Economic Development and Recovery Program

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The District of Central Saanich has worked with businesses to recover and explore new opportunities to retain and expand the local economy and has brought on a term position to work on this and launch a Community Economic Development Task Force.

The new Community Economic Recovery Coordinator, Patrick Earl, has worked in multiple communities in BC and Alberta in municipal economic development roles, from large industrial-based to small rural communities. He has worked primarily in tourism and agriculture sectors and, through the pandemic, assisted businesses in looking at diversification, marketing collaboration, customer service and helping businesses get online.

The District of Central Saanich has worked with businesses to recover and explore new opportunities to retain and expand the local economy and has brought on a term position to work on this and launch a Community Economic Development Task Force.

The new Community Economic Recovery Coordinator, Patrick Earl, has worked in multiple communities in BC and Alberta in municipal economic development roles, from large industrial-based to small rural communities. He has worked primarily in tourism and agriculture sectors and, through the pandemic, assisted businesses in looking at diversification, marketing collaboration, customer service and helping businesses get online.

  • Employee Retention and Expansion Session with Ginger Brunner - Senior HR Specialist with go2HR

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    Our first online session for recovery support is now available for viewing. Subscribe to this page for future live sessions and find much more recovery support information and resources.

    Recruiting and retaining top talent during these past few years has become incredibly challenging and competitive for employers across BC. Not only has the COVID-19 pandemic impacted how businesses operate, but it is also influencing changes in expectations and needs of job seekers, employees, and employers. In order to remain competitive within a tight labour market, employers need to understand these changes and adjust their recruitment and retention practices in order to attract and retain top talent. What has worked in the past may not work in the future.

    https://youtu.be/fw-JOIM76Iw

  • Add Your Input to the 2022 South Island Business & Employer Survey

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    Help the South Island Prosperity Partnership (SIPP) kick-off 2022 — a municipal election year — by capturing our region from a business and employers' perspective for the 2022 South Island Business & Employer Survey.

    This 8 to 10 minute survey from SIPP seeks your input on key issues affecting your business and the region. Topics include COVID-19's continuing impacts, workforce challenges, supply-chain concerns, business climate issues and your top opportunities for growth in 2022.

    Your responses will influence various advocacy efforts ranging from industry and business associations to multiple levels of government.

    Please complete the survey by Friday, February 11.

    Take the survey now

  • Children and Family Development - Minister’s statement on child care, COVID-19 guidance (BC)

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    Katrina Chen, Minister of State for Child Care, has released the following statement on the new COVID-19 guidance for child care settings from the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC), which was recently provided to the sector:

    “COVID-19 continues to challenge us all, and we recognize that the child care sector is working hard to keep children and families safe during these difficult times. I cannot thank child care professionals enough for the hard work, sacrifice and dedication they continue to make in keeping the children and staff at their centres healthy during these difficult times.

    “We also know that they have been looking for public-health guidance about how best to address concerns related to the Omicron variant. As the situation continues to evolve, we are committed to providing updated information as it becomes available.

    “The COVID-19 Public Health Guidance for Child Care Settings were updated by the BCCDC on Jan. 19, 2022. The updated guidance was sent to the child care providers via email yesterday evening.

    “To provide greater clarity to the sector, the ministry will host a virtual discussion with Dr. Bonnie Henry and a panel of public-health professionals, who will address questions that have arisen from child care providers and parents. The information session will take place on Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2022, and will enable parents and child care providers to hear directly from public-health officials.

    “I know this has been a challenging time for parents and those working in the child care sector. We will continue to work to address your questions and concerns and share information with you as it becomes available from public health. We encourage parents and child care professionals to join us for the discussion next week. Information will be posted on our child care website.”

    Learn More:

    For more information on COVID-19 Public Health Guidance for Child Care Settings, visit:
    http://www.bccdc.ca/Health-Info-Site/Documents/COVID_public_guidance/Guidance_Child_Care.pdf

    For more on the information session and Childcare BC, visit: www.gov.bc.ca/childcare

  • Nominations for Small Business BC Awards 2022 are Open!

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    In 2021, Small Business BC was inspired by the hard-working entrepreneurs who were creative, determined, and supportive of their communities in an extremely challenging time. The annual Small Business BC Awards present an opportunity to show these business owners some love, validating their efforts and highlighting the impact they make in our lives.

    Starting today, nominations and voting for the 2022 SBBC Awards are open! The two award categories this year are:

    • The Business Impact Award
    • Premier’s People’s Choice Award


    Participating has never been easier. Nominate your own business or a business you love through their website. Winners and finalists split a prize pool of $15,000.

    Learn More

  • Vancouver Island Coastal Tourism Resiliency Program

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    The Vancouver Island Coastal Tourism Resiliency Program provides Vancouver Island and Gulf Islands tourism businesses with meaningful, hands-on guidance and support to navigate the immediate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, adapt and work towards long-term resiliency.

    Find out how the Tourism Resilience program has helped Vancouver Island businesses over the past year.

    Video overview of program.

    Year One Report.



    General inquiries
    resiliency@tourismvi.ca

    Program Info
    Lauren Semple
    lauren@victrp.ca

    Director, Destination Marketing
    Karen Bannister
    karenb@tourismvi.ca

    Website
    https://tourismresiliency.ca/victrp/


  • COVID-19 Closure Relief Grant funds doubled for eligible businesses (BC)

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    The Province is extending the COVID-19 Closure Relief Grant and doubling supports for eligible businesses that have been ordered to remain temporarily closed through public health measures until Feb. 16, 2022.

    “It’s fair to say that the Omicron variant has created new challenges for all of us, but our government's commitment to support people and businesses through this latest COVID-19 wave is unwavering,” said Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation. “While we are encouraged to see that many fitness activities will now be able to take place in a safe, controlled environment, we know there are still sectors directly impacted by these public health measures. Our government will continue to support these businesses, as we have in the past. Together, we can move closer to putting this pandemic behind us.”

    Businesses that were directed to remain temporarily closed on Jan. 18, 2022, through public health orders are now eligible for up to $20,000 in total funding, based on staffing levels at the time of closure.

    Eligible businesses include:

    • bars, nightclubs and lounges that do not serve full meals; and
    • event venues that had to close due to cancellations.

    Eligible fitness facilities that were ordered closed on Dec. 22, 2021, but can now reopen, will receive the original four-week temporary-closure grant of up to $10,000 based on staffing levels at the time of closure.

    Businesses that have applied for a COVID-19 Closure Relief Grant do not need to reapply. To apply for a grant, visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/covid-19/economic-recovery/closure-relief-grant

    The $4-million extension of the original $10-million grant program complements existing federal government programs, including the Local Lockdown Program and the Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit.

    The Local Lockdown Program provides wage and commercial rent support for businesses and other organizations, regardless of their sector, that have been affected by regional provincial health officer orders. This program is a way businesses, charities and non-profit organizations can receive up to 75% in wage and rent support. The Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit provides $300 a week in income support to eligible workers who are directly affected by a COVID-19 related public health order and have lost 50% or more of their income.

    On Jan. 7, 2022, B.C.’s public health officer ordered all businesses to reactivate their COVID-19 safety plans to help keep employees and communities safe during the rapid spread of cases related to the COVID-19 Omicron variant.

    Learn More:

    For more information on the COVID-19 Closure Relief Grant, including the application process and eligibility, visit: www.gov.bc.ca/business-relief

    For more information on COVID-19 safety plans, visit: https://worksafebc.com/covid-19

    For more information on B.C.’s COVID-19 recovery supports, visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/covid-19/economic-recovery/business-supports

    For more information on federal supports, visit: https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/economic-response-plan.html#businesses

    For information on industry-specific COVID-19 safety protocols, visit: https://www.worksafebc.com/en/covid-19/industry-specific-information

    For more information on StrongerBC, visit: https://strongerbc.gov.bc.ca/

  • Pandemic restrictions extended, but gyms can reopen with extra spacing (BC)

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    Remaining in place: Bars closed, theatres and sports venue seating at 50 per cent capacity, limited movement and table capacity in restaurants, no sports tournaments.

    Read Times Colonist article...

  • Workplace Wellness for 2022

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    go2HR and the Canadian Mental Health Association BC Chapter (CMHA BC) and go2HR have partnered on a new initiative to raise the awareness of mental health and wellness in the tourism and hospitality industry. As a part of their shared ongoing commitment to providing tools and resources to businesses, they regularly share important content developed by our experts on mental health and wellness in the workplace.

    The resources are designed to support employers and team leaders to add topics about workplace psychological health and safety into their regularly scheduled Safety Talks. They may also fit well into the on-boarding process, professional development, and occupational health and safety events you already have. Or, you might just view them for your own knowledge!

    Each Safety Talk from BC's Hub for Workplace Mental Health consists of a five-minute video (or shorter!) as well as a one-page document for employees.

    The first topic, "Mental Health Awareness in the Workplace" is available now. A total of 10 will be available soon, so check back shortly for the rest!


    View the Employee Resource document here.

    View the video here.

  • B.C.’s Most Economically Resilient Cities in 2022 (BCBusiness) Central Saanich is 8th, 9th in 2020

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    Eighth annual ranking of the province’s best communities for work

    Carrying forward last year’s theme of resilience, this eighth annual ranking of B.C.’s best cities for work once again examines 50 of the province’s largest communities. With added consideration for social and environmental resilience, we throw a spotlight on the top regional performers and feature local businesses learning to navigate a post-pandemic world.

    Read the full article...

  • Government extends loan forgiveness repayment deadline for the Canada Emergency Business Account (CA)

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    News release

    January 12, 2022 - Ottawa, Ontario - Department of Finance Canada

    The Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) program has provided interest-free, partially forgivable loans to nearly 900,000 small businesses and not-for-profit organizations to help them navigate the pandemic and remain resilient. However, the Omicron variant has delayed the recovery for businesses in many parts of the country.

    Today, the Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, and the Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development, announced that the repayment deadline for CEBA loans to qualify for partial loan forgiveness is being extended from December 31, 2022, to December 31, 2023, for all eligible borrowers in good standing.

    This extension will support short-term economic recovery and offer greater repayment flexibility to small businesses and not-for-profit organizations, many of which are facing continued challenges due to the pandemic. Repayment on or before the new deadline of December 31, 2023, will result in loan forgiveness of up to a third of the value of the loans (meaning up to $20,000).

    Outstanding loans would subsequently convert to two-year term loans with interest of 5 per cent per annum commencing on January 1, 2024, with the loans fully due by December 31, 2025.

    The government is also announcing that the repayment deadline to qualify for partial forgiveness for CEBA-equivalent lending through the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund is extended to December 31, 2023.

    Quotes

    “As Omicron has reminded us, we are still living in a pandemic. Our government understood, from the outset, that we had to put in place unprecedented measures to meet this unprecedented challenge. By providing small businesses with additional time to repay their loans and still have partial loan forgiveness, affected businesses and workers will continue to have the support they need to get through the pandemic.”

    - The Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

    “As we fight the latest wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, we will continue to stand by Canada’s small businesses. Almost 900,000 small businesses accessed CEBA loans to help maintain operations through this difficult time. By extending the repayment deadline, we are ensuring that these hard working business owners are able to focus on their operations and building back from this pandemic stronger than ever.”

    - The Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development

    Quick facts

    • The CEBA program was open for applications from April 9, 2020, to June 30, 2021. It has provided more than $49 billion in liquidity to over 898,000 Canadian businesses.

    • CEBA provides interest-free loans of up to $60,000 to small businesses to help cover their operating costs during a time where their revenues have been reduced. These loans are partially forgivable. With the extension announced today, repaying the balance of the loan on or before December 31, 2023, will result in loan forgiveness of up to 33 per cent (up to $20,000).

    • The $2 billion Regional Relief and Recovery Fund, operated through Regional Development Agencies, has been a key support for businesses unable to access other federal pandemic support programs.

    Associated links

Page last updated: 24 January 2022, 16:17