Updated June 6, 2021.
Available to British Columbia businesses only, the Small and Medium Sized Business Recovery Grant offers between $10K and $30K of non-repayable funding to businesses suffering due to COVID impacts. Applicants that self-identify as tourism businesses are eligible for a top-up of between $5K and $15K.
On December 18th, the eligibility criteria became more permissive. And on March 4, even more so!
The applicant business must have been operating for at least 18 months prior to the application date, and employ up to 149 people.
As the revised program now stands, the business must be able to demonstrate a 30% revenue drop in any one month (as compared to the same month of the prior year) between March 2020 and time of application.
In addition to corporations, sole proprietorships and partnerships also qualify.
Once the application has been verified to meet the minimum program requirements, the business is teamed up with a local professional service provider, to assist in drafting a Recovery Plan, which is required as part of the application process. The BC Government pays the costs of this support, and makes its ultimate funding decision based on the strength of the Recovery Plan. If the applicant chooses to instead use their own professional service provider, the cost is not covered.
One of my clients completed the onerous process of filing paperwork to prove legitimacy of the business (i.e. the ‘verification process’). They were then given a ‘fast track’ option, which was said to speed up the funding process by 2-3 weeks. This option involves skipping the assistance of the professional service provider, and completing the Recovery Plan in-house. Once we were sure of the items that we wished the grant to pay for, completing the actual Recovery Plan took under a half-hour.
Visit the program page (in the ‘available funding’ section) to view the prescribed grant ranges, which are tied to pre-COVID annual revenues, and whether the applicant is eligible for the tourism grant top-up.
As compared to CEBA, this program involves more upfront work to apply, but unlike CEBA, none of the funds are repayable.
The program deadline has been expanded from March 31 to July 2, 2021. It is expected that roughly $430M will be distributed to around 20,000 businesses.