In this issue...
  • Updates from your Chamber/ Advocacy
  • Updates and Resources re: Covid-19
  • Webinars
  • Ways to share your business status and how you are adapting your services
Qualifying for the 75% Wage Subsidy Clarification, Dividend Income is Okay for CERB Qualifying and $40k Loan Applications Available

Hi everyone,

Further to my email on the 75% wage subsidy program AKA Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy ("CEWS"):

  • Government has reduced it's threshold of a decrease in revenue for March 2020 compared to March 2019 to 15% to qualify for the CEWS (April and May remain at 30%).
  • There is an additional amount that can be claimed for the employer's portion of the contribution for EI and CPP.
  • Businesses will also be able to compare their sales to the same month as last year or to January and February of 2020 for qualifying.
  • You must apply through the "My Business Account" portal with Canada Revenue Agency, if you do not have yours set up you should start this process today.

Note that the 10% wage subsidy originally announced is still available for those companies who do not qualify or do not want to apply for the CEWS. Information regarding this program can be found here:

An excel spreadsheet to assist you with calculating this benefit was previously emailed out, if you would like it resent, please let me know.

Dividend Income Can Help Qualify you for the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit ($2,000 per month benefit):
The government has also confirmed that dividends were acceptable income towards the $5,000 of income earned in 2019 to qualify for the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit ("CERB"). The dividends need to be non-eligible and from a Canadian Controlled Private Corporation (CCPC). This is good news and we have been waiting for this clarification. The CERB is the $2,000 per month benefit that individuals can apply for. Each business owner should walk through that various scenario's to determine if the CEWS or the CERB is better for them.

It appears that both the CERB and the 10% wage subsidy have the ability to be paid back or deducted from proceeds of the CEWS should a business owner determine that they need to change their strategy at a later date. This is good news in these changing times, it means that if you have already applied for a previously announced benefit and later determine that the CEWS best suits your business you can still move to it with a reduction for monies already received under other programs.

$40K Small Business Loan Applications:
Finally, applications started last week for the $40,000 interest free (until Dec 31, 2021) small business loan. In order to qualify, you need to have payroll between $50k to $1M. You can contract your business bank for the application process.

I have been in contact with our local Member of Parliament (Paul Manley) in my position as President of the Ladysmith Chamber of Commerce to address some of the shortfalls that I have seen in the benefits being offered. One was the wages versus dividends for the CERB and he had already identified that shortfall and brought it to the attention of the government and that clarification was provided qualifying those paying themselves dividends rather than wages. I have also reached out to him with regards to the $40,000 loan requiring $50,000 of wages minimum before a company will qualify. Many of the small proprietorships and partnerships will not qualify for this loan and they among businesses who need it as much as any other. I have not heard back to date but expect a response after the Easter weekend. If there are any other shortfalls or concerns you have please let me know and I can bring them to his attention.

BC Temporary Rental Supplement (BC-TRS) Program

For anyone interested in the Provincial rental supplement ("BC-TRS") the application portal is now open and available here:

There are income limits within in the program as well as a requirement that at least 30% of the household income is paid towards rent each month, amongst other criteria. It appears to be a very worthwhile program should you or someone you know qualify.

Still to come, provincially, is the BC Emergency Benefit for Workers which will be available to persons receiving EI or CERB, more details are still to come. See here for information available to date and to subscribe for notifications:

Stay tuned to learn more acronyms courtesy of your federal and provincial government.

Take care and stay safe,

Tammy Leslie, CPA, CGA, CA
Partner, Palmer Leslie, Chartered Professional Accountants

President, Ladysmith Chamber of Commerce

BC's Business Voice During COVID-19
In these unprecedented times, the BC Chamber is collaborating with business associations across the province to collect and provide the best information they can to government from businesses of all sizes, sectors and regions across British Columbia. Information gathered will inform a holistic approach between government and society in acting on the COVID-19 pandemic. 
Your feedback to this survey is essential to inform governments’ understanding of the most pressing impacts you are experiencing and what can be done to ensure government is enacting measures to provide the greatest relief.
This survey has been created in partnership with The Greater Vancouver Board of Trade, The BC Business Council, and The Mustel Group.

The survey will take under ~8 minutes to complete (follow the progress bar below).  Survey will close on April 17th, 2020.
Keeping the Cowichan Valley connected.
Resources, tools and information for businesses during the COVID-19 crisis.
#CowichanStrong COVID-19 Business Resource Website is Now Live!
Cowichan businesses now have a new resource tool to support them in this time of economic crisis. The  #cowichanstrong  initiative provides a one-stop source for the Cowichan business community to respond, adapt, and recover from COVID-19.

For the initial launch, Economic Development Cowichan has partnered with Community Futures Cowichan and the Duncan Cowichan Chamber of Commerce  and your Ladysmith Chamber of Commerce has reached out and offered our assistance in any way that we can help.

Phase one of the website will act as a “toolkit” of emerging supports for business owners and entrepreneurs. As we build our partners for this initiative and learn more about the challenges businesses are facing, we will shift our focus to provide valuable resources to support economic recovery, adaptation, and resilience in Cowichan.

Small businesses and entrepreneurs form the core of Cowichan’s economy. These range from storefront businesses, manufacturing industries, agricultural, professional services and so much more. If you operate a business or are self-employed, #cowichanstrong is here for you.
To learn more visit  and subscribe for updates and participate in the ongoing dialogue.

To keep businesses informed and up-to-date Economic Development Cowichan has also compiled a Business Resource Directory with essential links  here .

The Cowichan Valley Regional District (CVRD) is actively monitoring the status of COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic and will continue to take appropriate precautions as necessary. For up-to-date information and resources please visit  CVRD COVID-19 Reference Guide .
Please note links and information are changing frequently. Check your resources often and revisit links to view updated information.
Small Business BC 
Free COVID-19 Webinars from
Small Business BC

Vancouver Board of Trade Webinars
Wednesday, April 15, 2020
12:30 PM/PT

Keynote Speaker:
Christine Sorensen
BC Nurses' Union
Complimentary to Members and Non-Members
Online Program 12:30 - 1:00 p.m.
Monday, April 20, 2020
1:00 PM/PT

Keynote Speaker:
Bryndon Kydd
Partner, BDO Global Mining Leader, Capital Markets
BDO Canada
Complimentary to Members and Non-Members
Schedule: Online Program 1:00 - 1:30 p.m.
Duncan Cowichan Chamber Digital Lunch N Learn | MP Alistair MacGregor
This webinar will be held as a virtual Lunch n Learn via the Zoom platform and will be held this Wednesday April 15, at 1130 a.m. Register here.
Our Facebook Page will feature businesses who are adapting to online platforms or delivery services. To keep us informed, create a detailed post about your adapted services and be sure to tag us @ladysmithcofc before sharing the post to your Business Page. (If you have not already Liked and Followed our Page, you may need to do so in order to tag us.)
We're Still Open!

Local businesses are finding new and innovative ways to serve our community   during this pandemic, and support for local businesses in more valuable now than ever. Ladysmith Businesses are Welcome to participate for free on this website at no charge.
If you have a business that is adapting to our changing world during the Covid-19 crisis, tell us how you’re doing that.
To let people know you’re open and to see what businesses are open click below.
Ladysmith - Chemainus COVID-19 Forum
This group is for all residents and businesses of the #Ladysmith-#Chemainus area, to share questions and information linked to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Do you need help, or know of someone in our community that does? Are you feeling isolated and wish to connect and interact with your neighbors and local friends? Do you wish to extend your help and services to others in the Ladysmith-Chemainus area? Do you have useful information, or news related to your local business to share?

Please feel free to post here, and invite your friends to join the group. Let's be strong, support each other, and keep our community as safe and healthy as we possibly can!
Business Not As Usual Cowichan: New Facebook Group in Support of Local Business
Businesses across the Cowichan Valley Regional District are adapting their services in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, so the Duncan Chamber is hosting a new Facebook group to support local.

All businesses (Chamber Members and Non-Chamber Members) as well as residents of the Cowichan Valley, from the Malahat to Ladysmith (and communities in between) are welcome to join. (if you do not have a facebook account, please email us and we will post on your behalf)

NO COVID-19 NEWS: This group is not a platform for general information, updates, resources or dialogue pertaining to COVID-19. For this, they ask that you please refer to your Chamber's main Facebook page, or visit our COVID-19 Business Resource Directory page on our website
The Ladysmith Chamber of Commerce is proud to work closely with the BC Chamber and local area Chambers
Ladysmith Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Centre
All upcoming events have been postponed until further notice.
In following the Minister of Health recommendation to practice Social Distancing and to do our part to flatten the curve and keep our team safe, we are primarily working from home. If you need to contact us by telephone, you can call 250-245.2112 (please try, where possible, to restrict your calls to regular business hours) or send an email
33 Roberts Street, PO Box 598 Ladysmith,
BC V9G1A4 Canada