Province adding $140 million to recovery grant program for small, medium-sized businesses

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B.C. businesses hard hit by the pandemic are being given more time to apply for grants of up to $30,000.B.C.’s Ministry of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation has extended its application deadline to July 2 and has added $140 million to the pot of money in its business recovery grant program.

Jobs Minister Ravi Kahlon said the program has seen “tremendous uptake, with more than 10,000 B.C. businesses that have accessed $290 million worth of funding.”

Kahlon predicts that number will rise to $430 million in grants to another 10,000 businesses by the time program ends.

Eligible businesses must employ up to 149 workers and must show a 30 per cent loss of revenues in any month since March 2020. The program got off to a slow start when it was announced last year. The ministry changed the eligibility rules to allow more businesses to apply, and it offered additional $5,000 to $15,000 dollars to tourism-related  businesses.

Kahlon said close to 41 per cent of the grants went to tourism-based businesses.

A separate program, called The Circuit-Breaker Business Grant, offered similar relief to tourism operators. Kahlon said that program, which closed Friday, is expected to pay out $100 million worth of grants to close to 8,000 tourism operators.