COVID-19: May 7, 2020 - Update
Premier outlines plan to restart B.C. safely
British Columbians will move forward with safely restarting their province beginning in mid-May, according to a plan announced by Premier John Horgan. Under B.C.'s Restart Plan, government will work closely with public health officials, businesses and
labour organizations to lift restrictions in phases, gradually allowing for more social and economic activity, while closely monitoring health information to minimize the risk to the public.
B.C. is currently in Phase 1 of the restart plan. Phase 2, which will begin in mid-May, includes:
- small social gatherings;
- a resumption of elective surgeries and regulated health services like physiotherapy, dentistry, chiropractors and in-person counselling;
- provincial parks open for day use;
- opening more non-essential businesses in keeping with safe operations plans;
- recalling the provincial legislature for regular sittings.
Sectors that were ordered closed will be asked to work with WorkSafeBC to develop plans to reopen safely. WorkSafeBC is developing industry-specific guidance to help employers bring workers and customers back safely. Any business restarting operations
must ensure it is in compliance with the provincial health officer's orders and in accordance with occupational health and safety guidance provided by WorkSafeBC.
The target date for the start of Phase 3, which will include opening up of additional businesses and services, is between June and September 2020, if transmission rates remain low or in decline.
Phase 4 will only be achieved when the threat of COVID-19 has been significantly diminished through widespread vaccination, broad successful treatments, evidence of community immunity, or the equivalent.
For a WorkSafeBC backgrounder, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/files/BG_Support_for_Workplaces_Resuming_Operation.pdf
For backgrounders on schools and parks, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/files/BG_Parks_and_Sites_and_In-Class_Learning.pdf
Read BC's Restart Plan
COVID-19: May 6, 2020 - Update
Vancouver Island Coastal Tourism Resiliency Network
Canadian Hospitality Worker Relief Fund (website experiencing high traffic)
BCCDC: COVID Modelling
COVID-19: May 1, 2020 - Update
B.C. Emergency Benefit for Workers application now open
Government takes action to help forest sector keep
Stumpage, the fee operators pay the Province to harvest, buy or sell trees from Crown land, is being deferred for three months. The deferral with interest is available to Tree Farm Licence, Replaceable Forest Licence and First Nations' Woodlands Licence
holders who are in good financial standing with the Province. They also must be following through on their reforesting obligations. The deferral will leave eligible companies with an estimated $80 million so they can pay employees, pay contractors
and pay other bills needed to keep their doors open or reopen them faster.
COVID-19: London Drugs to sell products of local small businesses impacted by COVID-19
London Drugs is offering up shelf space in select stores to local small businesses
who have had to close their doors due to COVID-19. As of April 28, 2020, small businesses in Western Canada are welcome to submit products for consideration. London Drugs is an essential service and is leveraging its unique position to help out local
small businesses during a time when they need all the support they can get to help them weather these challenging times. Small business owners can visit London
Drugs' application page to learn if their products qualify and apply to be part of London Drugs Local Central. Some rules and restrictions apply.
COVID-19: April 24, 2020 - Updates
Rent relief of 75% for small businesses affected by coronavirus
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is announcing significant rent relief for businesses that can't afford to pay their landlords at a time when their operations are shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The federal help, expected to lower rent by 75 per
cent for affected small businesses, will be provided in partnership with the provinces and territories, which have jurisdiction over rents.
The Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance for small businesses will provide forgivable loans to qualifying commercial property owners to cover 50 per cent of three monthly rent payments payable by eligible small business tenants experiencing financial
hardship during April, May and June. The loans will be forgiven if the mortgaged property owner agrees to reduce the eligible small business tenants' rent by at least 75 per cent for the three corresponding months under a rent forgiveness agreement,
which will include a pledge not to evict the tenant while the agreement is in place. The small business tenant would cover the remainder, up to 25 per cent of the rent. Affected small business tenants are those paying less than $50,000 per month in
rent and who have temporarily ceased operations, or have experienced at least a 70-per-cent drop in pre-COVID-19 revenues. It is expected the new program will be operational by mid-May, with commercial property owners lowering the rents of their small
business tenant's payable for the months of April and May, retroactively, and for June.
BC Emergency Benefit for Workers
The B.C. Emergency Benefit for Workers will provide a tax-free, one time $1,000 payment for B.C. residents whose ability to work has been affected due to COVID-19. You can apply online starting May 1, 2020.
Note: If you haven't applied for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit yet, you must apply for it now as this is one of the eligibility requirements for the B.C. Emergency Benefit for Workers. Read More
Supply Products and Services to Support B.C.'s COVID-19 Response
Are you a business that can supply products and services in support of B.C.'s COVID-19 response? As worldwide demand increases, the B.C. Government is looking for both medical and non-medical products and services to help with the response. If you can
donate or supply products from the following list you are invited to submit an offer.
Priority Products Needed: Coveralls, Disinfectant, Gloves, Gowns, Hoods, Masks, Respirator-related, Sample collection, Shoe covers.
Canadian criteria for priority medical supplies
Submit an offer via
the BC Supply Hub
COVID-19: April 17, 2020 - Update
Trudeau unveils rental assistance for small businesses, loosens loan qualifications
The federal government says it will be expanding the emergency loan program to allow for more businesses to be eligible, while also rolling out a new program to assist with rent and lease costs. On Thursday (April 16), Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced
businesses that spent between $20,000 to $1.5 million on payroll in 2019 will be eligible to receive a loan through the Canada Emergency Business Account. Eligible businesses can obtain a $40,000 interest free loan with $10,000 in forgiveness.
Trudeau also announced a new Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance program, which will help small businesses pay their rent for April, May and June. More details will be on the way after the federal government convenes with individual provincial
Also an expansion to the Canada Emergency Response Benefit was announced to include workers who have seen their hours cut due to COVID-19, instead of just those who have lost their jobs all together. More info
COVID-19: April 16, 2020 - Update
COVID-19 Support service launched for BC Businesses
A new B.C. Business COVID-19 Support Service will serve as a single point of contact for businesses throughout the province looking for information on resources available during the COVID-19 pandemic. As of Thursday, April 16, 2020, advisors are available
Monday to Friday, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Pacific time) and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 1 833 254-4357. Inquiries can also be emailed to email@example.com, or raised on the live-chat feature available on SBBC's dedicated website: https://covid.smallbusinessbc.ca Support is available in multiple languages and a call-back feature is in place to help manage high call volumes.
The Digital Economy Response Program-Innovation Island Technology Association
In partnership with Island Coastal Economic Trust (ICET) Innovation Island Technology Association (IITA) has launching The Digital Economy Response Program that will start to tackle the economic impact of the COVID-19 crisis. As the region's technology
accelerator, with support from Innovate BC, Innovation Island has been asked to help with the mounting challenges facing small-medium sized businesses to restart the local economy. This rapid recovery initiative will provide one-to-one business &
technical expertise and actionable resources to companies that need to consider changes to their business models and/or best-practices on how to better engage with entering or expanding in the digital economy. With decades of experience in the tech
sector, and a deep understanding of digital ecosystems, this is your call to action! Register here.
COVID-19: April 8, 2020 - Update
- Vancouver Island Coastal Tourism Resiliency Program-Partnership with Tourism Vancouver Island
Webinar on the new program is this Thursday April 9th at 9am. Register here. The first phase of support will focus on the economic and operational challenges that businesses
are facing at this time. Beginning early April, operators will be able to schedule calls with experts in human resources, finance, and business transition. The team will support you in navigating the relief and recovery measures, and associated applications
as they become available.This program is funded in partnership with Island Coastal Economic Trust.
COVID-19: April 6, 2020 - Update
COVID-19: April 3, 2020 - Updates
If you are a manufacturer or business that can assist Canada in meeting the need for medical supplies, your help is needed. If you can say yest to the following, the Government of Canada wants to hear from you:
- You manufacture in Canada and/or have ready access to necessary inputs through your supply chain.
- You have equipment or facilities that can be rapidly re-tooled to meet medical needs, including for personal protective equipment (PPE) such as gloves, masks and surgical gowns; sanitizers; wipes; ventilators; and other medical equipment and supplies.
- You have skilled workers who are able to respond and who could be available for work in the current circumstances.
Please send a short summary of your offer to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Support your Favourite Small Business
Government of Canada Economic Development Response Plan: The Government of Canada is taking immediate, significant and decisive action to help Canadians facing hardship as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Support to Businesses:
Access to Credit:
Support for Farmers:
Supporting Financial Stability:
Support for Individuals
Support for Individuals and Families:
Support for People Facing Unemployment
Support for People who are Sick, Quarantined, or in Directed Self-Isolation
Support for People who are Unable to Work
Support for People who Need it Most
Support for Seniors:
Support for Students and Recent Graduates:
- Support for Employees
- Support for Businesses
- Business Travel and Events
- Business in International Markets
Government of British Columbia Action Plan
COVID-19 Action Plan: BC's
First Steps to Support People, Businesses
General Business Resources
Resources for Small Businesses Affected by COVID-19 (SBBC)
COVID-19 Resources for BC Businesses - Comprehensive Live Document (BCEDA)
Small Business BC's Digital Meetups (SBBC)
Support for Entrepreneurs Impacted by the Coronavirus/COVID-19
Small Business BC: Summary of Financing Options for Businesses Impacted by COVID-19
Business Preparedness and Contingency Plans
Continuity Checklist for Small Businesses
Business Prep Guide Plan - Canadian Chamber of Commerce
Sector Specific Information and Resources:
Retailers and Restaurants
Manufacturers and Exporters
Information for Employers
Information for Employees