Premier John Horgan and Minister of Finance Carole James announce B.C.’s Economic Recovery Plan during a press conference at Phillips Brewery in Victoria, B.C., on Thursday September 17, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito

B.C.’s COVID-19 economic recovery plan: Top 5 things you need to know

Jobs training, tax incentives for employers to hire staff and more

The province released information this week on its $1.5 billion economic recovery plan and an additional $660 million in tax incentives for businesses. Details on the plan will continue to be revealed in the coming weeks but here’s what you need to know today:

$190 million in tax credits for businesses that hire more staff

The $190 million in tax credits will be available to businesses who increase their payroll between the third and fourth quarter of 2020. The tax credit will be calculated at 15 per cent of eligible payroll and is meant to reward employers who hire between October and December, and to help them retain employees hired earlier this year. The government believes this will help 50,000 employers and fund 80,000 jobs.

$470 million in PST rebates

Businesses who buy machinery and equipment that is meant to help them expand and survive in a post-COVID environment will receive a PST rebate. The 100 per cent rebate will be effective immediately and be active for the next 12 months. Businesses wishing to take advantage of the rebate must be incorporated.

$300M in grants for small and medium sized businesses

The province said the grants will save up to 200,000 jobs. The money can be used for anything that will help a business diversify for a post-COVID world, marketing, advertising or for short-term fixes needed now. Each business will be eligible for up to $30,000 in funding, with tourism sector businesses eligible for an extra $10,000. Businesses must have seen their revenues drop by 70 per cent and remain no higher than 50 per cent of pre-COVID levels. Eligible businesses must have been operation prior to the pandemic with between two and 149 employees, have been viable pre-COVID and demonstrate a viable past post-COVID.

$50 million tourism task force

The task force will involve Indigenous peoples, business leaders and non-profits working together on a 2021 tourism plan. The task force will begin to allocate the $50 million during the 2020/21 fiscal year.

$117M for jobs training

The $117 million, which is in addition to funding designated to train new health-care workers, will go towards job creation and retraining people who lost their jobs amid the pandemic. The program is meant to keep people employed and will include micro-credentialing programs, work placements and support rural job seekers.

READ MORE: B.C. releases details of $1.5B economic recovery plan, $660M in business tax incentives

READ MORE: Record-breaking 165 new COVID-19 cases diagnosed in B.C. in 24-hour period


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