A Message from BCHA President & CEO Ingrid Jarrett
Dear Accommodation Industry,

Over the past week, our industry has been reeling from 'Circuit Breaker' restrictions announced on March 30th, 2021.  Literally thousands of room nights, and hundreds of restaurants in hotels have closed other than take out and patio dining. Since the amended Public Health Order was announced, the BCHA and our industry colleagues have been advocating tirelessly on your behalf to ensure impacted businesses receive the support they so desperately need.

We are delighted to share that this afternoon, Minister of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation, the Honourable Ravi Kahlon, announced that the BC government will provide more than $50 million to support the 14,000+ businesses across the province affected by last week's PHO.

This new Circuit Breaker Business Relief Grant will provide eligible businesses with up to $10,000 in one-time funding to help with expenses like rent, insurance, employee wages, maintenance and utilities. The grant can also help cover unexpected costs that resulted from the restrictions, such as the purchase of perishable goods.

The Circuit Breaker Business Relief Grant is open to eligible businesses of any size that have been in operation since Feb. 1, 2021. Applications are expected to open the week of April 12, 2021, and will close on June 4, 2021, or until the funds are dispersed. Please note, the individual amount a business receives will be based on the number of employees.

We have been assured that this will be a streamlined application process, and as always, we will be available to offer support and answer any questions throughout the process. Please see below for further information on the grant and to view the news release.

It is important to note that the $50 million for the Circuit Breaker Business Relief Grant has been set aside from the $345-million Small and Medium Sized Business Recovery Grant program. If you have not done so already, it is critical that you apply for the Small and Medium Sized Business Recovery Grant even if you are not sure that you qualify. Our industry's access to future funding and relief relies on your participation. If you have you any questions surrounding the application process please connect with a member of our team.

This has been a devastating and challenging year for our industry but advocacy wins such as this show that we are being listened too. On behalf of the British Columbia Hotel Association, I extend my sincere thanks to Minister Kahlon, Minister Mark, and Premier Horgan for actioning this relief so quickly.

We have a long journey towards our industry's recovery but this funding will be an important step in that process.

Stay Safe,

Ingrid Jarrett
President and CEO
British Columbia Hotel Association
Today's update includes:

  • Circuit Breaker Business Relief Grant
  • BC Meetings & Events Industry Letter Writing Campaign 
  • Applications Now Open | BC PST Rebate on Select Machinery and Equipment and the Increased Employment Incentive Programs
  • ABLE BC: Liquor and Food Primaries can Sell Growlers with Takeaway and Delivery Meals
  • BC Chamber of Commerce: Pulse Check Survey
  • New Mental Health Resources for Sectors Hit Hard by Pandemic 
  • Tell Us Your Story
  • go2HR Board Nominations
  • STR Launches Forward STAR in North America | Participation is FREE
  • In the News
  • Mark Your Calendars
  • BC Chamber of Commerce 2021 Virtual AGM and Conference
For any questions please reach out to our team. 
Circuit Breaker Business Relief Grant
The Circuit Breaker Business Relief Grant provides fully funded grants to hospitality and fitness businesses impacted by the March 30, 2021 Provincial Health Officer (PHO) orders.

Impacted businesses will be eligible to receive between $1,000 and $10,000 in grant funding.

  • The majority of eligible businesses will receive a grant of $5,000
  • To be eligible, a business is required to:
  • confirm it has been affected by the recent provincial health orders
  • provide electronic banking information
  • confirm that is registered as a BC business
  • produce a business validation document, such as a business license, liquor license, notice of assessment or lease agreement
  • confirm majority ownership and operations and payment of taxes in BC
  • Applications are expected to open the week of April 12, 2021, and will close on June 4, 2021, or until the funds are dispersed
  • Businesses that have received, or are in the application process for the Small and Medium Sized Business Recovery Grant, will be contacted about applying for the Circuit Breaker Business Relief Grant

To register to receive an email notification when applications open, businesses can visit: www.gov.bc.ca/business-relief
Urgent Support Needed | BC Meetings & Events Industry Letter Writing Campaign
The BC meetings and events industry urgently needs your voice to communicate critical needs to government.
The BC Meetings & Events Industry Working Group, asks that you take a few minutes to submit a pre-written letter to your local MLA. Simply follow the two steps outlined here to submit your letter, which will take no more than 2 to 3 minutes.
Critical support is needed to support the survival of businesses across British Columbia. We are asking that the provincial government address and action the below priorities: 
1)    Acknowledge and provide feedback on the BC Meetings and Events Safe Restart Plan Proposal. 
2)    Announce plans for how we can restart, Including potential dates for indoor and outdoor business events as many other jurisdictions have.  
3)    Implement easily accessible liquidity measures to ensure BC’s businesses make it through to the other side of the pandemic. 
While the BC Meetings & Events Industry Working Group has been diligent in getting this message to government, there is power in numbers and we need to lean on our industry to amplify these critical asks. 
Applications Now Open | BC PST Rebate on Select Machinery and Equipment and the Increased Employment Incentive Programs
As part of B.C.’s Economic Recovery Plan, the Ministry of Finance has opened applications for two new programs to help corporations recover from the financial impacts of COVID-19. 
  • The B.C. Increased Employment Incentive is a one-time refundable tax credit for employers which encouraged the creation of new jobs for B.C. workers or increases in payroll for existing low- or middle-income employees in the last quarter ending December 31, 2020.­­­ The tax credit is calculated at 15% of the amount that the employer’s eligible remuneration for the last quarter ending December 31, 2020 exceeds the employer’s eligible remuneration for the quarter ending September 30, 2020. For more information, including eligibility requirements and access to the application, visit gov.bc.ca/employertaxcredit

  • The B.C. PST Rebate on Select Machinery and Equipment is a temporary provincial sales tax (PST) program that acts like a refund but is separate from the existing PST Refund process. Under this temporary program, corporations can apply to receive an amount equal to the PST they paid between September 17, 2020 and September 30, 2021 on qualifying machinery and equipment. For more information, including eligibility requirements and access to the application, visit gov.bc.ca/corporatePSTrebate
We greatly encourage all those who are eligible to apply.
ABLE BC: Liquor and Food Primaries Can Sell Growlers with Takeaway and Delivery Meals
Yesterday, government announced additional support for the hospitality industry: Liquor and Food Primary licensees can package draught beer in growlers for sale to patrons with the purchase of a meal for offsite consumption until June 6, 2021.
This temporary authorization was made available earlier in the pandemic, when the Provincial Health Officer's orders prohibited on-site service. It was rescinded on July 13, 2020, after on-site serve was resumed.
With the new PHO restrictions prohibiting indoor service until at least April 19, 2021, with the possibility of extensions, we wanted to ensure you have the opportunity to sell perishable draft beer.
This policy change will provide licensees with an opportunity to sell draught beer that would otherwise be at risk of spoiling. It will also help mitigate financial loss by providing an additional short-term revenue stream to maintain operations and employment.
As soon as indoor dining was prohibited, ABLE BC advocated to government for this change. It's encouraging to see the Province take such fast action to help thousands of small and medium businesses recover some of the revenue opportunities that would've otherwise been lost during this latest period of restrictions.
For more information:
BC Chamber of Commerce: Pulse Check Survey
This week the BC Chamber launched their most recent COVID Impact Survey, in partnership with the Government of BC, to track the evolved workforce challenges and the continued impacts of COVID-19 on BC businesses.

They want to hear from businesses in the hotel community – how is COVID impacting you? Have new BC pandemic restrictions impacted your business?

Your feedback to this survey will help us understand how your business is impacted and what supports we can advocate for in this critical time.
Use your voice.

The survey closes April 20th, 2021 at 5:00 PM PDT.
New Mental Health Resources for Sectors Hit Hard by Pandemic
Employers and employees throughout B.C. who work in the tourism, hospitality and community social services sectors now have access to vital mental health resources with the creation of a digital resource hub.

The online hub offers a range of tools to help address common workplace concerns, such as bullying, harassment, COVID-19 exposure, coping with stress and more.
“The pandemic has had a devastating impact on people working in tourism, hospitality and social services,” said Sheila Malcolmson, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions. “I’m grateful to workplace leaders stepping up to promote positive mental health for their employees. This will have a lasting impact on people in the months and years ahead.”

The new hub provides workshops, webinars and information to help employees manage stress and build resiliency. It also provides tangible steps for workers at all levels to improve their overall mental health, as well as navigation support to connect to other mental health services, including counselling and peer support. To access the hub, visit: www.workmentalhealthbc.ca

In May 2021, the hub will expand to include a made-in-B.C. training and coaching platform that will provide managers and leaders in these sectors with personalized guidance to help make meaningful and lasting change at work.

The new hub is being developed in partnership with the BC Division of the Canadian Mental Health Association and health and safety associations, such as go2HR.

Learn More:

For emotional support, information and resources specific to mental health available 24-7, call 310Mental Health Support toll-free (no need to dial an area code): 310-6789
Tell Us Your Story
A growing coalition of tourism and hospitality businesses and sectors from around the province is adding its voice to a BC version of the “Hardest Hit” campaign to compel federal and provincial governments to work with our sector on a restart plan that includes the lifting of travel restrictions for immunized people and for those that have tested negative for the COVID-19 virus.
As part of our advocacy efforts, we’re aiming to collect information in the form of stories from businesses like yours to inform government on the extent of the impact that travel restrictions have had on the visitor economy since the start of the pandemic.
We encourage you to write your story using the format (template) below to a maximum of two pages. Be as candid as you feel comfortable. By telling your story, you give us permission to share the information with government. We may also call on you to tell your story through social and/or traditional media channels, as well as via industry communiques.
Please send your (maximum 2-page) summary to communications@bcha.com by April 10, 2021.
Background: Business name; location/s in BC; date established; ownership structure; # of full and/or part-time employees.
Primary Customers: Where your customers are from; demographics; who your booking partners are; what primary marketing channels you use.
Revenue Base:  State pre and post-COVID revenues (actual or range & % drop); how much longer you can afford to remain in operation; support programs you’ve applied for and either received or been rejected (state reasons for rejection).
Tourism Supply Chain: List other tourism businesses or other sectors that you work with and how your business supports these enterprises.
Government Decisions: State how federal and/or provincial government orders, directives and measures have affected your business; provide recommendations on what government can do differently or better to lessen the impact on your business.
Community Contribution: Illustrate why your business is a key part of your community and how travel restrictions have impacted you, your employees, your business in general, as well as the community you call home.
Personal Implications: Illustrate the ways the pandemic has affected you personally, professionally, mentally, physically, emotionally or spiritually.

go2HR Board Nominations
We need your expertise to identify leaders to help us embark on a renewed strategic journey to realize strong workforces and safe workplaces that deliver world-class tourism and hospitality experiences in BC.
go2HR is currently seeking nominations for two director positions from Vancouver Island and Vancouver Coast & Mountains.
Download a nomination form at https://www.go2hr.ca/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/go2HR-Board-of-Directors-Nomination-Form.pdf which outlines preferred qualifications and responsibilities.
All completed nominations forms must be submitted to go2HR no later than 5:00 pm on Wednesday, April 15, 2021.Please email to CFO, Ellen Langton at elangton@go2hr.ca.
Nominations must be made by a Voting Member, signed by both the nominator and the nominee. Once all submissions are received, the Governance Committee will review the nominations against the qualifications and our policies for sector and regional representation. A slate of recommended candidates will be determined and circulated to the Membership prior to the AGM. All Director appointments are two-year terms. 
Election will be held at go2HR’s AGM on June 22, 2021. Nominations will not accepted from the floor at the AGM.
go2HR’s Director Nominations is overseen by our Governance Committee, comprised of:
  • J.J. Belanger, Governance Committee Chair, Board Past-Chair, Crystal Cove Beach Resort
  • Ian Powell, Board Chair, Inn at Laurel Point
  • Heidi Romich, Vice Chair, The Heid Out Restaurant and Brewhouse
  • Eda Koot, Pacific Gateway Hotel - Vancouver Airport
To learn more about our Nominations process, please contact Krista Bax (CEO, go2R) at 778-836-8745 or kbax@go2hr.ca. 
STR Launches Forward STAR in North America | Participation is FREE
Our partner, STR, has launched Forward STAR in North America. And participation is FREE!
This forward-looking benchmarking tool allows hoteliers to get ahead of recovery, strategize more effectively, and complete the overall performance picture.

Why enroll? 

Forward STAR measures a hotel’s occupancy on the books and pickup against the local market and competition for the next 365 days.

Pairing your property’s historical benchmarking trends with occupancy-on-the-books data provides a broader perspective of your performance – helping you win tomorrow, today.

As mentioned before, your participation is FREE!  

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Mark Your Calendars
BC Chamber of Commerce 2021 Virtual AGM and Conference
Friday May 28 - Saturday May 29

Time to block your calendars — the BC Chamber of Commerce is inviting you to its virtual AGM and Conference, taking place May 28-29, 2021.
During a year where connection means more than it ever has, this event brings together Chamber members from across the province to share what's on BC's mind, connect deeply about business priorities, and debate policies that will drive the BC Chamber's advocacy efforts for the years ahead.
Watch your inbox for more event details to be shared in the coming weeks!
Save the date — don't miss out!

Save the date here