to end tenancy may resume effectively immediately.

The following tenancy laws are resuming:

  • A landlord can now issue a Notice to End Tenancy for any reason (other than unpaid or late payment rent)
  • Landlords with existing orders for eviction can take them to the courts beginning July 2, 2020, 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
  • The change also allows for personal service of documents to resume

Eligibility

People who are renters, landlords

Learn more about protections for renters


Temporary Rental Supplement

The Temporary Rental Supplement (TRS) provides 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 is 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

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

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

People who have already been approved for the TRS do not need to reapply. They will receive an email asking them to confirm they plan to live at the same address through July and August.

New applications will be accepted until August 31, 2020 and will be eligible for a supplement for the month they are received and all subsequent months.

Apply for the rent supplement through BC Housing


COVID-19 and Tenancies

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.

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

Eligibility

People who are landlords

See more details about COVID-19 and tenancies


Self-Isolation Spaces

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

Eligibility

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

See more details about self-isolation spaces

 

 

Federal

One-Time Tax-Free Payment 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). Allowance recipients will also receive $500.

The payment will be issued automatically during the week of July 6, and seniors who reside in Canada can expect to receive the payment by direct deposit or cheque that week.

For seniors who reside outside Canada, the one-time payment will also be received in July for those on direct deposit, but delays can be expected for cheques, given international postal disruptions.

Eligibility

Canadian seniors eligible for the Old Age Security (OAS) pension and the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS)

No application required


Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) and Allowance Payments Extension

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

Eligibility

Canadian seniors

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


United Way Funding

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

Eligibility

Canadian seniors

Access United Way Support


RRIF Withdrawal Minimum

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

Eligibility

Canadian seniors

See more details about RRIF withdrawals


Provincial

BC Senior's Crisis Supplement

A $300 supplement for April, May, June, July and August 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


Long-term care homes and seniors’ assisted living facilities - visitation

Updated health guidelines support visits between family members and residents of long-term care homes and seniors’ assisted living facilities.

A cautious and phased approach will help protect vulnerable residents:

  • For the month of July, residents will be able to visit with one designated family member or friend
  • This approach will be reassessed in August
  • This approach may be expanded in the future to safely include other family members or friends, though there may be a limit to the number of visitors at a given time
  • The ability to visit may vary, depending on the ability of each residence to safely apply the updated provincial guidelines

The Province is providing:

  • More than $160 million for facilities to hire up to three full-time equivalent staff in each of B.C.’s 680 long-term care homes and seniors’ assisted living residences, including both public and private facilities
  • This could total as many as 2,040 additional staff dedicated to ensuring infection prevention and control measures for COVID-19 are followed to support safe visitation

Eligibility

The BC Centre for Disease Control has updated guidance for long-term care and seniors’ assisted living facilities.
 

 

 

 


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 and gain valuable experience at the same time.

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.

Green jobs are now available through four delivery organizations:

Eligibility

Canadian workers aged 15 to 30

Apply for the program


Canada Emergency Student Benefit

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

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

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

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

Eligibility

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

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

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

Apply online starting May 15

See more details about the Canada Emergency Student Benefit


Federal Student Loan Repayment Freeze

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

Eligibility

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

Learn more about the freeze to federal student loan 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 will be in place until August 31, 2020.

Eligibility

Students working in an essential service or function.

Review list of federal essential services


Student Work Placement Program

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

Eligibility

To participate in a student work placement you must:

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

Learn more about the Student Work Placement Program


Provincial

B.C. Student Loan Repayment Freeze

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

Eligibility

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

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


Keep Learning BC

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

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

 

Provincial

BC Ferries Service Change

BC Ferries has reduced sailings on all major routes, including passage from Metro-Vancouver to Vancouver Island and Metro-Vancouver to Sunshine Coast.


Inland Ferries Service Change

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

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

Federal

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 and do not apply to employees who are covered by a collective agreement that contains recall rights.

These changes also do not apply to employees whose employment had already been terminated prior to the coming into force of the amendments. The previous rules will apply to layoffs occurring after September 30, 2020.


Provincial

Extended temporary layoffs provisions to a maximum of 24 weeks

The extension expires August 30, 2020. 

Extension will give employers and workers additional flexibility to support economic recovery in the province with the expectation that businesses honour their obligations to workers and reach agreement with their employees in the event a further extension is required.


Job-Protected Leave

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

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


Liability of Essential Services Workers

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


B.C. COVID-19 Temporary Pandemic Pay

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

Eligibility

Front-line health, social service and corrections employees

See more details about the temporary pandemic pay

 

 

Support for Businesses, Organizations and Industry

Federal

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).

As of Friday, June 19, 2020, applications will be accepted so that more small businesses can access the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA).

Owner-operated small businesses that had been ineligible for the program due to their lack of payroll, sole proprietors receiving business income directly, as well as family-owned corporations remunerating in the form of dividends rather than payroll are now eligible.

Eligibility

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

To qualify under the expanded eligibility rules, CEBA applicants with payroll lower than $20,000 will need: 

  • A business operating account at a participating financial institution
  • A Canada Revenue Agency business number
  • A 2018 or 2019 tax return
  • Eligible non-deferrable expenses of between $40,000 and $1.5 million

Review eligibility requirements and get ready to apply


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.

For Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises:

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

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

For Mid-Sized Companies with Larger Financing Needs:

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

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

Eligibility

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

Information will be available soon for mid-sized companies. 

See more details about the Business Credit Availability Program


Communities Futures Emergency Loan Program

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

Eligibility

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

Learn more about the Communities Future Network


Regional Relief and Recovery Fund

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

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

Two loan options are available to qualifying businesses:

Funding requests up to $40,000

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

Funding requests over $40,000

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

Eligibility

Businesses interested in receiving support through this initiative, and that are not eligible for other federal supports such as the Canada Emergency Business Account,  can apply for the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund through their local Regional Development Agency.

Sole proprietorships and not-for profits are not eligible.  

See more details about the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund


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

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.

Eligible activities are of the following nature and type:

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

Apply for the MISTFWP


Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy

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

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

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

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

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

Eligibility

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

Apply for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy


Work-Sharing Program Extension

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

Eligibility

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

See more details about the Work-Sharing program


Canada Summer Jobs Program

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

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

Eligibility

Employers and young Canadians

Review changes to the Canada Summer Jobs program

 

Federal

Solvency Special Payment Relief Regulations

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

This relief will help ensure that employers have the financial resources they need to maintain their operations and their pension plans, and to protect the retirement security of their workers and retirees.

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 will be reduced by 1% on April 1, 2020.

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

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

Businesses who are customers of BC Hydro

Apply for BC Hydro payment relief online


Private

FortisBC Customer Recovery Fund

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

Eligibility

FortisBC customers

Apply for the Customer Recovery Fund

 

Federal 

Federal Payment Deferrals

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

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

Eligibility

Canadian businesses

See more details about federal payment deferrals


Provincial

Provincial Payment Deferrals

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

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

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

 

Federal 

Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance Program

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

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

Eligibility

Commercial property owners and small business tenants

Review eligibility and apply for the Canada Emergency Rent Assistance Program


Provincial

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 July 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

The CECRA loans to landlords will be forgiven if the landlord complies with program terms and conditions, including an agreement to not recover forgiven rent amounts when the program is over.

Apply for the Canada Emergency Rent Assistance Program

Federal

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 modernization of the program will help to better meet the needs of persons with disabilities in building more accessible communities and workplaces, and provide more flexibility to organizations during the COVID-19 pandemic. 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, including seniors, persons with disabilities, members of LGBTQ2 communities, veterans, newcomers, women, children and youth, and members of Indigenous communities and racialized communities, such as Black Canadians.

Eligibility

Charities and non-profit organizations

Review eligibility and apply now


Business Resilience Service Hotline

A four-week hotline service 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 will also be open to not-for-profit organizations and charities.

The hotline is a national, bilingual service operated by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. 

Eligibility

Small business owners, not-for-profit organizations and charities

Call 1-866-989-1080 (toll-free) seven days a week, from 8 am to 8 pm (ET)

 


Provincial

Expansions of applications and earlier deadline for Community Gaming Grants

Applications for the human and social services sector of B.C.’s Community Gaming Grants (CGG), which includes food banks, shelters, domestic violence supports, hospice, counselling services and others, are opening mid-June 2020, nearly two months ahead of schedule.

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

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

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.

Eligible projects must focus on one or more of the following areas:

  • Developing and implementing Canadian fish and seafood branding strategies
  • Supporting industry branding, promotion and advertising activities in domestic and/or international markets
  • Addressing existing or emerging market access issues and meeting consumer demands for product quality and sustainability
  • Undertaking market research and intelligence to facilitate entry or expansion into new and existing markets
  • Supporting industry capacity development activities to increase collaboration and cooperation

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.

To ensure producers, agribusinesses and food processors can remain focused on business-critical functions rather than worrying about how to access funds to keep operating through this challenging period, effective immediately, 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

If you’d like 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 second call for proposals is valued at $43.4 million. The program’s goal is to reduce food insecurity by establishing and/or strengthening local food networks in the medium to longer term.

In April, the Federal Government also launched a separate, $100-million emergency fund under the program to support national, regional, and local organizations across Canada that are able to reach people and communities experiencing food insecurity and who have been impacted by COVID-19.

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.

Applications will be accepted on a continuous basis until funding has been allocated. Projects valued at up to $250,000 will be accepted.

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.

This fund increases plant capacity to process, store, package, and distribute healthy, quality products, and to adapt processes and marketing to suit changing consumer demands.

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

Eligibility

Fish and seafood processing businesses in western Canada.

Not-for-profit organizations that support the sector.

Applicants must:

  • Be a business or organization in western Canada
  • Be a federally or provincially licensed fish processing facility or a registered processor of wild capture or aquaculture products, including freshwater species
  • Be a viable business before the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Have adequate health and safety measures in place to protect employees

The Investment Agriculture Foundation is accepting applications from June 22 to July 13, 2020.

Apply through the Investment Agriculture Foundation


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.


Surplus Food Rescue Program

$50 million initiative supports Canada’s food system, food processors, and food producers, and distributors to help ensure food availability.

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

Eligibility

Eligible applicants consist of not-for-profit and for-profit organizations (benefits must accrue broadly) and include:

  • Community or charitable organizations
  • Indigenous groups
  • Cooperatives
  • Regional and municipal governments and agencies (can include schools or school boards)

Priority consideration for surplus commodities that have immediate risk of loss will be determined first.

See more details on the program and apply


Provincial

AgSafe Courses For Temporary Foreign Workers and Campsites Available  

The B.C. government is providing 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 will also need to take a new online COVID-19 awareness course through AgSafe, an independent association representing B.C. farm employer and worker organizations. The course will outline the rights and responsibilities of both employers and workers when it comes to COVID-19 and the provincial health officer’s rules and guidelines.

Seasonal workers will have to complete the AgSafe COVID-19 awareness course to be able to stay at these campsites. The online course is available in English and French and includes information on physical distancing, hygiene and cleaning, work pods, transportation, tools and equipment, safeguarding community and First Nations health and monitoring employee health.

To stay in a designated campsite in the Okanagan, workers must complete the course by passing the online quiz and show proof of completion to employers.

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


Support for Animal Care Facilities

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

Eligibility

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

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


Buy BC e-Commerce Funding

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

The following organizations with heritage collections are eligible for funding:

  • Not-for-profit organizations such as museums, archives, or historic sites (including those that operate seasonally and those without full-time staff)
  • Indigenous organizations or official language minority community organizations
  • Municipal and university museums with a distinct budget

To be eligible, applicants must also:

  • Provide public access through regular hours of operation (including on a part-time or seasonal basis)
  • Have had annual expenses in 2019 between $10,000 and $3,000,000

Application deadline is September 1, 2020.

Apply now


Canada Council for the Arts Advance Funding

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


Canada Book Fund and Canada Periodical Fund

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

Eligibility

Eligible beneficiaries will be able to access financial assistance faster.

Apply for funding


Provincial

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

Get ready to apply, applications open June 17


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.

The BC Arts Council also launched a microgrant pilot program to support artists to continue to make art and develop their practice during the pandemic. The program was possible thanks to a donation from the Yosef Wosk Family Foundation. Until June 30, 2020, artists and cultural practitioners can apply for up to $1,500 to help adapt to changes in the sector. 

Eligibility

Existing operating assistance clients

Apply now for a BC Arts Council microgrant


Showcase BC Grant Program

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

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

Eligibility

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

No application is required. 

Learn more about the Showcase BC Grant Program

 

 

Provincial

Temporary Emergency Funding

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. Participants will benefit by applying the work-related skills and experience they gain on various projects in further education, employment or future careers.

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.

They are committed to helping small businesses in the Basin, community organizations and First Nations and Metis associations.


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. Programs are delivered in their respective regions by Tourism Vancouver Island, Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association, Kootenay Rockies Tourism Association, Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association and Northern BC Tourism Association. Vancouver, Coast & Mountains is managed by Destination BC.

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

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.

As Public Services and Procurement Canada continues to engage with partners and advisory groups, the hub will evolve to include additional resources.

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.

The COVID-19 Supply Hub’s initial focus is on sourcing supplies for the health-care system and front-line workers, though government is also accepting offers for other essentials, like cleaning supplies.

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

 

 

Property Owners & Landlords

Provincial

Tenancy Changes

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

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

Eligibility

People who are landlords

See more details about COVID-19 and tenancies


School Tax Reduction

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

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

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

Eligibility

Automatic reduction

No application required

 

Federal

Independent Advisory Board on Eligibility for Journalism Tax Measures

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

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

 

Provincial

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 will be in place from the end of July 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


Closed hospitality businesses permitted to sell liquor stock during pandemic

Licensees will be allowed to sell their existing liquor stock to other licensees who are still operating and/or to private liquor stores.

This authorization is set to expire on July 15, 2020. However, as the pandemic is an evolving situation, the Liquor Distribution Branch will review this and other temporary authorizations as necessary.

Eligibility

Hospitality licensees who have had to suspend their operations as a result of the pandemic.


Liquor Licensing Changes

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

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

Eligibility

All British Columbians

See more details about liquor licensing


Liquor Licence Fee Extension & Deferral

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

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

Eligibility

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

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

 

 

Federal

Support for Indigenous businesses and the Indigenous tourism industry

$133 million in new 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 new 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 will allow for short-term, interest-free loans and non-repayable contributions through Aboriginal Financial Institutions, which offer financing and business support services to First Nations, Inuit, and Métis businesses.

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

Eligibility

Small and medium-sized Indigenous businesses

See more details about financial supports that are available


Provincial

Connecting B.C. Internet Funding 

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

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

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

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

Eligibility

Rural, remote and indigenous communities

Applications are now being accepted by Northern Development Initiative

Download application form

See more details about Connecting B.C.

 

 

Federal

Emergency Support Fund for Cultural, Heritage and Sport Organizations

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

Eligibility

Cultural, heritage and sport organizations

Review eligibility details


Provincial

viaSport Funding

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

Eligibility

Existing operating assistance clients

See more details about viaSport


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. 

For example, a sports organization or its representatives will not be liable for a participant in their sports program being exposed to COVID-19 as a result of participation. That liability protection would be 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

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