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PST refund program extended

VICTORIA – A StrongerBC program that refunds businesses the PST paid on select machinery and equipment will be extended for an additional six months.

This extension will give businesses another chance to reduce costs and make new investments to adapt to the changes the pandemic has required, and to set them up to take advantage of future opportunities.

“When we consulted with the business community on our StrongerBC Economic Recovery Plan, they told us a PST rebate would help them make the kind of capital investments that would not just be about short-term recovery, but also long-term growth,” said Selina Robinson. “As the program deadline approaches, we see there is still a need, so we are extending the program to give more businesses time to apply.”

Businesses will have until March 31, 2022 – an additional six months – to purchase qualifying items like tools, furniture, computers, software and zero-emission vehicles and charging equipment.

Little Falls Foods in Okanagan Falls is one of thousands of B.C. businesses that have already benefited from the program. Dahlia Millington and her husband Derek opened the business this summer after the community of 2,500 had gone without a grocery store for years.

“This rebate helped us set up our business,” said Millington. “We were able to get the PST back on everything from our refrigeration equipment to the computers we use to monitor our inventory. That money, in turn, has helped us get food to seniors, to keep staff employed and continued to keep our community fed. This extra little bit really helps.”

Almost 2,000 businesses have received millions in rebates on more than $100 million in qualifying equipment and machinery so far, with most applications still expected in the coming months.

Most applicants are small and medium-sized businesses. The construction industry is the largest recipient by sector, followed by the transportation and retail sectors.

“This is not just about COVID recovery. It’s also about setting up B.C. for success and growth in the future. Little Falls Foods is a great example of that. The rebate is supporting a new business and a keystone service in the community at the same time,” said Roly Russell, MLA for Boundary-Similkameen.

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