17 Mar Support for B.C. Businesses Affected by COVID-19
In over 2300 responses to the BC Chamber’s COVID-19 Business Impacts Survey, eighty percent of respondents said that their “revenue and deal flow” is dropping – and almost 90% think it will continue to fall.
Business is asking government for three things above all else:
- To work with banks and lending institutions to offer zero-interest loans, load guarantees, or lines of credit
- to be more flexible around timelines for tax remittances;
- to enhance EI access or wage replacement for employees.
In response to the survey feedback, the government of British Columbia is working to remove red tape and get cash flowing to the business community.
In the meantime, some immediate measures have been announced to assist with SME’s liquidity, operational concerns, and business continuity plans.
Resources for Business
These resources are made available to mitigate immediate business costs. Note that restrictions may apply, so kindly defer to each organization’s website for details.
- Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) has resources available including:
- Small Business Loan: Up to $100,000 can be obtained online in as little 48 hours from time of approval.
- Working capital loan: Get extra funds to bridge cash flow gaps and support everyday operations.
- Purchase Order Financing: Increase your cash flow to fulfill domestic or international orders with very flexible terms.
- BDC’s Advisory Services experts are offering tools and support to review your financial management and operations.
- BC Hydro: The COVID-19 Customer Assistance Program provides customers the option to defer bill payments or arrange for flexible payment plans with no penalty. Customers are encouraged to call BC Hydro’s customer team at 1 800 BCHYDRO (1 800 224 9376) to discuss options.
- CMHC is working to address mortgage payment difficulties. They’ve said on twitter that they are collaborating with lenders to allow payment deferral of up to six months.
- Export Development Canada (EDC). In partnership with the federal government and Canadian banks, EDC will ensure customers impacted by COVID-19 have access to credit.
- Employment and Social Development Canada: Several measures are available to assist employees who have been laid off, or are unable to work due to quarantine. This includes: waiving the one-week waiting period for EI sickness benefits, and priority application processing for related claims.
- Uber Eats: The company has created a support package to promote “contactless” delivery from local restaurants, which includes waiving delivery fees, and a daily payout option to assist restaurants with cash flow.
- Work-Sharing Program: Work-
Sharing is a federal government adjustment program designed to help employers and employees avoid layoffs when there is a temporary reduction in the normal level of business activity that is beyond the control of the employer. Temporary special measures have extended the maximum duration of work-sharing agreements from 38 weeks to 76 weeks for businesses affected by COVID-19
- The Federal Government has created a COVID-19 resource page for Canadian businesses
- The Canadian Chamber of Commerce has pandemic preparedness resources and templates.
- The BC government does daily media updates everyday at 3 pm (T-F), which are streamed live by major media.