April 8 | 2020
Chamber applauds City of Kelowna move to defer penalty for late payment of property taxes

The City of Kelowna’s move to temporarily defer the late payment penalties on property taxes was one of several financial changes that were recommended to city council this week. The report to Council that was given the green light included:

  • A delay of the 10% late penalty to September 1 for all property owners.

  • Encouragement to those who are able to pay their property taxes to do so by July 2 so as to ensure the City has the cash flow to continue to provide essential services to the community.

  • Waiving interest charges on utility bills and accounts receivable accounts until Sept. 1.

The Chamber has urged all levels of government to be aware that while deferral of some payments is a good step, there is also a need to phase in when those deferrals have to be paid so there isn’t a massive bill faced by businesses just as they are starting to recover.

The Chamber is encouraging all three levels of government to coordinate their response strategies and deadlines for repayment of financial assistance to avoid this scenario.
Nurses inspire nurses: OC health care students step up during time of crisis
The community needs us , it’s statement that has become the rallying cry for a class of Okanagan College practical nursing students who are weeks away from completing their studies and joining their teachers on the front line. Jodi Kemp is one of those students who is stepping up in a big way to support her community, her profession and the nurses she is training alongside at Kelowna General Hospital this month.
The Kamloops native is on track to step out into the workforce soon as an LPN, although COVID-19 threatened to put that dream on pause last month. In mid-March, Kemp and her LPN classmates learned that the College was faced with having to postpone the final stage of their practical training – out of concern for their safety when COVID-19 popped up in the region. The students made an impassioned plea to instructors to allow them to continue their training without disruption.   READ MORE
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Today we learned of several important changes to the wage subsidy program that will help more businesses access funding: 

  • Businesses can start applying for interest-free loans on April 9. Applications are available through local financial institutions. Check with your bank or credit union! 25% of this loan is forgivable is paid by by December. 

  • A business will now be able to compare its revenue to the same month last year OR an average of January and February 2020. This will help new and growing firms who may not have qualified based on a comparison to the same month in 2019. 

  • A business needs only to demonstrate a 15% reduction in gross revenues for March. A 30% reduction will still be required to receive the subsidy in April and May. 

  • The program will now allow businesses to use either accrual or cash accounting methods. 

  • Employer paid Employment Insurance (EI), Canada Pension Plan (CPP), Quebec Pension Plan (QPP) and Quebec Parental Insurance Plan premiums will be reimbursed. 

  • Registered charities and not-for-profit organizations are eligible employers to apply for the wage subsidy. They also have the choice of whether or not to include government funding in their revenue calculations.

While these are positive changes, the Canadian Chamber continues to focus on the importance of getting funds to businesses in days, not weeks.
Your Voice Matters - Canadian Chamber teams up with Stats Can

You are invited to participate in the Canadian Survey on Business Conditions (CSBC), conducted by Statistics Canada in collaboration with the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. As COVID-19 continues to disrupt economies around the world, it is essential to have current data to make informed decisions in the weeks and months ahead.

The Canadian Chamber recognizes the importance of provincial data that we are collecting through MindReader.com, but notes that there is need for a comprehensive national data strategy.

As a member of the Canadian Chamber network, your participation is invaluable to map a way forward for a strong and speedy recovery after the crisis. This survey is conducted under the authority of the Statistics Act, which ensures that the information you provide will be kept confidential, and used only for statistical and research purposes.
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