Business Re-Open Toolkit: Cowichan Strong has designed a Re-Open Toolkit for businesses using the Buy Local Cowichan brand and colors. The toolkit includes print ready signage templates for occupancy, front entry checklist and social distancing floor stickers. These templates are free for all local Cowichan businesses to use and can be found on the Cowichan Strong website or at local print shops throughout the region.
Employment Opportunity – Economic Development Analyst: Are you a dynamic, progressive, business-minded team-player with a passion for supporting community and economic development? We have a unique opportunity for an enthusiastic individual to join the Economic Development Cowichan group in the newly created role of Economic Development Analyst. For the full job posting and job description visit the CVRD Careers website at cvrd.bc.ca/jobs
Below you will find recent announcements, updates and resources to support business June 5-11, 2020. Please note links and information are changing frequently. Check your resources often and revisit links to view updated information.
· Additional action supports forest sector – June 11
Transition to Recovery Phase
· 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
· Small Business Relief Fund – Applications Now Open: The Canadian Business Resilience Network – Small Business Relief Fund will help 62 small Canadian businesses recover from coast to coast with $10,000 grants to help their recovery efforts during these unprecedented times. Businesses can use the grant funds to support their recovery efforts, including paying salaries, acquiring safety and personal protective equipment for staff, replenishing materials or paying for the measures required to adapt business models to the economic impacts of COVID-19.
· Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance is Open for Applications: Commercial property owners with small business tenants can now apply for CECRA. Under this program, small businesses that have experienced a 70% decline in pre-COVID revenues may be eligible for rent reductions. CECRA offers unsecured, forgivable loans to commercial property owners to reduce rent by 75% for impacted small business owners. The loans will cover 50% of the monthly gross rent and the remaining 50% would be paid by the property owner and tenant. Property owners must offer a minimum of a 75% rent reduction for the months of April, May, and June 2020. Apply online.
Provincial Government Support
· BC Strengthens Federal Commercial Rent Program:BC businesses eligible for rent support from the federal government will be protected from evictions as the BC government issues a new order under the Emergency Program Act (EPA). Eligible businesses whose landlords choose not to apply for the federal CECRA program will be protected from evictions due to unpaid rent payments through to the end of June 2020, as determined by the federal program timelines.
Local Government Support
· City of Duncan COVID-19 Grant Program: Registered businesses with an office in the Cowichan Region can apply for grants of up to $10,000. The grant is to encourage creative thinking by local organizations to design programs and concepts that will support businesses and residents by the pandemic. This opportunity is for programs that would not qualify for provincial or federal funding, or to leverage existing funding. Please see the COVID-19 Grant-In-Aid Application Form for more details.
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.