March 18 | 2020

We're aware that there is a lot of information coming your way. We want to ensure you get what you need in the manner that makes the most sense and that's why we are taking the following steps:
  1. Introducing a new weekly communication that will come your way every Wednesday afternoon until we get through the current crisis.
  2. We will limit the content and links to only those that we believe are critical for you to know.
  3. We encourage you all as leaders in our community and region to share this information with your teams and others you believe would see value in it.
  4. Feel free to cut and paste any information you see into communications you are sending out.

BTW: if you are buying - buy local and hey, no panic buying, our supply lines are in good order.

Thanks from your Chamber team.
Federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau today unveiled the “first phase” of Canada’s “Economic Response Plan” – which includes $27B in direct support and aid to Canadians and $55B in tax deferrals.
The federal package includes a number of desired-actions Chamber members in BC flagged in the BC Chamber network-wide COVID-19 Business Impact Survey, the results of which were shared with both the federal and provincial government, including:

  • A payroll subsidy equal to 10% of remuneration paid during a 3 month period for companies with payrolls under $1 million

  • Liquidity measures for business that will be available through banks, other financial institutions as well as BDC and EDC

  • An emergency support benefit for those who lose their jobs and don't qualify for EI (this includes self-employed workers who have to close up shop)

  • Extending the tax filing deadline to June 1

  • Allowing taxpayers to defer tax payments until after August 31 (for amounts that are due after today and before September)

  • Temporarily boosting of the Canada Child Benefit payments, delivering about $2 billion in extra support.

Of note in today’s federal announcement is the new “Emergency Care Benefit” which offers up to $900 biweekly (for up to 15 weeks) to provide income support to workers who have to stay home and don't have access to paid sick leave. The measure could disburse up to $10 billion. Also of note is a six-month, interest-free reprieve on student loan payments. 
We are working with other Chambers in BC and will be reaching out to economic development professionals in the region to ensure your voice is heard at the local level.
We believe there is a lot local governments could consider in developing a local economic stability plan and potentially a short term stimulus package.

The suggestions being made to local governments across the province that are worth considering include:
  1. Re-examine municipal budgets to lessen the short term tax burden.
  2. Explore innovative ways to support small business whether it's providing for free parking in urban centres or acting to ensure there are no penalties if payment of property taxes is late.
  3. Consider working with the business community to establish promotional programs to highlight those businesses that are still trying to function.

In the coming days your Chamber will be encouraging greater cooperation and collaboration among those helping drive our local economy.

In the meantime, if you have an idea or concern you would like government to address please send us a note via the Chamber's ONLINE PORTAL

We will ensure your suggestion or challenge is passed onto the appropriate level of government.
Try the Love Local Bingo Card

There is still plenty of economic activity in the city and region so where you can help keep it going. Thanks to COEDC's Okanagan Young Professionals Collective (way to go Tory) who created #LocalLove Bingo to help support local businesses and stay connected.

We have adopted a new policy at the Kelowna Chamber (see image below) that will guide us in the new norm including:
  • Requiring social spacing at all times.
  • Enhancing cleaning at all levels at the Chamber and at our host venues.
  • Making mandatory the requirement to stay home if feeling ill.
  • Requesting all those who travel outside the country (or who have just returned) to self isolate for two weeks before attending a meeting or participating in a program (aside from online).
  • Shift to online programming ASAP so as to continue to provide valuable advice and information to our members.
Need to add someone else in your organization to our mailing list? Drop us a line!