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COVID-19 Updates & Resources

Resources | Apr 6, 2020

The Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce is closely monitoring developments around the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) through regular updates from the World Health Organization, Public Health Agency of Canada, BC Centre for Disease Control, and Fraser Health. We encourage you to do the same as you conduct your business affairs and planning for the next several months.

BUSINESS RESOURCES

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.

WorkSafeBC – COVID-19 and returning to safe operation –  the B.C. government has announced a phased approach for reopening B.C. businesses.

Retail Council of Canada COVID-19 Recovery Planning – to assist retailers in their reopening planning.

Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance – Government of Canada announces partnerships with provinces and territories to deliver the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance for small businesses. Rent reduction to SME’s by 75% (April, May, June).

Canada Emergency Business Account – Up to $40,000 loan, interest free for one year through financial institutions but fully backed by the federal government. For some businesses, up to $10,000 may be forgivable.
Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy – Will help companies of all sizes, non-profits, and charities that have faced revenue decreases of at least 30% by providing employers a 75 per cent wage subsidy, back-dated to March 15. This subsidy will cover the first $58,700 per employee – up to $847/week per employee. Further details expected in the coming days.
Business Credit Availability Program – Support financing in the private sector, total credit available increased to $65 billion.
Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) – Provides $2,000 per month for four months to any workers who have lost their income for reasons related to COVID-19 including reasons of sickness, quarantine, taking care of those with COVID-19 as well as working parents needing to stay at home with children. This applies to wage earners, contract workers, and self employed individuals. Applications for this benefit will begin April 6 at the earliest, with payments to Canadians set for April 16.

Community Futures COVID-19 Emergency Loan Program – Community Futures South Fraser is committed to supporting our local businesses and promoting a healthy and diverse local economy. This loan program offers businesses access to financing to support their operation, during these ongoing difficulties resulting from the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Credit Counselling Society – The Credit Counselling Society, an accredited, non-profit charity is available to help our members in the following ways: They have counselling appointments available right now for members to discuss their financial situation with an accredited financial counsellor.  Appointments are available 6 days per week, 8am EST – 11pm EST; Updated information on the various government programs available to consumers and business owners;They have relationships with all national and regional banks and credit unions and will help members navigate the waters to find financial relief during the Covid-19 pandemic; and They have 28 live webinars they host every month and have a financial educator available to offer private webinars.

Small Business BC – BC’s premier resource for small business suppport with links to current information and relevant articles on COVID-19 considerations for business. SBBC advisors are ready to answer entrepreneurs’ questions about implementing or updating business continuity plans, accessing the Talk to an Expert program, or finding online training to help them take the next step. They can be reached at 1-800-667-2272 or askus@smallbusinessbc.ca.

OPEN FOR BUSINESS

Abbotsford Business Community Coalition – Think Local. Act Local. Shop Local. Thank Local. That’s #WhatLocalsDo.

Operation Support Local – Star 98.3 and Country 107.1 want to help support your business during this unprecedented time. Submit or find a local business to support.

Businesses Open in Abbotsford – Please support our business community who are working hard to stay open. Call ahead, shop online, pick up or take out. Please also consider purchasing gift cards from our small businesses to use towards future purchases.

HELPFUL LINKS

Federal Government:

Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan: Support for Canadians and Businesses
Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)

Provincial Government:

COVID-19 Provincial Government Support and Information
COVID-19 Economic Development Resources
PreparedBC: Guide for Small Business

BC & Canadian Chamber:

Canadian Chamber of Commerce Resources
BC Chamber of Commerce Business Resources
Pandemic Preparedness Webpage
Video Conferencing – Abbotsford Chamber Members Discount

HEALTH

Getting your workplace ready for COVID-19 Guide
Business Pandemic Influenza Planning Checklist