(From left to right: Habit Coffee, Mo:Le Restaurant, Bliss Cafe / from Bliss Cafe Facebook page)

With a plethora of new policies and relief plans being announced each week, it can be difficult to navigate which resources are available to small businesses in B.C. suffering from the COVID-19 pandemic.

To that end, the province has announced that business owners across British Columbia looking to find specific information about resources available to them during the COVID-19 pandemic can now reach out to a single helpline.

This portal, called the B.C. Business COVID-19 Support Service, will be managed by non-profit organization Small Business BC (SBBC) and act as a one-stop portal where people can find answers to their questions related to business supports.

“We know that business owners are worried about paying their bills and covering their payrolls, and our government is doing everything we can to help,” said Michelle Mungall, B.C.’s Minister of Jobs, Economic Development and Competitiveness, in a statement.

“There are multiple programs available, including the B.C. government’s COVID-19 Action Plan, to support businesses through these challenging times.”

Starting Thursday April 16th, advisors will be available to provide comprehensive information to those who call in at 1 833 254-4357.

Inquiries can also be emailed to covid@smallbusinessbc.ca, or raised on the live-chat feature available on SBBC’s dedicated website: https://covid.smallbusinessbc.ca.

The SBBC website will also feature announcements from industry and community partners, and provide additional resources like webinars and practical tools to navigate the trials of entrepreneurship during a global pandemic.

The province estimates that there are over 500,000 small businesses in British Columbia, many of which have been significantly impacted by the measures taken to curb the spread of COVID-19.

The live phone line will be  available Monday to Friday, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. (PST) and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 1 833 254-4357.

On Thursday morning, B.C. Ministry of Finance announced an average 25 per cent reduction in commercial property taxes by reducing the school tax rate for taxes owed by commercial property owners in the province.

See all the latest updates about the global COVID-19 pandemic on Vancouver Island

The BCCDC has set up a 2019 novel coronavirus telephone information line at 1-833-784-4397 for those who have further questions about this disease.

Anyone concerned that they may have been exposed to, or are experiencing symptoms of the novel coronavirus, should contact their primary care provider, local public health office, or call 8-1-1.

The Province has also created the 1-888-COVID-19  line to connect British Columbians needing non-medical information about the coronavirus pandemic.

As of the time of publication, the total number of COVID-19 patients worldwide has risen to 2,146,291.

Over 144,100 people have died from the illness and 545,722 have made a full recovery.

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