WHISTLER B.C. – Sonia Furstenau, Leader of the B.C. Green Party, released the party’s plan to support tourism operators and small businesses. The B.C. Greens have been raising concerns that the B.C. NDP’s supports will come too late to support businesses who need them, and that supports are delayed due to the snap election.
“We are nine months into the pandemic and many businesses are stretched to their limits,” said Furstenau.
“For business owners across this province, each month brings new costs, and new anxiety about what the future holds. These businesses are often at the heart of the communities we live in. They employ our friends and neighbours and bring a vibrance to our streets. Just as federal support comes to an end, they are seeing the provincial support delayed by the snap election.
“Our plan will get targeted support to businesses who need it faster, to help where it is really needed. This will provide them with much-needed certainty to get them through the winter as we look towards our full COVID-19 recovery.”
“Tourism operators in particular have been ignored by this government. These businesses have been among the hardest hit, and will be among the last to recover due to travel restrictions and border closures. We need to act urgently to support our tourism sector.”
The B.C. Greens plan to support small business and tourism operators includes:
Supports for small businesses
- BC Greens will allocate $300 million to create a 6 month rent subsidy program for small businesses.
For qualifying businesses, we would cover 25% of the rental costs
- Small business limited to $50,000 in monthly rent costs
- Simple, accessible criteria developed to support access to program
Supports for the tourism sector
Retool the provincial grant program to focus on supporting small tourism operators
- Immediately work with industry to establish criteria that make sense.
- Accelerate the timeline to ensure grant money can start to flow immediately
- Work with the not-for-profit tourism businesses, cultural facilities and attractions to develop a separate granting program that will ensure these signature businesses can survive COVID-19.
- Work with the federal government to establish a repayable loan program for the hospitality sector and for tourism operators that exceed the criteria for the small tourism operator grant program.
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