In this issue...
  • Updates and Resources re: Covid-19
  • Webinars
  • Ways to share your business status and how you are adapting your services
One stop support service for BC Business now live
There is now a centralized support service for business in BC including a “hotline” and chat platform to receive one-on-one support from business advisors.

A new B.C. Business COVID-19 Support Service will serve as a single point of contact for businesses throughout the province looking for information on resources available during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The B.C. Business COVID-19 Support Service will be operated by Small Business BC (SBBC), a non-profit organization that is well known and respected by the business community. The service will act as a one-stop resource to answer questions about supports available to businesses from the provincial and federal governments, industry and community partners. 
Prime Minister announces additional support for small businesses
During his press conference April 16th, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the federal government is expanding a loan program for small businesses suffering from the Covid-19 pandemic and is working with the Provinces on a new support for companies having trouble paying rent.
The Canada Emergency Business Account will now be open to businesses that had payrolls last year between $20,000 and $1.5 million (former eligibility was between $50K and $1M). Contact your financial institution to apply.
Trudeau also announced that a program is coming to help businesses cover rents for at least three months but the details still need to be worked out with the provinces and territories. Trudeau is meeting with the premiers via conference call this evening and more will be announced soon.
At his press conference on April 17th, Prime Minister Trudeau announced further measures to support small businesses who might be falling through the cracks of previously announced initiatives. $962M is being made available to economic development agencies and Community Futures to support these small businesses. More information regarding access to these funds will be made available soon. Read More...
Digital Economy Response Program (DER3)
If you are a small-medium sized business that is considering entering or expanding in the digital economy then this is the place for you.
Is your business closed or running at below normal capacity? Do you have alternative sales or other income that will help you weather this crisis? Are you currently doing business online, or would you like to do more? Is it time to consider a pivot or change to your business model? Let’s get to work!  

The Digital Economy Response Program (DER3) is a free service supported by  Island Coastal Economic Trust  (ICET) and powered by  Innovation Island Technology Association  (IITA). The program is open to individuals or businesses living or working on Vancouver Island, north of the Malahat, on the Sunshine Coast, or Gulf Islands. DER3 offers one-to-one business and technical consultations for businesses that are considering entering or expanding their online presence or putting technology-based tools in place to better serve their needs. When required, the program will also match businesses with regional service providers who can deliver contracted solutions. Please review the steps below and  contact us with any questions .
Changes to Canada Summer Jobs program to help businesses and young Canadians affected by COVID-19
The federal government recently made some temporary changes to the Canada Summer Jobs program that will help employers hire summer staff and provide young Canadians access to the jobs they need during this unprecedented time. This program will help create up to 70,000 jobs for youth between 15 and 30 years of age.
Canada’s small businesses increasingly depend on the employment of young Canadians. The changes to the Canada Summer Jobs program will help small businesses hire and keep the workers they need so they can continue to deliver essential services.
The temporary changes to the program for this year include:
  • an increase to the wage subsidy, so that private and public sector employers can also receive up to 100 per cent of the provincial or territorial minimum hourly wage for each employee
  • an extension to the end date for employment to February 28, 2021
  • allowing employers to adapt their projects and job activities to support essential services
  • allowing employers to hire staff on a part-time basis
New COVID-19 supports for businesses, local governments
The Province is providing enhanced relief for businesses by reducing most commercial property tax bills by an average of 25%, along with new measures to support local governments facing temporary revenue shortfalls as a result of COVID-19.
“We know that B.C. communities and businesses are suffering from the economic impacts of COVID-19,” said Carole James, Minister of Finance. “That is why our B.C. COVID-19 Action Plan is focused on the health and safety of British Columbians, direct support for people and businesses and economic recovery for our province. We are providing further support by making additional temporary property tax changes to provide provincewide relief for business and local governments to help weather the pandemic, continue to deliver the services people count on and be part of our province’s economic recovery.”
The Province is taking significant new steps to support B.C. businesses, non-profits and other organizations through the COVID-19 pandemic by:
Vancouver Island Coastal Tourism Resiliency Program
The Vancouver Island Coastal Tourism Resiliency Program will provide Vancouver Island, Gulf Islands and Sunshine Coast tourism businesses with meaningful, hands-on guidance and support to navigate the immediate impact of the crisis, adaptation and work towards long-term resiliency.
The Vancouver Island Coastal Tourism Resiliency Program includes two components: Read More

Program Registration is Now Open
Registration is now open through the Vancouver Island Coastal Tourism Resiliency Program  website   or by calling a Program Representative at 1-855-722-9036, Monday to Friday, from 9 am to 4 pm.
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.
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.
Canadian Survey on Business Conditions
Take the Canadian Survey of Business Conditions. Just a few minutes of your time will help shape the policies of Canada’s COVID-19 response and recovery efforts.  Click here  to complete the survey safely and securely on the Statistics Canada website. The deadline for participation is April 24.
Let’s Make Wednesdays #TakeoutDay
Canadians across the country are encouraged to order takeout en-masse in a show of support for their favourite local restaurants.

Restaurants are doing their part by staying open for takeout. Now it’s your turn to take an active part in the support of an industry that employs millions of people in this country.
Let’s Make Wednesdays #TakeoutDay
Small Business BC 
Free COVID-19 Webinars from
Small Business BC
▶Friday April 17, 11:30AM-12
▶ Friday April 17 , 1PM-2PM
Monday, April 20, 10AM-11AM
Monday, April 20, 1PM-2PM
Tuesday , April 21, 1PM-2PM

Vancouver Board of Trade Webinars
Friday, April 24, 2020
1:00 PM

Keynote Speaker:
Peter Guest
Client Technical Leader
IBM Canada Ltd.
Complimentary to Members and Non-Members
Online Program 1:00 - 1:30 p.m. PT
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.
Our Program Experts Answer Your Finance and HR Questions
Meet the finance and HR experts who will serve the Vancouver Island Coastal Tourism Resiliency Program. They will answer your questions and Tourism Vancouver Island will provide a program update, including FAQs and next steps.
April 21, 2020 at 10:00AM
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