September 17 | 2020
Concern over Expected New PHO for Bars, Nightclubs, Restaurants & Banquet Halls
On Sept 8 the Province announced several rigorous new restrictions aimed at curbing the spread of COVID-19. At the time of publication, no Order had been issued, only oral guidelines. The move has sparked concern among many members of the Chamber and has certainly gotten the attention of BC’s Alliance of Beverage Licensees (ABLE BC). As of last week, nightclubs and stand-alone banquet halls were ordered closed indefinitely, restaurants were advised that the sale of liquor must end at 10 pm and all venues were advised to reduce the volume of music or other sources to conversational levels to lower the spread of airborne droplets.  

ABLE BC and members of the Business Technical Advisory Panel (BTAP) sent an urgent letter to the Province expressing significant concerns about certain aspects of the public order, particularly in relation to ending liquor service at 10 PM unless accompanied by full food service. The industry group has suggested that government consider: 
  • Extending the end of liquor service from 10 PM until midnight. 
  • Greater enforcement of non-compliant venues and customers, targeting the problem areas directly rather than unfairly affecting complying operators. 
  • Provide transparent timelines and/or public health targets so businesses can gauge the long-term effect of any restrictions 

We understand discussions with the government are ongoing and we will advise you as soon as more information becomes available.  We support a safe environment, and clarity of guidelines. If you have some thoughts on this issue you can use our online member policy portal below:
BC Chamber Calls for More Direct Commercial Rent Support for Business Operators
Last week, the Government of Canada announced that Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) for small businesses will be extended by one additional month to help eligible small businesses pay rent for September as the government explores options to support small businesses going forward.

Your BC & Canadian Chambers have urged the Government to again reconsider extending the support, and including a delivery mechanism that is more direct to small business operators. Last week, the BC Chamber submitted a letter to Finance Minister Freeland, calling for commercial rent support that provides relief directly to small business operators. We will continue to keep you informed as policy efforts take place.
Record 2019 Sales for BC Food and Beverage Processors
Record 2019 sales, along with the resilience and innovation of BC food and beverage processors, are providing a blueprint for the sector’s economic recovery from COVID-19. Food and beverage processors play a key role in BC’s food system and overall economy. In 2019, sales were up $700 million to a record $10.5 billion. Areas of growth included a $300-million increase in meat and poultry sales, along with a $295-million increase in dairy sales and a $137-million increase in winery sales. 2019 also set a record for BC exports with $4.7 billion in sales of agricultural, seafood and food and beverage products to 152 different international markets.
BC Announces Funding for Hospitality Training, Delivered by Okanagan College
Up to 40 eligible British Columbians will be able to tap into a unique online training program at Okanagan College and gain work experience to prepare them for jobs in the industry, thanks to more than $611,000 in funding from the provincial government. Through this enhanced industry skills training, participants will get prepared to work in a variety of positions in the tourism sector, enabling them to grow their careers in the industry while supporting a more skilled and resilient tourism workforce.
Flights at YLW Resume, Extended Safety Measures Set Out
Throughout the pandemic, flights have been halted all over the world. As recovery continues, and flights at YLW take off once more, the airport is doubling down its existing safety measures and implementing new ones to safeguard your health so you can travel safely. As we slowly take back to the skies, learn more about what YLW is doing to keep you safe, and understand how to navigate the new normal at the airport.
City Reopening Parkinson Recreation Centre To Members This Week
The Parkinson Recreation Centre (PRC) pool has reopened to facility and aquatic members as of Wednesday, September 16. Members are asked to pre-book a time slot online to use the pool starting this week. Forty-five-minute time slots for members to book public swim time are available online The pool is available only to members at this time though new memberships are being accepted. 

The pool will be open limited hours:

·        Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 6:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
·        Tuesday and Thursday from 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
·        Weekends from 8:00 a.m. – 11:45 a.m., except during designated cleaning and program times.
Feel-Good News: Opera Kelowna Serenades Residents with Joy from the Sidewalk
Mezzo Soprano Stephanie Tritchew launches Opera Kelowna's Sidewalk Serenades program on April 24, 2020.
In May, Opera Kelowna made the difficult decision to postpone their planned mainstage production of Così fan tutte and their Summer Intensive Training Program until the summer of 2021. As have other arts groups, they have also also seen their corporate sponsorship negatively impacted by the economic uncertainty of the past few months.  
In response to COVID-19 and in service to their community, Opera Kelowna created "Sidewalk Serenades" to offer the joy of music to residents at seniors communal housing and care facilities by singing from the sidewalk to maintain safe physical distancing. Since April, Opera Kelowna singers have volunteered their talents performing over 20 serenades for hundreds of seniors living in West Kelowna, Kelowna, Vernon and Lake Country. They plan to continue this initiative along with a return to regular programming, and seek the support of sponsors to work with them to bring music, safely, to seniors in the Okanagan Valley.
Government Announces Targeted Support for Black Entrepreneurs & Business Owners
Last week, the government announced up to nearly $221 million in support for Black entrepreneurs and business owners, in partnership with Canadian financial institutions. One of the goals is to launch Canada’s first-ever Black Entrepreneurship Program. We, along with the Canadian Chamber and our fellow Chambers, applaud the announcement as it aligns with our core values, as well as our views on the importance of an inclusive recovery that leaves no opportunity for growth left un-pursued.
Recording: Presentation, Q&A With Tiff Macklem, Governor of The Bank of Canada 
Last week, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce hosted the Governor of the Bank of Canada, Tiff Macklem, for the Bank of Canada’s Economic Progress Report. Governor Macklem discussed the September interest rate decision and explained how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting different sectors and people in the economy. You can now watch the event via YouTube. 
APPLY NOW: Canada United Small Business Relief Fund Offers up to $5,000 in Grants
Local businesses from all over Canada can now apply for a Canada United Relief Grant of up to $5,000. The Canada United Small Business Relief Fund is being managed by the Ontario Chamber of Commerce on behalf of the national Chamber network in support of other chambers and partners to help small Canadian businesses with their recovery efforts as a result of COVID-19.

If awarded, a relief grant may be used to purchase Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), renovate physical space to adhere to local, Provincial or Federal reopening guidelines, or develop/improve e-commerce capabilities for your business.
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