Minister Murray announces Shop Local investment benefiting small businesses in British Columbia
June 24, 2021 – Vancouver, British Columbia
As more and more Canadians are getting vaccinated and we finish the fight against COVID-19 and begin to safely reopen, the Government of Canada is committed to supporting small businesses from coast to coast to coast.
Today, the Honourable Joyce Murray, Minister of Digital Government and Member of Parliament for Vancouver Quadra, announced that an investment of up to $5.5 million will be going to British Columbia to encourage people to shop locally and support businesses in their community as they reopen. This will help businesses stay open so they can thrive as the economy recovers.
This is part of a national investment of $33 million to support Shop Local campaigns across the country announced by the Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade, on June 21.
The funding will be provided through provincial and territorial chambers of commerce to support awareness-building campaigns that promote consumer confidence and local businesses. The amount of funding allocated to each chamber is based primarily on the percentage of small businesses in its region.
Chambers may use this funding to support a range of activities that encourage consumers to shop locally in a way that is safe and aligns with current public health guidelines. Chambers may solicit applications directly from local organizations or associations or have open calls for proposals that promote consumer awareness and demonstrate benefits to the broader business community. For example:
- shop-local branding and digital content
- seasonal campaigns intended to direct shoppers to local small merchants
- promotions of online shopping, curbside pickup and delivery, as well as public health measures being implemented to make retail spaces safe and raise consumer confidence
- marketing materials such as videos, social media visuals, and radio and newspaper ads that encourage consumers to buy from local businesses and patronize local restaurants and attractions.
This investment will be flexible to respond to the unique circumstances in regions across the country and allow chambers of commerce to tailor campaigns to local needs and priorities, ultimately helping small businesses as they recover from this unprecedented public health and economic crisis.
Shop Local is an important initiative to supplement the Government of Canada’s ongoing and comprehensive support for small and local businesses—programs such as the new Canada Recovery Hiring Program, the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy, the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy, Lockdown Support and the Canada Emergency Business Account—so they are able to get through this pandemic to the economic recovery and growth that will follow in the months and years to come.
“British Columbia is made up of small businesses in every corner of our province. They are the backbone of the economy and the heart of our communities and will be critical to our recovery from the COVID-19 recession. As our economy begins to safely reopen, Shop Local investments will encourage Canadians to support their local small businesses, helping them recover quicker. Supporting local small businesses creates jobs in our communities and helps our vibrant neighbourhoods grow. As we work to get through this pandemic, we all have a role to play, and the government continues to support small business owners and entrepreneurs across the province and the country.”
- The Honourable Joyce Murray, Minister of Digital Government and Member of Parliament for Vancouver Quadra
"Small businesses are the pillars of our communities and our economy. They were among the hardest hit sectors, and their success is key to recovering from the COVID-19 recession. Shop Local will be a great boon for businesses and communities across our region. This investment will encourage residents to shop and eat locally and provide the capital that will help small businesses recover and thrive in the post-pandemic economy.”
- Patrick Weiler, Member of Parliament for West Vancouver–Sunshine Coast–Sea to Sky Country
To support Canadians during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government of Canada introduced the largest relief package in our country’s history, including the following major programs for business owners and their employees:
- The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) is helping businesses cover up to 75% of payroll. It was extended to June 30, 2021.
- The expanded Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) provides an interest-free loan of up to $60,000, with 33% forgivable if repaid by December 31, 2022. It was extended to June 30, 2021.
- The Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS), available directly to business owners, covers up to 65% of rent. It was extended until the end of June 2021.
- The Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program (HASCAP) offers loans at a fixed interest rate of 4% across all financial institutions for terms of up to 10 years, and the loans are 100% guaranteed by the Government of Canada. Businesses will be able to apply through to June 30, 2021.
- The Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) has more than $2 billion to support small businesses across Canada that have been unable to access existing relief measures. It is delivered through Canada’s regional development agencies.
Budget 2021 proposes more funding to help businesses make a strong recovery as the economy safely reopens. Highlights include:
Office of the Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
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