We are unapologetic for our support of business and the vital role it plays in building and supporting our incredible community.

Now more than ever we encourage the Business Community to take a moment to learn about the many options currently available to support your investment. The programs are extensive, the rules are changing by the hour, and each of us needs to understand what we can apply for and how to receive those benefits.

We are well connected to all levels of Government. Daily contact with our MP, with the Province and of course with our local leaders.

Key Points that you should be aware of:

EI: Rules are ever evolving. Make sure to provide your employees with an ROE as soon as possible should you elect to temporarily cease operations. Waiting periods are for the most part removed and other rules have been relaxed in favour of getting funds to your employees.

* best to understand the rules that will apply. Also know that Chambers of Commerce are advocating for more flexibility in these areas:

Payroll support - currently at 10% of payroll to a maximum of $1325.00 per employee and $25,000. per employer. This program in place for 3 months for all employers eligible for the Small Business Tax Deduction.

Additional FACTS:

  • Your Chambers do not believe that this is adequate and is lobbying hard with government.
  • This program is easy to access via reducing Tax remittances from your monthly Source Deductions. Ensure that your BOOK-KEEPERS are aware of the rules and regulations
  • Note that organizations using Payroll Services - most of those Services including Chamber partner - PAYWORKS will do this automatically for you. There may be an application process that you'll need to confirm within the Payworks site. Also know that you'll be able to access the deductions from past payrolls to the start of the announcement of this program.

This program is available to NFP organizations.

* We will continue to advocate for increased payroll support so that our businesses can maintain current staffing levels.

Work Sharing Program You may not be aware of the Work-Sharing Program that many employers have accessed in the past. With the current crisis the Government has made significant changes to the program including extending the eligibility period. The Government has added Covid-19 to the program eligibility.

Work-Sharing (WS) is an adjustment program designed to help employers and employees avoid layoffs when there is a temporary reduction in the normal level of business activity that is beyond the control of the employer. The measure provides income support to employees eligible for Employment Insurance benefits who work a temporarily reduced work week while their employer recovers. Work-Sharing is a three-party agreement involving employers, employees and Service Canada. 

Income Tax and GST: The Canada Revenue Agency will allow all businesses to defer, until after August 31, 2020, the payment of any income tax amounts that become owing on or after today and before September 2020. This relief would apply to tax balances due, as well as instalments, under Part I of the Income Tax Act. No interest or penalties will accumulate on these amounts during this period. 

The Canada Revenue Agency will not contact any small or medium (SME) businesses to initiate any post assessment GST/HST or Income Tax audits for the next four weeks. For the vast majority of businesses, the Canada Revenue Agency will temporarily suspend audit interaction with taxpayers and representatives.

Canada’s Leading Business Organizations Call on Government to Protect Jobs and Postpone Non-Essential New Measures
(OTTAWA) – March 25, 2020 – Over 60 of Canada’s leading business organizations are calling on governments to support a national effort to protect jobs and to postpone non-essential new measures.
“Canadian businesses are ready and able to step up to overcome the challenge of COVID-19. We will work to ensure that Canadians have the food to feed their families, the fuel to heat our homes and to keep essential services moving, the equipment and facilities to treat the sick and the communications systems that unite us even as we are kept apart from one another.

Can your business help?

Banking in Canada

Canada’s six largest banks – all Canadian Chamber members – have announced a coordinated relief program to ease financial pressures due to the spread of COVID-19. 
Bank of Montreal, CIBC, National Bank of Canada, RBC Royal Bank, Scotiabank and TD Bank customers will be offered “flexible solutions” to get them through economic uncertainties due to COVID-19. COVID-19 relief measures will be offered to personal and small business banking customers and may include longer amortization periods, up to a six-month payment deferral for mortgages and credit card payments. 

Key points in the Provincial Plan that all Businesses in the Province should be aware of:

Tax Remittance Deferrals   
The provincial government is extending tax filing and payment deadlines to September 30th, 2020 to help businesses through this crisis. The deferred taxes will include:  
  • Employee Health Tax (EHT)  
  • Motor Fuel Taxes 
  • Carbon Tax 
  • The scheduled increase of carbon tax has been canceled  
  • Provincial Sales Tax (PST) 
  • Municipal & Regional District Tax 
  • Tobacco Tax 

Property Tax Relief 

Business and light and major industrial property classes will see a 50% cut to provincial school tax, which should result in $500 million in immediate relief for business.   
  • The expectation is business will benefit directly (if they own their own property) or this relief will flow through commercial landlords immediately passing savings on to tenants in triple-net leases 

The Chamber of Commerce in conjunction with the City of Port Alberni and Community Futures Alberni-Clayoquot is conducting an in IN-DEPTH one on one Business Survey. These surveys are being completed by telephone wherever possible. We want to fully understand the impact of Covid-19 on YOUR Business. As this is being conducted we are reviewing the data collected and from there we will help steer available resources to where they are needed most.

We want to talk to you! Please feel free to contact our office most anytime this week should you wish to chat sooner rather than later. Note that these surveys will take some time to complete due to the large number of businesses that we're trying to reach.

Feel free to call us (Bill) at 250.724.6535 or connect via email to: Bill Collette Please provide your phone number.
Small Business BC’s Digital Meet Up on Short Term Funding and Financing for small businesses is Thurs March 26 at 11am. Please join if your schedule permits. Registration link below.
Time: 11:00am – 11:45am
In this digital meetup we speak to Emily Kerr, Vice-President, Business Banking at BMO Bank of Montreal, and Treasurer, Board of Directors at Small Business BC, on your Funding and Financing options during this time. Content covered include:
  1. Current short term financing options
  2. Questions & answers
  3. Opportunity for other small businesses to share ways that they are finding creative solutions during these challenging times.
You can attend the session via Webinar link or phone, which will be sent to you after registration.

Funding Support
Shopify a member of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce has reached out with some innovative and timely solutions that may help your business transition to the new world.

We invite you to look at the options that are currently available.

Gift Cards / Physical and Digital
Funding Support
Online Stores - Free 90 Day Trials
and more....