Across B.C., agriculture, food processing, and seafood businesses will now have access to consulting and planning services to help respond and recover from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The provincial government said that the latest intake for its Agri-Business Planning Program has opened up to applications, as well as expanding to include seafood and aquaculture businesses.

“The Government of Canada is working around the clock, along with the provinces and territories, to respond to the impacts of COVID-19 on farmers and food businesses,” said Marie-Claude Bibeau, federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food. “This investment will help B.C. farmers and processors who are experiencing income loss steer the course to recovery and continue to put high-quality food on our grocery store shelves and kitchen tables for years to come.”

The provincial government encourages food producers that have lost more than 30% of their revenue due to the pandemic. Up to $5,000 in funding is available for individual business planning services and coaching, and up to $20,000 for groups to get assistance developing an immediate and long-term recovery plan from a qualified business consultant.

“This a difficult time for all Canadians and that includes B.C. farmers, ranchers, seafood and food processors,” said Lana Popham, B.C.’s Minister of Agriculture. “I have been working with my federal colleague on ways to help people who are experiencing income loss through the pandemic, and the expansion of the B.C. Agri-Business Planning Program is a result of this commitment. We will continue to look at ways to help our industry grow the high-quality local food that we depend on.”