Follow this post for up-to-date information on support offered through the Government of British Columbia's COVID-19 Action Plan and the Government of Canada's COVID-19 Economic Response Plan.

Last Updated July 6 at 5 p.m. PDT

Municipal Support

City of Kelowna:

Council has approved using public space as patio space to help businesses enhance capacity, including a proposal to limit the majority of Bernard Avenue to pedestrians beginning June 30 until Sept 8. Click here for more information.

Deferrals and temporary suspension of charges for several City services were also approved in response to COVID-19, including:

  • The 10 percent penalty for late payment of property taxes is moved to September 1.
  • Property tax customers on monthly payment plans can request auto-withdrawals be put on hold starting April 7 until August 31.
  • Waive interest rate charges on utility bills starting April 7 until August 31, and customers on monthly payment plans can request a hold on auto-withdrawals during this same period.
  • Interest charges on Accounts Receivable accounts (i.e. permits, licenses, rents) are waived as of April 7 until August 31.
  • Cut the provisional tax rate increase in half, reducing it to 2.05 percent from 4.15 percent.

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

City of West Kelowna:
  • 2020 tax increase has been reduced by two percent, from 4.8 to 2.8.
  • Property tax due date remains July 2, 2020; however, the 10 percent late penalty date has been extended from July 3 to October 1.
  • Interest on overdue utility bills is waived for the remainder of 2020.

Click here for more information. 

Provincial Support for Businesses and Services

  • Deferment, delay or reduction of some provincial taxes, including municipal and regional district tax.
  • Allocation of funding to support the economy during the recovery phase.
  • Issued a new order under the Emergency Program Act (EPA):
    • 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 June 2020, as determined by the federal program timelines.
  • Support for the tourism sector:
    • Temporary wholesale pricing model that will allow liquor licensees (like restaurants, bars, and tourism operators) to purchase beer, wine, and spirits at reduced cost.
    • Fifty-nine B.C. community destination marketing organizations (DMOs) severely impacted by COVID-19 travel restrictions will be supported with a $10-million grant from the Province.
    • BC Visitor Centres will benefit from $130,000 (up to $1,000 per Visitor Centre), provided through Destination BC, to ensure physical distancing and heightened sanitation measures within their facilities.
  • Support for the arts and culture sector

Provincial Support for Workers

Click here for more information on additional support available through BC's COVID-19 Action Plan. 

Federal Support for Businesses

Federal Support for Industries

Tourism sector
  • On May 31, announced $70 million in support for the tourism industry including:
  • Will work with tourism operators in national parks, historic sites, and marine conservation areas to defer payments on commercial leases and licences of occupation without interest until September 1, 2020.
Agriculture and agri-food sector:
  • Have enabled Farm Credit Canada to provide an additional $5 billion in lending to producers, agribusinesses, and food processors.
  • Providing funds to help farmers, fish harvesters, and all food production and processing employers, put in place the measures necessary to follow the mandatory 14-day isolation period required of all workers arriving from abroad.
    • Will provide support of $1,500 for each temporary foreign worker, to employers or those working with them to ensure requirements are fully met.
Cultural, heritage and sports sectors:
  • Establishing a COVID-19 Emergency Support Fund that will help address the financial needs of affected organizations so they can continue to support artists and athletes.

Federal Support for Individuals:

  • Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)
    • Will provide a taxable benefit of $2,000 every 4 weeks for up to 24 weeks to eligible workers who have lost their income due to COVID-19. 
    • Click here for more information on eligibility and to access the application form.
  • Announced May 7: Will provide up to $3 billion in support to increase the wages of low-income essential workers. 
  • Support for Indigenous communities

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.

Small Business BC is also operating the B.C. Business COVID-19 Support Service, which will “act as a one-stop resource to answer questions about supports available to businesses from the provincial and federal governments, industry and community partners.” Service is available Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. (PDT) and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (PDT) by phone at 1 (833) 254-4357. You can also email your questions to covid@smallbusinessbc.ca or use the live chat function at https://covid.smallbusinessbc.ca.