The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted every aspect of daily life. The Richmond Chamber of Commerce understands that the business community is in need of support and resources to see it through. In this section of our website we will be sharing ongoing updated information with a focus to train, resource and equip our membership and the wider Richmond business community to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. Check in often as this information changes frequently
For the most time-sensitive news and to confirm how these updates may affect you and your business, we urge you to rely on reputable government and public health resources:
Provincial news about COVID-19, as well as tools to keep you, your employees and families healthy. Learn More
Information from the BCCDC, including up-to-date case counts. Learn More
The Government of Canada has launched a new web page to provide Canadian businesses with a one-stop-shop for the resources they need to make informed decisions while navigating the challenges of COVID-19 in an interconnected global economy. Learn More
A compilation of resources to help businesses prepare for and respond to disruptions due to COVID-19. Learn More
The Canadian Chamber of Commerce established the Canadian Business Resilience Network to bring together our vast network of over 450 chambers of commerce and boards of trade, and over 100 of Canada’s leading business and industry associations, including the Business Council of Canada, the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business and Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters, to help the business community prepare, persevere and, ultimately, prosper as we collectively face the COVID-19 pandemic.
Supported by the Government of Canada, the Canadian Business Resilience Network is executing a coordinated, business-led, inclusive campaign with the overarching goals of mitigating the impact of the pandemic on our economy, our communities and our citizens and positioning the business community to help drive Canada’s economic recovery.
Co-Chaired by the City of Richmond’s Mayor Malcolm Brodie and the Chair of the Richmond Chamber of Commerce, Fan Chun, the mandate of the Richmond COVID-19 Community Task Force (RCCTF) is to provide a forum for Richmond community stakeholders, including all levels of government, to regularly connect during the COVID-19 pandemic, to share relevant information and explore collaboration opportunities, both within the Task Force and community-at-large.
The objective of the RCCTF is to facilitate dialogue and information sharing within the Richmond community to support residents & businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic, such as:
The RCCTF will meet each Monday via teleconference, until the pandemic is resolved, as determined by health authorities.
*NEW March 27* Canada Emergency Business Account
The new Canada Emergency Business Account will provide interest-free loans of up to $40,000 to small businesses and not-for-profits, to help cover their operating costs during a period where their revenues have been temporarily reduced.
To qualify, these organizations will need to demonstrate they paid between $50,000 to $1 million in total payroll in 2019.
EDC is working with financial institutions to issue new operating credit and cash flow term loans of up to $6.25 million to SMEs.
BDC is working with financial institutions to co-lend term loans to SMEs for their operational cash flow requirements. Eligible businesses may obtain incremental credit amounts of up to $6.25 million through the program.
How to Access: Contact your financial institution for more information.
Farm Credit Canada’s lending capacity has been increased to provide further support to primary producers, food operations and agribusinesses affected by COVID-19
Western Economic Diversification Canada can help businesses access federal funding to help businesses stay open. They can also provide advice on other federal programs and services. Tourism operators or small- or medium- sized organizations that are impacted by COVID-19 and have received RDA funding may be eligible to receive additional funding and/or flexible arrangements.
Tax flexibility: Businesses can defer paying income tax until September 1, 2020. GST payments, duties, and other remittances can be deferred until June
To support businesses and help prevent layoffs, the government is providing eligible business and non-profits a further wage subsidy for a period of three months. The subsidy will cover 75 per cent of the amount of remuneration paid, up to a maximum benefit off $847 per week per employee retroactive to March 15, 2020. Businesses and not-for-profits can apply through an online CRA portal, which will be available in 3-6 weeks.
The Canada Revenue Agency will allow all businesses to defer, until after August 31, 2020:
The payment of any income tax amounts that become owing on or after today (March 18, 2020) and before September 2020. This relief would apply to tax balances due, as well as instalments, under Part I of the Income Tax Act. No interest or penalties will accumulate on these amounts during this period. This measure will result in businesses having more money available during this period.
The provincial government is extending tax filing and payment deadlines to September 30th, 2020, including:
Additional Provincial Measures:
What: $500 a week, paid out four weeks at a time, for up to a maximum of 16 weeks. Benefits flow two to 10 days after applying. This benefit was created to ease the unprecedented number of people attempting to apply for Employment Insurance. Note: You cannot receive both the CERB and EI for the same period, but you can apply for EI after the CERB runs out.
Eligibility: Workers who live in Canada, are at least 15 years old, have stopped working due to COVID-19, did not voluntarily quit their job, may or may not be eligible for Employment Insurance regular or sickness benefits, had income of at least $5,000 in 2019 or the 12 months leading up to application, expect to be without work for at least 14 consecutive days in the first four-week period.
How to apply:Online beginning April 6. (If you have already applied for EI before March 15, you will be processed through existing EI channels.)
What: Up to a possible $573 a week to those who have lost income or work, whether due to job loss or sickness. Paid out every two weeks, about two to three business days after completing bi-weekly reports. Waiting time now eliminated. Note: You cannot receive both the CERB and EI for the same period, but you can apply for CERB if your EI ends before Oct. 3, 2020.
Eligibility: Workers employed in insurable employment, lost your job through no fault of your own, have been without work for at least seven days in the past 52 weeks, have worked for a required number of insurable employment hours in the past 52 weeks or since start of last EI claim, are ready and capable of working, are actively looking for work.
How to apply:Online. (If you have applied to EI after March 15, you will automatically be channeled through CERB.)
What: One-time, tax-free payment of $1,000 for B.C. residents who are unable to work due to COVID-19.
Eligibility: B.C. residents who are qualified to receive federal Employment Insurance or the CERB.
How to apply:Applications not yet available.
What: A three-month credit applied to your account if either you or your spouse/partner have stopped working due to COVID-19. Only one credit is allowed per household. A credit also being offered to eligible small businesses.
Eligibility: Must be a residential account holder as of March 31, 2020, unable to work and eligible for EI/CERB/B.C. emergency benefit.
How to apply: Applications to open week of April 6.
Other notes: B.C. Hydro also offers a Customer Crisis Fund. Anyone can apply for an up to $600 grant if their account is overdue, as long as their don’t owe more than $1,000 and have at least paid some amount toward the account. The application form is here. B.C. Hydro is also offering no penalty instalment plan payments. Bill deferrals and payment plans are also available for eligible customers.
• New Westminster Electric Utility is offering a three-month credit to customers. Applications to open April 20 at www.newwestcity.ca.
• Fortis B.C. which provides electricity to 165,000 customers in the Okanagan is allowing customers to apply for a three-month deferment on their bills
What: Up to $500 a month, for up to three months, paid directly to landlords.
Eligibility: Tenants with low to moderate incomes who have experienced an income loss or reduction, and do not qualify for existing rental assistance programs. Tenants must be spending in excess of 30% of gross income on housing.
How to apply: Apply via BC Housing.
Other notes: Tenants must apply for the supplement, not landlords. The supplement will be paid directly to landlords.
What: One-time GST credit of about $400 for an individual or about $600 for couples.
Eligibility: Canadian residents who are at least 19 years old OR you have or had a spouse or common-law partner OR you are or were a parent and live or lived with your child. You must have filed a 2018 tax return, as the amount is calculated based on your 2018 return.
How to apply: Benefit is paid out automatically according to your income tax return.
What: One-time boost to the climate action tax credit of about $218 for an individual adult and $64 for an individual child, for low to moderate income families. To be paid out in July 2020.
Eligibility: Canadian residents who are at least 19 years old OR you have or had a spouse or common-law partner OR you are or were a parent and live or lived with your child; you are considered low to moderate income and fall below the net income threshold. You must have filed a 2019 tax return, as the amount is calculated based on your 2019 return.
How to apply: The Canada Revenue Agency will determine eligibility and advise if you’re eligible for the payment, based on your 2019 tax return.
What: Up to an extra $300 per child through the federal Canada Child Benefit for 2019-2020. Paid out as part of the scheduled CCB payment for May 2020.
Eligibility: Must live with a child who is under 18 years old, be the primary caregiver for child, are a resident of Canada, you or your spouse must be a Canadian citizens OR permanent resident OR a protected person OR a temporary resident who has lived here for 18 moths OR an indigenous person.
How to apply: If you are already receiving the CCB, you do not need to re-apply.
ICBC is offering payment plan deferrals for up to 90 days with no penalties.
BC Hydro: The COVID-19 Customer Assistance Program allows customers to defer bill payments or arrange for flexible payment plans with no penalty. Call 1 800 BCHYDRO (1 800 224 9376)
FortisBC is waiving late payment fees and ensuring no customer is disconnected and will discuss flexible payment options.
WorkSafeBC will be allowing employers to defer payment of their Q1 2020 payments by three months.
Pacific Northern Gas is maintaining service for all customers during this time and is available to work with customers on flexible payment options.
Vancity Credit Union will provide emergency working capital, buy back foreign currency at the same rate it was sold (for customers impacted by travel disruption), waive INTERAC e-Transfer and ATM fees until April 30th
Hootsuite is offering free access to their Professional Plan to help small businesses and non-profits stay connected to their customers and audiences.
Uber Eats 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.
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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