Cowichan COVID-19 Business Survey #1 results are in: In response to the unparalleled impacts of COVID-19, the Cowichan Valley Regional District (CVRD) and its Cowichan Strong partners have compiled the results of an initial survey to assess the effects of the pandemic on the local business community. The full results of the COVID-19 Post Disaster Needs Assessment Survey can be reviewed on the CVRD website. This was the first of a series of surveys that will be shared with the business community every four weeks for the next three months to assess the economic recovery progress.
Below you will find recent announcements, updates and resources to support business June 12-18, 2020. Please note links and information are changing frequently. Check your resources often and revisit links to view updated information.
- British Columbians invited to have their say on recovery – June 17
- Canada-U.S border to remain closed to non-essential travel until July 21 – June 16
- Province expands measures to support restaurant, tourism industries – June 16
- Government of Canada extends CERB – June 16
- Government of Canada announces increased access to CEBA for small businesses– June 15
- More support for Island arts, culture during COVID-19 – June 12
- Provincial Health Officer Replaces Order Relating to Restaurants and Bars – June 11
Transition to Recovery Phase
- BCRFA – Physical Distancing and Patios: BC Restaurant and Foodservices Association guidelines for achieving Provincial Health Officer (PHO) and WorkSafe directives.
- go2HR COVID-19 Workplace Assessment Tool for Tourism and Hospitality Employers: This tool provides tourism and hospitality employers with information to assist in developing a robust COVID-19 Safety Plan. The toolkit includes five key steps, which will help evaluate your current set up in relation to managing the risk of exposure to COVID-19 in your workplace, with suggestions on how to improve.
- People Outside Safely Together (POST) Promise Program: The Government of Canada has partnered with the People Outside Safely Together Promise program, an initiative launched by Canadian private sector organizations, to help businesses across the country re-open safely. The “Post Promise” is a voluntary commitment that business owners and managers can make by following five key public health actions that will help prevent the spread of COVID-19. By displaying the “Post Promise” logo, participating businesses can reassure customers that they are doing their part to help protect Canadians’ health and safety.
- Supply Hub – Organizations buying and selling PPE: The Government of Canada launched a new web hub to bring together available resources for organizations buying and selling personal protective equipment (PPE). Explore the supply hub for consumer guidance and PPE supplier lists.
- Business Reopen Toolkit: Cowichan Strong has designed a Reopen Toolkit for Cowichan businesses using the Buy Local Cowichan brand and colors. The toolkit includes print ready signage templates for occupancy, front entry checklist and social distancing stickers. These templates are free to use and can be found on the Cowichan Strong website or at local print shops throughout the region.
- Health and safety guidance for employers and workers: Free tip sheets for employers and workers, to help workplaces operate safely. They cover a range of sectors, including construction, health care, retail and restaurants.
- Best Practices for Re-Opening your Business–WorkSafeBC: Advice for re-opening your business and keeping staff safe.
- Industry Resources for Re-Opening: Links to resources and guidance to specific industries.
- How to Create a Safety Plan for Re-Opening: Assess business readiness for re-opening and minimize risk.
- 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.
Federal Government Support
- Government of Canada extends CERB: The Government of Canada announced it is extending the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) for another eight weeks. CERB now provides taxable payments of $2,000 to Canadians who lost income because of COVID-19 for up to six months.
- Government of Canada announces Increased Access to CEBA for Small Businesses: Effective Friday, June 19, 2020, applications will be accepted so that more small businesses can access the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA). This means that owner-operated small businesses that had been ineligible for the program due 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. To qualify under the expanded eligibility rules, CEBA applicants with payroll lower than $20,000 will need:
- A business operating account at a participating financial institution;
- A Canada Revenue Agency business number;
- A 2018 or 2019 tax return; and
- Eligible non-deferrable expenses of between $40,000 and $1.5 million.
Provincial Government Support
- 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.
- Provincial Health Officer Replaces Order Relating to Restaurants and Bars: BC’s Provincial Health Officer, announced she has revoked and replaced the most recent health order concerning restaurants and bars. Instead of all establishments operating at 50 per cent capacity, owners and operators will now be required to identify a number for their capacity that allows social distancing to be maintained, while also accounting for patios. Other notable points include:
- Establishments must state total amount of patrons that can be seated (two metres apart) except for the same party
- Max party sizes are maintained at six individuals
- Applies to all license holders – food primary, bar etc
- Does not apply to hospitals, care facilities and other settings with cafeteria
To keep businesses informed and up-to-date Economic Development Cowichan has compiled a COVID-19 Business Resource guide. Visit here to view essential links.