By Casey Cullen and Hee Young Chung
If you haven’t yet heard, there is still Small and Medium Sized Business Recovery Grant funding available. Small and medium size businesses in B.C. can apply for grants up to $30,000, and eligible tourism related businesses can receive an additional $5,000 to $15,000.
The Small and Medium Sized Business Recovery Grant is funding to support businesses through their COVID-19 recovery plans and beyond. For example, businesses who implemented Plexiglass barriers back in October 2020 could apply for this grant to either reimburse them or support additional plans for recovery.
Businesses who can show a 30% revenue loss from March 2020 to now when compared to the same one-month period in 2019 are eligible. Businesses may also require help to prepare a complete application package from a registered Small Business BC service provider. And Small Business BC will fund up to $2,000 paid to an approved service provider who can prepare your application package with the required Recovery Plan prerequisites.
Approved service providers, like Bradford Wealth Partners, are registered with Small Business BC to help businesses apply for funding and develop their recovery plan, as needed. If a business chooses to use its own service provider, it must register and be confirmed by Small Business BC to receive up to $2,000 in government funding. Of course, businesses can choose not to use a service provider or an unregistered one, but it will not receive the service provider funding.
What is a Recovery Plan? A Recovery Plan is a list of actions your business will take to continue operations under the “new normal” conditions of COVID-19. The plan must be realistic and easy to implement. It must include a timeframe for completion and itemize costs.
What kinds of Recovery Plan activities can I use the grant towards? Recovery Plans can include actions and costs that your business implemented since the program began on Sept. 17, 2020. They can include measures that your business will use to recover post COVID-19.
The grant can be used towards:
• Providing new services to your customers
• Modifying your physical business location
• Installing new outdoor patio with social distancing barriers
• Supporting your business moving online
• Hiring a B.C.-based online marketing service
• Diversifying your business to reach new customers or offer new services (e.g. delivery, new tour packages, new products)
• Purchasing equipment to support a change or improvement to your goods or services
• Other actions that support your business recovery
Do I need to pay the grant back? No. A business will only need to pay back the funding if:
• Any of the information they submit is untrue,
• They do not implement their recovery plan, or
• They use the funds for purposes that are not eligible under the program.
OK, I want to apply. What’s next?
1) Your business applies for funding online.
2) If your business is eligible, you will be asked to develop a recovery plan.
3) Business will secure an approved professional service to prepare recovery plan as needed.
4) Business submits Recovery Plan.
5) Once Recovery Plan is approved, business will receive grant to fund their plan.
6) Documentation may be required to show how recovery efforts were implemented.
What else do I need to know?
• A business must meet all eligibility criteria to receive a base grant
• Seasonal businesses should provide information relevant to their specific business cycle
• The grant is available until August 31, 2021or until funds are fully expended, whichever comes first
• Not-for-profit organizations are not eligible
Where can I get more information? For more information about the Small and Medium Sized Business Recovery Grant program, visit https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/covid-19/economic-recovery/business-recovery-grant or contact a Small Business BC service provider such as Bradford Wealth Partners at www.BradfordWealth.ca.
Casey Cullen is an investment advisor with Bradford Wealth Partners, specializing in wealth management, retirement strategies and estate planning.
Hee Young Chung is an associate advisor with Bradford Wealth Partners with a CPA and CA designation specializing in tax planning, insurance, business transition and succession.
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