August 13 | 2020
Reminder: Applications for Temporary Layoff Extensions Close August 25th
While there are signs of increased economic activity in many sectors, some employers are not yet able to recall their workers. To extend a “COVID-19 emergency layoff” beyond August 30, the province has set up an online portal where employers and workers can apply jointly to the Employment Standards Branch for a further temporary layoff variance.

Without this variance, the employment relationship will be permanently severed as of August 30, and eligible employees must be provided any severance they are owed as a result of termination. Applications must be received by the August 25 deadline to be considered.

The BC Chamber continues to be concerned that this application process may be overly burdensome for businesses and so if you are challenged with this new approach and the requirements of the application, please EMAIL US. We appreciate any and all feedback.
New Public Health Order Revision for Gatherings and Events
Revised on August 7, the updated public health order for gatherings and events replaces that from July 27th and applies to persons who organize or attend events at vacation accommodation or other places. Please review the public order to understand the conditions that must be met when hosting events at or outside your premises.
Financing Resources & Business Incentives for Central Okanagan Businesses
The Central Okanagan Economic Development Commission (COEDC) has put together a list of the most up to date financial resources available to you as a local business. Whether you already own or operate a business in the Central Okanagan, or plan to do so in the future, this publication is for you. This guide outlines funding available across a multitude of industries, and will provide you with a contact source for grants and funding when doing business in the Central Okanagan.
Excise Taxes on Alcohol, Escalator Clause Stir Up Wineries, Distilleries in Okanagan
A campaign has launched in the North Okanagan by the Craft Distillers of BC to seek parity with the US on excise taxes on distilled spirits – a position they have long espoused, saying lower taxes would grow jobs and the economy. At the same time, the Canadian Government reached an agreement with the World Trade Organization over the challenge from Australia that Canada had an unfair advantage over imported wines by restricting the display and sale of BC wines through grocery stores and the VQA labels. While this issue was partially resolved last year through wider display Australia kept up the pressure, and Canada reached a partial agreement on July 20.
Chamber Board Hosts Distanced Strategy Planning Session at Kelowna Ramada
There's nothing like strategic planning in the age of COVID-19. Thank goodness the Chamber team found a room and location ready, willing, and able to host the board while following all health and safety protocols. 

A big thank you to the team at the Ramada Hotel and Conference Centre for hosting the day-long retreat for the Chamber Board as it begins to set priorities for 2021-2023.  The layout, food, and service was excellent. Accommodating our technical needs (some participated online) was also much appreciated.
Tourism Kelowna Provides Relief Program for Local Tourism Businesses
Due to the devastating effects the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the tourism industry and our local economy, Tourism Kelowna has launched a Relief Advertising Program for all tourism-related businesses which are not currently stakeholders of the organization. The opportunity consists of advertising on their website with one online listing for a period of 12 months at a nominal fee of $5. The listing includes: Business name and contact information, company logo, up to 10 images, description of up to 150 words, social media handles, locator on map.
Businesses will be able to modify their own information directly as often as needed. 
Canadian Chamber of Commerce Submits 2021 Pre-Budget Recommendations
As the federal government prepares its 2021 budget and looks for new ideas on how to drive the economy forward, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce has made their submission to the Standing Committee on Finance for its 2021 budget consultations.

Their Roadmap to Recovery forms the foundation of their submission, which makes 33 specific recommendations to promote private sector economic growth and competitiveness.
Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy Expanded Program: Applications Open Next Week
If you are a Canadian employer who has seen a drop in revenue due to COVID-19, you now may be eligible for a subsidy to cover part of your employee wages as part of revised changes made to the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS). The adjusted program introduces a sliding scale for subsidy amounts available to the employer, dependent on how much your revenue has dropped.

The new applications for claim period of July 5 - August 1 will open on August 17th under revised changes to the program that expand eligibility for employers.
Important Update: Hand Sanitizer Recall Expanded
A recall that was first initiated in June has again been expanded and now includes more than 40 products. The recalled hand sanitizers are made with ethanol or denaturants that are not acceptable ingredients for use in hand sanitizers in Canada. Please check the list to ensure you are not using a recalled product. 
Webinar Recordings: The Canadian Chamber of Commerce, The Business of Business
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and their Canadian Business Resiliency Network have put together a series of webinars with business leaders from across the country exploring industries and their vast expertise on how we can all get through to better days, together.
5 Minutes For Business: The Costs Of Complacency
It is hard not to see how complacency played a role in our collective pandemic prevention and preparedness. In this edition of 5 Minutes for Business, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce takes a look at this core issue, and how we can overcome economic complacency. 
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