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B.C. doubles COVID relief grants, up to $20K for businesses still shuttered by restrictions

Extra funding is for business that have been closed since Dec. 22
FILE – A nearly empty Granville Street entertainment district is seen just before 10 p.m. on St. Patrick’s Day in downtown Vancouver, on Wednesday, March 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Businesses that on Tuesday (Jan. 18) were ordered to remain closed until Feb. 16 will be eligible for double the amount of money through the province’s COVID-19 closure relief grant.

In a news release Wednesday, the jobs ministry stated that bars, nightclubs and lounges that do not serve full meals and event venues that had to close due to cancellations can apply for a total of $20,000 in funding. Businesses such as gyms and yoga studios, which may reopen as of Thursday, are only eligible for the original $10,000 grant.

The extension of the grant program will cost the province $4 million, bringing its total cost to $14 million.

Under the restrictions announced Tuesday by provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, indoor organized gatherings such as wedding receptions and organized parties remain banned, while outdoor organized gatherings are capped at 50 per cent of capacity or 5,000 people, whichever is greater.

Indoor events such as concerts, sports events and workshops are capped at 50 per cent.

Bars and nightclubs remain shuttered but fitness facilities can reopen with enhanced COVID measures including having seven square metres of floor space per person in both individual and group fitness settings, a capacity of 25 people and masks worn except when actively exercising.

READ MORE: B.C. businesses closed by COVID orders can now apply for relief grants


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