Follow this post for up-to-date information on government support offered to support people, businesses, and services through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Last Updated November 27, 2020, at 9:30 a.m.

Municipal Support

City of Kelowna:

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

  • 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.

Council also approved using public space as patio space to help businesses enhance capacity, which included limiting the majority of Bernard Avenue to pedestrians from June 30 until September 7

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

 

Provincial Support for Businesses and Services

StrongerBC for Everyone: BC's Economic Recovery Plan

    Investing in Tourism
    • A new Tourism Task Force has been assembled; $50 million has been allocated to facilitate their initial recommendations.  
    • $19 million to support small municipalities who are dependent on tourism to build, adapt and diversify their tourism infrastructure. 
    • Nearly $14 million to support targeted tourism development initiatives in the six tourism regions across BC to help the tourism industry recover from COVID-19. 
    • $20 million for tourism infrastructure projects supporting destination development through the new Community Economic Recovery Infrastructure
      Program. 
  • Community Economic Recovery Infrastructure Program (CERIP)
    • Fully-funded provincial grants to support economic resilience, tourism, heritage, and urban and rural economic development projects in communities impacted by COVID-19.
    • Application are now closed.  
  • Supporting BC Businesses

Download the full plan or backgrounder for additional information about support offered through BC's Economic Recovery Plan.  

Additional Support

  • Deferment, delay or reduction of some provincial taxes, including municipal and regional district tax.
  • Support for the tourism sector:
  • Support for the arts and culture sector
  • Support for sports organizations:
    • Providing $1.5 million to help local sport organizations with fixed costs during the pandemic. Canadian Heritage is also investing $3.4 million in sports organizations in BC as part of the COVID-19 Emergency Support Fund for Cultural, Heritage and Sport Organizations.

Provincial Support for Workers

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

Federal Support for Businesses

On November 19, Bill C-9 received Royal Ascent, meaning the following measures have been implemented:

  • New Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy provides support until June 2021 for qualifying organizations affected by COVID-19. The program will subsidize a percentage of expenses, on a sliding scale, up to a maximum of 65 per cent of eligible expenses. Organizations would be able to make claims retroactively for the period that began September 27 and ends October 24, 2020. Applications are now open.
    • Lockdown Support provides an extra 25 per cent for organizations temporarily shut down by a mandatory public health order issued by a qualifying public health authority, in addition to the 65 per cent subsidy. 
  • Extension of the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) through until June 2021. CEWS is a subsidy to cover part of employee wages for eligible employers. Visit the website for more information on subsidy rates and new changes to the program.

Existing Support

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:

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.