In every community across this province, you will meet innovators and entrepreneurs who through hard work have built their own business. These businesses are the heart of the communities we live in. They employ our friends and neighbours, bring a vibrancy to our streets and contribute immensely to the surrounding neighbourhood.
And with the COVID-19 pandemic, they faced trials like never before.
It's not just the costs they face—it's the uncertainty of the future. It's the anxiety of not knowing whether what they built will last. Whether they will have to lay off employees who worked for them for years. And on top of that, struggling to transition to new business models that offer no more certainty.
For tourism operators, these challenges have been exacerbated by the border closure and travel bans. Many are wondering how they can navigate the winter when the revenues they usually count on in the summertime never arrived, and next year’s bookings have yet to materialise.
The simple fact is that the provincial government has not done enough to address the challenges that are facing our small business and tourism sectors. They have not shown they understand the reality facing businesses across these sectors. They don’t seem to get that convoluted and delayed grant programs are not as helpful as support paying next month's rent. That for a tourism operator, a potential grant in 2021 won’t help ensure that your business can survive the winter.
The BC Greens plan is different.
We see the immediate challenges facing small business owners and tourism operators and understand the urgency of action that is required.
With our plan, we will step up with immediate funds to help pay the rent this winter, taking some of the stress off of business owners and letting them know we will be there with the help they need.
For tourism operators, it's about ensuring that grants can flow immediately, and are not locked behind complicated application processes and criteria that ensures few are eligible.
Simple, straightforward financial support that is deployed urgently to meet the challenges facing businesses this winter. That’s our plan.
The BC Greens' plan for Small business and tourism
- 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
- Immediately work with industry to establish criteria that make sense.
- Accelerate the timeline to ensure grant money can start to flow immediately.