April 16 | 2020
COVID-19 INFORMATION BULLETIN # 7
ON THE LOCAL FRONT
Thursday April 16, 2020
@ 10:00am - 11:00am

KPMG INSIGHTS:
An update on the tax aspects of Government Assistance Programs
Tax issues and implications.
Insights and Q&A

Guest Speaker
Nicole Watson, Senior Manager Tax
KPMG Enterprise, Kelowna

No charge to participate but registration required.
Virtual Town Hall on Tourism
Thursday April 16 @ 1:00pm - 2:30pm

Join a virtual town hall hosted by Tourism Kelowna, where they and other organizations will share information and engage in dialogue on the issues facing the sector and the broader business community in light of COVID-19. Speakers include:
  • Tourism Kelowna President & CEO, Lisanne Ballantyne
  • City of West Kelowna Economic Development & Tourism Manager, John Perrott
  • Downtown Kelowna Association Executive Director, Mark Burley
  • Kelowna Chamber of Commerce Executive Director, Dan Rogers

This is an opportunity to connect with local businesses in the tourism industry and to also learn more about each organization's plans and insights on recovery.
Chamber supports local Mayors Economic Recovery Task Force

The Chamber reacted with strong support following Wednesday's announcement of the new Regional Economic Recovery Task Force. This is a critical step for all our regional businesses to help combat the economic impacts of COVID-19 and ensure we emerge from this crisis with businesses and workforces strong and ready for the challenges that lie ahead.

Having the private sector support the Task Force through the COEDC Advisory Council is important in the view of the Kelowna Chamber. Chamber Past President Nikki Csek represents the Professional Services and Communications Sector on the Council while President Jeffrey Robinson represents the Kelowna Chamber on the Advisory Council.

In addition, the Kelowna Chamber is also working with other chambers throughout the entire Okanagan Valley so as to coordinate efforts, support each community, and help local businesses in the valley to weather this unprecedented storm. More details on that to come next week.
SPECIAL GUEST:
Mayor Colin Basran
Wednesday April 22, 2020 @ Noon
Join us as we shift to online presentation of our Okanagan School of Business Speaker Series. Mayor Basran will join us for a live update on the current state of things as the City works with businesses and citizens through the pandemic closings and orders from the provincial health officer.

The Mayor will also speak to efforts taking place across the City to maintain economic viability – including recent Council directives to temporarily change a number of financial practices. 

There is no charge to participate but preregistration is required.
Proudly presented by
Sanitizer Saturday and Sunday - PART DEUX
On Tuesday we talked about the work of Okanagan Spirits and Forbidden Spirits to produce hand sanitizer and while the story suggested another opportunity to get sanitizer this weekend (April 18 &19) there are some changes to HOW that distribution will occur. The way these two local distillers have stepped up to the plate, converting operations to provide additional hand sanitizer is excellent but the generosity they are displaying must be matched by civil discourse from those interested in accepting their offer.   

If you are interested, you are encouraged to check out their Facebook pages and websites and take note of the following:
Forbidden Spirits
In order to prevent the small challenge that arose last weekend with traffic backups, Forbidden Spirits is taking a different approach this weekend. They are issuing a maximum of 300 online tickets through their online store . If you do not have a valid online ticket, you are unable to receive sanitizer at the distillery.

The great part of this (aside from the fact it will ensure no traffic jams) is that each ticket costs just $5.00 and 100% of the proceeds will go to the Kelowna Food Bank! The tickets have no cash value. Limit of 1 litre per person and/or per vehicle. All bottles must be clean. No walk-ups allowed
Okanagan Spirits
You can also take part in the fight to battle COVID-19 by supporting Okanagan Spirit’s "Harness your Superhero Initiative" or their "Superhero Sidekick Initiative".  Both initiatives are ways for the public to pay it forward by supporting an initiative that directly gets more sanitizer to essential frontline medical professionals free of charge but it also gets participants their own personal bottle of sanitizer as a gift.

Your options include:
1.    Be a Superhero : Every full-size Gin, Whisky, Vodka, Liqueur you purchase allows Okanagan Spirits to produce and donate 4 more bottles on your behalf and you receive 1 free bottle of sanitizer.

2.    Be a Superhero Sidekick : Every $10 you donate allows Okanagan Spirits to produce and donate 1 bottle of sanitizer on your behalf and for your donation to the fight against COVID-19 you receive 1 free bottle of sanitizer.
Local company has access to PPE at cost
We are pleased to advise that Nightingale Patient Care Advocacy, a proud Kelowna Chamber member, has access to PPE (personal protective equipment) that companies can purchase at cost recovery only

Nightingale is aware that a lot of private sector businesses (like private care homes, private nurses) have poor access at this time in obtaining PPE as most online and supply companies are completely out and back-ordered for weeks.  Nightingale is working closely with a Canadian rep and their goal is to give access to companies in Canada to protect their staff and patients.  Turnaround for products once ordered is approximately two weeks.  To learn more contact Nightingale via their website at www.nightingalepca.com
Business security needs to be a priority
As business owners adjust to having employees work from home, reduce hours, or close the office for a short period because of COVID-19, vacant offices, buildings and streets can increase the risk of property-related crime. The City of Kelowna would like to share some crime prevention tips for businesses, including information about who to call when you see suspicious activities. LEARN MORE
ON THE FEDERAL FRONT
Special Message from MP Tracy Gray
COVID-19 is dramatically affecting each of our lives and I wish you health and strength as we work together to get through this. I am hearing from small business owners about how they either do not meet the requirements for any of the government’s announced programs, or the lengthy implementation of programs may be too late for them.

Government needs to act quickly so small business owners don’t lose their life’s work and savings. Future employment opportunities are lost if many businesses cannot survive.
In Shadow Cabinet and as a Caucus, we are continually discussing input we are getting from business owners and making recommendations, many of which have been implemented. Here are some of the recent recommendations we as the Official Opposition have made to government:
  • Refund small businesses the GST they paid for the last year to put cash flow immediately in business owners hands.

  • Lifting the $40,000 cap on CERB that banks and credit unions are delivering so businesses can borrow to get the cash needed now and pay CRA back once they deposit the wage subsidy.

  • Amend the various qualifying rules for programs, and allow flexibility for people who want to work part time.

  • Declare the Agriculture Sector as Critical Infrastructure.

  • Scrap planned tax hikes (this includes the Excise Tax, on items like liquor).

I welcome your suggestions and comments, email: tracy.gray@parl.gc.ca
Federal Government Expands CERB Qualification Criteria  
The Government of Canada announced, today, that more Canadians will now qualify for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB).

In addition to those who already qualified, the CERB is expanding to include people who:
  • earn up to $1,000 per month;
  • are seasonal workers;
  • have recently had their EI run out.

The changes are retroactive to March 15. LEARN MORE
Act Now: Participate In The Canadian Survey On Business Conditions
The deadline for participation has been extended to this Friday, April 17. Just a few minutes of your time will help shape the national public policies needed to facilitate Canada’s COVID-19 recovery efforts.
The Business of Business: A Conversation with Rick Hansen
In the latest edition of the Business of Business, Hon. Perrin Beatty, Canadian Chamber President and CEO, has a conversation with Rick Hansen, Founder of the Rick Hansen Foundation. They discuss the challenges COVID-19 poses for persons with disabilities and what employers can do to accommodate their needs, as well as how we can all deal with adversity. To watch the interview CLICK HERE

For helpful resources for people with disabilities during COVID-19 from the Rick Hansen Foundation CLICK HERE

We want to hear from you

  • If you have an idea or concern you would like government to address please send us a note via the Chamber's ONLINE PORTAL

  • If you are aware of a colleague, customer or business going above and beyond during these challenging times, let us know via EMAIL as we’d love to share the news.
Need to add someone else in your organization to our mailing list? Drop us a line!