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B.C. expanding circuit breaker funding to hotels, motels and other short-term accommodations

B.C. expanding circuit breaker funding to hotels, motels and other short-term accommodations

B.C. expanding circuit breaker funding to hotels, motels and other short-term accommodations image
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Hotels, motels and other short-term accommodations in B.C. are now eligible to apply for the province’s “circuit breaker” funding.

The province expanded eligibility for the funding after new travel restrictions were announced last week.

VRBO and Airbnb operators who have registered as a business are also eligible for some funding.

“For many B.C. businesses, the next few weeks will be some of the toughest since the pandemic began,” Minister of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation Ravi Kahlon said.

“These additional funds will help businesses cover costs like rent and employee wages to help them through this difficult stretch. We hope for better days ahead for B.C. businesses and to be able to have the kind of summer we all want.”

Click to play video: How the new travel restrictions will impact B.C.’s tourism industry

The province will only approve the application of businesses that cancel bookings from outside of the health authority.

The hotel and accommodation sector has been encouraging businesses to cancel reservations for people coming outside of the community but it is not required under the new orders.

Read more: B.C. pledges $50 million to support restaurants, gyms affected by latest COVID-19 orders

The grant remains open to the 14,000 restaurants, bars, breweries, wineries, gyms and fitness facilities affected by orders issued by the provincial health officer late last month. The orders remain in place until May 25.

The grant will also double from a maximum of $10,000 to $20,000.

The province is putting more than $75 million towards the Circuit Breaker Business Relief Grant.

Click to play video: B.C. set to extend ‘circuit breaker’ amid high case counts

Almost $25 million of this money is available to the hotels, motels and other B.C.-owned short-term accommodation providers affected by the recent travel restrictions.

The grant has been clarified to now include high-intensity fitness facilities that were partially or fully closed.

“Businesses have been through a lot over the past year, and we want them to know that while they are doing their part to help keep everyone safe, we’ll continue to be there for them with financial support to carry them through,” Finance Minister Selina Robinson said.

Read more: COVID-19 lockdown, shutdown, circuit breakers: How do these terms differ?

The funding is designed to help with expenses like employee wages, rent, maintenance and utilities. The individual amount a business receives will be based on the number of employees.

Businesses that previously applied for or received the grant that opened on April 12 do not need to apply again as they will automatically receive the additional funding.

Applications will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis until June 4 or when the funds are disbursed.

To be eligible for the grant, a business needs to confirm it has been affected by the recent provincial orders and also confirm majority ownership and operations and payment of taxes in B.C.

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