The COVID-19 situation is serious and constantly changing. The following information attempts to provide a resource to find pertinent information as it becomes available and updated. Check back regularly for additional information.

Governemnt Support Programs

Government of Canada

Canada's COVID-19 Economic Response Plan

This is a one-stop portal to all of the Government of Canada's Support programs for businesses, individuals and communities, including Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA), Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) and Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy.

Government of British Columbia

Stronger BC

This one-stop portal links to all British Columbia recovery programs for Supporting Businesses, Getting People Back to Work, Stronger Communities and Better Health Care. The Business portal includes programs such as Small and Medium Sized Business Recovery Grant and the Buy Local Portal.

These two portals are where updates to existing programs and new programs will be posted.

Advocacy Efforts

CECRA Advocacy Campaign

BIABC supported letter writing campaign to have the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance program be expanded to include direct benefit to tenants and to reduce the eligibility threshold. Currently only landlords can apply for assistance. This is a campaign spearheaded by IDA Canada. BIABC's letter is available below. Please feel free to use it as a template for your own letters to your MP and the Prime Minister and cabinet members who are overseeing COVID-19 business recovery efforts.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau:
The Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Finance:
The Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade:
The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development:
The Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities:
The Honourable Melanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage:
The Honourable Maryann Monsef, Minister of International Development: 

Save Small Business

Save Small Business - focuses on 3 key items: Pause Rent April 1; Keep Staff Together; Defer Debt Obligations

BIABC Letter to Canada and BC re: Commercial Rent Relief, Economic Recovery Task Force and more

Vancouver Partnership Letter to Canada and BC re: Coomercial Rent Relief and more

BIABC Letter to Premier Horgan with 8 clear requests for small business support

BIABC Letter to Mike Farnworth: re: Commercial Property and Police Safety

Two Reports Showing the Impact of COVID-19 on Small Business

Insights West - Impact of COVID-19 on Small Business in BC - 31% say they are not sure if they will survive the pandemic

BC Chamber of Commerce, Greater Vancouver Board of Trade and Business Council of BC - decreased sales volume, staff layoffs and more

CORUS Survey - Impact of COVID-19 on Canadian Consumers

April 27 - Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy application portal opens

April 24 - New details on the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA)

April 17 - Additional Supports to Small and Medium Size Businesses

April 16 - Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance and Expanded Canada Emergency Business Account accessibility

April 15 - Expanded access to Canada Emergency Response Benefit

April 8 - More refinements to the Canada Wage Subsidy, increasing eligibility

April 8 - Canada Summer Jobs changes - 100% subsidy and longer employment terms

April 1 - BC Hydro Relief for small businesses

April 1 - New Details on Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy for businesses

April 1 - New Details on Canada Emergency Response Benefit for individuals

March 30 - 75% Wage Subsidy, some new details. Today, more details were announced verbally about the wage subsidy. Eligible organizations include businesses, non-profits and charities that have face a loss of 30% in revenues. Number of employees is not a criterion. The subsidy covers 75% of the first $58,700 of a salary. This equates to $847 per week for the employee. It was confirmed that the subsidy will be back-dated to March 15. No information from CRA has been released on how to access the subsidy.

March 27 - Trudeau announces new and revised supports for small business, including 75% wage subsidy

March 26 - Emergency Measures Act – Ministerial Orders to secure supply chain and other protections -

WorkSafeBC Return to Safety and Other Relaunch Readiness Guides

Below are links to WorkSafeBC guidelines on returning to safe operations as well as a series of industry guidelines for business oeprations.

Tourism and Hospitality




The Retail Council of Canada has developed a series of playbooks for relaunching retail spaces. Check here regularly for additional resources.

General Workplace

Safe Six Checklist

BIABC Member Meetings and Webinars

1st Meeting - General Impacts on BIAs and Their Members

2nd Member Meeting - Virtual AGMs with Mary Childs

Please note that this meeting was recorded but it is not loding on to the website. The PDF below was provided by Mary Childs.

3rd Member Meeting - BC's Restart Plan

Held on May 12, this meeting had members sharing restart plans in their areas. Key ideas revolved around the difference between businesses in restart and those still in rescue mode; what BIAs and municipalities are doing to instill concumer confidence (seals of approval, collateral pieces, checklists of safety measures undertaken, symtoms warnings, etc), municipal regulations regarding patios and liquor consumption in parks and other open areas, supplies, etc. View the meeting here

Digital Main Street - E-commerce 1010

Economic Information

Province of BC

COVID-19 BC – one stop resource for all things medical, economic, education, child care, transportation, etc.

COVID-19 Action Plan – a compilation of provincial supports for businesses and employees 

COVID-19 Action Plan Fact Sheet - more details on the items in the Action Plan

Changes to Employment Standards Act - see how they impact your business

BC List of Essential Services - see a list of health and other essential services

Support for Renters and Landlords - programs to assist with maintaining a viable housing economy

Small Business BC - up-to-date announcements from the BC gGovernment and other sources, as well as how to manuals

Government of Canada

Canada's Economic Response Plan - including supports for businesses and employees

Call for Suppliers for Essential Goods - can your business help with shortages of any of the essential goods needed in the pandemic?

Canada Emergency Response Benefit application portal - go here to apply for the CERB - no need to apply if you applied for EI after March 15

Emergency Response Benefit for Individuals - support for furloughed or laid off employees, the self-employed, etc.

CRA Wage Subsidy - OUT OF DATE - SEE ANNOUNCEMENTS MARCH 27 AND APRIL 8 - determine if your business qualifies for the wage subsidy

Resources for Canadian Businesses - including supports for employees and businesses, travel and meetings, and international business

VideoTax Explains the Economic Response Plan - don't have an accountant, here is a summary of some of the important components of the Economic Response Plan

Canadian Fraud Centre COVID-19-releated Frauds - a list of current frauds using the COVID-19 pandemic as the basis 



Business Development Bank of Canada Relief Measures - for Canadian entrepreneurs

Business Development Bank of Canada Business Credit Availability - information on working capital loans, reduced rate loans, etc.

BC Economic Development Association Resources for BC Businesses – a one-stop resource for businesses in multiple industries

Health Information

Province of British Columbia

BC Centre for Disease Control

Support App and Assessment Tool - available at Apple Store and Google Play

Commercial Property Safety

Three resources with practical tips for commercial property owners and businesses.

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