Get details of B.C.'s recovery plan for strengthening the economy and helping businesses and communities through COVID-19.
The B.C. Government's economic recovery plan, StrongerBC, outlines how the government intends to help people, businesses, and communities recover and emerge from COVID-19 stronger and better prepared for the next stage of recovery.
Following on from the B.C. Restart Plan in May, the recovery plan takes B.C.’s total provincial response to COVID-19 to over $8.25 billion. Since August 2020, almost 250,000 jobs have been restored. The new recovery plan, developed through engagement with 50,000 British Columbians, aims to build on that foundation to strengthen the recovery and keep it going.
Some specific details are still to be released. We'll update this page with more details when we have them.
Latest Update - April 19th, 2021: The Government of Canada's Budget 2021 proposes to extend major support programs to help businesses through the pandemic, including CEWS, CERS and RRRF.
On this page:
- What's in the Recovery Plan?
- Support to Help Businesses Recover and Adapt
- Tax Relief for B.C. Businesses
- Support to Get People Back to Work
What's in the Recovery Plan?
Here's what the plan aims to do for businesses and communities:
- Make health care better by hiring 7,000 new front-line health-care workers, increasing support for mental health care in the workplace, and launching a new Hospital at Home initiative that will allow patients to receive medical services in their own home from a team of health professionals
- Create jobs and opportunities by investing in targeted and short-term skills training in in high-demand fields, expanding Indigenous skills training, and creating more affordable child-care spaces so that more parents, particularly women, can return to work
- Help businesses grow and rehire with a range of programs, including a 15% refundable tax credit based on eligible new payroll, a small- and medium-sized business recovery grant to support hard-hit businesses and protect jobs, and a temporary 100% PST rebate on select machinery and equipment to make it easier for eligible businesses to invest in growth.
- Support strong communities by investing over $400 million to revitalize community infrastructure and support local governments to provide the valuable services people depend on.
Support to Help Businesses Recover and Adapt
The plan includes extra support for businesses to help them reopen, hire more people, adapt, and grow. Check back for more details of these programs as they are announced.
- Small and Medium Sized Business Recovery Grants of up to $30,000 (up to $40,000 for tourism businesses) for eligible businesses to help them recover
- Launch Online Grants Program grants of up to $7,500 per business to help cover the costs of launching or upgrading an online store during the pandemic.
- Agritech grants to help B.C. agritech companies grow and innovate
- Accelerating Manufacturing Scale-Up Grants to help manufacturing businesses advance innovative ideas
- Help for B.C. businesses to adapt by building online shops, boosting e-commerce operations, or increasing their digital marketing capacity.
- New food processing locations to grow the B.C. Food Hub Network and help food processing businesses expand
- InBC, a new $500 million strategic investment fund (still in development) to help B.C. businesses scale up
- Encouraging people to buy local through a new buy-local marketing campaign
- Building a Future for value-added forestry by investing $3 million to accelerate the use of mass timber in B.C., and to support jobs and employment recovery in the design, engineering, construction, and product manufacturing sectors
- Enhancing internet connectivity (still in development) along major roads and highways to rural and remote communities
- Supply Chain Resiliency Grants to provide funding for B.C. manufacturing projects that support strengthened supply chain and economic recovery needs in response to COVID-19.
Tax Relief for Businesses
The recovery plan includes a range of tax relief measures for businesses:
- The B.C. PST Rebate on Select Machinery and Equipment, which provides a 100% PST rebate on select machinery and equipment to help businesses invest in their own growth
- The B.C. Increased Employment Incentive, which is designed to encourage businesses to hire more workers. Businesses will receive a 15% tax credit of the payroll increase.
- Deferring the scheduled increase to the carbon tax until April 1, 2021
Support to Get People Back to Work
As well as creating more health care jobs, and investing in infrastructure, the plan includes training programs and sector-specific job creation programs.
- Fast-track skills training programs to help people quickly get trained to work in high-demand jobs and start work immediately, plus an extra $15 million in skills training for Indigenous communities
- More jobs in clean-tech through a new Centre for Innovation and Clean Growth, part of CleanBC
- More investments in child care and support for childcare workers to help parents and families get back to work
- Hiring more people with disabilities through new grants to support non-profits who hire British Columbians living with disabilities and facing barriers to employment