Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce: Provincial Support for Businesses

07 May 2020

March 4, 2020

This article is from the Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce.

The provincial government announced a $5 billion (additional funding) support package for businesses and individuals: this is the first step as the government acknowledges they will have to be “nimble and flexible” as they respond to the impacts of COVID-19. The package will see $2.8 B People and Services $2.2B Business and Economic Recovery.

*Provincial Aid was announced March 23rd, 2020. Details for how to access services will be provided once they become available*

List of Essential Services
This list has been provided so that businesses can prepare for a potential provincial shutdown.

Tax Remittance Deferrals
The provincial government is extending tax filing and payment deadlines to September 30th, 2020 to help businesses through this crisis. The deferred taxes will include:

  • Employee Health Tax (EHT)
  • Motor Fuel Taxes
  • Carbon Tax
  • The scheduled increase of carbon tax has been canceled
  • Provincial Sales Tax (PST)
  • Municipal & Regional District Tax
  • Tobacco Tax

Property Tax Relief

  • Business and light and major industrial property classes will see a reduction to the school property tax rate for commercial properties to achieve an average 25% reduction in the total property tax bill for most businesses, providing up to $700 million in relief. This enhances the 50% reduction to the provincial school property tax rate that was originally announced for classes 4, 5, and 6 as part of B.C.’s COVID-19 Action Plan.
  • The expectation is business will benefit directly (if they own their own property) or this relief will flow through commercial landlords immediately passing savings on to tenants in triple-net lease

Additional Provincial Measures
Canceling of the scheduled increase of Carbon Tax

  • Deferral of PST charges to e-commerce and sweetened beverages (to be reviewed by Sept. 30, 2020)
  • $1.5B for economic recovery
  • The longer-term recovery plan will dedicate funding to those businesses that are particularly hard-hit during this pandemic.

Intake for greenhouse carbon tax relief grants open
Greenhouse operators can now apply for carbon tax relief grants for the 2020 production year, until May 1, 2020.
Eligibility: Commercial producers in B.C. who grow vegetables, ornamental flowers and plants, forest seedlings and nursery plants are eligible to apply for the grant if they:

  • had sales exceeding $20,000 in 2019;
  • used natural gas or propane to heat their greenhouses or produce carbon dioxide; and
  • had a production area greater than 455 square metres.

Benefit: The grant covers up to 80% of the carbon tax that commercial greenhouse growers of eligible crops paid on the natural gas and propane they used for greenhouse heating and carbon-dioxide production in 2019. Cannabis is not an eligible crop at any phase of production.

For more information and eligibility criteria click here.

Temporary Emergency Funding Program

  • Funding for licensed providers at a rate of seven times their average monthly child care operating base funding.
  • Child care centres receiving this funding continue to be eligible for the Child Care Fee Reduction Initiative and the Early Childhood Educator (ECE) Wage Enhancement. The fee reduction helps parents by providing funding for licensed child care providers to reduce and stabilize their monthly child care fees. The wage enhancement has provided nearly 12,000 ECEs with a $1-per-hour wage enhancement, which increased to $2 per hour on April 1, 2020, to better recognize the work they do.
  • Families accessing care from these providers may be eligible for the Affordable Child Care Benefit.
Categories: Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce News
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