In this issue...
  • Advocacy, Updates and Resources re: Covid-19 including:
Canadian Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance / Calculator for Applications for CEWS begin April 27 / Join Small Business Marketplace, Chamber Group Insurance Premium adjustments...
  • Webinars
UPDATES & RESOURCES REGARDING THE COVID-19
Prime Minister announces partnerships with provinces and territories to deliver the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance for small businesses
The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today announced that the federal government has reached an agreement in principle with all provinces and territories to implement the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) for small businesses. This program will lower rent by 75 per cent for small businesses that have been affected by COVID-19.
The government is also providing further details on the program:
  • The program will provide forgivable loans to qualifying commercial property owners to cover 50 per cent of three monthly rent payments that are payable by eligible small business tenants who are experiencing financial hardship during April, May, and June. 
  • The loans will be forgiven if the mortgaged property owner agrees to reduce the eligible small business tenants’ rent by at least 75 per cent for the three corresponding months under a rent forgiveness agreement, which will include a term not to evict the tenant while the agreement is in place. The small business tenant would cover the remainder, up to 25 per cent of the rent.
  • Impacted small business tenants are businesses paying less than $50,000 per month in rent and who have temporarily ceased operations or have experienced at least a 70 per cent drop in pre-COVID-19 revenues. This support will also be available to non-profit and charitable organizations.
Today’s announcement is part of the Government of Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan, which is addressing the challenges facing Canadians and their employers during this time of global uncertainty. The government continues to assess and respond to the impacts of COVID-19, and stands ready to take additional actions as needed to stabilize the economy and mitigate the impacts of the pandemic.
Businesses can begin applying for CEWS effective Monday, April 27 th
Businesses can begin applying for Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (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. 
BC Business Covid-19 Support Service
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 covid@smallbusinessbc.ca, 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.
Premium Adjustments Due to COVID-19  
As the coronavirus pandemic evolves, Chambers Plan continues working to assist member firms, providing flexibility and support in the areas most needed. Plan design modifications and benefit extensions during temporary employee layoffs, for example, have resulted in thousands of businesses keeping benefits in place for their employees when they may otherwise have been unable to do so. 

The core philosophy of Chambers Plan has always been to do the right thing. Today, that means investing much-needed funds back into the business community. 

We have worked hard to provide savings to firms as quickly as possible, and so we’re pleased to announce, we will provide the following credits, retroactive to April 1st, on your May billing: 

Dental : 50% premium reduction adjustment
Extended Health : 10% premium reduction adjustment 
Retail Council of Canada
In these challenging times, RCC welcomes all retailers across Canada to subscribe to our COVID-19 Daily Brief. 
WEBINARS
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.
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. 
Small Business BC 
Free COVID-19 Webinars from
Small Business BC

UPCOMING FREE DIGITAL MEETUPS

Vancouver Board of Trade Webinars
Tuesday, April 28, 2020 at 2:00 PM

Keynote Speaker:
The Honourable Michelle Mungall
Minister of Jobs, Economic Development and Competitiveness
Government of British Columbia

Complimentary to Members and Non-Members
Schedule: Online Program 2:00 - 2:30 p.m. PT

This webinar will focus on the latest support available from the Government of British Columbia for Canadian businesses.
Our Program Experts Answer Your Finance and HR Questions
Expert-Led Webinars To Learn & Grow
Tourism Vancouver Island has partnered with industry leading professionals to bring you expertise where you may need it most. 
This series of webinars and bulletins provides you with key information and training through this difficult time, such as impacts on the region, managing your business through the crisis, best practices, reputation management, human resource strategies, and recovery strategies.
Missed a live webinar? Click on the link to follow along with a recorded version or a written recap.
The BC Tourism Resiliency Network is a long-term resiliency program providing BC tourism businesses with meaningful, one-on-one support to navigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, adapt and work towards eventual recovery.
FOLLOW OUR FACEBOOK PAGE
We sincerely hope that you, your families, your employees, coworkers and all around you are 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. (If you have not already Liked and Followed our Page, you may need to do so in order to tag us.)
CHAMBER PARTNERSHIPS
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
250-245-2112