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

This week has been a sobering reality check receiving the results of the January Pulse check from you, our industry. The phone calls and emails we receive from you our industry have provided the specific stories and the reality of the significance of the dire state of the industry.
Although we have been working hard on all fronts, with our Deputy Ministers, MLA’s, MP’s, partners with the Canadian provincial leaders, we are seeing little relief for the list of businesses who have been falling through the cracks since the beginning of the pandemic. These are families, community citizens that are on the brink of insolvency. I can assure you, we are all the more determined to find a solution to support your businesses to stay in business long enough to support the communities in the province, our valued workforce and our Tourism economy to once again thrive. The significant gaps for the relief measures are,

  • Hotels with more than 149 employees
  • New hotels in 2020
  • Hotels closed for renovations in 2019 (after investing millions in 2019)
  • Hotels with owners outside of BC (even though they pay BC corporate taxes)
  • Cornerstone Attractions (more than 149 employees)
  • Transportation companies (more than 149 employees)
  • Not for profits – such as our museums, science centers, art galleries, historic sites

In addition, the small business loan revisions announced in December 2020 have had a 2% increase on success for our industry to receive the grant. We remain completely shocked that there is no relief in site from the provincial government for property taxes, or BC Hydro relief, and that property tax bills being issued are higher than the total revenue for a property in the entire year of 2020. Even more shocking is property tax assessments are increasing even though revenue is down 50%-95% year over year. The urban hotels are in seriously dire trouble.
We are completely aligned and supportive of keeping our citizens safe, and applaud Dr. Bonnie Henry for her leadership during this pandemic. We are also thankful for the dedication shown by you, the hotel community to revise your safety plans, train your teams and ensure the essential service supply chain is safe when staying in hotels.
However, we need immediate financial relief to save between 30-40% of our industry in the province in the next 30-60 days. The BC Tourism Task Force made very specific recommendations at the request of the Premier last fall. We did our job well, enormous amounts of research, analysis, presentations and considerations ended with clear recommendations. It is extremely disappointing that we are now in February and some of the recommendations have been denied, and some of them are yet to be implemented, and some of them have yet to see the dollars flow to the businesses that need it the most.
At the federal level we are advocating for the cap on the HASCAP to be raised, and for more than 6 properties under one ownership to be provided the relief based on each property. 
With 2021 into its second month, it is abundantly clear, we have an enormous challenge on our hands. We will continue to work with government to provide support and relief for you, our industry. We will also set our eye on a restart plan so we can work towards a recovery strategy that, when the time is right, we can once again enjoy the outstanding experiences our industry partners provide.

Your voice is important – please call or write your MLA and your MP. Tell them your story – tell them what you need and use our template if you like. You can find the MLA contacts and the template here and the MP contacts and template here.

Stay Safe,
Ingrid Jarrett
BCHA President & CEO
Todays industry update includes:

  • BC Government Launches New Grant Program for Businesses
  • BC Extends State of Emergency
  • BC Industry Pulse Check - Jan. 2021 Results
  • ABLE BC Update - Super Bowl Sunday
  • BDC HASCAP Webinar - February 8th
  • Grants available for B.C. businesses to upgrade to commercial electric vehicle fleets
  • TOTA Tourism Skills Training Program: Now Accepting Applications
  • Save the Date - BC Tourism & Hospitality Conference!
  • BCHF Lottery Sales
For any questions please reach out to our team. 
BC Government Launches
New Grant Program for Businesses 
The new Launch Online Grant program is designed to help over 1,500 eligible small- and medium-sized BC businesses adapt to changes in consumer behaviour and pivot to market their products online. 
The BC government is investing $12 million to help businesses launch or upgrade an online store that will provide the platform they need to increase their sales revenues, become more competitive and grow. Up to 25% of the program funds will be reserved for regional and Indigenous businesses. 
These grants will provide business owners, including those in hard-hit sectors such as retail, tourism and restaurants with up to $7,500 to build or improve their online store and promote BuyBC at a local, national and international level.
Grant recipients can use the funding for a variety of online-related expenses, including pictures, creating an online inventory system, advertising costs, subscription costs of an e-commerce platform and training staff to manage the website.
As part of the program, successful applicants must use one or more local BC service providers to complete their online store. Through this model, the grant funding can be reinvested in BC-based marketing and technology companies to generate revenues for local companies and help secure and grow jobs.
The Launch Online Grant program is part of BC’s $10-billion COVID-19 response, which includes StrongerBC: BC’s Economic Recovery Plan — a strategy that protects people’s health and livelihoods while supporting businesses and communities.
Small and medium-sized businesses are encouraged to apply online: www.launchonline.ca
Learn more here.
State of Emergency Extended to Continue BC’s COVID-19 Response
The Province has formally extended the provincial State of Emergency, allowing health and emergency management officials to continue to use extraordinary powers under the Emergency Program Act (EPA) to support the Province's COVID-19 pandemic response.
The State of Emergency is extended through the end of the day on February 16th, to allow staff to take the necessary actions to keep British Columbians safe and manage immediate concerns and COVID-19 outbreaks.
BCHA Industry Pulse Check
At BCHA, we continue to focus on advocating on your behalf for the support BC accommodators need. We have been regularly compiling pulse check information from our members to help paint a landscape of the dire state of our industry.
The below document provides and overarching and detailed view of the current state, focus, and harrowing stats we have garnered from these pulse checks.
The results below show the harrowing stats outlining the state of our industry the reality that we are far from recovery.

The average expected provincial occupancy has dropped to 29% until May 2021 with urban hotels sitting at an even lower 7-11%.

The amount of hotels who have lost more than $1m has also increased to 54% with 47% of hotels still not qualifying for the small and medium sized business grant, this following changes to eligibility intent on making the grant more accessible.
ABLE BC Update: Super Bowl Sunday
With Super Bowl this Sunday, we know there is much confusion and speculation around how your businesses may be impacted—particularly if there will be additional restrictions imposed on licensed establishments and what you are allowed and not allowed to do.
ABLE BC, the BCRFA, and Restaurants Canada have been in regular joint discussions with the Provincial Health Officer and her staff to clarify how licensed establishments can operate during Super Bowl.
We have confirmed: there were be no new restrictions announced for Super Bowl.
However, you must not host or promote anything resembling an “event,” meaning you must treat Super Bowl as any other televised sports game you might routinely display.
Here is how you should be operating on Super Bowl Sunday:
  • Do not actively promote Super Bowl Sunday and/or any promotions, contests, specials, draws, etc. you may be holding on Sunday
  • Do not have any promotional sales or anything that would make Sunday seem ‘special’ or out of the ordinary (i.e., like an event)
  • Do not have any giveaways, door prizes, raffles, draws, etc.
  • Do not sell advance tickets
  • Do not have an entrance cover charge
During Dr. Henry's COVID-19 update on Monday and Premier Horgan's remarks on Tuesday, government has made clear they do not want British Columbians gathering with people outside their household or bubble to watch the Super Bowl - whether it's at home, in a bar, or in a restaurant.
Operators must also be stringent with following COVID-19 protocols and safety plans.
According to Dr. Henry, "My message to people who are running bars, pubs and restaurants – you have to make sure that you have the important safety provisions in place. WorkSafeBC and our environmental health inspectors will be stepping up their monitoring and enforcement of that, but it's on us as well."
To read a full transcript of Dr. Henry's update, please see TIABC's newsletter.
Remember, you must also continue to follow all public health protocols during Super Bowl Sunday, including:
  • Patrons must be able to maintain a distance of two metres from other patrons unless they are separated by physical barriers
  • Patrons must be assigned to a table, booth, or counter and shown to their seats. Patrons must stay in the seat to which they are assigned, or at which they seat themselves, and must not move from table to table
  • Liquor may only be served to patrons who are seated
  • There must be no more than six patrons seated at a table or booth, even if they belong to the same party
  • You must determine the maximum number of patrons who can be accommodated safely on your premises and monitor that number
  • You must take steps to prevent the congregation of patrons inside and outside your premises
  • Background music, including live solo and live band music, and any other background sounds, including from televisions and electronic sound producing devices, must not be amplified and must be no louder than the volume of normal conversation.
For more information, please see the public order.
It is clear from Premier Horgan, Dr. Henry, and Health Minister Dix’s responses there are serious concerns about overcrowding and patrons congregating at licensed establishments, not remaining in their seats, and mixing with other groups.
While it is not your responsibility to determine if people are from the same household or bubble, you must follow the protocols above.
We know the majority of our industry is doing an incredible job adhering to the public orders and creating a safe, healthy, and enjoyable environment for patrons and staff. We understand these regulations are incredibly frustrating and damaging to your businesses, but our industry will be under additional scrutiny during Super Bowl Sunday. It is vital that industry works together so customers and workers enjoy a safe Super Bowl.
Abiding by these protocols will help ensure our industry stays open and avoids new or stricter protocols.
If you need help with your COVID-19 safety plan, we encourage you to use go2HR’s free safety plan review service.
We are in this together and we will make it through the other side. If you have any other questions, please contact ABLE BC: [email protected].
Register today for BDC's webinar regarding the HASCAP Guarantee.

This webinar outlining the new program to help businesses heavily impacted by the current pandemic will be held Monday, February 8th, 2021 at 12:30 Eastern Standard Time. 

As space is limited, please register at your earliest convenience.
Grants available for B.C. businesses to upgrade to commercial electric vehicle fleets
The ministries of energy and environment a news release on Monday February 1st announced new rebates and supports are now available for businesses, first nations and municipalities. The $5.7 million program will bump up the size of the rebate already offered for the installation of EV charging stations.

Go Electric Fleets program, those eligible can get money back for installing level 2 and direct-current fast-charging stations for fleets of one or more electric vehicles.
This means up to $4,000 back for level 2 charging station installations, which the government says is about 75 per cent of the basic installation rate.

Additionally, businesses buying electric vehicles for a fleet can now get the same $3,000 point-of-purchase rebate that was already available to the general public.
Earlier this month the provincial government also announced a doubling of the incentive for the CleanBC Specialty-Use Vehicle Incentive (SUVI) and Commercial Vehicle Pilot (CVP) programs. Eligible vehicles will have access to 33% of the cost, up to a maximum of $100,000 per vehicle, up from $50,000 maximum. 

Learn More:
TOTA Tourism Skills Training Program: Now Accepting Applications
Online Course Dates:
February 8 - May 5, 2021
(Mon - Thurs, 9 AM - 4 PM)
Application Deadline:
February 3, 2021
Limited seats available
Do you know someone looking for a new job or ready to dive into a fun, fast paced career bringing joy to people's lives? Someone eager to develop the knowledge, tools, and resources necessary to thrive in the evolving world of responsible tourism?
TOTA is offering the Tourism Skills Training Program FREE of charge to unemployed, seasonal, part-time, and casual workers. This 13-week intensive LIVE online learning program pairs practical Canadian tourism skills with key industry certifications so participants can jump into a local tourism role or grow a tourism business in 2021.
Students will learn about current hospitality trends from local tourism leaders through interactive learning sessions, online mentoring, and digital tours of leading companies.
Spring is around the corner, which is peak hiring season for Thompson Okanagan wineries, golf courses, tour operators, visitor centres, hotels, campgrounds, resorts, restaurants, and transportation services. The program will conclude with a virtual job fair so participants can take what they learn and put it into action this summer.
Applicant Eligibility Requirements:
  • Living in Thompson Okanagan region of British Columbia (including Shuswap, Boundary Country, Similkameen, and Gold Country/Nicola Valley)
  • Legally able to work in Canada
  • Currently unemployed or working casual, seasonal, or part-time
  • Over 15 years of age
Save the Date - BC Tourism & Hospitality Conference!
TIABC and the BC Hotel Association will be co-hosting the BC Tourism & Hospitality Conference (virtually) during the week of March 8th to 12th, 2021.
Stay tuned for more details soon.
BCHF Lottery Sales
Tickets for the Dine Around and Stay in Town Victoria online lottery are on sale now until midnight on Sunday, February 7, 2021. Proceeds from the lottery will support the British Columbia Hospitality Foundation (BCHF). 

Lottery tickets may be purchased here https://darelle.com/pp/bfcr1g/BCHA - (please use Chrome or Safari as your browser). 

The BCHF is the only charity of its kind in Canada that provides financial support to hospitality workers in financial crisis due to a health condition experienced by themselves or a family member. The registered charity also administers a scholarship program to foster the development of the next generation of hospitality workers and industry leaders. Since its inception in 2006, the BCHF has helped over 430 people with more than $1.25 million.