Restaurant patrons enjoy the weather on a patio in Vancouver, B.C., Monday, April 5, 2021. The province has restricted indoor dining at all restaurants in B.C. due to a spike in COVID-19 numbers. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Restaurant patrons enjoy the weather on a patio in Vancouver, B.C., Monday, April 5, 2021. The province has restricted indoor dining at all restaurants in B.C. due to a spike in COVID-19 numbers. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

B.C. boosts ‘circuit breaker’ business aid as COVID-19 ban drags on

Hotels, motels eligible as well as restaurants, bars, fitness centres

The B.C. government is expanding its latest business relief grant program after indoor dining, fitness and recreational travel has been restricted to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

The “circuit breaker” grant fund is now extended to hotels, motels and qualifying AirBnB-type accommodations, Jobs Minister Ravi Kahlon said Monday. Accommodation businesses have pledged to turn away out-of-region guest bookings as part of the latest travel ban between the Lower Mainland, Interior and Vancouver Island that took effect Friday.

The “circuit breaker” order banned indoor dining and group fitness as of March 31, and has been extended to May 25 along with the travel restrictions. A $50 million compensation fund was established to pay affected businesses up to $10,000 based on the number of employees, and that has been extended and expanded to up to $20,000 with $75 million from the large pandemic contingency funds included in the April 20 B.C. budget.

Hotels, motels and eligible short-term accommodation businesses can apply for a $25 million share of the fund, if they are registered as businesses in B.C. The program has also been extended to “high-intensity fitness facilities that were partially or fully closed as a result of the provincial health officer’s orders issued in November 2020 and updated on March 31, 2021,” the ministry said in a statement.

The fund is available for applications on a first-come, first-served basis and remains open until June 4 or when the funds run out. Businesses that previously applied for or received the first round of circuit breaker grants do not need to apply again.

RELATED: Got your first vaccine before April 6? Register for second one

RELATED: B.C. begins looking for its own COVID-19 sick pay plan


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislatureCoronavirus

Just Posted

Michelle Jacobs receives her first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at the Coast Capri Hotel on April 28, 2021. The pop-up clinic was hosted by the First Nations Health Authority. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
126 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health over the weekend

There are 22 individuals hospitalized due to the virus, and 13 in intensive care

Taco, a beloved family cat had to be euthanized last week after ingesting poison. At least four cats ingested poison last week, prompting a warning from the local SPCA. (Submitted)
Taco, a beloved Penticton cat had to be euthanized after ingesting poison

Local SPCA puts out warning after four cats poisoned near downtown Penticton

RCMP vest
Penticton beach brawl results in one arrest but no charges

People took to social media after a fight broke out at the fire pits at Okanagan Lake Saturday

Levi Carter with the Osoyoos Coyotes. (File photo)
From the KIJHL to BCHL, Levi Carter follows in dad’s foot-steps with Penticton Vees

Carter joined the Vees as an affiliate player after finishing his Junior ‘B’ season in Osoyoos

Road work is underway in Penticton so traffic controllers are asking drivers to be aware. (Submitted)
Message to Penticton drivers: Slow down and pay attention in Cone Zones

Over the last 10 years in B.C., 12 roadside workers died and 207 were injured

An avalanche near Highway 1 in Glacier National Park. Avalanche Canada will benefit from a $10 million grant from the B.C. government. (Photo by Parks Canada)
Avalanche Canada receives $10-million grant from B.C. government

Long sought-after funds to bolster organization’s important work

Barriere RCMP nabbed two suspects who were allegedly breaking into cabins in McLure. (File photo)
Thieves nabbed by Barriere Mounties during McLure break-ins

Police Service Dog Kody instrumental in making the arrest

(File photo)
Repeated cougar sighting on Okanagan Rail Trail

Plenty of bear sightings around the valley too

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry update the province’s COVID-19 vaccine program, May 10, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate stays below 500 a day over weekend

14 more deaths, down to 350 in hospital as of Monday

Royal Bay Secondary School’s rainbow crosswalk was vandalized shortly after being painted but by Monday, coincidentally the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, the crosswalk had been cleaned up and students had surrounded it with chalk messages of support and celebration. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
B.C. high’s school’s pride crosswalk restored following ‘hateful’ graffiti attack

Hate terms, racial slur, phallic images spray-painted at Greater Victoria high school

Terrance Mack would have celebrated his 34th birthday on May 13, 2021. Mack’s family has identified him as the victim of a homicide in an apartment on Third Avenue in Port Alberni sometime in April. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
Family identifies Ucluelet man as victim of Vancouver Island homicide

Terrance Mack being remembered as ‘kind, gentle’ man

A single motorcycle parked outside of the Kelowna Hells Angels clubhouse at 837 Ellis Street on July 9, 2020. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
Kelowna Hells Angels prospect sentenced to 9 months in jail for aggravated assault

Colin Michael Bayley pleaded guilty to the downtown Kelowna assault earlier this month

Salmon Arm RCMP seize a handgun, drugs and cash at a Silver Creek property on Friday, May 14, 2021. (File photo)
Police seize handgun, drugs and cash at a Shuswap property

Salmon Arm RCMP said warrant for Silver Creek revealed cannabis, possible cocaine, magic mushrooms

Vernon Search and Rescue, along with Shuswap members, rescued three kayakers near Lumby Sunday, May 16, 2021. (VSAR Instagram)
3 kayakers rescued in North Okanagan

Shuswap, Vernon search and rescue teams make swift-water rescue Sunday

Most Read