Chilliwack MLA Dan Coulter at the groundbreaking for the Paramount Project on Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2022. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)

Chilliwack businesses received $2.7M in grants to help stay afloat during pandemic

Local grant money came from $530M pool that helped nearly 30,000 ventures across B.C.

Pandemic support for Chilliwack businesses from the B.C. government came to a total of $2.7 million, according to Chilliwack MLA Dan Coulter.

The non-repayable grants distributed in Chilliwack were from a $530 million pool of funds that helped nearly 30,000 B.C. businesses navigate the challenges of dealing with COVID-19, through a combination of programs.

“Small and medium sized businesses here in Chilliwack are such a vital part of the community,” said Coulter said in a March 17 news release.

He did not specify which businesses were successful in obtaining grant money, or for how much, just the overall total of $2.7 million for Chilliwack ventures.

In terms of the entire Lower Mainland, a total of 22,300 businesses received grants to the tune of $353 million.

“Our government knows business owners were hit hard by the pandemic, and that’s why over $500 million was invested in non-repayable grants to make sure that our favourite local spots, run by our friends, family, and neighbours, could stay afloat,” Coulter said.

The funding came from the Small and Medium-Sized Business Recovery and Circuit Breaker grants, and the total puts B.C. in the lead among Canadian provinces for contributing the most to pandemic-related economic recovery.

“Our focus has always been on putting people first,” said Ravi Kahlon, B.C. minister of jobs, economic recovery and innovation.

One thing the pandemic did was expose vulnerabilities in society.

“That reinforced our commitment to making life better for everyone. During the peak of the pandemic, we provided the highest per-capita supports for people and businesses in Canada,” Kahlon added.

The province has now exceeded the initial commitment to provide more than $1.5 billion to help people, businesses and communities impacted by the pandemic with its economic recovery plan.

“As we take the next step in putting the pandemic behind us, our government wants to thank all of the B.C. businesses that helped get us here. Your incredible determination, hard work and adaptability are why B.C. continues to lead the country in economic recovery.”

“This includes more than $530 million that went into the pockets of local business owners to help them navigate the challenges of operating in the pandemic and to continue to safely support the people in their communities.”

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