NDP leaves businesses in the lurch again with no access to COVID-19 support​s: BC Liberals

THE BC Liberals said on Wednesday that thousands of businesses and people impacted by public health restrictions are facing a new year with no financial support amid shutdowns, as the too-slow-to-act NDP still hasn’t started accepting applications for its COVID-19 Closure Relief Grant program two weeks after the announcement, let alone putting money in the bank accounts of businesses. 

“As we enter the third year of the pandemic, it’s unbelievable how long it’s still taking the NDP government to begin accepting applications for this urgently needed relief funding, ​considering they already had the template and information for the Business Recovery Grant program from last year,” said Todd Stone, BC Liberal Critic for Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation. “This kind of financial help should have been in place the day restrictions were announced — not several weeks afterwards. Every day this funding is delayed getting to the businesses that need it puts many small businesses at risk of shutting down for good.” 

The NDP government announced the $10 million relief grant program on December 23, 2021, for businesses shut down by new public health restrictions, which are set to expire on January 18, 2022. 

“To make matters worse, businesses and organizations ineligible for the relief program were told yesterday that they should prepare to deal with major staff shortages and business disruptions on their own,” added Stone. “It’s unacceptable that businesses and workers are repeatedly asked to ‘do more’ while the NDP absolves itself of any responsibility and continues to be missing in action.” 

As of January 1, 2022, B.C. businesses are also responsible for covering the costs of employee sick days, despite John Horgan promising his government would not burden businesses with these costs until the pandemic was over.