COVID-19 UPDATE
COVID-19 UPDATE
Leadership Series: Trusted Advice to Manage the Impact of COVID-19
Leadership Series: Trusted Advice to Manage the Impact of COVID-19
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We are closely monitoring the ongoing conditions of the COVID-19 virus and associated economic impact and we take the health and safety of our members seriously. Please visit Public Health Agency of Canada for the most up to date information regarding the public health risk associated with COVID-19 for Canadians.

Regardless of external events that arise, it is best to be proactive and have a plan. We have compiled the following resources and links to support your business planning.

Government and Official Updates

Federal

  • Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy — Will help companies of all sizes, non-profits, and charities that have faced year over year revenue decreases of at least 30%. This will provide 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.
  • Business Credit Availability Program — Support financing in the private sector with $65 billion in direct lending and other types of financial support. Contact your financial institution to access the program
    • 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 Response Benefit (CERB) — Canada Emergency Business Account — 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 early April with payments to Canadians set for mid-April.
  • Tax Flexibility — Businesses can defer paying income tax until September 1, 2020. GST payments, duties, and other remittances can be deferred until June
  • Opportunities for Canadian Manufacturers — Call to action: Businesses that can assist in combating COVID-19. Additional details for needed products and services found here
  • Employment and Social Development Canada — Details for employers on EI applications for their employees and Work-Share Program
  • COVID-19 Economic Response Plan — $27 billion in direct support to Canadian workers and businesses (cost and implementation)
  • NEW Canada’s Essential Service Guidance — Public Safety Canada’s information on Essential Services and Functions during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Provincial

  • BC COVID-19 Action Plan — $5 billion plan that includes $2.2 billion for businesses and recovery. Plan includes tax changes and additional benefits. Highlights include:
    • Enhanced tax flexibility — The Province is extending tax filing and payment deadlines for the PST, the Employer Health Tax, the municipal and regional district tax, the carbon tax, the motor fuel tax, among others to September 30, 2020
    • Deferral of carbon tax increase — The provincial carbon tax increase scheduled for April 1 will be delayed and reviewed by September 30
    • Tax relief for Class 4, 5, 6 property classes — School tax on the business property class as well as the light- and major-industry classes will be cut in half for 2020
    • Delay of new PST registration requirements — The new PST registration requirements on e-commerce and the implementation of PST on sweetened carbonated drinks will be delayed and their timing will be reviewed by September 30
    • BC Emergency Benefit for Workers — Tax-free one-time payment of $1,000 to British Columbians (EI-eligible and non-EI eligible) whose ability to work has been impacted by COVID-19, to be aligned with federal government program
    • Recovery Plan — $1.5 billion allocated to support long-term economic recovery, to be allocated once the pandemic has passed
  • COVID-19 Leave: Changes to Employment Standard Act — Employees who are unable to work due to COVID-19 related reasons are permitted to take unpaid, job-protected leave. This is retroactive to January 27, 2020.
  • BC Essential Services — List of essential services in B.C. during COVID-19 pandemic
  • Opportunity for Suppliers — Call to action: the province is looking for both medical and non-medical products and services to help with the response to COVID1-9
  • Relief for BC Hydro customers — Targeted relief for small businesses that have been forced to close due to COVID-19. Eligible businesses will have their power bills waived from April to June 2020. Applications are expected to open the week of April 13. Major industries will have the opportunity to defer 50% of their payments for 3 months. Additionally, starting April 1, 2020, BC Hydro rates will be reduced by 1%.

Municipal

  • UPDATED Communications and Support Office — List of changes to city services, facilities, and policie
  • Property Tax Deferral — The City of Vancouver has announced it intends to defer property tax payments for 60 days

Health Organizations

Business Resiliency Webinar Series

In this time of unprecedented uncertainty, we want to make sure our Members and the broader business community can find answers to the most pressing questions facing their businesses. Through a series of free webinars, experts will provide guidance and answer questions to help companies navigate their next step.

Upcoming Webinars

 

Past Webinars

 

NEW Adaptive leadership tools that can help individuals and organizations learn during this crisis period.

 

The Honourable Mélanie Joly shares government initiatives to help Greater Vancouver businesses and the pivot to COVID-19 recovery.

 

This webinar with experts from PwC Canada focuses on accessing Federal and Provincial Government incentives and funding programs.

 

This webinar with Deloitte explores how a holistic crisis management response strategy can help your business move confidently from crisis to recovery.

 

Uncertainties inherent a crisis like the current COVID-19 pandemic are having a tremendous impact on employers and employees. Hear about some practical ideas you can put in place to help.

 

Sara Parchello, Partner at Bennett Jones will discuss key human resources issues facing businesses and individuals during this crisis period.

 

KPMG, Partner, Huey Lee's practice involves corporate restructuring and advisory services. He acts across industries where he has led strategic planning, turnarounds, M&A, and formal restructuring proceedings.

 

Leadership Series

Trusted Advice to Manage the Impact of COVID-19

Everyone is seeking trusted sources of information to help navigate the rapidly evolving COVID-19 pandemic. The Greater Vancouver Board of Trade (GVBOT) is bringing together experts to offer practical business advice. Bridgitte Anderson, CEO of the GVBOT sits down with four influential experts in Leadership, Finance, Crisis Communications, and Law to discuss how your organization can prepare, react and lead in uncertain times.

 

Stephen Smart, General Manager Western Canada, Hill + Knowlton Strategies talks transparency, the importance of honest and open communication, maintaining business continuity and more as we explore crisis communications.

 

One of B.C.'s top CEOs, Tamara Vrooman of Vancity, encourages leaders to take steps now as an act of public service. She shares her thoughts on how we can leverage our networks, share plans with each other, point to credible sources, and work together to help stabilize our businesses.

 

Huey Lee, Partner at KPMG Canada walks through how businesses of all sizes can build a financial plan. Organizations should determine their base case, bad case, and worst case to stress test their business. Huey discusses the importance of evaluating cash flow and working capital during this volatile period to help businesses stabilize and re-emerge after the crisis.

 

Duncan McPherson, Partner at Bennett Jones helps unpack legal and contractual obligations. He recommends that companies review their contracts as we anticipate increases in force majeure events. He covers Annual General Meeting regulations, company bylaw revisions, and the impact of COVID-19 on valuations and M&A activity.

 

 

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. Here are some other resources to assist you in your planning.

Government of Canada COVID-19 Information Services

  • Phone: 1-833-784-4397
  • Email: 

GVBOT Office

Out of an abundance of caution and following the guidance of health officials during the COVID-19 situation, we have enacted a work from home policy and our office at Canada Place is closed. While our physical office is closed, we want to continue to serve you. Please call 604-681-2111 to access our staff directory or visit boardoftrade.com/contact for department emails.

Events

We want to continue to connect with you. We are pursuing technological options that will allow us to bring our Members together virtually and provide valuable and relevant information. More will be shared in the coming days -  stay tuned.

In-person events currently planned to take place on or before May 31, 2020, are either on hold or will be rescheduled to a future date. Once approval is received from health officials and authorities we look forward to gathering our Members in person as we have been doing for over a century.

Tickets purchased for events during these dates will be honoured for the rescheduled date. If you would prefer, we are able to offer a full refund. For more information, please contact or 604-640-5474.

Document Certification

We want to support you and facilitate the certification of products. If you require document certification, we will be processing online submissions through eCertify at boardoftrade.com/certification. Our staff is ready and available to walk you through this process. For assistance, please contact: Kelly England, Office Services Email: Phone: 604-640-5489