Follow this post for up-to-date information on government support offered through the COVID-19 pandemic.
Last Updated July 26, 2021
- Government of BC's response to COVID-19.
- Government of Canada's response to COVID-19.
- The Government of Canada announced plans to reopen Canada's borders for recreational travel by international visitors.
- As of August 9, US citizens and permanent residents residing in the country will be able to visit Canada for non-essential travel, so long as they have been fully vaccinated at least 14 days prior to their trip.
- Following this first step, fully vaccinated international visitors from other countries will be welcome as of September 7.
- Find more information, including entry requirements and processes, on the Transport Canada and Government of Canada websites.
- The US Border remains closed to travellers from Canada and Mexico until August 21, 2021.
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.
For Businesses and Services
Supporting BC Businesses
- Applications for the first 2021/2022 intake of the C19 Impacted Worker Training Stream, part of the BC Employer Training Grant program, are now being accepted. This stream supports employers and individuals in those sectors hardest hit by COVID-19, with individuals receiving training and employers receiving reimbursement of eligible training costs.
- Review the program details, additional funding streams, and eligibility online.
- One-time refundable tax credit for employers. Applications are now open and will be accepted until December 31, 2021.
- 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.
- Various grants and loans are available through the Métis Financial Corporation of BC.
- 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.
- 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.
- The provincial government has invested an additional $30 million into the program.
- Expanded eligibility criteria provides grants of up to $7,500 to qualifying businesses to assist in covering eligible expenses (up to 75%) for the creation or improvement of an online shop or online booking system.
- Applications will be accepted until September 30, 2021, or until the program funds are fully dispersed.
- Applications are being accepted until March 31, 2022.
- BC Recovery Benefit: $1,000 for eligible families and single parents. Applications are open until June 30, 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.
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.
- Provides loans of up to $250,000 for Black business owners and entrepreneurs.
- Applications are being accepted through the Federation of African Canadian Economics (FACE).
- 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.
- Provides support until September 25, 2021, for qualifying organizations affected by COVID-19 with gradual decreases of the rate starting July 4.
- The program will subsidize a percentage of commercial rent or property expenses.
- Extended through until September 25, 2021, with gradual decreases of the rate starting July 4.
- CEWS is a subsidy to cover part of employee wages for eligible employers.
- This program will operate alongside the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) until September 25, 2021. Employers eligible for both programs should apply to whichever subsidy is higher.
- Many of the eligibility requirements for the program are the same as CEWS; click here for more information.
- As of September 26, only CHRP will be available.
- Up to $75,000 in funding to assist small- and medium-sized companies grow within the international marketplace.
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 program has been extended to September 26, 2021.
For information on additional support for individual sectors, click here.
- Canada Recovery Benefit: Provides a benefit amount of $1,000 ($900 after taxes) per two-week period, for up to 19 eligibility periods (total of 38 weeks) between September 27, 2020, and September 25, 2021. Click here for eligibility requirements.
- Canada Recovery Caregiver Benefit: Provides $500 ($450 after taxes) per week per household, for up to 38 weeks between September 27, 2020, and September 25, 2021. Click here for eligibility requirements.
- Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit: Provides $500 ($450 after taxes) for each 1-week period, for up to 4 weeks, between September 27, 2020, and September 25, 2021. Click here for eligibility requirements.
- 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.