New Support Streams Available
BC Hydro Introduces:
COVID-19 Relief Fund for Small Business
This week, BC Hydro introduced a COVID-19 Relief Fund to help customers who have had to close their small business as a result of COVID-19.

The Relief Fund delivers support to you now, when you need it most

If your small business needed to close, the Relief Fund waives your electricity use charges.
  • Charges will be waived for up to three months.
  • You will not have to pay this back.
  • The application window opens soon, and you can apply until June 30, 2020.

All businesses are also eligible to defer payments or arrange a flexible payment plan to help pay their BC Hydro bills.
Canada Emergency Response Benefit Applications Open
Applications for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) opened this week based on the applicants respective birth month. Providing $500 a week for up to 16 weeks, the benefit will provide temporary income support.

The benefit will be available to workers:

  • Residing in Canada, who are at least 15 years old;
  • Who have stopped working because of COVID-19 and have not voluntarily quit their job or are eligible for EI regular or sickness benefits;
  • Who had income of at least $5,000 in 2019 or in the 12 months prior to the date of their application; and
  • Who are or expect to be without employment or self-employment income for at least 14 consecutive days in the initial four-week period. For subsequent benefit periods, they expect to have no employment or self-employment income.

Early gaps in eligibility have already been flagged and are being addressed to open the benefit up to more applicants.
British Columbia Deferred Tax Payments
Effective immediately, B.C. is extending filing and payment deadlines for the following taxes until September 30, 2020:
·       Employer health tax
·       Provincial sales tax (including municipal and regional district tax)
·       Carbon tax
·       Motor fuel tax
·       Tobacco tax
Columbia Basin Trust Announce Funding Support
Columbia Basin Trust announced $11.7M in new funding yesterday, which includes supports for small businesses in the form of low-interest loans through CBT’s new Small Business Working Capital Loan program. Other existing CBT programs will also increase support for impacted small businesses.

To help small business in the Basin, the Trust will:

  • provide low interest working capital loans to help businesses meet immediate needs or plan for future recovery
  • increase the support available through the Impact Investment Fund
  • increase supports for businesses currently participating in the Basin RevUp program
  • provide flexibility and customized support through through Summer Works, School Works and the Career Internship Program
  • increase the resources available through the Basin Business Advisors program and the Basin RevUp program
  • increase support to unemployed and underemployed individuals through the Training Fee Support program
  • providing a loan payment holiday to investment and economic development clients and being open to discussing other changes to existing arrangements.
STR Impact Reports
S TR will be hosting a series of industry webinars discussing the impact of COVID-19 on U.S. and Canadian hotel performance. These webinars will be held every Thursday at 12pm PST with updates from the prior week. Individuals may register on the COVID-19: Hotel Industry Impact landing page . This section of the website also houses recordings from prior webinars and a number of press releases and recent articles.

Hotel News Now also has a dedicated landing page for the Coronavirus Impact: . If you don’t already have an account you can register for free. 
Free STAR Report for current non-participants: To understand the impact on their property and market, hotels can sign up to participate and receive a free Hotel Survey Report by following this link .
Upcoming Industry Webinars - CERIDIAN
What British Columbia employers need to know about Temporary layoffs , April 8 at 9:00 am PST 

The webinar will cover:
  1. Advantage of Temporary Layoffs
  2. Employment Standards Legislation: Temporary Layoffs
  3. The Risk of Temporary Layoffs: Constructive Dismissal