A Message from BCHA President & CEO Ingrid Jarrett
Good Afternoon Hotel and Accommodation Industry
 
We are currently working with our industry counterparts on the specific priorities required looking to the spring and summer reopening, with the goal that the currently travel restrictions will result in the continued decrease of the Covid-19 numbers, and the hospitalizations due to Covid-19. At the same time, with vaccinations increasing on a daily basis, we could see a BC or domestic summer and fall season. We are cautiously optimistic that we can leave this pandemic behind us if BC residents continue to follow the current health orders and travel restrictions until the May 25.
 
The dire state of our industry cannot be overstated. Our latest pulse check indicates 40% of the accommodators in the province will close permanently without immediate access to government relief. We have also heard from many of you that the HASCAP and the SME Grant are difficult to access, arduous application processes with long wait times to hear about eligibility, and especially long wait times to receive the relief funds. We have expedited many of your issues federally. We have submitted several detailed relief recommendations, and meet with the deputy ministers and ministers to advocate for federal access to current relief measures, but also to develop provincial backstops to keep you solvent. These are difficult times, and we keenly understand the stress and hardship of 14 months of reduced revenues, laid off workforces and little to no relief for fixed costs.

Included in today’s communique is the HAC HASCAP Survey – please fill it out the information will assist us in ensuring we gain access to liquidity for you. It is time sensitive, and will only take a few moments. Your information and input is of great value if we are to be successful to make the changes necessary.
 
Currently our priorities for the provincial government are fixed costs relief which includes energy, property tax a cap on commissions similar to the restaurant industry and a potential loan program for large businesses. Additionally, we are working to ensure access to the SME Grant is understood and the application process is streamlined. Please see the registration for the webinar May 11th below.
 
I’d like to thank all of you for doing your part in supporting your employees getting vaccinated, for your part in educating the travelling public as to what is essential travel, and also ensuring that we stay in this together. Our resolve to support you and ensure we recover together is unwavering.
 
Stay safe and stay well,
 
Ingrid Jarrett
President and CEO
British Columbia Hotel Association 

Today's update includes:
 
HAC CALL TO ACTION: HASCAP Survey
We have received significant information from you, our industry regarding the barriers and disappointing results from the HASCAP application process and ability to access the funds. It is critical that we have the information to do our advocacy work with our provincial and federal governments with our partners at the hotel association of Canada, Restaurants Canada and the Tourism Industry Association of Canada.
 
Please take a few minutes to fill out the survey below.
Vaccination Leave Policy
Last month, The BC government introduced amendments to the Employment Standards Act that provides workers with up to three hours of paid leave to get each dose of their COVID-19 vaccine. The amendments ensure no one will lose pay if they need time away from work to get vaccinated. It also stipulates vaccinations before or after work, or on days off are not eligible for paid leave.
 
These amendments expand on the regulatory improvements that currently provide job-protected leave for workers to take as much time as they need to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. The changes to the act allow employees to take up to three hours of paid leave to get their COVID-19 vaccine, for each dose. Proof of vaccination appointment is appropriate to accompany claim for paid leave.
 
We have heard from many of our members that there has been confusion following the announcement about who is eligible and when. Below is a sample policy for our employees to support our industry in managing. 
Upcoming Webinars
 
The March pulse check indicated that 47% of you, our industry, do not qualify for the small and medium sized business grant. You also provided significant feedback about the grant process and restrictions. We have been working hard to ensure the access is streamlined and that you have the information required. The parameters for the grant eligibility have been changed several times, and therefore we are hosting this webinar to ensure you can ask the questions and provide the feedback directly. 
This webinar will be an information session for the Small and Medium Sized Business Recovery and Circuit Breaker Business Relief grants. Learn more about these fully funded grant programs available to eligible businesses in B.C., to ensure they have the support they need during and beyond COVID-19.
 
Hosted by Liz Vickery. Liz is the Executive Director and leading the implementation of the Small and Medium Sized Business Recovery and Circuit Breaker Business Relief grants. Previously she was Executive Director with BC Stats – the first female to lead the organization in 125 years. 
 
The webinar will be 45 minutes in length with a 15 minute open forum for any questions. Please submit any questions you have with your registration.

Due to the number of inquiries about buying and selling hotels and accommodation properties in the province, we will be presenting a webinar in partnership with HVS and Colliers on the market outlook, state of the industry in BC, and potential for recovery.

Carrie and Russell will come together to discuss the current state of the hospitality industry in BC. They will take a look at the historical and projected operating statistics, the transaction market, and discuss the outlook for the industry as we move through this crisis to better days ahead.
 
The webinar will be 45 minutes in length with a 15 minute open forum for any questions. Please submit any questions you have with your registration.

Hosted by Carrie Russell, HVS and Russell Beaudry, Colliers.
STR Benchmarking
We are in the second year of our agreement with STR & BCRTS to ensure as many hotels as possible are signed on to receive the STAR report.

If your property is not signed on please consider doing so today.

Participate now in the 2021 Census!
On behalf of Statistics Canada, I am pleased to inform you that the 2021 Census of Population is underway. For collective dwellings such as a hotels, motels, campgrounds, YMCA/YWCA, Ronald McDonald House, hostels and school residence, the census has been in progress since April 26th and need remaining questionnaires to be completed immediately.

The census provides a statistical portrait of Canada every five years. Information collected through the census will provide decision-makers with data needed to forecast funding requirements and plan for services such as schools, public transportation, hospitals, and residences for temporary accommodation.

Since the census is an essential source of information, it must be complete and accurate. It is therefore important that everyone complete and return their questionnaire. 
Mark Your Calendars
New B SAFE training for BC's tourism and hospitality industry

B SAFE is a new 90-minute, online course oriented toward staff in BC’s tourism and hospitality industry. The training aims to provide staff with a strong foundation in COVID-19 health and safety protocols, and to assist them in understanding ever-evolving best practices. Upon successful completion of the course, participants are awarded a certificate that demonstrates their knowledge of and commitment to COVID-19 health and safety. go2HR's objective is for B SAFE to become an industry standard: a recognizable indicator of the extent to which health and safety is a priority for BC’s tourism and hospitality employers. B SAFE stands for BC Safety Assured For Everyone Supported by the Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport, B SAFE aims to build community and staff confidence in the health and safety protocols of BC’s tourism and hospitality industry as the province navigates and emerges from the COVID-19 era.

Save the date!

The Canadian Hotel Investment Conference will be celebrating it's 25th anniversary this June. Mark your calendars for our virtual CHIC June 22nd and 23rd.
 
Registration will open next week where we will announce our keynote speakers and sessions. 
 
Are you interested in sponsoring? Please contact Stephanie for further details. 
 
This is a milestone event you will not want to miss! 
Sponsorship Opportunities
The BCHA offers opportunity to reach a diverse array of individuals across the accommodation and tourism sector through our sponsorship opportunities.

If you are interested in sponsoring an upcoming BCHA webinar, we have availability for the next two months. Please contact Mike Macleod at membership@bcha.com for more information. 
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