Lots of good news in this update. I know many of you continue to adjust your business to the current environment and others remain closed and in dire need of support. This week the federal government expanded several programs and this morning announced a new commercial rent assistance program and the BC Government just announced new COVID-19 supports for businesses & local governments. Small Business BC has also launched a support service to help answer questions about all the programs. Here's an overview of what has been announced and links to information to help you.
NEW Commercial Rent Assistance
Today, Prime Minister Trudeau announced a plan to help small businesses pay commercial rents for April, May and June. He said that plan will be worked out with the premiers, as rent issues fall under provincial jurisdiction. More info to follow as details become available.
NEW BC Government Supports
Announced on April 16, the BC Government is taking significant new steps to support BC businesses, non-profits and other organizations through the COVID-19 pandemic by:
The Province is also addressing cash flow and revenue shortfalls by local government with new measures that provide additional support. More Information
- Further reducing the school property tax rate for commercial properties to achieve an average 25% reduction in the total property tax bill for most businesses, providing up to $700 million in relief. This enhances the 50% reduction to the provincial school property tax rate that was originally announced for classes 4, 5, and 6 as part of B.C.'s COVID-19 Action Plan.
- Postponing the date that late payment penalties apply for commercial properties in classes 4,5,6,7 and 8 to Oct. 1, 2020, to give businesses and landlords more time to pay their reduced property tax, without penalty.
EXPANDED Canada Emergency Business Account
The previously announced loan program, which offers businesses up to $40,000 in a government-backed loan, will now be available to businesses with payrolls worth between $20,000 and $1.5 million. Previously, the interest-free loan was for those with payrolls worth between $50,000 and one million. Business owners can apply for support from the Canada Emergency Business Account through their banks and credit unions.
EXPANDED Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)
On April 15, the government announced changes to the eligibility rules to:
- Allow people to earn up to $1,000 per month while collecting the CERB.
- Extend the CERB to seasonal workers who have exhausted their EI regular benefits and are unable to undertake their regular seasonal work because of COVID-19.
- Extend the CERB to workers who have recently exhausted their EI regular benefits and are unable to find a job because of COVID-19. More Information
WAITING The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS)
The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) provides a 75% wage subsidy to eligible employers for up to 12 weeks, retroactive to March 15, 2020. We are still waiting for businesses to be able to access this program.
The CEWS prevents further job losses, encourages employers to re-hire workers previously laid off as a result of COVID-19, and help better position Canadian companies and other employers to more easily resume normal operations following the crisis. More Information
NEW Small Business BC Support Navigating All Programs
Today, Small Business BC has launched a support service to help small businesses in BC navigate all the support programs. This one-stop resource has been created to answer questions about supports available to businesses from the provincial and federal governments, industry and community partners. Advisors are available Monday to Friday, from 8am to 6pm (Pacific time) and Saturday from 10am to 4pm at 1-833-254-4357. Inquiries can also be emailed to email@example.com, or raised on the live-chat feature available at covid.smallbusinessbc.ca.
The Pemberton + District Chamber continues to advocate for you. If you have feedback or want share your experiences please reach out to me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at 604.905.9167.
Pemberton + District Chamber of Commerce