Regional Response

Last updated October 22, 2020

BC Chamber Offers Business Development Program for Resilience & Recovery

Does your business need assistance mitigating the negative impacts of COVID-19 pandemic? We're launched a new program in partnership with the BC Chamber aimed at giving you access to a world class professional business development program. The Building Resilience Program will have weekly seminars for 6 weeks through the Peter B. Gustavson School of Business, and will be offered in three cohorts until the end of March 2021. This program will provide you insights into how to adapt your business model, re-engage customers, and adjust workplace cultures to help position you for long-term success. Space is limited. 50% off for Chamber Members! REGISTER NOW

Accelerate Okanagan Launches Local Rapid Response & Resiliency Program 

Accelerate Okanagan (AO) is launching the Digital Economy: Rapid Response + Resiliency (DER3) program in the Okanagan. This program is designed to support small and medium-sized businesses which are looking to enter or expand into the digital economy. DER3 offers guided one-to-one business and technical consultations for businesses which are considering entering or expanding their online presence, or putting technology-based tools in place to better serve their needs. This program is currently open to all individuals or small businesses located in the Okanagan from Salmon Arm to Osoyoos. LEARN MORE

More than $150,000 in Art & Culture Grants Available for Local Groups

More than $150,000 is available to support local, incorporated, non-profit arts, culture and heritage organizations. Applications for 2021 General Operating and Project Cultural Grants are now open until Monday November 30 at 3pm. Funding is from the City of Kelowna. Learn More & Apply.

Central Okanagan Economic Development Commission – Business Resources for COVID-19
In an effort to keep the public and business community informed on the economy of the region, The Regional District of Central Okanagan’s Economic Development Commission has compiled resource links to support your business as you navigate industry and governmental supports at this time. Learn More: https://www.investkelowna.com/covid19/

Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen - Updates on COVID-19

The Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen provides informational releases for their community and businesses within their region for restrictions, policies, and business practicies. Learn More: https://www.rdos.bc.ca/

Regional District of North Okanagan - Updates on COVID-19
The Regional District of North Okanagan has created an informational page to inform those within the community on updates to facilities, policies, and further regional announcements. Learn More: https://www.rdno.ca/




Provincial Response

Last updated October 15, 2020

WorkSafeBC Industry Guidelines:
WorkSafeBC provides detailed information on guidelines for specific sectors in Phase 2 & 3 of BC's Restart Plan. View the guidelines here.

Government of BC:

BC Introduces New Recovery Programs and Grants, Applications are Open

The Province of BC has announced new recovery programs and grants that are now open, and ready to receive applications.These programs include The Community Economic Recovery Infrastructure Program (CERIP), Small and Medium-Sized Business Recovery Grants, and the Community Workforce Response Grant Program. Learn More.

BC's Restart Funding Supports Reliable Public Transit Services

People throughout BC will continue to have safe, reliable and affordable public transportation options, with federal and provincial confirmation that TransLink, BC Transit and BC Ferries will share more than $1 billion under the federal/provincial Safe Restart Agreement announced earlier this summer, cost-shared 50-50 by both governments. This will protect service levels across the province and ensure services remain affordable as part of BC’s Restart Plan. Learn More. 

BC's Public Health Officer Announces Amended Protocols for Restaurants & Bars / Gatherings & Events

On the 9th of October, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry released updated public health orders for food and liquor serving premises as well as updated public order for gatherings and events. This includes a new address to patrons of these establishments, in addition to owners and operators in the food & liquor service order. Read the Guidelines. 

 

BC's Public Health Officer Announces Amended Protocols for Gatherings & Events

Further to her oral announcement on September 8, closing all stand alone banquet halls indefinitely and concluding liquor service at 10pm, Dr. Henry has released the formal written orders for gatherings and events. This order applies to meetings or conferences held in hotels or anywhere else, and repeals and replaces the order made on August 7, 2020 . The full orders have now been posted on the BC PHO Website.

Province of BC Introduces New Measures to Enforce COVID-19 Safety

Police and other provincial enforcement officers are being given the ability to issue $2,000 violation tickets for owners or organizers contravening the provincial health officer’s (PHO) orders on gatherings and events.They will also be able to issue $200 violation tickets to individuals not following the direction of police or enforcement staff at events or who refuse to comply with requests to follow PHO orders or safe operating procedures, or who respond with abusive behaviour.  Learn More here.

Applications are Open: New Infrastructure Program for Arts & Culture Sector

To help improve spaces for artists and cultural activities, arts and culture organizations can now get support through the new $2 Million Arts Infrastructure Program. The BC Arts Council will administer the program. Arts and cultural organizations, including Indigenous groups, will be eligible for up to $75,000 to improve arts and culture spaces or $40,000 to buy special equipment to support art programming. Applications will be open from Monday, August 17 to October 19. Learn More & Apply Here. 

Province Expands Measures to Support Restaurant, Tourism Industries
The Province has approved a temporary wholesale pricing model that will allow liquor licensees to purchase beer, wine and spirits at reduced cost.  This measure will provide much-needed financial support for businesses like restaurants, bars and tourism operators with liquor licences. It will be in place from the end of July 2020 until March 31, 2021, when the program will be reviewed. Read the full release here.

BC Strengthens Federal Commercial Rent Program (CECRA)
B.C. businesses eligible for rent support from the federal government will be protected from evictions as the B.C. government issues a new order under the Emergency Program Act (EPA), when eligible landlords do not apply for the CECRA. Read the full release here.

BC Announces Restart Plan to Phase Toward a New Normal
BC’s Restart Plan lays out a series of steps to protect people and ensure that the province can come back from COVID-19 stronger than before. To learn more about the new phased approach to re-opening, and what this means for your business, download the full plan here. 

BC Emergency Benefit for Workers
Employees may now apply for the B.C. Emergency Benefit for Workers, a tax-free, one time $1,000 payment for B.C. residents whose ability to work has been affected due to COVID-19. To apply, visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/employment-business/covid-19-financial-supports/emergency-benefit-workers

BC Government Newsroom Updates
For more information on BC Government updates from the newsroom, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/

BC Government Supports & Resources for Businesses
If you are looking for more information regarding changes to taxes, wage support, and other business relates support and resources, please visit: 
https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/employment-business/business/small-business/resources/covid-19-supports




Federal Response

Last updated October 22, 2020

Canada United: Updated Funding News for Small Businesses Announced, Grants Available Soon
Tuesday, during Small Business Week, the Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade, announced an investment of $12 million to support the Canada United campaign. Created and launched by RBC, Canada United is a national movement to support local businesses in communities across the country. The new application window will for the Canada United Small Business Relief Fund will open on Monday, October 26, 2020 HERE.
 
Government of Canada Announces New Targeted Supports for Businesses
Late last week, the Government of Canada announced their intention to introduce new targeted, support to help businesses through the pandemic. The below list is a summary of intended plans to introduce legislation:
  • The new Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy for rent and mortgage support until June 2021 for qualifying organizations
  • A top-up Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy of 25% for organizations that had to temporarily shut down
  • Extension of the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy until June 2021
  • An expanded Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) for not-for-profits and businesses

Learn More HERE.

Government of Canada Launches Recovery Benefit Applications

The Government of Canada introduced three new benefits, delivered by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA): the Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB), the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB), and the Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB).  The application process is now open for the CRSB and the CRCB and CRB

Government Of Canada Expands Regional Relief & Recovery Fund

October 2, the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, announced an additional $263.7 million for Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) to help businesses across the West through the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF). This flows from $600 million in new national RRRF funding announced by the Prime Minister last week. Of these additional funds, $67 million will be used by Community Futures (CF) organizations to support businesses in rural communities across the West. Learn More.

Safe Restart Agreement Announced

The Safe Restart Agreement (SRA) is a federal investment of more than $19 billion to help provinces and territories safely restart their economies and make our country more resilient to possible future surges in cases of COVID-19. Learn More.

Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) - Applications Now Open for Enhanced CEWS Program

On September 30, the Canada Revenue Agency will open applications for Period 7 (August 30, 2020, to September 26, 2020) of the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS). This is the first period of the enhanced CEWS program, which introduces a sliding scale for subsidy amounts available to the employer, dependent on how much your revenue has dropped. Learn More HERE.  The Government of Canada has extended CEWS until 2021, more information on the extension will follow. 

View the CEWS Calculator HERE. 

Canadian Mortgage & Housing Corporation: Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA)

Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) for small businesses provides much needed relief for small businesses experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19. Effective September 8, the CECRA will be extended by one month to help eligible small businesses pay rent for September. This will be the final extension of this program as the government explores options to support small businesses as they face the ongoing challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn More HERE. 

CERB Extended, Simplified Employment Insurance Program Announced

The Government of Canada has announced that the transition to a simplified Employment Insurance (EI) program, which will become effective September 27, 2020. This program aims to provide income support to those who remain unable to work and are eligible. While the Government prepares for this transition the CERB will be extended by an additional four weeks, providing a new maximum of up to 28 weeks of benefits. Learn More HERE. 

Federal Government Expands Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) Eligibility Criteria
On Friday June 26, new applications will be accepted so that more small businesses can access the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA). Owner-operated small businesses that had been ineligible for the program due to their lack of payroll, sole proprietors receiving business income directly, as well as family-owned corporations remunerating in the form of dividends rather than payroll will become eligible this week. The expanded CEBA is being made available gradually by more than 230 financial institutions across the country, starting with the larger banks.  Other participating financial institutions will start offering the program over the coming weeks. Learn More & Apply Here.

Government Announces Targeted Support for Black Entrepreneurs & Business Owners

Mid September, the government announced up to nearly $221 million in support for Black entrepreneurs and business owners, in partnership with Canadian financial institutions. One of the goals is to launch Canada’s first-ever Black Entrepreneurship Program. We, along with the Canadian Chamber and our fellow Chambers, applaud the announcement as it aligns with our core values, as well as our views on the importance of an inclusive recovery that leaves no opportunity for growth left un-pursued. Learn More HERE. 

Regional Relief & Recovery Fund Announced by Western Economic Diversification Canada
The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, announced that businesses in western Canada that are unable to access other existing measures can now apply for the new Regional Relief and Recovery Fund through Western Economic Diversification Canada. A total of $304 million will be available for western Canadian businesses with Community Futures charged with managing the process. For more information visit their website HERE. 

Federal Government Announces Support for Female Entrepreneurs
The Government of Canada will provide $15 million in additional funding to support female entrepreneurs through the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy (WES). These funds will go directly to select organizations that are currently WES Ecosystem Fund recipients, and will help women entrepreneurs through the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information on the eligibility criteria, and to learn more visit their website HERE. 

Federal Government Announces $500 Million for Cultural, Heritage & Sport Organizations
May 8th, 2020, the Government of Canada announced $500 million in temporary relief measures to support the culture, heritage and sport sectors as they manage the challenges and impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, and plan for the future. A total of up to $500 million has been set aside to help alleviate the financial pressures of affected organizations. Learn More HERE. 

Federal Government Announces Support for Agriculture Sector
May 5th, 2020, the Government of Canada announced $252 million to support farmers, food business and food processors that provide essential services to Canadians every day by ensuring a safe and reliable food supply. It was announced that the government intends to propose an additional $200 million in borrowing capacity for the sector. Learn More HERE. 

Government of Canada – COVID-19 Resources for Business:
The Government of Canada is taking immediate, significant and decisive action to support Canadians and businesses facing hardship as a result of the global COVID-19 outbreak. For more information regarding accessing federal financial support, as well as resources regarding the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy program, visit their website HERE.

Canadian Business Resiliency Network - Federal Support for Small and Medium Sized Enterprises

Learn more about the programs available to you from the federal government as a small or medium sized business. Mary Jo Fedy, National Enterprise Leader, KPMG in Canada, has shared with us her insights on COVID-19 in order to help Canadian businesses persevere and remain resilient throughout the COVID-19 crisis. Learn More HERE. 

 




Additional Information & Programs

Resources for your Business:

BC Chamber of Commerce Resource Page
Provincial support programs are here to support you through this unprecedented time. The BC Chamber of Commerce has compiled information as it relates to business support programs, credit and financing, wage and income support, tax relief for business and more. To learn more, visit: http://www.bcchamber.org/advocacy-news/resources-businesses-affected-covid-19

Canadian Business Resilience Network
In partnership with the Government of Canada, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce established the Canadian Business Resilience Network to help Canadian businesses navigate the COVID-19 reality and prepare for recovery. To learn more, about containment measures, business continuity, support for business or recovery, visit https://www.canadianbusinessresiliencenetwork.ca/

EDC Export Guarantee Program
EDC has adjusted its focus and solutions to reflect the challenges facing Canadian exporters during the COVID-19 pandemic. To learn more, visit https://www.edc.ca/en/campaign/coronavirus-covid-19.html

Volunteer BC
Many organizations and volunteers are wondering how to help and volunteer during this time, as well as what to do and whether or not you should be closing your programs.Volunteer BC has compiled a list of resources from their partners and friends to help you during this time. To learn more, visit https://volunteerbc.bc.ca/resources-to-help-you-during-the-covid-19-crisis/

Canada United Campaign & Grant Program: Join the Movement!
Canada United is a movement that brings fellow Canadians together to show their support for local businesses, while offering relief grants of up to $5,000 to help Canadian small businesses with their recovery efforts as a result of COVID-19. To learn more, visit https://www.gocanadaunited.ca/