COVID-19

COVID-19

COVID-19

The Squamish Chamber is closely following the unfolding events surrounding COVID-19. The situation is changing rapidly and updates will be shared through our newsletter, social media and on this web page.

Read: Joint Release from the Squamish Chamber and BC Chamber. March 18, 2020

List of Squamish Business Operations. Updated daily.

Business resources

A range of official resources are detailed in the tabs below, along with guides and FAQs to help your business.

Please reference the information below and observe and communicate the recommended protocols: 

  • Frequent handwashing & covering your face when coughing/sneezing 
  • Stay home if sick (and create a culture where this is encouraged) 
  • Leverage technology and consider remote work for your team where possible
  • Social distancing
  • No gatherings larger than 50 people (e.g. take out for F&B, no personal services)

Please reference the most up-to-date information from official / government agencies.

Guides & Tools

Other Organizations

Federal

COVID-19 Economic Response Plan

Employment and Social Development Canada

  • Emergency Care Benefit of up to $900 bi-weekly for up to 15 weeks to provide income support to workers who must stay home and don’t have access to paid sick leave.
  • Waive, for a minimum of six months, the mandatory one-week waiting period for EI sickness benefits for workers in imposed quarantine or who have been directed to self-isolate
  • Waive the requirement for medical certificate to access EI sickness benefits
  • Additional assistance to families with children by temporarily boosting Canada Child Benefit payments. 
  • An Emergency Support Benefit delivered through the CRA to provide up to $5 billion in support to workers not eligible for EI and who are facing unemployment.
  • Extend the tax filing deadline for individuals to June 1, and allow taxpayers to defer, until after August 31, 2020, the payment of any income tax amounts that become owing.

Apply EI Sickness Benefit

Work-sharing Program

  • Temporary work share measures

 

Provincial

*Aid was announced March 23rd, 2020. Details for how to access services will be provided once they become available*  More details under the Financial Support tab.

Provincial information for employees

Provincial support for employers 

Guides, Checklists, FAQs

 

Organizations

go2HR

WorkSafe BC

For Business

Federal

Federal – COVID-19 Emergency Response Plan

  • There will be a 75 per cent wage subsidy for qualifying businesses, for up to 3 months, retroactive to March 15, 2020. 
  • Businesses, including self-employed individuals, are allowed to defer all Goods and Services Tax/Harmonized Sales Tax (GST/HST) payments until June, as well as customs duties owed for imports.
  • The new Canada Emergency Business Account has been launched. This program will provide up to $25 billion to eligible financial institutions so they can provide interest-free loans to small businesses. 
  • The new Small and Medium-sized Enterprise Loan and Guarantee program has been launched that will enable up to $40 billion in lending.
  • Allow all businesses to defer income tax payments, from March 18 until after August 31, 2020.
  • Increase the credit available to small, medium, and large Canadian businesses via BDC and EDC. 
  • Further expand Export Development Canada’s ability to provide support to domestic businesses.
  • Provide flexibility on the Canada Account limit, to allow the Government to provide additional support to Canadian businesses.
  • Augment credit available to farmers and the agri-food sector through Farm Credit Canada.
  • Launch Insured Mortgage Purchase Program to purchase up to $50 billion of insured mortgage pools through the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). This will provide stable funding to banks and mortgage lenders and support continued lending to Canadian businesses and consumers. 

Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC):

Export Development Canada

  • EDC is working with financial institutions to issue new operating credit and cash flow term loans of up to $6.25 million to SMEs.

 

How to Access

These programs will roll out in the three weeks after March 27. Contact your financial institution for more information.

List of Federal Funding with Links

 

Provincial

The provincial government is extending tax filing and payment deadlines to September 30th, 2020, including:

  • Employee Health Tax (EHT) 
  • Motor Fuel Taxes 
  • Carbon Tax (the scheduled increase of carbon tax has been canceled) 
  • Provincial Sales Tax (PST) 
  • Municipal & Regional District Tax 
  • Tobacco Tax

Additional Provincial Measures  

  • Business and light and major industrial property classes will see a 50% cut to provincial school tax. The expectation is businesses will pass the savings on to tenants in triple-net leases 
  • The new PST increase for e-commerce and sweetened beverages has been deferred, and will be reviewed by Sept. 30, 2020.
  • The Province has dedicated $1.5 billion for economic recovery 

Guides, Checklists, FAQs

 

For Residents

Federal

COVID-19 Emergency Response Plan

To support businesses and help prevent layoffs, the government is providing eligible business and non-profits a temporary wage subsidy for a period of three months. The subsidy has been increased to 75% (from the initial 10%) retroactive to March 15, 2020.  

The Work Sharing Program helps eligible employers to retain skilled employees and workers to remain employed.

Canada Emergency Response Benefit will provide individuals $2,000 per month for four months to wage earners, contract workers, and self-employed individuals due to disruption in income, sickness, quarantine, taking care of those with COVID-19, and working parents needing to stay at home with children.

Enhanced Canada Child Benefit For those that are eligible for the Child Tax benefit, there will be an additional $300 per child available on top of what is already received. 

Employment Insurance  changes to the EI program include waiving the one-week waiting period for and priority application processing for COVID-19 related claims.

GST Credit: Credits available will be increased up to $400 for single adults and $600 for couples (more details will be available closer to the rollout date). 

 

Provincial

Provincial Support & Information

*Aid was announced March 23rd, 2020. Details for how to access services will be provided once they become available*  

Emergency Benefit  

This is a 1-time $1000 tax-free payment for any British Columbian whose income is impacted by COVID-19. Eligible individuals include those that receive federal EI or the new federal Emergency Care Benefit — linked to the federal government’s new EI rules in response to the pandemic. 

Boosting the Climate Action Tax Credit 

Eligible families of four will receive up to $564 and eligible individuals will receive up to $218 in an enhanced payment. This will help complement federal income supports for those struggling with job loss reduced income or increased costs. 

Support for Renters and Homeowners 

The provincial government, working with banks and credit unions, will ensure mortgage deferral options are available as well as enhanced support for rentals via Shelter Aid For Elderly Renters (SAFER) and Rental Assistance Program (RAP). 

Additional Provincial Measures 

  • Deferral of student loans for 6 months 
  • ICBC & BC Hydro will provide deferral options and crisis assistance funding available for impacted individuals 

 

Private & Crown Corporations

BC Hydro

The COVID-19 Customer Assistance Program provides customers the option to defer bill payments or arrange for flexible payment plans with no penalty. Customers are encouraged to call BC Hydro’s customer team at 1 800 BCHYDRO (1 800 224 9376) to discuss bill payment options. 

 

Fortis BC

FortisBC will be waiving late payment fees and ensuring no customer is disconnected from the energy they need for financial reasons. They will also be available to help their customers with flexible payment options. To learn more about what FortisBC is doing visit their COVID-19 page or call Fortis at 1-866-436-7847 for electricity and 1-888-224-2710 for natural gas.

 

Vancity Credit Union

Vancity Credit Union is helping their customers through this difficult time by offering to:

  • Provide emergency working capital
  • Buy back foreign currency at the same rate it was sold (for customers impacted by travel disruption)
  • Waiving INTERAC e-Transfer and ATM fees until April 30th

Learn more about what they are doing on their website here.

 

Hootsuite

Hootsuite is offering free access (until July 1st, 2020) to their Professional Plan to help small businesses and non-profits stay connected to their customers and audiences. To learn more or signup visit their website here.

 

Canadian Mortgage & Housing Corporation is working to address mortgage payment difficulties.

raise your voice

 Thank you for your spectacular engagement in the BC chamber network COVID-19 Business Impact Survey that launched last Friday and closed at 5pm on March 18th.

We received an unprecedented 7,900+ responses. 

You can be proud – and know with confidence – that there is no more definitive business community “pulse check” in the province right now.

We have prepared three online “Insight Stories” with the results:

  1. An overall summary of the data
  2. A breakdown by region
  3. A breakdown by size of business

Here’s the quick analysis, with Squamish comparisons to the side:

  • 90% of businesses are “currently being impacted by COVID-19” – (Squamish: 94%)
  • Of those impacted, 83% are seeing a “drop in revenue, business, or deal flow” – (Squamish: 84%)
  • 91% anticipate a further “decrease in revenue in the near-term” [sic] – (Squamish: 95%)
  • 73% of businesses expect their revenues will drop by 50% or more (with nearly a quarter saying revenues will drop by 100%) – (Squamish: 86% / 31%)
  • Half of the respondents say they will be “temporarily shutting down” their offices. – (Squamish: 52%)
  • 64% of respondents expect to reduce their staff by over half (with a quarter saying they will be reducing their staff by 100%) – (Squamish: 76% / 41%)

These insights have been sent to both the federal and provincial government – and the intelligence you shared with us is helping shape how government reacts to this pandemic crisis in real time.

We want to thank our survey partners who helped promote the survey, including: Small Business BC, the BC Economic Development Association and Community Futures BC. In times of crisis, collaboration is paramount.

Vancouver Coastal Health

Regional Health Authority Situation Updates, FAQ, Health Resources
Health

District of Squamish

District of Squamish Information & Updates
local Gov't

Prepare

Should COVID-19 escalate further, some of the things businesses need to plan for include:

  • Staff absences
  • Service disruption
  • Supply chain disruption
  • Increase / decrease in demand for products or services
  • Cancelation of travel, meetings and events
  • Increased public fear

To help businesses prepare for and manage through a potential COVID-19 escalation, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce has prepared a Business Preparedness Guide, which we encourage you to utilize. 

UPDATE: A range of resources are now under the Health / Business / Workplace / Financial tabs above.

Leadership series

 The Greater Vancouver Board of Trade has brought together experts to offer practical business advice in Leadership, Finance, Crisis Communications and Law.

keep informed

If you have not done so already, we encourage you to follow the Squamish Chamber on facebook as this will be our quickest and most nimble communication tool (@squamishchamber). Sign up for our newsletter by emailing admin@squamishchamber.com.

Squamish chamber operations

As of March 17, the Squamish Chamber is working remotely, enabling our organization to continue with important operations and communication. 

What this means:

  • The Squamish Chamber will continue to operate and share important messaging and services for businesses.
  • The team are working remotely, where possible, but are still accessible via email – admin@squamishchamber.com
  • We are assessing all our upcoming events and meetings, exploring options for teleconferencing and alternative dates, as appropriate.
Read our statement from Louise Walker, Executive Director.
 

CONNECT. COMMUNICATE. COLLABORATE.

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