COVID-19 #here4squamish

Restart BC

The Squamish Chamber brings you a range of tools, resources and events to assist during the COVID-19 pandemic. If your business needs support, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at

BC's Restart Plan

WorkSafe BC FAQs on Restart BC

Canadian Business Resilience Reopening Toolkit

BC's Economic Recovery Plan

Sector Advice to Reopen

Posters & Templates

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.

Last updated: October 23

COVID Alert App launched

Restart BC

WorkSafe BC




Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance program provides loans to property owners to cover 50% of rent payments. 

  • The deadline to submit a new application is September 30, 2020.
  • The deadline to opt-in is October 30, 2020.

Road to Recovery

Tourism Squamish and the Squamish Chamber partner to support businesses on the Road to Recovery.


On August 20th, 2020 the Government of Canada announced changes to the Employment Insurance (EI) program and new income support benefits that will better support Canadians.


Reopening tips for businesses. Visit page.

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

Guides & Tools

Other Organizations


COVID-19 Economic Response Plan

Apply: Canada Emergency Response Benefit

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.

NEW: Apply: Canada Emergency Response Benefit

Apply EI Sickness Benefit

Work-sharing Program

  • Temporary work share measures


WorkSafe BC – reopening and safe operations

Provincial information for employees

Provincial support for employers 

Guides, Checklists, FAQs



WorkSafe BC

For Business


COVID-19 Emergency Response Plan

List of Federal Funding with Links

Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS)

  • 75 per cent wage subsidy for qualifying businesses, retroactive to March 15, 2020.  Now extended to November 21, 2020.

Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) Program  

Helps small businesses with their rent by reducing rent by 75% for small businesses that have been severely impacted by COVID-19 and pay less than $50,000/month in rent. 

  • The deadline to submit a new application is September 30, 2020.
  • The deadline to opt-in is October 30, 2020.

The program is administered by CMHC. Learn about eligibility requirements and sign up to receive updates.

Tax Relief
  • 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.
  • Businesses can defer income tax payments, from March 18 until after August 31, 2020. 

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.

Canada’s largest financial institutions as well as some credit unions are working with small business banking customers on a case-by-case basis to provide flexible financing solutions such as:

Western Economic Diversification Canada  can help businesses access federal funding and provide advice on other federal programs and services. Tourism operators or small- or medium- sized organizations that are impacted by COVID-19 and have received RDA funding may be eligible to receive additional funding and/or flexible arrangements.


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


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 Support & Information

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 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

COVID-19 Advice and Support



Cashflow, Financial Support


Cashflow, Financial Support

HR & Labour

Employment Law, Mental Health

HR & Labour

Employment Law, Mental Health

All Things Business

Marketing, Online, Export

All Things Business

Marketing, Online, Export

Buy Local - #SupportSquamish

Small businesses are the backbone of our economy. Now, more than ever, Squamish businesses need your continued support. There are many ways you can show your support, from ordering online to leaving a review. Learn more here.  

Explore the range of programs below to help your business. Sign up today.

For more information, email

Government Websites

District of Squamish

District of Squamish Information & Updates
local Gov't

Province of BC

Provincial Support & Information

Government of Canada

Federal Support & Information

Business Advocacy

The BC chamber network will be conducting regular ‘pulse checks’ every two weeks on, to find out how businesses are faring, and how their needs are evolving. This information will inform ongoing recommendations to government—powered by our biggest and broadest business network.

Apr 21
Pulse-Check Survey Shows the COVID Crisis is Deepening for Businesses

April 21, 2020 The COVID-19 crisis is deepening for British Columbia businesses with…

Apr 06
Pulse-Check Survey Shows Many B.C Businesses in Need of Life Support

April 3, 2020 The COVID-19 crisis is significantly hurting British Columbia businesses…

Mar 23
MindReader Survey Results – We Heard You

March 23, 2020 Dear Squamish Chamber member, We heard you. As you may know, the BC…

Mindreader data

Thank you for your spectacular engagement in the BC chamber network COVID-19 Business Impact Survey that ran March 13-18.

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.

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.

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

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

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 –
  • 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.