In this issue...
  • Advocacy, Updates and Resources re: Covid-19
  • Webinars

A Message from the Executive Director: BC Business Covid-19 Support Service
I sincerely hope this memo finds you, your families, your employees, coworkers and all around you safe and healthy in these extraordinary times. The Ladysmith Chamber has worked hard over the past few weeks to monitor the many announcements related to federal, provincial and local responses to the Covid-19 pandemic and make information pertinent to business readily available to you on our website, newsletters and Facebook posts. We have also tried our best to monitor how your businesses have
adjusted to the current crisis to make this information available to the public through our Facebook page.

The good news is that the enormous and bewildering amount of information and services are now becoming a little more streamlined and we at the Chamber strongly recommend you focus on a key new resource that was announced late last week: the 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. Operated by Small Business BC (SBBC), some of the key
components of this new support service includes:

– the site provides a comprehensive list of the federal,
provincial, regional and community resources available to businesses.

– a searchable directory available to businesses to post their
information including hours and modes of operation and any additional measures they are making due to the pandemic. The Ladysmith Chamber will be reaching out to the business community to encourage them to access this resource. Once there is a significant Ladysmith presence on the Marketplace we will also do our best to market the resource to the community at large.

3.   One-on One Support
– Perhaps the most significant support is that business advisors will now be
available Monday to Friday, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Pacific time) and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4
p.m. at 1 833 254-4357 to help businesses sort through the myriad of programs available, who
qualifies and how to apply. Inquiries can also be emailed to, or raised
on the live-chat feature available on SBBC’s dedicated website:

4.   Other Stuff –
There is plenty of other information available including available webinars, digital meetups, planning checklists and more.

We strongly recommend that you avail yourself of this resource and that you enter your business information on the Small Business Marketplace. Remember, your Ladysmith Chamber is here for you. We don’t pretend to know all the answers in this rapidly changing world but we can help you find them. Please reach out to us if there is anything you think we can assist with.
Ladysmith Chamber of Commerce
Executive Director,
Mark Drysdale
Businesses can begin applying for CEWS effective Monday, April 27 th
At his press conference this morning Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the addition of a Calculator for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy program. Businesses can begin applying for CEWS effective Monday, April 27 th . When a business applies for the Canada Employment Wage Subsidy (CEWS), it will be asked to enter amounts such as the number of eligible employees and gross payroll. To get ready for the Monday launch, businesses can use the new calculator to determine these amounts and preview its subsidy claim now, based on information that is entered. The calculator is a tool to businesses estimate the amount of their wage subsidy. 
News Releases
April 21, 2020, Vancouver, BC - The COVID-19 crisis is deepening for British Columbia businesses with four-in-ten (43%) of those surveyed stating they can only continue to operate for up to three months under current restrictions. For businesses temporarily closed, the future is similarly dire, with only half (53%) expecting to reopen once the restrictions are eased on workplace operations, while 38% are unsure, and 8% will not reopen.
This is according to a survey of 1,284 member-businesses of the BC Chamber of Commerce, the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade, the Business Council of British Columbia, and other partners, with the assistance of the Mustel Group. This is the second in a series of pulse checks using the platform.
Other Key Findings:....
Chambers Seek Coordinated Approach On Essential Services  

Business operations are still hampered by differences between provinces on approaches to essential services. Given we are likely to have business restrictions in place for some time, it is critical to have alignment within Canada. Together with provincial and territorial chambers, we have written to the provincial premiers to seek a coordinated approach.
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.
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.
Tune in to April 21st at 11:30am for  The Vancouver Island Economic Alliance  webinar with  Innovation Island 's Executive Director Graham Truax!
"How to access services of the new 'Digital Economy Response Program' - DER3 - Helping connect Small and Medium Businesses who want to enter or expand into the “Digital Economy”.
Register here:
Supporting Mental Health During the Pandemic with Dr. Bill Howatt
Most Canadians are experiencing stress and feeling worried about the impact of COVID-19 on our personal and professional lives. As business owners and leaders responsible for your employees, you may be especially stressed and overwhelmed about the challenges (work, relationships, income and other realities of the pandemic) you are facing and the uncertainty of the future.

The Chambers of Commerce Group Insurance Plan is pleased to announce their next webinar, Supporting Mental Health During the Pandemic with Dr. Bill Howatt, presented by Arete HR Inc., this Wednesday, April 22 at 11 am CST. Dr. Howatt is a behavioural scientist, known as one of Canada’s top experts in mental health issues in the workplace and has more than 30 years experience in the field of mental health, addiction, and HR consulting.

Dr. Howatt will provide insight on how stress and anxiety can impact our ability to function and manage during times of crisis, as well as provide tangible actions for what you can do to charge your own battery, and support others in your organization or business.
Small Business BC 
Free COVID-19 Webinars from
Small Business BC
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

Cloud computing has been a natural fit for companies as they progress through digital transformation. For many of the same reasons, cloud computing is also a very powerful tool as companies work through responding to our new normal. This webinar session will explore the benefits of cloud computing as well as important considerations for companies planning to leverage it. 
Wednesday, April 22, 2020
1:00 PM/PT

Keynote Speaker:
Chris Beneteau
Complimentary to Members and Non-Members
Online Program 1:00 - 1:30 p.m. PT

This webinar will focus on navigating labour & employment law and the impact of recent announcements from the Federal Government on businesses. 
Digital Lunch & Learn
DCCC Daily eNews | Digital Lunch N Learn with MLA Furstenau, Chamber calling for #CowichanStrong stories,  Innovation Island  DER3 Webinar hosted by  The Vancouver Island Economic Alliance , plus thoughts and prayers for Nova Scotia.  #NovaScotiaStrong   #CowichanStrong   #InItTogetherCowichan
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.)
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