Employers may be eligible for a subsidy of up to 75% employees hourly wages for up to 12 weeks. Click the link for eligibility requirements, to learn how to apply, and for more program details.
The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy is open as of April 27.
B.C. COVID-19 Provincial State of Emergency Ended June 30, 2021Date:July 7, 2021
The COVID-19 provincial state of emergency declared under the Emergency Program Act ended at 11:59 pm on June 30, 2021.
With British Columbians achieving nearly 80% adult Dose 1 vaccine coverage and COVID-19 case counts continuing to decline, the Province safely moved to Step 3 of its four-step restart plan on July 1, 2021.
Moving to Step 3 signaled the end to the longest provincial state of emergency in B.C.’s history. The emergency was lifted on June 30, 2021.
The state of emergency allowed the Province to use extraordinary powers under the Emergency Program Act to support the COVID-19 pandemic response.
The original declaration was made on March 18, 2020, the day after Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer (PHO), declared a public health emergency.
More information here.
B.C. Moves into Phase 3 of Restart PlanDate:July 5, 2021
As of July 1, 2021, British Columbia is in phase 3 of B.C.’s Restart Plan. This means:
- Masks are recommended in indoor public places for all people 12 and older who are not yet fully vaccinated. The mask mandate order under the Emergency Program Act was lifted July 1.
- People can return to normal for indoor and outdoor personal gatherings.
- Indoor organized gatherings of 50 people or 50% capacity are permitted, whichever is greater.
- Outdoor organized gatherings of 5,000 people or 50% capacity are allowed, whichever is greater.
- Fairs, festivals and trade shows can return to normal with a communicable disease plan.
- Restaurants, bars, pubs and nightclubs have no group limits for indoor and outdoor dining, and events are permitted. They can return to normal liquor service hours but no socializing between tables and no dancing is permitted.
- Casinos must still operate at reduced capacity.
- Businesses will transition from a COVID-19 Safety Plan to a communicable disease plan. Some safety measures will remain, like physical barriers.
- Workplaces will transition from a COVID-19 Safety Plan to a communicable disease plan. Employees can continue returning to the workplace and seminars and bigger meetings are allowed.
To read the full Restart Plan, see HERE. The earliest date B.C. may enter phase 4 is September 7, 2021.
Other parts of our website may not yet reflect these new changes, so please check the BC Government website for the most current information. Thank you for your patience.
B.C.’s Restart Plan Launched; British Columbians 12+ Can Register for the COVID-19 VaccineDate:May 27, 2021
On May 25, 2021, the B.C. Government launched the B.C. Restart Plan. There are four phases to the plan, and phase one began on May 25, 2021. The goal is to gradually begin to restart important social connections, businesses and activities and safely return to normal.
For the full plan, see the B.C. Restart plan HERE.
Additionally, all British Columbians 12+ (born 2009 or earlier) can register to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. To register, see How to Get Vaccinated for COVID-19.
Pregnant people aged 16+ are now a priority population to get their vaccine (as of May 4, 2021)Date:May 4, 2021
If you are pregnant, you can get vaccinated quickly following these two steps:
1. Register, if you haven’t already, at http://gov.bc.ca/getvaccinated
2. Then phone 1-833-838-2323 to book — tell them you are pregnant.
Travel restrictions: Here are B.C.'s new rules limiting movement to help curb the spread of COVID-19Date:April 23, 2021
“New measures are now in place to limit travel in B.C. for the next several weeks in an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19.
Solicitor General Mike Farnworth outlined the latest restrictions Friday morning, explaining they'll be in place through the May long weekend and expire on May 25.”
Apply Now for the Circuit Breaker Business GrantDate:April 14, 2021
Eligible bars, breweries, wineries, gyms and fitness centres can apply for the Circuit Breaker Business Relief Grant to help support businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The grant will provide affected businesses with one-time funding to help with expenses like rent, insurance, employee wages, maintenance and utilities. It can also help cover unexpected costs, such as the purchase of perishable goods, that resulted from COVID-19 restrictions. Businesses affected by the March 30, 2021, provincial health orders will be eligible to receive between $1,000 and $10,000 in grant funding.
The Circuit Breaker Business Relief Grant is open to eligible businesses of any size that have been in operation since February 1, 2021. Applications will remain open until June 4, 2021, or until the grant funds are disbursed.
For more information on eligibility and how to apply, see the Circuit Breaker Business Relief Grant.
Online Vaccine Registration Launched; BC Moves Into Phase 3 of COVID-19 VaccinationDate:April 13, 2021
The BC Government has launched a registration form that allows British Columbians to get invited to book an appointment when eligible. This will allow the government to contact you and help your community get the right amount of vaccines. To find out if you are eligible or to register, see HERE.
To register online, you must provide:
- First and last name
- Date of birth
- Postal code
- Personal Health Number
- An email address that gets checked regularly or a phone number that can receive text messages
Find your Personal Health Number on the back of your B.C. driver's licence, BC Services Card or CareCard.
As of April 14, 2021, people 50+ (born 1971 or later) and Indigenous people 18+ can register. Individuals 16+ who are clinically extremely vulnerable may also register.
To learn more about vaccine eligibility or for all other COVID-19 vaccine questions, check out Immunization BC’s Q&A page.
New Public Health Orders Regarding In-person Food and Liquor Services, Effective March 30thDate:March 29, 2021
Effective March 30, 2021 at midnight, all food and liquor-serving premises must only provide take-out or delivery service. Dine-in service is prohibited, except for outdoor patios. Outdoor patio dining is permitted only with people in your household or core bubble.
Indoor, adult group fitness activities of any kind are now paused under the orders. Gyms and fitness centres are restricted to individual or one-on-one activities only including one-on-one personal training.
Lastly, the previously announced class variance for limited indoor worship services has been suspended. Outdoor worship services, however, may continue.
These additional restrictions will be in place until April 19, 2021, unless otherwise directed by the PHO. See the Government of BC website to learn more.
Permanent Increase In Assistance RatesDate:March 26, 2021
More than 300,000 British Columbians will benefit from the largest-ever permanent increase to income assistance and disability assistance rates and the first-ever increase to the senior’s supplement.
Starting with payments issued in April 2021, individuals on income assistance and disability assistance will automatically receive a permanent $175 per month increase. There will be an increase to the senior’s supplement of $50 per recipient.
Lastly, for people on income assistance living in special care facilities, their comforts allowance will increase by $20 to $115 per month. The comforts allowance lets people buy basic personal items.
For more information, see the BC government news update HERE.
Government Investing an Additional $30 Million in the Launch Online Grant Program: Apply Now!Date:March 26, 2021
In response to a high number of applications, the BC government is investing an additional $30 million in the Launch Online Grant program. The program provides up to $7,500 to businesses to help build or expand an e-commerce site to reach more customers and to sustain and grow their business. An online presence is integral for businesses that want to adapt their operations to better reach customers in their community, throughout BC and beyond.
Program application intake is open until September 30, 2021 or until the funds have been fully subscribed. Funding will be awarded on a first-come first-serve basis to small- and medium-sized BC businesses. For more information on the program or to apply, visit www.launchonline.ca.