Follow this post for up-to-date information on government support offered through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Last Updated October 22, 2021


Municipal Support

 
City of Kelowna:

Click here for information on the City of Kelowna's COVID-19 response.

City of West Kelowna:

Click here for information on the City of West Kelowna's COVID-19 response. 

 

Provincial Support

 
For Businesses and Services

On April 20, the Provincial Government released Budget 2021, A Stronger BC for Everyone. Visit the Government of BC website for the 2021 Strategic Plan and for an overview of Budget 2021.


Supporting BC Businesses

Review the various supports below (listed alphabetically) or download the full plan or backgrounder for additional information about the support offered through BC's Economic Recovery Plan


BC Employer Training Grant Program

B.C. Increased Employment Incentive

  • One-time refundable tax credit for employers. ­Applications are now open and will be accepted until December 31, 2021.

BC's Hub for Workplace Mental Health

  • The provincial government has created an online hub for employers and employees in the tourism, hospitality and community social services sectors to access a variety of mental health supports. 

Business Support for Métis Entrepreneurs

  • Various grants and loans are available through the Métis Financial Corporation of BC. 

Go Electric Fleets Program

  • In support of the province's CleanBC goals, rebates are being offered for eligible businesses on the purchase and installation of Electric Vehicle charging stations. Applications are open until March 1, 2023.

Indigenous Community Business Fund

  • Non-repayable grants of up to $250,000 (per community).
  • Applications will be accepted through Indigenous Tourism BC on an ongoing basis until all funding had been allocated.

PST rebate on select machinery and equipment

  • Applications are being accepted until March 31, 2022.

For Individuals
  • BC Recovery Benefit: Applications for this benefit closed July 1, 2021. 
  • Job-protected Leave: Eligible workers who are impacted by COVID-19 can take unpaid, job-protected leave.
  • Click here for full details on support for individuals and families.

 

Federal Support

On April 19, the Government of Canada released Budget 2021: A Recovery Plan for Jobs, Growth, and Resilience, which included targeted funding for the tourism industry. The full budget can be viewed and downloaded from the Government of Canada website


For Businesses

Black Entrepreneurship Loan Fund

Business Credit Availability Program

  • To provide $40 billion of additional support through the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) and Export Development Canada (EDC).
  • This program is now available at various banks and credit unions. This support is available until December 31, 2021.

Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) / Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy / Lockdown Support

  • These existing programs are set to expire on October 23, 2021.
  • The government is proposing two new programs to support tourism, hospitality, and other hard-hit organizations once the existing support programs expire: 
    • Tourism and Hospitality Recovery Program: Provide support to hotels, tour operators, travel agencies, and restaurants through a subsidy of up to 75 per cent for wages and rent.
    • Hardest-Hit Business Recovery Program: Provide support to other hard-hit businesses through a subsidy of up to 50 per cent for wages and rent. 
    • Click here for more details on the proposed programs.

Canada Recovery Hiring Program (CRHP)

  • The government has proposed to extend CRHP until May 7, 2022, and to increase the subsidy rate to 50 per cent, for eligible employers—click here for full details.

CanExport SMEs

  • Up to $75,000 in funding to assist small- and medium-sized companies grow within the international marketplace. 

Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program (HASCAP) Guarantee

  • Delivered through Business Development Bank of Canada (BCD), eligible businesses can access guaranteed, low-interest loans of $25,000 to $1 million.
  • Businesses with multiple locations, like hotel and restaurant chains, may be able to access up to $6.25 million. 
  • The HASCAP Guarantee has been extended and is now available until December 31, 2021.  

Indigenous Community Business Fund

  • Provides non-repayable grant contributions to eligible First Nation-owned businesses and microbusinesses in response to the economic impacts of COVID-19.
  • Applications are being accepted until all funds have been dispersed.

Indigenous Emergency Loan Program

  • Interest-free loans of up to $60,000, including a non-repayable contribution of up to $20,000.
  • The program is offered through Aboriginal Financial Institutions (support is for small and medium-sized First Nations, Inuit, and Métis businesses).

Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility (LEEFF)

  • 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. 

Tourism Relief Fund

  • Will provide $500 million in funding, over two years, for the hard-hit tourism sector. 
  • Eligible for-profit businesses can access the following funding:
    • non-repayable contributions under $100,000 (rate of assistance of 50 % of eligible costs), or
    • fully repayable contributions up to $500,000 (rate of assistance of 75 % of eligible costs).
  • For non-profit organizations and Indigenous entities, the contributions will normally be non-repayable and will not normally exceed $500,000. 
  • Click here for additional details on the fund and on eligibility requirements. 

Work-Sharing Program COVID-19 Temporary Special Measures

  • Eligibility criteria were expanded so more businesses are eligible.
  • The maximum duration of a work-sharing agreement is 76 weeks for employers/employees affected by COVID-19.
  • The temporary special measures have been extended to September 24, 2022.

For information on additional support for individual sectors, click here


For Individuals:

Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) / Canada Recovery Caregiver Benefit (CRCB) / Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB):

  • All three programs are set to end on October 23, 2021. 
  • The government has proposed extending CRCB and CRSB until May 7, 2022, and increasing the maximum duration by 2 weeks (from 42 to 44 weeks). 

Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit

  • A new benefit the government wants to establish to provide income support to eligible workers who are unable to work due to a local lockdown between October 24, 2021, and May 7, 2022. 

Employment Insurance (EI) Program

Visit the following links for more information on additional supports available through Canada's COVID-19 Economic Response Plan:

 
Have questions about the support available to businesses as it relates to COVID-19?

The Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association (TOTA) is part of the BC Tourism Resiliency Network and will be providing one-on-one support for tourism businesses in the Thompson Okanagan corridor who have questions about available government support related to COVID-19. Click here to learn more and to register for TOTA's resiliency program.