top of page
  • Writer's pictureGuy Nelson

How to Source Government Grants For Small Business In BC?

The provincial government is the source of a significant variety of Government Grants For Small Business In BC
The Provincial Government is the Source of a Significant Variety of Government Grants For Small Business In BC

Table of Contents


Sourcing Government Grants For Small Businesses In BC

If you are visiting this article you either already own a business in British Columbia and need some financial help, or you want to start a new BC enterprise and want to know about opportunities to supplement your startup capital.

Researching the potential for government grants for small business in BC is a smart move to help your business advance or recover.

A predictable problem for someone in your business circumstances is the sheer effort required to research what is available and suitable for your business. The next challenge is to figure out how to apply properly to take full advantage of a grant you may qualify for.

Don’t throw up your hands too quickly. This article helps by presenting literally all the appropriate BC government small business grants available for you. Trust me, they do exist and there are many options at your disposal.

You will soon realize there are many grant programs available via federal and provincial agencies. Together they total in the billions of dollars, specifically for new and existing businesses.

Government funding, whether from the Canadian or British Columbia government is important to help the economy recover and grow, through increased jobs and available products and services in the BC marketplace and through international trade.

Although I’m focusing on small and medium-size business grants, please be aware that financial aid also comes in the form of business loans, tax incentives, and support through training programs and professional consulting to businesses.


Who Is Eligible For Government Grants For Small Business In BC?

With so many government grants for small business in BC, how do you determine if you can qualify?

While it's true each program will have some specific requirements, you can narrow the field by comparing your qualifiers against some fundamental requirements that are common to most grant programs in BC and with the Canadian government.

  1. Is your business registered or soon to be once you apply for a grant or loan?

  2. Are you a Canadian citizen or a Permanent Resident?

  3. Are you in an industry-recognized as ‘valid’ (by the federal government)

  4. Are you requesting a grant or loan for valid funding purposes

Discover if your business in British Columbia is eligible for financial recovery support and other economic benefits for your company, industry and you personally.

The following survey of grants and related economic support programs in British Columbia are provided below.

The BC Provincial Government Provides COVID-19 Relief and Recovery Grant Support for Small and Medium Sized Businesses
The BC Government Provides COVID-19 Relief and Recovery Grant Support for Small and Medium Sized Businesses

The BC Business COVID-19 Support Service

Advisors at the BC Business COVID-19 Support Service offer information and business counselling to the owners of BC businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Business hours are from Monday through Friday, 9 am to 5 pm.

Telephone : 1-833-254-4357

Contact by Email request is also available.

COVID-19 Supports for Businesses Guide

The BC COVID-19 Support Service also publishes a pdf guide (COVID-19 Supports for Businesses Guide) listing government and other resources for British Columbia small business financial support.


BC Government Grants For Small Business

Small and Medium Sized Business Recovery Grant

The BC Government Grants For Small Business program has set aside $345 Million for their BC Small and Medium Business Recovery Grant program. This BC grant for small business is for British Columbia companies employing 2 to 149 B.C. residents and having revenue reductions from March 10, 2020, compared to the same period in the prior year..

The Small and Medium Sized Business Recovery Grant program will end August 31, 2021, or earlier, once the grant funds have been fully allocated.

Launch Online Grant

Launch Online Grant delivers capital in the form of another BC grant for small business to assist them to develop an online store, online booking system. The grant also provides grant funds to help companies improve their current online systems to attract new customers in the local area and also to grow into new markets. The grant pays up to 75% of related expenses, up to a maximum of $7,500 per business.


Services Bill Relief

These services are providing relaxed payment options and various other support:

  • BC Hydro offered its customers flexible payments plans. The program unfortunately ended June 30, 2020. However, BC Hydro is still willing to help. If your business has overdue BC Hydro payments, you may be entitled to a Customer Crisis Fund grant of up to $600.

  • If you've fallen behind on bill payments, you may be able to log in to MyHydro or call 1 800 BCHYDRO (1 800 224 9376) to arrange a catch-up payment plan to pay the overdue amount.

  • FortisBC offers payment deferrals and interest-free repayments to impacted small businesses.

  • To help small and medium-sized businesses in BC recover from the challenges of COVID-19, FortisBC offers free specialized electricity and natural gas energy advice by telephone, video call or in-office. Use this link to learn more and ask for a consultation.

  • Call FortisBC at 1-866-436-7847 for electricity (Monday to Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.) or 1-888-224-2710 for natural gas (Monday to Friday, 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.). Or email and access your Account Online.

  • ICBC customers on a monthly Autoplan payment who face financial issues due to the COVID-19 pandemic may be eligible for a rebate. ICBC is returning COVID period savings of about $350 million directly to their clients. This includes the people who had an active policy from October 1, 2020, to March 31, 2021.

  • An average refund for regular customers is about $120. This will vary based on the insurance premium a customer paid during that 6 month period (and any changes to the policy in the period).


Support for Rent and Wages

B.C. Increased Employment Incentive

The B.C. Increased Employment Incentive offers a refundable tax credit for all private-sector B.C. employers to encourage the creation of new jobs for B.C. workers or increased payroll for existing low or medium-income employees.

  • The tax credit is calculated at 15% of the amount that the employer's qualifying B.C. remuneration exceeds the employer's base B.C. remuneration

  • Remuneration increases over the last quarter of 2020 (October to December) are eligible

  • Applications are open

Eligibility: Private sector businesses

BC Employer Training Grant

The BC Employer Training Grant provides employers full eligible training costs, up to a maximum of $10,000 per participant for each fiscal year. The grant is support for British Columbians that are employed or have been employed in sectors impacted by COVID-19.

Eligibility: BC employers

Direct Cash Grants and Loans is Not the Only Financial Support Method Provided by the BC Government
Financial Support from the BC Government Also Comes in the Form of Indirect Financial Benefits

Tax Support

In some cases BC provincial taxes have been deferred, delayed or reduced:

B.C. PST Rebate On Select Machinery And Equipment

The B.C. PST Rebate on Select Machinery and Equipment is a B.C. provincial sales tax (PST) temporary program to support businesses recovering from the economic impact of COVID-19.

The rebate is separate from the current PST Refund process. In this temporary program, companies can apply to receive an amount equal to the PST they paid between September 17, 2020, and September 30, 2021, on certain machinery and equipment.

B.C. Increased Employment Incentive

Employers that are required to submit quarterly payments for the 2020 calendar year can defer the payments under the B.C. Increased Employment Incentive.

The incentive encourages employers to request a one-time tax credit. The credit is 15% of the total amount that the employer’s eligible remuneration for all eligible employees in the qualifying period exceeds the employer’s total eligible remuneration for all eligible employees in the base period.

Base period - July 1 to September 30, 2020.

Qualifying period - October 1 to December 31, 2020.


Business Safety and Operations

These are programs to help manage business safety and operations procedures throughout the COVID-19 impact.

BC Marketplace

The BC Marketplace assists BC residents to support local small businesses. Businesses can reach new target audiences by producing their own business profile at no charge.

Personal Protective Equipment Marketplace

The Personal Protective Equipment PPE Marketplace connects companies with non-medical safety equipment sources. PPE companies wanting to be listed as a supplier in the non-medical PPE Marketplace can forward a request to be placed on the marketplace directory.

Alacrity Canada Digital Marketing Bootcamp

The Alacrity Digital Marketing Bootcamp provides digital marketing know-how, tools and various resources to help you grow your business. For small businesses in BC that employ less than 150 B.C. residents, directly impacted by COVID-19 may be eligible to have their tuition paid.

Registration for the boot camp is open now. Eligibility is based on the following criteria:

Please note that applicants must meet all of the following general eligibility criteria:

  • A B.C. resident owns the business;

  • The business’s main operations are in B.C.

  • The business is currently operational

  • The business registration is in B.C.;

  • The business employs under 150 B.C. residents

The BC Government Targets Financial Help Through Grants and More to Business Sectors and Community Groups
Business Sectors and Community Groups are Targeted Specifically for BC Government Financial Support

Business Sectors and Community Groups


B.C. Agri-Business Planning Program

For agriculture, seafood and food-processing companies in British Columbia. that had revenues lower by a minimum of 30% due to COVID-19 may be eligible for up to $5,000 in business planning and coaching services from a business consultant for individuals, and up to $20,000 for groups. Funds are to be used for developing immediate and long-term recovery plans.

Applications reopened in April 2021

Eligibility: Agriculture, seafood and food processing businesses

Support For Animal Care Facilities

Funding is available for animal hygiene, habitat maintenance, and veterinarian care. Included us limited transportation and repairs to equipment for the welfare of the animals.

Eligibility: BC shelters, animal refuges, aquariums and rehabilitation centres that without revenue to ensure proper care of animals they are responsible for.

Find out

Quarantine Program For Temporary Foreign Farmworkers

The B.C. government is offering financial support to temporary foreign workers in B.C. for seasonal agriculture work, during the required fourteen-day quarantine period. Support covers hotel, food-service costs, laundry services, wellness walks, interpretation and translation services, health screening and other needed support.

Eligibility: Foreign farmworkers (temporary)

Rural, Remote And Indigenous Communities

Community Futures BC

Business-related resources and support for rural small businesses. This includes how to transfer a company's business online.

Eligibility: Rural small businesses

Transportation Support For Inter-City Bus Services And Regional Airports

B.C. is providing funding up to $10.7 million for intercity bus operators and up to $16.5 million for regional airports to support operations between April 1, 2021, and March 31, 2022.

The funding allows BC residents continued essential transportation.

Eligibility: Regional airports and intercity bus operators.


Expanded Forest Employment Program

British Columbia expanded its Forest Employment Program (FEP) with $12 million to support more workers and contractors in more communities,

Eligibility: Forestry workers and contractors


Tourism And Hospitality Industry Workers Supporting B.C. Immunization Efforts

This program has more than 1,400 tourism and hospitality workers in mass vaccination centres. The program created many jobs for B.C.’s tourism, hospitality and sport businesses.

These workers provide expertise and logistical help and support staff at immunization centres to help injection traffic flow efficiently and safely.

Local Tourism Infrastructure Investment

This is a $53 million BC provincial program through StrongerBC: B.C.’s Economic Recovery Plan to grow economic development for tourism businesses. It includes:

  • Funds for tourism-dependent municipalities to increase their utility for tourism infrastructure

  • Job creation and attracting new businesses

  • Creating and promoting local tourism experiences, infrastructure and services

Eligibility: Tourism businesses

B.C. Tourism Resilience Network

The Regional Tourism Secretariat provides individual support for tourism enterprises to manage, adapt and recover from the impacts of COVID-19. The BC Tourism Resilience Network is led by.

Registration for the program to join individual meetings with program advisors, webinars and other resources.

Eligibility: Tourism businesses

Tourism Relief Funding Stream

The Province has allocated $100 million in relief for the BC tourism sector.

In addition, the Province is also allocating $5 million to Indigenous Tourism in BC for relief grant funding of Indigenous businesses.

Relief funding will be delivered through the existing Small and Medium Sized Business Recovery Grant program.

Eligibility: Tourism sector businesses

Online COVID-19 Safety Certificate Program (BSAFE)

An online COVID-19 safety program for staff in the tourism and hospitality sectors.

The program increases consumer confidence as business returns to more normal. B.C. organizations participating will receive a decal to identify that staff have taken BSAFE training.

This program is part of the BC Restart plan. There is $640,000 to develop and provide the program training.

Eligibility: Learn more

Hopefully, we helped you find government grants for small and medium businesses in BC
Hopefully, you discovered provincial grants, etc. for small businesses in BC


Hopefully, this article helped you discover provincial government grants for small businesses in BC that suit your specific needs and timing. If you didn’t find exactly what you are looking for, go to some of the websites and links I have included in the article.

Be patient and exhaustive in your search. If you really need small business financial help through either a BC government grant or a loan your time and effort will be rewarded either by successfully receiving financial support, or through knowing you are sure that there are no current programs that suit your needs, and you have not left money on the table.


bottom of page