We're In This Together
Thank-you to Our Newsletter Sponsor, Excel Career College, for helping make this newsletter edition possible.
The Chamber's Weekly Zoom Meetings
Join us each week on Thursday for a virtual meeting, featuring a different guest and topic. Next week's call involves the construction & development industry. Join the Chamber as we host a panel discussion featuring:

Rory Kulmala
Vancouver Island Construction Association

Kerriann Coady
Canadian Home Builders Association

Pam Beynonbrown
Building Links

When: Thursday, June 4 from 10:30 AM - 11:30 AM
Where: ZOOM
BC's State of Emergency Extended
Premier John Horgan extended the province’s state of emergency by two weeks on Wednesday, the longest period that emergency orders have been in place in B.C.’s history.

“As we turn the dial up and increase our social and economic activity, it’s important to make sure that we don’t lose sight of the objectives that we as a province, collectively embarked upon some two months ago,” Horgan said.

The state of emergency is now assured to last at least 12 weeks. But Horgan is expecting it will continue beyond that.
Tourism Week, May 24 - 31
While Tourism Week 2020 may be celebrated quite differently than in previous years, the current campaign focuses on the fact that #BCTourismMatters. During this challenging time, when the future is uncertain, we know by collaborating and highlighting the opportunities and benefits of BC’s visitor economy, we can forge the road to recovery, together.

Visit Destination BC's website for resources, virtual events, facts and stories surrounding Tourism Week.
COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund
The Comox Valley Community Foundation's COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund is still accepting donations. During the month of May all donations will be matched, dollar for dollar. Contributions help to ensure all members of our community have access to the basics - food, shelter and access to care - as well as position our front line social service agencies to respond to the new environment in which they must now operate.

Not-for-profit organizations and registered charities have until June 4 to apply for the CVCF's next round of COVID-19 Emergency Response Grants. As a result of support from our community - individuals, the Comox Valley Regional District, service organizations and businesses - the CVCF have been able to distribute 25 grants, totaling $159,400 thus far, with more still to come.

CVCF is also participating in the Government of Canada's Emergency Community Support Fund, which will see an additional $121,850 available to organizations supporting vulnerable populations in the Comox Valley. Both granting programs, the CVCF’s COVID-19 Emergency Response Grants and the ECSF, will run concurrently and charities and non-profit organizations are encouraged to contact the CVCF to discuss which program best suits their funding needs. Please reach out at 250-338-8444 or office@cvcfoundation.org. We are here to help.
Contribute To The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy Consultation
The Government of Canada is reviewing the CEWS program, and input from businesses is required to inform potential changes to the program to best meet the needs of businesses and their staff. You can participate via a short online survey or by email.

Deadline to participate is June 5, 2020.
Results from the Third Pulse Check
The results from the third BCMindReader Pulse Check are in!

Here's what you told us:

While British Columbia has entered phase two of its Restart Plan, only one-in-four (26%) businesses impacted by COVID-19 feel able to restart and operate profitably with the gradual easing of restrictions.

The biggest challenges to restarting identified by survey respondents are:
•   attracting customers or revenue (75%),
•   having enough operating cash for expenses (49%) or to meet safety standards (31%),
•   bringing staff back (39%),
•   government not allowing their business to open yet (31%), and
•   not yet prepared or able to meet safety guidelines (30%).

Here's what we're doing with your feedback:

  • The insights have driven an Op-Ed in the Vancouver Sun, and your feedback has been sent to both the federal and provincial governments.
Commercial Landlords Urged to Apply for Rent Assistance Program
Val Litwin is president and CEO of the B.C. Chamber of Commerce.
Excerpt from Val Litwin's Article in the Vancouver Sun:

In April, we conducted a survey of 1,284 small and medium-sized businesses and 43 per cent reported they had 90 days or less of cash to weather the crisis. That was two months ago, so we can safely say that almost one out of two businesses in B.C. have about 30 days of cash left. Of course, for many operators their prospects might be shifting now as they attempt to reopen. But B.C. businesses are in a very precarious position, and can go bankrupt much faster with a failed or partial restart than a temporary closure.

Call to action: Dear landlords, your tenants, despite extreme hardship, have been doing their best to cover rents and to honour their lease agreements. Your income statements have remained solid so far during the crisis. But the hard data says your tenants do not have much time left — and that your rental income is about to change. The CECRA portal opened Monday on the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation website. Please apply, without delay, to the CECRA program and do your part to save a small business (and yourselves) before it is too late.
Unstaffed Recycling Depots Closing
The Comox Strathcona Waste Management unstaffed recycling depots located at Campbell River’s Strathcona Gardens Recreation Complex and the Courtenay Country Market will close permanently effective July 1, 2020 – residents are encouraged to instead utilize their municipal curbside recycling service for those who have access, or to drop off recyclables at one of the local Return-It depots or at either of the waste management centres in the region.

Edit Your Things That Are Open Listing
Did you list your business on Things That Are Open ? You can now edit your business listing with their self-serve option. Easily update and edit your listing information – including Covid-19 Policies, Hours of Operation and Images*!

As things start to re-open and regulations change, we encourage you to keep your listing up-to-date so your customers are informed of any changes in your business operations.
*Please note the guidelines for image uploads when editing your listing

Learn Roots Music Online with Doug Cox
We are reissuing all 40 of our on-line LearnRoots Music classes in partnership with Truefire. All of these lessons (over 40 of them) were produced here in the Valley.

Titles issued so far include:
Doug Cox - Hot Blues Licks for Dobro
Doug Cox - More Dobro
Amos Garrett - StringBending
Mighty Popo - African Guitar
Jake Schepps - Modern Banjo
Martin Simpson - Open Tunings
Tim Williams - Blues, Rags and Slide Guitar

JTF Pandemic and Post Pandemic Security Solutions
We've learned a lot over the past 3 months and have gained valuable insights on how to best serve our clients under these ever-changing conditions.

We welcome the challenges ahead!  info@jtfcanada.com
We could not provide our advocacy, business resources, and services for business in the Comox Valley without the support of our members. Thank you to the members who have renewed their memberships this month:
Thank you for staying in touch with The Comox Valley Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber sends a regularly scheduled Newsletter every second Thursday. From time to time, we will also send emails about important issues facing the business and/or local community, surveys, and information about upcoming events and E-Blasts. You may unsubscribe at any time.