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Grants available to Island businesses dealing with COVID-19 shutdown

Financial relief up to $10,000 is on the way to businesses hit with the latest round of COVID-19 shutdowns, according to the Province of B.C.

Businesses ordered to fully close on Dec. 22, 2021, including bars, gyms and fitness centres, can now apply for the COVID-19 Closure Relief Grant.

The province explains that the total grant amount per business, ranging from $1,000 to $10,000, will be based on its number of employees.

It says the funds can help pay rent, employee salaries and utility bills, with over 3,000 businesses expected to apply province-wide.

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“There is no denying these are extremely challenging times for our industry,” said Fitness Industry Council of Canada president Sara Hodson.

“Supports like the COVID-19 Closure Relief Grant are very welcome at this time as many B.C. business owners need all of the financial supports available to us,” she added.

In Courtenay, Morgan Klieber, owner of Wild + United Athletics Inc., shares a similar outlook and finds it’s a “pretty challenging” situation for everybody.

“I definitely understand that there’s a lot of thought that goes into the restrictions and how they put them forth,” Klieber told Vista Radio.

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But at the end of the day, she said another closure is devastating for her business, its staff, and clients.

SEE MORE: Island gym owner reacts to new B.C. restrictions

The COVID-19 Closure Relief Grant, a $10-million provincial program, complements existing federal government programs, including the recently expanded Local Lockdown Program and the Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit.

To apply for a grant, visit this website.

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