NDP must extend deadline for small business grant program: BC Liberals

TODD Stone, B.C. Liberal Critic for Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation, is calling on the NDP government to extend the deadline of the Small and Medium-Sized Business Recovery Grant program beyond the March 31 deadline, despite repeated refusals to do so by the jobs minister.

“While small businesses have been begging for help, the NDP’s minister responsible for B.C.’s economic recovery had the audacity to sit in a meeting with business leaders but completely ignore their feedback and refuse to give a direct answer. That’s tone-deaf. B.C. is losing small businesses day by day while these grant monies sit unused thanks to major flaws in the program. I’m urging the government to listen to the business community, fix the eligibility criteria, and extend the deadline of this botched program to immediately get these funds out the door,” said Stone.

BC Liberals said that five months since the launch of the program, the NDP has distributed only $19 million of the $300 million in grant money, funded by a $1.5 billion budgetary allocation approved by all parties at the beginning of the pandemic. The program is set to expire on March 31.