COVID-19

Sign up HERE to receive regular emailed updates on COVID-19

 

For Information on COVID Immunizations click HERE

 

 

If you have symptoms you believe could be COVID-19 you can visit the Covid-19 self-assessment tool, call 8-1-1 or your primary care provider.

If you are sick you must self isolate and avoid contact with others

 

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Important Resources

 

 

 

Support for People

BC Recovery Benefit

British Columbians are now able to apply for the BC Recovery Benefit. This one-time, tax-free payment of up to $1,000 for families and single parents, and up to $500 for individuals, will help support British Columbians who are dealing with the pressures of COVID-19.

 

To apply you will need your:

✅ Social insurance number
✅ 2019 income tax notice of assessment from the CRA
✅ If applicable, spouse’s 2019 income tax notice of assessment
✅ Direct deposit information

 

British Columbians can apply online by visiting: gov.bc.ca/recoverybeneit  or over the phone by calling 1-833-882-0020, Monday to Friday from 7:30 am to 5:00 pm

Read more information and a list of Frequently Asked Questions about the benefit click here

 

 

One-time COVID Rebate for ICBC Customers

 

Since the beginning of the 2020-21 fiscal year, ICBC has had fewer reported collisions and lower claim costs, resulting in higher-than-expected income. That gain was partly offset by lower premium revenue due to lapsed and cancelled insurance policies.

ICBC customers will receive one-time rebates averaging $190 this spring – their part of $600 million that was saved due to a major decrease in crashes and costs as the COVID-19 pandemic took hold. ICBC will begin mailing rebate cheques in mid-March 2021. This one-time rebate is separate from the Enhanced Care refunds customers will start to receive in May 2021.

Read more about these rebates HERE

Employment and COVID-19

 

Important Links

 

Work Experience Opportunities Grant

With $10 million from StrongerBC: BC’s Economic Recovery Plan, the Work Experience Opportunities Grant helps eligible, provincial non-profit organizations and federally registered charities provide 12-week work experience opportunities for people with disabilities and multiple barriers.

Organizations can apply for $5,000 per participant, to a maximum of five participants. The grants include a stipend for participants and are projected to help 2,000 British Columbians gain the work experience needed for long-term employment opportunities.

The second intake is open and applications will be accepted until midnight, March 8th, 2021. Learn more about the grant and apply here: www.workexperiencegrants.gov.bc.ca

 

Support and Information for Businesses

 

Important links

  • Government of B.C.’s full list of supports available for businesses
  • The BC Marketplace helps British Columbians support local small businesses. Businesses can reach new audiences by creating their own business profile for free.
  • The PPE Marketplace connects businesses with suppliers of non-medical safety equipment.  PPE suppliers interested in being listed as a vendor in the non-medical PPE Marketplace can submit a request to be part of the digital marketplace directory.
  • The Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy is available through the federal government to prevent worker lay-offs and re-hire workers that were laid off
  • British Columbia Tourism Resiliency Network provides one-on-one support for tourism businesses to navigate the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, adapt and work towards eventual recovery. The BC Tourism Resiliency Network is led by the Regional Tourism Secretariat. Register for the program to access one-on-one meetings with program advisors, webinars and other resources.

 

Small and Medium Sized Business Recovery Grant

This program provides non-repayable grants to small and medium sized businesses in B.C. who have lost revenue due to the current COVID pandemic. There is a total of $345 million in funding available and Grants are up to $30,000 for businesses and up to $45,000 for tourism related businesses. The funds are distributed on a first come first serve basis.

The program is already providing targeted financial support for some of the hardest hit businesses in BC. The program runs until August 31st, 2021, or until the funds are fully allocated, whichever comes first.

More information and a list of frequently asked questions about this grant HERE

 

 

Funding Supports Businesses to Launch Online

The B.C. government is investing $12 million to help businesses launch or upgrade an online store that will provide the platform they need to increase their sales revenues, become more competitive and grow.

People have increased their reliance on online shopping with over $305 billion in e-commerce sales in Canada in 2019. E-commerce sales are projected to have doubled through 2020 and are expected to increase further in 2021.

These grants will provide business owners, including those in hard-hit sectors such as retail, tourism and restaurants, with up to $7,500 to build or improve their online store and promote BuyBC at a local, national and international level.

Grant recipients can use the funding for a variety of online-related expenses, including pictures, creating an online inventory system, advertising costs, subscription costs of an e-commerce platform and training staff to manage the website.

The program is administered by Alacrity Canada. Small- and medium-sized businesses are encouraged to apply online: www.launchonline.ca

 

 

Digital Economy: Rapid Response + Resiliency (DER3)

In response to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Innovate BC is pleased to offer the Digital Economy: Rapid Response + Resiliency Program (DER3) to support small-medium sized businesses, in any sector, enter or expand in the digital economy.

The program will be available in six regions throughout the province and will provide:

  • Personalized advisory services to assess needs, recommend tools and solutions toward appropriate technology adoption, and guidance on the implementation.
  • Resource materials, best practices and tools needed to increase business capacity, expand into new markets or opportunities, and respond to physical restrictions associated with COVID-19 workplace requirements.
  • Connections to vetted digital service providers and subject matter experts that may address specific needs, beyond the items listed above.

All types of businesses are encouraged to apply, however priority will be given to non-tech companies. More information on the program and how to apply can be found here: DER3 – Innovate BC

 

B.C. Increased Employment Incentive

The B.C. Increased Employment Incentive offers a refundable tax credit for all private sector B.C. employers to encourage the creation of new jobs for B.C. workers or increased payroll for existing low or medium-income employees.

  • The tax credit is calculated at 15% of the amount that the employer’s qualifying B.C. remuneration exceeds the employer’s base B.C. remuneration

  • Remuneration increases over the last quarter of 2020 (October to December) are eligible

  • Applications open online starting March 2021

 

 

 

The B.C. Business COVID-19 Support Service provides information and support to business owners to help navigate challenges from COVID-19.

Advisors are ready to help, Monday to Friday, 9 am to 5 pm by phone: 1 833-254-4357 or by email: covid@smallbusinessbc.ca

Other Resources

 

  • Full list of supports available to individuals and families
  • Expansion of BC 2-1-1 services to better support seniors who are self isolating. Seniors who need assistance picking up prescriptions and groceries, with food preparation and delivery or just want someone to talk with can call 2-1-1 or register online here and they will be connected to a volunteer in their community. People wanting to volunteer can also call to be matched up with  a senior who needs assistance
  • BC has invested $5 million to expand virtual mental health services in BC so that everyone can access the help they need during this pandemic and beyond. A full list of virtual mental health services can be found here

 

 

 

Utilities Response to COVID

 

Telus 

Shaw

BC Hydro

Fortis BC

ICBC