C-19 BULLETIN - April 20, 2020
Tourism and Hospitality Response and Recovery Task Force Outlines COVID-19 Impact on Sector

As referenced in last Thursday's bulletin, the Metro Vancouver Tourism and Hospitality Industry Response and Recovery Task Force, an umbrella group representing over 50 organizations in the travel and tourism sector, including TIABC, recently released letters to both the provincial and federal governments, urging action necessary to counter the devastating effects COVID-19 and Canada’s response to the pandemic has had on the sector.

In letters to Minister Beare and her federal counterpart, Minister Joly, the Task Force addressed the issue of business liquidity, as well as called for an enhanced wage subsidy program, full government backing for BDC loans to small businesses, and greater availability of funding through the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA). The Task Force is also seeking an extension of the CEBA repayment period and an increase in the non-repayable portion of those loans, noting these as critical elements needing to be addressed.

The Task Force also called for implementation of a policy that prevents eviction of commercial tenants and establishes rent assistance for small businesses struggling to meet monthly lease payments. Similar programs have been put in place in some Canadian provinces.

A Task Force  Impact Assessment – Fact Sheet , illustrating COVID-19’s impact on the sector, as well as a current Task Force  Member List , have also been distributed.

Read more at:
_____ _ __________________________________________________________
In partnership with the Hotel Association of Canada, the BC Hotel Association is working on the design of the Government Guaranteed Loan Program through EBC and EDC and will be briefing Government officials this week on why certain criterion will need to be adjusted in order to ensure a smooth and efficient application process for hoteliers.
In support of this work, they need the latest on the ground experience from hotel owners and operators – big and small - and some information related to the lending landscape.
Please fill out the survey as soon as possible as t his data will be fed right up through key decision-makers.

We appreciate that you have been asked for a lot of surveys lately, but we cannot do our work without the absolute latest data to support our positions. Thank you in advance as we continue to fight for strong policies to support the sector.

______ ___________________________________________________________
Survey on Recovery Measures for Tourism

As of this morning, over  500  tourism businesses had responded to TIAC's survey, in collaboration with McKinsey & Company and Destination Canada, to assess recovery measures to help the tourism sector when the COVID-19 crisis subsides.

Each entry is captured and reported to government officials and decision- makers daily . Your continued participation and input are vital. Thank you to everyone who already participated.

Survey links:

The survey will be open until April 23, 5:00 pm ET .
______ ___________________________________________________________
Indigenous Businesses Receive $306.8 Million Federal Stimulus Funding Package In Response to COVID-19

The Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC) is pleased to announce that the federal government is committing $306.8 million dollars in stimulus funding to support the 6,000 small-medium Indigenous businesses across the country flowing through 59 different Aboriginal financial institutions in Canada. Of these, more than 30%, or 1875, are Indigenous tourism businesses.

Learn more at:
______ ___________________________________________________________
Travel Penticton Shifting Focus to Help Local Tourism-Related Businesses During Crisis

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Travel Penticton has shifted its focus from external marketing to promoting local businesses that are offering services to local residents. The organization is committed to supporting these important businesses during this unprecedented time and has recently introduced emergency support in the form of a subsidized local advertising campaign.

Travel Penticton has been working closely with local media outlets to develop a subsidized advertising campaign, has secured premium ad space from each media partner, and will be covering 75-90% of the cost. The minimum cost to local Penticton businesses is $100 per media partners' offer, for a customized 4-week local targeted advertising campaign.

The campaign aims to help Penticton-based, tourism-related businesses (including bakeries, restaurants, health & wellness, bike shops, wineries, breweries and distilleries) share what they are currently offering to local residents, such as take-out options, complimentary shipping, virtual classes, and more.

Learn more at:
_____ _ __________________________________________________________
Stay Vigilant Against Scammers

While there are countless examples of people being kind, generous and supportive, there are also those who prey on the vulnerable or attempt to take advantage of others during crises like this.

Today, an individual attempted to use TIABC personnel to pull a familiar scam. Fortunately we recognized it straight away. Yet another reminder to remain aware and vigilant.

Here are some links to information about avoiding scams:

______ ___________________________________________________________
Four Tips for Fostering Employee Engagement During a Time of Crisis

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, many tourism and hospitality employers have suddenly been faced with making tough business and financial decisions in order to comply with government legislated restrictions (e.g. physical distancing measures) as well as maintaining the viability of their business. This has meant temporarily having to close their doors and/or scaling back their workforces through lay-offs and in many cases terminations. Employers have had to say good-bye to workers who are not just employees, but also friends and family.

Eventually this crisis will pass and when it does, businesses will want to be prepared to bring their employees back and return to operations as quickly as possible. As we look ahead, the world of recruitment will likely be very different post-crisis as impacted employers across the entire country will be challenged to recall and re-establish their workforces. The competition for skilled talent will eventually return. Studies also show that the longer people are off work, the less likely they are to return in any capacity. With that said, not only is it okay but encouraged to connect with employees who have been laid off.

The question is, what can and should employers be doing now to remain connected and foster engagement with employees during this time of crisis (so that they want to come back), even while they are not on the payroll?

go2HR has shared four tips to help employers stay in contact and maintain relationships with employees who are on a temporary layoff. Visit the go2HR website to learn more:
______ ___________________________________________________________
COVID-19 Business Resiliency Webinars

Wednesday, April 22, 2020 at 1:00PM PT

FridayApril 24 at 1:00PM PT

The webinars will be posted on the GVBOT website and YouTube channel following the broadcast. 
"The Road(s) to Recovery" Webinar

While there is no shortage of prognostications about what cities and destinations should do once “things get back to normal,” the reality is that normal is probably years, not months, away.

Resonance Consultancy has identified three broad potential recovery scenarios for travel and tourism that are likely to occur. While we can’t predict the timing for each of these, or which scenario is most probable, understanding and evaluating the implications of all three potential roads to recovery is the best way to plan for an uncertain future.

Resonance’s President Chris Fair, EVP Richard Cutting-Miller and VP, Marketing Strategy, Scott Erickson will discuss each of these scenarios and the key management and marketing implications of each for the travel and tourism industry.

Tuesday April 21 8:00AM PT
Small Business BC (SBBC) are hosting a series of specialized free webinars to tackle the challenges faced by COVID-19. These webinars are geared at equipping businesses in our province with the skills and knowledge they need to survive the new realities of our COVID economy.

For information on additional SBBC webinars:
Our industry is full of innovative, caring and helpful people.
Share your stories with us and we will share them here in our daily bulletin.
HOPE Fund: Helping Our People Eat

Following the closure of tasting rooms,  Oliver Osoyoos Wine Country  launches the HOPE Fund (Helping Our People Eat), which will support up to 200 family meals per week for members of the region’s hurting hospitality industry who have lost their jobs due to COVID-19.
In partnership with Oliver-based deli  Oliver Eats Ltd. , the fund will help them to produce fresh and frozen family meals that will help support those that are usually employed by wineries, restaurants and other hospitality businesses in Oliver Osoyoos Wine Country (McIntyre Bluff to the Border) but are out of work due to the pandemic.
The organization’s 44 member wineries range from some of the largest winemaking brands in the Okanagan Valley to small, independent family run estates. All are donating to this cause in a unified offering of support to the people that help make this area so special.
Join the #HospitalityHustle to
Support our Industry

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the hospitality industry, the BC Hospitality Foundation (BCHF) wants to help keep spirits up with a province-wide virtual event called the  Hospitality Hustle . All are welcome to join in the BCHF’s FREE event, which involves engaging in physical activity of your choice and sharing your experience on social media. The event will conclude on the evening of Sunday, May 31, 2020 with an online social distancing dance party hosted by a live DJ.

Keeping  social and physical distancing  front of mind, we encourage participants to pick an activity – walk or run 5km, dance for an hour, skip, prance, skateboard, or bike 10km – and start training today.  Please follow the advice of our medical professionals and keep your training in your neighbourhood.  Then on  Sunday, May 31  our entire community will virtually get their ‘hustle on’ for hospitality!

Feel free to send us your ideas on what information would be valuable for TIABC to share through our COVID-19 Bulletin going forward. Drop us a line at info@tiabc.ca.