Regional Response

City of Kelowna Approves Patio Extension Program
The City of Kelowna has approved using public space as patio space to help businesses enhance capacity, including a proposal to limit the majority of Bernard Avenue to pedestrians only beginning June 30th . The use of public space will allow businesses to expand customer capacity that will still be limited by BC provincial health orders, WorkSafeBC requirements and physical distancing guidelines. Learn More & Apply for Permit: https://www.kelowna.ca/business-services/permits-licences/sidewalk-cafés

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

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:

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. 

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

Revised on August 7, the updated public health order for gatherings and events replaces that from July 27th and applies to persons who organize or attend events at vacation accommodation or other places. Please review the public order to understand the conditions that must be met when hosting events at or outside your premises. Read the full order here.

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

July 31, 2020 - Amended Public Health Orders have been issued for BC's restaurants and bars, replacing the public order which was released on July 23. These important changes include clarification on which type of businesses are and are not affected by the order, clarifies premises where patrons are required to take assigned seating and to remain seated, and provides further information on extending hours of events, including a permission for more events to be held in the period of one day provided public health orders are adhered to. Read the full order here.

BC Government Further Extends Temporary Layoff Period
BC Government extends temporary layoff period from 16 to 24 weeks, expiring August 30, 2020. For more information on this extension visit: https://bit.ly/2A5PwLA

BC Rolls Out New Online Process for Temporary Layoff Variance Applications
To extend a “COVID-19 emergency layoff” beyond August 30, the province has set up an online portal where employers and workers can apply jointly to the Employment Standards Branch for a further temporary layoff variance. Without this variance, the employment relationship will be permanently severed as of August 30, and eligible employees must be provided any severance they are owed as a result of termination. Applications must be received by the August 25th deadline to be considered.  Learn More.

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

Federal / Canada Wide Programs:

Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) - Expanded Program Available August 17

If you are a Canadian employer who has seen a drop in revenue due to COVID-19, you now may be eligible for a subsidy to cover part of your employee wages as part of revised changes made to the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS). The adjusted program introduces a sliding scale for subsidy amounts available to the employer, dependent on how much your revenue has dropped. The new applications for claim period of July 5 - August 1 will open on August 17th under revised changes to the program that expand eligibility for employers. Learn More: https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/subsidy/emergency-wage-subsidy.html

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. It offers forgivable loans to eligible commercial property owners so that they can reduce the rent owed by their impacted small business tenants by at least 75% for the months of April - August 2020. Learn More at: https://www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca/en/finance-and-investing/covid19-cecra-small-business

Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) Extended an Additional Eight Weeks
On June 16 Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that the government is extending the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) by eight weeks, to ensure Canadians have the help they need as they transition back to work. This extension will make the benefit available to eligible workers for up to a total of 24 weeks. Canadians may apply for the CERB through either Service Canada or the Canada Revenue Agency - but not both. Learn More at: https://www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/ei/cerb-application.html

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.

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: https://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/icgc.nsf/eng/h_07682.html​ 

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: https://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/107.nsf/eng/home

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: https://www.canada.ca/en/canadian-heritage/news/2020/05/emergency-support-fund-for-cultural-heritage-and-sport-organizations-next-steps-to-support-the-industry-impacted-by-the-global-covid-19-pandemic.html?mc_cid=00bc483808&mc_eid=696e681eee 

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: https://pm.gc.ca/en/news/news-releases/2020/05/05/supporting-canadas-farmers-food-businesses-and-food-supply 

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: https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/economic-response-plan.html#businesses

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 at: https://www.canadianbusinessresiliencenetwork.ca/news-and-insights/2020/04/23/private-company-resilience-and-covid-19-support-for-small-and-medium-sized-businesses/ 

 




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/