BC Liberals: Premier admits failure of grant program yet still refuses to fix it

THE BC Liberals said on Thursday that Premier John Horgan is finally admitting what B.C.’s business community has been saying for several months — his Small and Medium-Sized Business Recovery Grant program is a failure.

“Today, the Premier finally acknowledged grant funds are not getting to struggling businesses that need them to survive,” said Todd Stone, BC Liberal Critic for Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation. “What he still refuses to admit is that his government’s flawed design of this program is to blame. His suggestion that not enough people are applying for the money is ludicrous and it’s insulting to the countless businesses desperate for help.”

Stone notes these funds were approved nearly a year ago. Yet so far, the government has only managed to get $19 million of the $300 million in available funds out the door. Horgan now admits the unused monies will go back into general revenue if it’s not allocated by the deadline of March 31.

“Today, I reiterate my call to the Premier and his government to extend the March 31 deadline and get these funds into the hands of those who need it most,” said Stone. “The fact that only $19 million has been doled out so far is not a reflection that businesses don’t need help — it’s a reflection of how poorly this program has been managed by John Horgan.”