Start-up businesses that opened their doors in late 2019 or 2020, like many of those in the new Chemanius Public Market, may soon be eligible for COVID-19 subsidies from the province for the first time. (File photo)

Start-up businesses that opened their doors in late 2019 or 2020, like many of those in the new Chemanius Public Market, may soon be eligible for COVID-19 subsidies from the province for the first time. (File photo)

New businesses not eligible for COVID-19 subsidies could be reconsidered

Province may reconsider policies

Business start-ups that only recently opened their doors could soon be eligible for COVID-19 financial relief programs from the province for the first time.

North Cowichan Mayor Al Siebring told council at its meeting on May 5 that the issue came up in a recent conference call he and CAO Ted Swabey had with Minister of Municipal Affairs Josie Osborne and other municipal leaders on Vancouver Island regarding communication issues.

Siebring said he told Osborne that it had recently become apparent that businesses in B.C. that started in late 2019 or early 2020 and don’t have a full year’s income record, in terms of tax filing, for 2019 are not eligible for COVID-19 financial assistance in any form from either the province or Ottawa.


“Putting that in a local context, I’d use the example of the new Chemainus Public Market located in the old Chemainus Foods building,” he said. “This business, which is actually a conglomerate of a bunch of smaller businesses operating from one spot, has the real potential of adding vibrancy to the downtown core in Chemainus. But their reality is that the renovations in the building started in late 2019 and the tenants moved in in early 2020, opened their doors and then COVID-19 happened. Most are new start-ups who don’t have tax records from 2019 because they didn’t exist in 2019 so they are not eligible for help with rent or wage subsidies, or anything else.”

Siebring said Osborne indicated that she has the same issues with some start-ups in her constituency and that she’d flag the matter for the minister responsible for the file.

“At the end of the call, Minister Osborne circled back specifically to this issue and promised that she’d get back to us on it,” Siebring said.

“So we know that it’s definitely on the province’s radar.”

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Local Business

Just Posted

Old-growth logging protesters block a road on Monday, June 14. This is not the blockade at Honeymoon Bay referred to in the story. (Facebook photo)
Old-growth logging protesters block RCMP access on road near Honeymoon Bay

Police were on their way to enforcement in Fairy Creek area when they were stopped

Cowichan Citizen and Lake Cowichan Gazette announce new publisher

David van Deventer has been with Black Press Media since 2014

Island Health is bringing a vaccination clinic to Lake Cowichan starting June 23. (Submitted)
COVID vaccine clinic coming to Lake Cowichan as area numbers lag

Clinic will operate at arena starting June 23

The Tsow-Tun Le Lum Society, which has been operating a treatment centre on land leased from the Nanoose First Nation for 35 years (pictured), has begun a fundraising campaign to open a new centre near Duncan. (Tsow-Tun Le Lum Society photo)
New Indigenous treatment centre to be built near Duncan

Centre will help survivors of residential schools

Rick Ruppenthal of Saltair will host a 12-hour talk-a-thon Friday, June 18 over Facebook live. (Photo submitted)
Talk-a-thon to focus on men’s mental health issues

Saltair man spearheading a campaign to generate more conversation during fundraiser

Maxwell Johnson is seen in Bella Bella, B.C., in an undated photo. The Indigenous man from British Columbia has filed complaints with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal and the Canadian Human Rights Commission after he and his granddaughter were handcuffed when they tried to open a bank account. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Heiltsuk Nation, Damien Gillis, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
VIDEO: Chiefs join human rights case of Indigenous man handcuffed by police in B.C. bank

Maxwell Johnson said he wants change, not just words, from Vancouver police

Two ambulances and a medevac helicopter are on scene at Taylor River Flats rest area on Highway 4 due to a serious motor vehicle incident. (PHOTO COURTESY MAGGIE BROWN)
Highway 4 reopens between Port Alberni and Tofino

Multi-vehicle accident temporarily closed highway in both directions

Tk’emlups te Secwepemc Chief Rosanne Casimir stands outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School after speaking to reporters, in Kamloops, B.C., on Friday, June 4, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Kamloops chief says more unmarked graves will be found across Canada

Chief Rosanne Casimir told a virtual news conference the nation expects to release a report at the end of June

A woman wears a vaccinated sticker after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. ranks among highest in world in COVID-19 first-dose shots: health officials

More than 76% of eligible people have received their 1st shot

A screenshot of the First Peoples Cultural Councils First Peoples’ Map. (First Peoples Cultural Council)
Online resource blends B.C.-Alberta’s Indigenous languages, art and culture

Advisor says initiative supports the urgent need to preserve Indigenous languages

An artists conception of the new terminal building at the Pitt Meadows Regional Airport.
Air travel taking off in B.C., but lack of traffic controllers a sky-high concern

There will be demand for more air traffic controllers: Miller

Canadian Armed Forces experts are on their way to North Vancouver after a local homeowner expressed worry about a military artifact he recently purchased. (Twitter DNV Fire and Rescue)
Military called in to deal with antique ‘shell’ at North Vancouver home

‘The person somehow purchased a bombshell innocently believing it was an out-of-commission military artifact’

Amy Kobelt and Tony Cruz have set their wedding date for February, hoping that more COVID-19 restrictions will have lifted. (The Macleans)
B.C. couples ‘gambling’ on whether COVID rules will let them dance at their wedding

Amy Kobelt and Tony Cruz pushed back their wedding in hopes of being able to celebrate it without the constraints of COVID-19

A plane is silhouetted as it takes off from Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, B.C., May 13, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Report calls for airlines to refund passengers for flights halted due to COVID-19

Conclusion: federal help should be on the condition airlines immediately refund Canadian travellers

Most Read