March 10, 2020
From the Canadian Chamber of Commerce
In today’s global world, systems are more interconnected than ever. It stands to reason then, if a pandemic strikes in one part of the world, the opportunities for it to spread are that much greater.
Pandemic Preparedness for Business
Should COVID-19 escalate in Canada, some of the things businesses need to plan for include:
- Staff absences due to a number of reasons (personal illness, ill family members, looking after children if schools close, feeling of safety being at home etc.). In some cases employees may themselves elect to stay home; in other circumstances the government may authorize or require them to do so.
- Disruption to essential services like information, telecommunications, financial services, energy supply, and logistics;
- Disruption to supply of necessary materials or contractors;
- A major increase or decrease in demand for products and services;
- Cancellation or disruption of travel and cross-border movement of people and goods;
- Cancellation of public meetings or gatherings like sports events, concerts or religious services;
- Impact on the trade status of Canada, or of our trading partners; and
- Increased public fear that causes citizens to avoid public places, including front line retail and tourist–related attractions, restaurants and leisure businesses.
To help businesses prepare for and manage through a potential COVID-19 escalation in Canada, the Canadian Chamber has developed a brief guide source from a number of best practice documents and designed to assist business planning and continuity efforts. This tool includes links to the some of the most relevant and credible information, best practice tools and resources and can be found here Pandemic Preparedness Guide.
We will continue to update this information on our website so you may want to bookmark this page and visit it often http://www.chamber.ca/resources/pandemic-preparedness/
We also want to hear from you on how prepared you are and what other support you might need, so please take a few minutes to compete our brief (4 min ) survey on business preparedness.
The Public Health Agency of Canada has a useful page of resource including travel advice, updates and printable reference information. Also included is a reference sheet from the World Health Organization for workplaces.
Tools Canadian Chamber members have shared:
Borden, Ladner, Gervais (BLG) LLP issued this article recently.
BDC shared their information for businesses.
Deloitte has a page of useful documents.
Fasken has uploaded information for employers and employees.
Creating a Crisis Plan
A few years ago, Calgary’s downtown flooded. The Calgary Chamber was in the frey of this crisis. Out of bad comes good, and the chamber created an award-winning emergency preparedness kit.
As the chamber says on their website: “Disasters big and small happen without warning, and being unable to provide your products and services to your customers can seriously hurt your business reputation. Having a plan in place before a disruption can make for a more effective response and faster recovery.”
The Canadian Federation of Independent Business has also created a useful resource specially for SMEs and their employees.
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"Participation in the Richmond Chamber of Commerce has proven to be an excellent way to connect with, contribute to, and learn from the Richmond business community. As a young business professional myself, the Chamber of Commerce has directly impacted my growth and success at Novex. This is largely due to the hardworking staff who put on numerous events and are always available to offer their support to members."
Brett Surgenor, Brand Manager - Novex Delivery Solutions