By taking action to support people and businesses impacted by the global pandemic, Premier John Horgan and the B.C. government have begun building a strong economic recovery that includes everyone in British Columbia.
“British Columbians came together to face the challenge of COVID-19 with resilience and strength, and while there’s light at the end of the tunnel with vaccines arriving daily, the road to recovery is still ahead of us,” said Premier John Horgan. “The actions we’ve taken to invest in people and support small businesses in our communities are helping us ensure recovery includes everyone – not just those at the top. We’ve come a long way together, but there’s more to do.”
Focused on the millions of British Columbians who had a difficult year, Premier Horgan and the government delivered the tax-free BC Recovery Benefit, available to 90% of adults in B.C., providing up to $1,000 for families or $500 for individuals.
The BC Recovery Benefit builds on actions taken after COVID-19 first hit British Columbia, providing immediate relief for people who needed it most, including:
helping more than 600,000 workers with a $1,000 emergency benefit to help cover lost wages; and
providing peace of mind to over 86,000 renters with a relief supplement and protection from the threat of eviction.
The Province provided important relief for businesses, establishing a $300-million grant program for small- and medium-sized businesses that were hit hard during the pandemic, providing tax breaks for businesses purchasing equipment and offering a rebate for companies hiring back workers or creating new jobs.
These measures build on work done in the early days of the pandemic, including:
- helping thousands of small businesses with their BC Hydro bills;
- allowing deferred payments on several business taxes such as the provincial sales tax (PST), employer health tax and carbon tax; and
- working with businesses to help them operate while keeping workers and customers safe.
Premier Horgan and the government consulted widely with people and businesses, hearing from more than 50,000 British Columbians before delivering the StrongerBC recovery plan, focused on:
Creating jobs and opportunities:
- providing targeted and short-term training in high-demand fields, such as front-line health, child care and human service positions;
- building on the fastest creation of affordable child care spaces in B.C.’s history; and
- supporting tourism businesses and communities by investing over $100 million and creating a task force to identify short- and long-term solutions.
Helping businesses grow and hire:
- encouraging businesses to hire low- to-middle-income workers in B.C. with a 15% hiring tax credit;
- protecting an estimated 200,000 jobs through grants to approximately 15,000 hard-hit small- and medium-sized businesses; and
- making it easier for businesses to invest in new equipment with a PST rebate.
Supporting strong communities:
- investing over $400 million to revitalize community infrastructure and support local governments, including grants for shovel-ready projects; and
- keeping people moving by transit and ferry with over $1 billion in provincial and federal investments to support and expand BC Transit, TransLink and BC Ferries.