CANDIDATES FORUM | 2020 PROVINCIAL ELECTION | NANAIMO/NORTH COWICHAN RIDING: Ladysmith Chamber in partnership with Vancouver Island Real Estate Board held a Virtual All Candidates Forum on Monday, October 19th. Thank you to Jenna Forster, J. Forster & Associates for once again doing an outstanding job in moderating the event and to all 3 candidates for a lively and informative forum. 
Find where to vote in advance Thursday, October 15 to Wednesday, October 21| 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (local time) and where to vote on general voting day – Read More

Nanaimo-North Cowichan Candidate Bios
Chris Istace / BC Green Party:  Bio
Duck (don) Paterson / BC Liberal Party: Bio
Doug Routley / NDP: Bio

Thank you to all who attended the Ladysmith Chamber of Commerce AGM via Zoom on September 29th.
The Ladysmith Chamber would like to thank Colin Sprake, Make Your Mark for joining us and presenting a powerful presentation regarding business resiliency in the face of uncertain times at our AGM on September 29, 2020. In appreciation of Colins continued support, his words of wisdom and inspiration the Chamber will be making a donation to the Ladysmith Food Bank on Colins behalf.
Ladysmith Chamber of Commerce President Tammy Leslie, Palmer Leslie Chartered Professional Accountants provided a full recap of the Chambers accomplishments in 2019/20 in her Presidents Report. We look forward to supporting and working with you all again this year.
Elected 2020 Chamber Board of Directors
President: Tammy Leslie, Partner, 
Vice President: Millie Stirling, Branch Manager, 
Treasurer: Kevin Zerr, Financial Planner, 
Secretary: Cheri Mactier, Realtor, 
Director: Martin Sanderson,
Director: David Jamieson,
Commercial Accts Manager, Ladysmith & District Credit Union
Director: Trent Kaese,
Owner & General Manager, Cottonwood Golf Course
Director: Andrea Rosato-Taylor,
Publisher, Ladysmith Chronicle
Director: Bill Robinson,
Owner, Xtend Rentals
Director: David Stalker, 
Join SBBC in celebrating small businesses during Small Business Week 2020.
FREE Webinar Series & Expert Consultations
2020 has been a challenging year world-wide, with small business owners operating in a climate that's unique and completely unprecedented. As the largest resource centre for small business in our province, we understand the vital role these entrepreneurs play across BC and we stand alongside them during this difficult time.

That's why we're taking the opportunity to celebrate their contributions during Small Business Week 2020. From October 19th to 23rd, our community is invited to attend our range of webinars for FREE. This week of education is designed to equip attendees with the skills and know-how needed to navigate the COVID economy and emerge on strong footing.

We're offering a full week of business webinars for FREE to our community to mark the occasion - with a jam-packed schedule of our most popular webinars. Including:
If the session is sold out, join our waitlist, and we'll send you the recording.
Let's all play our part by buying from small businesses, taking the time to leave a Google review, and sharing our favourite small businesses with our friends.
Government announces new, targeted support to help businesses through pandemic
The government plans to introduce legislation to provide support that would help these businesses safely get through the second wave of the virus and the winter, cover costs so they can continue to serve their communities, and be positioned for a strong recovery, including:

  • The new Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy, which would provide simple and easy-to-access rent and mortgage support until June 2021 for qualifying organizations affected by COVID-19. The rent subsidy would be provided directly to tenants, while also providing support to property owners. The new rent subsidy would support businesses, charities, and non-profits that have suffered a revenue drop, by subsidizing a percentage of their expenses, on a sliding scale, up to a maximum of 65 per cent of eligible expenses until December 19, 2020. Organizations would be able to make claims retroactively for the period that began September 27 and ends October 24, 2020.

  • top-up Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy of 25 per cent for organizations temporarily shut down by a mandatory public health order issued by a qualifying public health authority, in addition to the 65 per cent subsidy. This follows a commitment in the Speech from the Throne to provide direct financial support to businesses temporarily shut down as a result of a local public health decision.

  • The extension of the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy until June 2021, which would continue to protect jobs by helping businesses keep employees on the payroll and encouraging employers to re-hire their workers. The subsidy would remain at the current subsidy rate of up to a maximum of 65 per cent of eligible wages until December 19, 2020. This measure is part of the government’s commitment to create over 1 million jobs and restore employment to the level it was before the pandemic.

  • An expanded Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA), which would enable businesses, and not-for-profits eligible for CEBA loans—and that continue to be seriously impacted by the pandemic—to access an interest-free loan of up to $20,000, in addition to the original CEBA loan of $40,000. Half of this additional financing would be forgivable if repaid by December 31, 2022. Additionally, the application deadline for CEBA is being extended to December 31, 2020. Further details, including the launch date and application process will be announced in the coming days. An attestation of the impact of COVID-19 on the business will be required to access the additional financing.
Province Announces Small and Medium Business Recovery Grant program
Small and medium-sized businesses are vital to British Columbia’s economy. The Small and Medium-Sized Business Recovery Grant program provides fully-funded grants to businesses to ensure they have the support they need during and beyond COVID-19.
How the program works:
The Small and Medium-Sized Business Recovery Grant program will invest up to $300 million in targeted financial support for some of the hardest hit businesses in B.C. that employ between two and 149 B.C. residents and have experienced declines in revenue since March 10, 2020.
Grants of $10,000 to $30,000 are available. An additional $5,000 to $10,000 grant is available to eligible tourism-related businesses that have been hit especially hard by COVID-19.
The program runs until March 31, 2021 or until the funds are fully allocated, whichever comes first.
VIRL Resources for Small Businesses
Check out this short eResource video created by librarians from Sooke for their local chamber that we we thought our members might find useful as well: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wNtjeyXsHmw.
What are the top issues for your biz this election? 
The televised Leaders’ Debate is over and we’re approaching the final stretch of the 2020 provincial election.
You’ve heard from the Leaders, and now we want to hear from you – what are the most important issues your business is facing this election?
Share your feedback and help shape our engagement and advocacy leading up to and beyond October 24th.
We'll share the results once the survey closes.

Thank you!
Mindreader Platform - A BC Chamber Insight Community
BC Chamber Network Launches Building Resilience to Thrive Program 
Developed in partnership with UVIC’s Gustavson School of Business, the 6-week program will help SME’s stay viable and adapt to compete in the future,

Offered as a COVID-19 recovery certificate, the 6-week program, delivered by award-winning professors Dr. Mark Colgate and Prof. Brian Leacock, will be presented in three cohorts between November and March 2021. The program will offer relief to businesses, helping to mitigate the negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic by teaching them how to adapt their business models, re-engage customers, and adjust workplace cultures. 

The  Building Resilience to Thrive  program, supported by Western Economic Diversification Canada, will focus on the three key themes of Strive, Build, and Create. The curriculum will help SMEs be the best they can be, build a strong team, and create value with their customers. Weekly seminars will be supplemented by facilitated Resiliency Roundtables to bring local SMEs together in smaller groups online and offline to anchor and support the curriculum. 

The 6-week program will be offered to individuals at a minimal registration fee of $35.00 per participant for Chamber members and $70.00 per participant for non-members, to ensure cost isn’t a barrier during the pandemic. To continue to support the advancement and growth of SMEs in the province, registration revenue specific to each region will be attributed back to the regional Chamber for serving SMEs in BC. 

The program will be offered on the following dates: 

  • ROUND ONE: November 3rd to December 8th (Tuesdays at 11:00 AM)  
  • ROUND TWO: January 12th to February 16th  
  • ROUND THREE: February 24th to March 31st 

We are all on this road to recovery together!

Program spaces will fill up quickly, so act fast to avoid disappointment.
14th Annual ‘State of the Island’ Economic Summit Goes Digital
 The 14th Anniversary ‘State of the Island’ Economic Summit is scheduled for Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday, October 27, 28 & 29, 2020.

The Economic Summit is an annual gathering of business, community and government leaders sharing ideas, asking questions, networking, learning about new initiatives, and exploring opportunities. Anyone is welcomed to register and participate in the broad range of sessions which revolve around VIEA’s core principles of collaboration to add vitality to the Vancouver Island economy: READ MORE...
Keep your Business information current in the Ladysmith-Open for Business Online Directory
The Directory highlights local businesses that are open, have adjusted hours and any practices they are implementing to keep themselves and their customers safe.  

Local Businesses can update their hours & services by clicking on the button below.
#CowichanStrong invites all Cowichan businesses to be showcased on Buy Local Cowichan. 
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 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.)
The Ladysmith Chamber of Commerce is proud to work closely with the BC Chamber and local area Chambers
33 Roberts Street, PO Box 598 Ladysmith,
BC V9G 1A4 Canada
Hours: Monday - Friday 10am-4pm