COVID-19 Resources & Important Information

Dear Chamber members;

In recent days we’ve all been consumed with news on the COVID-19 pandemic, and how it’s affecting our health, our families, and our businesses.

During this time, it’s critical that the chamber network understands the economic impacts on BC businesses in the weeks and months ahead, and how government can support their viability. That’s why we’ve partnered with Small Business BC, Community Futures, and The BC Economic Development Association and created a short survey for big and small businesses alike.

All feedback will go to different levels of government to help them shape their response to the crisis. Please take the time to provide your feedback.

Sincerely,

Tammy Verigin-Burk
Executive Director
Castlegar & District Chamber of Commerce


Take Survey Here

Other Resources and Important Links

Update

In light of the spread of COVID-19 in many countries and the recent pandemic declaration by the World Health Organization (WHO), the Central Okanagan Economic Development Commission has compiled the below resources to help businesses navigate the risk.

The Public Health Agency of Canada has assessed the public health risk associated with COVID-19 as low for Canada, with continued reassessment as new information becomes available.

Government of Canada COVID-19 Information Service
Phone: 1-833-784-4397
Email: phac.info.aspc@canada.ca

Updates are also provided by British Columbia Centre for Disease Control and Interior Health Authority

Resources

Whether it is a public health issue, natural disaster, or other emergencies, it is important to be prepared and ensure you have an up-to-date business continuity and disaster recovery plan.

We’re sharing the below compiled information with you, as it includes guides and tools for business owners and employers, which you may find helpful.

Guides:

Templates and Tools:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
 

BC Chamber Applauds Announced Changes to the Launch Online Grant Program 

Changes are another win for businesses as they build resiliency on their journey towards recovery

 

VANCOUVER, BC, March 17, 2021 —Today, the provincial government announced that it is investing an additional $30 million in the Launch Online Grant program, which helps B.C. businesses move their business online.

“We applaud the B.C. government’s decision to expand its Launch Online Grant program so that it can be accessed by thousands more businesses that want to build or expand their online presence,” said Fiona Famulak, president and CEO of the BC Chamber of Commerce. “The expanded program addresses directly the feedback we have received from businesses through our BCMindReader.com COVID-19 pulse check surveys and have conveyed to government – that they need cash flow support to build resiliency as they journey towards recovery.”

The expanded program will:

  • Provide up to $7,500 to businesses to help build or expand an e-commerce site to access a global marketplace. 
  • Businesses in the hard-hit tourism sector, like tour operators or hotels, and businesses in the service industry, such as massage therapists, personal trainers or hair stylists, can now access the grant to build or improve their online booking systems. 
  • As part of the eligibility enhancements, 30% of the grant funds will now be reserved for Black, Indigenous and people of colour-owned (BIPOC) businesses. This is expanded from the original 25% of grant funds that were reserved for Indigenous and rural businesses.

Small and medium-sized businesses can apply online and review eligibility criteria here: www.launchonline.ca

“Similar to the recent changes announced to the Small and Medium Sized Business Recovery Grant, the expanded Launch Online Grant program signals that the provincial government is listening to the needs of the business community,” said Famulak. “The updated eligibility and expansion of both these grants will go a long way to helping all businesses as they adapt and continue to navigate these extremely challenging times,” Famulak said.