During these unsure times, Venture Kamloops is dedicated to keeping you up-to-date with the most relevant information possible for your business. This article will be updated daily with new information surrounding COVID-19 in support of business continuity in Kamloops.

British Columbia Restart Plan

BC’s Restart Plan lays out a series of steps that we will take together to protect people and ensure that our province can come back from COVID-19 stronger than before.

Phase 2

Phase 3 & 4

For the full Restart Plan, click HERE.

Resources & Programming

WorkSafe BC Phase 2 Reopening Parameters (NEW UPDATE)

WorkSafe BC has released information for reopening during phase 2 based on industry.

Find the parameters HERE.

Rapid Response Platform (NEW UPDATE)

Does your company require PPE in order to get back to work? As Canada’s industries return to work, there is an increased demand for PPE. The Rapid Response Platform automatically matches supply with demand, simplifying supplier discovery during the procurement process.

More information HERE.

Buy BC Partnership Program E-Commerce Funding Stream (NEW UPDATE)

The Government of BC has committed $300,000 to Buy BC E-commerce activities to support the immediate needs of the sector as a result of COVID-19. The program can provide up to $5,000 per applicant on a first-come, first-serve basis until funding has been fully allocated.

Access the program HERE.

Government of Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan

The Government of Canada has put together a suite of programs available for both individuals affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as businesses who are facing hardship.

Support for Businesses:

Canada Emergency Business Account (NEW UPDATE)

The new Canada Emergency Business Account will provide interest-free loans of up to $40,000 to small businesses and not-for-profits, to help cover their operating costs during a period where their revenues have been temporarily reduced.

To qualify, these organizations will need to demonstrate they paid between $20,000 to $1.5 million in total payroll in 2019.

Business owners can apply for support from the Canada Emergency Business Account through their banks and credit unions.

More information HERE.

UPDATE. The program will now be available to a greater number of businesses that are sole proprietors receiving income directly from their businesses, businesses that rely on contractors, and family-owned corporations that pay employees through dividends rather than payroll.

More information HERE.

Canadian Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (NEW UPDATE)

Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) for small businesses provides relief for small businesses experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19. It offers unsecured, forgivable loans to eligible commercial property owners to:

  • reduce the rent owed by their impacted small business tenants
  • meet operating expenses on commercial properties

Property owners must offer a minimum of a 75% rent reduction for the months of April, May and June 2020.

The CECRA for small businesses application portal will be available May 25, 2020

More information HERE.

Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy

As a Canadian employer whose business has been affected by COVID-19, you may be eligible for a subsidy of 75% of employee wages for up to 12 weeks, retroactive from March 15, 2020, to June 6, 2020.

This wage subsidy will enable you to re-hire workers previously laid off as a result of COVID-19, help prevent further job losses, and better position you to resume normal operations following the crisis.

More information HERE.

Work Sharing Program

The federal government is extending the maximum duration of the Work-Sharing program from 38 weeks to 76 weeks. The Work-Sharing program is offered to workers who agree to reduce their normal working hours because of developments beyond the control of their employers.

Eligibility:

You are eligible to apply if you are experiencing a downturn in business activity related to the global outbreak of COVID-19, and have:

  • WS agreements signed between March 15, 2020 and March 13, 2021
  • WS agreements that began, or ended between March 15, 2020 and March 14, 2021, and
  • WS agreements that ended between June 23, 2019, and March 14, 2020 and are in their mandatory cooling-off period

For more information and application, click HERE.

NOTE: There are more supports for businesses, including tax deferrals, access to credit, support for self-employment and more. Find the full list HERE.

Support for Individuals:

Canada Emergency Response Benefit

The Federal Government will provide a taxable benefit of $2,000 a month for up to 4 months to:

  • workers who must stop working due to COVID-19 and do not have access to paid leave or other income support.
  • workers who are sick, quarantined, or taking care of someone who is sick with COVID-19.
  • working parents who must stay home without pay to care for children that are sick or need additional care because of school and daycare closures.
  • workers who still have their employment but are not being paid because there is currently not sufficient work and their employer has asked them not to come to work.
  • wage earners and self-employed individuals, including contract workers, who would not otherwise be eligible for Employment Insurance.

Cick HERE for more on the CERB.

Click HERE to find out about all supports for individuals.

Supports for Small Businesses in B.C. Document 

This document includes some of the most up-to-date information on small business supports, resources and advisory services during COVID-19.

Find it HERE.

Small Business BC COVID-19 Support Service

To help B.C. businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, the B.C. government, through the Ministry of Jobs, Economic Development and Competitiveness and the Government of Canada, through Western Economic Diversification Canada, have partnered with Small Business BC (SBBC) to launch a new B.C. Business COVID-19 Support Service.

As part of the support service, a dedicated website – https://covid.smallbusinessbc.ca – will feature announcements from industry and community partners, as well as a variety of important resources, including webinars and practical tools. Advisors can be reached by phone toll-free at 1-833-254-4357, by email covid@smallbusinessbc.ca and live chat.

More HERE.

COVID-19 Digital Navigator

PwC’s team of specialists collaborated to create a digital assessment to help you understand the potential impact to your business and gauge your readiness to respond.

The digital tool contains 3 sections of questions that will help you understand where your company stands as you respond to COVID-19 in the areas of: crisis management and response; workforce; operations and supply chain; finance and liquidity; tax and trade; and strategy and brand.

Find it HERE.

British Columbia Economic Development Association’s (BCEDA’s) Daily Updated Document

In this document, you will find information on:

  • Resources for businesses by sector,
  • Information for employers
  • Information for businesses
  • Information on utilities
  • Information on banking and insurance
  • Community Measures
  • Global Economic Impact
  • Sources of Business Assistance
  • Webinars

We highly recommend any businesses affected by this current situation to access the Daily Updated Bulletin from BCEDA.

Funding Opportunities from Innovative Solutions Canada

Innovative Solutions Canada’s program will help support the Government of Canada’s fight against COVID-19 by funding R&D and testing prototypes in real-life settings that can help protect Canadians.

More HERE.

Tax Relief

Federal Business Taxes

General Sales Tax (GST) and Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) remittances and customs duty payments are deferred to
June 30, 2020.

Income Tax: The Federal government is allowing all businesses to defer, until after August 31, 2020, the payment of
any income tax amounts that become owing on or after March 18, 2020 and before September 2020. This relief
would apply to tax balances due, as well as instalments, under Part I of the Income Tax Act. No interest or penalties will accumulate on these amounts during this period. For self-employed individuals or those who have spouses or common-law partners that are self-employed, the deadline to pay any balance due for your individual federal income tax and benefit return has been extended from April 30, 2020, to September 1, 2020.

Mere HERE.

Provincial Business Taxes

Businesses with a payroll over $500,000 can defer their employer health tax payments until Sept. 30, 2020. Businesses with a payroll under this threshold are already exempt from the tax

More HERE.

B.C. Relief for Commercial Property Owners and Tenants

The B.C. government is reducing the school property tax rate for commercial properties to achieve an average 25% reduction in the total property tax bill for most businesses, providing up to $700 million in relief. This enhances the 50% reduction to the provincial school property tax rate that was originally announced for classes 4, 5 and 6 as part of B.C.’s COVID-19 Action Plan.

The date that late payment penalties apply for commercial properties in classes 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 has been postponed to October 1, 2020 to give businesses and landlords more time to pay their reduced property tax without penalty.

More HERE.

Utilities/Insurance

BC Hydro Customer Assistance Program

BC Hydro is providing residential and commercial customers the option to defer bill payments or arrange flexible payment plans with no penalty. Customers are encouraged to call BC Hydro at 1-800-224-9376 to discuss options.

More HERE.

ICBC Commercial Insurance

ICBC customers on a monthly Autoplan payment plan, who are facing financial challenges due to COVID-19, can defer their payment for up to 90 days with no penalty. Apply online or call 1-800-665-6442.

FORTISBC Recovery Fund

During this challenging time, Fortis has introduced a Customer Recovery Fund to help minimize the monthly billing impacts to natural gas, propane and electric residential and small business customers.

Telus

Waiving home internet overage charges for customers without unlimited data plans until April 30. Telus will be waiving all Roam Like Home, Roam Better and Easy Roam and pay-per-use charges in a similar fashion, for post-paid customers travelling outside of Canada until April 30. Telus will also be offering this promotion until April 30, for Easy Roam, Travel passes and pay-per-use charges for customers currently outside of North America, Central America and the Caribbean. Telus has also launched a Telus Talks Health podcast to accompany its virtual healthcare options, Babylon and EMR.

Shaw

Shaw Communications will be suspending data limits on all internet plans until further notice and will be offering complimentary and unrestricted access to over 100,000 Shaw Go WiFi network hotspots nation-wide to everyone, regardless of whether they are a Shaw customer.

Webinars & Articles

BDC: How to get through the crisis with an online strategy

the COVID-19 pandemic is transforming the economy and bringing unprecedented challenges to businesses across Canada. As more customers go online for products and services, pivoting your business to take full advantage of these online opportunities can position you to emerge stronger in terms of who you sell to, how you sell and what you sell.

Join BDC Chief Economist Pierre Cléroux who will give an economic update, and other experts who will share their expertise on adapting your business online during the pandemic and beyond.

Find it HERE.

Cash Flow Strategies and Government Incentives in the time of COVID-19

This webinar reveals the key steps you can take to manage cash flow in this unprecedented time. From the latest government incentives to Canadian tax tips to U.S. tax strategies – this webinar is designed to help you get through the current cash crunch.

Find it HERE.

Pivoting to Add a Delivery Service to your Business

Recorded webinar that gives information on pivoting your business, and adding a delivery service in order to generate revenues during this time of COVID-19

More HERE.

Recorded Financial Webinar Series from Women’s Enterprise Centre

There are three levels of financial training so you can master new skills and feel more confident managing the money for your business:

Start Selling Online with Shopify

This recorded webinar from Small Business BC gives you an overview on how to start selling your products online using Shopify.

Find it HERE.

COVID-19 and your Commercial Lease

The current Covid-19 pandemic is rapidly changing the worldwide commercial landscape, creating many fears and questions in the minds of business owners. Due to lost business and government-mandated closures, small business owners may find themselves suddenly unable to pay rent or uphold their end of a commercial lease.

This article examines possible ways to deal with this unique situation.

Please note that this article is offered as information, and anyone seeking to follow through should consult with their lawyer.

Find the article HERE.

Small Business BC Daily Digital Meetups

This is a time, more than ever, for small businesses to come together to help each other overcome challenges and find solutions.

To help facilitate this, SBBC are pleased to share our new Digital Meetups, a community video call for the small businesses community during COVID-19. Every working day, we will be hosting a Digital Meetup focused around one pressing issue re:COVID-19: from how to generate revenue, to employment law, all specific to small businesses.

Access them HERE.

If you have any news, information or resources that you think our business community should know about, please e-mail them to cole@venturekamloops.com.

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